Friday, February 28, 2020

DFRPG Companion 2 - Shipped Again

Long day today, and a lot of game prep* to do before I sleep, so I'll have to be be brief. SJG shipped me a second, replacement copy of DFRPG Companion 2 today.

Hurrah for that!

I should have a full review up early next week.

* Like writing about 20 more rumors to re-fill the table.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

DFRPG Companion 2 Arrived (and damaged)

So, first, hurrah! I received my copy of DFRPG Companion 2.

Unfortunately, the USPS, in their infinite wisdom, chose to fold the package into a tight "U" shape to cram it into my mailbox. This cracked the spine, among other damage:

I'll get a review up later . . . although it's maddening to read a book that has a spine cracked hard enough to make flipping pages difficult. I emailed SJG; we'll see what my recourse is. A cardboard mailing box might have been more expensive but would clearly have been a better choice.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Errata update for GURPS Basic Set

You probably know this already, because if you own these books on PDF you'll have received an email offering up a link to the latest versions of the files.

What changed?

That's trickier. According to the forum post linked in the update email alert, there were "minor errata and tweaks throughout."

Err . . . like what? Did any numbers change? Point costs? Page references? Important verbs? Semi-important nouns?

It's annoying that I get to know something changed . . . but not what. Especially since I still, quite often, use my harcopy books for rules reference. SJG used to list the errata by item. If they're still doing so for this update, I'd like to know where. Does anyone reading this happen to know? My favorite game system isn't going to change just because I can't find it, but it's annoying that I can't put a finger on what changed in the basic books underlying the whole system.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Random Links for 2/25

Here are three fun links for you:

- Erik Tenkar is going to have another podcast, this one centered on AD&D. It's called Unearthed Arcana, after one of my favorite (and much maligned) books in the AD&D series of rulebooks. AD&D is a favorite of mine. It's my native gaming language, for one, and it provides endless fun as we re-read Gary Gygax's willfully obtuse rules as we run it for a few sessions every year.

- Pits Perilous reviews a review of one of their adventures. It's amusing to me as I like Bryce's blog, but he's a contrary indicator for me. Most of the adventures that I ran and enjoyed, he didn't like when he read them. So this review of a review makes me want to read the adventure.

- Chester at CRPG has been playing the Rogue-like "Ragnarok" and suffered this awesome death:

"I ate some creature that turned out to be made of lava."

You'd think you'd notice before you actually tucked in, but hey, clearly the computer GMs like I GM. "You said, 'I eat it.' Take 8d per second until you die."

Monday, February 24, 2020

DFRPG Companion 2 shipped

I received a notice of shipment today for DFRPG Companion 2.

To be accurate, it was listed as "Label Created" today, so we'll see when it goes out. But I should have the new book before the end of the week unless the USPS is especially slow.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Lost City Prep for next week's game

Next week we resume my Felltower campaign. The goal is the gate to the Lost City of D'Abo, where they'll take another try at finding "Rangelgrot" and the other bell.

So I spend what time I had to spend on game today on review. Specially, re-reading all of these posts:

The Lost City of D'Abo
Lost City vs. My Other DF Areas

and of course

Session 67, Lost City 1 - Armoury
Session 68, Lost City 2 - Vegepygmies & Thornies
Session 69, Lost City 3 - Slimes, Why Did It Have to Be Slimes?
Session 70, Lost City 4 - Arachno-Assassins & the First Bell
Session 71, Lost City 5, Part I - Mowgli Battle
Session 72, Lost City 5, Part II - Rangol Grot
Session 73, Lost City 5, Part III - Fort Vegepygmy
Session 101, Felltower 73, Lost City 6
Session 113, Felltower 85, Lost City 7

Plus some assorted others under the Lost City tag.

That done, I've queued up all of my personal material related to the city. I won't spend much time this week prepping new areas, but I will get to revist all that we need for the Lost City. Maybe if you'll want to kibbutz and criticize and comment with some background knowledge you can read the public stuff along with me!

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Review: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy: Cold Shard Mountains

Time to review something I like. For disclosure - I'm a SJG freelancer, I write a lot of material for GURPS in general and Dungeon Fantasy in specific. Matt Riggsby is someone I consider a friend and a colleague. I was also a playtester on this book.

For more reviews, please see my reviews page.

Written by Matt Riggsby
Published 2020 by Steve Jackson Games
59 pages
$10 in PDF.

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy is unabashedly about two-dimensional (or even one-dimensional) protagonists going into dungeons and killing things for their valuable things. It's not big on culture, history, background, and development of a social structure around dungeoneering. GURPS Dungeon Fantasy: Cold Shard Mountains is about putting a culture, history, background, and a social structure around DF via a developed setting.

GURPS being GURPS, this works. DF is a pared-down version of GURPS; this setting merely brings back up some of what DF reduced to die rolls or "who cares anyway?" sorts of simplifications.

Cold Shark Mountains brings a lot to the table. You have a mapped out area with a layered history and geography - and a mix of intelligent and unintelligent creatures - that explains why there are so many dungeons. Or even a big-ass megadungeon. If you feel like DF is good but you need more than town as a menu with die rolls ala Wizardry, so does Matt Riggsby.

The maps are attractive and useful. The area is a hex-shaped region around 170 miles across (6.5 inches at 0.75" per 20 miles), and additional maps break it further down into sub-hexes. There is a GM keyed map and handout maps. They seem like they'd be easy to use at the table, once printed out from the PDF. They're black-and-white but I'd probably shade them with colored pencils so they'd look nicer but still be easy to write on and modify as play changed them.

The book contains several new monsters (some minor threats, some major annoyances), new potions from Coleopteran (bug-people) Alchemy, several magical items (including wasp flails, which is a great name and the kind of item I wish I'd come up with first), and a number of magic item suites. You know, item sets. Matt's variation on them from traditional sets of unique items is excellent. Just the crunchy bits alone would be a useful addition.

The book also has random encounters and sufficient hexcrawl rules to run the game as a hexcrawl. These are unique in GURPS as far as I can tell.

Overall: I'm not really in the market for a Dungeon Fantasy setting. But if I was, this would be an easy choice. A lot of adventuring areas, plenty of hooks, and easy tools for turning it into a hexcrawl, clear-and-develop game, or the basis for a lot of traditional dungeon-of-the-week gaming are included. If you'd like a setting for a fantasy game with dungeons plus a bit more cultural and historical development, this is something you can use.

Here are Notes on Cold Shard Mountains by the author.

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