• Gaming Low-Power, Low-Tech PCs, Part III

    This is the wrap-up of thoughts on keeping a campaign going when the threats are high-powered but the PCs are low-powered – that is, when the PCs are “mundanes” with no magic, no special powers, and little technology. Again I use GURPS Fantasy II‘s Mad Lands setting as a prime example, but the considerations will hold in other settings, especially low fantasy or non-fantasy. Part I was a short look at the challenges of keeping such a game going. Part II suggested beefing up the PCs to match the challenges – specifically, understanding “low power” to mean character sheets that may lack spells and energy blasts, but are still packed…

  • Gaming Low-Power, Low-Tech PCs, Part II

    Introduction I’ve changed the title of this article and its Part I, to better fit what the articles are really about. Yes, they’re nominally a look at the Mad Lands setting of GURPS Fantasy II, but let’s think bigger. What I’m really writing about is how to keep PCs alive, and growing as characters, in any setting that sharply limits PC power without dialing down the threats they face. So, while I focus on Madlanders as a perfect example of no-magic, no-powers people – “mundanes” – caught between hammer and anvil, what follows might be of use in any low fantasy game where monsters and wizards wield great powers that…

  • Gaming Low-Power, Low-Tech PCs, Part I

    In the center of the world is a land hammered by the weather, tortured by insane gods, plagued by grotesque monsters and haunted by magic. Only the bravest survive in the Mad Lands.Yet they do survive . . .  Indeed, they do. But how? Yesterday I took another stroll through GURPS Fantasy II (subtitle: Adventures in the Mad Lands), from noted gaming author Robin D. Laws. It’s an old book, from the days when the GURPS line used the “Fantasy” moniker for its specific fantasy game worlds. The first Fantasy gave us the world now named (and book-titled) Banestorm; Fantasy II introduced the bizarre, dark-fantasy world that, if published now,…