RogerBW's Blog

Pyramid 116: Locations 29 June 2018

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's a set of four locations, with some effort made to blend detail with broad applicability.

Al-Phasmaq, the City of Ships (Christopher R. Rice and J. Edward Tremlett) is a bronze-age fantasy trading port with a Dark Secret. There's plenty of atmospheric description, and a useful spread of who knows what about the mystery. The actual answer seems so huge that keeping it a secret would be both impractical and unproductive, but that could be lightly modified, and the location itself is definitely worth playing with.

Eidetic Memory: The Haunting of Film House (David L. Pulver) presents a 1920s Hollywood mansion with a history of tragic events and a haunting to tie them all together. It's mostly focused on the modern day, but there's enough material to set it anywhere from the 1920s onwards.

Croatoan Point (Christopher R. Rice and J. Edward Tremlett) is a way station on an asteroid at the edge of civilisation… and perversely similar to the other article by the same authors, in that it has a history of initial establishment followed by disaster, abandonment, repurposing, and a Dark Secret that the senior people know about. (In a way it might have been interesting to combine the two articles, since the locations are unlikely both to show up in the same campaign.) There's still useful material to be extracted, though.

The Pharos Lighthouse (Carolyn and Steve Stein) deals with the historical Pharos, though too much of it reads like a rewriting of the Wikipedia page. The adventure seeds are more useful, and many of them could also apply to other classical locations; and the diagrams are excellent.

Random Thought Table: The Good, the Bad, and the Funky (Steven Marsh) considers quirks for buildings: how they fail at their main job (possibly for non-obvious reasons), how they might have one particular advantage, and how they might have small memorable features. The object of this is to build a quick way of creating memorable locations, rather than "just another library"; I rather like it.

This isn't one of the truly great issues, but there are various components in each of the articles that I'll steal and use elsewhere. Pyramid 116 is available from Warehouse 23.

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