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

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…

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…

Doctor GURPS Author, Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The WYSIWYG Template

Something I see over at the forum from time to time is people saying that they're interested in writing for Pyramid or GURPS but are instantly driven off by the size and complexity of the style guide and the WYSIWYG template. And they can be intimidating documents. They're long and there are some really specific guidelines for certain kinds of material.

And that's necessary. Despite working almost entirely in the realm of the imagination, Steve Jackson Games is a technical publisher. They need to organize information in regular, predictable formats. It's like Safety Data Sheets, just of their own design.

But the thing I've noticed in several years of writing GURPS material is that you won't need most of it.

So if you want to write an article for Pyramid, here's what you do: Once you've gotten a thumb-up from Steven on your proposal, get the template, create a new document based on it (Don't use Microsoft Word? Me neither. I use LibreOffice. The temp…