Thursday, July 12, 2012

New Book: Dungeon Fantasy 15: Henchmen

My latest book is out - GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 15: Henchmen, co-authored by myself and Sean Punch.

The blurb explains it pretty well:

My People Will Handle It

Sometimes you want a faithful assistant, not a mighty peer with his eye on your share of the loot! From the snarling barbarian's glib agent to the fragile wizard's hardy bodyguard, all the way down the pay scale to horse-minders, potion-tasters, and valets, there are countless roles that delvers need filled yet deem beneath them. GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 15: Henchmen gives you everything you need to create these helpers:

Templates for 10 distinct 125-point archetypes (agent, apprentice, archer, brute, cutpurse, initiate, killer, sage, skirmisher, and squire) and five 62-point callings (cultist, guard, laborer, servant, and torch-bearer), each with detailed customization notes.
Everything you need to use these templates for hirelings, including rules for recruitment, loyalty, and pay.
Advice on treating these henchmen as Allies: evaluating the advantage, handling NPC advancement, and weighing the campaign ramifications of permanent associates.
Thoughts on adapting such roles for PCs in low-powered, mixed-power-level, and standard 250-point campaigns.
A dozen 125-point lenses – adept, burglar, champion, gadgeteer, genin, learned, monk, priest, psi, treasure-hunter, troubadour, and veteran – that mix and match with the templates to get a wide variety of high-end henchmen and custom PC professions.
New perks and power-ups for companions and flunkies.
Guidelines for adding nonhuman racial templates to the mix for henchmen and custom PCs alike.

Whether you want to beef up an undersized party, give egotistical heroes a way to trade excess cash or points for minions, or kick off your Dungeon Fantasy campaign at a lower power level, GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 15: Henchmen has what you need.
- from the book's official page.

It's a collection of templates of low-point characters suitable as henchmen or low-rent dungeon delvers. The templates are basically in the range of 62, 125, and 187 points, not accidentally 25%, 50%, and 75% of the usual experienced delver templates that clock in at 250 points. Thus you've got guys who range from trap-finders ("you open it") and potion tasters to serious muscle and worthy companions. The rules covering finding, hiring, paying, and keeping your meatshields from adventure to adventure.

And yes, it's got quotes from Glen Cook, J.R.R. Tolkien, Alexander Dumas, and Blackadder in it. The acknowledgements pay homage to my favorite Grenadier boxed set, 2004 Hirelings. How can you go wrong?

It's only $7.99 at e23, if you're interested. I hope it's a useful book for you GURPS Dungeon Fantasy types and amusing for everyone who reads it. It was certainly fun to write.


  1. Peter, just saw this one released on e23. Looking forward to giving it a read. Our group is in the process of starting a GURPS 4e campaign. I'm better our GM, Rob Conley, has already scarffed this and is reading now.

  2. This product will be most useful for me as beginning characters because lower power PCs fit better with the way I used to play back in the day. I feel the DF series starts out too powerful and it is often more fun to have the PCs go from a nobody to a hero IMO.

  3. You would win that bet Tim, already have it and used it to craft templates for the campaign.

    Excellent piece of work there Peter. Now with Henchmen, Historical Folks and DF 1 the entire spread of points values is covered to make NPCs from. Made running my campaign a whole lot easier.

  4. About 50% through (I read bits & pieces, then fill in the blanks) reading it. I love it! Yes, I'm no longer running a DF game. my starting point total is 134+8d+50+5 in "standard" fantasy; I also award 5 points for a background and 5 points for a picture. So this bumps the starting point total up to an average of 172. That approaches DF point totals pretty quickly, especially at 2 - 5 XP per session.

    I use a LOT of the DF material, grafting on social backgrounds and more granular martial arts to the characters, which fits in with my campaign style of being larger than life, but not quite the "kick in doors, kill monsters, loot, sell, repeat." This makes everything "use with caution" for me. Even so, this supplement hits the spot. I like the treatment of allies/henchmen, especially as a convention. In my games, sometimes I play out acquiring items/assistants in detail (if it will be fun and/or interesting or should be difficult). But oftentimes acquiring a hireling is necessary to carry forward an adventure or enable players to have their characters achieve goals and making the search an adventure in itself is pointless.

    Can't wait to use some of these templates!

  5. @everyone: Thanks guys, I'm glad you like the book!

  6. If I wanted to play a Holy Warrior who could give a little extra help to both PC and NPC Clerics, would I be allowed to Knows the Words(Final Rest) and Knows the Words(Resurrection)?

    1. You probably could - allowing Knows the Words a little wider usage would be a net positive, I think.


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