So I mentioned that DF products, especially thanks to their hack-and-slash, keep-it-simple approach to the material, are good sources of stuff for other campaigns. Well, what stuff is that?
Here is what I found useful. More tomorrow.
Changes to Magic
This is two-pronged.
First, if you really like the Cleric/Druid/Wizard split - god-granted powers/nature-derived powers/black knowledge from moldy old books - DF has that built in.
Admittedly, it has it baked into 250-point templates centered on dungeoneering, which might not be your game. You can't just grab a cleric or wizard template and dive into a plot-and-social or lower-powered (or both) campaign.
But the basic rules are sound:
Clerics get a pick-list of spells, only those spells, but ignore prereqs. Even in a game where Power Investiture 6 isn't a no-brainer starting character choice, the actual spell lists and approach works.
And DF7 might not fit my game, but it's a great source of variant cleric approaches for games where, yes, there is a Cleric of Thor and a Cleric of Odin and a Cleric of Hermes and they all seem to just have that one god kicking power down to them.
Druids draw power from nature. Again, they get a pick-list (and some nifty powers, which can be expanded on) and spells that only they can use.
Wizards get everything else.
Secondly, that "everything else" has been modified. Spells like Enlarge and Invisibility are changed to make them less game-shatteringly important. The economy-breaking Create spells no longer turn out permanent high-grade materials such that no wizard with them would do less than turn a faux-medieval world into Star Trek's post-scarcity society. In other words, if you basically like the GURPS Magic system but have concerns with the abusiveness of some of the spells, DF goes a long way towards fixing them.
And you can always release the handbrake and allow those "off limit" spells - Gate spells, Teleport, and so on - if they aren't really sensibly off-limits in your game world.
Supplements useful here: DF1, DF7, Pyramid 3/60.
The Dungeon Fantasy line has a lot of monsters. Three books worth and part of a chapter in Dungeon Fantasy 2. All of them suit fantasy games, since DF is nothing if not a scaled-up stripped-down fantasy game.
So you have book after book of monsters to steal from. Some of them, at least some of the ones I wrote, came straight out of a long-running, plot-oriented, originally moderate-point game where the power level apex was about where DF starts out. Trolls, dinomen, horde pygmies, and more are right out of that game's notebook of monsters. They don't need to be in deep dungeons guarding dollar-sign bags and trapped chests brimming with gold and jewels. They work just fine lurking in forests, being fodder in the evil lich-king's army you're trying to avoid, or whatever.
Warning: The monsters are powerful and assume 250 point characters. For less-powerful less combat-optimized characters, monsters are proportionally more difficult. Generally, you need to use fewer types of monsters per encounter, and fewer monsters per type, when placing them into a lower-point game.
For example: Fodder monsters are probably Worthy (one-to-one challenges for PCs), Worthy are nearly boss-level (one-to-many) and bosses are going to be very special challenges. A Broadsword-14 Parry 10 orc with a medium shield (DB 2) and Scale (DR 4) is a one-turn kill for a Broadsword-20 DF Knight with ST 17 (3d cutting, 1d+4 impaling), but for a Broadsword-16 PC with ST 13 (2d cutting, 1d+2 impaling) he's going to be a challenge. A DR 17 golem-armor swordsman is going to go from "tough fight, aim for Chinks in Armor at -8 and wear it down" to "well-nigh-unstoppable, aim for Chinks in Armor at -8 to even have a chance to hurt it, if you hit"
Supplements useful here: DF2, DF9, DFM1, DFM2, DFM3, DFA1.
Part II will follow this week. If you've found bits of DF useful, please post what bits in the comments. Please keep it positive! I'm looking for what's broadly useful outside the game as written rather than critiques of the game as written.