Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Review: Dungeon Fantasy 13: Loadouts

Flamethrower Guy and
Monk Swordsman. The friend
in the middle remains
This book is a surprise to me. I bought it just to finish out the series, but it happened to be extremely valuable. I didn't really think that cataloged lists of equipment could be so fr*cking useful, but it is just that useful. Dungeon Fantasy 13: Loadouts is a great timesaver for GMs trying to introduce players to GURPS that might be bogged down in analysis paralysis when looking at staggering lists of advantages, disadvantages, and skills, much less, equipment, and whatever else might be thrown at the players. It's hard for me to put to words how good this book is, but d*ng it, I'll try!


This book is 54 pages, with the obligatory 3 page pre-amble, and single page index and an ad to buy more books, giving us 49 pages of content. Well, realistically speaking, chapter 2 is a long abbreviation of chapter 1 meant to be used as printouts to give to players, so as fun and useful as that might be, it's something of a 24 page re-run. That might be an unfair way to describe it though, it's more like a very verbose index, that is formatted for printing.
The book is absolutely all content. Even asides are more content. In a way, you could also say the book is a type of guidance, for the players at least, so they can have a real good idea of what properly equipped for dungeon delving might be, and which classes benefit from levels of wealth or traded points. There's no fluff at all.
The book is organized just about as well as it possibly could be, with the 16 main templates having their loadouts listed in alphabetical order. The only *minor* qualm I have is that a lot of interesting equipment and items are introduced in this book, but in asides that make referencing difficult. All pull-quotes and art are especially appropriate, with no glaring flaws in that department. One small caveat is that this book heavily relies on other existing volumes to fully take advantage of it, specifically, it recommends Dungeon Fantasy 1 and 8 as they introduce the majority of templates and equipment, but this book has loadouts for all lenses and occupational templates in the mainline to date, and is enhanced further with volumes 3,4,7,9,10,12 (In descending order of importance in my opinion, 4,9,10,12 first, then 3 and 7.)
Let's dive in.


The first chapter starts with a guide to reading the loadouts. With some great foresight, the precalculated packages all include precalculated weights and costs for size modifiers. Before digging into the "main" templates, we are given some generic necessity loadouts everyone needs, camping supply, food, water, etc. with an economy and deluxe option. Also, a generic "Group Kit" with some necessities that all groups need, but don't need N copies of.
When we reach the main templates there is a loadout for each lens, even though I don't think some of them are technically lenses? Remember how when a template is introduced it gives advice on some building options to focus talents to a particular goal? Each of those headings is prescribed a singular loadout. Some martial classes have sub-loadouts for particular weapon choices. For example, the Barbarian has a choice between a Light Barbarian and Heavy Barbarian loadout, but then has a bunch of weapon packages like Broadsword,  Polearm, etc. Especially interesting is the huge section for clerics owing to all the (real?) lenses introduced in Dungeon Fantasy 7 and the evil lenses introduced in Dungeon Fantasy 3. No corners are cut.
If I had to fish for a complaint (besides the one about all the interesting equipment being mixed in throughout the asides) it's that the (necessarily?) brief entries are detail terse, and only have a page reference for some information. They tend to have the utmost critical details (weight and equipment stats) on the page, but enough was missing that I had to routinely make round trips to find stuff.

Dungeon Fantasy Equipment Sheets

I may have sold these a bit short earlier, but that's because I hate killing trees. There is nothing wrong with the concept of these printable sheets. They are, in fact, formatted excellently for all concerns, (all classes are on their own pages, the group loadout has checkmarks to assign bits of it to each delver, a very usable notes section) but I just don't need it. If you like the idea of doing worksheets in a group, I bet it's pretty fun, but I hate printing things that I can try not to print.

Other Thoughts

I am very surprised by how useful this book is, and kinda wish I bought it sooner. It's such a straightforward thing, but the time it saves can't be understated. It almost feels like it was a missing element of the original templates when I look at them now, they are so useful.

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