The Daily Illuminator
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December 30, 1996


I sat down today and read the almost-final page proofs for the first half of the GURPS Mecha worldbook, which is currently set for a March release.

You giant robot fans are going to like this. It's aimed more at the original "anime" style backgrounds than the Western derivatives like BATTLETECH, but if you want a purely realistic campaign (or even a pseudo-realistic one with the same set of assumptions that BATTLETECH makes) you can do it. I enjoyed the book. David Pulver starts off by explaining why human-shaped tanks are a dumb idea. Right there in the introduction, he admits that. And having said that, he adds "But they're NEAT!" and dives right into it.

I haven't read the final version of his original gameworld background yet. The first outline looked like it would make a great TV show . . .

(And no, this one is no longer up for playtest, so don't go crazy looking for it.)

-- Steve Jackson

December 27, 1996

Dino Hunt Reviews

Dino Hunt got a very favorable review in Science Fiction Weekly! Tamara I. Hladik says: ". . . although this game is for folks eight years old and up, it will have a strong pull for older players because of its potent ingredients: superb art, good concept, strong science and fantastically awesome dinosaurs.

The game is also prominently listed in the brand-new Dinosaur Society catalog.

-- Steve Jackson

December 21, 1996

Happy Holidays

SJ Games is closing down for the week of Christmas. The office will open again on Monday the 30th, but we'll also take New Year's Day off in the middle of the week.

Even as I type, Derek is gleefully checking the color proofs for In Nomine, and Monica is preparing Pyramid 23 to ship to the printer. And I'm reading the S. John Ross adventure that will go into the In Nomine GM Screen. This one's going to be fun.

See you next year.

-- Steve Jackson

December 20, 1996

Pre-Holiday Wrapup

The Steve Jackson Games offices will be closed all next week. We hope you have a very Merry Christmas, Cool Yule, or whatever else it is you're celebrating.

Just before we all head off to our separate holidays, a few more projects are getting wrapped up today. Pyramid #23 heads off to the printer, and so does GURPS Warehouse 23. Is it a conspiracy of 23s? Only the Secret Masters know for sure . . . Look for these new releases to ship in late January.

-- Scott Haring

December 19, 1996

New GURPS Illuminati

The new printing of GURPS Illuminati went to press Tuesday. This is not a second edition - there are no significant text changes - but it does have a new graphic layout and almost all the art has been changed. We used a lot of art from the INWO cards (which look great in grayscale). In some cases, you can see much more of the picture in the new book than you could on the card . . .

So if you missed this one first time around, it's coming back!

-- Steve Jackson

December 18, 1996

In Nomine is Real!

Ladies and gentleman, it's finally happening. In Nomine is at the printer. Proofread, double-checked, 208 pages of full-color art and graphics in place. It's beautiful.

It will be shipping to you in January. We'll let you know when we have an exact ship date. (And look for an updated announcement about the next three In Nomine products, soon.)

And the better news is - we've dropped the price.

Our pre-orders are already high enough that we have increased our print run (to the highest number we've ever printed for any book), which lowers our cost. We know it will sell better at $24.95 - so that's the new price.

We intend In Nomine to be the strong roleplaying line of 1997, and by dropping the price of the full-color introductory book we're getting it off to a stronger start.

-- Matthew D. Grau, Sales Manager, Steve Jackson Games

December 17, 1996

Everything You Know Is Wrong...

Here's a little light reading: DisInformation - "for people who believe that what you don't know can hurt you. . . You have the right to remain stupid . . . Or you can storm the reality studio." This site is full of disturbing info, plus more Illuminati links than you can shake a stick at.

-- Kira

December 15, 1996

Taking the Reins

Well with Bob's departure, SJGames needed a new webmaster, and Steve very cleverly lassoed me for the job... much to the chagrin of my folks and my former employer, who now think I'm completely insane. (Muahahaaaa!) But hey, everyone's entitled to do one insane thing during their life. (Hmm, I don't think I've used mine up yet... til now.) At any rate, I'm hoping to make some nice improvements to the site... as well as revive Metaverse, and build some other cool things like an online GURPS system.

And for more good news... In Nomine went to the printer yesterday. Expect to see it in stores sometime in late January.

-- Jackie Hamilton (a.k.a. "Kira")

December 13, 1996

Goodbye, Goodbye...

It is with a degree of sadness that I must announce that today is my last day as SJ Games Webmaster.

In the past year our site has been turned upside-down and right-side-up again. It's been reorganized, reformatted, recolored and reshuffled so many times as to be virtually unrecognizeable from a year ago. It's lean, clean and virtually none of it blinks.

[Worship The BlenderPhone!] We've added a lot of new information and tools this year and it was only a week ago that we received our first wholesale order via the web. On 10/29/95 we had 4418 hits; a year later we were at 33563 - quite an improvement! Take the numbers with a grain of salt - we're still serving way more people than last year and still beating several of the porno sites on IO (truly a weird and mind-boggling occurence).

So, in memory of a very interesting year, I bring you a link to one of my favorite sites - the BlenderPhone! A tribute to this wonderful humanizing technology that is the web (besides, I know it annoys Those Damned Elves).

I'll miss the friends that I've made here (though not too much since I'm staying in Austin). And thanks to you, gentle viewer; none of this would have been possible without you.

-- Bob Apthorpe
PS: Today's smutty newsgroup is comp.lang.perl.misc...

December 11, 1996

A Nascent TOON Page

Scott Haring, our Managing Editor, found this on Scope out It is a new page for TOON, the role playing game by Steve Jackson Games.

December 9, 1996

What do YOU want to find today?

Voyeur, 20 randomly selected real-time searches that users like you are now performing on Magellan. Updated every 20 seconds.

December 6, 1996

An Important Safety Tip!

Mark Steuer <> recounts this tale:
Many years ago (back when we all were still playing D & D), I ran a game where I pitted two groups against each other.

Several members of Group One came up with the idea of luring Group Two into a trap. You remember the Hand of Vecna and the Eye of Vecna that were artifacts in the old D&D world where if you cut off your hand (or your eye) and replaced it with the Hand of Vecna (or the Eye) you'd get new awesome powers? Well, Group One thought up The Head of Vecna.

Group One spread rumors all over the countryside (even paying Bards to spread the word about this artifact rumored to exist nearby). They even went so far as to get a real head and place it under some weak traps to help with the illusion. Unfortunately, they forgot to let ALL the members of their group in on the secret plan (I suspect it was because they didn't want the Druid to get caught and tell the enemy about this trap of theirs, or maybe because they didn't want him messing with things).

The Druid in group One heard about this new artifact and went off in search of it himself (I believe to help prove himself to the party members...) Well, after much trial and tribulation, he found it; deactivated (or set off) all the traps; and took his "prize" off into the woods for examination. He discovered that it did not radiate magic (a well known trait of artifacts) and smiled gleefully.

I wasn't really worried since he was alone and I knew that there was no way he could CUT HIS OWN HEAD OFF. Alas I was mistaken as the Druid promptly summoned some carnivorous apes and instructed them to use his own scimitar and cut his head off (and of course quickly replacing it with the Head of Vecna...)

Some time later, Group one decided to find the Druid and to check on the trap. They found the headless body (and the two heads) and realized that they had erred in their plan (besides laughing at the character who had played the Druid)...The Head of Vecna still had BOTH eyes! They corrected this mistake and reset their traps and the Head for it's real intended victims...

Group Two, by this time, had heard of the powerful artifact and decided that it bore investigating since, if true, they could use it to destroy Group One. After much trial and tribulation, they found the resting place of The Head of Vecna! The were particularly impressed with the cunning traps surrounding the site (one almost missed his save against the weakest poison known to man). They recovered the Head and made off to a safe area.

Group Two actually CAME TO BLOWS (several rounds of fighting) against each other argueing over WHO WOULD GET THEIR HEAD CUT OFF! Several greedy players had to be hurt and restrained before it was decided who would be the recipient of the great powers bestowed by the Head... The magician was selected and one of them promptly cut his head off. As the player was lifting The Head of Vecna to emplace it on it's new body, another argument broke out and they spent several minutes shouting and yelling. Then, finally, they put the Head onto the character.

Well, of course, the Head simply fell off the lifeless body. All members of Group Two began yelling and screaming at each other (and at me) and then, on their own, decided that they had let too much time pass between cutting off the head of a hopeful recipient and put the Head of Vecna onto the body.

SO THEY DID IT AGAIN!... [killing another PC]

In closing, it should be said that I never even cracked a smile as all this was going on. After the second PC was slaughtered, I had to give in (my side was hurting)...

And Group Two blamed ME for all of that...

So let that be a warning to you - don't let your head get cut off unless you really know what you're doing.

-- Bob Apthorpe

December 5, 1996

GURPS Discworld Playtest Files Online!

We just received a draft manuscript of GURPS Discworld. It's all fresh, hot, and steaming - and online for all you lucky IO users.

Have fun,

-- Bob Apthorpe

December 4, 1996

Milk - It Does A Body Good!

Mmmm! Milk!

Drink Milk Now!!!

Learn all about Milk fromn the following reputable sources:

And pay no attention to Milk Paranoia and DRINK MILK RIGHT NOW!!!

-- The Galactic Milk Board

December 3, 1996

Mmmm, Mmmmm - Pyramid #22!

[Pyramid 22] Pyramid #22 is now shipping! End 1996 with another great issue of Pyramid! With behind-the-scenes info on GURPS Vehicles, Warehouse 23, and Autoduel and scenarios for Whispering Vault and GURPS IOU, it's a bargain at any price. And the In Nomine short story 'A Dark Dream' will give you a whole new perspective on demons and lasagna.

Speaking of lasagna, Pyramid #22 doubles as a cookbook.

No, really.

Pyramid #22 should be zipping its way towards a retailer near you very soon.

-- Bob Apthorpe

December 2, 1996

Compendium II Now Shipping!

[GURPS Compendium II] You've been waiting patiently and here it is - GURPS Compendium II just came back from the printer today. Subtitled Campaigns and Combat, Compendium II is full of material from scores of GURPS worldbooks published in the last eight years - many of them out of print - about how to run a better GURPS game, how to handle roleplaying problems that come up (some universal, some particular to GURPS), expanded rules for character combat, injury and illness, mass combat, spaceship combat, bulletproof nudity, and much, much more!

-- Bob Apthorpe

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