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Old 09-20-2022, 01:46 PM   #1
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Deep dive on differences between GURPS Dungeon Fantasy and DFRPG templates

I've finally sat down to start carefully comparing changes DFRPG made to the occupational templates in GURPS Dungeon Fantasy. I had some idea of general changes to expect, e.g. traits that had significantly reworker or removed entirely, and DFRPG making certain things previously labeled "power-ups" available to starting characters. But other changes I didn't have a great handle on, and I suspect other people are curious about the details of these changes. I'm going to start by posting my notes for the Barbarian and Bard; others will come later as I do them.
Barbarian
Loses 2 mandatory levels of Outdoorsman (-20 points), and made Animal Handling an optional skill (-2 points). These points get spent on removing Gigantism (8 points), adding more points in advantage options (10 points), and raising main melee weapon skill by a level (4 points).

Quite a few changes got made to optional traits, some of which I expected, but others which I did not: new options to raise DX, HP, and Basic Speed with advantage points, adding Code of Honor, Greed, Obsession, Sense of Duty (Nature), and Wounded to disadvantage options, adding Strategy and Tactics to optional skills, and (for some reason) raising the maximum level of Temperature Tolerance from 2 to 3.

Bard
Loses 2 mandatory levels of Musical Ability (-10), and has fewer points budgeted for spells Fewer points budgeted for spells (-5). This pays for an improved Bardic Talent (4 points—a great deal given that it replaces bonuses previously gotten from Musical Ability in addition to offering broader spell selection), as well as adding more points in advantage options (10 points), and raising Carousing by a level (1 point).

In terms of changed options, the two lists of advantage options have been merged, so there’s no longer a minimum number of points you have to spend on Bard-Song abilities. The Bard also gains Empathy as an advantage option, but loses Smooth Operator and Social Chameleon. (Technically the last two could be counted as "general changes", but I’d previously missed them.) The second two lists of optional disadvantages have also been merged.
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Old 09-21-2022, 10:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: Deep dive on differences between GURPS Dungeon Fantasy and DFRPG templates

The changes on the next three templates are, as far as I can tell, all fairly minor. All follow the Bard in merging point pools for optional advantages, such that they have no minimum number of points which they must spend on special abilities.
Cleric
Spirit Empathy got added to the list of advantage options. As best I can tell all other changes are de rigueur for DFRPG.

Druid
Picked up Animal Empathy as an optional advantage, and Diplomacy as an optional skill.

Holy Warrior
As far as I can tell, the only changes are ones that reflect DFRPG-wide trends (including the merging of advantage pools).
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Old 09-26-2022, 03:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: Deep dive on differences between GURPS Dungeon Fantasy and DFRPG templates

Knight
Okay, so the changes here are small, but subtle enough that I was having trouble making the point math work last week, though after focusing on other stuff this weekend I finally figured it out. Because Born War Leader now adds to Connoisseur (Weapons), the game could drop the investment in that skill from 4 points to 2 (-2 point change) and still have the skill level increase from 11 to 12. These two extra points got spent raising Leadership a level (1 point) and increasing the number of optional skills from 4 to 5 (1 point). Speaking of optional skills, two options also got added: Fast Draw (any other) and Riding (Horse). In GURPS Dungeon Fantasy, the only way to get Riding (Horse) had been to spend a full 8 points on it, having it replace one of your melee weapon skill options.
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Last edited by Michael Thayne; 09-27-2022 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 09-26-2022, 07:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Deep dive on differences between GURPS Dungeon Fantasy and DFRPG templates

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
Knight
Okay, so the changes here are small, but subtle enough that I was having trouble making the point math work last week, though after focusing on other stuff this weekend I finally figured it out. Because Born War Leader now adds to Connoisseur (Weapons), the game could drop the investment in that skill from 4 points to 2 (-2 point change) and still have the skill level increase from 11 to 12. These two extra points got spent raising Leadership a level and increasing the number of optional skills from 4 to 5. Speaking of optional skills, two options also got added: Fast Draw (any other) and Riding (Horse). In GURPS Dungeon Fantasy, the only way to get Riding (Horse) had been to spend a full 8 points on it, having it replace one of your melee weapon skill options.
Even in DF, you can spend quirk points on anything the gm allows.
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Old 09-27-2022, 08:52 AM   #5
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Default Re: Deep dive on differences between GURPS Dungeon Fantasy and DFRPG templates

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Even in DF, you can spend quirk points on anything the gm allows.
True. To be clear, I know why it was done that way in GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 1—because in GURPS attacking with a melee weapon while mounted uses the lower of weapon skill or Riding. Still odd there was no option to just be able to ride a horse without necessarily being great at mounted combat.
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Old 09-27-2022, 09:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: Deep dive on differences between GURPS Dungeon Fantasy and DFRPG templates

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Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
True. To be clear, I know why it was done that way in GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 1—because in GURPS attacking with a melee weapon while mounted uses the lower of weapon skill or Riding. Still odd there was no option to just be able to ride a horse without necessarily being great at mounted combat.
Note: the same restriction applies in DFRPG, sort of, per Adventurers page 87:

"Mounted combat is beyond the scope of Dungeon Fantasy, but here’s a quick-and-dirty rule: You and your mount move on your turn at your mount’s Move; your effective combat skills cannot exceed Riding; mounted melee attacks have -1 to hit, +1 damage; and you must roll vs. Riding for each jump or other stunt."
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Old 09-28-2022, 01:30 AM   #7
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Default Re: Deep dive on differences between GURPS Dungeon Fantasy and DFRPG templates

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
True. To be clear, I know why it was done that way in GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 1—because in GURPS attacking with a melee weapon while mounted uses the lower of weapon skill or Riding. Still odd there was no option to just be able to ride a horse without necessarily being great at mounted combat.
I'm confused; isn't that exactly what spending a quirk point does? A standard knight spending 1 point gets Riding-13 - hardly great at mounted combat.
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Old 09-28-2022, 06:59 AM   #8
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Default Re: Deep dive on differences between GURPS Dungeon Fantasy and DFRPG templates

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I'm confused; isn't that exactly what spending a quirk point does? A standard knight spending 1 point gets Riding-13 - hardly great at mounted combat.
Quirk points are precious though because they're your only way to get off-template advantages and skills. Say you want to play a Knight with Animal Empathy and Riding (Horse). You'll have to spend all five of your Quirk points on Animal Empathy. If Riding (Horse) weren't on the Knight template you wouldn't be able to get them both.
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Old 09-29-2022, 08:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: Deep dive on differences between GURPS Dungeon Fantasy and DFRPG templates

A Knight may also want to use their quirks points on money for armor.
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Old 10-26-2022, 08:33 AM   #10
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Default Re: Deep dive on differences between GURPS Dungeon Fantasy and DFRPG templates

Another interesting difference between GURPS and DFRPG: in DFRPG, Rapier Wit is based on IQ or Intimidation, which is based on Will. In GURPS, Rapier Wit is based on Public Speaking, which is based on IQ.

Implication 1 (roleplaying): a swashbuckler's Rapier Wit can be a more aggressive "rapier" than a GURPS Rapier Wit. The Scarlet Pimpernel might be using IQ-based Rapier Wit, but an Intimidation-based Rapier Wit is more like Agent K intimidating the border patrol in Men In Black ("Don't 'sir' me, young man. You have no idea who you're dealing with.") or Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. (If Bane can supernaturally stun enemies with his words, that goes a long way towards explaining how some of his plans manage to succeed despite being wildly convoluted! E.g. why the guy on the airplane doesn't just shoot him after unmasking him.)

Implication 2 (mechanical): swashbucklers get a high return on investment for buying up Will. Each 5 points in Will not only makes you less vulnerable to mind control (important in itself when you're one of the party's big guns) and more resistant to fear, but it also boosts Rapier Wit AND Power Blow.

One silly but viable example: a starting half-ogre swashbuckler who invests 35 points in Will and 5 in Rapier Wit, and therefore has Will 16. By investing Quirk points he can get Intimidation-16 (1 quirk point) and Kiai-14, as well as Rapier-20 (21) doing 2d+5 cutting per hit. He's excellent at disabling sapient monsters (note: All Out Attack (Double) and Luck can both be used to enhance Kiai, which enhances Intimidation by +2 even if it fails, and Luck can also boost Intimidation) and pretty good (better than even odds) at disabling even nonsapient monsters. And he's good also at cutting things to pieces, and hard to mind control. He's not quite to the point where routinely using Power Blow in combat makes sense, but another 25 points in Will would get him there.

Of course you don't have to go all-in on Will up front. You could go for Extra Attack, Striking ST, and weapon skills first and buy up Will and Rapier Wit later. Which to get first depends on the party and GM's style; but you will want Will sooner or later.

Last edited by sjmdw45; 10-26-2022 at 10:42 AM.
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