Before we dive into another awesome behind the scenes look at Dungeon Fantasy RPG from Sean Punch, a quick update for our European backers. Our shipping partners at Pegasus have received their shipment, and are aiming to start shipping next week. We'll update you when this actually happens.
For our "International/Rest of the World" backers, we are still waiting on our shipment from the main warehouse. It is landing stateside as I type, so hopefully we're on our way to having it in our own warehouse sooner rather than later. As always, we'll keep you up to date on any happenings with these pledges shipping.
That's all we have for now. Let's get to Sean's behind-the-scenes look at magic items, with a new item to use in game at the end!
It’s time to sneak another peek behind the scenes! This week we shine the spotlight on Dungeon Fantasy Magic Items, which will be available as a standalone PDF and be included in the Dungeon Fantasy Companion.
Backers of the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game expressed interest in two kinds of stretch-goal items: adventures and crunch. What kind of crunch does a hack ‘n’ slash game need? Well, there are spells and monsters, but those are covered adequately in the creatively titled Spells and Monsters books in the box. Then there are traps, which got just over a page in Exploits but fill the entirety of Dungeon Fantasy Traps (the subject of the August 31 update). And of course there’s loot.
The favorite loot of most dungeon delvers is magic items. The core game offers more on this topic than it does on traps. Adventurers contains almost three pages of basics for heroes to buy: potions, scrolls, low-end weapons and armor, and some odds and ends of miscellaneous gear. Exploits adds a few more pages on these sorts of things plus slightly more powerful artifacts. And Spells has a scattering of additional options. But this is still just a taste – and while there’s lots of advice on inventing further treasures, the creation process is left to the GM.
Fortunately, Dungeon Fantasy Magic Items provides a hoard of ready-to-go magical loot! There are big lists of items that empower the wielder to cast spells (or to cast spells more capably), and others that cast spells for the user, tapping internal resources to pull off magical stunts from shooting fireballs to granting wishes. Just about all the magic in Spells is available in gadget form. Other offerings include “always on” items: high-end weapons and armor, enchanted jewelry that endows the wearer with special abilities, and so on. There are also more potions . . . and, at the far end of the power scale, artifacts so extraordinary the GM might decide they’re unique.
Below is an example of such a special artifact created for this update. For even more from fellow GURPS fans, see this post in our forums.
Tome of Magical Wonders
This massive, leather-bound manual looks like a spellbook. Its remarkable nature is evident almost at once to any caster, however: Anybody with Bardic Talent, Magery, Power Investiture, or Power Investiture (Druidic) gets a Perception roll, modified by their advantage level, on seeing it and again on touching it. Success reveals the tome is magical.
Literally anyone who’s literate can read the tome of magical wonders. The characters on the pages adapt to the reader’s best language. The writhing inscriptions tend to induce madness in non-casters – those who have none of the spellcasting talents above must roll a Fright Check (Exploits, pp. 10-11) at -4.
The book’s subject matter is magical artifacts, and the tome allows the reader to make default rolls against skills – even those that usually have no default – in order to identify the general properties (only) of magic items (Exploits, pp. 24-25) and the full contents of spellbooks and scrolls (Exploits, pp. 76-77), even those the researcher couldn’t possibly use or benefit from. Hidden Lore (Magic Items) and Hidden Lore (Magical Writings) default to IQ-5; Religious Ritual and Religious Ritual (Druidic) default to IQ-6; and Alchemy, Herb Lore, and Thaumatology default to IQ-7 for this one purpose. Readers who know such a skill get +1 to use it to identify items when consulting the tome.
Even better, the tome allows any caster to cast a powerful version of Analyze Magic (Spells, p. 42) at a level equal to IQ + spellcasting talent. This takes an hour and costs 8 energy points, as usual. However, success reveals all the magical properties of the item being examined – though these are still vague if they don’t correspond to standard magic found in Adventurers, Exploits, or Spells. Critical success reveals even such remarkable abilities!
There’s one catch: The tome either does or doesn’t have information on a given item. If any skill or spell roll involving the tome fails, the thing being examined isn’t discussed in this copy of the book. Make a note of that for the future – later attempts by the same or another reader automatically fail on that article.
A tome of magical wonder holds 15 FP if used as a power item. It can be sold for $80,000 to a druids’ coven, the temple, or the Wizards’ Guild. 12 lbs.
– Sean Punch