[SPONSORED] GURPS Dungeon Fantasy KS Winding Down

{This is a Sponsored Post} Heya, folks! One of the more exciting things going on in RPG KS land is the impending Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game, Powered by GURPS. If you somehow missed this, you'd best take a fast look and get behind it, especially if you're a long-time GURPS fan. This marks Steve Jackson Games' return to their much-beloved and hobby-changing game engine, redefined for today's gaming market.

Here's what they SJG folks have to say about it all -

Dungeon Fantasy: Hitting the Heroes With a Curve Ball

For most players, the promise of “adventure” carries certain implications. Innocents probably need saving. Dark expanses await exploration. And, perhaps most important, the party must confront and defeat an assortment of terrifying monsters. The Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game addresses that last need with an entire book of dangerous foes – appropriately titled Monsters – but an imaginative GM can use it as the springboard for an infinite variety of home-brewed threats.

Custom critters hold a special place in the world of RPGs, and for good reason. Even if the players never peek at the bestiary, they’ll eventually fight everything in the book and develop strategies for defeating each one. Changing up the opposition can prevent a campaign from feeling repetitive, while also heightening the danger as the heroes scramble to figure out how to stop this new enemy. As well, every new concept, from bespoke bad guys to tailor-made treasure, expands the setting and makes it feel more real. Tabletop roleplaying offers a level of customization and investment that no other type of game can match. By the time a group ends a campaign, that world is theirs – a unique creation, shaped by the imagination of the GM and decisions of the players.

This is why Monsters includes advice for adapting and altering existing creatures, as well as inventing entirely new threats from scratch. As a practical demonstration, here’s the process behind my creation of a new foe: the fae reaver.

The first step is always inspiration, looking for something that kicks off my creative juices. In this case, it was perusing the list of Monster Advantages and stopping on Diffuse. I like Diffuse, because it makes a monster difficult, but not impossible, to hurt. Exploits describes that trait as fitting “slimes, swarms, [and] partially materialized spirits,” and it’s that middle one that has me thinking of a sentient swarm of bees. Wait, no, Dire Bees.

So this is both a “swarm” and a single creature, which tells me it’s coalesced enough to act as a single being; it can strike the heroes, lift things, and so on. But what unifies these insects so? The obvious answer is a queen bee, probably flitting about within the swarm, which makes her a difficult target. I like this idea, because it gives the adventurers two ways to fight: use explosions and area effects to hurt the swarm as a whole, or take a major penalty to swing at the queen.

Still, something is missing. I want this to expand my game world, and “sometimes bees become Dire Bees and form up” isn’t cutting it. So I flip through Monsters a bit for further inspiration, and both Elder Things and undead catch my eye. Elder Dire Bees? Nah. Maybe undead ones, though. But zom-bees aren’t much scarier than living ones.

Then it hits me. Not bees. Faeries. A swarm of tiny undead pixies, tearing you apart by the thousands with razor sharp teeth.
I like this. It’s creepy. But what holds them together? My mind wanders back to the Elder Things. What about a collaboration? No, that doesn’t fit, so perhaps the opposite: This is what happens when an Elder Thing slaughters a pocket world of fae, sacrificing itself to become a condensed ball of evil that empowers their corpses. Perfect. Now I have a unique and memorable monster that requires special tactics to hurt, interacts with Holy Might, and makes my setting a more interesting place by implying genocidal hatred between Elder Things and the fae.

All that’s left is coming up with statistics, guided by the examples and suggestions found in Monsters. The final result:

Of course, new monsters are just the tip of the imagination iceberg! Every aspect of the campaign world is ripe for personalization. And it’s here that a large community like that found on the Steve Jackson Games forums is such a useful resource. Right now, we’re running a contest for coming up with new and exciting magic items. A short while ago, we did a similar one (now closed) for character backstories. But these aren’t just to get our attention; these and other similar threads contain a wealth of new ideas to steal adapt for your own setting. With everyone sharing what they’ve created for their own Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game campaigns, you’ll never have to worry about running out of unique ideas.

As of this writing, there's only 47 hours left to back this thing, so you really want to make sure you check it out ahead of time. It's the return of GURPS, friends, and for a lot of long-time gamers, this is one of the Really Big Deals.

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Ghal Maraz

Their prehistoric approach to print+PDF (which means, in fact, a total lacking of a discounted print+PDF pledge level, which is an almost universal industry standard for RPG crowdfunding) completely put me off this campaign.

Has that changed in any way? Don't think so, it seems to be contrary to SJG politics.

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