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Dungeon Fantasy RPG PDFs to Backers!

It is, at long last, out! Sort of! PDFs of the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game have been released to Kickstarter backers. I don't think it'll be generally available until next month, but since it's in the wild in at least a limited way, I feel I can talk about this a bit more like a customer than someone involved in the project.

The Dungeon Fantasy RPG is a complete fantasy tabletop roleplaying game. It's based on GURPS 4th edition rules, but it's a stand-alone game, requiring no other books, or even prior knowledge of GURPS. I've already made some general comments elsewhere (I got an advanced peek for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I was called on to write some follow-up material coming out later). I'll expand on that here.

For those unfamiliar with GURPS, it's a point-buy system rather than randomly rolled, class-and-level, or life path, and pretty much everything in play boils down to "try to roll a target number or less o…
Recent posts

Back To the Geniza

This is the sort of thing which happens when you write gaming material based on real-world sources. Back in Pyramid #38, I had an adventure the goal of which was a geniza full of scattered but useful information. This was based on the Cairo geniza, essentially a massive waste paper basket which has turned out to be one of the most important source we've got on life and Jewish history in Medieval Egypt.

And while it's already been immensely valuable to modern scholars, it's still incompletely investigated. It contains many scraps of documents which haven't even been categorized by language, let alone translated. But now there's a project on zooniverse where you can get involved in research. They're crowdsourcing the identification of fragments of texts based on some fairly simple criteria. This is pointing to a phase two where stuff actually gets translated. There's absolutely no telling what will come out of this (lost chapters of important commentaries? G…

All Is Revealed!

Well, something is revealed. A recent update for the DFRPG Kickstarter finally revealed the authors of the three companion works. Peter is doing the magic items volume, Christopher is doing traps, and I'm doing the adventure. It's a follow-up to the adventure in the box, so you can continue the storyline which comes with the game. I don't think I can say much more now, but I will say that I've seen the map, and I think it's lovely.


Oh, and I'm not saying that the adventure is about getting the best seat next to the duchess at tea, but I'm not not saying that the adventure is about getting the best seat next to the duchess at tea.

The Occasional Dungeon: Crypt, Ground Floor, Part 3

6) A group of monsters have collected near the hidden doorway and antechamber leading into the crypt. Roll twice on the wandering monster table. As ugly as this might seem, if adventurers retreat a bit, the pursuing monsters will have to come after them through two separate doorways, making them relatively easy to isolate and overwhelm, and it's still fairly close to the cave shrine, so spellcasters can stay in an area where they can speak, if they need that in order to cast spells.

7) This niche is set off from the corridor by a set of sturdy iron bars. Treat as X-Heavy metalwork (GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 2, p. 18); the bars are permanently fixed in place and cannot be unlocked. The area beyond is blacked out with the Darkness spell. It's also difficult to use magic to pick out what's in the space; it's protected by a variant of the Pentegram spell (cast at level 20, if it becomes important). Breaking the bars breaks that spell.

The space contains N/3 Demons From Beyond…

Benefits of Working at Home

For about the past few years, I've been working from home. It's a long story of corporate shenanigans which resulted in me surviving a second buyout of my employer by another company but my physical office dropping out from under me. The point is that I'm physically isolated from my colleagues in an office in my house full of...well, any stuff I would want to have with me.

On a mostly but not entirely unrelated note, I've long vaguely toyed with the idea of painting miniatures. It'd be nice for other hobbies I'm involved with. On the other hand, it requires at least a little hand-eye coordination, and I'm not good with that. What finally made me decide to do something about it was finding OpenForge, 3d-printable architecture and terrain for gaming. I like architecture.

What made these come together is...y'know how some people doodle in the margins during long, boring meetings? I realized that I had the opportunity to "doodle" as extravagantly …

The Occasional Dungeon: Crypt, Ground Floor, Part 2

Here's what's in areas 1-5 on the ground floor crypt map:

1) The room is partly filled with a dense grey mist from a few inches above the ground to a height of about three feet. Oddly, does not flow or expand outside of the approximately 12' by 12' room. Anyone peering under the mist sees a wooden chest in the southwest corner of the room.

The mist is acidic, doing 1d corrosion damage per turn spent immersed in it. It's possible, though, to crawl under it. Crawling under the mist requires a roll against DX - (2 x SM) per turn (that is, a -2 penalty for SM +1, a +2 bonus for SM -1, and so on). Failing the DX roll incurs a single point of corrosion damage, or a full die for a critical failure.

The chest itself weighs 40 lbs. is somehow resistant to the corrosion. It is locked (a straight roll against Lockpicking opens it), but there's a poisoned needle on the mechanism:

Detect: Per-based Traps.
Disarm: DX-based Traps.
Circumvent: The chest can be smashed open though…

The Occasional Dungeon: Crypt, Ground Floor, Part 1

The cave shrine is attached to a labyrinth-like crypt where various dead were laid to rest. Some had been noted holy men. Others were common people picked out for reasons lost to the depths of time. And some were very evil, stowed away in the supposedly safe confines of the crypt. But it's not so safe as one might hope. The crypt is full of magical power which has reanimated some of the dead, given an illusion of life to some objects, and let some things slip through the walls between worlds. Some time after the crypt was build and then sealed off by its makers, other monsters from the nearby natural caves broke in through a back entrance. Not long thereafter, they sealed it off again.

The crypt can be reached thorough concealed doors to the south through the cave shrine and to the northwest through the ground floor caves. The entire paved area is covered by the Silence spell (GURPS Magic, p. 171). It has somehow been applied to the entire volume on the crypt rather than on speci…