Review and demo of GURPS Dungeon Fantasy boxed set

The GURPS system offers a crunchy, comprehensive rules set that covers virtually every aspect of gameplay. As one player of mine put it, “There’s a rule anything you can name.”

Players who enjoy rules heavy games, such as D&D 3.0. Pathfinder 1.0, etc., should enjoy it. Having played all 3, GURPS definitely presents the most character balance among the different fantasy character builds and abilities. However, presenting a rules heavy game to new players can be a challenge.

In my latest YouTube video, I go over my results demoing the game at North Texas RPG Con. The players who played it enjoyed it, and even found the system fairly intuitive.

Unfortunately, hallmark of GURPS, is that it places a lot of work on the GM. In this case, I took many hours to take the pre-generated characters and create custom sheets that detailed all the rules they needed to play in a manner a new player could understand. I found this step quite crucial, and those wishing to demo the game for their friends can contact me for the sheets.


The GURPS front loading is why have have a lot on my shelf and have never played it. It’s great for fluff. And Steve himself said he is just glad I buy his books.


It’s been said that GURPS books make the best supplements for other systems. I’ve heard very good things about GURPS Horror being the best GM advice for any game regardless of system or genre. I’ve always been fascinated by it since it was the first generic system I heard of, but never sat down and dug into. Some day…

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The various GURPS Traveler books and Aliens have been some of the best Star Trek supplements I can find.

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The MIBs appreciate your positive review of GURPS.

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Out of curiosity, did you happen to check out GURPS Lite or GURPS Ultralite? Both are freely available on Warehouse 23. They also happen to make the apparently little known fact that GURPS is actually a rules lite system, with a crap ton of optional options, very clear. It is the options that are crunchy, not the actual basic core rules. Please note that the core rule books (of which there are two) are actually mostly filled with options.

I have not tried those. Steve Jackson published the Dungeon Fantasy RPG as a self-contained game with no rules labeled as “optional” to my knowledge.

Gotcha. DF is not quite the same thing as GURPS, after all, so that makes sense. I do recommend checking out the Lite and UltraLite rules in the future if you have time.

I enjoy GURPS, but it lacks a player base. They are also light on settings.

I would probably do better to switch over to BRP for the modern stuff as Call of Cthulhu has become such a monster hit.

Yeah, lol. Too many memes about how difficult it is (which prior to the release of Lite and Ultra, it really was hard for most to parse out the core rules, honestly).

Well, and I say this with some humor: if the Core section on the Infinite Worlds setting, plus the two full expansion books, 10 or so smaller world expansions, the Fantasy Horror Mysteries Supers Steampunk Post Apocalypse worlds (each with their own expansions), Time Travel (with four more expansions, plus an entire raft of modern and historical expansions), plus the largest collection of licensed IP probably in the world: (Phillip Jose Farmer-Riverworld series, Louis McMaster Bujold-Vorkosigan series, E.E. Doc Smith-Lensmen series, Casey & Andy, Star Trek Prime Directive, Traveller, Girl Genius, Transhuman Space, Spider Robinson’s Callahan’s series, Conan, Discworld, Hellboy, New Sun, Queen of Zamba, Jack Vance’s Planet of Adventure series, Uplift, War Against the Chtorr, Wild Cards series, Andre Norton’s Witch World series, Alpha Centari video game, Myth video game, Blue Planet, Bunnies & Burrows, Castle Falkenstein, Conspiracy X, Deadlands, In Nomine, Vampire-Mage-Werewolf… all in one unified Infinite Worlds meta-campaign setting is considered light on campaign settings, then yeah, it’s probably better to move on.

(Oh, and just to be fair, a number of those are 3rd edition older products and pretty hard to get a hold of [legally] these days.)

I don’t consider GURPS light on settings. They have lots of settings but are generally each restricted to a single book. I suppose one could say some are not settings but more of a framework to create a setting. In that respect it is more work for a GM.

After having never played it, I decided to sell all my GURPS books a while ago. The only things I kept were GURP Autoduel.

My first exposure to GURPS was through their White Wolf clone stuff, so I’m familiar.

If we were to take any of those settings, the GM would be tasked with:

  • converting scenarios from other systems or generating originals stuff
  • constructing the player templates that would guide character creation

That’s still quite a time burden to place on a GM.

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Ok. We have different opinions about the content needed for a setting. I’m just looking for setting information. Generally I like hooks for possible adventures but I don’t need fully written adventures. The systems I play generally don’t need player templates. I’m not certain if I would consider them essential for GURPS. I’ve only had the Autoduel setting books so I’m not even sure what they normally provide.

The amount of content provided for a given setting varies widely. For licensed IP it tends to be one, or at most a few, books. With the exception of Traveller.

For historical settings, usually one but rarely more.

For more generic themed settings or SJG settings, it can get fairly extensive. Autoduel/Car Wars and Fantasy being two more famous examples.

And then you have the Cyberpunk sourcebook, which stands out all on its own, because that’s the book the US Secret Service raided SJG offices to steal their computers for. Despite the SS actually LOSING the subsequent court case, they never returned all the stolen items.

The Government is bad about boundaries and property.