log in or register to remove this ad


Nordlond Bestiary GURPS 3rd party Kickstarter


I crit!
I never thought I'd see the day. A third party GURPS Bestiary? Kickstarter?

I haven't been paying attention to the GURPS side of things and I think it's a different world now.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a fantasy roleplaying game in possession of dungeons, must be in want of more monsters. No, more than that. Even more.

Whether riffing off Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, or the more genre-appropriate Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith, there’s no question that a giant book of creatures is a boon to gamers wanting to keep campaigns fresh and exciting.

For a long time, the classic big book of monsters has been hard to come by as a fully supported work for Powered by GURPS games.

No longer.

nordlund GURPS bestiary kickstarter image.png


log in or register to remove this ad

Douglas Cole

I never thought I'd see the day. A third party GURPS Bestiary? Kickstarter?

I haven't been paying attention to the GURPS side of things and I think it's a different world now.

Just in case you missed them, all of these were funded by Kickstarter.
  • The Dragons of Rosgarth. Yes, plural. Designed for 300-350 point experienced adventurers. Journey to the ruins of Rosgarth and, well, there's an existential threat brewing. Good thing you're heroes. 112 pages.
  • Hall of Judgment: A quest and overland adventure. My first for the DFRPG. 128 pages.
  • Citadel at Nordvorn. A 128-page mini-setting with several adventure locations and a relationship map that makes it really easy to improv. Also designed around 250points, but also is the anchor city to The Hunted Lands, which can handle any point level.
  • Forest's End: A quest adventure with some good dungeons in it. The town of Skogurenda is the first settlement allowed north of the inevitable Wall. It's dedication day...what could go wrong? Only experienced or well-equipped delvers need apply (250-300 pts). 96 pages.
Second Row:
  • Hand of Asgard. A dozen variations on the Dungeon Fantasy RPG cleric, each tweaked for a different Norse-inspired divine domain. 16 pages.
  • The Crypt of Krysuvik: A 40-page adventure designed for 125-150 point characters. It was produced in support of the Delvers to Grow project, found in the last row.
  • Fantastic Dungeon Grappling. This short (8-page) book takes the original 50-page GURPS Martial Arts: Technical Grappling book and makes it playable and fast. It's really been streamlined, and made better in the process. A lot better.
  • Nordlondr Folk: 16 pages of playable races for the Nordlond Setting...or yours. Has some totally not tieflings in it, as well as totally not dragonborn, and...

The four books on the bottom are the Delvers to Grow quick-start books. Using a tuned, modular approach, get folks to the table playing the Dungeon Fantasy RPG with brand new characters in fifteen minutes. Also provides support for character point levels from 62 to 187 points, because sometimes you want to start off and play the zero-to-hero game.

Taking off my publisher's hat and putting on my fan hat: Kevin did a truly magnificent job in making DtGr accessible, fast, and able to make really, really robust characters in minutes. It's really good.

Douglas Cole

Are these still available? links?
All are still available. If you visit the kickstarter, you'll see there are several pledge levels that allow you to "catch up" on the stuff, including:
  • A PDF starter pack, including the bestiary PDF, plus the DtGr books, the Krysuvik adventure, and Hand of Asgard, Nordlondr Folk, and Fantastic Dungeon Grappling. That's $55.
  • All Nordlond PDFs: The bestiary PDF and all 12 PDFs of the books in the image above. $100. ($160 bought retail). For $125 you get the bestiary in print AND PDF, and PDFs of the rest. This is b/c the bestiary is the only book that ships internationally.
  • I Want It All. Every print and PDF I make for the DFRPG. PLUS the Boxed Set and Monsters 2. $400.
All of these are also available a la carte as add-ons if you're in the USA, and PDF only if not.

Contributing to the Kickstarter rather than through another vector helps get the bestiary closer to the 240-page tome I really want to make for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG community. (also, I posted a list of the first 128 pages of monsters, if they all fit, in Update #9).


I am really excited for this book! First, I know it is somewhat superficial, but the art we have seen is outstanding, especially for a GURPS product. The interesting thing for me about monster manuals is that you don't use most of the monsters, really, but it is so fun to leaf through and feel the potential. It is like when I do to the big DIY stores, even though I have no skills at all, I feel like I can build a house. Books of monsters is the same for GMs. And honestly the art really adds to the visceral feeling. It is like I start seeing the encounter in my mind.

Secondly, I really like the layout. One thing that Douglas Cole does extremely well is take GURPS, which is considered complicated, and break it down and present it in a way which shows that it is detailed but fairly simple. That is no small thing. It shows that he understands not only the material but the audience quite well.

So this is a very cool product, I feel like he is pulling GURPS into the 21st century. I hope that people who like they system can find a few bucks to vote with their dollars to show that this is a good way forward for the game line!

Yes! I am thrilled that we'll finally get our very own GURPS Monster Manual. It's not that I've had tons of trouble converting monsters from other systems, but I rarely take the time to do a proper job of it. They're always better when they've been done thoughtfully. And playtested. And the bespoke art! I love it.

I'm hoping this one gets a big boost this week as word continues to spread.

I've been a fan of Gaming Ballistic since they first produced Hall of Judgment, an adventure for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG (powered by GURPS). Every book since then has been outstanding. They look good and play well at the table. My primary group and I are still playing in a campaign that I started just before COVID in the Nordlond setting (starting with The Citadel at Nordvorn). One of the players is about to launch another adventure geared toward lower-point characters made with Delvers to Grow.

Between this rich trove of material and the monthly GURPS releases from Steve Jackson Games, these are exciting days for GURPS!

Douglas Cole

Doug, do you plan on having a chapter in the book listing new creature-specific advantages, disadvantages, and/or a discussion of the mechanics of creature specific attack types (e.g. how to run creatures that pounce or creatures that swallow their victims)?
Yah. Swallow Whole will be reproduced from Fantastic Dungeon Grappling, as an example. Some of the "monster tactics" stuff is a good idea in general, though I need to be somewhat careful about reproducing too much of the text. Not necessarily because of licensing/copyright (my license covers that easily), but folks get miffed if too much page count can be had elsewhere, while others get miffed if they have to page-hop.

If we unlock stretch goals (dang it, I really thought this would have funded by now, and easily) then this becomes much less of an issue: I'll have the page count to support it all.

Douglas Cole

"Where's the Bestiary, [CENSORED]" is one of the more common notes I've seen since about 2004. I was over the moon when I got permission to do one, and a bit sad when my last few campaigns made me think I just didn't have the following to do a BIG one.

I decided to go for it, though ... and I was hoping I'd at least draw the (roughly) 1,000 folks that came in on the SJGames Monsters 2 book, since mine will be at least 2.5x longer.

This game is far from over ... but we'll need a LOT of folks who are on the fence (nearly 400 following but not yet pledged on Kickstarter) or simply unaware (such as the nearly 3,000 people who just signed up to the Girl Genius Kickstarter, over 250 of whom got a pledge containing the Basic Set...those fine folks are just getting into GURPS and Powered by GURPS!).

And if you haven't yet seen the collected examples: go to this thread on reddit:
Monster of the Day posts from Nordlond Bestiary: Collected

Douglas Cole


OK...what a big day was yesterday.

Over $3,000 raised in a single day, making it the second-largest day of the campaign. Even bigger than the second day, which is traditionally carried over from launch day.

So now it's about stretch goals. There are still 400 people who have followed but not yet backed this campaign. There are thousands who just became aware of it thanks to this update on the Girl Genius RPG page, courtesy of SJGames.

So don't be too shocked if folks pile on, and for those of you saying nice things in various places and encouraging folks to jump on: keep it up, it's working.


It is great! and I really hope that folks that like GURPS, and would like to see more of this kind of support from all kinds of sources, would step up to make it known in the traditional American way, with your dollars. Even if you don't particularly want this specific book, supporting the KS shows SJG that there is support for this kind of book. Let's be very honest, I don't think anyone is particularly impressed with the company's... modernization efforts lets say. But people and companies respond to incentives, so showing them that money is out there if they do things like Bestiaries or more VTT support, will probably gain some traction.
Take one for the team and also get a great book!

Level Up!

An Advertisement