Skip to main content

Dunegon Fantasy Roleplaying Game: Production Values

Now that I've got my hard copy of the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game box (woot!), I can look at it as a physical product, and I'm quite happy with it.

Consider, for a moment, the GM screen:
Currently available images of the screen don't do justice to it as a physical object. We'll ignore the art and such for the moment (I'll be coming back to it). This is a substantial item, made of thick cardboard under those glossy covers. The four-panel display stays up quite nicely on its own and is unlikely to be collapsed by passing breezes.

The cardboard heroes are made of the same sturdy material. These are designed to fit into the manufactured stands, a significant change from the original version made form sheets of thick paper/thin cardstock, designed to fold up into triangles. The fold-up-triangle approach was certainly viable, but they were still easily knocked over by drafts and inadvertent table collisions. These are heavier and less subject to the vagaries of the gaming table environment.

So, back to the visual components, then. I like Brandon Moore's art, but there's something I like even more than that: color.


The use of color in the DFRPG isn't overwhelming: top and bottom borders, larger headings, backgrounds of boxes and some table rows, and illustrations. The bulk of the space on any page is black text on white pages. But that same layout in standard B&W GURPS books feels more textbook-like than the modestly colored versions on glossy paper in the DFRPG. It's easy to read and interesting to look at without being overwhelming or distracting. Indeed, I've been spending most of my time in monochrome GURPS PDFs for so long that I'd forgotten how nice a little bit of color was. I know there are good and sufficient business reasons not to use color, but I'd really love to see more of it in future products.

So, then, not only is the DFRPG a good game (which I already knew from the text), it looks good and feels good, too.

Comments

Unachimba said…
I think SJ Games should never have gone down the no colour route.

I will likely never print a GURPS PDF again
(Handouts, reference guides and so on are an exception, but they probably would be what I would most like to have as a colour print out).

Popular posts from this blog

Writing GURPS Adventures

Someone over on the forum asked for advice on writing adventures for GURPS. Or more specifically, in context, writing GURPS adventures with an eye towards publication by SJ Games, which is a very different animal. Whatever method and structure you have for writing up adventures for your own use is, of course, the best and you should use it for your own purposes. But we're talking about commerce here, not just art, so this should be thought of as advice on how to do business with a particular publisher, not generally useful advice on how to write adventures.

I need to start by defining a term. SJ Games means something specific by "adventure." As the wish list uses the word, an adventure has a plot, or at least something plot-like in it. It presents a specific problem to solve through a progression of encounters. They are not sandboxes. Sandbox-style adventures, with their multiplicity of possible PC objectives, are, in the terminology of the wish list, locations. There ar…

Writing Historical RPGs, Doing Diversity

For a few years now, I've been seeing things like this and reading pieces elsewhere about apparent conflicts between historical accuracy in historical or pseudo-historical fantasy games and issues of deep interest to some parts (and some potential parts) of the modern gaming audience. I tend to write things which are both connected to history and are written to enable the fantasies of modern people, some of whom have a specific interest in not reproducing problematic parts of the past and present in their recreations, so it's something which touches on stuff that I do. And I think I tend to move and write in circles where this tends not to get much thought or attention even though I write for a game which makes accuracy a priority, so while none of this is new to people who grapple with these issues regularly, I'm thinking maybe I should say something about it to get it into spaces where I work.

So, how do I approach the demands of both accuracy and diversity in the stuff …

Selling Priceless Items

As part of something I'm working on, I've run into the question of "how much can you sell a priceless item for?" If you come across, say, Excalibur or the Ark of the Covenant in the course of an adventure and you want to sell it, the question becomes less how much people are willing to pay for it and more how much people are capable of paying for it. This is different from selling a large hoard of loot. If you come back to town with a wagon full of potions and magic swords and the like, merchants can split it all up into smaller lots broker multiple small transactions. Here, you have to find one person or entity with a large sum of money. So here's something I'm toying with for DF:

Any item designated as "priceless" has a base value of $1m for purposes of figuring resale value. All modifiers for the seller's Wealth and that sort of thing still apply. That's the maximum value one can get in a typical Town. If the seller chooses to do so, howe…