Friday, April 22, 2016

Review: Dungeon Fantasy 6: 40 Artifacts

40 Artifacts
Treasures, right? We like things that we can find, right? That's what this book is for. It's kinda half and half for me, I like the items, I like the principle, but I take issue with a few things. If I had to describe my words for this book in a one word sentence, it would be, "Somewhat?" Let's take a closer look.

Table of Contents


This book is first and foremost a catalog of items. It devotes 6 pages to armor, 5 to weapons, 2 to tools, and 5 to consumables. Besides that, we have a 2 page introduction, and a 1 page index.
Each item is given an interesting description, a suggestion for background origin, and a list of variations. Each of the items typically defies the mechanics of normal GURPS rules, so they usually feel pretty unique, and the variations listed with each item provide a way for calibrating to different power levels if the item is too strong or too weak for your power level.
But, here is the rub, there is no metric for gauging the efficacy of an item to the power level of a party, and for someone like me, that can lead to a type of analysis paralysis. Can I give a party member Mauukepu's Mask? Is it potentially too weak? Will the game fall apart now that someone has an unbeknownst to myself, game-breaking item? If it is game breaking, will it feel contrived if I come up with a scenario to remove it?
The introduction is especially long compared to many books and serves as some rudimentary guidance, but I think it could have been longer. It is almost superfluous in application as almost all the information it describes is nearly in plain sight for the reader. I did like the What's in a Name? aside though. 
When it comes down to it though, it is probably a clash of what type of materials I enjoy reading and the type of book this is. It is a straight catalog of data with no rules, very little guidance, and a smidgen of background. All 40 items are really cool, but I'd personally prefer a primer on creating interesting items (hence why I like the What's in a Name? aside, probably) you know? Teach a friend to fish instead?
Interested to hear other opinions though!

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