RogerBW's Blog

Pyramid 107: Monster Hunters III 26 September 2017

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's another batch for the Monster Hunters setting.

Born to Be Wild (Christopher R. Rice) introduces some new wildcard skills to Monster Hunters, and gives them extra benefits to try to make them more worth the cost. I'm not convinced that it does; wildcard skills always seem to me as though they really fit a different sort of game, and running them side by side with normal skills feels like putting D&D and RuneQuest characters in the same party: it's a nifty gimmick but not really useful. Quite a few of these new skills would be better covered, at least in the sort of game I run, by Advantages or Talents.

An Irregular Sort of Terror (J. Edward Tremlett) looks into ghosts in the Monster Hunters setting, with three new types (objects, poltergeists and fetches), cultural variants, and traditional ways of dealing with them. There are also plenty of new abilities for ghosts; alas, not statted out as powers, but still useful for NPC spirits.

Eidetic Memory: The Dwyrm (David L. Pulver) starts as a pile of handouts (or could be made into one with minimal work), legends and reports about a new type of beastie that a monster-hunting team might come across with a bit of work. This is then tied to a weird phenomenon that's not obviously related. I'm not sure I'll use this directly, but there are some excellent ideas here which may find their way into my games.

Young Hunters (Liam Duncan) combines the monster hunting campaign frame with a school setting (heavy on the metaphors). It's mostly game-mechanical advice rather than giving ideas for plots and things to throw at the PCs.

Random Thought Table: The Importance of Static (Steven Marsh) talks about how to add chaff to a straightforward investigative plot: occasional random NPCs should be oddly beautiful, or have a distinctive personality, as well as the ones who have defined roles in the plot.

I still don't really "get" Monster Hunters, but the articles that get away from game mechanics have some useful advice to offer for other sorts of game too. Pyramid 107 is available from Warehouse 23.

  1. Posted by John Dallman at 11:57am on 26 September 2017

    Ah, well. Another issue to not buy.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 12:15pm on 26 September 2017

    I think this is a potential hazard of all this segmentation: rather than "products for GURPS", we see "products for Dungeon Fantasy" or "products for Monster Hunters", which have a higher proportion of stuff I'm not going to use in them.

    On the other hand if there's still enough stuff that I am going to use then it'll be concentrated into a smaller number of products so I spend less money on them.

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