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Old 12-24-2018, 09:07 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Default Gloomhaven (cross-pollinatable with GURPS etc.)

I was gifted a copy of Gloomhaven, which is pretty much an entire pared-down fantasy RPG system with a card-driven mechanic, and plenty of materials about adventure scenarios and overarching campaigns in a fairly focused region.

I'm still learning the gameplay, but the rest of the materials with the game look like they could be immediately repurposed to work with GURPS - cardboard standies for miniatures, hex-based tile maps in full color, and transferable adventures and sidequests in the journals.

They also have quite detailed miniatures of various fantasy staple classes, in case the GM or player is of a painting inclination.

(It seems like more and more board games are aiming for cross-transferability too. I have heard that The Rising Sun board game intentionally went all out on the detail of its miniatures for various Japanese theme Oni demons to appeal to the miniature painting crowd.)

I haven't seen much additional material for DFRPG, and the relevant thread in the relevant forum suggests that the line is being put on hold or terminated, so my first thought with this game was transferring the standies and maps GURPS.

Anybody else with thoughts on this title, over a year after its release?
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Old 12-24-2018, 09:26 PM   #2
Andrew Hackard
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Default Re: Gloomhaven (cross-pollinatable with GURPS etc.)

Originally Posted by SolemnGolem View Post
I haven't seen much additional material for DFRPG, and the relevant thread in the relevant forum suggests that the line is being put on hold or terminated,
You must have misread the comments. We’re planning a Kickstarter next year that will include a DF Bestiary and a reprint of the DFRPG box.
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Old 12-26-2018, 06:57 AM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Default Re: Gloomhaven (cross-pollinatable with GURPS etc.)

That is good news indeed! Any new Dungeon Fantasy material is a welcome addition to the market, and I look forward to getting myself a copy and supporting SJG.

I've played a few more scenarios of the Gloomhaven campaign, and I have decided that I'm not a big fan of the main mechanic of the game - exhaustion. Each character has a set of cards and must place two facedown at start of each turn - these cards are discarded or trashed after use, and once all cards are gone, you rest to recover discarded cards (after trashing a further one). This means that each scenario has only a limited amount of moves, and in many cases the time limit is pretty tight. You'll have multiple instances of dropped loot unclaimed, and tempting treasure chests left alone, just because your characters would run out of steam and sink to the floor in exhaustion after a set number of turns. This applies even if you eliminated all the enemies in the area.

I can imagine many scenarios requiring multiple playthroughs to complete successfully. However, on a Xmas Day dedicated gaming full-day session, we managed to only play through 2 scenarios and then quit a 3rd due to evident futility a few turns in. I don't see this game hitting the table very often.

The blurb text in the journal is well written and the maps, standies, and room tiles are conveniently hex-based (although the actual plastic stands for the standies are on a rectangular base, so cosmetically slightly different from the DF hex bases).

I can see myself plundering Gloomhaven for materials for DF games. But with a board game of that cumbersome size (and the offputting exhaustion mechanic), each time I pull the box off the shelf for a game, I find myself wondering "why not just play a PnP roleplaying game while we're at it?"
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