• What happens when you read Dungeon Fantasy RPG books just before going to bed

    I’m writing this for my own amusement (having resolved long ago to write down remembered dreams in the morning, but almost never doing so). I’m posting it here as a bit of gaming comes into the story. (Barely. Don’t expect much.) It happened after perusing Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game books before sleeping. Hmm, if I do that more often, maybe I’ll have some proper gaming dreams – say, a dream of me as a PC, descending into a dungeon. (That’d be worth writing about!) Or more realistically, maybe a dream of prepping for a convention session, and heading into the room to GM for a crowd of excited players. (Of course,…

  • Unasked-for silliness: A GURPS logo

    EDIT 2018-10-13: Minor changes, to swap the locations of the pyramid and the die spots, and add a touch of color. Over on the forums, a player ponders whether GURPS should have its own logo mark – something more graphical than just the word “GURPS” in a beveled box. A crude image immediately came to my mind, which I can now show off via an even cruder abuse of “graphic design” <cough>. The shape is obviously the d6 that is core to the game; its angle creates a six-sided silhouette (highlighted with a bit of color) that also evokes a map hex. The two graphic elements are the famous SJG…

  • GURPS’ next big release gears up to tackle… the dungeon!?

    At the end of August 2016, Steve Jackson Games (SJG) announced its next big thing: a Kickstarter campaign for the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game. No one reading this site needs to hear this news from me – in fact, you, Reader, most likely backed the game on Kickstarter and are now counting down the days (or months, anyway; the shipping date isn’t exact yet) until its maps and original Cardboard Heroes figures adorn your table.   But here it is in a nutshell anyway: Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (DFRPG) is an upcoming boxed game from SJG that bundles a complete “dungeon fantasy” roleplaying set into one box, with everything you…

  • Early Superhero RPG Villains & Vigilantes Flies Again

    Maybe some allusion to “dead” superheroes always coming back to life is in order here, but I’ll just jump to the point: Slashdot reports: Jeff Dee and Jack Herman, the creators of the old-school super-hero roleplaying game Villains & Vigilantes, have won a copyright and trademark lawsuit over the game’s publisher Scott Bizar of Fantasy Games Unlimited. Magistrate Judge Mark E. Aspey of the U.S. District Court of Arizona ruled that Jeff Dee and Jack Herman own the rights to the game based on the 1979 contract they reached with Bizar. The court also found that Bizar never had the right to sell derivative products or ebook PDF editions, which…

  • Slashdot takes note of new Steve Jackson Games releases

    I was mildly surprised to see a Slashdot entry on the new Steve Jackson Games releases shown at SXSW. Can’t say I recall that site focusing on SJG in the past – but then again, even this “old fashioned” tabletop gaming company is going to have a lot of cred with the tech-focused Slashdot readership. As the blurb notes, the company’s infamous run-in with The Law over its GURPS Cyberpunk book helped lead to the creation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. And, as the comments clearly show, there’s a lot of recognition of and love for SJG among the techies. There’s a ton of wistful praise for Car Wars (and…

  • Miscellaneous thought: A Car Wars oddity

    Know what was odd about the old Car Wars game? As its weapon-laden autos blasted away at each other with rockets and worse, just about everything would get damaged and damaged good: vehicular armor, engines, weapons, trailer hitches, you name it. Tires got shredded, buildings breached, drivers and pedestrians blown to bits. Everything… …except the vehicles. There were no hit points or the like for a vehicle itself, and no way to directly hurt it. Sure, with its engine or tires or driver shot to shrapnel, a car was “killed” for purposes of combat. And in one specific exception, an explosion caused by fire did invoke a special “vehicle completely…

  • Gaming dice as art

    I earlier called attention to a premium “wish I had one” product, the ultimate gamer’s table. It should surprise no one that I haven’t yet plunked down my $8K for this handcrafted piece of furniture. But I’m rather tempted by a premium gaming product that’s a bit more affordable: custom hand-made dice.  I’d say these are more than handmade dice, really. This is art, with gaming dice as its medium. The creator/artist, Abraham Neddermann, was kind enough to answer some questions about his work. Please read on! (I have no connection to the site or product; I simply thought the dice and process were fascinating.) Apparently, one does not set…

  • I am not worthy of this gaming table

    Hand-crafted tables of fine wood – for gaming. Our gaming, not billiards and poker and bridge.  A dropped play surface lets you just cover up a game in progress, and pick up play without a hitch after that bothersome dinner party ends. Individual player stations feature flip-down desk surfaces, storage drawers, and trays for counters or pencils. You get “dice towers” for rolls, transparent map covers and grids, and an extra-sized GM station with built-in screen and rulebook trays. Will it cost you? Oh yes, it will – over $8000 for the highest-end models. Why, that’s probably almost as much as I spent on all those GURPS books over the…

  • Game rules aren’t protected by law

    Jeff Dee, RPG author and awesome gaming artist (T Bone makes Will roll, squelches further fan gushing), is also a host of The Non Prophets podcast (together with none other than fellow gaming art god Denis Loubet!) and a past semi-regular host of The Atheist Experience broadcast and podcast. Episode #616 of the latter (embedded below), titled nothing less than “The Argument from Game Design”, let Jeff put his game-design cred to work in discussing certain arcane religious arguments that compare existence to “a game”. Straying a bit from that purely religious discussion, he also made some comments of broader relevance to gaming itself, including thoughts on what makes for a…

  • Crazy combination weapons

    You’d never point a gun at your own face, right? Well, with some guns, you have to. I was perusing some of the fun stuff over at MyArmoury, and found this nifty page of wacky historical combined weapons. Guns with axe heads. Daggers with spring-loaded blade-catchers. Weapons that sprout… more weapons. And pictured here: fancy-schmancy eating utensils with built-in flintlock pistols. Critical miss on your dinner roll. Take 3d damage. (Unless, that is, the barrels point away from the eating end; it’s hard to tell from the pic. If that’s the case, your dinner date eats the damage instead. It’s the Quicker Breaker-Upper! [tm]) It looks like James Bond and…