The final column of Violent Resolution marked the 600th post on Gaming Ballistic. So, what’s been accomplished here, if anything?
There have been some particularly strong sections on GB, even if I do say so.
The Firing Squad – these interviews, 20 in number thus far, are something that are somewhat unique. There are other blogs that do podcasts, and certainly I’m not the only guy that does interviews. Still, I think that those I’ve done have been fairly good. I’ve obviously hit a lot of SJG staff, including Steve himself. The fact that they’re available in multiple formats pleases me. You can watch them, listen to them, or read them, and that transcription is one of the things that sets them apart. Spendy, though, as we say here in Minnesota. I’ve also managed to talk to nearly every VTT creator, including Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds, as well as ConTessa founder Stacey Dellorfano and prolific OSR blogger Erik Tenkar – and those two interviews haven’t even deleted each other yet.
Violent Resolution – this exercise in comparative game design was a lot of work. Nearly 4-5,000 words per week, for several months. That’s more or less the entire content section of Pyramid Magazine, by myself, for three or four months. That’s not bad. The series was fun, but I’m not sure it really did what I wanted it to do.
The Grappling Mat – I don’t think you’ll find a wider selection of discussion and advice on grappling anywhere. It’s got a lot of GURPS in it (no surprise), but it touches on OSR and generic issues with grappling rules as well.
Melee Academy and GURPS 101 – There are some damn fine posts in this series, by a whole bunch of GURPS content creators. Peter Dell’Orto and Christopher Rice as many-times published creators, and others as well. I’d always hoped that the Melee Academy concept would catch on beyond GURPS, so that grognards and rules experts on many different systems would chime in on various subjects. Hasn’t happened yet, but no telling what might happen in the future.
A Survey of Past Posts
Let’s take a look back at some of my favorite posts over the last few years.
There are two that strike me as setting the tone for the first 50 posts. ST rolls must die and the first Grand Unified Smackdown Theory post, where I suggested a “more realistic” damage progression for muscle-powered weapons to put them on a better scale against firearms. The Occasional Silliness of Dodging Lasers wound up spawning Dodge This, from Pyr #3/57.
This segment of time saw several solid entries. The posts on melee and ranged skill levels for GURPS – some of my most widely read posts ever – both appeared in this time frame. My first solicited review – of Frank Coleman’s WEST – appeared here too. Finally, my deconstruction of the true value of levels of HT in GURPS showed up here, and this is a post I refer to frequently.
In no particular order. This post on aiming would eventually turn into On Target, which is one of my favorite playable GURPS rules mods ever. I wrote this exposition on how Setup Attacks (from Pyr #3/52) interact with A Matter of Inches, and that could probably have been a fun short Pyramid article in and of itself. I still think that GURPS needs something like Shrug it Off to deal with just taking a hit due to muscle and fitness. My two posts on Low-Tech armor selection are also among my best posts ever, with more than 1,000 views each. There’s enough merit in the core of the idea (though not the presentation) that I want to follow up more on the concepts presented looking at what happens to critters fighting each other where GURPS ST starts to scale poorly. More recent noodling on these concepts has been fruitful.
Pyramid #3/57 came out, which featured Dodge This. Technical Grappling was finally published in Sept 2013, and I had a bunch of posts on that – including one of my most-read posts, Technical Natasha. A Matter of Perception and In Plain Sight both touched on how things get seen in GURPS, which is always interesting. These 50 posts also had some very well received actual play posts.
This post on GURPS and complexity is still worth reading, and stay for the comments. I did a bunch of interviews during this time period, and there were a lot of games I played, which received play reports. My most popular interview ever, the Pyramid Panel Discussion, showed up this phase. GURPS 101 did a nice series on the basic four attributes.
Fun, notable posts were gun related this time. Two posts on Armor as Dice, as well as shotshell. A good discussion of death by one bullet as it relates to GURPS (with excellent comments). The follow-up post on incapacitation is probably the more relevant one, but was less-widely read. I started playing in Tenkar’s OSR game, and interviewed Ken Hite and Richard LeBlanc/David Wellborne.
I went to my first Comic Con, chatted with Adam Baldwin, and started running my Alien Menace game. I interviewed Stacy Dellorfano and every VTT maker I could pin down. I speed up time to 5-second rounds with Cautious Advance.
We had a seccond baby. It was kinda rough – and I’m not sure if this post really touched on the 3-4 months of colic. My Alien Menace game continued, and brought with it some practical observations on gunfights in GURPS. Thinking about an unholy mix of D&D’s Conditions and Technical Grappling still has merit, I think. Jake B takes three of my articles for a test drive, and reinforces how vital playtesting is.
I interview Steve Jackson. I do a whole series on grappling, from the perspective of explaining it to someone that knows nothing of it, GURPS or otherwise. I reinvent separating D&D hit points into “experience” and “life-threatening stuff.” I show how GURPS can break down a blazing longsword exchange rules-wise, with great panache. I answer the question about how much to Deceptive Attack in far too much detail.
There’s an argument over rules lawyering and playstyle and fun, most notable for the heated commentary. There’s a detailed breakdown of Step-and-Wait and the technique for slicing the pie in tactical combat. I get the nod by Jeffro for Best Gaming Blog of 2014 (mostly on the strength of my interview with Steve Jackson). I start to play a bunch of D&D5 and the tone of the blog changes a bit, as I mostly write about what I’m reading and playing. Almost certainly my hits go up as a result.
Violent Resolution hits its stride, but writing 4,000-5000 words a week on one topic that demands research means I publish little else. I go to Comic Con again. Firearms are converted to D&D with quite a bit more success than I’d have thought. Peter’s and my OSR Grappling article appears in Manor #8. I play more and more D&D5 in the Majestic Wilderlands
There’s some really good material in here, some of it from a long time ago. I’m not done by a long shot, and if I can get into another GURPS game, or (even better) restart my own, I should be able to start writing more GURPS content as well. I’ll say this for D&D5 – it makes a great system to hang alternate rules off of, and more of those will likely be coming as well.
Six hundred posts. That’s a lot of writing.