Monday, June 29, 2020

More Titles Revealed

If it's not obvious, I'm pretty excited about the coming GURPS kickstarter, so much so that I've been rather surprised to find others much less enthusiastic, even disdainful of the idea. Understanding why has been an interesting experience for me, but that's not really the point of today's post.  Instead, I'm going to fanboy over the recently revealed material.

First, some context as to why I'm excited.  I would argue that the golden age of GURPS was actually relatively recent and roughly began with the release of GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 1.  At some point, we had close to weekly PDF releases, and certainly monthly releases.  Then it dropped to just Pyramid. Then that ended and we were promised more PDFs to compensate, and that only sort of materialized.  Meanwhile, a majority of material coming out for GURPS was Dungeon Fantasy.  Now, I get it.  While I don't boost Dungeon Fantasy here, that's more because there are other people better at it than I am and I would rather serve another niche.  I've played it, and enjoyed the experience sufficiently that I've basically stopped following all other "Fighting Fantasy" RPGs to focus on DF.  But to me, the point of GURPS has always been its broad flexibility, and turning it into "the other D&D game" would be a shame.

So, to see that there will be 12 new PDFs (that's 1 a month for the next year, all at once) has been quite a shot in the arm for my enthusiasm, and to see that DF will be in the decided minority also pleases me.  I'm fine that it gets support!  I just want to see a few other things get some love, and they will in this kickstarter.

The downside of this approach will be that we'll get a grab-bag rather than "What we want," but for $3, I don't really care. If one of them is worth it, that will be enough.  And who am I kidding: I'm going to spend the $100. I have quite a back log.

But what I really wanted to do was go over what I thought of the recently revealed titles.

Action 6: Tricked Out Rides

I'm happy to see anything Action, but I approach this one with mixed feelings.  I absolutely want to see rules for altering and souping up vehicles, and I have no doubt that I'll integrate some of these rules into Psi-Wars, because if Tall Tales of the Orochi Belt taught me anything, it's that fighter aces and smugglers want to personalize their rides. That's the "upside" of the book.

The downside is we have yet another book that teases at Vehicles.  We need a book like this because we can't figure out a reasonable way to mod vehicles ourselves.  Of course, even if we had that, some people would still want a simplified version of it (You don't need Loadout Books, but damn, they're handy), but still, I see works like this and miss a Vehicles book.

Hot Spots: the Incense Trail

I tend to find setting books useless until I need them, then I find they can't have enough material.  This wil likely be a Matt Rigsby book, which means it'll be wonderful, and likely illuminate a part of history and the world I knew little about, making it a fascinating read.  The most likely use I'll get out of it in the short-term, though, is pilfering it for exotic locales in Psi-Wars.

How to be a GM: Ritual Path Magic

No. Sorry.

Look, I get that Ritual Path Magic is wildly popular with a certain segment of the GURPS fan base, and its freeform nature lends it well to someone looking to just get started, and so some advice to a new GM who wants to try something that isn't GURPS Magic is probably welcome.  But I am not that person.  I don't really need tips on how to GM something like Ritual Path Magic, as I'm quite confident I could do a very good job of it.  And I also wouldn't, because I don't like Ritual Path Magic. It hits pretty much every peeve I have about flexible magic (though Christopher Rice has a nice couple of Pyramid Articles that fix some of my complaints and would be some of the first things I would institute if I were to run an RPM game).  So this is a double no from me: I don't need a How to GM Book, and I don't need RPM.  But I don't begrudge its existence.

Steampunk Setting: the Broken Clock World

I smell Stoddard on this one, and I find him very hit and miss.  Some of the best GURPS books I've ever read are his (Social Engineering, Powers: the Weird, GURPS: Supers) and some of the worst (Template Toolkits 2: Races, Portal Realms).  Even when I like his stuff, I tend not to like all of it (and even when I don't like his stuff, there's usually something I can find in there that I can salvage). And, as above, setting books tend not to be my bag.  I find I rarely use them.

On the other hand, I'm quite enamored of the idea of a Steampunk setting, and I've been tracking his Steampunk works for awhile. I've not been interested enough to pull the trigger, but with the other deals this Kickstarter involve, I may well end up with an expanded collection of Steampunk stuff.  A setting book goes a long way to giving me something to do with the rest of his framework.  I think how I feel about this one will depend on the quality of the setting.

Action 7: Mercenaries

Yay!  Action! But what is it? If I had to guess, we're probably looking at a Sidekicks book, something that gives us access to pre-gen, low-level characters (60-125 point characters) that we can slot in as allies, or use as a basic template for mooks.  If so, this could be a really good step forward for Action.  As noted in my series on Mooks, Action really suffers from a lack of foes.  Sure, you can say "They're goons with guns, nyah nyah, they're shooting at you," but I find players tie of that pretty quickly. They want some variety. They want guys with slightly different guns who use them slightly differently.  If so, such a book would be very interesting.

Dungeon Fantasy 21: Megadungeons

Oh no!  Dungeon Fantasy!  If you ever needed proof of what I mean by how much love DF gets, note that we're talking about GURPS Action 7 and GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 21.  Yeah. But if we're going to get DF, I'd rather it was, you know, DF, and not DFRPG (I don't mind DFRPG; I own it! But it's a cut down version of DF; I usually find the original material better, more complete and more powerful).

That said, hmm, megadungeons.  Labyrinths. Megadungeons. Labyrinths.  This might be very useful.  I've been thoroughly pilfering DF (and Underground Adventures, and Creatures of the Night) for my Labyrinth Material, and I still have more coming out (It's taking so long).  Some help here would be most appreciated, so a look through a megadungeon (which the Labyrinth effectively is) will help a lot!

Is it worth it?

For me? Well, yeah! I definitely want three already: Action 6, Action 7, and DF 21. I'd only really turn my nose up at one.  The other two look promising.  If these were sold at full price, I would almost certainly snap up the first three at full price ($6 each?) and the latter two mind end up waiting for a sale (Say $6 for both).  So you're looking at roughly $25 of value for... $3.  So, yes.  I'm sold.  I'm also quite curious what the last six will be.  We'll find out on Wednesday!


  1. I am excited as you are! I wish I had the $100 bucks to get some discounted books. But will stay with the $3 tier and enjoy all the books that we can unlock. Maybe add something at backerkit phase.

  2. Thanks for amplifying the signal, and the kind words about my DF skills.


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