Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Blog Watch: Dungeon Fantastic

GURPS Martial Arts co-author Peter V. Dell’Orto is now blogging about old school gaming with GURPS Dungeon Fantasy.  He has some pretty good stuff over there, but I especially like his session reports.  He has turned loose a bunch of 250 point GURPS characters in the classic Keep on the Borderlands module, and it is fascinating to follow the play-by-play.

Session 1: The characters start out with enchanted armor… and a dude that spent all of his starting cash on gear sleeps in the stables.  A survivor from Peter’s first D&D session  from way back provides clues about what to expect.  Hobgoblins turn out to have magic resistance in this game, but get completely bashed, smashed, and mauled anyway.  The players spike some doors and explore the torture chamber before heading home again.  (No killer kobalds here.  But this is GURPS, so they can still kill you, though.)

Session 2: More hobgoblins die when the players return,  but the players negotiate with the hobgoblin chief in order to find out where the evil shrine is.  The players loot the hobgoblin armory (which leads to some questions of how best to cash out the loot) and high tail it out of there, but get overrun by killer frogs while camping out.

Session 3: The players hire a couple of 62-point hirelings and head back for round three.  This is where it gets good.  Ack.  Just go read the whole thing!

From the sounds of it, the 250 point straight-up Dungeon Fantasy game is pretty high powered.  It’s not quite Monty Haul, but it’s up there.  At any rate, Peter and launched an excellent resource, so please support him.  This is quality first-hand information you just can’t get anywhere else!

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5 responses to “Blog Watch: Dungeon Fantastic

  1. Peter November 8, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Thanks for the review of my blog, Jeff! I recognize your handle from the SJG Forums.

    Yeah, 250-pointers with magical armor vs. hobgoblins isn’t remotely fair. But +1 DR and -25% weight on armor is damn cheap, and everyone elected to spend points to start with some extra money to get it. Saves the usual “change my armor every session” scramble that would happen otherwise, and has kept a few of them alive! But even magic armor didn’t keep poor Volos alive . . .

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the summaries.

  2. jeffro November 8, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    That’s interesting– you went the opposite direction of Labyrinth Lord where they jacked up the price of plate mail enough that it would be a major milestone you could reach in about half as many sessions as it took to make level two.

    Your death percentage (so far) is closer to what we ended up houseruling CAR WARS to be. It almost seemed to me that in old school D&D, level one characters could make more gold pieces looting their fallen comrades than they could from successfully killing monsters….

  3. Peter November 8, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    I think we’ve mostly got magical leather and mail, magical steel helmets, and Vryce has a steel corselet with mail on his limbs. Even so they had to spend a fair amount of points to get this stuff. Since DF guys are above “1st level” this is fair.
    I didn’t notice the price changes in LL. I’m still slowly working my way through the clones, since I mostly know the OSR stuff from being a 2nd generation player (started in 81 as my bio says).

  4. jeffro November 9, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Wow… armor can be enchanted as “Unyielding ___ of Lightness” for $150. That’s peanuts! But maybe you went with “Impenetrable ___ of Weightlessness” for $14,000? (Never noticed that table on page 30 of DF1 before– and I was swamped before with just the options from pages 26-27!) Very interesting….

  5. Peter November 9, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Yeah, 25% Lighten and +1 Fortify are cheap. But the next levels are crushingly expensive for starting guys. That’s pretty standard for GURPS enchantments – peanuts for the basic stuff, but real magical effects are costly. But it’s not the magic that cost my PCs, it was armor in general.

    Vryce for example has a helm, a mail coif, mail sleeves, mail leggings, sollerets, heavy gauntlets, and a light plate corselet and a greatsword. The sword alone costs $900 out of his starting $1000, which is why he started with – IIRC – 5 points traded for cash. That gave him a pool of $3500 to start, most of which got swallowed up by armor and his main weapon, and would have been even without magical protection. Honus is larger than man sized (he’s SM+1) so his armor costs double, which also sucked down a lot of points. So did his special morningstar, which I haven’t discussed on the blog much. Gear costs add up very quickly.

    Serious armor – say, heavy plate, 50% lighten, with higher levels of Fortify, and Fine quality, maybe made of orichalcum . . . those will be dramatically more expensive and are something to aspire to – and give a great reason to keep plunging into the dungeon!

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