RogerBW's Blog

Pyramid 90: After the End 21 June 2016

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.

Disclaimer: as the author of one of the articles in this issue, I received a free copy.

Are We Not Men? (Jason "PK" Levine) adds plenty of new mutations to the system in After the End, as well as offering the option of random generation. Cinematic mutations aren't really my thing, but this is definitely handy for a game which includes them. Example character here.

Robots After the End (Roger Burton West) is my short piece on integrating Reign of Steel with After the End. Designer's notes here.

Eidetic Memory: The Mercy Dolls (David L. Pulver) is an example post-apocalyptic setting. This world was destroyed by the Blue Moon virus, which kills most of its victims and mutates the survivors, often into flesh-craving monsters. The Mercy Dolls are a few surviving medical robots, who aren't just good-guy healers: they also provide a backbone of force to the natural human tendency to despise the mutants. This could be blended into an existing campaign, but mutants are definitely needed.

Warping Monsters Into Mutants (Peter V. Dell'Orto) is a means of converting Dungeon Fantasy monsters into mutants for After the End: post-apocalyptic explorers don't have magic swords and armour, but they do have guns. So armour levels may be slightly improved, attacks get longer ranges, and magical abilities are replaced.

Survival at the End (Christopher R. Rice) goes into some detail about gathering, trapping and hunting, as well as finding water and starting fires; and there are some perks to represent characters who are particularly good at living rough. This is good stuff in general, and doesn't just apply to the post-apocalypse. Designer's notes here, and more for Christopher's Patreon subscribers here.

Random Thought Table: The Aftermath Protocol (Steven Marsh) is a scenario outline designed to require difficult decisions without obvious "right" answers. In this case there are rumours (and indeed religious worship) of a protocol for rebuilding the world, but that may not be entirely a good thing.

Short Bursts: Good Old Days (Matt Riggsby) is more Car Wars tie-in fiction. Well, it's more appropriate here than in an issue about Dungeon Fantasy…

Out of this lot, the Survival article is most likely to see immediate use at my table, but this is solid support material for After the End or any other post-apocalyptic game. Pyramid 90 is available from Warehouse 23.

  1. Posted by Owen Smith at 10:40pm on 21 June 2016

    You say this is solid support material, yet solid is the one thing it is not to me ie. it isn't available in physical copy nor is After the End which it supports. I'm saying this because I'm not sure I've made the point on your blog. I like my role playing prodocts in hard copy, and Steve Jackson Games does not currently satisfy that market at all. We're now six months since they said they'd try to get Discworld and Mars Attacks into print, and nothing. Most of the core 4E rulebooks are no longer in print, eg. Martial Arts, High Tech and so on. Essentially GURPS is now a PDF only game system, if you like hard copy you're out of luck. I know you're OK with PDF only but myself and others are not. GURPS is now a dead legacy system. Fine if you own what you need, but otherwise not.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 10:52pm on 21 June 2016

    This came up on rpgnet recently, and I worked the numbers. Even for people who want hardcopy, it looks as if it's actually cheaper now to buy a PDF from SJGames and have it commercially printed than it was to buy hardcopy from Warehouse23 and get it shipped to the UK.

    GURPS Mysteries is a 124-page book. When I bought a hardcopy from W23 in 2007, it cost me $25.20 including shipping to me in the UK; it would probably be around $35 today, considering how long ago that was and how shipping rates have gone up. I can buy the PDF ($13.95), and have it printed by doxdirect and delivered for about $20-equivalent, so total cost is around $34 – and it doesn't require SJGames to guess at print run sizes or maintain physical stock. (Take off around $8 if I were happy with a smaller book, A5 rather than A4.)

  3. Posted by Owen Smith at 02:15pm on 22 June 2016

    Getting something printed myself requires me to deal with the printing company, check it's going to come out correctly, complain when it doesn't etc. It's hassle I can do without. SJ Games were at one stage planning to offer Print On Demand themsleves but never got round to it, I still think that approach has merit. Most of the market is in the US after all so shipping costs aren't a concern.

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