RogerBW's Blog

Pyramid 100: Pyramid Secrets 23 March 2017

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's a celebration of 100 issues of Pyramid, and various articles that wouldn't fit well elsewhere.

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Pyramid 99: Death and Beyond 06 March 2017 - 3 comments

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's death, and what might follow.

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Pyramid 98: Welcome to Dungeon Fantasy 18 February 2017 - 2 comments

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time, to support the forthcoming Dungeon Fantasy RPG, it's all about dungeon-bashing.

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GURPS house rule: completion time 03 February 2017 - 2 comments

This is a small extension of the GURPS rules to generate the time taken for tasks of variable length.

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Stabcon 2017 31 January 2017

This long-running games convention had another instance at the start of January. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Pyramid 97: Strange Powers 12 January 2017

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's the loose idea of bizarre phenomena and, well, strange powers.

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2016 in GURPS 29 December 2016 - 4 comments

The GURPSDay bloggers suggested a series of questions about the year in GURPS, so…

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Pyramid 96: Tech and Toys IV 18 December 2016

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's high technology and the things one can do with it.

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Pyramid 95: Overland Adventures 27 November 2016 - 4 comments

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's wilderness adventures and travel in a fantasy, or at least low-tech, setting.

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GURPS Steampunk 1: Settings and Style, Phil Masters 13 November 2016 - 2 comments

The original GURPS Steampunk was published in 2000: both GURPS and steampunk have moved on since then. This first of what's planned to be a new series of PDF supplements does not replace that book, but "updates and extends" the GURPS treatment of this genre.

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GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 3: Born of Myth & Magic, Peter dell'Orto 05 November 2016 - 7 comments

This third Dungeon Fantasy Monsters book deal with monsters of known mythic origins, and expands on the popular "magical mistakes" category of monster.

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YSDC Games Day 5 30 October 2016

Fifth in this series of one-day conventions in bustling metropolitan Baildon (suburban Bradford). All images are cc-by-sa.

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Pyramid 94: Spaceships III 12 October 2016

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's a third issue on the general theme of Spaceships (the GURPS subsystem as well as the overall concept).

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GURPS Adaptations, William H. Stoddard 22 September 2016

This supplement is not about a specific world, or an area of GURPS rules: it's about how to convert a fictional setting for use in a role-playing campaign.

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Pyramid 93: Cops and Lawyers 11 September 2016

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's police and legal systems.

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GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 18: Power Items, Sean Punch 03 September 2016

This Dungeon Fantasy supplement deals with magical items that store spellcasting energy.

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Failing to Fix Operation Hard Sell 25 August 2016 - 2 comments

Operation Hard Sell was the adventure that convinced me I should stop running Torg, at least for a while. Spoilers for this adventure follow.

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GURPS Magic: Death Spells, Sean Punch 15 August 2016

This supplement adds to the standard GURPS magic system, with spells designed not just to injure or curse but to kill.

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GURPS Power-Ups 7: Wildcard Skills, Sean Punch 07 August 2016 - 3 comments

This supplement clarifies and gives comprehensive examples of Wildcard Skills, a relatively under-used element of GURPS 4th edition.

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GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 16: Wilderness Adventures, Sean Punch 30 July 2016

This Dungeon Fantasy supplement gets away from the cycle of dungeon to generic-town and back again, and moves adventures into the great outdoors.

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Pyramid 92: Zombies 20 July 2016 - 2 comments

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's zombies.

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Summer Stabcon 2016 16 July 2016 - 1 comment

This long-running games convention started off as a Diplomacy gathering. These days it's a blend of board-gaming and roleplaying. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Back to School at Dartmouth in space 14 July 2016 - 5 comments

For my latest RPG campaign, Wives and Sweethearts, I've been trying something a little different, making extensive use of the rules from GURPS Social Engineering: Back to School.

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Pyramid 91: Thaumatology IV 10 July 2016

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's magic.

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UK Games Expo 2016 06 July 2016 - 4 comments

UK Games Expo continues to expand, and this year moved the trade hall into the NEC for the first time. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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On Distinguishing SF from Fantasy 30 June 2016 - 3 comments

One might naïvely suppose that this would be an easy distinction, for both books and games. Fantasy has dragons; science fiction has spaceships. But there is a set of ideas, loosely correlated with the SF/fantasy divide, which to my mind make a greater difference to the feel of a story than do trappings like those.

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Pyramid 90: After the End 21 June 2016 - 3 comments

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time, tying in with the After the End series again, it's a grab-bag of articles about the post-apocalypse.

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More Torg Redesign 15 June 2016 - 3 comments

I wrote a while ago about how I'd redesign the Torg world to keep a similar feel but make it a bit more interesting. Now I want to consider how one might change that feel by changing the rules. (Like those world modifications, this would break the existing campaign, so players in my GURPS Torg game need not worry that this will apply to them.)

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GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Treasures 2: Epic Treasures, Matt Riggsby 04 June 2016

This Dungeon Fantasy supplement deals with "special" treasures: not just the big hauls, but something truly unique.

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Taxonomy of the Occult Secret Service 13 May 2016 - 13 comments

John Dallman invented the term Occult Secret Service to describe the Laundry novels of Charles Stross (from 2001) and the Broom Cupboard novels of David Devereux (from 2008). It's become popular in other fiction and in role-playing games. Is it useful to analyse it further?

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Disasters: Meltdown and Fallout 06 May 2016 - 1 comment

The observant will have noticed the tag "Project Woolsack" on various of my review posts, and a certain subject matter bias associated with them.

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Pyramid 89: Alternate Dungeons II 05 May 2016

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's about alternative framings of the dungeon again.

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Robots After the End Designer's Notes 22 April 2016 - 1 comment

I had an article in Pyramid #3/90 linking the general ideas of After the End to the specifics of Reign of Steel.

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GURPS Powers: The Weird, William H. Stoddard 14 April 2016

This supplement deals with powers that break the rules, for Lovecraftian aliens, superbeings, and weird lone genius inventors.

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GURPS After the End 1: Wastelanders, Jason Levine 07 April 2016 - 4 comments

This initial supplement in a new line deals with dwellers in the world after the end of civilisation.

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Pyramid 88: The End Is Nigh 17 March 2016

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's about the end of the world, linked to the upcoming publication of the After the End streamlined rules set.

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Pyramid 87: Low-Tech III 10 March 2016 - 2 comments

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's a variety of ideas broadly intended for pre-gunpowder campaigns.

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Nuclear Legacy Designer's Notes 25 February 2016 - 9 comments

I had an article in Pyramid #3/88 dealing with abandoned nuclear reactors and other sources of radioactive fun.

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Fixing High Lord of Earth 17 February 2016 - 7 comments

After a couple of shorter adventures, the campaign moved on to High Lord of Earth. Mostly it worked. Mostly… Spoilers for this adventure follow.

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Titansgrave season 1 10 February 2016 - 3 comments

2015 fantasy, 10 episodes. In a technomagical world, four heroes will hunt down the resurgent Prophet who was responsible for the last great war.

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Pyramid 86: Organizations 04 February 2016

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's about organisations, following this year's releases of Boardroom and Curia and Dungeon Fantasy 17: Guilds.

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GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 17: Guilds, Matt Riggsby 28 January 2016

This Dungeon Fantasy supplement deals not just with guilds but with organisations that interact with adventurers: the congregation, the cabal, organised crime, nobles, and the like.

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Stabcon 2016 26 January 2016

This long-running games convention started off as a Diplomacy gathering. These days it's a blend of board-gaming and roleplaying. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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GURPS Aliens: Sparrials, Elizabeth McCoy 13 January 2016 - 2 comments

This supplement updates and expands the Sparrial race, from the original GURPS Aliens, to fourth edition.

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Pyramid 85: Cutting Edge 26 December 2015

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's the near now, things that are just barely possible or not quite possible yet.

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Dragonmeet 2015 20 December 2015 - 2 comments

On a chilly December morning I went to Dragonmeet again. All images are cc-by-sa.

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GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Treasures 1: Glittering Prizes, Matt Riggsby 18 December 2015

This Dungeon Fantasy supplement deals with the thing closest to a dungeon-delver's heart: money.

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GURPS Transhuman Space: Bio-Tech 2100, Phil Masters 07 December 2015 - 3 comments

This GURPS Transhuman Space supplement gives an overview of biotech, dealing with all the fiddly bits that aren't bioroids or smart uplifted animals (which were in Bioroid Bazaar).

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Pyramid 84: Perspectives 22 November 2015 - 3 comments

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's a collection of unusual ways of looking at things.

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GURPS Action 4: Specialists, Sean Punch 10 November 2015

This GURPS Action supplement expands character creation with greater flexibility in power level and skills, while keeping much of the simplictiy of the Action series.

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Pyramid 83: Alternate GURPS IV 31 October 2015

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's a grab-bag of alternative and house rules for GURPS.

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GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Denizens 1: Barbarians, Peter dell'Orto 15 October 2015

This GURPS Dungeon Fantasy supplement expands the Barbarian archetype with new options and powers.

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Pyramid 82: Magical Creations 11 October 2015

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's about items one can make with magic.

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GURPS Thaumatology: Sorcery, Jason Levine 05 October 2015 - 6 comments

This GURPS supplement explains how to convert spells from the standard GURPS magic system into power effects.

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YSDC Games Day 4 28 September 2015 - 4 comments

Fourth in this series of one-day conventions in bustling metropolitan Baildon (suburban Bradford). All images are cc-by-sa.

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Pyramid 81: Horrific Creations 14 September 2015

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's about created, and creative, creatures in a horror context.

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GURPS Social Engineering: Back to School, William H. Stoddard 04 September 2015 - 2 comments

This GURPS supplement deals with teaching, learning, and games based on either or both.

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Pyramid 80: Fantasy Threats 20 August 2015

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's about things that threaten adventurers in a fantasy game: some monsters, but also societal menaces.

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Characters I'd like to play 28 July 2015 - 2 comments

I seem to end up GMing more than I end up playing. Here are some ideas and game mechanics I'd like to use in one of my characters if and when the opportunity arises.

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Summer Stabcon 2015 06 July 2015 - 3 comments

This long-running games convention started off as a Diplomacy gathering. These days it's a blend of board-gaming and roleplaying. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2: Icky Goo, Sean Punch 03 July 2015

The first Dungeon Fantasy Monsters book dealt with all sorts of creature one might find while kicking in doors and killing the things behind them. This one is more specialised, dealing specifically with slimes.

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Campaign Ideas 20 June 2015 - 2 comments

A game-related post for Free RPG Day. These are not "campaigns I plan to run", just ideas that someone could do the hard work on to turn into a game. I might run them at some point if the players are enthused; I would be nearly as happy if someone else took inspiration from them and ran something related that I could play in.

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Pyramid 79: Space Atlas, edited by Steven Marsh 13 June 2015

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. "Space Atlas" covers places to take a campaign… in space.

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GURPS Monster Hunters 5: Applied Xenology, Jason Levine 07 June 2015 - 2 comments

This supplementary volume in the Monster Hunters series tweaks the game to allow the foes to be aliens rather than supernatural monsters.

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Pyramid 78: Unleash Your Soul, edited by Steven Marsh 02 June 2015

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's religion, particularly of the actively supernatural sort. This isn't something that tends to come up much in my games, so the applicability of this issue is relatively low for me.

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GURPS Zombies: Day One, Sean Punch 25 May 2015

Eight zombie campaign frames sketched out in moderate detail.

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Pyramid 77: Combat, edited by Steven Marsh 09 May 2015

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's combat: fighting of all sorts.

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Fixing the Forever City 23 April 2015 - 4 comments

The Torg adventure The Forever City didn't need as much fixing as The Possibility Chalice, but there were still some tweaks that made things work better.

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GURPS Boardroom and Curia, Matt Riggsby 05 April 2015

This supplement is not called "GURPS Organisations", but it might as well have been.

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GURPS Powers: Enhanced Senses, William H. Stoddard 21 March 2015

This specialised GURPS supplement deals with unusual sensory powers, from the reasonable to the cinematic.

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Stabcon 2015 05 January 2015 - 2 comments

This long-running games convention started off as a Diplomacy gathering. These days it's a blend of board-gaming and roleplaying. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Given by the Mighty Hand of God 17 December 2014 - 2 comments

The players in my Second World War campaign have gathered various information about the interaction of atomic power and magic. Here's a quick summary of what they think they know.

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Fixing the Possibility Chalice 14 November 2014 - 8 comments

The Torg adventure The Possibility Chalice was published in the far-off days of 1990, when information about mysterious lands across the ocean was hard to come by, especially in a small town in Pennsylvania.

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Faking the Moon 09 November 2014 - 4 comments

I run a lot of role-playing games set in the real world. (As Ken Hite points out, the background material is much richer and has had more people working on it, even if it's sometimes less plausible.) One surprisingly easy technique to add consistency and a sense of realism is being able to say what the moon is doing.

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YSDC Games Day 3 22 September 2014

Third in this series of one-day conventions in bustling metropolitan Baildon (suburban Bradford), and a shift to a new time of year. All images are cc-by-sa.

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RPG a Day: part 3 01 September 2014 - 3 comments

Continuing with David F. Chapman's RPG a Day. Part 1 is here; Part 2 is here. I've also talked about these at greater length in the latest episode of Improvised Radio Theatre with Dice, a role-playing podcast which you should be listening to.

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RPG a Day: part 2 21 August 2014 - 3 comments

Continuing with David F. Chapman's RPG a Day. Part 1 is here.

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RPG a Day: part 1 11 August 2014 - 3 comments

David F. Chapman came up with the RPG a Day idea: one question about one's RPG experiences to be answered each day during August. That makes for short posts, though, so I'm going to group them together a bit.

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Summer Stabcon 2014 07 July 2014

This long-running games convention started off as a Diplomacy gathering. These days it's a blend of board-gaming and roleplaying. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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YSDC Games Day 2 23 March 2014

Yesterday was the second one-day convention organised by the yog-sothoth.com crew.

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The Same Page Tool 10 March 2014

The Same Page Tool is a series of questions to try to get players and GMs onto the "same page" in terms of the sort of behaviour they expect in a game.

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RPGs on-line: how I do it 02 March 2014 - 6 comments

Douglas Cole asks about experiences with RPGs played on-line and/or with virtual tabletops.

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Will and Fright Checks 18 February 2014 - 3 comments

Broadly speaking your resistance to intimidation, magical and psionic effects, and frightening and stressful situations, is determined by your Will stat. By default this is equal to your IQ; you can buy it up or down for five points per +/-1, and may find this referred to as "strong will" or "weak will".

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Keeping and Improving your kit 29 January 2014

There are various ways to get and keep good equipment in GURPS, other than just laying down money for it. Here are most of them.

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Explosions in GURPS 4th edition 18 January 2014

Explosions in GURPS confuse many people. Here's how they work, broken down at greater length than was available in the rules.

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Rapid Fire and Shotguns in GURPS 4th edition 15 January 2014

GURPS 4th edition introduced a completely new mechanism for the resolution of attacks with rapid-firing and automatic weapons, and uses the same one for shotgun pellet hits (which are after all a similar sort of multi-projectile attack). Here's how it works.

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Alternative Invaders in Torg (part 2) 13 January 2014 - 2 comments

OK, we've taken out American and European industry. We still need to deal with China, which the original game completely neglected, and Japan. I'm wondering here about a blend: wuxia action with conspiracy thriller in the style of some modern Asian action films.

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Alternative Invaders in Torg (part 1) 10 January 2014 - 5 comments

I'm running Torg at the moment. Because I didn't want it to turn into a research-fest, I'm running it pretty much as it was written.

But this raised the question: what would be a more representative, and more interesting, set of worlds to choose as invaders? One of the original ideas of Torg was that the worlds should be representative of popular role-playing genres, but this doesn't seem to have made it into the final game -- cyberpunk may well have been big, but lost-world fantasy with dinosaurs? Really?

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