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Old 11-02-2015, 05:55 PM   #1
Nostri
 
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Default [DF/Fantasy] A few Questions

Soon I'm going to be running a fantasy hexcrawl using both Fantasy and DF. I'm going to be using "DF on the Cheap" from ericbsmith along with DF15 to get PCs around 150 pts with some extra background/fluff stuff. In starting to prep for this I came up with a few questions.

1. I have DF 1, 2, 3, 15, & 16 (or I will by the time the game actually starts). Which other ones should I look at next? Are there any I should avoid until later? How about other GURPS books or Pyramid articles in general?

2. Is it kosher if I build a "player's guide" out of the stuff I want and need my players to know and deseminate it amongst them? I'm not going to release it to the internet at large obviously but since this is the first GURPS game any of them play I don't want to scare them by bringing in 20 odd books and then assuring them we aren't actually using much out of any single one. (That's actually the reason it's taken me on the order of years to actually convince them to play. They all knew GURPS has a whole bunch of books and I made the mistake of saying you can use them all at once. Which more then one of them of course took to mean I would be if I ever ran a game.)

3. How bad/confusing/problematic do you all think it'd be if I listed weapons, armor, and other equipment with copper/silver/gold prices instead of the GURPS dollar? I'd of course have a way to convert things when I needed to but I wouldn't let my players see that side of it.

4. Will 4 or so 150 pt DF style characters be able to take on things from the two monsters books without my having to worry much more then if we were using default PCs?
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: [DF/Fantasy] A few Questions

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Originally Posted by Nostri View Post
1. I have DF 1, 2, 3, 15, & 16 (or I will by the time the game actually starts). Which other ones should I look at next? Are there any I should avoid until later? How about other GURPS books or Pyramid articles in general?
5, 11, and 13 should prove useful. 13 sooner than later.

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2. Is it kosher if I build a "player's guide" out of the stuff I want and need my players to know and deseminate it amongst them?
I don't see why not. It should certainly speed up chargen.

Quote:
3. How bad/confusing/problematic do you all think it'd be if I listed weapons, armor, and other equipment with copper/silver/gold prices instead of the GURPS dollar?
None.

Quote:
4. Will 4 or so 150 pt DF style characters be able to take on things from the two monsters books without my having to worry much more then if we were using default PCs?
Worry a bit. To my eye those monsters look to be 'balanced' for a party of 250 point adventurers.

And a few could easily rip through a party of 150 pointers that weren't playing at the top of their game.
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: [DF/Fantasy] A few Questions

I think you have the 5 most useful DF books. I think DF11 (Power Ups) and DFM1 (Monsters) are also very useful. The others are highly optional. The only other book you really need is Magic. The most useful Pyramid for me is 3/60 because it has the new spell prerequisites for DF. Next for me was 3/26 because it has underwater combat rules, which really should be in Basic but aren't. I use just a little bit of Martial Arts (additional weapons, a few combat maneuvers like Committed and Defensive Attack, slip/sideslip, multiple blocks).

You can convert prices into whatever units you want, but it will be more work. I might go with simple decimal currency ($1 per cp, $10 per sp, $100 per gp) in my next DF game, so that we can use fantasy flavor while keeping the math trivial.

Balancing combats is hard. Depends on how tactically skilled your players are, what kind of numbers you throw at them, what optional rules you use, how much time they get to rest between fights, etc. My advice is to start by erring on the side of too easy rather than too hard, and gradually increase difficulty as your players show what they can handle.
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: [DF/Fantasy] A few Questions

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Originally Posted by Nostri View Post
1. I have DF 1, 2, 3, 15, & 16 (or I will by the time the game actually starts). Which other ones should I look at next? Are there any I should avoid until later? How about other GURPS books or Pyramid articles in general?
As others have said, DF11 is useful as is DF Monsters. And if I can do some shameless plugging: "It's a Trap!" may be useful if you're using traps in your dungeons/adventuring areas. For monsters I have a metric ton of the things on my blog in the form of my "Triple Threat" entries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nostri View Post
2. Is it kosher if I build a "player's guide" out of the stuff I want and need my players to know and deseminate it amongst them? I'm not going to release it to the internet at large obviously but since this is the first GURPS game any of them play I don't want to scare them by bringing in 20 odd books and then assuring them we aren't actually using much out of any single one. (That's actually the reason it's taken me on the order of years to actually convince them to play. They all knew GURPS has a whole bunch of books and I made the mistake of saying you can use them all at once. Which more then one of them of course took to mean I would be if I ever ran a game.)
I do this personally for my games because it puts everything the players need to know in one spot. Just don't ever ever disseminate it. That'll get you into legal trouble. :-/

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Originally Posted by Nostri View Post
3. How bad/confusing/problematic do you all think it'd be if I listed weapons, armor, and other equipment with copper/silver/gold prices instead of the GURPS dollar? I'd of course have a way to convert things when I needed to but I wouldn't let my players see that side of it.
Very. Don't. It's an extra step for the players and that would just be bad. It doesn't do anything for most player's suspension of disbelief. It does tend to agitate them though.

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4. Will 4 or so 150 pt DF style characters be able to take on things from the two monsters books without my having to worry much more then if we were using default PCs?
I'm going to do some more shameless plugging: In "It's a Threat!" I create a framework for figuring approximately how difficult a monster is vs. a player character. I'm told it's pretty useful. :-)
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Old 11-02-2015, 08:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: [DF/Fantasy] A few Questions

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Originally Posted by Nostri View Post
3. How bad/confusing/problematic do you all think it'd be if I listed weapons, armor, and other equipment with copper/silver/gold prices instead of the GURPS dollar?
Tell the players that the $ sign stands for "silver piece". Lo, all prices are now in silver rather than "GURPS dollars".
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Old 11-02-2015, 08:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: [DF/Fantasy] A few Questions

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4. Will 4 or so 150 pt DF style characters be able to take on things from the two monsters books without my having to worry much more then if we were using default PCs?
How many, of which things?

They'll probably die horribly if facing 8 Spheres of Madness in a stand up fight and can probably handle being ambushed by 12 horde pygmies. The monsters in the DFM books vary wildly in difficulty, but most are probably going to be too tough when fighting in any great number.

You're going to have to use judgment and experiment a bit. My usual rule of thumb is start with monsters that do crushing damage, because crushing damage is less swingy than other types. Start with some Crushrooms, Horde Zombies, or Gladiator Apes and see how that fight goes, or a bunch of orcs with maces backed by orc slingers. Once you have a feeling for how well they handle the simple stuff, move up to the moderately dangerous things like stone golems and flaming skulls. Be cautious of usings things that do huge amounts of damage (especially impaling damage!), have great DR, and weird secondary defenses like Demons of Old or Demons From Between the Stars.
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Old 11-03-2015, 04:05 AM   #7
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Default Re: [DF/Fantasy] A few Questions

I'm personally a big fan of DF 4: Sages, but it's not for everybody. I suspect that the type of player who would be attracted to a low-point dungeon game would appreciate it, however, because that scenario implies thinking your way around more problems than you bash through.

Sages presents two new class templates, and has some discussion and specialized equipment for them. The Artificer modifies objects and the Scholar is a generalist intellectual, long story short. Neither is particularly tough as-is (though I did play a Half-Ogre Scholar in one game who was no pushover and could carry quite a lot of books with him), but if you want to be the smart guy in the party without being a Wizard, this book's for you.
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Old 11-03-2015, 06:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: [DF/Fantasy] A few Questions

Re Combat:
A safe place to start when easing new players into new characters with a new GM (yay that new car smell!) is some fantasy classics.

The following suggestions are using resources you already have, as that's actually a pretty sound place to start.

Animals (or animate but animal-stupid plants) are a really good place to start because they have low DR, can't Parry or Block, don't need to have crazy smart tactics, and don't do Swing damage.
Dire Rats are a classic, and should be used in large numbers. 10 to 15 is a decent number. Note that they're not totally stupid, and should start running away into smaller tunnels if hit. This means you can use more rats!
Dire Wolves in a number roughly equal to the PCs (plus one or two) should be fairly easy for them to deal with, even at 150 points. It's a good introduction to fighting a modestly powerful enemy in equalish numbers. The wolves are high mobility, so they will need an open space to move around in to harry PCs, and should use that speed run away if significantly injured.
At least, if you want to try and establish that monsters won't always fight to the bloody death - you do that early if you want that, because people are usually conditioned by videogames to expect all enemies to fight to the death. If you don't want that, consider that you'll probably need to use less monsters, because they'll be involved in the fight longer.

One crushroom in an outdoor area with trees that combatants need to navigate around, underbrush to get tangled in (and for the Crushroom to plow through willy-nilly) is a good introductory fight for many PCs one big monster tactics (which should generally result in the one big monster being surrounded and hacked to pieces, or kited around in an open area while people kill it with ranged attacks) but it should also teach them some respect for monsters with 4d crushing attacks, 40 HP, and Homogenous (no vitals, no brain, no impaling bonus damage...)

And then you can always just take the low point templates from Henchmen, et voilla, bandits. They can be upgraded with racial templates from DF3, too - a bunch of Dark One guards and initiates with an Ogre Brute is more colorful, and more dangerous.
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Old 11-03-2015, 06:41 AM   #9
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Default Re: [DF/Fantasy] A few Questions

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Originally Posted by Nostri View Post
Soon I'm going to be running a fantasy hexcrawl using both Fantasy and DF. I'm going to be using "DF on the Cheap" from ericbsmith along with DF15 to get PCs around 150 pts with some extra background/fluff stuff. In starting to prep for this I came up with a few questions.
As someone actually running such a game at this point level, I welcome you to the club.

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Originally Posted by Nostri View Post
1. I have DF 1, 2, 3, 15, & 16 (or I will by the time the game actually starts). Which other ones should I look at next? Are there any I should avoid until later? How about other GURPS books or Pyramid articles in general?
DF 5 is handy as a bestiary, as is DFM 1 and 2. Even more handy is the bestiary in the back of Mirror of the Fire Demon. As well as monsters, it has mooks.

The game will likely have a feel akin to low-level classic D&D, so the characters will be running from danger quite a bit. Action 2 has chase rules that I use for this.

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2. Is it kosher if I build a "player's guide" out of the stuff I want and need my players to know and deseminate it amongst them?
Sounds fine to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nostri View Post
3. How bad/confusing/problematic do you all think it'd be if I listed weapons, armor, and other equipment with copper/silver/gold prices instead of the GURPS dollar?
If D&D does it and has done it for 40+ years, it can't be awful.

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Originally Posted by Nostri View Post
4. Will 4 or so 150 pt DF style characters be able to take on things from the two monsters books without my having to worry much more then if we were using default PCs?
It will be tough for them. The characters in my game had a problem with four zombies when they were at about 125 points, though about 45 points later I don't think they'd lose as much.
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Old 11-03-2015, 06:44 AM   #10
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Default Re: [DF/Fantasy] A few Questions

I like having DF5: Allies, DF7: Clerics, and DF9: Summoners on-hand for most any Fantasy game that features magic (particularly the flavors that That Other Game refers to as "arcane" and "divine").

The point values for "as an Ally" in Allies and Summoners will probably need to be adjusted upward, given the difference in point values between PCs. That may be handled in DF15: Henchmen, though; I don't have Henchmen, though, so I can't say for certain.
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