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Old 04-09-2018, 08:44 AM   #31
Kromm
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Setting: Caverntown

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Originally Posted by Evil Roy Slade View Post

My congratulations to Kromm for getting the rarefied vocab of monadnock and inselberg into a gaming product, a trick that not even the polysllabic EGG ever managed*.

*C'mon, where did most of us learn dweomer, weal, demiurge, geas, and milieu?
Dragging out obscure vocabulary in the tradition of the early days of the hobby is just part of the Dungeon Fantasy experience. ;)

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The whole first chapter is quietly hilarious, in my humble opinion, partly because (rightly or wrongly) it gave me a strong sense that the author had had fun writing it [...] the writing itself is quite funny, IMHO.
I had a lot of fun writing this one. Setting admits a lot more creativity than rules. It isn't my strength, but it's definitely a welcome break from checking the math on templates, complicated ability builds, etc.

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One of my favorite bits so far was the potential for wealthy "tourists" to provide quest opportunities [...] Both of these tourist roles sound fun. I can imagine creating a recurring dilettante NPC who begins by simply asking for stories (and paying for mementos), proceeds to suggest increasingly challenging quests or dares, and finally asks to come along on an absurdly dangerous journey.
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Imagine the fun with a dilettante monster slayer using the PCs as 'Guides' and they have to keep him from getting killed while making him look good so he comes back with a trophy and great stories.
I think "The Adventures of Mr. Azure Blue" would make for a great campaign premise! The party would be assembled not in response to rumors of treasure or a call for adventurers to undertake a quest, nor to battle Evil, nor to escort a caravan, nor for any other reason that has become "traditional" in hack 'n slash. Rather, it would be hired by a wealthy incompetent whose idea of fun is to see real dragons and run around with a loaded crossbow, pretending to be the great hunter.

This would make every encounter, however harmless to 250-point heroes, a little trickier – especially if Mr. Blue's only talents aside from being extraordinarily rich and well-connected in town were being Indomitable and Unfazeable. He would insist on being in charge, and his survival would be essential to mission success. The delvers would require an unusual set of abilities, and the players would have to develop unorthodox operating procedures.

It would also be fun to motivate players not with loot but with large, guaranteed payoffs in town after each quest ("Exhilarating, hey, wot? Bonuses, I say – bonuses for all, paid in gold! Now this next quest involves something called a lick or lech or some such thing – a dry old skeleton, anyway, so how hard could it be? But this Forbidden Tome thingy . . . well, I want it as a centerpiece for my library."). Their patron could even loan them powerful gear ("Before we head to the Tombs of the Restless Horde, does anyone want the Holy Sword of Ultimate Undead Slaying. 'Twas my great-grand uncle's, but I find it ugly and far too clumsy for me."). It would be an amusing change of pace.
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Old 04-09-2018, 09:07 AM   #32
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Setting: Caverntown

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I'd put the zenith of the cavern ceiling – above Town Square – at between 1,400 and 1,500 yards.
That actually means the walls at the edge of the cavern aren't meeting the floor at a terribly acute angle, all things considered. Taking an aggressive height of 1400 yards, the slope at the edge at PC height is roughly 1' horizontal to 6' vertical.

It also means the Giants being 10' wide look... spindly. Even upgrading them to 10 yards wide they look frail to my eyes. I know they're magically strong so there's no realism concerns, it's just... they visually get drowned out by the size of the cavern.

Fortunately 3D being the forgiving medium that it is, I should be able to make two versions of the model, one with 10' pillars and one with stout ones with stouter ones and a note with how wide they end up.

I'm debating between making the Barricade walls a magically fortified 100' tall or a "tall but historical" 40'. After a certain point (you want it for fending off ground bound and giant critters), the wall feels a little futile because of the problem of flight.
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Old 04-09-2018, 09:58 AM   #33
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Setting: Caverntown

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That actually means the walls at the edge of the cavern aren't meeting the floor at a terribly acute angle
Nope. But knowing how gamers like to analyze things, I wasn't going to say anything but "acute angle." ;)

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It also means the Giants being 10' wide look... spindly.
That's intended! The idea is that the Eight Titans are totally fantastic and beyond any sensible explanation. That's why I draw attention to the fact that "Where The Shaft fills most of a block, the Eight Titans are only 10' thick," and go on to note that "The pillars themselves are effectively indestructible." It may help to think of them as Essential Stone, which means they have 3× the HP . . . which in turn means 27 times the mass . . . which for fixed length means 27 times the cross-sectional area and thus 5.2 times the diameter. So they'd need to be 17+ yards thick if they were natural.

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they visually get drowned out by the size of the cavern.
Also intended. The idea is that you can see most everything from The Shaft. I didn't want huge blind spots, geometrically or aesthetically (i.e., cluttering up the vista).

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I'm debating between making the Barricade walls a magically fortified 100' tall or a "tall but historical" 40'. After a certain point (you want it for fending off ground bound and giant critters), the wall feels a little futile because of the problem of flight.
It's "one Climbing roll tall," so canonically no more than 60' tall (per p. B349, a 60' vertical stone wall would take even a fast climber 300 seconds, or five minutes, and thus demand a second Climbing roll). The biggest standard ground-pounding monsters – and thus the ones people who build walls would know and care about – have SM +5 and therefore a maximum extent of around 45' all stretched out. A wall significantly taller than this is unlikely to be worth the trouble, especially as flight really does make that pointless (which probably helps to explain why the Mayor is obsessed with bigger and better crossbows and scorpions). So I'd peg height at between 45' and 60'.
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Old 04-09-2018, 10:37 AM   #34
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Setting: Caverntown

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It would also be fun to motivate players not with loot but with large, guaranteed payoffs in town after each quest ("Exhilarating, hey, wot? Bonuses, I say – bonuses for all, paid in gold! Now this next quest involves something called a lick or lech or some such thing – a dry old skeleton, anyway, so how hard could it be? But this Forbidden Tome thingy . . . well, I want it as a centerpiece for my library."). Their patron could even loan them powerful gear ("Before we head to the Tombs of the Restless Horde, does anyone want the Holy Sword of Ultimate Undead Slaying. 'Twas my great-grand uncle's, but I find it ugly and far too clumsy for me."). It would be an amusing change of pace.
Now that's a GMPC concept I can get behind!
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Old 04-09-2018, 10:44 AM   #35
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Setting: Caverntown

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It would also be fun to motivate players not with loot but with large, guaranteed payoffs in town after each quest ("Exhilarating, hey, wot? Bonuses, I say – bonuses for all, paid in gold! Now this next quest involves something called a lick or lech or some such thing – a dry old skeleton, anyway, so how hard could it be? But this Forbidden Tome thingy . . . well, I want it as a centerpiece for my library."). Their patron could even loan them powerful gear ("Before we head to the Tombs of the Restless Horde, does anyone want the Holy Sword of Ultimate Undead Slaying. 'Twas my great-grand uncle's, but I find it ugly and far too clumsy for me."). It would be an amusing change of pace.
Fundamentally, this is the premise of Hall of Judgment/Lost Hall of Tyr. There's something that is extremely valuable to one group of people - the priesthood of the God of Law and War - that is effectively worthless to others. They want it, and for Reasons, don't have the wherewithal to get it themselves.[1]

It also echoes the basic premise of one of The Deed of Paksenarrion books (I read it as a compilation, so I don't know the individual book titles): go on a long, perilous journey to obtain a relic that brings you closer to God.

For medieval, or even faux-medieval, societies where communing with the divine is accessible but not routine, this would be a big deal.

It also helps answer the question of "so . . . we're supposed to get the +5 sword of awesome . . . let's keep it."
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Old 04-09-2018, 10:53 AM   #36
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Setting: Caverntown

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Now that's a GMPC concept I can get behind!
A permanent NPC party member who mostly serves to make the PCs look good and, if they succeed, get rich is probably unlikely to cause problems.

(Well, unless the NPC gets so annoying that somebody knifes him.)

Still, I rather like the idea of a rich, well-connected, and outgoing NPC who's utterly incompetent at all delving tasks save for succeeding at Fright Checks ("Why are you all standing there? It's just some sort of portal with a big squid oozing through."). Especially if that NPC is a bottomless source of quests (a result of "well-connected," not skill) and random heirlooms of considerable power (see "rich"). Bonus points if – after a dozen quests – said NPC happens to mention the dungeon in the basement of the family mansion, doubtless horribly dangerous and filled with 101 reasons why his dead ancestors needed those heirlooms ("Bother, my map dealer is away for the month. I suppose we could go take a look at the boring old dungeon in the cellar.").
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Old 04-09-2018, 10:57 AM   #37
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Setting: Caverntown

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Fundamentally, this is the premise of Hall of Judgment/Lost Hall of Tyr.
Do the PCs actually have to undertake a career of dragging along and protecting an NPC who pays huge rewards between adventures but who's a huge resource soak on adventures? That's the fun part: The idea that you have to protect someone who can't just "take a few hits," survive area damage, climb, sneak, resist spells, or in fact do anything but be a target . . . yet who insists on wading in. And if that person dies, there goes your paycheck, plus you'll probably be criminals in town after that because you can't prove it wasn't you who killed him. That would be quite the mission in itself!
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Old 04-09-2018, 11:00 AM   #38
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Setting: Caverntown

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Bonus points if – after a dozen quests – said NPC happens to mention the dungeon in the basement of the family mansion, doubtless horribly dangerous and filled with 101 reasons why his dead ancestors needed those heirlooms ("Bother, my map dealer is away for the month. I suppose we could go take a look at the boring old dungeon in the cellar.").
*reduced to tears laughing* Evil twist if the PCs started selling off the heirlooms for cash-money: They're all needed to tackle the Big Bad - to get to the big bad, to defend from some horrible weapon, to crack some impossible defense, to match it in mobility, whatever.
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Old 04-09-2018, 11:01 AM   #39
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Setting: Caverntown

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Do the PCs actually have to undertake a career of dragging along and protecting an NPC who pays huge rewards between adventures but who's a huge resource soak on adventures?
This is what CRPGs call an 'escort quest' and most gamers hate them with a burning passion. I doubt it would be any more popular in a tabletop game.
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Old 04-09-2018, 11:12 AM   #40
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Setting: Caverntown

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Do the PCs actually have to undertake a career of dragging along and protecting an NPC who pays huge rewards between adventures but who's a huge resource soak on adventures? That's the fun part: The idea that you have to protect someone who can't just "take a few hits," survive area damage, climb, sneak, resist spells, or in fact do anything but be a target . . . yet who insists on wading in. And if that person dies, there goes your paycheck, plus you'll probably be criminals in town after that because you can't prove it wasn't you who killed him. That would be quite the mission in itself!
No . . . but they could. Hmmm.
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