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Old 09-05-2010, 12:55 PM   #41
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Default Re: The art of Dungeon Fantasy 13: Monsters 1

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
You can't blame SJGames for that, the Leucrocotta is a folkloric animal and FB's version is basically faithful to the source.
That depends on how literally Pliny (and the other ancient sources) intended their readers to take the descriptions. If they're analogues, then literal reproductions are not faithful versions.

I am looking forward to DF13. I like not having to do all the work myself. Based on past experience I expect about 20% silliness, and I can live with that.
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:06 PM   #42
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Default Re: The art of Dungeon Fantasy 13: Monsters 1

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Quoting it all for truth. That's exactly my original vision.
Oh, good. Won't have to shred those contracts, then.
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:09 PM   #43
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Default Re: The art of Dungeon Fantasy 13: Monsters 1

To clear the air: I'm not saying that all genre treatments have to be lighthearted. Far from it! I'm saying that full-on, serious genre treatments call for serious rules, which fill serious page count. Conversely, light subgenres that play up a few tropes and deliberately don't look past them for depth demand quicker, less-detailed treatments that focus only on the relevant tropes. These latter subgenres don't need the rules for addressing the larger genre in great depth.

GURPS has an obligation to deliver both. It uses full-length books – often several, supported by PDFs – for serious, comprehensive genre treatments, because that's what such treatments demand. It uses series of brief PDFs for lighter, less-detailed genre treatments, because that's what those demand. For example:



I. Full-on serious fantasy: the GURPS Basic Set, GURPS Fantasy, most of GURPS Magic and GURPS Thaumatology (and its supporting PDFs), probably significant swaths of GURPS Martial Arts and GURPS Powers, and – on its release – doubtless GURPS Low-Tech (and its supporting PDFs) as well.
vs.
II. Lighthearted dungeon fantasy: the GURPS Basic Set, the GURPS Dungeon Fantasy PDFs, and – if you have lots of spellcasters – GURPS Magic.



I. Full-on modern-day adventure: the GURPS Basic Set, GURPS High-Tech (and its supporting PDFs), probably significant swaths of GURPS Martial Arts, and – on its release – likely GURPS Vehicle Design as well.
vs.
II. Lighthearted action-movie adventure: the GURPS Basic Set and the GURPS Action PDFs.



In each pair above, the second, lighter treatment isn't meant to be a quick-and-easy way to handle the first, heavier one on a word or dollar budget. It addresses one specific subgenre, and is intrinsically narrower and more subject to author whimsy. It's really nifty that people can take the second member of each pair and use it as a quick-and-easy guide to doing what the first, heavier one covers. However, that's reader ingenuity and not writer intent at play. Readers have the right to use the second member of each pair as a quick-start guide to its bigger, heavier partner, but they don't have the right to fault the writer for not supporting them in this.

GURPS Action isn't GURPS Medium: Modern Day and GURPS Dungeon Fantasy isn't GURPS Medium: Fantasy. While these identifications occur, they can't be attributed to author intent. They're after-the-fact, field-use kinds of identifications.
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:11 PM   #44
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Default Re: The art of Dungeon Fantasy 13: Monsters 1

That all makes sense. I think the bone of contention here is a perceived relationship between "light" and "goofy."
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:16 PM   #45
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Default Re: The art of Dungeon Fantasy 13: Monsters 1

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I. [I]Full-on serious fantasy
vs.
II. [I]Lighthearted dungeon fantasy

I. [I]Full-on modern-day adventure
vs.
II. [I]Lighthearted action-movie adventure
Outlining and, ultimately, writing of light-hearted action-oriented SF in the mode of Starship Troopers, Stargate, Star Trek, and first person shooters to place in parallel opposition to Ultra-Tech, Space, and Spaceships (or more focused opposition to Transhuman Space and GURPS Traveller) is left as an exercise for the ambitious reader.
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:37 PM   #46
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Default Re: The art of Dungeon Fantasy 13: Monsters 1

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Perhaps you skipped or speed-read past all the introductions and explanations: You already have the serious genre. It's in this book called GURPS Fantasy. I highly recommend it.
.
I know there is GURPS Fantasy but there are not a bunch of extra books for it like there are for DF. If there were some serious books for high powered fantasy with easy to use templates, magic items and power-ups I would buy them but there aren't any to buy. I don't mind light-hearted and less rules at all, I just don't like a really silly, slapstick game too much because it degenerates too quickly.
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:57 PM   #47
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Default Re: The art of Dungeon Fantasy 13: Monsters 1

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I know there is GURPS Fantasy but there are not a bunch of extra books for it like there are for DF.
If you count Fantasy + Magic + Thaumatology + Magical Styles + Urban Magics + Fantasy Tech 1 (and + Low-Tech +Companions when it comes out), I think you'll find a lot of page count. Not to mention specific setting support in Banestorm, Age of Gold, and Alchemical Baroque.
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If there were some serious books for high powered fantasy with easy to use templates, magic items and power-ups I would buy them but there aren't any to buy.
What's lacking from the books that do exist?
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:58 PM   #48
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Default Re: The art of Dungeon Fantasy 13: Monsters 1

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Originally Posted by Turhan's Bey Company View Post
. If you're bound and determined to play it straight, you can.

However, it's a particular kind of playing it straight. To me, "serious" gaming in DF is the self-important seriousness of a 1970s martial arts movie or a heavy metal album cover. It's the fantasies of the teenagers we once were when we started playing, simple in structure but epic in scale. If that's how you want to play it, I'm going to try to stay out of your way. Indeed, it's the way I usually play it. However, the 40-something author also appreciates that very seriousness in a less than serious way than the teenager who came up with it. My gags depend on the comedy lurking on a meta level, enjoying the absurdity of the whole thing without necessarily needing it to comment ironically itself, break the fourth wall, or subjecting the characters to overt jokes rather than the players. I'm not at all certain that that's Kromm's original vision, but I like to think that at least it doesn't actively conflict with it.
There's a couple of terms floating around the computer programming subcultures that is, I feel, pretty appropriate here:

"Haha-serious" and "only serious" (contrast with "only joking", as in "I was only joking").

The heavy-metal album covers (and heavy metal in general) are actually a really good comparison, because quite a few heavy metal bands are fully aware of how silly they look (and they appreciate the humour value!), but they're still doing the whole thing seriously and passionately, not out of "hipster" irony.

Just because something is ridiculous, and you know it, doesn't mean you can't do it to the hilt, throwing yourself into it wholeheartedly and with great passion and enthusiasm. Being able to laugh at yourself, and appreciating that other people are laughing at you (rather than resenting it) doesn't mean you're doing it for laughs.

It goes the other way too - totally sober and serious, weighty things that you can make jokes about spawn what's known as black humour. Black humour doesn't deny that death and tragedy are serious, grim subjects, and isn't trying to insult or degrade them by finding something funny about the situation. You just spot the funny stuff anyways.

Historically believed-in monsters, like the leucrocotta, aren't any more or less ridiculous than manticores, chimeras, or minotaurs. Or dragons for that matter. Some people think leucrocottas are ridiculous looking, while I think chimeras and minotaurs are totally ridiculous looking. I still like playing minotaurs regardless, and I think chimeras can (and do) make great monsters. The leurocotta is a deceptive ambush predator that uses cunning, mimicry, and/or outright mind control to draw away travellers from the path so it can eat them. It's made out of a pile of animal parts.

It's smarter and thus potentially far more dangerous than an owlbear, and yet owlbears have proven themselves to have serious staying power in the dungeon fantasy genre - they're the subject of endless jokes, and yet everyone wants there to be owlbears in every edition.

I just don't see what makes the "standard" chimerical monsters somehow "less ridiculous" or "more dangerous" in their D&D treatment - D&D didn't change the description of the leucrocotta at all for it's version (It's in the 2e monstrous manual, right across from the Lamia).
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Old 09-05-2010, 02:27 PM   #49
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Default Re: The art of Dungeon Fantasy 13: Monsters 1

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I guess I ask why would a complex game system make a silly genre instead of a more serious one? If the game is only about laughs then you don't really need all of the complexity of the GURPS system, you could use some simple system instead and since it is just silly realism doesn't matter.
Because a lot of people like it.
From a company standpoint thats pretty good incentive right there.
And the ability to apply GURPS to serious epic, space opera, 60ish cheesy tv serials, hard sci-fi, animae, or cartoons is well and good and the strength of GURPS.
So building a serious to address a particualr and desired niche of any kind DF, Action, Transhuman Space, Traveler, Banestorm, Wierd War, etc is all well and good. It saves a lot of work and helps with consistency by published materials addressing different things.
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Old 09-05-2010, 02:50 PM   #50
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Default Re: The art of Dungeon Fantasy 13: Monsters 1

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I just don't see what makes the "standard" chimerical monsters somehow "less ridiculous" or "more dangerous" in their D&D treatment - D&D didn't change the description of the leucrocotta at all for it's version (It's in the 2e monstrous manual, right across from the Lamia).
Actually, that entry precisely makes my point. "...resembles that of..." and "leonine" and "with the neck gradually darkening until it turns black" are phrases that suggest the author(s) were aware of the analogous nature of the ancient descriptions. Compare that to the FB 3e description, which is: "...with a badger's head, the legs of a deer, and the neck, tail and chest of a lion. Its huge bizarre grin..." Then look at the associated art. The FB art is quite good, but it reflects a somewhat lighthearted take on the creature, over against the art for the AD&D 2e creature.
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