Sunday, March 28, 2021

Review: GURPS Realm Management

I liked it. More space
is dedicated to the title
of the book than to the
art on the cover.
Boardroom and Curia introduced metrics for objectively measuring an organization, but one shortcoming that occurred to me when looking at that book is there wasn't a lot of advice of how to bring to bear the power that an organization might provide for or against a party of PCs. It included ideas on how to administer it, but to what ends was not very well defined and required a lot of legwork from the GM to make executive calls. Realm Management, though focusing specifically on polities specifically, does a lot to address these shortcomings (and even mentions advice for leveraging the introduced mechanics in this book with the content of Boardroom and Curia.) Overall, it's an exciting long awaited book, very mechanically dense to the point where just reading it straight through is a bit of a slog, but if you, like me, were itching for some more rigorous administration mechanics, I'm sure you'll be satisfied. Below the fold is a more detailed review.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Review: GURPS Furries

 Skipping just a smidgen away from regularly scheduled micro-book reviewing, I've decided to look at a book that is a bit more substantive and a bit more recent. This book, on the face of things is about running a game with anthros. I feel like it does an ok job, but also GURPS Template Toolkit 2 does more for exotic types. So, in brief, if you need help designing exotic races, I'd recommend Template Toolkit 2, and if that doesn't completely satisfy you, then you might want GURPS Furries to fill in a few of the blanks that the previously released book does not address, or that are further extended. A bit more detail after the jump.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Review: Reign of Steel - Read the Sky

As of this time, it
seems unavailable
for purchase but can
be found on w23?
 Reign of Steel is one of the interesting lines of GURPS settings, which to summarize, is a post-apocalyptic nightmare where each continent has one A.I. that has decided, for whatever reason that humanity must be destroyed. All of these AIs work together with this common theme, but each area is it's own unique Hell on Earth. Read the Sky is a short adventure scenario inside this backdrop, built for 200 point characters from the Will to Live book, or with modifications, characters built from Action 1. All told, the book is 11 pages, with a title page, an intro page, one page of back matter, leaving 8 pages of content, almost 4 of those are devoted to simple, but helpful maps. The main stab of the thing is explained in very straightforward, and mechanically helpful terms, though I feel it's a little skimpy; that's what you get from a roughly four and a half page adventure. Besides the maps, the illustrations are good, but in my opinion, the adventure feels a little mundane to me, and to repeat myself, a little sparse. This might be a good book to buy if you are already a big fan of the Reign of Steel line, otherwise, easily missable.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Review: Hotspots - The Incense Trail

Title Page
This is challenging for me because the Hotspots series is not exactly my favorite. This one is written by Matt Riggsby (and several others in the series are as well.) And I do like his work. This book is very dense with historical information about the Incense Trail, going several millennia BCE to almost the Common Era. It is 11 pages long, and subtracting the title page, contents, intro, and back matter, 8 pages.
The book is extremely informative, or at least, feels that way, but it has next to nothing mechanically useful for GURPS specifically; take that as you will, if you want some reading material about a prehistoric to iron age middle eastern trade center, it might be useful to you regardless if you are reading for pleasure or a campaign in any other system; if you specifically want help with stats for things like caravaners, or the tools and finances of the trade in GURPS terms, you're served better by other books, like many of the Low-Tech supplements. This supplement does cross reference several other GURPS books for ideas and recommendations though, several belonging to the third edition of GURPS, which doesn't necessarily preclude them from being useful in GURPS 4e, what the majority of games are run in nowadays, but it might require a simulacrum of elbow grease to do some simple rote conversions if you want to use anything from these books as written in the fourth edition.

Overall, this book might be useful if you are running in a setting based on the given time period and geography, which could be really interesting. I might want to run something in that backdrop one day, so if nothing else, this short, inexpensive book impressed the inspiration upon me.

Table of Contents

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Review: Action 6 - Tricked Out Rides

Cover page
 I don't recollect if I reviewed Action 5 even while I was taking a break from blogging, but I thought it might make more sense to tackle this one because it isn't exactly out yet, so maybe the decision making content will be more helpful for a consumer. I dunno when it might be out, and it's not very long, but I think it's a fantastic resource for being so short. Let's take a closer look.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Review: How to Be A GURPS GM - Ritual Path Magic

Apparently it's not
for sale yet, so the
link 404s.
 So, a while back, Steve Jackson Games did an experiment on Kickstarter that involved trying to get enough people to buy in to "unlock" finished products as a stretch goal. If enough people pledged enough money, you could potentially get several short books for a very small amount of money. How to Be a GURPS GM - Ritual Path Magic was among them (when you italicize a title that has an italicized word, do you reverse the italicization of that one word?) Bottom line, I think it's helpful. Coming from an angle that I already have a decent system mastery of RPM, it isn't vital for me, and frankly, I'm neither here nor there on the system for reasons outlined in this post from Mailanka. To be fair, it can be a good system, in my opinion if it's used for the right type of game and setting. However, this isn't supposed to be a post editorializing whether Ritual Path Magic is a good system or not (I hate to say it, but, "it depends.") but whether or not this writing is worth your time. To summarize, I think it can be helpful if you need to get up to speed quickly with the system or if you get hung up on the vagaries of the system; if you are a master though, there is little of value (though "little" is more than "none.") Let's take a closer look.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Not GURPS: I'm Interested in Blogging again

I've been updating PseudoBot regularly still, but haven't blogged for a while. I'm kinda interested in doing so again. This is just a metapost with a few details of what has happened in my real life recently, and if that kinda boring minutiae is not your cup of tea, then there is no reason to see what is beyond the break. One important thing to note: from now on, my pronouns are she/her.
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