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Old 08-21-2014, 06:04 PM   #1
Kromm
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Default Pyramid #3/70: Fourth Edition Festival

A tome holds wisdom
When the passing of decades
Prove its insights true
— Some crazed game designer
Believe it or not, GURPS Fourth Edition turned 10 years old on August 19, 2014! In that time, other games have seen new editions (and edition wars . . .) but GURPS has remained stable, building on its foundations. Of course, Fourth Edition didn't spring into being fully formed a decade ago. It was – and is – a work in progress, an ever-growing library of ideas from which to pick and choose.

Speaking as a game developer, one of the interesting things about a living game system like GURPS Fourth Edition is that someone – often you! – eventually adds a concept you wish you had thought of back when you were working on an earlier project. About all you can do then is await a strategic opportunity to retcon your work, in the interim using blogs or forums to tell readers how you might have done things differently. Pyramid's goal in Pyramid #3/70: Fourth Edition Festival is to give a few of the writers instrumental to the evolution of Fourth Edition a more "official" platform for such thoughts . . .
  • David Pulver revisits GURPS Banestorm: Abydos, showing how well it suits a GURPS Dungeon Fantasy campaign before exploring the synergy with GURPS Zombies. The pièce de résistance: detailed GURPS Mass Combat rosters to let you set your adventures amid the clashes between Abydos and Quartedec. The necromantic city-state doesn't exist in a vacuum; bringing its hostile Megalan neighbors into the picture will add a lot of flavor to your games.

  • In Ten for Ten, Sean Punch – coauthor of the GURPS Basic Set, Fourth Edition and architect of many of the new rules added to it over the past decade – offers up the 10 additions he most wishes had been part of Fourth Edition from the outset. Gamers who don't want to buy every last supplement to have access to a few rules will appreciate this compilation, while those who already have all this stuff may find useful insights in Kromm's commentary. (And true to theme, he bends the rules and tacks on two extras plus a big list of honorable mentions.)

  • GURPS Martial Arts brought the swashbuckler's dashing swordplay and acrobatic fighting to Fourth Edition . . . but the social aspect of Gaming in the Ancien Régime is every bit as important. William Stoddard explores how GURPS Social Engineering can capture the customs and mores of being a swashbuckler by night and a proper gentleman (or woman!) by day.

  • Despite having "Dungeon" in the title, GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Adventure 1: Mirror of the Fire Demon sent delvers questing Into the Wilderness – but if GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 16: Wilderness Adventures had been around, Matt Riggsby would have included these additional rules, new kinds of hostile terrain, and shortcuts. As a bonus, he adds cold-weather kits for GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 13: Loadouts.

  • China has a rich and deep mythology, in terms of both what its heroes can accomplish and the sorts of monsters that terrify the world. Now it's time to step into this battle. It's time . . . for Elemental Xia Champions vs. the Shenguai. GURPS Monster Hunters author PK presents a new champion template based on GURPS Thaumatology: Chinese Elemental Powers, five sample power sets, and three dangerous additions to The Enemy.

  • The Law of Conservation of Ninjutsu states that as you reduce the number of ninja in a situation, each ninja becomes progressively more deadly – and Peter Dell'Orto's Horde Ninja exemplify this trope. Presented in GURPS Dungeon Fantasy-style "monster" format (foes to fight, not NPCs to befriend), these sneaky stabbers start off as mooks but get harder to kill as you whittle down their numbers, until there's only one left to avenge his fallen brethren! This isn't an abstract "setting switch," either; Peter provides a trait that can give PCs this ability, if the GM is crazy enough to allow it.

  • Thanks in no small part to Hans-Christian Vortisch, the arsenal available in GURPS High-Tech is as accurate as it is expansive. That doesn't mean he hasn't considered Revisiting High-Tech for a few minor adjustments, though. This one-page look at machine pistols and shotgun rounds suggests simple changes that add realism without increasing complexity.

  • Steven Marsh joins the celebration with his usual contributions, including a Random Thought Table that looks at rules as empowerment, and he pokes William Stoddard for an Odds and Ends that explores the notion further while providing GURPS City Stats for Paris. (Yep, even in the Odds and Ends, we keep tying in Fourth Edition books!)
PK & Kromm
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/70: Fourth Edition Festival

Just shut up and take my money, please. Heading to the W23...

EDIT: After reading it, a very solid read! I liked it. I don't play Banestorm, but the article on Abydos was great. The little rule gems, while scaterred around other supplements, go very well together. It makes a good couple pages to print and keep by your side while you GM.

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Old 08-21-2014, 06:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/70: Fourth Edition Festival

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
It was – and is – a work in progress, an ever-growing library of ideas from which to pick and choose.
This is (to date) the most apt description of GURPS I have ever seen. It's like the thesis statement to the entire system.

I've did my prelim read of the issue - so far - excellent stuff. Good job all around.
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:14 PM   #4
Peter V. Dell'Orto
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/70: Fourth Edition Festival

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
The Law of Conservation of Ninjutsu
It's the Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics. Not as well known as the ones with all the numbers on them, but it's fundamental to how the universe works.
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:33 PM   #5
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/70: Fourth Edition Festival

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter V. Dell'Orto View Post
It's the Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics. Not as well known as the ones with all the numbers on them, but it's fundamental to how the universe works.
I can't believe you got away with putting the freaking Inverse Ninja Law into GURPS canon. You are...there is no word for you yet. "Dell'Ortoian" shall now be enshrined as the English word for "he who does things ninja-like."
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/70: Fourth Edition Festival

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Originally Posted by Ghostdancer View Post
I can't believe you got away with putting the freaking Inverse Ninja Law into GURPS canon. You are...there is no word for you yet. "Dell'Ortoian" shall now be enshrined as the English word for "he who does things ninja-like."
I think the standard way to turn that name into an adjective would give us "Dell'Ortonian."

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Old 08-21-2014, 08:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/70: Fourth Edition Festival

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I think the standard way to turn that name into an adjective would give us "Dell'Ortonian."

Bill Stoddard
I did not know that. Thank you. :-) Dell'Ortonian it is!
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/70: Fourth Edition Festival

Heh.

In my defense, I'll just say when I suggested it, Kromm had suggestions to add. It's not like I had to do it over any actual objections or without total support. :)
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/70: Fourth Edition Festival

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter V. Dell'Orto View Post
It's the Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics. Not as well known as the ones with all the numbers on them, but it's fundamental to how the universe works.
I hate to tell you, but there is a Zeroth Law: Two objects that are in thermal equilibrium with a third object are in thermal equilibrium with each other. (It's the law that says that "temperature" is a meaningful concept.) Maybe you could call it the ith Law, or the Minus First Law? Either would seem to fit ninja!

(There's also a Fourth Law, but it's kind of arcane and I don't claim to understand it.)

There are also the paraphrases of the law in game terms:

0. Score is kept.
1. You can't win.
2. You can't break even.
3. You can't get out of the game.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: Pyramid #3/70: Fourth Edition Festival

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I hate to tell you, but there is a Zeroth Law: Two objects that are in thermal equilibrium with a third object are in thermal equilibrium with each other.
Oh, for sure. Those not conversant in ninjitsu are known to number it that way.
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