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Old 04-24-2018, 07:41 AM   #71
Kromm
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Setting: Caverntown

Oh, and yes, the intent is that it costs more to work on something with an ungodly high CF than to work on the same basic item without – that is, if you want your item to come back with its modifiers intact. If you don't mind the craftsperson messing up the balance, damaging the materials that make the thing fine, chipping off the gold, etc., you can get the work done for less. You'll also lose all modifiers you didn't include in the price calculation for the work. So if you're okay with your bow coming back as a plain old composite bow but with the ST you want, feel free to pay $90.
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Old 07-20-2018, 04:21 AM   #72
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Setting: Caverntown

I got it the other day and just finished reading it. Love it! I see adventure everywhere when I read it. The thing with tourists joining experienced and battle-scarred delvers and ending up in trouble deep in the dungeon, full of Elder Things and goo... made me all giggly. A nice twist would be that later it turns out that one of the tourists is a royal family member, spelling big trouble for the delvers if everyone does not returns well and alive.
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Old 07-20-2018, 07:06 AM   #73
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Setting: Caverntown

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I got it the other day and just finished reading it. Love it!
Thank you!

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I see adventure everywhere when I read it.
I must confess that this item is four pages longer than its first draft because I added 3,000+ words of adventure ideas that occurred to me later . . . Not the big, obvious adventure seeds on p. 12 and pp. 33-35, but the little hints shoehorned in all over the place.

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The thing with tourists joining experienced and battle-scarred delvers and ending up in trouble deep in the dungeon, full of Elder Things and goo... made me all giggly.
"Escorting the silly tourists" is the one I'd most like to play, were somebody running a game with me as a player rather than GM. :)

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A nice twist would be that later it turns out that one of the tourists is a royal family member, spelling big trouble for the delvers if everyone does not returns well and alive.
Keeping the tourists alive is the beating heart of such an adventure (or side-quest, if the adventure has other, more-serious objectives) . . . and the GM needs some way to make that important. Making a tourist a royal is one. Other options include having a tourist be an influential Hospitality Guild member preparing a travel guide for other insane tourists, a fantastically wealthy person who will pay outrageously if they survive (if they don't survive, the family may bribe the officials to treat it as murder, take the money and run, or hire assassins), or a formerly competent but now nearly invalid ex-delver who wants one last look at "the life" (and who promises a map to some serious treasure upon returning afterward).

For fun plot twists, make one of the tourists (not necessarily the same one, if there are several) a monster in disguise who wants to be escorted back home – or even an avatar of a god testing the heroes' resolve to protect the weak!

It could be interesting to have one tourist per delver, each with a twist:
  • The knight's charge is most straightforward: a member of the King's family who wants to play hero. This fop loves to give orders and brandish a sword he can't use properly. He's also a menace with a crossbow – a menace to the PCs, that is. Keep him alive and you get rich, and maybe even earn a Reputation; lose him and you lose your head.

  • The cleric's responsibility is a devout but otherwise ordinary person who has decided to face hardship as penance for their sins. They're really an avatar of the priest's god, testing the cleric's (and perhaps the whole group's) devotion to protecting the weak. This tourist can't actually die, but if a mortal in their place would have perished, there may be consequences – at least for the cleric. Doing well might earn a blessing.

  • The thief's albatross is a Hospitality Guild official preparing a travel guide. Specifically, it's Mala Badapple, who runs the Adventurers' Guild's official tavern. She's the sister of Scrump, master of the Adventurers' Guild. Scrump takes family seriously, and will put a hit out on the party if they lose his sister. But doing well means free lodgings for life in Caverntown, and maybe even the favor of Scrump.

  • The wizard is stuck with a sage who paid the Wizards' Guild handsomely for an armed escort while they work on an illustrated guide to monsters. This person is actually a shapeshifted monster seeking safe passage home. The Guild is ostensibly interested in the research . . . but given they're powerful wizards, it's a safe bet they know the truth. If the heroes discover it, the Guild might make them an offer they can't refuse, because if they say "no," the Guild will let Cavertown's officials learn the delvers escorted a monster spy.

  • The barbarian has to protect a wizened tribe member. In their day, 100 years ago, they were among the greatest of warriors; now they can barely walk. This elder simply wants to live the delving life one last time, and claims to know the secret of a great treasure. The trick is keeping them alive to talk about it . . . especially as they aren't right in the head, and tend to think they're 18 again.
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Old 07-17-2020, 11:22 PM   #74
Evil Roy Slade
 
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Setting: Caverntown

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Assuming the rough default of a 1.25mi (2km) on a side space for Caverntown, and not fiddling with the ratio of height to x-y dimensions, how high is the dome ceiling of the cavern?
I'm noodling around with making a model of caverntown in Blender, but PCs will inevitably want to fly or unleash a giant flying monster or both. How much clearance over houses and how high you can get and make guards/PCs get big range penalties to hit you is interesting (And as always, falling damage! PCs will find a way to take falling damage even on the arctic tundra. True story).

Height also indirectly controls how tall the buildings are going to get. If e.g. the ceiling is 30', and people have a roof patio, they're never getting more than 2 floors (including ground floor, not counting on top the roof) "above ground" and you'll not have a lot of space to maneuver over parapets and any roof-top gazebos. It will also cramp the style of the druids trees.

If the ceiling is 600' you can get some classy aerial dogfights going, and PCs make a satisfying splat noise if they fall.

Side note: The stairs to the surface around the shaft seem to be about 60-odd flights [1], so presuming a 10' rise per flight, the ceiling isn't 600 feet. But that's still an awe-inspiring mental picture.

[1] Someone with a move of 7 and a high enough HT or Running that they didn't have to make significant rest stops can run the steps up the shaft in about 7m 9s. The winner of the Empire State Building stair climb did 86 flights of stairs in 10m 16s, let's say he's our Move 7/healthy runner. That suggests the steps are ~60.5 flights of stairs. Unless I have my math wrong, which I could. It might be 390' instead of 600 ft.
My sporadic DF game is in progress again (online for Covid-19 reasons) and the players may soon be at Caverntown, which prompted me to pull the PDF out again and reread it.

It is still great, and while I know the reasons for a certain looseness of dimension here (as in the Where’s The Map text box), I keep coming back to the height. The section on The Shaft tells us that climbing the steps “involves a 25-minute walk or 50/Move minutes at a run” which seems well and good, except that it is hard to reconcile with the heights we hear. A reasonably brisk delver (the ninja in my current group) would be up in seven minutes or so, and she is no speed demon.

My gaming group is in southern Ontario and we have all ascended the CN Tower at one point or another. I daresay it is our basic shared referent for A Tall Thing. Each year there is a charity run up the stairs: the world record is slightly under eight minutes, and a more typical pace is 30-40 minutes. These are pretty much in line with The Shaft stairs figures: trouble is, the observation deck on the CN Tower is an even 374 yards up, or almost exactly one-quarter the figures we are working with in this thread with Kromm’s mention of “I'd put the zenith of the cavern ceiling – above Town Square – at between 1,400 and 1,500 yards.” It’s going to be a hard sell for verisimilitude for my players when the basic figures seem to be off by a factor of four.

Am I missing something*?

*Besides joie de vivre, obviously.

Last edited by Evil Roy Slade; 07-17-2020 at 11:38 PM. Reason: “In” and “on” are two different words.
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Old 07-18-2020, 05:37 AM   #75
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Setting: Caverntown

This is heroic fantasy, not real life. Heroes just about always have enough HT and FP that, were we caring about them getting tired, they could run 1,400 to 1,500 yards.

That makes the base time 1,400/Move to 1,500/Move seconds, which is 23/Move to 25/Move minutes. But: stairs. You move up by moving forward, and even the rules in full-on GURPS ignore Pythagoras; per p. B387, it's "Stairs (up or down): +1 movement point per hex." That doubles the time to 46/Move to 50/Move minutes . . . assuming no breaks. That's where 50/Move comes from.

Is that plausible? Well, a Move 5 runner (average person, or fast adventurer in armor) could do it at a Move 6 sprint (33 HT rolls) or Move 3 paced run (16 HT rolls). Even wheezy heroes have HT 11 (costs 12 FP or 6 FP), and most have HT 12+ (costs 8 or fewer FP or 4 or fewer FP), so rather than require lots of rolls, I assumed something between those paces and decided not to worry about HT rolls or FP costs.

As for a walk, GURPS assumes a slow walk is Move 1 and a brisk walk but not a run is Move 2, so the 25-minute figure is just 50/2 = 25 in the above formula.

Note that GURPS doesn't assess special FP costs for stair-climbing at any pace. The "extra cost" comes in through the extra distance (doubled!) and thus extra time (also doubled!). Hiking costs a few FP per hour, so fatigue just won't be an issue here.
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Old 07-20-2020, 06:04 PM   #76
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Setting: Caverntown

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Note that GURPS doesn't assess special FP costs for stair-climbing at any pace. The "extra cost" comes in through the extra distance (doubled!) and thus extra time (also doubled!). Hiking costs a few FP per hour, so fatigue just won't be an issue here.
This is, I suppose, the heart of it: though GURPS is plenty robust, I am not sure anyone at any stage from 1986 onward has given much thought to how well the mechanics capture the situation when a character is running up essentially a mile of vertical staircase. With all due respect to your calculations, I think I will go for something more plausible, heroic fantasy or no.
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