That GURPS Thread (Also Includes The Fantasy Trip)

Provinto

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Once again we are being asked to pledge or see GURPS abandoned on the scrap heap of history. It's funny how this box that SJG pre-emptively declared a failure and cut the print run by 1/3 needs a kickstarter for a re-print. And yeah, I'll probably put down for a retailer level and an extra copy of characters and magic because, this is a game where you need extra copies of those books. But, I do wish they'd throw a little more fresh meat on the plate. More monsters is fun. I expect we'll see some from Pyramid and the Companion in there. I'd really like to see the whole cardboard heroes range on the nice thick cardstock. But most of all I'd like to see a promise of a supers or space opera box kickstarter as a pledge goal. I mean, I would pledge for GURPS Vehicles for 4e in a heart beat but we're never going to see that.
I had heard months ago that Pyramid was closing pretty soon. SJG GURPS line would instead shift to producing smaller, 32-page supplements.
After Vehicles for 3e, which needed a spreadsheet and failed to model real world vehicles, you'd want a 4e version?

The problem with GURPS is simply that 4e is aimed exclusively at gams of the game. It's got almost zero appeal to new players because it's so dense and press.ted to badly.
I am a GM who's new to GURPS and I've only played the 4th edition. I'm not really a crunch-fanatic and I loathe system mastery. I'd been developing ideas since maybe 2017 or 2016 but I hadn't run a game until January 2018. My players, are also new to GURPS but they all really like it, for a variety of reasons. Mostly, they like that they can make nearly whatever kind of character they would like and that they can resolve things that in most other games there aren't rules for (for instance, aiming for the neck or the heart with an axe or a dagger or rapid changes in acceleration, etc.). One of my players, who can probably be described as a power gamer, appreciates its more detailed combat mechanics and drools over Martial Arts. That last bit I'm a little ambivalent about, but I generally very much enjoy GURPS. GURPS 4e has generally become my go-to system for most game ideas, although I do like the OSR and would love to try Traveller and BRP.
I'd settle for a fully integrated spaceships variant. But I definitely want a more comprehensive treatment of vehicles. I really like Spacemaster Privateers' vehicles rules because somebody realized that the focus of the game is on the player characters and gave vehicles a lighter treatment. Personally GURPS Vehicles was fun, but it was too tight, partly because the tech levels are too broad, partly because SJG leaned towards realism and didn't seem to think people would want to model vehicles from movies and television. Admittedly I didn't use it for anything below TL 9 and wished they'd built about a hundred more sample vehicles.
GURPS 4e has come out with a line of Spaceship supplements. They generally abstract quite a bit and is not like Vehicles in its general complexity and attention to details that ultimately are unnecessary or burdensome for actually playing. They also come in with a few cool rules: in one of them (I think the one about colony ships) there's a rule for cosmic/solar radiation that I very much appreciated incorporating into my ruleset/GURPS-rules-I-use.
 

David Johansen

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I get that gearhead tinkering isn't everyone's hobby but GURPS Vehicles is great if it happens to be yours.
 

Stevethulhu

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I get that gearhead tinkering isn't everyone's hobby but GURPS Vehicles is great if it happens to be yours.
I liked Maximum Metal from Cyberpunk 2020 more for that kind of thing. The vehicle stat blocks were much, much smaller and it gave you results that were usable in-game. Which a lot of late 90s vehicle design systems tended to thin was a bit of an afterthought.

I am a GM who's new to GURPS and I've only played the 4th edition. I'm not really a crunch-fanatic and I loathe system mastery. I'd been developing ideas since maybe 2017 or 2016 but I hadn't run a game until January 2018. My players, are also new to GURPS but they all really like it, for a variety of reasons. Mostly, they like that they can make nearly whatever kind of character they would like and that they can resolve things that in most other games there aren't rules for (for instance, aiming for the neck or the heart with an axe or a dagger or rapid changes in acceleration, etc.). One of my players, who can probably be described as a power gamer, appreciates its more detailed combat mechanics and drools over Martial Arts. That last bit I'm a little ambivalent about, but I generally very much enjoy GURPS. GURPS 4e has generally become my go-to system for most game ideas, although I do like the OSR and would love to try Traveller and BRP.
BRP is fantastic. All the flexibility of GURPS, a fraction of the looking things up in a book.

That said,I do like GURPS a lot. And while I'm a dyed in the wool 3rd ed grognard, I'd even play 4th ed. Time and willing players allowing, of course.
 

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I like BRP a lot. I also like GURPS a lot. What attracted me to BRP from GURPS was the applications were already built. What I love about the DFRPG is that it gives me a dungeon crawling game in a system I like. I don't think RuneQuest does dungeon hacking very well. DFRPG does.

I really don't have the time and desire to take a toolkit and build out a game anymore. 20 years ago it's all I wanted to do. 15 years ago it was how I enjoyed my free time. Now, I just want to play.

Good news is that the DFRPG Kickstarter has funded with almost a week left. I really hope we will get another boxed product that is powered by GURPS but in a different setting. Action! Would be cool. If SJ Games builds these products I'll buy them.
 

Toadmaster

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I get that gearhead tinkering isn't everyone's hobby but GURPS Vehicles is great if it happens to be yours.

That was certainly a thing in the 90s, GDW did Fire, Fusion and Steel a weapons and vehicle design system for the house system used for Traveller, Dark Conspiracy and Twilight 2000. BTRC had 3G (Guns, guns, guns) and the Vehicle Design System both of which were for CORPS, but also system neutral with conversions for use with about a 1/2 dozen other games.

I found GURPS Vehicles useful, but it worked better to design a vehicle from scratch rather than trying to replicate or reverse engineer a real vehicle. I loved the various power supplies offered, particularly some of the fantasy power supplies like the soul burning engine.
 

David Johansen

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So, Monsters 2 is funded.

I guess the question now is whether it's worth doing little booklets to reprint some of the hardbacks. A collection of aliens of and/or vehicles when they reprint GURPS Space and Ultratech or some such. I do think having the whole line, or at least the really core books like Magic, High Tech, Martial Arts, and Ultra Tech back in print would help GURPS regain some of its market position.

As far as material that exists that could be re-used fairly cheaply, GURPS Aliens, GURPS IST, and GURPS Cabal seem likely subjects. I wonder if full color is really that much of a selling point for a reprint the main book kickstarter? Would monsters 2 be as successful in black and white at twice the page count?

A Dungeon Fantasy style space opera or supers box doesn't seem likely. The boxed set format is expensive to produce and it looks like SJG is being pretty cautious when it comes to GURPS. I also expect small boxed sets aren't that much cheaper though they would be cool. It also becomes an issue of looking too much like TFT.

I'd rather see some new content. I'll always believe the absence of some form of vehicle book is a gaping hole in the line when it comes to doing science fiction. At least we got Spaceships and some Pyramid articles (does anyone know which ones have the rules for wheeled and tracked vehicles) A more complete and integrated book based on Spaceships might do it. But I'd also love a book with lots of stats for real vehicles. A WWII vehicle compendium would be great. I'd still prefer an updated physics based system but I'm guessing simulating realistic vehicle movement on the table top isn't a priority for most people.
 

raniE

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If boxed sets are so expensive, how is it that smaller game publishers are putting them out all the time nowadays? Almost every game I have from Free League publishing is in a box, and that is a small Swedish RPG company. James Raggi was able to put out the Grindhouse edition of LotFP in a boxed set, what ten years ago now?

Boxed sets are obviously more expensive than just a book, but they might be just the thing if you want something that has a higher chance of getting played, thus drawing in more players and increasing your customer base. And boxed sets seem to be the shit nowadays, at least from where I'm seeing things.
 

David Johansen

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Sure, but the message seems to be "expect less" so I'm trying to envision what that looks like.
 

Dumarest

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Boxed sets are obviously more expensive than just a book...
Are they, though? Most boxed sets have the advantage of rulebooks with matte paper covers and black-and-white art, which is obviously cheaper than glossy hardcovers with color art, and cheaper than softcovers as well.
 

David Johansen

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Dungeon Fantasy is full color glossy throughout. I think part of the issue in this day is that an rpg is as much an art book as a game book on account of how few of them actually get paid. Also, the smaller customer base necessitates extracting as much money from each customer as is possible.
 

raniE

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Are they, though? Most boxed sets have the advantage of rulebooks with matte paper covers and black-and-white art, which is obviously cheaper than glossy hardcovers with color art, and cheaper than softcovers as well.
The boxed sets I mentioned in my post have significant amounts of color art in them (all the free League stuff I've got is full color art, although Forbidden Lands which I'll probably pick up over Easter I think has more black and white art). Plus counters, dice, character sheets etc. But yeah, I was mostly comparing similar production values. GURPS could go back to third edition style softcover books with black and white art too, but I still think a boxed set like the old BRP Worlds of Wonder would be a better idea right now.
 

Stevethulhu

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Dungeon Fantasy is full color glossy throughout. I think part of the issue in this day is that an rpg is as much an art book as a game book on account of how few of them actually get paid. Also, the smaller customer base necessitates extracting as much money from each customer as is possible.
DFRPG is the best looking GURPS product in years. The 4th ed books are uniformly fugly, with that stupid colour coded border thing they do.

To me, the problem with 'prestige' products is, do they justify the high price in a crowded market? If DFRPG had been sold as GURPS Fantasy, with everything you need to play fantasy games right there in the box, I feel that would have been a much better move than trying to sell D&D, but GURPS.
 

raniE

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DFRPG is the best looking GURPS product in years. The 4th ed books are uniformly fugly, with that stupid colour coded border thing they do.

To me, the problem with 'prestige' products is, do they justify the high price in a crowded market? If DFRPG had been sold as GURPS Fantasy, with everything you need to play fantasy games right there in the box, I feel that would have been a much better move than trying to sell D&D, but GURPS.
Well, when every rpg product is funded through kickstarter, everything turns into a prestige product, because that is how you get people to back Kickstarters. Something like "the product will be a softcover octavo size booklet with a color cover but otherwise black and white interior art" without any stretch goals, backer exclusives or anything like that will be a lot harder to get kickstarter backers for than something which promises full color quarto hardcovers, maps, GM screens and backer exclusives. Fear of missing out will get people to back who would otherwise have been fine with just buying the thing when it came out otherwise. And shiny doodads will get people to shell out more money. And the publisher will probably see a higher percentage of the kickstarter money than the sales money from a game store or Drivethrurpg.

But then of course, you've just made the product harder to sell in said game store, because the price has shot up. Someone who might have bought the neat-looking octavo sofcover for 19.95 on a whim might just put the same game in quarto hardcover for 49.95 back on the shelf. So now the base game doesn't pay you enough after the Kickstarter to justify putting out supplements, or even doing another print-run, so instead you go back to Kickstarter to get a supplement out, and the same thing happens there.

To me it seems like there's a large gap to be filled between PDF only stuff that's cheap or free and really high-production value games that cost a lot more. There's some stuff in that space, but not a lot.
 

Douglas Cole

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Citadel and DFM2 Stretch Goals: Falling Fast!

The Citadel at Norðvorn funded several days ago and is now in the process of crushing stretch goals. The DFM2 Kickstarter is paving the way. Back both! These mutually-reinforcing campaigns are feeding off of each other, and even sharing stretch goals. There's a lot going on, with more on the way. Check 'em out.
 

KrakaJak

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One of the things I think Steve Jackson games knows is that GURPS is not someones first RPG. It will never be someones first RPG. Someone's interest in GURPS comes as a response to their experience from D&D, Pathfinder/Starfinder, or other experiences already with RPGs.

So I have the Dungeon Fantasy Box set. In my opinion, it's the perfect product for someone like me who wanted to play/try GURPS, but hasn't really. Someone who's read and understands the Basic Set, but rarely played or put anything together. It was a great way for me as a GM who was already interested in GURPS, to be able to get resistant players to try it out.

The DF box set is a weird value proposition. It's $75 MSRP, which costs over 3 times as much as the D&D starter set box. But it's not a starter set...it's a complete RPG in a box, with maps and figures and everything else. I don't think SJ Games communicated that value very well. Sitting on the shelf next to the $110 Pathfinder corebooks or $170 for the D&D corebook box set, it's a steal.
 

Dumarest

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One of the things I think Steve Jackson games knows is that GURPS is not someones first RPG. It will never be someones first RPG. Someone's interest in GURPS comes as a response to their experience from D&D, Pathfinder/Starfinder, or other experiences already with RPGs.

So I have the Dungeon Fantasy Box set. In my opinion, it's the perfect product for someone like me who wanted to play/try GURPS, but hasn't really. Someone who's read and understands the Basic Set, but rarely played or put anything together. It was a great way for me as a GM who was already interested in GURPS, to be able to get resistant players to try it out.

The DF box set is a weird value proposition. It's $75 MSRP, which costs over 3 times as much as the D&D starter set box. But it's not a starter set...it's a complete RPG in a box, with maps and figures and everything else. I don't think SJ Games communicated that value very well. Sitting on the shelf next to the $110 Pathfinder corebooks or $170 for the D&D corebook box set, it's a steal.
Does it come with ready-to-use scenarios/adventures?
 

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On a related note, we learned today they've started shipping TFT 'I want it all' boxes to folks in the US. Very excited to get mine!
 

KrakaJak

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Does it come with ready-to-use scenarios/adventures?
It does. There's a 24 page adventure called "I Smell A Rat," It's very cliche', but touches on a lot of the mechanics. It's a bit more than a tutorial adventure, but it's a relatively straightforward literally meet-in-a-tavern dungeoncrawl. There's a follow up pdf as well, called "Against the Rat Men" that remixes the same dungeon with a lot more oddball/imaginative enemies.
 

raniE

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On a related note, we learned today they've started shipping TFT 'I want it all' boxes to folks in the US. Very excited to get mine!
As an international backer, we'll now see how long it takes to get my I Want it all box out to me.
 

Ulairi

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I got my TFT 'I Want it All' box today. When you get yours, lift with the legs, it is a hefty chest of gaming goodness. I had to lower my DFRPG KS and Citidal backing quite a bit. Buying a house while trying to sell a house is an awful experience and I hope never to do it again.


On to the Fantasy Trip, I guess 'Into the Labyrinth' is the book on how to campaign. It is such a different model than how I got started I'm excited to break into the box. The GM shield is a little flimsy much closer to the old fashioned kind than the extra thick screens that we get now and days. But for what I got for $110 it cannot be beat.

Edit: nevermind the legacy edition box has a much better screen
 

Ulairi

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I read through Melee and Wizard last night. People calling for a new edition of GURPS that targets rules light gamers have their game. I don't see SJ Games really putting more resources into GURPS and DFRPG after launching The Fantasy Trip. I think they'll beef up TFT content and kind of let GURPS live on through PDF releases and let Doug Cole drive the DFRPG.
 

Moonglum

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I read through Melee and Wizard last night. People calling for a new edition of GURPS that targets rules light gamers have their game. I don't see SJ Games really putting more resources into GURPS and DFRPG after launching The Fantasy Trip. I think they'll beef up TFT content and kind of let GURPS live on through PDF releases and let Doug Cole drive the DFRPG.
Please, god, let it be so! I am a fan of GURPS, but I feel like I already have a ton of it, it has been taken as far as it needs to go as a system, and people who prefer it over all options well be well served with what is happening at the moment, whereas TFT feels like it has a lot of energy at the moment, it occupies a unique place in the lineup of supported games, and a lot of potential for ranges of products that we haven't seen before and aren't likely to come from other game systems. Plus it's super fun to play in several different modes. Here's to hoping they double down on their recent investment.
 

David Johansen

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GURPS needs setting and adventure support more than more rules. While Vehicles and critters are needed they belong more to settings and adventures . I understand
 

David Johansen

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Yeah, hopefully I'll make it. Retailer for DFRPG and $400 for my store shelf cleared out my discretionary spending but if I sell a bit more this week I should still be able to squeeze it in.
 

David Johansen

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Right now I'm also contemplating ordering a couple cases of books that are inSJG's distribution Warehouse but not on e23. It's extremely frustrating for me. I'm actually confident I can sell that many books but it's about the only way my distributor would be willing to do it. It's just a two or three year supply and I'm never really sure I want to go for another month.
 

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This week brings to a close the week of blatantly shilling for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG Kickstarters. Both Citadel at Nordvorn and the Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2 and Boxed Set Reprint campaigns end this weekend, with DFM2 closing tomorrow (Friday), and Citadel coming to an end on Sunday. Both funded and passed at least one stretch goal, and Citadel – which had fewer to begin with – is on the cusp of passing another.

This post is part of Gaming Ballistic's weekly "GURPSDay" roundup, which herds up posts from over 100 blogs, all talking about GURPS. I've been doing this roundup since Feb 2013 . . . so the archive is extensive!

Thursday is GURPSDay! March 15 to March 21, 2019
 

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I don't really have much to add to the thread.

In the late 80s I played at a game store where the owner ran a game based on The Fantasy Trip. This was before GURPS and he used a modified version of the game to run a superheroes in space game. His core group had characters who were effectively the Fantastic Four. Any customer of the shop could join in the game, but got to make a 25 point character based on a fantasy oriented quick summary sheet (The regulars were 500 point characters or more). When people inevitably made fantasy style characters because of the quick summary sheet they were chastised for making a D&D character. If and what powers your character got depended entirely on the GM/owner's whim, but the idea was that you would mutate and become a 100 point character if you carried the heroes flashlights for long enough and didn't get killed.

Basically the game was 4 main characters, about 6 people who the GM liked enough to give decent powers, and 10 others who were just there to carry flashlights and serve as cannon fodder. I was always in the third category.

It definitely colored my opinion of The Fantasy Trip, even though I never played TFT or even saw the real rulebooks for it.

And that ties in to GURPS.

When GURPS was new, the owner mentioned above was in love with it. He really pushed GURPS at his store. But honestly, I never had a problem with that. I saw him as a positive fan and promoter of GURPS. No, the person who irritated me and poisoned the GURPS well for me was my best friend of the time.

My best friend of those days was a complete GURPS fanatic. Every game suddenly had to become GURPS. GURPS was the only game worth playing. I remember the last time he played Ghostbusters with me and some other friends, he bitched for half the game session about how it would be so much better if it were GURPS. He got introduced to GURPS and then absolutely refused to play anything unless it was convert to that game system. And that's fine if that was his preference, but he was positively obnoxious about it. So, I kind of hated GURPS because of him.

My friendship with him ended as the 90s dawned. My hatred of GURPS sort of evaporated after my association with him was gone. I didn't love GURPS. I didn't play GURPS. But I owned a copy of the 3e corebook, and the only reasons I didn't play it is because I just couldn't think of anything I particularly wanted to use the system for and my crew during the 90s was as ridiculous about Palladium as my ex-friend was about GURPS.

I was thinking last night about my first actual GURPS character I ever made after I got my original 3e corebook. She was a beautiful albino hemophiliac. She was a classic example of the kind of GURPS character that gets made that's completely unsuitable for actual play. In my defense, I had just read the Elric books.

My original 3e book fell completely apart. Still, I got a replacement. Sometime around the early 00s, I picked up a 3e revised hardcover and GURPS Traveller along with both the compendiums. I even got Prime Directive somewhere along the line. The closest I ever got to doing something with GURPS was when I was thinking about it for a sci-fi game. But I never did. I even picked up the 4e corebooks when I saw them on sale. In the end, when I went through my purge years ago and cleaned out half my RPG hoard, the GURPS stuff was among the stuff I got rid of.

And now...

Well, I'm thinking about picking up GURPS core again. I'm not really sure why, but when I think about the level of crunch it had, it sounds very appealing right now. I haven't decided if I'll go with a 3e core or the two big 4e books or maybe not at all.

I'm also thinking of getting The Fantasy Trip. It actually sounds pretty appealing, like a hardcore tactical RPG in tabletop format. After all these years, I'd like to see what it's actually like rather than through the filter of that old LGS game.

Thats it. Random ramblings complete.
 

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That's an interesting story, but it sounds like whatever game you were playing it didn't have a huge amount to do with TFT by-the-book, or as usually played by people I've met. Basically, the actual game is like like a swiss army knife that looks tiny and compact but can actually be several different things depending on what you ask it to do. If you want it to be a skirmish board game it's a fun version of that. If you want it to be a dungeon exploration game it is different from other versions you've seen, but taken on its own terms it is awesome. If you want it to be an open ended roleplaying game suitable for all sorts of different characters, it is great at that (sort of like GURPS if a GURPS character could be created in 2 minutes and fit on a post-it note). It is pointed at fantasy as a setting, but already has cooked into it black powder/renaissance sort of tech level, and the idea of found-item advanced technology, and material from zines (reproduced in the Companion volume) covers modern setting and weapons (so you could play gangsters or horror or whatever), and superheroes. And it can be easily molded into any sort of cultural tropes you prefer for your settings, from kung-fu masters to musketeers to grim's fairy tales to arthurian knights to roman gladiators to harry potter. There is a lot of stuff packed into this 1 volume game.
 

Provinto

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In the late 80s I played at a game store where the owner ran a game based on The Fantasy Trip. This was before GURPS and he used a modified version of the game to run a superheroes in space game. His core group had characters who were effectively the Fantastic Four. Any customer of the shop could join in the game, but got to make a 25 point character based on a fantasy oriented quick summary sheet (The regulars were 500 point characters or more). When people inevitably made fantasy style characters because of the quick summary sheet they were chastised for making a D&D character. If and what powers your character got depended entirely on the GM/owner's whim, but the idea was that you would mutate and become a 100 point character if you carried the heroes flashlights for long enough and didn't get killed.
Scolded for making a fantasy character, because "that's D&D," but then forced to start at level 1 (or level 0, if 25 pts in TFT is like it is in GURPS) and be a torch-bearer for the other PCs. I laughed for at least a minute straight when I read that. I'm sorry you were in that game, though, that's horrible.

I have to say, when I first discovered GURPS I was super tempted to become like your ex-friend. Thankfully, I'm only a douche-bag in very particular circumstances and I still have friends. I even still play Pathfinder.
 

Douglas Cole

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$20,000 Stretch Goal PILLAGED!! (Also: check your pledges and add-ons)

7932

We just pillaged the $20,000 stretch goal for 128 pages for Citadel. This makes me happy. Not the least reason for which is the unfinished draft lays out at 115 pages on a 112-page budget. So . . . I don't have to cut anything. Thank you all for making this my strongest Kickstarter ever.

As both Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2 and The Citadel at Nordvorn enter their final hours (fewer than 12 for DFM2, about 60 as I type this for Nordvorn), it's time to check and see if what you've got listed is really what you want, and (if it's not) push the proejct to the offset print run by adding what you want NOW rather than in Backerkit.
 

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My 'I want it all' box (...crate) of the new edition of TFT just showed up on my doorstep, and the thing is simply overwhelming. It has to be seen in person to be believed. The coolest thing is that the material components - which are key to this game - are super nice, look great layed out on the table, fun to fiddle around with.
 

KrakaJak

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My 'I want it all' box (...crate) of the new edition of TFT just showed up on my doorstep, and the thing is simply overwhelming. It has to be seen in person to be believed. The coolest thing is that the material components - which are key to this game - are super nice, look great layed out on the table, fun to fiddle around with.
Awesome! I'm paitiently waiting for mine... You should share some pics or play reports so I can live vicariously through you :smile:
 

Ulairi

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I ran my first fantasy Trip game with my wife and daughters last night. What I like, my almost 6 year old was able to make her own character and understand how the basic Melee game works and play. We usually let her play and I just make it up for her based on what she says.

My wife who thinks gaming is stupid could also play and enjoy it as a boardgame. My eldest daughter likes the cardboard pawns and the megahexas they included.

My group is playing tomorrow. First time any of us have played.
 

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Just got the email tonight that my hard copy of TFT is now on final approach. :music:
 

Ulairi

Pompous Windbag
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For the Dungeon Fantasy RPG the Citadel at Norovorn is in its last day and a half on Kickstarter. It's only a few thousand away from getting an offset print run.

Doug produces good work and is very open and timely in his updates. Please check it out!

 

Dumarest

Vaquero de Alta California
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I ran my first fantasy Trip game with my wife and daughters last night. What I like, my almost 6 year old was able to make her own character and understand how the basic Melee game works and play. We usually let her play and I just make it up for her based on what she says.

My wife who thinks gaming is stupid could also play and enjoy it as a boardgame. My eldest daughter likes the cardboard pawns and the megahexas they included.

My group is playing tomorrow. First time any of us have played.
Envious here...I would love to get enough players interested to play The Fantasy Trip.
 

Toadmaster

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My Legacy Edition boxed set showed up today. That is an impressive box. :shock:
 
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