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Old 07-10-2013, 06:58 PM   #1
simply Nathan
formerly known as 'Kenneth Latrans'
 
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Default [DF/Lite] Working up a very simple fantasy (newbie GM)

I've long been considering running a dungeon-crawly fantasy campaign, and thanks to chatrooms and such I might actually have a chance of finding players. I'd been thinking of running it in d20 MicroLite, but I keep running into wanting to change it to be more like GURPS (point-buy as the biggest part of this, but also armor reducing damage taken rather than making the wearer harder to hit).


The game will be very Dungeon Fantasy like, but stripped down considerably because I just plain like it that way.


In MicroLite, the races are easy enough; wolfmen are +2 STR, mousemen are +2 MIND, catmen are +2 DEX. This would port over very simply as ST+1, HT+1 for wolfmen, IQ+1 for mousemen, and DX+1 for catmen. I think they deserve a bit more detail than that in GURPS though, and there's no reason why they have to line up perfectly with the dwarves, elves, and halflings respectively. I'll get to some descriptions of the races later and hopefully get some suggestions on what traits to use for them.


My plan is to give 140 starting points, allowing -30 additional points from Disadvantages and -5 from Quirks, excepting racial disadvantages. However, the only valid personal Disadvantages will be Vows, Code of Honor, Sense of Duty, Honesty, and legitimate physical handicaps like One Eye or One Hand (I'm aiming to use as little stuff outside of GURPS Lite as I can, but I'm open to suggestions for more physical disadvantages to allow). Racial disadvantages are not limited as such.

The character totals will actually be 150 points as I'm informed this is the normal starting point for adventurers; the remaining ten come from this template:

Quote:
CULTURAL BACKGROUND
CF: Civilization[0]
English(Native)[0]

ADVANTAGES
Night Vision 3[3]

DISADVANTAGES
Sense of Duty(Party)[-5]

SKILLS
Brawling(DX+2) or Karate(DX) [4]
One Melee Weapon skill at DX+2 if Easy, DX+1 if Average, or DX if Hard [4]
One Ranged Weapon skill (Bow, Crossbow, Throwing, or Thrown Weapon) at DX+2 if Easy or DX+1 if Average.
Because such skills are considered the minimum for competent adulthood by non-adventurer members of this world's culture, and if you're not a literate team player with eyes suited for fighting by torchlight, you're probably not hero material. I considered also requiring a point each in Climbing, Hiking, Stealth, First Aid, and Scrounging (as a professional efficiency thing, like the Night Vision). If I did this, discretionary points would go down to 135.


As far as the races go:

Wolfmen will probably get HT+1 and should likely have a level or two each of Acute Hearing and Acute Taste/Smell. They are the same average height as humans, but weigh a little more because of their protruding muzzles, thick fur, and tails. No ideas about racial disadvantages here, aside from Congenial.
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Ronin...te_wolfmen.png

Catmen should have either DX+1 or a racial Talent that gives bonuses to a couple combat skills and cat-like acrobatic things. Considering Flexible and Catfall, of course. They are around 6'6"-7' on average, but slight of build and barely weigh more than humans if at all. Quirk-level versions of expected traits out of lions or tigers like perceived laziness, open fondness of sleep, pridefulness, or the ever-stereotypical cat quirk of disliking bodies of water are the only things that quickly spring to mind disadvantage wise.
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Ronin...ite_catmen.png

Mousemen are SM-2 (averaging about three feet tall) and inherently inclined towards use of magic; this was covered in the other system by the equivalent of IQ+1, but here I think it'll be better to go with Magery 1. And while MicroLite halflings had a full ST 10, I think somewhere from 6-8 would go over better. Any other suggestions?
http://www.majhost.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=3673976


I would like to keep individual templates for these races as close to 0 points as I can, use few traits from outside of GURPS Lite, and keep in mind that any true Quirks or mental disadvantages are part of their biological makeup and not their upbringing (everyone grows up in the same culture together, possibly alongside elves, dwarves, and gnomes/halflings receiving similar treatment). I want to focus on what makes the -bodies- of these characters different more than their minds.


For magic, I'm ignoring prerequisites other than Magery but cherry-picking the kinds of spells I want available; there is no time or energy reduction for high skill, but nearly all spells have a 1 second casting and take effect on the turn they are cast; ER will be allowed but I haven't decided to what cap yet.

Clerics are just a type of wizard with religious motivation and spellbooks themed around healing allies and fighting the undead. That religion, by the way, is Christianity (Roman Catholics being the most prevalent, but occasional Protestants are neither unknown nor persecuted; this world also knows a few atheists/agnostics/In Name Only christians and knows what a pagan is, but none have been encountered for a long time).


I've got a particular kind of Artifact that always finds these adventure hero types and sticks with them until they die or retire, making itself very useful. A backpack that weighs nothing itself and holds numerous items, adding none of their weight to the hero's strength to contend with as Encumberence; only other worn items such as armor, shields, and items available to be drawn in combat-relevant timeframes apply there. Basically, I justify my bookkeeping habits as a setting feature.


I'd much appreciate any advice I can get on this. I already have one person interested in being a catwoman and one interested in being a mouseman, or at least I think I do.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:03 PM   #2
Stripe
 
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Default Re: [DF/Lite] Working up a very simple fantasy (newbie GM)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth Latrans View Post
The game will be very Dungeon Fantasy like, but stripped down considerably because I just plain like it that way.
Just out of curiosity, do you mean Dungeon Fantasy, the series, or just the dungeon crawl genre?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth Latrans View Post
My plan is to give 140 starting points, allowing -30 additional points from Disadvantages and -5 from Quirks, excepting racial disadvantages.
Dungeon Fantasy 15: Henchmen is one of my favorite GURPS books. It contains templates for low-powered delvers.

I'd suggest sticking with it's suggested point value of 125/-50/-5.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth Latrans View Post
However, the only valid personal Disadvantages will be...
Again, no need to reinvent the wheel. I'd just use the list of suitable disadvantages found in Adventurers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth Latrans View Post
I considered also requiring a point each in Climbing, Hiking, Stealth, First Aid, and Scrounging (as a professional efficiency thing, like the Night Vision). If I did this, discretionary points would go down to 135.
I like your idea of a simple template, but you've blown Lite so far out of the water that I'd just stop considering it. I wouldn't use it anyway, but that's because I don't like GURPS Lite at all.

Again, though, this has all been done for you, and done very well. Henchman is great and it's a perfect fit for what you're doing.

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Originally Posted by Kenneth Latrans View Post
For magic, I'm ignoring prerequisites other than Magery but cherry-picking the kinds of spells I want available; there is no time or energy reduction for high skill, but nearly all spells have a 1 second casting and take effect on the turn they are cast; ER will be allowed but I haven't decided to what cap yet.
Okay, now you're getting into deeper water than I'm willing to tread. I'd say just play GURPS as written but pick the spell list for your players.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth Latrans View Post
Clerics are just a type of wizard with religious motivation and spellbooks themed around healing allies and fighting the undead. That religion, by the way, is Christianity (Roman Catholics being the most prevalent, but occasional Protestants are neither unknown nor persecuted; this world also knows a few atheists/agnostics/In Name Only christians and knows what a pagan is, but none have been encountered for a long time).
Now I'm really out. I like to keep reality as far from my fantasy as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth Latrans View Post
I'd much appreciate any advice I can get on this. I already have one person interested in being a catwoman and one interested in being a mouseman, or at least I think I do.
Make your own simple templates and cherry pick the spells you want used in the game. Other than that, keep it simple. You're making this too complicated, in my opinion.

But, do whatever you think is fun! :)
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: [DF/Lite] Working up a very simple fantasy (newbie GM)

I like the idea, but if you have access to the Basic Set, I would say to write up your own list of valid skills, advantages, disadvantages and spells - and maybe weapons and armor - go beyond Lite in terms of that sort of material, but be prepared to use Lite for most of the actual mechanics of the game. That would make for a "slightly-less-lite" of your own, fine tuned to the mechanics you're intending.

If you can stomach it, and if the power level will give you remotely the kinds of abilities you want, Powers: Divine Favor is a great little add-on for your clerics. It gives them abilities without the flavor of magic, more like the supplication to the god or gods that you're likely after.
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:13 PM   #4
simply Nathan
formerly known as 'Kenneth Latrans'
 
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Default Re: [DF/Lite] Working up a very simple fantasy (newbie GM)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
Just out of curiosity, do you mean Dungeon Fantasy, the series, or just the dungeon crawl genre?
It being the dungeon crawl genre is the main thing, but what rule details I have from the series come across as very useful, it's just that it has lots of things in it I don't really want. I have printed copies of DF 1, 2, and 3 and a friend bought me Loadouts for Christmas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
Dungeon Fantasy 15: Henchmen is one of my favorite GURPS books. It contains templates for low-powered delvers.

I'd suggest sticking with it's suggested point value of 125/-50/-5.
It came down to a toss-up between asking for that one or Loadouts. Maybe I made the wrong choice there.

150/-25/-5 yields approximately the same power level of characters, but with less crippling. I was considering -30 because that allows both "Vow: No Armor" and "Vow: No Weapons" on the same character simultaneously and figured that was about the extent of restrictions I was willing to deal with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
Again, no need to reinvent the wheel. I'd just use the list of suitable disadvantages found in Adventurers.
Or a severely truncated list culled from it, by deciding what's really not appropriate based on my perceptions of how gameable it is. That list does have a couple magical traits and such I might have been overlooking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
I like your idea of a simple template, but you've blown Lite so far out of the water that I'd just stop considering it. I wouldn't use it anyway, but that's because I don't like GURPS Lite at all.
Lite is the only book I could reliably get to my players; Lite and Loadouts are the only ones I actually own instead of borrowing from other GURPS players I know. Not like anything on my current template isn't already in there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
Again, though, this has all been done for you, and done very well. Henchman is great and it's a perfect fit for what you're doing.
Kinda makes me wish I had more money to spend on my hobbies/methods of purchasing things over the Internet.

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Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
Now I'm really out. I like to keep reality as far from my fantasy as possible.
Fantasy religions always strain my ability to enjoy a work, as do real-world religions aside from Christianity. English is there as the exact same thing as Fantasy Common, just going by its actual name rather than pretending to be something else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP42 View Post
I like the idea, but if you have access to the Basic Set, I would say to write up your own list of valid skills, advantages, disadvantages and spells - and maybe weapons and armor - go beyond Lite in terms of that sort of material, but be prepared to use Lite for most of the actual mechanics of the game. That would make for a "slightly-less-lite" of your own, fine tuned to the mechanics you're intending.
I think I can go with that, just handing out Lite to demonstrate the mechanics work but giving my own lists for what traits there are and cliff's notes versions of their effects possibly. I have access to Basic, Magic, DF 1-3, and Thaumatology for myself as GM usually but my potential players would be over Skype.

I think I'll work on my weapon table tonight; for armor I'd just go with the ones in Lite up to Plate Armor. (Huzzah for non-piecemeal!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP42 View Post
If you can stomach it, and if the power level will give you remotely the kinds of abilities you want, Powers: Divine Favor is a great little add-on for your clerics. It gives them abilities without the flavor of magic, more like the supplication to the god or gods that you're likely after.
I've heard about this a few times too. It's something to consider if I can get ahold of it.



Perhaps I should make separate threads asking for help with specific things like exotic weapons I've come up with, suggestions for the races, and so on. (I have an old long-dead thread I was working on for the spells; gonna pick up where I left off on choosing which from there).
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: [DF/Lite] Working up a very simple fantasy (newbie GM)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth Latrans View Post
Fantasy religions always strain my ability to enjoy a work, as do real-world religions aside from Christianity.
Be sure to discuss this topic with your players pre-game to potentially avoid WWIII.
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: [DF/Lite] Working up a very simple fantasy (newbie GM)

Well it looks like most of your questions are already dealt with.

On the note of magic - with any luck we'll be getting the RPM magic book soon, which might be an good alternative to remodelling the existing Magic system (take it from me, rebuilding that sucker is a task and a half... I'm still not finished).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth Latrans View Post
English is there as the exact same thing as Fantasy Common, just going by its actual name rather than pretending to be something else.
This isn't strictly true, and I don't use it this way in my DF (or at least Fantasy) game. Common is a good pidgin dialect that smooshes a lot of different languages together, and is a derivative of human (because they're the main city builders and merchants of the world) - but it is not just a renamed English.

A well trained linguist can actually tell where you're from by what style of Common you speak, for instance - as you'll use words from different local races and slang terms that relate to those areas. As such, if two people who both speak 'common' are from very different places in the world, they may even find it quite difficult to find the overlap or 'common words' that they share in order to communicate (although common does involve a lot of hand gestures and speaking loudly, which as we all know, is a universal mean of communication). This is why I always grant large reaction bonuses to anyone who speaks to another in their native tongue. Although there are a number of racial languages that have differing accents, slang, and words thanks to regional differences - so the reaction levels can vary depending on how close to their version you speak.

The point I'm making here, is that some people do care about how languages work in their world. Other's don't however, and much like religion, science fiction elements (lasers and spaceships) and accurate physics (think of the catgirls) there are a number of players who dislike some real-world details invading their fantasy world settings. So do take the time to find out how your players feel about these issues before steaming ahead with them.
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