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Old 12-16-2016, 02:44 PM   #1
PK
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Default Pyramid #3/98: Welcome to Dungeon Fantasy

Either you're our guide,
Or my next leather armor;
The choice is all yours.
— Grükuk Kzaach to a captured minotaur
(This issue is free to everyone who pledged $50 or more to the Dungeon Fantasy RPG Kickstarter! For Pyramid subscribers, that means this doesn't count toward the duration of your subscription. For the rest of you, enjoy the complimentary issue; if you enjoyed it, consider subscribing for more.)

There's an undeniable appeal to the simple dungeon crawl. Whether it's the sole focus of your campaign, or just a way to blow off steam between more complex plots, it's just fun to delve into ancient crypts and tunnels and overcome the evil monsters, traps, and schemes therein. And that's why we've explored this topic several times already.

But what makes this issue different is its focus on getting started. What would a group new to Dungeon Fantasy find useful? The answer we came up with was, "Adventures, monsters, and good advice." Of course, it's no accident that those things are useful for every group of delvers, so that's what we packed into Pyramid #3/98: Welcome to Dungeon Fantasy!
  • Many a campaign has started with the words You All Meet at an Inn, but what if that was more than just how you started your first quest? In this adventure from Matt Riggsby, an outside horde has the heroes trapped and under constant attack until they can figure out what's happening and put a stop to it. This is a great way to kick off a new campaign (by explaining how the group first met), or use it to surprise the party the next time they stop to rest for the night. (Includes three detailed maps.)

  • There's an art to crafting opposition. The GM needs to mix classic fantasy foes with new, unexpected monsters to keep the delvers on their toes. And Christopher R. Rice offers plenty of both in The Monstrous Monstorum. Enjoy iconic beasts such as the grü, mimic, and mummy; surprises like the excremental, hellwasp, and stone shark; three new diseases (tied to specific monsters, but also usable standalone); and rules for allowing bouda (hyena-folk with a powerful bite) as PCs.

  • The promise of action and treasure lures the adventurers into the Grave of the Pirate Queen, but can they overcome the aquatic monsters, save the innocent captive, and face the true threat deep within? In this month's Eidetic Memory, David Pulver has crafted a dangerous coastal dungeon inhabited by fishy humanoids, undead horrors, and something even darker -- all aggressively fighting to keep their territory free of those pesky delvers. (Includes a map, both detailed and as a sketched handout.)

  • Some Dungeon Fantasy campaigns start off as simple hack-and-slash but then gradually grow more complex, adding societal detail and cerebral plots, until one day you realize you're playing a completely different genre. If that's your end goal, then great! But Building a Long-Term Dungeon Fantasy Game is possible, as Peter V. Dell'Orto shows. His detailed advice for everything from character building to world creation proves that you can keep things light, action-packed, and fun even after years of play.

  • And I'd like to welcome you newcomers to our regular Random Thought Table; this month, it explores ways to keep players from getting overwhelmed by everything their characters can do.

Store Link: http://www.warehouse23.com/products/SJG37-2698
Preview PDF: http://www.warehouse23.com/media/SJG37-2698_preview.pdf
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/98: Welcome to Dungeon Fantasy

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Originally Posted by PK View Post
There's an art to crafting opposition. The GM needs to mix classic fantasy foes with new, unexpected monsters to keep the delvers on their toes.
A whole bunch of monsters which, for the most part, aren't excessively weird, special purpose, or an excuse for a lame pun. Very useful. I am in favor of this article.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PK View Post
But Building a Long-Term Dungeon Fantasy Game is possible, as Peter V. Dell'Orto shows. His detailed advice for everything from character building to world creation proves that you can keep things light, action-packed, and fun even after years of play.
A well-written article full of excellent advice, which I shan't follow. Peter provides much wisdom here, but I know I can never keep things simple, so I won't pretend than I will. I accept my fate.

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Originally Posted by PK View Post
And I'd like to welcome you newcomers to our regular Random Thought Table; this month, it explores ways to keep players from getting overwhelmed by everything their characters can do.
"Hypothetically."
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/98: Welcome to Dungeon Fantasy

I am now curious how well N works for a solo adventure with a single higher powered character, like say 500pt weight class

And I sooooo want to run the Inn adventure
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/98: Welcome to Dungeon Fantasy

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Originally Posted by Turhan's Bey Company View Post
A whole bunch of monsters which, for the most part, aren't excessively weird, special purpose, or an excuse for a lame pun. Very useful. I am in favor of this article.
Yes! A ton of good monsters in here.

Favorite quote of the whole thing:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Riggsby
Alternatively, the GM can just try to kill them.
Hahahaha
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Old 12-16-2016, 04:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/98: Welcome to Dungeon Fantasy

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I am now curious how well N works for a solo adventure with a single higher powered character, like say 500pt weight class
As in many ad-hoc systems, it gets wibbly the more extreme your situation. Only one adventurer, that's extreme. 500 points, pretty far from where the N system is based. My back of the envelope projection is that the two factors together is liable to be wonky.

That said, try it out and report back!
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Old 12-16-2016, 04:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/98: Welcome to Dungeon Fantasy

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Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
I am now curious how well N works for a solo adventure with a single higher powered character, like say 500pt weight class

And I sooooo want to run the Inn adventure
I always thought it odd that the N notation is additive and not multiplicative. N+5 looks a lot different with one PC than with 5 PCs. If N+5 was instead Nx2 it seems like it would be more broadly applicable.

As for the above, N+5 becomes N+17; try it out. I'm thinking a 500 point melee would do fine, especially if he's heavy armor. Others would be more complex.

The real problem would be when N applies to boss-like creatures. Even a Knight might have a problem with 3 stone golems, say.
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Old 12-16-2016, 05:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/98: Welcome to Dungeon Fantasy

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Even a Knight might have a problem with 3 stone golems, say.
In my experience, one stone golem seems to be about even with one ~275 point barbarian, if that barbarian went the armor route (or I suppose wasn't berserk). But it's the kind of even that leaves one party in rubble and the other party battered to hell and back. I'm curious about Mrugnak vs 2 or 3
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/98: Welcome to Dungeon Fantasy

Very short review:

The two things I think DF clearly needs more of are monsters and adventures. There's only one published full-length adventure, and three monster books plus the monsters in DF2. (But one of the monster books is all Goo, which would be cool if it were one of 27 monster books, but not so much if it's one of three.)

This Pyramid issue has two short adventures, and 15 monsters. So, huge win. Even if you don't run the adventures, just seeing dungeon maps with hexes instead of squares makes me happy. Avoiding spoilers, Matt Riggsby's adventure is a good one-shot or campaign-starter for a group of PCs who might not really know each other yet, who meet in an inn. And David Pulver's has a nautical theme, for those who like sea caves and pirates.

It's also got an article for DF GMs from Peter Dell'Orto. The theme of the article is: control your game by deciding what subset of the DF rules to allow. Make decisions on what you want to allow, rather than just allowing everything by default. You might make different decisions that he does, but at least think about it. DF is already a simplified subset of GURPS, but this is about simplifying even more. I think that's a good idea, but kind of obvious. (At least if you're a GM who believes in Rule 0.)

And there's an article for new players (and maybe GMs who have new players) from Steven Marsh. It's very basic advice: have a character sheet and know what's on it. If you don't know all your character's powers, print them out, so you don't need to dig around in books during the game. Have paper and take notes during the game. This article seemed very basic to me, but it might help someone.

Overall, I give this issue an A+ for DF, because it has 2 adventures and 15 monsters. And an A for general fantasy, because you can probably still use some of the monsters, and maybe the inn and dungeon maps. If you don't play fantasy, there's probably nothing in this issue for you.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/98: Welcome to Dungeon Fantasy

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Originally Posted by dripton View Post
If you don't play fantasy, there's probably nothing in this issue for you.
There's an overlap in a need for monsters in various subgenres of Scifi that many "fantasy" monsters fill quite adequately (and vice versa). Gonzo mutant After The End games, pulp sci fi, space opera, etc. - anything with mutants or alien animals, particularly with "magic" (psionics or the local equivalent). In these cases you usually just need a new name, sometimes a slightly adjusted appearance.

Interior maps (inns and dungeons) can sometimes be re-purposed but that's usually a more involved exercise.
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Old 12-22-2016, 12:19 AM   #10
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/98: Welcome to Dungeon Fantasy

Really what I want? Is an article that talks about how to design dungeons. And I mean the actual layout of the physical location. That is the thing I've never really been good at. I almost always end up repurposing a dungeon map from some other adventure. But I'd really love an article that teaches up dungeon design.
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