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Showing posts from August, 2017

Doctor GURPS Author, Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The WYSIWYG Template

Something I see over at the forum from time to time is people saying that they're interested in writing for Pyramid or GURPS but are instantly driven off by the size and complexity of the style guide and the WYSIWYG template. And they can be intimidating documents. They're long and there are some really specific guidelines for certain kinds of material.

And that's necessary. Despite working almost entirely in the realm of the imagination, Steve Jackson Games is a technical publisher. They need to organize information in regular, predictable formats. It's like Safety Data Sheets, just of their own design.

But the thing I've noticed in several years of writing GURPS material is that you won't need most of it.

So if you want to write an article for Pyramid, here's what you do: Once you've gotten a thumb-up from Steven on your proposal, get the template, create a new document based on it (Don't use Microsoft Word? Me neither. I use LibreOffice. The temp…

Dungeon Fantasy RPG PDFs to Backers!

It is, at long last, out! Sort of! PDFs of the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game have been released to Kickstarter backers. I don't think it'll be generally available until next month, but since it's in the wild in at least a limited way, I feel I can talk about this a bit more like a customer than someone involved in the project.

The Dungeon Fantasy RPG is a complete fantasy tabletop roleplaying game. It's based on GURPS 4th edition rules, but it's a stand-alone game, requiring no other books, or even prior knowledge of GURPS. I've already made some general comments elsewhere (I got an advanced peek for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I was called on to write some follow-up material coming out later). I'll expand on that here.

For those unfamiliar with GURPS, it's a point-buy system rather than randomly rolled, class-and-level, or life path, and pretty much everything in play boils down to "try to roll a target number or less o…

Back To the Geniza

This is the sort of thing which happens when you write gaming material based on real-world sources. Back in Pyramid #38, I had an adventure the goal of which was a geniza full of scattered but useful information. This was based on the Cairo geniza, essentially a massive waste paper basket which has turned out to be one of the most important source we've got on life and Jewish history in Medieval Egypt.

And while it's already been immensely valuable to modern scholars, it's still incompletely investigated. It contains many scraps of documents which haven't even been categorized by language, let alone translated. But now there's a project on zooniverse where you can get involved in research. They're crowdsourcing the identification of fragments of texts based on some fairly simple criteria. This is pointing to a phase two where stuff actually gets translated. There's absolutely no telling what will come out of this (lost chapters of important commentaries? G…