Daily Illuminator

November 7, 2010: Once And Future GURPS: Nasty, Brutish, And Short

GURPS Low-Tech GURPS Low-Tech -- by William H. Stoddard, with Peter V. Dell'Orto, Dan Howard, and Matt Riggsby -- is now at the printer (and available via PDF). The print release date isn't until December, but today I can recommend preparations for gamers and writers alike.

Gamers: GURPS Low-Tech covers TL0-4, a period that's customarily mashed together in the sort of kitchen-sink fantasy that has Aztec priests, Roman legionaries, medieval knights, samurai, Renaissance fencers, etc. If you were waiting for it to start your fantasy campaign, then be sure you have GURPS Magic for spells (and GURPS Thaumatology, if you desire lots of different kinds of magic), plus GURPS Fantasy to show you how to put everything together. The GURPS Dungeon Fantasy series is an equally good match, and always benefits from more gear . . . which is the whole point of GURPS Low-Tech. If you were waiting for this book to start a historical campaign, then check out the worldbooks in the GURPS Classic series -- especially if you were avoiding these because you didn't want to convert Third Edition equipment to Fourth Edition. Fantasy or historical, don't forget that while GURPS Low-Tech is more than weapons and armor, those do fill the lion's share of the pages, making GURPS Martial Arts a natural companion volume if your attention to detailed combat hardware extends to its use.

Writers: It's unwise to put the cart before the horse, but it often pays to sketch out rough proposals in advance. Our wish list features many series that would benefit from GURPS Low-Tech-themed content. The strikingly obvious options are GURPS Loadouts supplements that outfit various kinds of low-tech adventurers -- because like all GURPS "tech catalogs," GURPS Low-Tech will be dense, and some gamers would be happy to pay somebody else to sort through it all. Almost as obvious are GURPS Vehicles volumes covering low-tech boats, carts, ships, sleds, wagons, etc., which will be less of a challenge to put together once we've published concrete examples of such things. Any number of GURPS Martial Arts titles could zoom in on specific weapons and armor, providing detailed rules for their use. And hard numbers for low-tech gear will make it far easier to write GURPS Supporting Cast and GURPS Locations supplements, since people and places are rather intimately tied with things, and difficult to write up without canonical stats.

-- Sean Punch

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