RogerBW's Blog

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.

What's in a Lair? (Christopher R. Rice) rewrites the "base" rules from GURPS Supers to allow the estimation of rough costs and capabilities for a villain's lair or hero's headquarters. Determine the size and any special capabilities such as an unusual tech level, which gives you construction, repair and maintenance costs. Then set physical attributes like life support or enhanced security, and add fixtures like a bunker, a training facility, and so on. I… can't really evaluate this article. It doesn't seem to say anything to me. I think this is something I just do by feel, or with a detailed vehicle/building construction system, not at this level of abstraction. Designer's Notes here, "gear repositories" add-on here.

Designer's Notes: Boardroom and Curia/Dungeon Fantasy 17: Guilds (Matt Riggsby) explains the split between the two books: B&C works from first principles (how big and rich is the organisation), whereas Guilds asks how it fits into a narrative. I confess I see Guilds as more of a worked example of a B&C organisation, but maybe that's just me. There's a useful example of an organisation statted in both systems.

Eidetic Memory: The Most Worshipful Royal Society of Teratologists (David L. Pulver) is a monster-studying organisation primarily for Dungeon Fantasy, the sort of academic group that asks adventurers to bring back a live basilisk. Oh, and this elderly chap wants to go with you to study its native habitat. It can also provide employment for PC sages, and buy useful information. There's history and organisation (as well as some adventure seeds), and a strong flavour that raises it above the generic.

Designer's Notes: Back to School (William H. Stoddard) is cut material, particularly four worked examples: Merlin Hall, a magical school in a fantasy mediaeval England; Mistress Blake's Establisment, a Regency thieves' school; Nikola Tesla High School, for modern mad scientists; and The Shining Temple of the Autumn Wind, a 19th-century martial arts establishment. There's also the extended Accelerated Learning advantage, cut for space.

The Knights Templar (Graeme Davis) is not a new subject for him (he also wrote the Templars supplement for Rogue Games' Colonial Gothic conspiracy- horror RPG and Knights Templar: A Secret History for Dark Osprey), but gives a quick summary of the organisation and three B&C writeups: in their original form, at the height of their power, and in modern conspiracy theory.

Random Thought Table: Organization Rules! (Steven Marsh) is a guide to using rules for inspiration, going through each step and asking oneself what various answers to the implied questions might be. The worked example is The Elvey Institute from Pyramid #84, with various implications of the rules and ways it could have been done differently.

Short Bursts: Muckleshoot (Matt Riggsby) is another short piece of fiction connected with the upcoming Car Wars edition. No game content, and at under 600 words it's about atmosphere more than telling a story.

I'm giving up on the quality/applicability scale and just explaining what I think of things. There's nothing here that I expect to use directly in a game any time soon, but it's still thought-provoking and will help my world-building improve in general. Pyramid 86 is available from Warehouse 23.

See also:
GURPS Boardroom and Curia, Matt Riggsby
Pyramid 84: Perspectives
GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 17: Guilds, Matt Riggsby

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