I love the Pyramid Magazine and I’m still saddened that it is no longer published on a monthly basis in PDF. Pyramid Magazine in its third incarnation gave us ten years of monthly GURPS updates and ideas. I would like nothing better to have them all printed out and placed on my nerd shelf but the avearge cost of getting them printed as individual magazines from PoD (Print on Demand) services is about £7.50 a copy. With 122 issues of Pyramid I think £915 is a bit out of my price range. Now I could take some pdf editing software, split them up, combine them, remove the adverts and make say make 18-20 volumes and have them printed in a hardcover it would still probably cost me a couple hundred £££.
Good thing I’m an amature bookbinder then. However almost anyone can do this at home with just a few bits of equipment that won’t break the bank. Now a couple of years ago I purchased an EPSON Eco Tank ET-7750 inkjet printer. It was fairly expensive but they promised that the printer would consume less ink for the same quality. They were not lying. I’m still using the ink that came with the printer even after 3,403 colour prints and 378 black and white prints (many of these on A3 paper) I’m still using the ink that the printer came with.
It is best if you print in pairs so choose two issues you want to have physical copies (I’ll explain why latter). I choose Pyramid #3/104 and #3/108 as they are both Dungeon Fantasy related. I then grabbed 20 sheets of A3 paper and opened up #3/104 in Adobe Reader DC. Then select Print and under Page Sizing & Handling choose Booklet. For this I did Both Sides, Binding: Left. Then I went into Properties and made sure the paper source was being selected from the Rear Tray and it was set for A3 paper. Then print!
Making sure you follow the instructions for flipping and possible rotating the paper correctly so both sides are printed properly you will want to remove the covers for each magazine and put them together with the insides facing each other. In other words pages 2 and 39 facing each other and the covers on the outside.
Then using an appropriate sized Laminator, A3 in this case, place the two covers together in the laminating sheet carefully and put it through the machine. The reason to do them in pairs is so you laminate both covers together. This way only the outside of the magazine is laminated.
After you have laminated the covers let it cool and start folding your A3 paper in half. Make sure you are folding them the right direction. I go from the inside to the outside so I fold page 20 in towards page 21, set it aside and do the next one. Place the previous sheet inside the new sheet until you have them all folded and placed together.
Once that is done you are going to want a very sharp utility blade and a long metal ruler. Trim the laminated cover to the paper only. Do not trim into the paper itself. Once you have done all four sides the pages will separated and you are left with the cover being laminated but pages 2 and 39 still just regular paper.
Very carefully fold the cover in half and place the proper stacks inside of the covers.
Next you are going to need a Long Armed Stapler. You can get them cheap on Amazon and ebay. Measure up the middle of the magazine and set the backstop gauge. Then being careful that you have it measured correctly place the magazine inside, cover up and staple the magazines three times. Once in the middle, then one at either end.
The next step is to trim the magazine to size. Now I have a Stack Cutter but this can be done with a long metal ruler and sharp utility knife. Start at the Fore Edge, the side opposite of the spine, and trim it. Now I trimmed mine by 14mm as I measured the head of the book to the chapter graphic which is roughly 14 to 15 mm. If you don’t have a stack cutter or guillotine then make many small shallow cuts. After the Fore Edge is cut then cut the Head and Tail of the magazine. You will not be able to cut through all of it in one go. Keep your hand steady and away from the blade. I was originally going to trim one of them by hand but it is currently 34° C (94° F) and I don’t want to be dripping sweat on the paper. It is only inkjet printed and not water resistant.
If you think you can trim it before folding and stapling them together think again. When you fold stacks of paper in a booklet like this you get what is called Page Drift. So the pages in the centre stick out farther than the ones wrapped on the outside. After you fold and staple the magazine then you cut it so the edges are flush.
That is all there is to it. The printing took the longest time out of the entire process. Now I have two Pyramid magazines with a heavy laminated cover to use during gaming sessions. Or that is once this bloody pandemic is over and I can game in person again. This technique can be used for adventure modules as well as the new 10 page pdf bundles that SJG just released via Kickstarter. But I wouldn’t do this for anything over 50 pages, 60 might be a stretch. The more the pages the more page drift you will get and the harder it will be to staple through the book.
If you don’t have access to large paper and laminator you can do this on regular paper such as letter or A4, it is still readable, but just half the size
I hope this has been informative for you. If you have any questions please leave a comment. I do have plans on showing you how to print and bind your own GURPS books into either softcover or hardcover volumes in the future.
I went ahead to purchased the PoD GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Planner from Amazon for the express reason of writing a review. I’ve been fairly negative of SJG in the past few years with the lack of GURPS support (compared to previous years of releases) so I figured I’d put my money where my mouth is and purchase both the pdf and a physical copy of the book. I was going to show photographs of my filled out book but as my adventure with my group has been delayed I didn’t want to show spoilers or wait another few weeks to publish this post. So I wont’ be including those. I may update the post once they have gone through the adventure.
As I have stated in a few previous posts the Amazon PoD (Print on Demand) is much better than it was with the release of the first DFRPG (Dungeon Fantasy Role Playing Game) Companion 1. I’m almost tempted to purchase another Companion 1 to see if there is a difference in quality. For the purpose of the physical makeup of the book I would like the reader to know that I have had some professional training in traditional bookbinding for a few years (although all my courses have been put on hold due to the pandemic). To start out with my PoD was printed in Great Britain. It may vary in North America or where ever you are able to get your PoD from.
There is a crease that is 7mm from the spine. You should gently fold the cover over from the crease before opening the spine. Do this for the front and back cover. Then carefully open the book and turn the pages not from the spine but from the crease in the cover. This will ensure a longer life to your perfect bound book as it will put less stress on the adhesive spine.
What is a perfect bound book? A book binding in which a layer of adhesive holds the pages and cover together. I detest the term Perfect Bound as it is far from perfect. However perfect bound books do have a place on the market as they are cheap and fast to produce. The quality can range from horrible, as in it might last a couple of months. Or a proper hot melt adhesive that can take a bit of abuse.
The book is sized so it will fit inside your Dungeon Fantasy RPG box or on the shelf with your other DFRPG books including the Nordland Sagas. I personally appreciate the consistency. The cover is cardstock (soft cover) with a full colour cover that is consistent with GURPS 4e cover design. Again something that I appreciate. I might have a touch of OCD but then don’t we all in some way! You all have to have the light switches facing the same direction in your house don’t you?
The paper is approximately 90 gsm and takes both Graphite Pencil, Coloured Pencil, and ballpoint ben (bic) very well. Markers, artist pens, and such do tend to bleed through a bit.
Overall Design and Layout
The interior of the book is black and white with a few grey-scale pictures recycled from previous DFRPG books. This pictures are used to fill some blank areas and chosen well. Newly commissioned art would have driven the price of the book up. It consists of 48 pages of printed material and two blank sheets at the end which can be used anyway you would like. Now as for the Black and White. Take a look at the original Room Map page and what I propose be a change.
All the dark black writing lines and grids makes it difficult to see and read properly (at least for myself) unless you’re using a blue ballpoint pen. It is a minor issue but since they were able to print in grayscale for the images I would assume they could print grey for some of the lines as well. I do not know if this would have increased the book price as my experience is in binding books traditionally not printing books.
On page 2 and 3 is the overall Dungeon map followed by a Planning Form. The form is consistent with all SJG (Steve Jackson Games) forms whether spells and traps, or world building. Again I like the consistency in design. Book name and page numbers are given to help aid you in filling out the information. This is very good for new players and old. I myself am back from a hiatus of playing GURPS and I found this useful not only in reminding me where to find the information but also helping me write down little details I might have forgotten when writing my adventure digitally in Microsoft OneNote as I usually do.
Rooms & History of the Adventure
Page 4 is like a table of content for the 16 rooms that you can fit in this planner. Something I might not have thought of if I’m honest with myself. While the opposite page 5 is an overall history of the dungeon/adventure. Space is given for the Creator, original purpose, Current over (nice), and Important NPC’s. At the bottom of this page is an image from the SJG Cardboard Heroes Dragons. It is nice to have imagery to break up the monotony of text but I feel this space could have been better used with more lines for text. Just my personal preference.
Room/Encounter Description Page
Don’t expect enough room for three page descriptions. This is a single page with 1/3 given to Appearance/Description and the rest for details such as Encounter type, features, obstacles, etc. I wouldn’t call it sparse. I would call it efficient and just enough. Especially as they place the page numbers in Exploits to look up the rules. These two pages go from pages 6 & 7 until 36 & 37.
Supporting information and cast of characters
Pages 38-40 are Wandering Monsters and Random tables. Very useful!
Pages 41-43 are monster sheets. Either copy over monsters from Monsters 1 and Monsters 2 or create your own original monsters.
Pages 44 & 45 are dedicated to Trap forms
46+ is for notes.
There have been many complaints that the pdf version is not form fillable. Personally I understand the frustration. However at $2.95 USD I think expecting a fillable form on the pdf is a bit much to ask. You can get free pdf software which will allow you to edit and make the DF Planner a form filled pdf yourself. The advantages to just the pdf over print is you can add extra pages yourself for a larger adventure then just 16 Rooms/Encounters.
I originally purchased the planner solely for writing a review on it and to support my favorite game system. However it actually showed something to myself in the process of using it. First off that I’ve become too reliant on word processors and apps to run and plan my games. Secondly I really enjoyed hand drawing my maps and writing down my details. Less so writing down my details but that is because my handwriting has gotten rubbish over the last 20 years. Thirdly I now have something tangible that I helped create that won’t suffer internet connection problems or hard drive crashes.And fourthly I actually retained more of the information that I physically wrote down more than I do typing.
So is the physical planner worth the £7.31 PoD price tag? Yes and No is the only answer I can give you. Yes in that I personally enjoyed physically working on it. No in that a 48 room adventure would cost you £21.93 to write in. It is a fine balance. I do not for an instant regret purchasing the PoD. However given my skill level I can manipulate the pdf to add extra pages, renumber the pages, change it to a form fillable if needed, change the lines and grid to light grey, print it on short grained A3 paper, paginate it myself in to proper sections, sew and bind it into a hard cover book. And that might make a great multiple blog post project!
Hopefully once my party finishes this adventure I can share interior photos of my book. So I hope my review has been helpful!
Whether you are just starting, just getting back in after a long hiatus, or an experienced Game Master with twenty plus years under your belt of weekly gaming it is alway good to scrape a bit of rust off and polish up some ideas. I’m going to look at some of the websites and books I use to give me some inspiration and that push I often need when I feel burnt out.
It is painfully obvious that I’m not adept at writing or reviews. It is my hope to introduce the reader to resources they may not have come across before or remind them of stuff they may even have collecting dust in the back of their collection.
Made for 4th edition GURPS this book might make getting into GURPS much easier. I often loan out my copy to a player if they are having issues with the bulk of text and information from GURPS Characters. I really must get this on pdf as my physical copy is getting pretty battered. Like any of the books in the “For Dummies” range it breaks things down in a simple to follow explanation that just wouldn’t work for any RPG rule book as it just isn’t cost effective. This is a very good resource for new players and GM’s alike. Pages 207-370 is all about running your own GURPS game and creating your own world.
Although GURPS specific I would recommend any GM to read this as it offers plenty of advice that is integral to any role playing system. You might consider this an advanced version of “GURPS for Dummies”. EXTREMELY USEFUL is the best way to describe this book. I’m currently coming off of a six year hiatus of playing GURPS and I was shocked at how many rules and bits I had forgotten about just as a player. Sure the core rules were there but I was fuzzy on some of the optional stuff. How to be a GURPS GM is certainly giving me that, “Oh Yeah! I remember that!” moments. I’m currently a player in one game, and GM in four. As a player it is Dungeon Fantasy RPG, as GM it is DFRPG x2, DF, and Monster Hunters. Now although the DFRPG and DF are similar, my players in each group are vastly different. One group is hardcore combat and munchkin, where as the other group enjoys detailed roleplaying and social interactions. They have been known to go out of there way to avoid combat. How to be a GURPS GM certainly has helped dealing with these two different play styles (personally I’m in the middle spectrum between the two).
I still have a lot of refining to do so I often go back to How to be a GURPS GM for ideas and guidance.
Available from Warehouse 23 in softcover and pdf I suggest reading this after reading How to be a GURPS GM. This book assumes you already have some experience and is there to hone your edge. Once sharpened you will be able to trim the fat from your games and your GM style of play. Robin’s Laws is not GURPS specific and I really recommend everyone having a copy of it.
Dungeoneer’s Survival Guide
The Dungeoneer’s Survival Guide and Wilderness Survival Guide were written in 1986 for first edition AD&D. Although the rules concerning gaming are meant for 1E AD&D there is still plenty of advice and ideas between the covers. The first chapter “Overview” in each book are particularly useful for new game masters. The chapter on “The Underground Environment” in DSG gives plenty of ideas of the constant dangers the players need to be aware of other than the denizens that inhabit the underground. Air quality, cave-ins, choke points, and how water plays a big part underground. Properly used these suggestions will lend a new level of realism to your encounters.
The chapter “Improving Play” I would rate as a must read for any GMs planning an extensive underground adventure. This covers how to prepare for a dungeon exploration from equipment, information gathering, the use of beasts of burden, mapping, speed playing, etc.
For myself the information on “The Underground Environment” has been instrumental in shaping my current campaign world which takes place completely underground. This covers cultures, Geography in three dimensions, and the nature of living underground. Brilliant stuff.
Pyramid Magazine has been around since 1993 and started off as an actual magazine (do any of you still remember those?) In 1998 it transformed itself into an online version with an article every week and finally it’s third and final transformation into a monthly pdf in 2008 until it was canceled in 2018. I still weep for the loss of the monthly Pyramid pdf. It is a fountain of information and new ideas and gave me a continuous supply of all things GURPS. You can still purchase the pdf’s from Warehouse 23.
Veins of the Earth by Patrick Stuart
A few blogs raved about Veins of the Earth by Patrick Stuart. It is expensive to get a physical copy at around £30-£50. It is for the Lamentations of the Flame Princess game but had people boasting about it’s uses for playing underground settings. The A5 book is lovely and there is some very useful ideas in the books but ultimately it is very specific for a style of gaming and system. I wouldn’t recommend it as a casual read as it is twice as expensive as The Dungeoneer’s Survival Guide at DriveThru RPG and provides little extra in my opinion. I would like to add that there are a lot of monsters and cultures within Veins of the Earth that might interest some people, but again they are very specific to that game system and, for me at least, didn’t offer anything that I would consider using.
I had a personal issue with the scribbly art and mapping style as well as my misunderstanding from some reviews on what was offered in the book so I might be negatively biased about my dislike of the book.
The works of Philip Reed:
Philip Reed has been producing game aids for decades. Recently he has been flooding Kickstarter with his “Dozen Rumors” series, Delayed Blast Gamemaster, Dungeon Encounters, Fantasy City Sites and Scenes, amongst many others. If you have missed the Kickstarters there is nothing to worry about. They are available at DriveThruRPG under Philip Reed Games and some are available as Print on Demand from Amazon of which I have mentioned in this previous post.
The Dungeoneer’s Field Guide to Hazards (2004) by Philip Reed is an excellent read. Although not intended for GURPS specifically it does contain over fifty pages of hazards you could encounter in a dungeon. It certainly will add a bit of spice to my encounters! Ideas are provided for the quality of air, to the fungus that grows underground, to the frailty of underground complexes that are not maintained.
Although Raging Swan Press does offer many PDF’s for sale I generally use their website for their “20 Things” series and free guides. They offer an array of Gaming Neutral as well as Pathfinder, OSR, and 5e. They are worth checking out.
Although I no longer own these books I do remember the Campaign Sourcebook and Catacomb Guide as well as the Creative Campaigning to be particularly helpful at times.
Grimtooth’s Trap series
Who doesn’t know about Grimtooth’s Traps? A series of generic game aids from the 80’s to help Game Masters slaughter their players in many horrendous and ingenious ways! Thankfully they are available from DriveThruRPG
Sad to say that while going through my links folder I had to delete over ten addresses that are no longer with us. Many have deleted their web pages and switched to a Patreon system as well, that’s really not my type of thing so I won’t be listing those here. This is probably the reason why I’ve been going old school and buying books or printing pdf’s to have them bound.
Creighton Broadhurst is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and publishes lots of good information for GM’s
Dungeon Fantastic is the blog from GURPS writer Peter V. Dell’Orto filled with lots of good information
GURPS Day Feed Hosted by Gaming Ballistic this site links all GURPS blogs (this one included) into a daily feed so you can find out when something new comes up!
GURPS Repository A website with a lot of fan based monsters, spells and conversions.
The Mook.net Combat Examples: I often have new players look over Warren Wilson’s website for some great examples for GURPS 4e combat.
I certainly can not recommend any of the following as I have yet to purchase them but they are currently in my saved shopping cart for when I have that extra bit of cash and don’t mind splurging on something that sounds cool but might not be useful (like Veins of the Earth was to me).
Through Dungeons Deep: A Fantasy Gamers’ Handbook by Robert Plamondon. Review for this book is mixed. Many saying the information is outdated for older playstyles from the 70’s and early 80’s but as that is when I started RPG’s it might still be of use to me.
Lairs, Dens and Burrows: Short adventures for Four Against Darkness, for Characters of Any Level by Andrea Sfiligoi. Some good reviews on Amazon PoD. Andrea Sfiligoi has a good amount of Solo adventure books that could be used for inspiration.
The Book of Random Tables by Matt Davids. Available in print or Kindle versions this is a series of books with mixed reviews.
The PoD for the UK is perfect bound with good quality paper. I was pleasantly impressed! I’ve been in a mood to hand draw my maps lately and as primarily a GURPS player I’m happy to do all of it on hex paper. Each hex is 7mm with a thicker outline of a hex flower. I love the sketchy hand drawn style of the hex grid which really adds to the aesthetic of a hand drawn map.
I tried several media types on the paper. The first was calligraphy pen and ink. The ink was barely visible on the back side of the page.
I then tried using my artist drawing pens ranging from 005 to 08. This bled through just slightly on the backside but nothing too distressing. I did put a couple of dots from Sharpe pens but they bled heavily through the paper so they are not ideal at all.
Coloured pencils work very well and I will now probable use my Calligraphy pens and the coloured pencils when using the book.
As mentioned in a previous post (read it here) I’ve been playing a weekly game of Dungeon Fantasy RPG powered by GURPS using Roll20 to get together as we are dealing with the lockdown here in the UK. It has been an amazing experience mostly because I’ve not actually played GURPS as a player in so many years. It is also nice to have new players and seeing the widely different play styles. Alex, who plays Grobar the Holy Warrior, is a fountain of knowledge and experience on GURPS. I don’t play regularly enough these days and I can certainly say I’ve forgotten more than I knew about the rules over the last fifthteen years. Alex has been a real boon to the party as he makes tactical and rule options for our characters, but in a helpful way not in a rules lawyer kind of way. Ricardo’s character Saskar doesn’t hit as hard as Grobar or Zelenka but his DX is higher and is able to get those rapid strikes “TO THE FACE” (as he shouts) with moderate accuracy. He is also our source of comedy and keeps us laughing with his rapid fire memes on the discord channel. Filipe was playing Roland the mage but commitments has taken him out of the game for what we hope is only a short time. All brought together through Gus, our GM, whos descriptions of our scene draws life to the game. I haven’t had this much fun in years!
Paragons of the Six Divines
Gus told me to design my own religion for the game so I came up with the “Paragons of the Six Divines”. It is a holy order of six immortals who where said to once be mortals themselves, found immortality and through cultivation and their own pure deeds ascended to godhood. As such they don’t appeal to the common man who need gods of agriculture, the forge, war, and other aspects of the mortal realms. The Paragons of the Six Divines are a symbol of what man can achieve through selfless acts of kindness, sacrifice, honor, and truthfulness. What many find unattainable or unwilling to endure. Their order is best known for their charitable institutions; hospitals, schools, and orphanages. These can be found throughout the lands and open to anyone, something that has caused friction with some local customs or laws. However most kingdoms have not only grown accustomed to their services but heavily rely on them which affords the order some grace. Most monks, nuns, and clerics of the Six were residents of the orphanages and grew up within the faith.
Paragons of the Six Divines
Honor – To do what is morally right. Represented by the God Conlaoch
Courage – strength in the face of pain or grief. Represented by the Goddess Parthenia
Magnanimity – generosity. Represented by the goddess Rione
Patience – acceptance of problems and suffering. Represented by the God Vivasat
Justice – just behaviour or treatment. Represented by the God Bran
Truthfulness– the fact of being realistic or true to life; realism. Represented by the Goddess Erosi
Paragons of the Six Divines are extremely popular with orders chivalry. Those that can become living representations of the six can ascend to Sainthood and become Demi-Gods. They are highly respected but few have what it takes to follow their strict regime. Because of this the God Vivasat is the most popular out of the six although each deity has an equal standing in the pantheon. Anyone is welcome to worship although they are more popular with Humans, Elves, some Dwarves, and a few Gnomes.
Setting the scene
This is where I bore everyone about the back story and adventures of my character. We started out at 150 points rather than the standard 250 points. This is about four sessions worth of info so I certainly understand the TLDR people.
Zelenka Dagian (meaning Fresh Dawn) is a Half-Ogre who’s human mother died giving birth to an ugly half-breed. She died at one of the charity hospitals of Paragons of the Six Divines. Zelenka’s childhood was not without strife, despite being members of the Six the monks were very cruel to Zelenka and many of the other children were encouraged to leave him alone and if they were mean to him the monks would look the other way. They would also “punish his inherent wickedness” at the smallest infraction of the rules. Many would expect such a child to grow up as wickedly as he was treated, and that might have been the case if it wasn’t for the Abbot Svoboda of the monastery and Kateřina Dvořák the Cleric of the county. They taught Zelenka to read the true meaning of the scriptures, how the care for others through sacrifice, being patient and accepting, how truth starts within oneself and in doing so brings honor and justice to the world.
The bishop himself, Casimir Sedlák, was well pleased with Zelenka’s progress, “Although a bit dim he would make a proud member of our Holy Order” The bishop fully intended for Zelenka to be added to the ranks of Holy Warriors. At sixteen Zelenka was already six foot and a naturally built warrior. Instead of a cleric’s staff he was taught the polearm by sergeant Borek Mazal, now retired but famed for his Poleaxe squad “Deliverance of Mercy” or just “Mercy” for short. At the battle of Passhead Valley Sgt. Mazal commanded 20 pikeman and held off a hoard of 70 goblins long enough for the village to be evacuated. In reality it was thirty but the story keeps growing.
Zelenka had no interest in causing harm to others if he could avoid it and wanted nothing more than to stay in the cloister on a sunny day with a book or scroll, or to work in the hospital tending the sick and wounded. The Bishop persisted that his place was with the warriors and so his training in arms and armour continued. When Zelenka finished his studies at the age of twenty it became apparent to everyone, including the Bishop, that Zelenka had an aptitude for not only healing but a strong connection with the Paragons of the Six Divines (I increased his Power Investiture) compared to the other deacons. Although gentle, honest, and true to his studies Zelenka didn’t have the mental capabilities as the other deacons (IQ 11 instead of 14-15) but was nonetheless ordained a Cleric of the Six.
Upon receiving his new status he was given a gift from his mentors. A fine silver plated, dwarven made Bec de corbin (thus reducing the penalty of not being able to parry after an attack), and a suit of leather armor.
Two months after being ordained Zelenka received a dream message about a monk of the Six who always kept himself in a deep cowl and never showed his face. Zelenka was tasked with finding his resting place and bringing the monks remains back to the monastery. After spending weeks in study he finally found enough clues that Zelenka was positive of the monks locations. He appealed to his superiors to get him funding to retrieve the remains but he was denied. Zelenka wrote to the Bishop himself but was dismissed as “An overactive imagination induced by the stress passing the seminary and now lack of direction and focus.” Zelenka was then tasked with hospital duty for the next several weeks to focus on those with real needs.
After one long day of healing Zelenka returned to his straw pallet, exhausted and fatigued. Rolling on his side and about to blow out his candle he spies a letter on the floor. In his exhaustion he did not see it upon entering his room. Curiosity got his groaning body out of bed and opened the letter. It was from an unnamed benefactor who was not only going to fund his expedition but was able to get him a signed letter from the Bishop allowing him to proceed with his quest! ” goddess Rione be praised”
Long story short he met Rowan the Mage and Saskar the Knight (Horseman from the North) and hired them to accompany him on the week long journey into wild country. Once a price was agreed upon Zelenka purchased the needed supplies and a pack donkey to carry it all. The trip out was uneventful, but did give the three newbie heroes time to get to know each other. Their weariness of a six foot, eight inch tall Half-Ogre soon gave way to his honest and kind nature.
They reached the area and scouted it out. The visions led Zelenka to believe they needed to go into the mines but it was getting late and they decided to scout out the ruined town nearby first and make camp. That night they were ambushed by the Undead, two of us being prone and Saskar on watch. Long story short we got our buttocks handed to us with everyone taking damage and Rowan being knocked unconscious. I failed to heal anyone in the party but myself, so as a Cleric I realise the fault was not with me, not with the dice, but obviously my companions were not pure at heart so my Gods refused to heal them. Yeah, that’s the ticket!
We rested for a day do to our injuries and fortified our little encampment as best we could. Once we are healed up with take to the mines. We agreed to take donkey with us as we didn’t want to leave him to be victim to the undead in the ruined town. Heading into the mine we notice that there are rooms, crypts, a chapel all carved out as well. Showing that this was once a very thriving mining town! I ask that we go to the Chapel first and I see a altar to the Paragons of the Six Divines with two suits of plate armor on either side of it. When we step in the suits come alive and take an attack stance then start to move toward us!
Zelenka shows no fear, for these are certainly constructs to protect against the unfaithful! Taking his holy symbol he fearlessly (yes I made my roll) walks to the animated armor and recites his prayers. The suits at that point stop all hostilities and collapse in a heap. One of the suits chest plate and lower legs will just fit Zelenka, but the arms, shoulders and upper legs are too small. Zelenka takes one of the shields from the holy armor and straps it to his back. He feels he should learn the shield sometime in the future (or if I can get my ST to 18 I can use the Bec de corbin with one hand!). Zelenka spends some time at the altar praying before heading to the crypts.
We head into the crypts and disturb some kind of creature that is unknown to any of us. Zelenka casts Sense Evil while Saskar and Rowan prepare for battle. The creature is truly evil and severely damages Saskar! Zelenka uses Turning to keep the monster at bay while Rowan and Saskar dispatch it!
Down it’s putrid hole in the ground filled with rubbish and rot Zelenka uncovers a Vellum Scroll in an older dialect. There is some kind of prophecy written on it. When Zelenka reads some of it an ArchAngel appears before Zelenka (and Zelenka only, maybe he is dilusional? Nah.) and tells him of the prophecy and charges Zelenka with a holy mission! During his trance like state the head of Donkey comes flying into the room. and we are beset on by a Minotaur and a Giant!
We chose our tactics better than our first battle with the Skeletons and dispatched the pair although we took considerable damage. Saskar, who took a liking to donkey, kills the Giant in a revenge fueled rage.
We didn’t get enough time to lick our wounds as the commotion brings in a stranger to investigate the noise. Enter Grobar the Holy Warrior on a quest to put the undead where they belong! Back in the ground. What better way of doing that than his very effective Combat Shovel (DF Adventures page 102)! After some time to size each other up we decide its in our best interests to align ourselves and clear out this undead and monster infestation. It doesn’t take long either before we are set upon by more skeletons!
Pushing forward through the skeletons we are ambushed by evil dwarves with crossbows. They really beat the crap out of us. However we were able to rally ourselves at the last minute, Rowan gets knocked unconscious again, Grobar scrambles up the cliff face to take out the Dwarven crossbowmen and Zelenka grabs Saskar and throws him like a sack of rice up over the cliff face. The pair of them easily dispatch the crossbowman (crossbowdwarves?) and the evil cleric dwarf gets away by escaping down a deep pit.
Mind you I’m writing this weeks after all the events of several gaming sessions and I can’t seem to find many posts with battle pics for the next part. However we find the tomb of the Hooded Monk and the sanctity of his tomb is AMAZING for my cleric! We get attacked by Drow and Drider but with Zelenka able to regain his fatigue almost instantly they were not as serious of a threat as I think they would have been away from the are of high sanctity! Thank goodness for Contingency Casting (DFA20) as well!
Our next threat is an Earth Elemental and Zelenka freezes in combat! It is up to the rest of the group to dispatch the rocky creature! Its at this point that Rowan leaves the group as Filipe has real world obligations to attend to. We hope to see him back soon!
Gus starts experimenting with dynamic lighting and it certainly adds a new element to the game! Because of my nightvision 3 I can see farther than the other players and it was very immersive having them ask, “What do your elf eyes see Legolas?” Well more damn Skeletons that is for sure.
During this battle our rolls were spot on, some of us still took damage but Zelenka was able to dispatch three of them! Not single handedly of course. Saskar and Grobar soften them up. Sometimes going last isn’t a bad thing! “One of the skeletons drop an unholy mace. We left it where it laid, mostly because when Saskar tried to lift it he could not budge it. Not nasty enough to lift the unholy mjolnir!
We’re so tactical we weaponized tardiness
Our next victim, um I mean opponent is a Bleeder. We were honestly extremely lucky with the dice! It didn’t inflict any damage to us otherwise we might have been in some trouble! Also there was only one and not a Bleeder horde!
Our last session and final creature was a Bone Golem! That thing messed us up for sure! Zelenka failed his fright check, and his Willpower rolls and was out of action for four full rounds! During that time Grobar and Saskar inflicted considerable damage on the beast but both ended up getting stabbed and injected with venom. Grobar was knocked out and Saskar could barely stand. Finally the sight of his dying companions snapped Zelenka out of his shock and he used Contingency “Awaken” Both make their HT rolls and are up and ready for more! With that we dispatched the Golem and collapse into a weary heap to rest and heal.
Zelenka was late again to the battle but to quote Ricardo again
I thought I wrote about NBOS Software‘s Inspiration Pad Pro in the past btu I can’t seem to find it. Between 2013 – 2016 I was writing GURPS Random generators with IPP. I don’t know what kind of code they use for it as I’m not a programmer, but there is instructions and you can get it for Windows, and Android.
IPP lets you code random encounters, treasure, or if you are really ambitious complete NPC’s. I have played around with it starting out with just skeleton guard encounter. I didn’t want every Skeleton to be a carbon copy so the stats might vary by one or two points. This affects weapon damage and Willpower checks just like normal as I was able to code it all properly.
Want a random race but with Dungeon Fantasy Knight template? No problem. Again slight variation on the stats to make them more random then static. There are still a few code errors in this one but to be fair it has 76 races from GURPS Fantasy, Dungeon Fantasy, Banestorm, etc. and 88 Templates from the same books. A bit over ambitious I will admit.
Having some success at two random drop down boxes I tried doing one with three! This was for my GURPS Fallout campaign I ran. Drop down box options are Race, Occupation, and Difficulty Level. However with some help from the NBOS Forums I was able to add in HP trackers as well. This way when I printed them out I just needed to tick the boxes as they took damage. Also colour coded for Reeling, collapse, death checks.
Having a bit of success with that I coded up some Dungeon Fantasy Goblinkin (not DFRPG). Choosing from Gobiln, Orc, Hobgoblin, and Half-Ork. Occupation of Normal, Guard, Archer, Spearman. And finally a difficulty level of None, Stunted, Irritable, Veteran, Enforcer, Savage, and Boss. Again I have a few coding errors in this as it was never finished (Orcs seem to be suffering some stat loss somewhere). However with a bit of work it could easily be perfected, also it was a copy paste from the Fallout so there are some remnants from that such as the Larvae Spit and the Flight option. Opps.
Inspiration Pad Pro is a useful tool depending on how much work you want to put into it. It has been awhile since I coded anything for it so I will have to relearn much of it. It’s not perfect, it doesn’t deal well with negative numbers well. Not for the subtracting but for showing a – symbol in the results
It can be used for random loot, magic items, encounters, not just NPC’s and monsters.
Gaming Ballistic is at it again, not just once but THREE times the product in their latest KickStarter! Nordlond Sagas consist of The Dragons of Rosgarth, Forest’s End, and Norðlondr Fólk. Three exciting books to add to the wonderful Nordic base world of Norðvörn.
The Dragons of Rosgarth is written by Kyle Norton (Dungeons on Automatic) and is an adventure and setting expansion that sounds to be epic!
Forest’s End is a set of adventures with three dungeons. Written by Merlin Avery the Forest’s End hints at some exciting times around the table with dice and mates.
Norðlondr Fólk will add 16 different playable racial templates to supplement that fit the theme of the Gaming Ballistic line of books. Written by Kevin Smyth the Norðlondr Fólk is sure to add a more nordic feel to your games!
Well I’m very excited to see these and I was surprised at three books! I was only expecting The Dragons of Rosgarth not three books! It is currently only $1,500 away from meeting its goal and I would be brilliant if it reached the goal of $29,000 for the extra 16 pages added to the books.The last Kickstarter raised $26,000 so it isn’t outside the real of reason.
A fourth add on book has been offered! “The Hand of Asgard” The Aesir—are more than just mythological, ineffable entities: they walk among the people of the world, offering their wisdom and might to those they find worthy. This book offers detailed information on the denizens of Asgard, the divine realm worshipped by the people of Norðlond and its surrounding regions.
This is really fantastic and unexpected. For $13 add on you can get this in print and pdf.
Two years ago I posted about the Steve Jackson Games (SJG) Print on Demand (PoD). You can read it here if you would like. I was pleased just to be able to get GURPS books because lately you just can’t. I’m afraid my bitterness has increased since then. The closing of Pyramid, the lack of GURPS products being released, and now the latest Kickstarter (DFRPG Magic Items 2) will only ship to the USA only. Everyone else will either have to make arrangements to have it shipped from the States to their home or purchase it from SJG Amazon Print on Demand service.
Now two years ago I thought that was great despite the black and white pages. Since then I’ve taken several courses in book binding and I can now tell how inferior these PoD are compared to normal SJG printing. Now personally I would prefer hardcover as they just last longer than a paperback but I’m being told by everyone that I’m being unrealistic.
So lets compare the PoD compared to the books that cam with the DFRPG box set.
Now the Companion is Pod and Exploits is from the box set. The covers are comparable but there is more of a gloss finish to the Exploits. They have comparable gsm (read below for gsm definition). I don’t have a lot of complaints about the covers.
“GSM is an acronym standing for ‘Grams per Square Meter’. Quite simply, it allows print buyers and print suppliers to know exactly about the quality of paper that is being ordered. The higher the GSM number, the heavier the paper.”
Now that isn’t strictly true. You can have higher quality paper in a lower gsm to a higher gsm. Mostly it lets you know how thick/heavy the paper is in a generic sense. So the paper of the Companion is thicker at 0.10 mm and the exploits is 0.9 mm thick. However the Companion is less dense or more porous. It would, in my opinion, tear easier than the paper from Exploits which is a gloss paper and better quality.
Now here is where I really get critical. Exploits is either Saddle stitched or Loop Stitched. Meaning they used some type of thread to keep the pages together in groups called ‘Signatures’. Companions is Perfect bound. Perfect Bound is when they take single sheets of printed paper (2 pages) or one sheet folded (4 pages) and bind them together with a thermal glue into a book. A very good quality thermal glue should last a few years. It is fairly flexible. A cheap thermal glue will dry out, crack and fall apart. I don’t know which type that Amazon uses but I wouldn’t push my luck by stressing out the spine at all.
As you can see from the top book, which is Amazon’s Print on Demand Companions it is a folded sheet of paper (4 pages) stacked and glued together, sparingly at that. Now the bottom book is Exploits from the box set and bound in China. You have 4 sections (roughly 28 pages), sewn together then perfect bound with a generous amount of adhesive.
So what it comes down to is that if SJG is using the same printers then those in the States, or able to get ahold of the Magic Items 2 books being shipped to the States will be getting a better quality book for $18. How much will those outside of the U.S. be charged for an inferior PoD? Companions is $19.95 for 78 pages. That is only 30 more pages then the Magic Items 2. So those in the States get the PDF and the print book for $18.00 but those of us not in the U.S.A. Have to pay $10.00 for the PDF then probably another $15.00 for the PoD which will be a less quality product for much more.
Maybe if they put as much enthusiasm into GURPS as they do trying to resurrect Ogre and Car Wars of even half as much effort as they do Munchkin they might have better success trying to get GURPS out to a new generation of players. It won’t work if they start out with making it inaccessible.
This isn’t a criticism of GURPS Dungeon Fantasy but of SJG and it has only been increasing over the years do to the lack of effort and attention given to GURPS. Yes I’m bitter, I may or may not be reasonable in my criticism but customer expectation is what decides a chunk of sales. It’s just my opinion.
Although nowhere on the Kickstarter page mentioned the PoD version of DFRPG PoD would be colour instead of black and white like all the other SJG PoD, Phil Reed has confirmed it will be available in colour
Well it considering my last post this could not have come at a better time. Humble Bundle is having a mixed bundle of 3D printable dungeons! I know these are <yuk> square grids and not the majestic hexagon dungeons I prefer but it is a start into the realm of making a physical Mega Dungeon!
Until I either learn how how to 3D model my own dungeons (because I have soooo much time on my hands) these will be a good place to start my delving into 3D printed dungeons. Get your while the sale is on and help support a good cause. You also get 30% off from one of the contributors on your first purchase!