So the utility of GURPS Dungeon Fantasy outside of the DF books, and its tone, have come up repeatedly. Maybe constantly.
The Tone of DF
DF books, at the very least how I write them, is a little off-center of serious. The other authors do pretty much the same. I gather that puts some people off.
As I've said before, I'm not laughing at the genre and thus laughing at you for liking it. I'm laughing at the inherent silliness of it with you. I'm like Monty Python mocking King Arthur in The Holy Grail - if you like knights and King Arthur, you don't come out of that feeling like they're mocking you for liking it. They like it too, they just see so much scope for poking holes into the stories the way they are told. I'm poking fun at the silliness of going into tunnels in an a-historical mix of armor and weapons and fighting monsters for treasure at the same time as I'm saying, oh yeah, this is so much fun I haven't stoppped playing these games since I started when I was nine. I'm just not demanding, like Cole Jenkins says, a deconstruction to enjoy it. That can be fun too, but rather, I'm sincerely enjoying it.
That's why I write that way. I could in theory ditch any hint of this being something other than a solemn and serious game, the basis for something "more" and "deeper" than dungeons. But I probably couldn't keep that up, or enjoy it. Like the games I started playing when I was nine, the "more" I want is more play time, and the "deeper" I want is deeper dungeons. I want to acknowledge the oddities and smile and enjoy them. That the line does this makes it all the better, and makes it more enjoyable for me. I can't really imagine doing it differently and liking it the same.
Like I said, though, I'm enjoying it sincerely. And there isn't a hint of mockery in my pointing out the silliness inherent in this great genre.
The Game is Fun As Written
I've mentioned my "this is awesome" moment.
I got that DF was a good game. I didn't doubt that. Really, though, I didn't really get how good DF was until I sat down and played it. I got it on paper and I got it intellectually. But I didn't get it in my gut until we started playing a DF game for a time-killer, until we decided to do something else.
Actually keeping the game limited has made it more fun than I'd expected, and kept it running for years. It's not boring yet - the closest things to complaints from people I've gotten is "I want to play more often" and "I want to get more things done in the dungeon." Pretty much, more of the same, and more on the days we play.
I did a serious, 10+ year game (1999-2010 or so, with long breaks between sessions for three of those years). I used bits of DF in it - golem-armor swordsmen, toxifiers, spheres of madness, eyes of death, obsidian jaguars, horde pygmies, dinomen (which were re-skinned into dinomen from what was in that game), trolls, and a few others showed up. I had a Heroic Archer who is echo'd quite accidentally in the Scout (since Sean wrote that without any reference to my game). I grabbed rulings from DF2 and recommended DF2 to others for the same, even for people running gritty mostly-urban fantasy games that lacked dungeons entirely. So I have drunk from the well of "use Dungeon Fantasy line materials in a lower-point, non-DF game." There is nothing wrong with doing that. But the product as written and created is really an excellent one, and I think it plays better than it reads. It's worth the honest try to see how it plays out.
And I think it works best if it stays that way - an inherently light and focused game raidable (like other GURPS works) for bits. It's useful in and of itself, yet avails itself of the greater GURPS collection to expand into - or be used in - something different from itself.