RogerBW's Blog

The End of Pyramid Volume 3 15 August 2018

It has been announced that Pyramid volume 3 is to cease publication at the end of this year.

I think this is a bit of a shame, but there's clearly a large perceptual component here: many of the same people who whine that "GURPS is dead" because there isn't a new book coming out every month faile to see that Pyramid is a new book every month, a sort of All-Star Jam in miniature: it held articles that didn't necessarily justify independent publication (though a few grew into their own books later), but which were still useful material for GURPS.

To be fair, quite a few recent issues haven't really been all that great for my purposes. (This is, obviously, because I haven't had time to write for it.) There's been a lot of Dungeon Fantasy material which doesn't really have much applicability outside that kind of high-magic setting, and (often overlapping with that) a lot of rules material that seems too specific to be useful to me. What I really want is ideas for adventures (or things that spur adventures) that I can drop into an existing campaign.

One friend has complained that it's all material for GMs, not for players, which cuts down the potential market; but I tend to think of any RPG publication as material for GMs, unless it takes the form of new stuff for players to use in an existing campaign – and even then it has to be approved by the GM. (And most GURPS players I know are sometimes GMs.)

I wonder in retrospect whether having themed issues was a mistake. With a theme, there's less incentive to subscribe (if you're not, like me, a completist): if an issue has a theme you don't care about, you can just skip it. On the other hand, with a cost per issue the same as a medium-sized "proper" GURPS PDF, the perceived value of an issue that only has one or two useful articles in it is fairly low. It might be possible to sell individual articles, but clearly the price would have to rise quite a bit (it was clearly unsustainably low anyway, and per-document costs would start to dominate). I suspect that if there's any future role for short articles, the company will concentrate on thematic collections – like the Dungeon Fantasy Pyramid compilation and the planned resurrection of articles from the Pyramid volume 2 archives.

Anyway, I plan to keep maintaining the master index of Pyramid volume 3 articles all the way to the end, and to keep reviewing issues as they come out. I may go back and review some older ones too, as the "magazine" format is a bit deceptive: these issues continue to be available, and to be useful resources. I'll probably also use PDF manipulation software to build thematic collections of articles for my own purposes.

Tags: gurps rpgs

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