Review: GURPS Fantasy

October 15, 2009 at 8:31 AM (GURPS, Roleplaying, RPG) (, , , , , , , )

This was a review originally intended for another website which I was apart of, but was never used. Posted since we really need to start getting back into posting.
-Bernard/Jarvis

The classic tale of Hellboy VS. Gandalf

The classic tale of Hellboy VS. Gandalf

William H. Stoddard has written his fair share of gaming supplements; mostly for the GURPS rule system as far as I can tell. As such, he is no stranger to a gamers desire for detail, fluid passages, and tasty helpings of artwork. He’s also the author of SJGames all-encompassing Fantasy supplement, “GURPS Fantasy”.

Fantastic Flying Machines

Fantastic Flying Machines

First and foremost, GURPS Fantasy is a toolkit, not a setting sourcebook. This distinction is a fine one, and should be understood before purchasing. As a genre toolkit, GURPS Fantasy doesn’t throw down a stock D&D style setting to work with, but instead gives you copious amounts of information to begin generating your own fantasy world.

Each of the early chapters are nicely subdivided into the important parts of a setting: The type of fantasy, the magical systems, the creatures, and even the physical (and meta-physical) world itself. You need information on the differences between High and Low fantasy? It’s here. Dark, Light, Paranormal Romance? Yup, there’s a quick section on each. Strangely, they felt it was necessary to also define “Christian Supernaturalism”. Do people actually play as John the Baptist?

One of the highlight sections happens to be “The Supernatural”. One of my gripes with the Core GURPS set happens to be the weak magic/supernatural section. GURPS Fantasy rectifies this with a 20 page collection of undead minions, magical systems including alchemy, and a creature catalog. Why it was so difficult to give even 1/4 of this information in the Core set, I will never know.

The art direction for GURPS Fantasy is competent. Don’t misunderstand, this supplement will never win awards for its “original” artwork; but it isn’t as stock and out of place as GURPS Magic’s 3D models. The drawing style is very similar to what’s found in the GURPS Basic Set, giving it at least a feeling of consistency between volumes. Thankfully it isn’t very sparse either, meaning you won’t go pages without a visual break.

Lilith as seen by GURPS Fantasy

Lilith as seen by GURPS Fantasy

However, unless you were planning on a Tolkien, Zelazny or Le Guin style fantasy world, you will feel this supplement a little lacking. While the information on every standard fantasy cliché is there, you will be hard pressed to find much that’s truly inspiring. Strangely, it’s as if Stoddard picked up “The Tough Guide to Fantasyland” by Diana Jones and mistook it as a serious guide. Every cliché, boring and insipid fantasy seed is here, which is great for new comers (both to gaming and GURPS), there is nothing which will help a game remain truly interesting.

Finally, the included sample campaign/world setting is atrocious. Once again, SJGames attempts to shoehorn another book into the “Infinite Worlds” multi-setting. Honestly, this is a Fantasy toolkit! I do *not* need to hear about “Infinity Patrol Agents” or “Quantum-#” while I’m trying to create a magical world. Why SJGames feels the need to constantly remind us that they have a GURPS setting which covers everything, I will never know.

The main issue with the sample setting (Roma Arcana) is that much like the rest of the sourcebook, it’s unoriginal. The basic premise is that Rome exists much as it did in our own past, except that magic was real and gods truly did walk the earth. Considering it cleanly lifts actual history to make the back story, I was surprised to see the world saddled with a TL2 (Tech Level 2) rating. Really? The Romans were the most advanced society outside of modern times and you couldn’t even give them TL3?

Overall, I’ve been rather harsh on the book. While this supplement suffers (greatly) from unoriginality, it’s far from a bad book. It is smoothly written and decently packaged. Additionally, it would make a perfect supplement for new gamers. For those finally venturing away from D&D but wishing to keep the fantasy setting, this book would be invaluable for the creation of a suitable world. However, there is little here for veteran gamers who need inspiration. My suggestion for veterans is to locate Stoddard’s “GURPS Steampunk” instead; it’s far more original AND has bitch’n artwork.

Rating: 6.5/10

Advertisements

Permalink 2 Comments

Roleplaying + MS Paint = A monsters inner most thoughts?

October 14, 2009 at 11:22 AM (GURPS, Roleplaying, RPG) (, , , , , , , )

Robot_Sacked

Courtesy of CptCylde and boredom?

Permalink Leave a Comment

Podcast #35 – Skinwalker

October 13, 2009 at 7:02 AM (GURPS, podcast, Roleplaying, RPG) (, , , , )

Now available; Podcast #35!

Critical Failure: Space Setting – 35 (Skinwalker)
Critical Failure: Space Setting – 35 (Skinwalker) MP3

Moegreeb and CptnClyde steal the skin of Dagny Gault and attempt to circumvent a biometrics scanner. I guess they forgot about eye balls…

Permalink Leave a Comment

Taking a week off!

October 6, 2009 at 7:02 AM (GURPS, podcast, Roleplaying, RPG)

Hey all,

Our updates have been lacking the last month, and we apologize. However, we’ll be taking this week off to recuperate. Hope you’ve been enjoying it so far!

Bernard/Moegreeb/CptCylde

Permalink Leave a Comment

Podcast #34 – Is that a fricken bag on my head?

September 28, 2009 at 6:58 AM (GURPS, podcast, Roleplaying, RPG) (, , , , )

Now available; Podcast #34!

Critical Failure: Space Setting – 34 (Is that a fricken bag on my head?)
Critical Failure: Space Setting – 34 (Is that a fricken bag on my head?) MP3

The conclusion of the epic (uh) android battle; CptClyde survives by the skin of his teeth while Moegreeb considers beating them to digital death with their own arms.

As always, our podcasts are presented in OGG format!

Permalink Leave a Comment

Podcast #33 – Synchronized Android Fleeing

September 21, 2009 at 6:50 AM (GURPS, podcast, Roleplaying, RPG) (, , , , )

Now available; Podcast #33!

Critical Failure: Space Setting – 33 (Synchronized Android Fleeing)
Critical Failure: Space Setting – 33 (Synchronized Android Fleeing) MP3

Who’d a thunk androids could float in zero-g? Combat continues, culminating into an epic tea bagging!

As always, our podcasts are presented in OGG format!

Permalink Leave a Comment

Podcast #32 – Blame it on Will Smith

September 14, 2009 at 7:12 AM (GURPS, podcast, Roleplaying, RPG) (, , , , )

Now available; Podcast #32!

Critical Failure: Space Setting – 32 (Blame it on Will Smith)
Critical Failure: Space Setting – 32 (Blame it on Will Smith) MP3

Moegreeb and CptCylde take on the androids using Will Smith style combat tactics. Resolution of the previous podcasts combat results in explosive decompression, a knife in the leg, and discussions of evil tacos.

As always, our podcasts are presented in OGG format!

Permalink 1 Comment

Podcast #31 – Blame it on the Android (Phone)

September 8, 2009 at 7:09 AM (GURPS, podcast, Roleplaying, RPG) (, , , , )

Now available; Podcast #31!

Critical Failure: Space Setting – 31 (Blame it on the Android)
Critical Failure: Space Setting – 31 (Blame it on the Android) MP3

Combat with an unexpected guest in Ms. Gault’s tomb leads to some interesting tactics used by our heroes. However, since Moegreeb used his Android phone to record this adventure, the quality suffers. A synopsis will be posted tomorrow to help those who had a hard time hearing.

As always, our podcasts are presented in OGG format!

Permalink Leave a Comment

Podcast #30 – Clone of Poop

September 2, 2009 at 6:57 AM (GURPS, podcast, Roleplaying, RPG) (, , , )

Now available; Podcast #30!

Critical Failure: Space Setting – 30 (Clone of Poop)
Critical Failure: Space Setting – 30 (Clone of Poop) MP3

The tomb raiding crew discover that they can resurrect dead tissue, and try to give Dick Dawkinstown a new lease on life. Little do they realize, but a computer program just isnt the same as someones mind.

As always, our podcasts are presented in OGG format!

Permalink Leave a Comment

Podcast #29 – Who is John Gault?

August 31, 2009 at 7:00 AM (GURPS, podcast, Roleplaying, RPG) (, , , , )

Now available; Podcast #28!

Critical Failure: Space Setting – 29 (Who is John Gault?)
Critical Failure: Space Setting – 29 (Who is John Gault?) MP3

Moegreeb and CptCylde start punching walls, harassing holograms, and contemplating stealing couches all before they really get a start on robbing John Gault’s tomb.

As always, our podcasts are presented in OGG format!

Permalink Leave a Comment

« Previous page · Next page »