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Old 06-23-2017, 05:30 PM   #7
Phil Masters
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: U.K.
Default Re: The Discworld Roleplaying Game (now available in PDF)

Many thanks for all the positive responses so far.

Like all GURPS adaptation books, this one is aimed at (a) fans of GURPS who might be interested in the setting, and (b) fans of the setting who might be interested in GURPS. I assume that people who haven't bought the book yet but who are reading this thread are mostly potential members of the first category. So I guess a big question here is what GURPS fans might get from this book.

The best answer (apart from, I may hope, "a quick education in the weird charms of the Discworld as a story setting") is probably "an extensive worked example of how to fit the GURPS rules to a specific world" -- very specifically, a somewhat unusual but not totally out-there fantasy setting. This is something I was able to do in this edition that wasn't part of the process for the first edition; a full integration of the rules to the Disc, applying the lessons I learned working on Hellboy, Vorkosigan, and Thaumatology.

Which meant that I got to dump some stuff. For example, Control Ratings and Legality Classes were part of some early versions of the text, before I realised that they just don't work in a fantasy-quasi-medieval setting where what one can get away with is so often a function of social position, chutzpah, and circumstance. Unaging and Longevity were dumped because, well, who really cares about them in this sort of freewheeling game? Though they came back as a perk, because the answer to that question might include Cohen the Barbarian and Granny Weatherwax, and I don't care to argue with them. Weapon stats for artillery lasted longer, but then I found that I had a space problem, and I suddenly realised that, most of the time, those things are plot devices, not personal equipment. How much damage do they do? Enough.

And, of course, I got to add one biggie (alongside the much-loved but relatively compact Shouting at Foreigners skill); the new magic system. Well, not very new; it came out of some work I did on Thaumatology, which in turn drew on some Third Edition books and so forth. Hardcore Discworld fans may be bemused that I invented a system that doesn't reference the novels so much as it does a throwaway gag in The Discworld Companion, but the fact is that the novels don't have a coherent magic system. (Well, I prefer to think that they offer incidental partial glimpses of a grand and hideously complex topic that nobody really understands, even in the setting.) So I came up with something that I think fits, plays fairly fast, and is adequately balanced and amusing. I've even heard mutters about people adopting it as their default GURPS magic system, in place of the usual spells-as-skills mechanic; I'm not sure how that'll work for them, but I'd be fascinated to hear.

Which just leaves me having to thank Paul Kidby and Sean Murray for the art, which shows me what things I wrote about actually look like, and Sean for the editing. Oh, and everyone who buys it and says nice things about it, again, without whom the whole exercise would feel really empty.
Phil Masters
Creator of The Small Folk - Wainscot Urban Fantasy Roleplaying.
Discworld Roleplaying Game author, Transhuman Space Line Editor.
My Home Page.
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