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Old 06-22-2017, 08:54 PM   #7
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Default Re: Pyramid #3/104: Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game

Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
It's a Quest is a surprising read. Chris spends the first bit on a discussion of Sandbox vs. Railroads and gives not only a good explanation but help towards running either. It codifies what I already knew from experience but benefits from laying it out plain and simple. It even prompted a blog post
It confirms that Christopher's experience is quite different from mine, and frankly, I think the very title "The Sandbox Is a Lie" has no place in an issue of Pyramid. It's telling a segment of the community that we're having badwrongfun. I think SMarsh should go back and edit this title out of Pyramid and reissue it as a correction; I'm actually insulted. (And that's tough to do. I liked "I Hated Them, So I Killed Them!" from Roleplayer, and got a good chuckle out of it.) Much of the advice in this section otherwise was actually pretty good, especially about having active players, but that's the case in any game. (Even in a Pathfinder railroad, life gets pretty boring if you're trying to hold back to give seven passive players their chance to shine and they just sit there.) Strangely, I liked it better than the section about railroading; roleplaying games aren't all about "collaborative storytelling." We're talking past each other, which wouldn't be bad except for calling a contrary play style a "lie."

I honestly wonder if I'm in the target market for this issue, for once. The solo adventure was the best bit, an updated "All in a Night's Work" for DF, but that's best as an intro for new GURPS players, who aren't the type who read Pyramid. I'm unlikely to go through it more than once. It might not be a bad teaching tool for one of my players, however.

The crunchy bit of "It's a Quest!" is a DF-specific version of the Adventure Generator Tables from the d30 Sandbox Companion, which happen to be two pages in that supplement that I never use, which is the exception to the rule for said supplement. After "It's a Trap!" and "It's a Threat!" I had very high hopes for the third part of that trilogy after Ghostdancer had mentioned it. Evaluating it as what it is rather than what I wanted, it seems alright but the extra layer of terminology of "tiles" and "touchstones" is a barrier to access. My gut reaction upon seeing "tile" was to start hunting Pyramid for the pre-printed tiles.

The "Heroic Background Generator" isn't bad, again a DF-specific version of another supplement (Central Casting) that I use often, but more and more, I find background is something that we tend to overblow, at least in supplements. If a background leads to interesting play, great; otherwise, it's mental masturbation on a character sheet. Having just said that, I kind of want to try it, but would have liked some suggested GURPS disadvantages or other traits for some of the entries. I'm also seeing these as being more heroic than my own games tend to be (when I first read "Eyes of the Overworld," I thought Vance was actually describing my game).
Cura isto securi, Eugene.

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