Dungeon Fantasy RPG - Adventurers

Author: STEVE JACKSON GAMES. Link to original: http://www.sjgames.com/ (English).
Tags: GURPS Submitted by Shemharon 19.01.2018. Public material.

Translations of this material:

into Russian: Подземельное фэнтези RPG - Приключенцы. Translated in draft, editing and proof-reading required. Completed: 51%.
Submitted for translation by Shemharon 19.01.2018


Success Rolls

Roll 3d against fnal, modifed skill. Critical Success: A roll of 3 or 4, regardless of skill. A roll of 5 at effective skill 15+. A roll of 6 at effective skill 16+. Success: A roll less than or equal to effective skill. Failure: A roll greater than effective skill. Critical Failure: A roll of 18, regardless of skill. A roll of 17 at effective skill 15 or lower. Any roll 10 or more greater than effective skill.

Probability of Success Skill Probability Skill Probability Level of Success Level of Success 3 0.5% 10 50.0% 4 1.9% 11 62.5% 5 4.6% 12 74.1% 6 9.3% 13 83.8% 7 16.2% 14 90.7% 8 25.9% 15 95.4% 9 37.5% 16+ 98.1%

Task Diffculty

+6 or better – Trivial tasks. +4 or +5 – Typical non-adventuring tasks. +1 to +3 – Favorable adventuring tasks. 0 – Typical adventuring tasks. -1 to -3* – Unfavorable adventuring tasks. -4 or -5* – Diffcult adventuring tasks. -6 or worse* – Memorably diffcult adventuring tasks.

* Optionally, fnd task diffculty modifer by applying -1 per nasty qualifer or intensifer describing the situation: -1 for “slimy,” -2 for “horribly slimy,” and so on.

language, please!

Another convention of dungeon fantasy is that most sapient (IQ 6+) beings understand a common language, imaginatively called “Common.” Delvers can do so for free. There are two situations where language ability has a point value.


If you speak but can’t read or write Common, that’s a disadvantage: -3 points.

Obscure Tongues

Written or spoken comprehension of each language beyond Common costs 3 points. For written and spoken comprehension, pay 6 points. This is mainly good for learning spells from grimoires (requires written comprehension) and using magical scrolls (needs written and spoken) – such texts come with no guarantee of language when found as treasure. In addition, some dungeons contain clues etched in strange runes, and the GM may rule that a monster doesn’t understand Common, so any negotiation requires its language.

Languages include:

Ancient: Human language predating Common, found in some forgotten ruins and spoken by millennia-old undead.

Angelic and Demontongue: Used by beings of true Good and Evil.

Dwarvish, Elvish, and Gnomish: Used by elderly traditionalists of those races. (Catfolk and halflings use Common, like humans.) Most runes are the written form of Dwarvish or Elvish.

Elder Tongue: Used by Elder Things.

Faerie: Shared by fauns, leprechauns, nymphs, pixies, and related magical woodlanders. Druids sometimes call this Druidic.

Orcish: Used not only by orcs but also by goblins, hobgoblins, ogres, trolls, and other barbaric humanoids.

Reptilian: Spoken by lizard men and dragons. The written form is exclusive to dragons, who call it Draconic.

Understanding especially alien beings or particularly obscure texts might call for other languages. Delvers expecting to encounter these can spend points to learn them in any town with a library (GM’s decision).

BasIC attrIButes

Four numbers called attributes defne your basic abilities: Strength (ST), Dexterity (DX), Intelligence (IQ), and Health (HT).

A 10 in any attribute is free, and represents the (human!) average. Scores higher than 10 cost points: 10 points/level for ST or HT, 20 points/level for DX or IQ. Scores lower than 10 have a negative cost: -10 points/level for ST or HT, -20 points/level for DX or IQ. Most humans have attributes in the 8-20 range. For delvers, values above 20 require the GM’s permission. Monsters are subject to no such limits, and often have scores larger than 20 in ST! At the low end, although a score of 0 or even “N/A” is defned for some creatures, 1 is the minimum for a humanoid (human, elf, dwarf, etc.). Negative scores aren’t allowed for anyone.

Strength (ST)

±10 points/level

Strength measures physical power and bulk. It’s crucial for warriors, as high ST lets you dish out and absorb more damage in combat! Any delver will fnd ST valuable for bashing doors, hauling treasures, fghting in heavy armor, and so on.

Strength determines Damage (p. 9), Basic Lift (pp. 9-10), and Hit Points (p. 10).

Dexterity (DX)

±20 points/level

Dexterity is a composite measure of agility, coordination, and fne motor ability. It controls your precision at athletics, fghting, and anything that calls for a delicate touch. While valuable to all delvers, spellcasters don’t need as much as others.

Dexterity helps determine Basic Speed (p. 11).

Intelligence (IQ)

±20 points/level

Intelligence is a broad measure of brainpower: creativity, cunning, memory, reason, and so on. It rules basic knowledge, social interactions, and most crafts. It’s also crucial for magic – spellcasters need high IQ frst of all!

Two cutoffs are important for IQ:

Sapience: IQ 6 is needed to use tools and language. Delvers cannot have a lower IQ! Creatures with IQ 5 or less can’t be influenced socially, or through Communication and Empathy or Mind Control spells – use skills or spells for working with plants or animals.

Sentience: IQ 1 is needed to be self-aware. IQ 0 is only for plants, amorphous goo, and weirdness like “living” rocks – such entities may react and move around, but they have no mind in the conventional sense, or memories to read with magic.

Intelligence determines Will (p. 10) and Perception (p. 10).

Health (HT)

±10 points/level

Health is a measure of energy and vitality. It represents stamina, physical resistance (to poison, disease, and supernatural attempts to affect the body), and basic “grit.” High HT is good for all delvers, vital for warriors.

Health determines Fatigue Points (pp. 10-11) and helps determine Basic Speed (p. 11).

seCondary CharaCterIstICs

Secondary characteristics are quantities that depend directly on your attributes. You can raise or lower these scores by adjusting your attributes. You can modify some of them directly: start with the level calculated from attributes and spend the required points to adjust it away from that base level. This doesn’t affect the parent attribute(s).

Damage (Dmg)

Your ST determines how much damage you do in combat. Thrusting damage (abbreviated “thrust” or “thr”) is the basis of all unarmed strikes, and also used when poking or stabbing with the end of a rapier, spear, staff, etc. Swinging damage (abbreviated “swing” or “sw”) is the basis of damage with a swung weapon that acts as a lever to multiply ST: axe, club, halberd, sword, etc. Consult the Damage Table (p. 10) for these basic values. Specifc attack forms and weapons often modify these! On your character sheet, list thrust followed by swing, separated by a slash; e.g., for ST 13, write “Dmg 1d/2d-1.”

damage taBle

Basic Lift (BL)

Basic Lift is the maximum weight you can lift overhead in one hand in one second. It’s also the basis for more impressive lifts; see Lifting and Shifting (Exploits, p. 22). The amount of gear you can carry – armor, weapons, backpacks, etc. – depends on BL, too; see Encumbrance and Move (p. 12). The average ST 10 human has a BL of 20 lbs. To learn your BL, consult the Basic Lift and Encumbrance Table (p. 11) or use this formula: BL = (ST ¥ ST)/5 lbs. If BL is 10 lbs. or greater, round to the nearest whole number; e.g., 16.2 lbs. becomes 16 lbs.

Hit Points (HP)

±2 points/level

Hit Points represent your body’s ability to sustain injury. Your HP start equal to your ST, but you can increase HP for 2 points per +1 or reduce HP for -2 points per -1. Maximum variation in either direction is normally 1/3 of ST, rounded up.

Example: Someone with ST 10 starts with HP 10 and could vary HP by 4 either way, for between HP 6 and 14.

Monsters, by contrast, can have any number of HP! You can temporarily lose HP to attacks, disease, poison, and other harmful things. If you lose enough HP, you’ll eventually fall unconscious. Lose too many and you’ll die. Lost HP do not reduce ST, despite being based on ST. Injury is often compared to a multiple of your HP; e.g., “-5¥HP” or “HP/2.” In such cases, use your basic HP score in the formula, not your current remaining HP. For much more on losing and recovering HP, see Injury (Exploits, pp. 59-63).


±5 points/level

Will measures your mental resistance to such things as fear, social influence, and supernatural attempts to affect the mind. Will starts equal to IQ, but you can increase it for 5 points per +1 or reduce it for -5 points per -1.

Delvers cannot normally raise Will past 20, or lower it by more than 4.

Perception (Per)

±5 points/level

Perception represents your general alertness. The GM will secretly roll against your Per whenever it’s important to know whether you noticed something; see Sense Rolls (Exploits, p. 9). Per starts equal to IQ, but you can increase it for 5 points per +1 or reduce it for -5 points per -1. Delvers cannot normally raise Per past 20, or lower it by more than 4.

Fatigue Points (FP)

±3 points/level

Fatigue Points rate your body’s “energy supply.” Your FP start equal to your HT, but you can increase FP for 3 points per +1 or reduce FP for -3 points per -1. Maximum variation in either direction is normally 1/3 of HT, rounded up.

Example: Someone with HT 11 starts with FP 11 and could vary FP by 4 either way, for between FP 7 and 15.

You can “spend” FP to fuel adventuring feats: extra effort (Exploits, p. 20), special skills, and – most important – magic (see Spells). Never skimp on FP for a spellcaster! Strenuous activity, missed meals and sleep, and punishing environments can also sap FP. Disease, poison, and suffocation can do so quickly. And some unusual attacks reduce FP instead of or as well as HP. If you lose enough FP, you’ll slow down or fall unconscious. Lose too many and you risk death from overexertion! Lost FP do not reduce HT, despite being based on HT. Fatigue is often compared to a multiple of your FP; e.g., “-1¥FP” or “FP/2.” In such cases, use your basic FP score in the formula, not your current remaining FP. All this assumes a natural being. Some monsters ignore fatigue – their FP score is “N/A,” and they cannot spend or lose FP. Others have ridiculously high FP scores! For more on losing and recovering FP, see Fatigue (Exploits, pp. 63-65).

Basic Speed

±5 points per ±0.25

Basic Speed is a measure of your reflexes and general physical quickness. It helps determine your running speed (Basic Move, below), your chance of dodging an attack, and the order in which you act in combat (you go before foes with lower Basic Speed than you). To calculate Basic Speed, add DX to HT and then divide the total by 4. The result is your Basic Speed. Do not round off. A 5.25 is better than a 5.00! Delvers can increase Basic Speed for 5 points per +0.25, or reduce it for -5 points per -0.25. Maximum variation either way is normally 2.00.

Example: Someone with DX 12 and HT 13 starts with Basic Speed 6.25 and could buy values between 4.25 and 8.25.


Your Dodge defense equals 3 + Basic Speed, dropping fractions. For instance, if your Basic Speed is 5.25, your Dodge is 8. Encumbrance penalizes this score as explained in Encumbrance and Move (p. 12). You must roll less than or equal to Dodge on 3d to duck or sidestep an attack; see Dodging (Exploits, pp. 47-48).

Basic Move

±5 points per ±1 yard/second

Basic Move is your ground speed in yards per second. This is how fast you can run without encumbrance. It assumes you’re upright and moving forward over good ground – strange postures, sideways or backward movement, and bad footing will all slow you down. On the other hand, you can go a little faster if you “sprint.” See Sprinting (Exploits, p. 33). Basic Move starts equal to Basic Speed, dropping fractions. Delvers can increase Basic Move for 5 points per yard/second or reduce it for -5 points per yard/second. Maximum variation either way is normally 3 yards/second.

Example: Someone with Basic Speed 6.25 starts with Basic Move 6, permitting unencumbered movement at 6 yards/second, and could buy values between 3 and 9 yards/second.

Encumbrance and Move

Encumbrance is a measure of the total weight you’re carrying relative to your Basic Lift (BL). Its effects are divided into fve encumbrance levels. All but the lowest level will reduce your actual Move (for combat, running away, etc.) to a fraction of your Basic Move. It will also give you an encumbrance penalty.

TABLE: Encumbrance Weight Move Encumbrance Level Penalty

Drop all fractions when calculating Move, but minimum Move is 1.

Encumbrance penalties affect Dodge, attacks and parries with certain combat skills (Judo, Karate, and fencing skills), and many noncombat feats and skills (including all uses of Climbing, Stealth, and Swimming). They cannot reduce Dodge below 1.

enCumBranCe and move taBle

Move in Other Environments

Water Move for delvers is Basic Move/5, dropping fractions. This gives the average human Water Move 1. You can increase this directly by up to +2 yards/second, at 5 points per yard/second, if you’ve spent at least one point on the Swimming skill (p. 90). Water-dwelling creatures have much higher Water Move but often reduced ground Move.

Air Move is 0 for delvers without magical assistance. Monsters that can fly have Air Move equal to Basic Speed ¥ 2 (not Basic Move ¥ 2) on average, but this varies widely.

In both cases, encumbrance reduces Move normally.

Size Modifer (SM)

Size Modifer rates a being’s most signifcant dimension: length, width, or height. It’s a modifer to rolls to hit you in combat and to Vision rolls made to spot you – but when you try to grapple or intimidate someone smaller, you enjoy a bonus equal to the SM difference. SM is expressed as a bonus for large creatures, a penalty for small ones.

Most delvers have SM 0. Unless you’re a nonhuman whose racial template (Chapter 3) specifes another SM, note “SM 0” on your character sheet and ignore this rule.

For a creature larger or smaller than a human, fnd SM by looking up its longest dimension – height for upright beings such as humanoids, length for horizontal ones like cats and dragons, diameter for blobs – on the Size Modifer Table (below).

sIze modIFIer taBle

If a creature’s longest dimension falls between two entries on the table, base SM on the higher value. Exception: Treat delvers between 6’ and 7’ tall as SM 0, not as SM +1.

Box-, sphere-, or blob-shaped beings add +2 to SM; elongated boxes add +1. For really tiny or gargantuan beings, consult the Size and Speed/Range Table (Exploits, pp. 97-98).

Longest Size Dimension Modifer

Chapter tWo proFessIons

Getting rich quick isn’t easy! To be accepted by other treasure-hunters and entrusted with quests, you must be good at something (“good at heart” doesn’t count). You need a profession:

• Barbarians (p. 15) are strong, tough “heavy” warriors, adept at outdoor survival.

• Bards (p. 16) tackle social survival, and control minds with words, song, and magic.

• Clerics (p. 19) exorcise spirits and curses, and channel the divine to heal and bless.

Pages: ← previous Ctrl next
1 2