Saturday, July 30, 2016

What kind of low-point DF support?

Some of the comments on my last post, "Why I think DF needs to stay Hack and Slash" have gone off on a tangent - power level.

The GURPS Dungeon Fantasy line is based on, and calibrated for, 250-point delvers. Using Dungeon Fantasy 1, you start out as powerful, skilled, competent, and focused delvers in your given niche. You're a powerful spellcaster, a excellent scout-sniper, an excellent thief, a tough barbarian, a charismatic bard, a veteran knight. You come right out of the gate able to handle challenges that the mere mortals of the world shouldn't really go anywhere near. At the same time, you're pretty far from being safe or okay, given that there are both powerful monsters and the GM has absolutely unlimited numbers of them.

There are official stats for those "mere mortals" I mentioned - 62 and 125 point (and thus also 187 point and 375 point) templates in GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 15. There is an unofficial powered-down version of the DF1 templates, too. You can start with those - and DF15 explicitly mentions that (and, also, troupe-style play) in order to help support that.

The monsters generally have an eye to being threats to 250-point delvers, within the confines of the broad "fodder," "worthy," and "boss" levels of threat. That is, many = one delver, one = one delver, one = many delvers, respectively. For a lower power level, such as 125, those "worthy" will be bosses, those fodder will be worthy, and you want to stay away from a straight-up fight with the bosses. For 62 points, even the fodder will be your equals or betters, and you'd do well to ensure you have numbers, tactics, gear, and surprise - and some luck - to come out victorious.

Still, people have asked for more support for low-level DF play.

So I'm asking right out - what would that support consist of, specifically? I could potentially write some, but "more support" is broad. More fodder monster stats? More templates for lower-point PCs? More what, exactly? More GM advice, like the the above re-calibration of monster descriptions (even dinomen are worthy when you're 62 points, say)? More player advice?

Hopefully no one says, "level equivalents for D&D" because there is no way I can do that - I just don't think in terms of "what level would I be?" anymore. Nor do I think I can send a 3.x or 5e D&D conversion system to SJG and expect them to publish it.

But still, if more support is needed, what exactly would constitute more support?


  1. I think Fantasy, Historical Folks, and the Community Bestiary more or less handle it (mostly unofficially). Fantasy has a few monsters (IIRC), lower level templates, and general style advice. Historical Folks is purely templates for "realistic" lower power level people. It Came From The Forums has some monsters, too. Plus stuff scattered in places - Zombies comes to mind.

    I guess if we wanted to add support, I think you've said it best. I'd turn eye towards official templates for the powered down archetypes, and templates for monsters - the classical entry-level foes like Kobolds and the like, matched to the player's lower power level.

    1. The problem with powered-down versions of the official templates are:

      - DF15 does that, by pulling out the essential base elements so you can build up to the templates. It changes the names, because you can go different ways with them, and because "125 knight" sucks as a name compared to "squire." Plus, some templates are just bad at 125 points, so it's better to cull out some of the elements entirely and just say, you can use this to build up to something like the 250 point template. DF15 goes into this in depth.


      - for people who reject the previous reason, there is DF On the Cheap, which just strips back the templates. It's not "official" but there isn't much chance of anyone except the original author submitting it to Pyramid.

      I can templates for monster races, though. The usual DF standard is just to make it a final, immediately usable monster. I'd write a monster book of them, but you won't see another monster book until DFM3 starts to sell well enough to justify it.

    2. In all truth, that *is* dungeon fantasy? High powered characters against high powered foes, killing them and taking their stuff.

      Does the DF line really need lower point support? Shouldn't they just be going to Fantasy for that?

      It's been a while since I've really read into DF supplements, but what does it bring unique that needs to be retained?

    3. I personally love the high power level, having run low-powered games for years and years. And seeing how even fodder monsters can drain a high-powered party, it's hard to do a long dungeon crawl without a lot of backing resources like a powerful party brings to the table.

      I think if you want a bigger, broader game that has dungeons too, Fantasy with bits raided from DF should work fine. I raided DF for bits in my last campaign, which featured dungeons only rarely and usually small ones with 2-3 encounters, tops.

      If you want DF as written, except lower points, you need DF15 and a willingness to deploy weaker monsters. You really can't put 5 delvers against 20 orcs, or even 10 orcs, and think it's going to work so well. It's GURPS, and combat tends to accurately reflect the problems of being outnumbered except when you have overwhelming advantage in ability.

      DF, IME, mostly brings to the table a rigid holding to the idea that the center is the killing and the looting. That it's centered so much on that bugs some people, but from playing it, it's why it works so well at what it purports to be.

    4. @Michael Eversberg II: I think that the potential of DF to GURPS play generally lies in the various methods of streamlining some aspects of play that are otherwise treated in excruciating detail (and so often glossed over at the table) in baseline GURPS.

  2. Number one would be more challenges scaled to the lower power levels, monsters and maybe otherwise. Has anyone published stats for giant rats?

    Number two would be for every template to have a lower power version (yeah, DF on the Cheap and DF15, but every template to come as well; take low-power DF seriously instead of treating it as a sideshow only fit for fan-made unofficial supplements - which I realize may be unrealistic to ask for, but we're talking wishlist here, right?)

    Number three, there's a supplement of "artifacts", which sounds like unique, high-power magic items. Maybe there could be room for a 4E version of the old Magic Items series, or tables for baseline magic items along the lines of DF8 or something. Of course, I'm always going to advocate for random tables, as I am a child of the DMG and the old JG material (as well as early Traveller), and DF could do worse than to homage that play style. Plus, that stuff exists in invisible form in the code for the video game influences on DF such as Diablo or Nethack. Finally, I think that random tables, done well, can support the lower-power play styles (especially zero-to-hero) as well as higher-power play.

    Those are my immediate suggestions, but I'd add that it would make me even happier if the default of the line were toward more human-scale adventuring. I'd like to see that generally, in fact. I think that over-the-top heroism has its place, but it seems to have overtaken both gaming and other pop culture to their respective detriments. The wake-up call for me was seeing an elf surfing down a stairway on a shield while rapid-firing a bow, then single-handedly slaying a giant elephant (not to mention its passenger-soldiers), things which weren't even hinted at in the source material for those movies, and they looked ridiculous to me on the screen.

    1. Giant Rats are on page 24 of DF2.

      I'm a little hurt that you see the explicit support for playing PCs at the 125 point level or even the 62 point level (and 187, as a result) as a backhand. It's an important point of the book and at least the 125 point templates and lenses are written as low-point delvers and as allies equally. And like I said to Michael, some templates just come out poorly at 125 points, so more flexible "base" templates worked a lot better when we sat down to do it.

      So it kind of comes across as saying that because we wrote DF15 to support DF1 and the rest of the line as well as expand it, instead of to replace DF1, it's not doing the job of allowing people to run lower-point characters.

      I'd love to write more magic items, but most of mine are more artifact-like. The basic stuff is heavily supported in GURPS Magic. I'd like to see someone make a table of common choices with their costs to buy and use, though. Not me, I get tired even thinking of spreadsheeting it out.

      I'll leave aside surfing elves in Tolkein. I don't like Tolkein except "The Hobbit" so any violence to the source material didn't concern me at all. :)

    2. Actually, I'll quote DF15, because I feel really strongly about this. Here is something from Page 3 (the first page of the Introduction):

      "Low-Powered Delvers

      Not every GM wants to start his campaign at 250 points. A lower power level is better for breaking in new GURPS players and evoking the nostalgia of peasant-hero and rags-to-riches tales. The 125-point templates here offer as much detail as the 250-point ones in other Dungeon Fantasy volumes, and are suitable for PCs. They aren’t simply scaled-down versions of higher-powered templates, but their own thing – on half the points, not every high-end role is practical, and a few blur together."

      And then on pages 32-33 there is a page and a half on low-powered play, including 125 point based games, mixed power levels, troupe play, and multiple PCs for one player. Besides the explicit mentions for building up PCs from 125 and even building them backwards (the "Flashback" approach). That's not an exhaustive list, either.

      I sometimes feel like until there are official templates called Knight (125 point) and Knight (250 point) and Martial Artist (125 point) and Martial Artist (250 point), people will not be satisfied. If so, you're free to change the names on Squire and Skirmisher and Brute to, say, Knight and Martial Artist (or Swashbuckler, it's double-duty) and Barbarian.

      Yes, I'm more than a little defensive about this, because we really did put the effort in to make DF15 about both allies and lower-powered delvers. The allies/hireling bits take more pagecount, but they needed more pagecount to do so. PCs don't use Loyalty rules or need their pay scale outlined for lower-powered play, for example.

    3. Sorry, I didn't mean to speak ill of your efforts. But you have to see how waiting until the fifteenth book in the line indicates little, or at least late, interest in the idea. I'm just wish-listing what I think could redress that, and help make DF shake the appearance of catering first and foremost to one specific, over-the-top play style. Sometimes, I think that GURPS took poorly some of the early, 1-3E, criticism about not handling high-powered play well (deserved or not), and is trying way too hard to prove its high-powered credentials.

    4. Plus, Dungeon Fantasy 15: Henchmen doesn't really get across the idea that it's intended for anything other than NPC spear-carriers. Honestly, until you pushed the idea shortly after it was published, I had no idea that it was also intended for low-level PC action.

    5. Oh, and on surfing elves: I wasn't even talking about damage to the source material. I was talking about the stupidity of it. Obviously, that's subjective, but it's my perception and opinion of that sort of thing. Over-the-top action can be fun, but it's easy to jump the shark, as it were.

    6. Well, it waited until the 15th book because it took that long for me to propose it. I didn't need it until I needed it for the game I wanted to run, and then shot in a proposal for a co-authored book. I was thinking hirelings, and Sean Punch pushed the idea of making it work for lower-point delvers as far as I can recall.

      If it doesn't get the point across it's also for lower-point delvers, I'm not sure what to do about that. The book says it's for them over and over again in exactly those words.

    7. I feel like we're starting to argue, when all I mean to do is indicate my perceptions and engage in a discussion. I apologize for how my tone must be coming across to you, and would appreciate suggestions for smoothing out what you are seeing as being antagonistic

      If you take a title that says only, "Henchmen", that doesn't indicate in any way the idea that it is also "Player Characters". Henchmen are, almost by definition (and certainly by definition in the roleplaying games sense), not player characters. There's nothing to be done in the wake of that title now, other than to continue to press the idea that it is also for low-powered PCs, even though that's not likely to be very effective. It can say otherwise inside all it likes, but the inside is not what a prospective buyer sees when forming a first impression.

      I understand that you write what you want to see, and I so fully support that it's painful. I love this as a hobby, and I hate it when hobby needs take a back seat to commercial ones, so don't take anything I'm saying as a demand or anything at all. I'm just trying to present, as I say, my perspective for your entertainment and to do with what you will (including ignore, if that's your preference).

      My point is that the choice of titles for DF15 and similar choices all along the line creates optics (in me, at least, and I don't think that I am alone in this) that the DF line is focused strongly on the high-powered characters to the detriment of any other options. That leaves those of us with not much interest in power-gaming with little reason to look further (again, Wilderness Adventures was a major exception; your blog also keeps me from abandoning it, but not everyone reads your blog). I was very excited by the basic idea of the line, then I saw that DF1 was pretty much about characters at a level of power that I would have chosen for a low-level Supers game and a lot of that interest faded quickly.

      I know that I'm the weirdo here. I look at the forums (I look: I really hate the forum format and prefer the more personal-seeming interaction of blogs; thus my comments here, so please understand that I am really trying to have a conversation with you and not arguing with your choices and preferences), and I see a lot of people who really get off on how many cool powers they can stuff into their characters, and more power to them (pun, as always, intended - even if it might have been an accident). But that's not what I like, and the more I see of GURPS going down that road (see also: Monster Hunters, Action) the less I am inclined to keep following it avidly. I wonder if the solution, for people like me, would be for the GURPS editors to actively search for writers whose interests lay in more human-scale adventuring. The question is then, is it worth catering to the weirdos like that? Probably not, so maybe it's just better for me to stop weighing other people down with my perspective.

    8. Your perspective is fine. It's just that book writing is driven by what sells, and what authors submit. Which is why you guys saw more martial arts stuff by me when that's what I wanted to write, and more DF stuff now because that's what I want to write. I write so much DF stuff that when I write non-DF stuff people assume it's for DF.

      The thing about DF15 is like the think about Monster Hunters 3: Sidekicks. It needed a title, it really does contain all of the rules you need in DF to add henchmen, and the title fits that mission. I suppose we could have called it "Henchmen and Beginning Delvers" or something (or anything better than that example). Or maybe "Starting at the Bottom" or something, but then people would wonder where the henchmen rules are.

      But even so, I feel like until the line is rebooted with DF1 being lower-point centric it won't please the people who want lower-point centered games. That may come or it may not come, but it's too late to make DF15 into DF1.5 and rename it just to make it clearer that yeah, the line already has a bunch of templates for lower-point play and the rules will support it. Even if, from this post, it's clear that people want more monsters and generic animal stats more than anything else.

    9. Ha! While I can wish for a reboot, I realize that that's completely unrealistic. I think that, from my point of view, a mistake was made at the outset (the choice to focus on high-powered characters exclusively), thus my attempts to suggest what to do to address that. Committing that every template to come had a DF15-style companion template would help a lot to suggest that the editors were taking low-power DF seriously (I have a desire to see 75 point templates for each, too, but I'll take what I can get I guess; and anyway, Fantasy covers a lot of them at that level, it's true). A book of low-level critters and competitors would also help (yes, I see elsewhere that such is not likely for a while yet; still, one of the things that hits me as a novice GURPS 4E Referee the most is not having sample opponents and not being confident enough in the system to just pluck them out of the air - I spent the effort to convert the examples from another company's old west supplement in Deadlands stats to 3E GURPS Deadlands and then from 3E to 4E because I needed that assistance). A book of low-power magic items along the lines of DF8 or DF6 might also help. And I'll jump on board with the sample adventure that others have suggested.

  3. I think a low powered adventure would be perfect. It could have low powered monsters and have a basic town and maybe "levels" where the PCs can explore as they power up. It could also have transistional requirements for templates that say X% of points must be spent on this to be a Wizard or Knight.

    1. The more I think of it the more I think that DF needs to make a low power adventure where the players go from zero to hero. All of the GURPS rules can be shown using an adventure to demonstrate them. Caves of Chaos and the Village of Hommlet were the ways that D&D showed how to play the game.

    2. On one hand, I agree that a simple entry point is a big deal here. B1 and T1 are hugely influential.

      On the other, in my experience there are very few folks picking up GURPS in a vacuum these days - most newbs are brought in by vets, so a different angle on "introductory" is needed. So not an adventure that is aimed at a novice GM and players, but an adventure that it aimed at a relatively experienced GM and players who are new to GURPs and probably a bit leery of its infamous "complexity."

      In practice, I think that means pre-built PCs that are both cool and easy to run, complete with tips on how to do so, and a dungeon designed to slowly build up core GURPS skills.

    3. I'd love to see an introductory adventure. Or any other adventures. There is all of one of them. I'm not good at writing adventures for publication (I tried, I gave up) but more DF adventures of any power level would make me happy. I'd buy them and run them.

  4. First off, DF15 is one of my favorite supplements, I stump for it on my blog continuously. I am working up a little something based off of that fine work of Peter's and some of the tempkates from Fantasy to build 75 point characters that try to emulate starting characters from level based games. Part of why I am doing this is because I loved characters in thec75-150 point range in 3e, and partly because I am trying to demonstrate DF derived play as being something that the OSR community could warm to. I am working currently on a batch of sample characters and will work up an adventure over the next few weeks; you can check a draft of my progress on my blog,

    1. I use DF15 all the time because I have this wacky fetish for 200 point characters. Dunno why 250 points seems like a bridge too far, but I love making players choose a 125 point template, and then doing whatever they like with the remaining 75.
      125 - too weak
      250 - too strong
      200 - just right.

      Playing with weak characters, the one big mechanical issue that ever came up with fighting some Dungeon Fantasy monsters is viable strategies for enemies with large DR. The approaches that come to mind are:
      - Corrosion attacks with a very good accuracy that are somewhat cheap (probably not really that hard to do, can probably be statted up with vanilla alchemy or invention rules.)
      - Just lower the DR a bit
      - Don't include monsters that might be too hard to kill if that's not how you get your kicks.

    2. Thanks guys.

      And I agree especially with that last bit of advice.

  5. Ill see your tangent and raise you one.

    DF Lite. GURPS Lite written for low powered DF (probably 62 point).

    Just bare bones rules so it's out of the 'box' fun.

    1. Heh. Depends on how fun being a 62-point character is. Even giant rats will tear them up something fierce, and that's the combat-ready 62-point guys. Even Man-to-Man started out PCs at 100 points, and you could get ST 13 DX 13 and HT 13 for 90 of those points. You couldn't do that on 62 points even with -45 in disads and quirks.

    2. Then 125 points

      I was actually thinking low so you can avoid including a long list of spells. Might be a way around that by providing a short spell list or something built through powers.

    3. I'm not sure how much easier spells-as-powers are. Unless you've got a pick-list, and/or the GM is comfortable with making more. Once they're all finished up, yeah, you have less of them, and they're probably easy enough to use, but there is a lot of front-loaded work.

    4. There's an alternate world where DF was written as a powered by GURPS line and took some chances with a lot of alternate rules (like pointless PCs, different magic system). Im not saying I want to live there, but if I can have a wishlist a DF (alternate) lite is something I'd like to read.

    5. I'd get behind a PBG DF. I just wouldn't be as happy with spells-as-powers as the basis. Magic-as-skills has its flaws, but I just don't like fiddling around with powers to make new spells. It's something I might have loved years ago but not now.

  6. "More fodder monster stats?"

    This definitely. More low-tier mobs, some stuff that's even aimed at being fodderish for 125 pointers. Some discussion on how to 'depower' the top-tier monsters, after all theere are plenty of Prefixes to bolster foes, how some Negative Prefixes? Maybe call them /Suffixes/...

    1. I can write more fodder, but another monster book is a far-off thing at this point. I had to look up "mobs" to know what that meant. I'm no MMORPG player.

      I have some negative prefix notes, but they tend to be trickier - it's easier to say "Add X and Y and advantage Z if they don't have it" than to subtract out. The wording of Holy in DFM3 was tricky because of that, and it took me several goes and a Sean Punch revision. I could send them in as an article, but I was hoping to use them in a book - I vastly prefer royalties, even slow-drip ones - over one-time $0.04/word payments.

      I can't call them suffixes, because there are already positive suffixes - at least one anyway. "From Hell" is in Pyramid . . . in my Snowman article.

  7. At this point pretty much what needed are just low powered monsters and maybe a low power dungeon crawl adventure. Everything else can be adapted from the existing material.

    1. There needs to be more monsters in general, or at least more foes. A book that has templates for foes, like generic bandit or generic archmage, with equipment already on the templates, would be great for any power level. (Treat this like the appendix at the back of the current Monster Manual. Pathfinder also has a bunch of these, maybe more than needed.) Apply the DF3 template, and you have an orc bandit vs. a human bandit. Low-powered delvers, of course, meet bandits instead of archmages, and fewer bandits than high-powered delvers. This also gets around the monster sales issue since it would be part of the main DF line.

      As a note, what does the D&D Basic Set list on its level 1 wandering monster table?

      * Mook humanoids. Acolyte, Bandit, Dwarf, Gnome, Goblin, Halfling, Kobold, Orc, Sprite, Trader. The proposal above (DF: Foes) would handle that. (I'd add to that book a few new racial templates: centaurs, kobolds (or some other evil little guys), mermen.) That's half the table.
      * Monsters already in GURPS. Green slime, skeleton, strix, wolf. We're up to 70% of the table.
      * Monsters not in GURPS. Fire beetle, killer bee, giant gecko, giant shrew, cobra, crab spider. Some of these have easy replacements (there's a rattlesnake in Campaigns which can replace the cobra). Giant geckos and giant shrews are kind of odd. The others are more generic big animals that are common to many genres. Not having these in Campaigns was a big mistake; the foe/animal selection in Savage Worlds is much more in-line with what Campaigns should have. Make a non-DF book with these.

      I think the low-powered delver support is better than most folks think it is. I think the real problem is the decision a dozen years ago to release the Basic Set with about six non-real world animal things to kill (dragon, dwarf, and vampire have templates; basilisk, gryphon, and strix have stat blocks). It might well be best to make a PDF supplement of about 20 or so common foes outside the DF line to rectify this for all GURPS games.

    2. I'd like to have a book of pre-generated low-powered fodder. Personally I did that myself using DF15 templates plus DF3 racial templates. 62 for fodder, 125 for fodder+, 250 for worthy, etc. I made extensive use of the Rogue's Gallery when I was playing AD&D, I'd like to see this for GURPS, too. I'm not sure I could get it published until the current monsters book is selling better.

      Lower-powered monsters, check. Again, I'd write it, but the current books need to sell more or SJG won't put it out.

    3. Not just fodder, either. Again, guys like archmages and high priests, with spell lists, like the lich ones in Rogues Gallery (one of the parts I liked; I hated the pages of tables). It can be part of the main DF line, since it won't actually have much in the way of actual monsters (again, other than a few humanoid templates that I mentioned as filling niches), and can have a little advice, like making higher- or lower-powered encounters.

      For monsters, we don't go the DF route, but rather the Bestiary route. The last beasties in the 3e Bestiary are monsters, and truly generic ones, like giant flies and giant Venus fly traps. Remember, every campaign needs a giant spider for the third act. This is stuff that will be useful in horror as well as fantasy and fills a failure of the Basic Set.

      I wonder how DFM2 (the slime one) has sold relative to DFM3, once you control for release dates. It might be that the small, focused monster supplements have a better profit margin and a higher sales/effort ratio than the more general ones we tend to like. If so, then writing more of those would be the right choice, and Faerie, Hybrids, and Plants are fertile, mostly virgin ground.

      More adventures are almost assuredly not going to happen due to the huge effort in playtesting. I made a call for fan-written adventures a few months back, and there were a few takers. These would have some kind of peer review in lieu of extensive playtesting that would be too time-consuming.

      So I guess I see things like this:

      * A Foes book that is part of the main DF line, to handle the sundry mooks as well as the high-powered foes who are irritating to write-up.
      * A Monsters book that is part of one of the main GURPS lines, billed specifically as generic foes for generic games.
      * Smaller, focused DF Monsters books.
      * Fans write adventures, and we peer review them to weed out obvious problems and give them a little gloss.

  8. I also strongly disagree with Sean Punch that you can't run a good and fun dungeon crawl campaign at 125 pts. I did this type of campaign for over two decades.

    1. You mentioned this on the last post, too. Can you find and link to the actual quote?

    2. I had no luck for a while finding it but here it is. I will admit that I exaggerated his response. But my main point is still valid 250 point is what Kromm felt replicated the dungeon crawl experience within the GURPS rules.

      This is the entire thread.

      I disagree with his reasoning for several reason. First classic D&D dungeon crawling is about barely surviving. Especially with OD&D where characters remain vulnerable up to 7th to 8th level. Second my experience is that when most people turn to alternative fantasy RPG is that they are looking to do what they normally do in D&D but with a "better" set of rule. Better here is a highly subjective terms meaning it fixes whatever issue they are having with the D&D rules.

      The design of the 250 point template works as intended but it not what I felt a lot of us were asking for. Which was bog standard GURPS with D&D stuff (monsters, treasures, etc).

      And to stress a lot of the DF is incredibly good in this regard. The treasure tables are great, just about all of DF 2 works regardless of power level.

      Right now pretty the main thing needed is a comprehensive list of monsters suited for playing at lower point levels.

    3. I don't know, my 250-400 point PCs are often barely hanging on and remain vulnerable at all times - that's just GURPS in general. A "3" by the wrong person at the wrong time can change the entire tide of adventuring. So that feel of "oh nos, we's gonna die!" is still there.

      But I do understand that some people just don't like "Knight with Axe/Mace-28 vs. demon lord" as much as "struggling would-be knight with Axe/Mace-14 vs. goblin warrior." That's why I asked for what the people who want the latter need to do it better. I don't play that way now, but I did in the past, and I'm sure I can write to support it along with my current style (see DFM3 for what I consider appropriate lethality for standard DF.)

    4. Based on my experience, I would say that how GURPS rolls and I view that as a good thing. Despite being 250 points GURPS DF characters are still people, highly skilled and resourceful people but not superheroes.

      Your second paragraph brings up an interesting point. The expectation of the point scale. When playing GURPS the 100 pt to 150 pt level (depending on edition) was considered competent. Not a total novice or unskilled individual but neither they are paragons. When you get above 200 point that when you start seeing character who are the top of their professions.

      The monsters were scaled accordingly. While the DF fine tuned so the Knight with Axe/Mace 28 vs Demon Lord works. When I ran the Majestic Wilderlands it was a Knight with Axe/Mace 20/22 vs. Demon Lord with the Demon Lord stated at a lower point level than the DF version.

      The problem I had with the DF creature roster is that when I tried in the regular campaign that even the mid range monsters felt like epic opponents.

      So by shifting the focus to the 250 points it makes it hard to use the monster/NPCs roster with the bog standard fantasy GURPS games that many of us been running prior to DF.

      As you commented you still run out of resources you still come up short, you still have to plan to allow for rest and recovery. My view is that DF the shift to 250 point just recreated what I was doing at 150 point. So I have to ask what was it even worth it in the first place?

      But since it an estabilsh sub-section of GURPS, we can't ditch it but what we can do is focuses on some supplements on providing support for the normal starting range for GURPS characters.

    5. That argument applies both ways, though. If 250 replicates what you got with 150 then that equally means 150 replicates 250. It's not really an argument against 250. That DF monsters work better against the baseline DF scale and in a DF game than ported to a lower point level is really just to be expected. They are for DF, if you want to put them against higher or lower point PCs you will naturally have varying results. That's as it should be, and I think it's a good thing that GURPS has support for different power levels without assuming a baseline "normal" across all lines.

  9. More fodder monsters would be my main desire, maybe a dungeon or introductory adventure where the non-combat skill challenges like the traps and locked doors are geared towards specialists having skill 14 and more generalist characters who have the skill being more likely to have it around 12.

    Maybe I should write such an adventure instead of focusing so much on the broad overview of my personal setting.

    1. Yeah, write it. DF15 can use the support. :)

  10. @Unachimba I am working up a GURPS lite intro to DF using 75pt characters. With a starter adventure at that level. See my blog for some progress and a pdf of the start of this.

  11. I admit, I don't find 250 pt characters overpowered. I don't even find 400pt characters overpowered (I find 250 a tad less powerful than I'd like, I prefer 300). I remember two sessions ago I had a single elf swordsman clocking in at 400pts square off with 4 ork mooks . . . . it took 5 combat rounds to kill them. That felt shockingly low powered.

    One thing that would help me a lot would be two things A - low tech load outs, and B - bargain load outs. The current load outs use Basic Set gear, which I don't, and I am not giving ork goons 'spend X points trading points for cash' level gear . . . I can make up my own load outs, but this more or less results in most foes having an Axe or musket

    1. How tough were those orcs? And where did those points go on the elf? I would expected them to die faster than one per second . . .

  12. 14 skill, CR, 13 ST (and thus HP), wielding spears for 1d+3, no DR, nothing else relevant

    Elf had 15 ST, 13 DX, 13 HT, Striking ST (Sabre) 6, WM Sabre, Enhanced Parry (Sabre) 3, Per 16, Power Blow (off Per) 18, Combat Reflexes, High Pain Threshhold, miscellany other things, Sabre 22, Dual Weapon Attack (Sabre) maxed, Ambidexterity, wielding a pair of blinged out sabres with plusses

    The elf notably did not have Luck. Ran the fight twice, one time he got a hand crippled by a lucky crit from a ork, another time an ork critical succeeded (rolling a 4 when he needed like a 5 or 6) on a parry and the elf . . crippled his arm. So the elf did end both trials of the fight one handed.

    1. He needs Luck, for sure. Even so, he's a vast overmatch for those orcs. He's got Parry-17 with each of two weapons, cascading down at -1 (WM, Fencing weapon), +3 for Retreat, does lots of damage, has foes with fodder-level defenses (Parry-10, Skill-14). On average, they should be rolling at a Parry 6 against him for one attack and Dodge - what, base 9? - Dodge 5.
      (DWA for a -1, DA down to 16 for a -3, total -4)

      That's assuming two attacks on each.

      Even so, I've found that Two Weapon Fighting isn't a great choice if you're allowing Rapid Strike to trade one strike for a Feint. If you allow that (it's in GURPS Martial Arts), then the better tactic is generally Rapid Strike - he'd have Feint-19 vs. their 14 followed by a Sabre-19 strike, which could be dropped to 17 for a DA -1. On average, that's a -6 to defend. With his ST 21, torso cuts would take most of these guys out in a single shot.

      Luck, though, is good for "hey, look, he rolled a 3!"


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