Wednesday, August 30, 2017

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy To Dungeon Fantasy RPG - Which Books are Useful across the lines?

Dungeon Fantasy RPG is a streamlining of an already existing product: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy. A lot of the rules are 1:1 compatible in one or the other, but some things in the new books might be considered somewhat redundant for users of the original, and likewise, some of the books from the original series might depend on some mechanics that aren't explicitly covered by Dungeon Fantasy RPG out of the box. This is a simple comparison of what materials between the two lines are immediately useful to the other. I'd like to note that some resources that I subjectively call redundant, might not truly be redundant. Sometimes there are a few small features that differentiate one from the other, and sometimes, nice, full-color, hardcover books are a luxury that's worth the money innate of itself.

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy to Dungeon Fantasy RPG

To clarify, the below table is a list of original books, and how useful they are for someone who is approaching them from the angle of someone that is more experienced with Dungeon Fantasy RPG than GURPS.

Dungeon Fantasy 1GURPS Basic Set, GURPS MagicYesThis is mostly subsumed by the content in Dungeon Fantasy Adventurers and Dungeon Fantasy Magic Items
Dungeon Fantasy 2GURPS Basic SetYesThis is mostly subsumed by the content in Dungeon Fantasy Exploits and Dungeon Fantasy Monsters
Dungeon Fantasy 3Almost NoneSomeThe racial templates in Dungeon Fantasy Adventurers come from here, but this book has more races, some cross-training lenses (Multiclassing), and a handful of Power-Ups. It also includes rules for making evil versions of the Cleric and Holy Warrior.
Dungeon Fantasy 4GURPS Basic SetVery LittleThis is a book for two advanced occupational templates. Using the Artificer benefits from (but doesn't absolutely require) having either a large equipment catalog and/or a rules system for pricing out "gadget advantages" which requires mechanics not native to Dungeon Fantasy. One of the Scholar's most important abilities, Book Learned Wisdom is built with a complex application of said mechanics, but it is not necessary to understand them to use them.
Dungeon Fantasy 5GURPS Basic Set, GURPS MagicNoThis is a book of allies, pets, familiars, etc. The Ally advantage is explained in detail in Basic Set, but doesn't exist in Dungeon Fantasy by itself. With a little help from someone with the Basic Set, the book is pretty easy to use. The most complex mechanic here is the Alternate Form and druidic transformation spells, which are covered in the Basic Set and Magic respectively, but are, overall, a minor part of the book's contents... unless you really care a lot for your druid players.
Dungeon Fantasy 6NoneNo40 High tier treasures to scatter about your campaigns
Dungeon Fantasy 7GURPS Basic Set, GURPS Magic, Dungeon Fantasy 3NoThis book has several variations on the Cleric template with special custom spell lists for clerics that worship gods of specific domains. Some of the included spells are likely to only be included in GURPS Magic (but correct me if I'm wrong)
Dungeon Fantasy 8Dungeon Fantasy 1, 4, 6, 7, GURPS MagicNoThis book has a few callbacks to items in earlier Dungeon Fantasy books, but strictly speaking, the book is usable without them. They are mostly important if you want to roll for random treasure, which (opinion alert) I would never recommend except for giggles and kicks.
Dungeon Fantasy 9GURPS Basic Set, GURPS MagicNoThis is a book of advanced spellcaster occupation templates, built around the theme of having several allies and unusual spell lists. The Ally advantage depends on the Basic Set, and the obscure spell lists (probably) depend on access to GURPS Magic.
Dungeon Fantasy 10NoneNoMostly a guide for making trips to town slightly more engaging; includes a new template for a mundane jack-of-all-trades social character, the Innkeeper which mostly seems to stick to abilities contained in Dungeon Fantasy already.
Dungeon Fantasy 11NoneSomeA few of the abilities here are used in Dungeon Fantasy - Adventurers, but a vast majority of these will be new.
Dungeon Fantasy 12NoneNoEquipment and ability catalogs for two new templates for rogue-ish characters.
Dungeon Fantasy 13See NotesNoThere is a conversion guide for these already, but the original book is useful if using the extra optional rules from Dungeon Fantasy 3 that have more changes to armor and weapons for very big or small PC races. This book is more useful the more occupational template books you have (DF 1, 4, 7, 9, 12)
Dungeon Fantasy 14See NotesNoThis book includes a new PC occupational template that involves more complex mechanics and customization than Dungeon Fantasy RPG contains by default. It is best served by having at least GURPS Basic Set - Characters and GURPS Powers to have resources to develop lots of new custom abilities.
Dungeon Fantasy 15GURPS Basic SetNoThis book contains allies that can be hired for money, but are also tailored for taking with the Ally advantage. For the most part, that advantage is explained well enough here that you don't need the Basic Set unless you want to do some more complex modifications. The templates are also made to be used for players or GMs who want to play or run lower powered games.
Dungeon Fantasy 16Almost NoneA little bitMostly a bunch of extra rules for making travelling more interesting and detailed, or guidance for running some mostly outdoors adventures.
Dungeon Fantasy 17GURPS Basic SetNoThis book uses a lot of social advantages that are downplayed in Dungeon Fantasy, but they are mostly repurposed in various ways, and that is explained in this book, such that GURPS Basic Set is probably not critical to using this book.
Dungeon Fantasy 18NoneSomeExtra rules for Power Items
Dungeon Fantasy 19NoneNoNew Occupational Template for a more flexible, advanced magic system.
Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 1NoneMostly(Almost?) All monsters in this book are included in Dungeon Fantasy - Monsters, but there are a few things here and there that could be useful, particularly, the monster prefixes section which gives some advice for "remixing" monsters, but there's helpful bits here and there like optional allies or racial templates.
Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2NoneMostly(Almost?) All monsters in this book are included in Dungeon Fantasy - Monsters.
Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 3NoneNoAll Unique new monsters
Dungeon Fantasy Treasure 1NoneNo
Dungeon Fantasy Treasure 2NoneNo
Dungeon Fantasy Adventure 1NoneNo

Dungeon Fantasy RPG to GURPS Dungeon Fantasy

The following table are my opinions on how useful the new material might be in a game based mostly on the original GURPS based material.

Book or SupplementRedundantComments
Dungeon Fantasy - AdventuresYesThe templates are slightly streamlined and reorganized, but most of the information is a restatement of Basic Set - Characters, Dungeon Fantasy 1, and parts of Dungeon Fantasy 3 and 11.
Dungeon Fantasy - ExploitsMostlyA few of the rules have been simplified, but this is mostly a streamlining of Basic Set - Campaigns, Dungeon Fantasy 2, and a few optional rules from various sources over GURPS 4e's long lifetime.
Dungeon Fantasy - MonstersMostlyFor the most part, this is a restatement of the monsters from Dungeon Fantasy 2, Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 1, and Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2. Some of the advantages and disadvantages that were excluded from Dungeon Fantasy - Adventurers because they were considered irrelevant are instead stated here. There are a few unique monsters.
Dungeon Fantasy - SpellsSomeThis is an optimization of the original GURPS Magic focusing on the spells that are more appropriate for Dungeon Fantasy. Although the spells are mostly familiar, the prereq trees have been streamlined and several have been rebalanced for more appropriate costs.
Dungeon Fantasy - Dungeon: I Smell a RatNoA completely new adventure
Dungeon Fantasy - Dungeon: Against the Rat-MenNoA completely new adventure
Dungeon Fantasy - Magic ItemsSomeMost of the items in this catalog can be easily reproduced by using the rules in Dungeon Fantasy 1, and the enchantment energies listed in GURPS Magic. That said, there are a few unique mechanics introduced, and a few special items a la the 40 Artifacts book. Further, the prices are carefully rebalanced, so a few very powerful, very cheap items have a much better price.
Dungeon Fantasy - TrapsA LittleThis catalog of traps is mostly unique, and is similar to the format used in the It's a Trap! Pyramid article.

Other Thoughts and Conclusion

Whether or not a book or supplement is redundant is not the only thing to consider, however. The publishing and editing of the new books are, for the most part much more user friendly, and if you have an interest in introducing players or GMs to GURPS, the Dungeon Fantasy RPG is a nice way to do it. And, also, I'd like to reiterate that the redundant column is not entirely objective. There is not one book in either set that is completely without unique value.
I'd also like to clarify the Dependencies column is more like a "required prior reading" column. For example, most of the books build on previous installments, and almost all of them technically depend on fundamentals from The GURPS Basic Set, but a lot of them don't in a capacity that matters, in my opinion. Those that do, I called out. 

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