Daily Illuminator

April 12, 2007: Mega-Martial Arts Action!

An update for those anxiously awaiting GURPS Martial Arts news:

We carefully shaved words off the manuscript with a straight razor (held in our toes, no less) and pounded it into the layout with a flying elbow drop. Only then did we discover that it weighed in at 256 pages rather than the 240 pages of every GURPS Fourth Edition book so far. This left us with a tough decision to make.

We could have sent the book back to the secret ninja training camp until it made its weight. The result would have been a supplement with less content, a few months later than planned . . . but, gosh, the 256-page version seemed so wonderfully comprehensive. We made painful cuts during the full-contact playtest, and many more items fell to the editorial axe, but that left us with close to 100 combat techniques, over 110 fighting styles, and in excess of 20 pages of weapons and equipment that we felt were necessary to cover all forms of personal combat: armed and unarmed, foot and mounted, armored and unarmored, striking and grappling, from every part of the world (not the "all Asia, all the time" approach of many RPG martial-arts manuals). Plus 40 pages of expanded combat rules for using all this stuff. And that isn't even getting into the history chapter, researched in part from historical texts only recently restored and made available to the public, and in part from serious treatises on the martial arts that simply didn't exist in the early 1990s, when the original Martial Arts was penned.

So instead we did the honorable thing -- the chivalrous, sportsmanlike thing, like handing back the other guy's sword -- and decided that more stuff, sooner would be preferable to less stuff, later. Come August 2007, then, GURPS Martial Arts will step into the ring as a 256-page super-heavyweight. The new price of admission is $37.95. We hope you'll be in our corner!
-- Sean Punch

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