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Old 06-24-2020, 07:16 AM   #1
Anaraxes
 
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Default 10 Best Issues of Pyramid?

Inspired by a comment in the GURPS PDF Kickstarter thread, I thought I'd ask the forum. I'm not really familiar with Pyramid, other than the comments that periodically appear in the forum.

There are of course many meanings for "best". So purposes of this thread, I mean those issues or articles that had the most continuing impact on your gaming. That might be a rules subsystem (like KYOS), or a more detailed layer for some topic (like The Deadly Spring, or Action Points), a new way of approaching the game (Impulse Buys for more narrative/meta control, maybe something in those Alternate GURPS issues), or a concept or setting that was inspirational or influential beyond "hey, let's run a game there", but having continuing echoes through your later games as well.

If you wanted to buy some Pyramids (for example, to fill out your KS pledge when you've already got all the regular PDFs), what would be your list of the "must have" issues and why?
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Old 06-24-2020, 07:36 AM   #2
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Default Re: 10 Best Issues of Pyramid?

This is very variable, according to the kinds of settings you play in or run. The "Alternate GURPS" series are quite broadly useful, as are the "Tech and Toys" series. Here's a list:

Pyramid_3_01_Tools_of_the_Trade_Wizards.pdf
Pyramid_3_02_Looks_Like_a_Job_for_Superheroes.pdf
Pyramid_3_03_Venturing_into_the_Badlands.pdf
Pyramid_3_04_Magic_on_the_Battlefield.pdf
Pyramid_3_05_Horror_Spies.pdf
Pyramid_3_06_Space_Colony_Alpha.pdf
Pyramid_3_07_Urban_Fantasy.pdf
Pyramid_3_08_Cliffhangers.pdf
Pyramid_3_09_Space_Opera.pdf
Pyramid_3_10_Crime_and_Grime.pdf
Pyramid_3_11_Cinematic_Locations.pdf
Pyramid_3_12_Tech_and_Toys.PDF
Pyramid_3_13_Thaumatology.pdf
Pyramid_3_14_Martial_Arts.pdf
Pyramid_3_15_Transhuman_Space.pdf
Pyramid_3_16_Historical_Exploration.pdf
Pyramid_3_17_Modern_Exploration.pdf
Pyramid_3_18_Space_Exploration_.pdf
Pyramid_3_19_Tools_of_the_Trade_-_Clerics.pdf
Pyramid_3_20_Infinite_Worlds.PDF
Pyramid_3_21_Cyberpunk.pdf
Pyramid_3_22_Banestorm.pdf
Pyramid_3_23_Action_Adventures.pdf
Pyramid_3_24_Bio-Tech.pdf
Pyramid_3_25_Epic_Magic.pdf
Pyramid_3_26_Underwater_Adventures.pdf
Pyramid_3_27_Monsters_in_Space.pdf
Pyramid_3_28_Thaumatology_II.PDF
Pyramid_3_29_Psionics.pdf
Pyramid_3_30_Spaceships.pdf
Pyramid_3_31_Monster_Hunters.pdf
Pyramid_3_32_Fears_of_Days_Past.pdf
Pyramid_3_33_Low-Tech_1_1.pdf
Pyramid_3_34_Alternate_GURPS.pdf
Pyramid_3_35_Aliens.pdf
Pyramid_3_36_Dungeon_Fantasy.pdf
Pyramid_3_37_Tech_and_Toys_II.pdf
Pyramid_3_39_Steampunk.pdf
Pyramid_3_40_Vehicles.pdf
Pyramid_3_41_Fantasy_World-Building.pdf
Pyramid_3_42_Noir.pdf
Pyramid_3_43_Thaumatology_III.pdf
Pyramid_3_44_Alternate_GURPS_II.pdf
Pyramid_3_45_Monsters.pdf
Pyramid_3_46_Weird_Science.pdf
Pyramid_3_47_The_Rogue_s_Life.pdf
Pyramid_3_48_Secret_Magic.pdf
Pyramid_3_49_World-Hopping.pdf
Pyramid_3_50_Dungeon_Fantasy_II.pdf
Pyramid_3_51_Tech_and_Toys_III.pdf
Pyramid_3_52_Low_Tech_II.pdf
Pyramid_3_53_Action.pdf
Pyramid_3_54_Social_Engineering.pdf
Pyramid_3_55_Military_Sci-Fi.pdf
Pyramid_3_56_Prehistory.pdf
Pyramid_3_57_Gunplay.pdf
Pyramid_3_58_Urban_Fantasy_II.pdf
Pyramid_3_59_Conspiracies.pdf
Pyramid_3_60_Dungeon_Fantasy_III.pdf
Pyramid_3_61_Way_of_the_Warrior.pdf
Pyramid_3_62_Transhuman_Space_II.pdf
Pyramid_3_63_Infinite_Worlds_II.pdf
Pyramid_3_64_Pirates_and_Swashbucklers.pdf
Pyramid_3_65_Alternate_GURPS_III.pdf
Pyramid_3_66_The Laws of Magic.pdf
Pyramid_3_67_Tools_of_the_Trade_-_Villains.pdf
Pyramid_3_68_Natural_Magic.pdf
Pyramid_3_69_Psionics_II.pdf
Pyramid_3_70_Fourth_Edition_Festival.pdf
Pyramid_3_71_Spaceships_II.pdf
Pyramid_3_72_Alternate_Dungeons.pdf
Pyramid_3_73_Monster_Hunters_II.pdf
Pyramid_3_74_Wild_West.pdf
Pyramid_3_75_Hero's_Jackpot.pdf
Pyramid_3_76_Dungeon_Fantasy_IV.pdf
Pyramid_3_77_Combat.pdf
Pyramid_3_78_Unleash_Your_Soul.pdf
Pyramid_3_79_Space_Atlas.pdf
Pyramid_3_80_Fantasy_Threats.pdf
Pyramid_3_81_Horrific_Creations.pdf
Pyramid_3_82_Magical_Creations.pdf
Pyramid_3_83_Alternate_GURPS_IV.pdf
Pyramid_3_84_Perspectives.pdf
Pyramid_3_85_Cutting_Edge.pdf
Pyramid_3_86_Organizations.pdf
Pyramid_3_87_Low-Tech_III.pdf
Pyramid_3_88_The_End_Is_Nigh.pdf
Pyramid_3_89_Alternate_Dungeons_II.pdf
Pyramid_3_90_After_the_End.pdf
Pyramid_3_91_Thaumatology_IV.pdf
Pyramid_3_92_Zombies.pdf
Pyramid_3_93_Cops_and_Lawyers.pdf
Pyramid_3_94_Spaceships_III.pdf
Pyramid_3_95_Overland_Adventures.pdf
Pyramid_3_96_Tech_and_Toys_IV.pdf
Pyramid_3_97_Strange_Powers.pdf
Pyramid_3_98_Welcome_to_Dungeon_Fantasy.pdf
Pyramid_3_99_Death_and_Beyond.pdf
Pyramid_3_100_Pyramid_Secrets.pdf
Pyramid_3_101_Humor.pdf
Pyramid_3_102_Epic.pdf
Pyramid_3_103_Setbacks.pdf
Pyramid_3_104_Dungeon_Fantasy_Roleplaying_Game.pdf
Pyramid_3_105_Cinematic_Magic.pdf
Pyramid_3_106_Dungeon_Fantasy_Roleplaying_Game_II. pdf
Pyramid_3_107_Monster_Hunters_III.pdf
Pyramid_3_108_Dungeon_Fantasy_Roleplaying_Game_III .pdf
Pyramid_3_109_Thaumatology_V.pdf
Pyramid_3_110_Deep_Space.pdf
Pyramid_3_111_Combat_II.pdf
Pyramid_3_112_Action_II.pdf
Pyramid_3_113_Dungeon_Fantasies.pdf
Pyramid_3_114_Mind_Over_Magic.pdf
Pyramid_3_115_Technomancer.pdf
Pyramid_3_116_Locations.pdf
Pyramid_3_117_Hot_Spots.pdf
Pyramid_3_118_Dungeon_Trips.pdf
Pyramid_3_119_After_the_End_II.pdf
Pyramid_3_120_Alternate_GURPS_V.pdf
Pyramid_3_121_Travels_and_Tribulations.pdf
Pyramid_3_122_All_Good_Things.pdf


Pyramid_3_54_Social_Engineering.pdf is a personal favourite, as is Pyramid_3_47_The_Rogue_s_Life.pdf. Pyramid_3_70_Fourth_Edition_Festival.pdf has Kromm's list of rules he wished had made it into the Basic Set, which is very useful.

Last edited by johndallman; 06-24-2020 at 07:39 AM. Reason: Pyramid_3_70_Fourth_Edition_Festival.pdf
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Old 06-24-2020, 08:06 AM   #3
Kromm
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Default Re: 10 Best Issues of Pyramid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post

This is very variable, according to the kinds of settings you play in or run.
This is the best answer. The most universally appealing issues no matter what genre you like – the ones for system hackers – are probably these:
  • Pyramid #3/34: Alternate GURPS
  • Pyramid #3/44: Alternate GURPS II
  • Pyramid #3/65: Alternate GURPS III
  • Pyramid #3/70: Fourth Edition Festival
  • Pyramid #3/83: Alternate GURPS IV
  • Pyramid #3/84: Perspectives
  • Pyramid #3/120: Alternate GURPS V
You can see the roots of many supplements there, and also find a lot of things people use on these forums.

All the rest are good, too, but are aimed at specific genres, realism levels, historical periods, power levels, etc.
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Old 06-24-2020, 08:16 AM   #4
DouglasCole
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Default Re: 10 Best Issues of Pyramid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
This is the best answer. The most universally appealing issues no matter what genre you like – the ones for system hackers – are probably these:
  • Pyramid #3/34: Alternate GURPS
  • Pyramid #3/44: Alternate GURPS II
  • Pyramid #3/65: Alternate GURPS III
  • Pyramid #3/70: Fourth Edition Festival
  • Pyramid #3/83: Alternate GURPS IV
  • Pyramid #3/84: Perspectives
  • Pyramid #3/120: Alternate GURPS V
You can see the roots of many supplements there, and also find a lot of things people use on these forums.

All the rest are good, too, but are aimed at specific genres, realism levels, historical periods, power levels, etc.
I also note that 3/57 and 3/77 are both highly combat/military oriented and may appeal.
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Old 06-24-2020, 08:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: 10 Best Issues of Pyramid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post

I also note that 3/57 and 3/77 are both highly combat/military oriented and may appeal.
Well, once you make the assumption "the campaign includes lots of fighting," I think you've made a defining choice that falls under the umbrella of my "specific genres, realism levels, historical periods, power levels, etc." But if you run that kind of game, I'd see your Pyramid #3/57: Gunplay and Pyramid #3/77: Combat, and raise you Pyramid #3/14: Martial Arts, Pyramid #3/55: Military Sci-Fi, Pyramid #3/61: Way of the Warrior, and Pyramid #3/111: Combat II.
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Old 06-24-2020, 09:06 AM   #6
Turhan's Bey Company
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Default Re: 10 Best Issues of Pyramid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
This is very variable, according to the kinds of settings you play in or run.
This is key. Aside from that:
  • Perhaps strangely, I get little or no use out of the Alternate GURPS issues. I like the way GURPS does the things it does and I don't generally need alternative approaches to it. What I need is treatments of topics not already covered.
  • I tend to like middle-to-late issues better than early ones.
  • There are no bad issues. If an issue is in the general vicinity of something you're likely to run, you're likely to find at least one very good, very useful article and a number of pretty good, potentially useful ones.
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Old 06-24-2020, 09:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: 10 Best Issues of Pyramid?

Also, if "best" is about the quality of the issue as reading material – of special importance to collectors who have no gaming group, and to people buying Pyramid to use with systems other than GURPS – another key consideration is "Who are your favorite writers?" I'll leave it up to those writers to list their credits . . . or their favorite credits.
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Old 06-24-2020, 09:56 AM   #8
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Default Re: 10 Best Issues of Pyramid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Also, if "best" is about the quality of the issue as reading material – of special importance to collectors who have no gaming group, and to people buying Pyramid to use with systems other than GURPS – another key consideration is "Who are your favorite writers?" I'll leave it up to those writers to list their credits . . . or their favorite credits.
I won't list everything (true completeists can just search Warehouse 23 for my name), but to get some articles of mine which I regard as particularly good or useful:
  • I got to name-check Warren Zevon in a table-driven article about cyberpunk shopping centers in #21, which has a number of other good articles in it as well.
  • If you want semi-detailed information on agriculture, running or getting income from an agricultural settlement, and building a landscape based on subsistence patterns, get the first two Low Tech issues (33 and 52).
  • One of the best tricks Steven Marsh ever pulled was getting articles by me and Kromm on exactly the same topic (gunpowder in DF) coming from entirely different directions in #36.
  • I love table-driven works, like the history generator in #41.
  • Very happy to have been able to use polari in a brief historical, a history of "thieves guilds" (short version: they're fiction, but there are a number of historical models for organizing criminals) in #47.
  • The social engineering issue (#54) has a lot of good work by a lot of people, including my longest-ever-in-the-slush-pile article.
  • At some point, I'd very much like to revisit the "monsters as PCs" concept in #72.
  • As a long-time Paranoia GM, I take comedy seriously. I like to think I was able to provide useful advice in #101.
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Old 06-24-2020, 11:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: 10 Best Issues of Pyramid?

I have reached the place where my metholology for altering base rules is almost always one of simple subtraction without elaborate replacements.

However, I looked in 3/37 Tech and Toys II only a couple of nights ago. I'd nominate all the Tech and Toys issues.

After that would be the Thaumatology issues and isolated issues that have individual itesm i have referred to repeatedly. This would include 3/46, 3/55 and 3/57 and other issues containing specific things such as Martial Arts Styles, Magical Styles and new spells for the standard magic system. David Pulver's Eidetic Memory column is a rich source of these.

I like material for Path/Book also but there wasn't much of it.
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Old 06-24-2020, 11:33 AM   #10
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Default Re: 10 Best Issues of Pyramid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turhan's Bey Company View Post

One of the best tricks Steven Marsh ever pulled was getting articles by me and Kromm on exactly the same topic (gunpowder in DF) coming from entirely different directions in #36.
Making Steven either the Devil or Baudelaire. But I was amused when Steven sent me #3/36 to check and I saw that we had both touched on the same topic! My exact words were "Zeitgeist or what."

As for me, I'm not great at self-promotion, but . . .
  • I was thrilled to break out of the rules-writing pigeonhole most people put me in by serving up pure setting material in "A Westward-Shambling Horde" (#3/74) and "Havens and Hells" (#3/89), though neither drew much attention at the time, so perhaps they were no good.
  • I liked getting to show that even when I do work on rules, I don't always live in the GURPS box. "Pointless Slaying and Looting" (#3/72) and "Five Easy Pieces" (#3/113) are close to how I'd design a game of my own.
  • Even when I do play GURPS straight, I'm proud of my efforts to expand on under-supported rules, as I did in "Combat Writ Large" (#3/77) and "Knowing Your Own Strength" (#3/83).
  • As an auctorial twofer, I'll add that I always do great work with Peter Dell'Orto. For proof, see "Deathball" (#3/3) and "More Power to Dungeon Warriors!" (#3/61).
  • Most of my other articles amount to "yet more for Action or Dungeon Fantasy" – though "Wizardry Refined" (#3/60) and "Monster Modding" (#3/108) are especially useful to DF fans. "The Carnie" (#3/114) was the most fun to write . . . but it was another one met by a silence that has led me to believe that it had a face only a parent could love.
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