RogerBW's Blog

Pyramid 110: Deep Space 25 December 2017

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's the exploration of space, as distinct from alien planets.

Aethyric Space (Christopher R. Rice and J. Edward Tremlett) is a space-opera setting: the Oort cloud is where magic starts, and it is linked to the clouds of other systems. There are five competing interstellar polities (two of which are utterly mysterious, and one of which is mostly dead, so really it's two), plus Earth - which is left largely for the GM to define. There's a fair bit of interest here, though it goes too far down the space opera path to be directly useful to me.

Bazaar (Nathan M.M. Meluvor) is a massive ancient space station, modified and expanded over millions of years, serving as a marketplace for everything. It's divided into city-states and deliberately set up to allow adventures that "don't fit" elsewhere in the campaign. Great idea, needing a fairly loose universe to work.

Eidetic Memory: Space Wrecks (David L. Pulver) is a more generic article, dealing with abandoned spacecraft and their salvage or at least reporting. Four ships are detailed, along with how they got where they are, what's left to be found, and any associated hazards. This is good stuff and useful inspiration for other incidents.

Space Pirates (Adrian Tymes) takes a game designer's approach to putting piracy in space, pointing out various groups that might be called "space pirates" and how they can be made playable and more-or-less plausible. There's also an example setting, and some spacecraft designs. The initial discussion is probably most useful, and could do with being longer, but this is still a solid article.

An Alien Way of Thinking (Rory Fansler) starts with various GURPS advantages, and looks at how they might shape the patterns of thought of a species where everyone shared them. There's an obvious nod to Arrival as well as a couple of new powers. Slight but interesting.

Random Thought Table: Push Your Luck! (Steven Marsh) looks at what's needed to make that concept useful: mostly, a choice between a relatively safe option and one that's riskier but more rewarding if it works. This is mostly a set of examples.

There's nothing here that I'll be using immediately, but Space Wrecks and Space Pirates both have relevance to the sort of campaign design I tend to do (probably not for the same campaign… though maybe…) Pyramid 110 is available from Warehouse 23.

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