Thursday, March 22, 2018

Review: Pyramid #3/113 Dungeon Fantasies

Take A look if you want.
The newest pyramid out today is a Dungeon Fantasy issue. This is an impromptu review because I'm on vacation right now, but whatever. Let's see if this issue is good or not then.


Table of contents
This is a typical 36 page issue of Pyramid, and the obvious theme is Dungeon Fantasy. By default, they are geared down for Dungeon Fantasy RPG, but most include notes where need be to convert them to GURPS proper. There are five articles, the random thought table editorial, and an Odds and Ends section with a few extra tidbits. The art is borrowed from the art recently commissioned for the DFRPG books; it's good art, but it feels weirdly miserly to see the same pieces recycled repeatedly. On a positive note, I like that the issue continues the pattern of using thoughts from DFRPG's previously established NPCs for asides, though I like well place popular culture references as well.

Five Easy Pieces

This article from Sean Punch is a build-a-bear approach to building Dungeon Fantasy characters. It would not be 100% correct to say this is a complete retread of existing material, but I feel like this article is basically a diet version of the earlier Pointless Slaying and Looting in Alternate Dungeons. This version is tailored more to DFRPG, but has notes for retrofitting to GURPS. For those without that issue, this article include some mix and match templates to put together some more custom fit characters. Altogether, this article isn't bad, it's just that there is a better, deeper, and more content rich system that does everything this does, so it feels kinda weird to see this.

Simple Spell Components

As the title of this article makes no secret, Peter V. Dell'Orto takes the idea of material components and applies them to GURPS. Considering its titular simplicity, it uses two pages effectively to cover everything it needs to, and a bit more; I enjoy the examples at the end.

Monsters as Treasures

The eidetic memory feature by David L. Pulver, and probably among the most interesting articles in the issue is, as the title suggests, a list of monsters that typically curate valuable treasure or are treasure themselves. The monsters all have novel applications of mechanics that make this much better than just another monster listing, and the asides speaking to their practical value can inspire new adventures and purpose. Includes seven monsters.

All Wet

A catalog of sea monsters by Charles Saegar. A huge list of monsters of various power levels. Not as interesting as the previous article, but sea monsters are something I've been hurting for, so I'll take it.

Designer's Notes - Dungeon Fantasy Traps

The director's commentary of the Dungeon Fantasy Traps book. The commentary is very light and fluffy, maybe the writing of the book had no especial difficulties to speak to, but whatever. Interestingly, the article includes a lot of new traps, a (weak, but thematic) monster, and a very cool new spell.

Random Thought Table - Can You Spell Thrills With No Hill?

The regular editorial feature by Steven Marsh is an exploration of how the subjectively important element of crescendo can feel lacking in some dungeon diving games and some thoughts with dealing with that. Thoughtful, but notably, it does not end with a definitive solution. That doesn't particularly bother me though; I always see these articles as take it or leave it things. An entertaining read.

Odds and Ends

Two lists; the first, a list of things to add to an encounter to give it a bit more texture. The second, a list of random interesting but not especially valuable treasures.


One great feature, two good ones, a so-so one, and a disappointing one. There are better Dungeon Fantasy issues for sure, and not a lot worse than this.


  1. Thanks for the review! Enjoyed reading it.

  2. Thanks for reviewing the issue and the kind words about my article.


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