RogerBW's Blog

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.

Training for the Tech (Phil Masters) adds to existing material on gun combat styles in TL9 and TL10 campaigns; older styles have already been considered, but this article gives details on the styles that aren't possible before the advent of handheld smart weapons, with some new style perks to make homing missiles more effective, the Disk Bouncing technique to make saucer grenades more accurate, and three new styles: Captivator (specialising in non-lethal restraint weapons), Missileer (light guided missiles), and Support Shotgunner (exotic slug loads for a weapon that would otherwise be obsolete). High quality, high applicability: there's an obvious connection to Transhuman Space, but any high-tech game with military levels of combat will benefit from these options.

Remixing the Rocker (Jon Black) looks at the future of music: when pitch correction is available to everyone, does the uncorrected authentic performance return to a premium position? Can VR revitalise the music video? What happens if a record company really can predict hits in advance? Does a digital songwriter need to be sapient to produce good original work, or only to think that it's sapient? This is quite a long article with very little rules content; rather, it's full of good ideas on how to use music in games set in the future. High quality, medium applicability, though I may yet find a way to work it into a game.

Eidetic Memory: Cutting-Edge Armor Design (David L. Pulver) adds high-tech armour materials to the piecemeal armour design system found in GURPS Low-Tech. Disappointingly, it doesn't use the materials from Ultra-Tech but rather its own much more detailed list. Nothing goes beyond TL9, but for gritty games where the exact coverage and donning time of a piece of armour matters this will be helpful. High quality, low applicability; I find I don't really need this level of detail in the games I run.

Free Falling (Timothy Ponce) considers lack of gravity, and the effects it has on the human body. A bit like my own GURPS Fathom Five, it runs through physiological effects, activities and combat; it then lists existing and new traits that are relevant to a campaign that will take place substantially in zero-gravity environments. There are also a couple of new martial arts styles. High quality, high applicability; this is a handy reference in one place to rules that can be a bit scattered, and adds useful new material.

Random Thought Table: Forward Thinking (Steven Marsh) considers how crowdsourcing could become relevant to a game, and how the increasing ease of research might lead to GM assistant software that can dig out real-world information based on location. Medium quality, low applicability: these are interesting ideas but there's not room to develop them.

Short Bursts: White Gold (Matt Riggsby) is a short piece of fiction connected with the upcoming Car Wars edition. No game content, and more of a scene than a story.

Appendix Z: The Perky L33t (Christopher R. Rice) lists seven new perks for (cinematic) netrunners, giving various minor benefits. Medium quality, low applicability: this doesn't inspire me to return to netrunning as a concept the way W.A. Frick's Console Cowboys and Cyberspace Kung Fu, which this article extends, did. (Designer's notes here.)

In spite of a slight let-down towards the end, there's some very solid material here, and I expect this to be one of the issues I use quite a bit. Pyramid 85 is available from Warehouse 23.

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action advent of code aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime crystal cthulhu eternal cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics en garde espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 essen 2023 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2021 hugo 2022 hugo 2023 hugo 2024 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust scala science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1