Gamemaster’s Guidepost: Dungeon Fantasy Musings

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy is by far the most successful of the various lines for for the GURPS game engine. Up until a few weeks ago I didn’t run it as one of my constant campaigns – in fact I only use it for playtest games that require it or the occasional one shot. All of that changed when I ran a Men In Black demo of it at my local game store. To put it mildly – it was a immense success and it got me thinking: How would I put together a Dungeon Fantasy campaign? Well, first – I’d run it way more serious than it is otherwise implied in the line. Come on, Bunny, Elder Thing, Evil, and Good? That’s just so…well, it’s silly, but DF is silly. Anyone who says otherwise hasn’t read the source material very closely. That said…it doesn’t have to be silly. You can make it serious. You need to do a little extra work, but it is possible. I plan on using the Traits for Town article by Sean Punch and a few other odds and ends. Give some justifications where adventurers delve, and run sessions that aren’t all in the dungeon. I’ve even surprisingly put together a full adventure for my players (it’s about 8k total with a couple of maps) and even a campaign map of the world. This is a extremely rare thing for me as I suck at graphic art. I can barely make stick figures look like…well, stick figures. One thing I for sure won’t be changing is the magic system. Some of you are probably shocked by that, but the truth is I’ve never had a real issue with the basic magic system – I just simply liked other systems better. One of the reasons why I’ve decided to run a Dungeon Fantasy campaign is because I want to get familiar with the entire line as much as possible as well as regular GURPS magic. Running it will help and basic magic is a near perfect fit for DF anyways (as I found out when running it). That said, you’ll probably be seeing a bunch of new standard spells on my blog pretty soon as I do love to tinker and create and I really can’t put everything for official publication. I might even switch the example posts of Assembly Required to this new campaign should it work out.

A couple of things I definitely want to do:

  • Make a map (which I’ve partially done).
  • Expand my random roll point total table for NPCs/PCs
  • Create rules for magic weapon bonuses higher than those listed in Magic
  • Create some hex maps and populate them
  • Work up some new monsters
  • Do a political chart
  • Create some rules for more “serious” DF.
  • Decide what races are in and those that aren’t and how they fit.
  • Figure how “Traits in Town” work in the campaign setting.
  • Write up some setting specific gear (weapons, armor, etc.) – especially “ethnic cool” elven gear.
  • Create the names of the local gods and their portfolios
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  1. In fact, the way that Druidic Power and Psionics work, they aren't actually opposed in anyway. Druidic Power is opposed by civilization and Psionics isn't directly opposed by anything except a few rare concoctions. Both sources are more-or-less "chaotic" on a Moorcockian axis and can be completely aligned if you want them to be.

  2. Huh. You're right. Still, I've got a half-finished "Alignment" system done that I intend to implement and a few other odds and ends. And "Moorcockian" is right. I'm a huge fan of his and I'm probably going to make Druidic powers ones of "Balance" and Psionics as "Chaotic."

  3. Want a handy pantheon? Ive always wanted to look at codifying the gods from Majesty (the video game). Diverse but not TOO numerous.
    But Im…..just….a gnome……..

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