RogerBW's Blog

Pyramid 115: Technomancer 29 May 2018

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's GURPS Technomancer, the magic-as-technology world inspired by Magic, Inc., Operation Chaos and The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump.

This is a setting I've never run, and played in only briefly. But it's just come out in print-on-demand, and there's clearly still interest in it.

Technomancer Needs Hunters! (Kelly Pedersen) adapts the Monster Hunters series to Technomancer: magic and supernatural creatures are known, so the hunters don't need to be covert, but public scrutiny can bring its own problems. Getting backup from official sources is possible, but leads to the standard problem of protagonists who don't want to be protagonists ("why don't we just call the cops and go home"), and there are some notes on avoiding this. The article deals with the replacement of Ritual Path magic by the standard GURPS spell system, adjusts templates and adds some new ones, and gives some stats for monsters.

El Paso Vice (Paul Stefko) takes a similar approach, but starts with the Action series; it adds magic (potentially basing spells on DX for the shooty hero types), modifies the existing templates by adding 10-point spell packages, adds some magic items, and gives the titular campaign frame, which is cops in a city on the Mexican border, fighting against drug cartels. With every PC a magician, this could get tremendously complicated in play, but I'd like to see it tried.

Eidetic Memory: Merlin Declassified (David L. Pulver, who wrote the world in the first place) adds some new and interesting spells, and updates the setting slightly to the Internet age: "web-based and wireless magical service providers (e-magic)". But hey, you can pay for it by having targeted advertising added to your dreams! If I were planning to run a Technomancer game, I would definitely include this material; and any game with modern tech plus magic could benefit from the new spells.

Revised Templates, Come Fourth! (Kelly Pedersen and David L. Pulver) updates templates for chimeras, demons, and other strange but playable creatures from the original book for GURPS 4th edition.

Random Thought Table: Questions and Technomancers (Steven Marsh) considers the parallelism of having things that work like guns, cars, telephones, and so on: it's easy to get the hang of how you should act, even if the details are different. Some of the benefits and hazards of this are considered, as well as other approaches such as amnesia and secret weirdness. It's good, thought-provoking stuff.

I don't have time to run a Technomancer campaign, and the usual problem of "but what do we do in this world" is certainly present, but this is good support material for an unusual setting. Pyramid 115 is available from Warehouse 23.

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