Steve Jackson Games has put a whole bunch of books on a bundle sale. If you order the CreateSpace reprint bundle for just over $200, you also get a copy each of the hardcover version of the Basic Set: Characters and Campaigns.

That’s 10 books for $215. Characters and Campaigns alone will normally run you $85, which means the other 8 softcovers are on offer for just over $16 each. High-Tech suggested retail is $30.

It’s a good deal, and a great way to get into GURPS.

And to address a commonly made point: Low-Tech is still in print, so if you want that one, you can get it from W23. Martial Arts, which is and should be on everybody’s must have list, is unfortunately not yet available on CreateSpace, though I certainly hope it will be soon (no inside info there, just a hope).

Meanwhile, as long as you’re spending, you might as well get a copy of GURPS Technical Grappling and Dungeon Grappling as well, because why not?(PDF-only on W23; if you want DG in hardcover, well, my store can fix you up with a signed copy!)

Just a reshare over at the Dimicator Patreon.

Nifty video taken by Western Martial Arts practitioner Roland Warzecha looking at cutting clay with the “cast blow” technique using a viking sword. As always, “all models are wrong; some are useful,” but it was a great weekend and a fun test.

 

Here’s the text from the patreon post itself, by Roland Warzecha

Death of the Clay Ogre
Apr 27 at 4:35am

This cutting test was conducted by my shield brother Thegn Thrand, and I am proud to have been part of it as the camera operator and clay ogre sculptor (starring in the second half of the clip). If this is the kind of experiment you enjoy as much as I do, please consider supporting Thrand’s work and become part of it, too.This is the first of a number of exciting videos recorded during the Grand Opening of Ásfólk Viking Martial Arts in Eagan, Minnesota. This school founded by Arthur von Eschen is absolutely unique, giving students the chance to learn about the material culture of the Viking Age and learn e.g. forging or building authentic shields, as well as regularly practicing Viking fighting based on true martial arts concepts and sound research.

 

A week or so ago, I tossed down a concept about how one could encourage flexible and modular “setting” design supporting the upcoming Dungeon Fantasy RPG (Powered by GURPS). The goal would be to have ready-to-inspire areas to tromp around in, kill monsters, and take their stuff.

The idea was reasonably well received. Some active discussion on how fleshed out a setting needed to be, and how if you hewed to multiples of 6-mile hexes, you could potentially mine a vast pool of OSR-flavored stuff that is also 6-miles to the hex.

All true, and all good.

The forum poster Nymdok went ahead and sketched out two hex-sizes for me, one a 20-mile subhex, and the other a 40-mile hex. You can see a sample on the right, with link to his Deviant Art page for download. But if you want to call the sub-hexes 18 or 36 miles, I won’t tell.

The (Ken Hite) Challenge

I’m teasing a bit. Ken has nothing to do with this, other than providing a nice, juicy quote that I’m going to re-use.

I was working with my Dragon Heresy map, and as we were discussing it, he dropped the line “I’m not going to say ‘just use Earth, you big baby.’ But just use Earth, you big baby.” Continue reading “GURPS Hexworld Challenge (with extra bonus Hite action!)”

Welcome to the second year of GURPSDay, and here’s the final pull for you guys.

We’re currently drawing content from 85 blogs, having picked up Matt Riggsby’s Tetsujin no Lllama. Only 15 more to go until we’re pulling from 100! But we’ll need your help.

How? Two action items: post more, recruit more. It’s really that simple. More posters is more posts, and more interest in GURPS.

Below you can find the blog activity for the last week. There’s a whole lotta awesome GURPS going on. Read all 35 posts as of 835pm CST.

Not every blog posts about GURPS every week, but some are ridiculously prolific! The list is randomized, so different bloggers will be highlighted at the top of the post each week.

As always, if you’re interested in having your blog consolidated here, navigate over to The Instructions Page and drop me a line. Take special note of the RSS Settings Fix if you’re on WordPress.
Continue reading “GURPS Day Summary Apr 21 – Apr 27, 2017”

Over on his blog, Brandon Stoddard offers up an in-depth analysis, from his perspective, of a giant list of feats in the Fifth Edition rules. He might have thrown in some Unearthed Arcana in there too.

You might read his analysis and conclude he’s totally off his rocker. You might agree with every point. Regardless, he makes his case and gives you the reasons he’s saying what he’s saying, so you can fight it out with tact and eloquence.

I really grooved on reading his stuff, so I’m going to comment on his stuff, but I’m also going to give some insight into the Feats in Dragon Heresy, and see if they pass muster based on what he’s noted, in a follow-on post. Some may, some may not. I was inspired heavily by Fifth Edition Feats by Total Party Kill games, though I made changes as required and needed for Dragon Heresy. The single feat in SRD5.1 means you have to start somewhere. Continue reading “Feat Design and Dragon Heresy”

Even when GURPS Martial Arts: Technical Grappling was published, there were ways to simplify it, and some of those were included in Pyramid #3/61: The Way of the Warrior. The basic premise is, of course, both sound and fun: why treat grappling that differently than other melee attacks, especially in systems (such as D&D) where the level of abstraction is very high already.

On the SJG Forums, a poster threw down a few simplified rules that also tried to bridge the distance between the fairly bland basic grappling rules of GURPS (all successful grapple attacks are a -4 to DX) and the full-on glory (ahem) of Technical Grappling.

They’re pretty cool, and I’ll quote them here (plus a follow-up) before I talk about some other things you can do to tame the system, some of which have matured and already been incorporated into Dungeon Grappling.

Gratuitous plug: both Dungeon Grappling and GURPS Martial Arts: Technical Grappling are available in PDF format at W23, Steve Jackson Games’ web store. There’s no print version of Technical Grappling, but hardcopy versions of Dungeon Grappling are available at my own web store, DriveThruRPG, and CreateSpace.

Continue reading “Less-Technical Grappling (GURPS)”

This last weekend was the second half of the Asfolk grand opening. I posted a bit about my two days with the guests from Hurstwic, Reynir A and Bill Short, last week. The second weekend featured Roland Warzecha of Dimicator, from Germany, and Thegn Thrand, who posts YouTube videos of various scenarios and tests.

Second Weekend at Asfolk

This time there were four two-h0ur seminars, but I had to miss the first one due to kid duty. Nonetheless, the kids were there, carving runes into soapstone and otherwise having good fun.

The seminars were very interesting. Roland studies the medieval fight manuals deeply, such as Talhoffer, Fiori, and 1.33, and his Dimicator group also brings knowledge of viking recreationist fighting arts to the table.

We covered “feeling” drills, as we touch shields and try and get inside and outside of the shield – basically grappling subtly with the shield, or perhaps feinting is the better term. You push and probe until you find a bit of give and weakness, and then exploit it while your opponent tries to counter. We learned several “plays” that way, and my left shoulder is both sore and noticeably larger then my right after two solid days of working with the shields, which are 10-15 lbs.

One interesting technique I wanted to cover in more detail, because it was not what I expected.

Sword Disarm

Late on the second day, our last seminar, we were told to put our shields down, and we did some sword-to-sword play. By this time, I was feeling bold, so I used a steel (blunt) replica instead of the wooden swords we were using.

We spent a lot of time on strikes and maneuvering, and learning to work with the center of rotation of the sword with a given grip. Moving the sword in tune with its balance makes it faster, and more effortless.

But after a bit of that, we turned to disarms, using a move present in Talhoffer and 1.33 and other manuals, and of course present in most joint-lock techniques in Asian martial arts as well – people are people, and we all bend and break the same way.

But what I was expecting was not what we did. Continue reading “Viking with Roland Warzecha; Riveted Mail test with ThegnThrand”

It’s time for an update on Gaming Ballistic!

Dungeon Grappling

Great sales in March, thanks to the GM’s Day sale on DTRPG have been followed by lackluster sales in April, with four copies sold (though two print copies, which I love seeing – not because of all the extra money, an extra few dollars per book, but because I do think it’s a good book to hold in your hands).

At this point, with only two sales, I can conclude “The Art of Dungeon Grappling” as a failed experiment. Alas.

I’ll be bringing a bunch of stock with me to the Independent Game Design Network’s booth at GenCon, though, as well as shipping some stock over to their warehousing team.

I’ve not heard much from play reports, though. I’m hoping folks that use the game in play do give me feedback, and session reports. Consider this a request!

There’s also an error that’s come up twice in questions that is, thus far, the only errata that’s been reported to me. In the 5e example, while Thorfirr’s STR score is called out correctly, I made a typo in his attack roll, and so the paragraph introducing him on p. 41 should read as follows, with a 1d20+3 replacing the mis-typed 1d20+2. I’ve bolded the stuff that is relevant.

THORFIRR. A second-level fighter, and keeping his stats from the PFRPG gives STR 16 (+3), DEX 11 (+0), CON 11 (+0), and WIS 16 (+3). His AC is 16, he has 16 HP, his attack rolls are at +5, but lacking Athletics proficiency, he only grapples at 1d20+3. His Grapple DC is 13, from his Strength (Athletics) bonus of +3. His Control Maximum is 20 (his STR of 16, no DEX bonus, and 2× his +2 proficiency bonus).

Venture Beyond

We are very, very close to having a complete manuscript. The last reports I have had from David show a level of optimism about how the rules are coming together.

Unsurprisingly, it’s coming in at the longer estimate of wordcount, and so I’m going to predict the book will be about the size of the Fate System Toolkit, with the adventure books each being fifty or sixty pages each. That’s not really a change, but it is a confirmation.

Once I have the manuscripts in hand, things should go fairly quickly. I’ve got some mockups of kickstarter graphics banners that I did myself, and Juan took a look at them and thought he could improve them (doubtless true). I’ll post a preview there when I have them, but for now, my first effort is shown above.

The look is designed to be “retro-tech,” and as does the book’s layout, it features a Hubble space background, and block, easy-to-read text with a raster-scan look to it. The space to the right is to hold some art.

Dragon Heresy

I spoke with Ken a few days ago, and we chatted about the perils of big projects during a busy time for successful freelancers. Anyway, things are more clear, and I can anticipate getting edited manuscripts bit by bit as April turns into mid-May.

I’ve also got some amazing preliminary sketchwork from Michael. My original concept for the covers got tweaked just a little, but frankly it’s better the new way, and I think everyone will be really happy when they see it. I’ve been sending him images and art direction based on some of the recent Viking stuff I’ve been doing and seeing, and it’s paying off. I know that’s a bit of vague-booking, but I don’t want to give the game away on this one – it’s going to be a great reveal, though.

I also hope folks are enjoying Monster Mondays. There’s a decent amount of info in those posts, and they show off the flavor of how critters will look and act in Dragon Heresy.

Project M

Regardless of that, there’s some movement going on in the motion tracker around an expansion for Dragon Heresy that fills one of Ken’s observations, which is that settings are better when the rules are written around the setting (this is the GUMSHOE method), rather than the rules left static and the setting painted over.

Dragon Heresy takes this about halfway – there are a lot of changes and improvements to the melee combat rules, but by and large the magic stuff was left alone. But I’m learning a bloody ton about Viking magic and sorcery, and have some ideas for something optional that would really make for a fun “try it this way instead.” Need more time on that one, but honestly I think it’ll be really cool as an expansion if Dragon Heresy is given what I hope is a warm reception.

Project X

I’ve always had more things in mind for the Dragon Heresy game, and based on some conversations I’ve had with a few people, what that will be is starting to firm in my mind. There will be a vast amount of downtime when the DH art is being created, and that time will be used to create the next iteration of the Dragon Heresy project. I know a whole bunch of folks that will be pleased with the results.

The Blog

With a bit of flutter happening over at Steve Jackson Games over the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, as well as me getting back into the “write content nearly every day” mode, my traffic is starting to creep back up. I had a bunch of ballistics-related posts, some Dungeon Fantasy RPG posts, and at least one Viking post. More of that this weekend, actually!

One thing I desperately need to revitalize are my “index pages.” I have well over 1,000 posts, and some of them are great stuff, especially for GURPS players when we were doing more regular Melee Academy posts. Right now, if you click on each header you get a date-sorted list of all posts in the category. I need to add an option that takes you to a simple list of clickable titles.

This will be needed for at least the Melee Academy, GURPS 101, and Firing Squad sections, plus the Reloading Press. The rest can wait, but I need to figure out how that’s done Real Soon Now.

 

 

A lot of my “index pages” have gone the way of the dodo since my migration from Blogger to WordPress, and while I take time to fix that, I wanted to offer up something as a reminder and a bit of a throwback.

I have conducted quite a few interviews, some recently, some a while ago, with SJG staff and freelancers. Since the upcoming Dungeon Fantasy RPG (Powered by GURPS) game has passed some big hurdles and is headed off to print, perhaps in time for GenCon.

So with that, here are some interviews, in reverse date order. Some special things about them is that each of them has a text transcript – you can read them, listen to them (MP3), and/or watch them. For the most recent ones, I use post-production to try and do a bit of value add, showing products and images relevant to the conversation. But, without further ado, here’s the list of interviews with SJG folks and freelancers on The Firing Squad. (The PK/Hunter one wasn’t mine; it was a transcript with which I was gifted).

I’ve updated the older posts so the text flows better, but at the cost of losing some of the graphics. Trust me – it’s better this way.
Continue reading “Steve Jackson Games – Interviews on The Firing Squad”

Welcome to the second year of GURPSDay, and here’s the final pull for you guys.

We’re currently drawing content from 84 blogs. Only 16 more to go until we’re pulling from 100! But we’ll need your help.

How? Two action items: post more, recruit more. It’s really that simple. More posters is more posts, and more interest in GURPS.

Below you can find the blog activity for the last week. There’s a whole lotta awesome GURPS going on. Read all 41 posts as of 7pm CST.

Not every blog posts about GURPS every week, but some are ridiculously prolific! The list is randomized, so different bloggers will be highlighted at the top of the post each week.

As always, if you’re interested in having your blog consolidated here, navigate over to The Instructions Page and drop me a line. Take special note of the RSS Settings Fix if you’re on WordPress.
Continue reading “GURPS Day Summary Apr 14 – Apr 20, 2017”