RogerBW's Blog

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.

The Redeemers (Jason "PK" Levine) writes up a wasteland gang with a religion focused on "purity" and the traditional contempt for outsiders. But they're not quite the usual frothing fanatics, being happy to feel superior to others without killing them as long as those others don't challenge their worldview. There's also a useful map of their base, a modified highway patrol station. This is clearly a few generations after the end, and the organisation could be used as a neighbour in a community-building game or a foe for wanderers.

Post-Apocalyptic Guns (S.A. Fisher and Hans-Christian Vortisch) considers how firearms and ammunition survive when they're not being replaced or serviced any more, as well as the likely composition of arms caches and the lifetime of reloaded brass (though it's a shame to see flat penalties to reliability rather than taking the skill of the reloader into account). There are also notes on using black powder in cartridge firearms, the perils of unjacketed lead bullets, the difficulty of making primers, the best weapons to choose taking all this stuff into account, and even how to manufacture entirely new weapons. This is good solid stuff and is likely to see substantial use in my games.

Eidetic Memory: Warlords of the Apocalypse (David L. Pulver) applies Mass Combat rules in a post-collapse setting: variable tech levels, increased costs to raise and maintain units, traits that are particularly appropriate in the setting, and a couple of example forces. Mass Combat hasn't been as useful to me as I expected, but this is good solid support material.

Better Improvised Weapons (Peter V. Dell'Orto) is a set of cinematic rules for making ad-hoc weapons more effective, applying the Rule of Cool and adding various small benefits to make random acquisitions and constructs more tempting but not overpowering. Designer's notes here.

Nuclear Legacy (Roger Burton West) looks at nuclear power plants, waste disposal sites, vehicular reactors and nuclear weapons once maintenance stops. Designer's Notes here.

Random Thought Table: Keeping the Fallen World Under Control (Steven Marsh) looks at ways of keeping a post-apocalyptic world mysterious: having player characters arriving from outside or somehow missing the event, emerging from isolation, or coming from an isolated social construct that denies or doesn't know about the outside world.

Short Bursts: Rapid Raj (Matt Riggsby) is more tie-in fiction for Car Wars.

This is a solid issue for me, with one very crunchy article that I'll get a lot of use from, and several others that may well show up in passing in my games. Pyramid 88 is available from Warehouse 23.

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