Saturday, December 1, 2012

DF Game: Race and Template List

I only use a sub-set of the templates and races available in the various GURPS Dungeon Fantasy books.

I figured for the edification of people reading my campaign summaries that I'd list them here.

Available Races: (Stats are basically straight out of DF3 or DFRPG Adventurers)
     Half Elf
     High Elf
     Wood Elf
Goblin (my own version)

Available Templates: (all from DF1 or DFRPG unless otherwise noted)
Artificer (DF 4)
Assassin (DF 12)
Barbarian (including Savage Warrior and Survivor and all lenses from DFD Barbarians)
Cleric (and Evil Cleric from DF 3)
Holy Warrior (and Unholy Warrior from DF 3)
Martial Artist
Swashbuckler (including all templates and lenses from DFD Swashbucklers)

DFRPG versions of the above templates are allowed; mixing-and-matching (picking elements from both - for example, using a DF1 Barbarian for stats and skill selections but picking from the DFRPG Barbarian's advantages) is not. This is for avoiding the need to reconstruct the template around your character, not for balance reasons. It's just a bookkeeping nightmare on the GM's end.

Alternate Cleric templates from DF7 Clerics are not available for PCs. The Church is the generic religion, a pseudo-Christian faith with crosses and churches and whatnot, so no worshipping Thor for PC clerics. Various saints and orders explain differences between approaches to religion and allowed traits.

Summonable animal allies (for Druids) from DF 5 Allies are available.

Starting templates must be followed exactly. Items and Lenses available from DF 3 The Next Level or DF 11 Power-Ups are available only in play.

The various templates in DF 15 are available for Allies, hirelings, and so on. They may be available for PC use under special circumstances.

I'm not a big fan of elf varieties, but I think the "high" and "wood" variations make some sense so I kept both.

I've made some very minor changes to some races and templates (such as dumping Hiking, which doesn't come up in play in my games) and some of the skills and advantages (I've expanded Outdoorsman slightly to balance its cost out), but otherwise they look like what you see in the books. I've also enforced a "no deviations" approach on these to speed up play, although I've allowed very minor changes (1-2 point variations) for things that don't change the thrust of the template or stamp on the niche of another template.


  1. My campaigns are humanocentric so most of the PCs are human but some PCs can have fairy blood. Thus there are elf-blooded who are graceful and gifted with magical ability, dwarf-blooded who are short and stocky and do well in the underground, and troll-blooded are a mix between the troll races (which includes goblins, orcs, hobgoblins, ogres and trolls). This keeps true elves, dwarves and troll races mysterious. Thus PC can play an elf-blooded PC and be slender, graceful and magically gifted but he is not directly connected to true elves so they remain alien.

    In my game there was a time before Christianity and Islam held sway where the world was more magical and humans interacted with the fairy races even interbreeding with them. But with the decline of magic, the fairy races retreated to remote locations, the elves to the forests, and the dwarves and trolls underground.

  2. I let the players choose any of the templates, even the Ninja if they want. But they need to be Japanese or they had traveled to Japan to learn the craft. As far as clerics go, most in Mythic Europe are Catholics but they can be other sects if desired. They can even fight each other because what is required to use clerical magic is faith and if the cleric is pious then he can cast spells even against another cleric of a Christian sect. PCs can also worship the old faith and be clerics, so there can be clerics of Zeus, Thor, Tuatha de Denaan etc. But these clerics have a disadvantage in that they must worship outside of town in secret groves and so forth. They can not walk around professing their beliefs in town either because the church is very strong and the PCs could be arrested for heresy. Druids are really clerics of far older gods who have merged with nature and they also must worship outside of town.

  3. PCs can play Psis if they choose but they will attract a lot of Lovecraftian Elder Things. Tharizdun is active in my game world and he bestows psionic powers to those who worship him. Most psis in my game world just have their brain structure or consciousness attuned to the psionic realm but this realm is extradimensional and thus contains Elder Things.

  4. I limited templates mostly as a control issue - the others I felt required too much baggage or chargen time to be worth it. The ninja, well, I just didn't want that kind of PC in my game to start. I may allow them later, who knows.

    I like the fairy blood lens on humanity, that's a pretty good way to square the circle of player desires and the "men in suits" problem of them acting human. That would let you do both nicely.

  5. I allow almost any of the DF templates, although at the onset, I sold some harder than others. I forbade winged elves and gargoyles for characters. The background world is explicitly east-meets-west, so ninja weren't a stretch. In addition, the character who is a ninja is also a shadow elf, so it is logical in-game that ninja are a product of shadow elf culture.

    I use Dungeon Saints for Clerics and Holy Warriors. I use Threshold Magic instead of the standard fatigue magic rules for Wizards, but I use fatigue magic rules for Bards. No one has made a Druid character, and I had planned on using RPM for Druid casting, with more limited, nature oriented path skills. I am starting to think that I might make Druids use Bill Stoddard's Chinese Elemental Magic, if it is released soon enough. I allow my DF campaign to be something of a mess.

    I haven't had too much trouble with shadow elves as men in suits, simply because the player plays that character in a really weird manner, so that he seems like the product of an alien, and probably "evil" culture. Also among the non-human members of the group is an ogre raised by monks and a half-ogre daughter of a human noble who loved a ogress. They have reasons not to be representative of ogres in general, and should feel out of place among their own.

    1. Sounds like a complex set of choices!

      It doesn't matter if it's a mess as long as it's a fun mess. I'm deliberately trying to do an old school AD&D type feel using the rule system I like the most, so my choices are necessarily limited. But that doesn't mean it's the only way to play by a long shot.

  6. As far as the fairy races go, they don't need to eat and they don't age. They can be killed by combat though. The elves live in a forest or other wilderness and protect it. They live in secret communities that humans rarely ever find. Those that disturb the elves will likely get hit with elf shot or be captured and then used for the wild hunt on the full moon. The dwarves never age and they can make magic items that take centuries to create. Their lairs are also very difficult to find as well. They have no need to eat but they do enjoy a feast along with ale. The trolls live underground and wait in dungeons and other desolate areas for humans to eat. Trolls have no need to eat by they enjoy doing so and greatly prefer children.

    The fairy-blooded are mortal in that they need food and they age. Elf-blooded often live in communities near true elves. Often an elf maiden would fancy a handsome human and then have baby. After birth the elf maiden usually leaves and never returns, leaving the father to care for his child. Or the reverse happens. Dwarf-blooded live near mountainous areas and they usually result from human woman who needs help and the dwarf provides it and then when the woman has a baby the dwarf disappears. The troll-blooded are mostly the result of rape and they usually reside in towns that are near areas of evil such as Nulb in the Village of Hommlet.

  7. I am a little reluctant to assume "result of rape" as a default for any PC races. I have a half ogre PC in this campaign, played by a woman. When she was making her character, she said that she wanted a character that could do serious damage in fights. I pointed out the half-ogre template. Se liked it, but then asked, "how does a half-ogre baby come about?" She probably had her suspicions already. Another player was making his own character across the room, and indelicately explained that the default assumption was that the parents didn't love one another. I told her that she didn't need to feel bound to have something that icky as a character backstory if she didn't want to.
    We settled on something a little more original. After another character's father lost his wife, he fell in love wi an ogre woman. This was viewed unfavorably by society, and involved scandal, but had a different moral and visceral I pact than the rape narrative that is often assumed in half-monstrous characters. It also gave a source of intra-party loyalty; the holy warrior has a sister who would usually be regarded as evil. He is loyal to her, and more open minded than one might assume a paladin type character would otherwise be.
    No one is doing it wrong. Different strokes for different folks applies. I didn't want a cavalier assumption of ogre rape as an ongoing background event in my game world, and we found a reason to bind two of the PCs while making them more complicated people. They might logically want to get away from ordinary society, and go adventuring, since they will each be subject to suspicion or hostility in settled society.

  8. Is there any chance you might post up your custom goblin template? I'm a huge fan of monster / other non-standard PC races and would be curious to see what your template looks like.

  9. How do you think the Assasin and other templates that havent showed up yet would go in Felltower?

    1. I'm not really sure. An assassin in the right hands - a player who knows to be the special-target killer, not a general fighter - would do okay, especially using a lot of sneaking and poison.

      The artificer has been working out.

      A druid, not so sure - maybe too much wilderness-specificity to fit. Had someone made a druid in the first place I wouldn't have made the game so dungeon-centric.

      A holy warrior or swashbuckler would do fine - especially the holy warrior, since there are both undead and demons in the underworld to be smashed. The rest have all made it in at least once!

  10. Are there half-elf dwarves, half-elf halflings, and half-elf half-orcs in your world, or is anything beyond half-human inappropriately silly?

    1. It just seems inappropriately complicated for the game at hand.

  11. Why dont you allow Sages from DF4?

    1. I just don't care very much for them.

    2. Is there an obvious niche that hasn't been tried in your DD campaign yet?

      Maybe just the Bard?

    3. We haven't had an Assassin, Bard, Evil Cleric, or Unholy Warrior.

      We almost had an Evil Cleric, but people pretty much read "Evil Cleric" as "Normal Cleric + Evil" where "Evil" is pronounced "Badass." That lasted until they heard "no healing spells" and "the local church won't Resurrect you. Your evil cult can't."

      Races, we haven't had a Half-Elf, High Elf (which is changing, I think), or a Half-Orc.


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