Wednesday, August 31, 2016

My DF "this is awesome" moment

Back in 2011, my then semi-active gaming group and I played some Dungeon Fantasy.

We'd played a long campaign that had ended a year or so back. We'd get together and play boardgames and cardgames occasionally, including Munchkin. Playing Munchkin wet my taste for giving GURPS Dungeon Fantasy a go. I had the PDFs, and I'd even done some work on the line, but I hadn't really been able to sit down and play the game as written(-like) with my usual group.

But I'd gotten a playtest copy of GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Adventures 1: Mirror of the Fire Demon. I'd asked for it, hoping we could try it out. It was late in the process but still we got the files and I got to reading.

My players made up characters based on the templates in DF1.* Or I made them for them, either way, depending on their interest. I remember doing up a dwarf fighter that became Borriz Borizmann while sitting at the gym between clients.

In any case, we got the characters and started to play. They gathered information, and set out to the quest location (I'd had to skip a bit to keep things moving.) I rolled up a random encounter - an orc shaman and some skeletons.

The players were used to 3rd edition GURPS characters more than anything, and a game where skill 20 was an outlier and wasn't on the guy with ST 17+. One of the characters started with Skill 20 and ST 17. One of them was a cleric with Turning. All of them approached the fight with a little bit of caution, knowing how dangerous fights in GURPS can be.

The cleric turned undead and the skeletons were kept at bay with ridiculous ease. The orcs and skeletons within reach of the PCs went down in seconds. It wasn't even close.

Although later fights would show us the rift between front-line fighters and rear-rankers, and how dangerous glass cannon foes like ogres and well-armed orcs can be, that little random encounter was my "ah-ha!" moment. My "this is awesome" moment.

We had characters of tremendous power, facing tremendous difficulties. But they had skills. Clerics weren't hoping their powers would work, it was by how much and was that enough? The fighter-types weren't betting they were better, they were betting they were better by a sufficient margin to pull off something cool.

It was heroic, and it was awesome.

I was hooked right there.

It wasn't all that long before we kicked off our DF game now known as DF Felltower.

I still remember that moment of, "Wow, these guys are good." I haven't lost that feeling, either - I enjoy seeing the power of the PCs in action, and throwing challenges that would wreck lesser groups. But I can trace it back to that little printed out battlemap of a watering hole and some foes that just got blown away.

So, if you've had a moment of like that with GURPS Dungeon Fantasy, what was it?

* One of them is recognizably a character still around today - Vryce is 90% or so loyal to the original version run in the playtest, for example.


  1. I shall, naturally, take all the credit for this.

    1. To be fair, Marco did roll pretty well. He should get an assist or something.

  2. So many, but probably this from DF Session 60, Cold Fens 2 Part II (

    "The doorway fight continued. Bjorn was pressed back by the swordsman and his spear-toting friends, but a timely 3 put a max-damage shot into a random location - right leg. He did so much damage (26 basic damage!) that it hacked clean through the leg. He made his roll to hit the other leg, and sheered through that, too. Ouch. The swordsman fell face-down, but was neither stunned nor unconscious, and cursed Bjorn! Bjorn responded with an axe to the back, inflicting more damage, but still he wouldn't die."

    That was a pretty cool second session of playing GURPS DF.

    1. A double-dismemberment critical hit is a pretty awesome moment. I'd forgotten you did that - I just remembered the timely "3" you busted out then and at least one other time.

  3. I do not yet have one, but I'll admit I am considering running that pre-made adventure sometime...

    1. It's worth it. Get a few players, give them pre-gens or have them make up template-rigid PCs real quick, and play it. It's a lot of fun and not a lot of work to get rolling.

    2. Roger roger; I think I have some D&D players I know that may be willing to try. Will have to ask and see about making time for it.

  4. My "this is awsome" moment in DF came not so long ago. Basically I and a group of players who previously played only DnD, wanted to check how it's different in GURPS. And there was one moment, when this Bless spell works totally unpredictable. A bullet, which was fired from flintlock musket travels all the way through the one enemy and all the way through wooden walls of some barracks, and ended up inside another enemy vitals(Hitting the wrong target rules, player rolled 10 but with bless it became 9.) Damage was enough to make this guy roll his HT against death. And he failed. And then his friend who was near at this moment, tried to use some healing magick. Rolls an pure 18. And they another 18. So the demon was summoned. That demon summoned another demon and so on. And this is the very short story of our new campaing setting where demonic invasion was successfull. All thanks to this random event.


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