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Old 04-08-2019, 12:54 PM   #11
ak_aramis
 
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Default Re: Best Tool for the Job – When would you use TFT/DFRPG/GDF?

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For “Tools”, in the Steve Jackson Games tool box, we have:
The Fantasy Trip (TFT)
Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (DFRPG)
and
GURPS Dungeon Fantasy (GDF)

The “Job” in this case, in general, is dungeon fantasy genre roleplaying games.
But within the dungeon fantasy genre, there are different styles of play.

In your opinion –
When/what style of game, would you use each for?
Why?
Have you actually done so?
I would not use GURPS for anything these days; back when I did like GURPS, I still wouldn't use it for a dungeon-oriented game. (In fact, about 90% of my GURPS games were silly-horror, which, while predating BTVS, captured a similar tone. Such as apeasing Pele by sacrificing Thos. Magnum to her. From TC's chopper, with TC coerced by a Werebear holding his children. The rest were urban medieval.)

TFT doesn't even do dungeons for me.

TFT is, for me, for solo play and/or for surface Sword & Sorcery type games. (My favorite modules for TFT are Master of the Amulets and Grail Quest.)

Think Quasi-Tolkienian races in Conan, Kull, or Solomon Kane's worlds. When there is a dungeon, it's a very clearly purposed place - a tomb or a temple, typically.
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Old 04-09-2019, 02:50 PM   #12
Allensh
 
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Default Re: Best Tool for the Job – When would you use TFT/DFRPG/GDF?

TFT for me. I ran DFRPG on Sunday and wished I was using TFT the whole time.
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Old 04-09-2019, 03:01 PM   #13
Barantor
 
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Default Re: Best Tool for the Job – When would you use TFT/DFRPG/GDF?

I've always loved GURPS, but digging through that for the fantasy bits I really wanted always seemed like a lot of work.

I saw Dungeon Fantasy and jumped on it, it had all the parts I wanted and if there was anything to add it'd be easy.

TFT is my 'basic rpg' of sorts. It's something I can use for a west marches campaign or gonzo dungeon crawling where the depth of field of a single character doesn't matter as much as it does in more crunchy RPGs. My friends like crunchy combat and my wife and kids love it so far, so it fills a gap.
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Old 04-09-2019, 03:14 PM   #14
Chris Rice
 
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Default Re: Best Tool for the Job – When would you use TFT/DFRPG/GDF?

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Originally Posted by Barantor View Post
I've always loved GURPS, but digging through that for the fantasy bits I really wanted always seemed like a lot of work.

I saw Dungeon Fantasy and jumped on it, it had all the parts I wanted and if there was anything to add it'd be easy.

TFT is my 'basic rpg' of sorts. It's something I can use for a west marches campaign or gonzo dungeon crawling where the depth of field of a single character doesn't matter as much as it does in more crunchy RPGs. My friends like crunchy combat and my wife and kids love it so far, so it fills a gap.
The thing is, as far as RPGs are concerned, the depth of field of a character doesn't come from the rules but from the imagination of the player. More rules might seem to equate to more depth of character, but that's an illusion. You can have a ten page character sheet full of skills, flaws, connections, etc, but if you can't use it effectively it doesn't mean anything. That's where TFT was ahead of other systems at the time and I still think it has that strength now.
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Old 04-09-2019, 03:25 PM   #15
Barantor
 
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Default Re: Best Tool for the Job – When would you use TFT/DFRPG/GDF?

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The thing is, as far as RPGs are concerned, the depth of field of a character doesn't come from the rules but from the imagination of the player. More rules might seem to equate to more depth of character, but that's an illusion. You can have a ten page character sheet full of skills, flaws, connections, etc, but if you can't use it effectively it doesn't mean anything. That's where TFT was ahead of other systems at the time and I still think it has that strength now.
I know this, but many players do not. I also find that the more rules that are stacked on, the more likely a player is to quit playing completely when their character dies.

OSR type games like this one help when you want games to be lethal (less rules, less time making characters!) but also don't want mechanics getting in the way.

It's also nice when one sheet of paper could have half a dozen characters or more on it rather than one.
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Old 04-09-2019, 03:41 PM   #16
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Best Tool for the Job – When would you use TFT/DFRPG/GDF?

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The thing is, as far as RPGs are concerned, the depth of field of a character doesn't come from the rules but from the imagination of the player.
That depends on whether the depth is something that has mechanical consequences. The big strength of GURPS (which isn't particularly leveraged by DFRPG) is that it has rules support for an extremely wide range of characters.
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Old 04-09-2019, 04:14 PM   #17
Chris Rice
 
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Default Re: Best Tool for the Job – When would you use TFT/DFRPG/GDF?

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That depends on whether the depth is something that has mechanical consequences. The big strength of GURPS (which isn't particularly leveraged by DFRPG) is that it has rules support for an extremely wide range of characters.
That's where we think differently. If one considers the prototype rpg, the "Braunstein" games that a young Dave Arneson played in, these games supported any conceivable character type, with no rules at all. In the same way that children play with dolls or toy soldiers and can create infinitely variable characters without rules. Rules get in the way of character, rather than creating character. That's why I like TFT; it allows me to play the "game" with fairly minimal rules. The key rules of TFT are to do with Tactical Combat, arising from Melee/Wizard, not character creation. The Talent system is a bolt-on; fairly simple and relatively effective, but many players have used the base Melee/Wizard games to play RPGs with their own rules.
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Old 04-09-2019, 04:36 PM   #18
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Best Tool for the Job – When would you use TFT/DFRPG/GDF?

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That's where we think differently. If one considers the prototype rpg, the "Braunstein" games that a young Dave Arneson played in, these games supported any conceivable character type, with no rules at all.
This has very little to do with the player's creativity. It has to do with the GMs capacity and willingness to house rule things as needed, plus the player's skill at wheedling or fast-talking the GM.

The general purpose of rules in RPGs is to make life easier by making sure everyone agrees on what something means, and to provide a neutral referee.

To take a TFT example, why do attack and damage rolls exist? Why shouldn't the player just announce "I hit the monster with my sword" and the GM announces the outcome, no die rolls involved? It's actually perfectly possible to play games that way.
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Old 04-09-2019, 04:58 PM   #19
Chris Rice
 
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Default Re: Best Tool for the Job – When would you use TFT/DFRPG/GDF?

This has very little to do with the player's creativity. It has to do with the GMs capacity and willingness to house rule things as needed, plus the player's skill at wheedling or fast-talking the GM.


What you mention above is actually the ultimate in creativity. Roleplaying games exist in a tension between rules and creativity. The more rules, the less creativity. TFT is on the right side of that spectrum for me, GURPS is on the wrong side. But that's just my take on it.
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:14 PM   #20
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Default Re: Best Tool for the Job – When would you use TFT/DFRPG/GDF?

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This has very little to do with the player's creativity. It has to do with the GMs capacity and willingness to house rule things as needed, plus the player's skill at wheedling or fast-talking the GM.


What you mention above is actually the ultimate in creativity. Roleplaying games exist in a tension between rules and creativity. The more rules, the less creativity. TFT is on the right side of that spectrum for me, GURPS is on the wrong side. But that's just my take on it.
I strongly agree with this -- for me, more rules always mean more time looking through books for obscure cases and exceptions to the cases. TFT's rules are tight enough for their intended purpose, consistent (for the most part) in their application, and easily understood by even young children -- leaving more time for play and creative thinking.
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