General “about” stuff
Where you are now
This is T Bone’s Games Diner, the latest incarnation of a hoary old site.
Purpose and/or slogan
Dilettante Game Design and More: Role-playing game goodies for GURPS and other games. (But mostly GURPS and its offspring like Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game.)
As noted in this post introducing the site’s latest rebirth on the WordPress platform, due to the platform’s silly segregation of (blog) posts vs (non-blog) pages, the list of posts on the home page does not include content created as pages (which is many of my rules-hacky items).
To actually see all posted content, click “Home (all content)” in the menu. Thank you. (Also make use of the menu, the “swarm of tags” in the sidebar, and the search function to find stuff.)
Should you wish to follow the feed, add the site to your blogroll, or do similar wacky things, the below should work as the feed for all content (WordPress posts and pages alike):
If you prefer a feed of GURPS (and DFRPG) material only, try this:
Other ways to keep up to date
You can also keep up to date by following the Games Diner’s Twitter feed (@Gamesdiner), or watching this occasionally updated page on the SJG GURPS forum. (You can find me posting on both the GURPS forum and the DFRPG forum.)
Other tech stuff
This site was moved from Drupal to WordPress in 2020. These are content management systems, meaning the site content lives in a database; the pages you see are generated on the fly from that content. It’s cool stuff, and it allows nifty features while reducing site-building tasks.
At the same time, there are always some bugs here and there; so far, I run into occasional issues with yet-unsatisfactory text editing systems and anti-spam systems. Overall, though, features and functionality keep improving.
I host the site on DreamHost, which I’ve found to be easy and trouble-free (well, it was until my old site’s old tech started clashing with their infrastructure; apologies if you found lots of trouble around 2018-2019), with ridiculously generous storage and bandwidth, and frighteningly fast tech support. If you want a place on the web for your own gaming site (or Shih Tzu De-wrinkling Iron E-shop, or Furries For [Name of fave political leader] fanfic community), I gladly recommend DH. (Use this link to save $50 on Unlimited shared hosting.)
(Yes, those links act as referrals, and generate a few dollars to keep this site running. If you’d rather not lend a hand, feel free to use this no-referral link. I won’t be bitter, I promise. : (
This site began as T Bone’s GURPS Diner around 1997 (I think) and became the Games Diner around, oh, 2005. In late 2006, I moved from static pages to a Drupal-based site, and in 2020, to WordPress, to enable ever more dynamic content and features. (“Dynamic” is a descriptor of the technology, not the writing.)
About T Bone
International man of the mundane, clearly with little ability to think up of cool net names on quick notice. (Take the name as a tribute to the fine blues musicians of yore, not to steak.) Long-time gamer, dilettante game designer, many other things not relevant to this site.
Get in touch by contact form or email: tbone who can be found at gamesdiner followed by a dot and a com. (How’s that for hiding an email address from crawlers? Even Skynet is stumped by this one.)
Games Diner FAQ
Common questions/comments about the site.
For the GULLIVER FAQ, head here.
Q: Why have you committed errors, carbon unit?
A: Please report errors! Many readers have helped a lot by sending in notices of errors. Even notice of a typographical error is appreciated. I hate typos.
Q: Can I link to your site?
A: Please do! Your own web page with home-brewed additions or modifications to stuff at the Diner, or just a link to these pages, is a fine and good thing.
Q: Can I create and post my own material borrowing from your stuff?
Sure! My only humble requests:
- Copyright: The material is the property of tbone at gamesdiner dot com. Please note the copyright and distinguish between my property and your own. Please don’t copy or repost huge sections of what you find here, offer it on your own servers, or misrepresent ownership.
- Credit: Please detail what was borrowed from the Diner — what specific goods, and with what modifications of your own. That’s not only so I get credit for what I created, but also so that you get full credit for what’s actually yours.
- Link: Please include a link to the Diner.
- Formats: Whatever you create, you’re free to post and send those files in any format you like. But files in open formats are greatly appreciated – it’s not nice to ask people to pay tithes to software moguls for the right to view your file. Text or clean RTF is a far kinder choice than MS Word, for example.
- Drop a line: I’d be interested in seeing your work once posted.
Oh, this too: Please be careful not to mistake others’ work for mine. For example, some pages on this site are clearly noted as contributions from other authors; any requests regarding reposting, collaboration, etc. would require those authors’ permissions. As another example, this site often references products and game content belonging to other copyright holders such as Steve Jackson Games; any usage of such material needs to go through those parties and/or comply with their published rules concerning fair use.
Q: Can I borrow stuff to use in my own RPG?
A: Assuming you’re talking about material that’s mine (see caution above), the material is copyrighted, so your checking is appreciated! We should find it simple to agree on terms for using content in a non-commercial product. Proper credit, including what was borrowed and in what form it appears (simplified, heavily modified, as-is, etc.), plus a link to the Diner, are the basics. Use in a commercial product would entail more discussion. Either way, drop a line and let’s talk.
Q: How can I contribute to this site?
Unfortunately, time constraints these days may keep from enthusiastically jumping at offers of “hey, let’s collaborate on such-and-such!” (as much as I’d really like to do so). But if something seems a great fit, feel free to drop a line.
There are the occasional saints who have written to say they want to donate something of pecuniary value. As in, copper, silver, gold, and/or not-too-cursed artifacts. Allow me to accommodate these fine people! Milking the lame “diner” theme to the max means allowing for voluntary tipping. So if you want to leave a quid – well, I much appreciate the thought, but I’m disabling the feature for now (due to discontinuation by the operator). Maybe there’ll be something in place later.
Another way to contribute: Set up your own site using DreamHost and this referral link (or this one to save $50 on Unlimited shared hosting), either of which sends a bit of copper to pay for the site’s hosting fees.
My deep thanks to anyone so generous as to donate. But if it comes down to a choice between tipping the Diner or answering your baby’s hungry tummy . . . well, I hear chewing on leather helps with that. (Kidding, kidding . . .)
In any case, just please don’t do that trick where you put the coins in a full glass of water, firmly place a card over the top of the cup, quickly place it all upside down on the Formica, and slide out the card, leaving a nasty water trap for the harried waiter/busboy. (Only do that when service is really bad, and don’t tell them I taught you, okay?)
Old stuff from an old incarnation of the site. Having nowhere special to post these kind words, and having no shame either, I’ll put them here.
My deep thanks to all who wrote in with encouragement and assistance!
- i actually downloaded the full gulliver system prior to the release of 4e. huge improvement of the game! it really helped me break out of the box of sticking to the established rules and helped me think of ways to modify other aspects of the game that i was dissatisfied with. unfortunately, i’ve only had an oportunity to use it once or twice but it was a huge success every time. thanks for a great product and firmly entrenching gurps as my rpg of choice. – B.C.
- [GULLIVER is] my favorite “fan” GURPS Supplement. Immense. Crunchier than a two-ton cauldron of peanut brittle and rice crispies. – Lizard
- GURPS Gulliver, as Lizard already says, belongs on any player’s list. It goes beyond its calling (rules for big and little creatures) into an in-depth examination of how GURPS works. – Almafeta
- I’ve been reading EVERYTHING from your diner, and its all very high quality material…I use a ton of it in my game. – J.S.
- There is a displacement ton of excellent suggestions for GURPS on your site, and I hope SJG is picking your brain for 4e. – M.B.
- A great site for the GURPS enthusiast (especially the very enthusiastic enthusiast), the GURPS Diner contains a great collection of house rules and commentary on my favorite roleplaying system. Of particular interest is GULLIVER, a truly huge expansion to the physical aspects of character-building. GULLIVER is billed as “your GURPS Vehicles for creatures, with a good dose of biomechanical science as its base” – Tribblescape
- Just stumbled onto your site and have spend the last two days happily crunching numbers… major kudos, this is what physics class should have been like. – N.H.
- I’ve been a huge fan of your gulliver work for years. I design all of my new races for my games based on your rules and they’re so much richer for it. I also enjoy reading the short new pieces you put up on your Diner page, especially Gird Yer Loins and ESCARGO. Keep up the good work! – D.B.
- …”thank you” for spending the time and effort to make gaming more understandable and therefore more fun. Your expansions and alterations on GURPS have been a huge help in my RP sessions and are very appreciated. I wish to say once again that you’ve compiled a fantastic resource of rules and details, and that your work does not go unappreciated. – K.C.
- I have just finished reading over GVER 5.2, and what can I say, I am seriously impressed, it is brilliant, inspired, and just plain good. It has truly become an impressive document since the last version I looked. . . . The detailed extrapolation and in-depth treatments, and copious designers notes have truly made it much more than just a size scale to figure out ST and HP. I am majorly impressed by it. – R.M.
- I have just been reading GURPS Gulliver which I downloaded the other day. Congratulations on a fantastic product! . . . I have been playing GURPS since it was Man-to-Man, and I always knew there was things wrong with it, but could never quite pin them down. You seem to have fixed them all with a simple and elegant system! I must admit to have been disillusioned with GURPS recently, but you have inspired me again. – M.D.
- I imposed a lot of your house rules on my players (or will be shortly.) You’ve done some awesome work with Gulliver! I haven’t gotten through all of it yet, but it looks impressive! – R.B.
- I’ve just glanced through GULLIVER, and I’ve got to say you’ve done a great job. . . . from the looks of it, GULLIVER is going to play a very useful role in some of my GURPS creations. Thanks for all the time you put into it! – M.J.
- Thanks for all the suggestions, and for a great product like GULLIVER. I think I’ll use, and probably abuse, your rules in my next campaign. – R.W.
- BTW, love the rules. If there’s anything I can do to help, let me know. – J.S.
- …this is just a short note to thank you for all the effort you put into GULLIVER 5.0, and to let you know that I’m writing up races from James White’s Sector General universe using it. – J.W.
- First of all, Thank you for your great rules! . . . Especially GULLIVER (others were house rules) is great, it’s humorous and still keeps digging into those rules, until it finds answers (and it keeps digging into many, many rules. It fixed one thing there and one thing here, I enjoyed it a lot). It could well be a GURPS worldbook by itself (Compendium III!?) . . . I think you should be working for SJG;), material has very professional style in it and it really is quite comprehensive . . . By the way, I think you underestimate your work seriously by saying that GULLIVER is not that comprehensive and detailed. As you mentioned, Comp1 & Comp2 are “prequisites” and what else than GULLIVER and those books do we need for character creation (besides any genrebooks, and of course Basic). – L.I.
- GULLIVER, with its obsession with proper usage of realworld weight, size, and environment in building worlds, is fabulicious in dealing with outsize races . . . GULLIVER takes all the wonder of GURPS’ flexibility elsewhere and applies it to games that aren’t based on humans on Earth. Like underwater, on high or low-g planets, for tiny or giantsize campaigns . . . or flying campaigns. I highly recommend it. – B.B., in discussion at egroups
- Hi, I am very impressed by GULLIVER and since you said you were interested in creature submissions, here’s mine. – W.K.
[Submissions are wonderful! Let this be an example to all! – T Bone]
- I found GULLIVER absolutely fantastic for creating the races for my fantasy campaign. I really wanted a way to make my races similar enough that players would be able to clue into the stereotypes, but different enough that they weren’t just elves and dwarves and ogres. I wanted each race to have its own ecology and evolutionary track . . . they’re _not_ from the same world. – E., in rec.games.frp.gurps
- I have to admit that GULLIVER is just what I was looking for… to think that I was going to put effort into writing my own, and there you have it, and it is better than what I probably would have come up with (the scale stuff especially). – J.S.
- GULLIVER is the most comprehensive re-examination of the GURPS rules on the net, covering Size, scaling and stats; shrinking and growing; flight, and literally dozens if not hundreds of other topics. – Netscape Open Directory Project
- I have completed reading less than half of it so far and all I can say is “WOW!” . . . Given the gear-head nature of GURPS, I am hoping that, should Steve Jackson ever consider re-writing GURPS and finally doing the 4th edition, you are called in for the work you have done here. GURPS needs rules for realistically scaling creatures, and it needs them written (as you have) in a way that integrates into the existing rules set well. – K.L.
- Mail from another satisfied customer: I’ve recently downloaded Gulliver and like it immensely. Just the thing for my fantasy game – real giants and dwarves! – V.B.
- … The material is awesome and really should be official IMO. The PDF format is awesomely useful and appreciated. Keep up the good work. – A.
- Perhaps the finest example of web support for a game. This expansion to GURPS has to be seen, even if you don’t like GURPS much. – TzeentchNet
- In my opinion, Gulliver sucks. It went a different direction than GURPS, refused to acknowledge when GURPS solutions fit better or made more sense, and continued to try and cludge its way onto a system it no longer fits. – R.C. at rec.games.frp.gurps
[Thank you ver – hey, wait a minute… – T Bone]
- I must say it again….. LOVE the Gulliver rules. I can’t imagine building odd characters without it anymore. 🙂 – P.M.
- I’m looking to broaden [the game] to a good hearty fantasy stew – in a wide range of serving size – and Gulliver seems just the right spice for the job… I’ve looked over the ST and size rules, and they are all great – well thought out, simple and even more generic than the standard GURPS. – K.B.
- Thanks again for Gulliver; here’s hoping much of it will make it into GURPS 4th edition… It’s kind of odd — your rules for setting up non-humans are more complicated that current GURPS rules, yet they yield simpler and more accurate results. I am much impressed – CJB
- Greetings. Although I’ve been playing GURPS for years, I only recently discovered GULLIVER online. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to find something like this that is not only thorough and well written, but also clever and even funny. Thanks for producing such a great set of rules! – E.H.
- I’d like to thank you for creating Gulliver, as the best source of animal generation ever written… I would personally shell any money for an expanded and 4th-fied version of Gulliver. – A.A.
[Best not to give me ideas. – T Bone]
- Last year I found your GULLIVER and was impressed – you have solved a lot of problems which everyone complains about but cannot do anything to solve. – A.K.
- I’ve just been reading through Gulliver 5.0, and I am completely stunned. It’s beautiful! I’m not sure I’ll ever use any of it, but I am absolutely amazed. . . . Actually, I probably will use a lot of it. In my opinion, GURPS isn’t really all that universal without Gulliver. You’ve done a great job where some people might have just stopped playing GURPS–in fact, there are probably a lot of people whose interest in GURPS has been rekindled by the rules. Thanks, once again. – D.H.
- …go check out t-bone’s GULLIVER rules, which outline in almost obscene detail the effects of large characters. Detailed rules on how to dodge 20-foot long swords, the effects of size on reach and step, excellent rules for encumbrance and scaling of attributes, etc.; it’s simply amazing, and well worth the visit. – A.J.
- …check out GULLIVER. The Remarkable T-Bone has gobs of stuff about swimming and aquatic creatures. – T.B.
- …my players and i just revised one of the PCs using your negative encumbrance rules… the effects we achieved with GULLIVER were quite a bit more elegant than those i had achieved with the existing rules coupled with a hack of my own… for anyone who isn’t familiar with GULLIVER, i *highly* recommend checking it out if you like fine-noodling and extra details. GULLIVER is to designing monsters, aliens and creatures what “GURPS vehicles” is to designing hover-tanks and tiltrotor attack craft. (so what’s the term for that? if vehicle nuts are “gearheads”, what are those of us who geek out about the same level of detail for characters and creatures?) anyway, it’s all that and a bag of chips. and much, much more… it rules. – A.J.
- GULLIVER is Tbone’s remarkably good net-supplement for GURPS, initially designed to handle ‘off-scale’ characters, it has since grown into a full system for gaming (and creating) beings of all sizes and shapes. – W.G.
- I could say it’s great, I could say it contains all the house rules I have and could have imagined and much more, I could even say that Metal Gods used it when they made the Universe, but I am sure you are already used to these kind of comments. . . . So I will only say that yesterday night I stayed awake ’till 5 A.M. reading the damned thing (and I am an student in exams). Should be enough. I think that the “G” from GURPS is now completely meaningful and that since PD and AD are separate but still “makeable” rolls the world is a much more beautiful place. – M.G.
[“Metal Gods”? Don’t know what that means, but I like it. – T Bone]
- I love version 5.0 . . . – S.W.
- Eine der Schwächen von GURPS ist, dass man nicht gut auf verschiedenen Maßstäben gleichzeitig spielen kann. Wenn der Durchschnitt der Attribute deutlich abseits von 10 liegt, versagen einige der Regeln. Die Gulliver-Regeln sind die Lösung für gemischte Mensch/Fee/Riese-Abenteurergruppen. – M.G., on GURPS page
- It’s a great addition to the GURPS sys and really makes the system better, IMO. – G.
- A truly awesome piece of work. I printed out the last version and spent ages (and a lot of ink!) reading through it. – J.R.
[The trees! Won’t somebody think of the trees? – T Bone]
- i really, really like GULLIVER. i think it’s an amazing labor of love (and creativity and mechanics and biology). i like that 90% of the use of GULLIVER is out-of-play, and the other 10% makes in-play more realistic. i adore the fact that it fits smoothly into gurps rules and makes them better, more playable. all the races i’ve built in the last few years have used rules from GULLIVER. even the plain, boring human characters get to use the encumbrance rules and rules for jumping, running, and climbing. – D.
- One thing you might consider for unusual aliens of any size, shape, and texture are the rules for GURPS Gulliver. They’re a very well researched and carefully thought out rules extension / modification that allow more or less total freedom for designing non-standard races, shapes, motivations, sizes, and whatnot… I’ve just spent the better part of a week perusing them on the web, and I can’t recommend them highly enough. One of the self-promotional lines in the intro is “I’ve got your Basic Set 4th Edition, right here, baby!!” It’s not far wrong. – D.C.
- The BEST GURPS project on the internet. Deals with simplifying some GURPS mechanics, everything you could need about size, and a complete species building guide. – gaming links page
- I’d very much like to congratulate you on the brilliant scholarship and creativity of your most excellent GULLIVER rules expansion for GURPS. I’ve spent long happy hours gasping in awe and “oooh”ing with pleasure as I read through your staggering body of work… I have found myself, however, sometimes almost queasy with guilt – so much effort has gone into GULLIVER that to benefit from your achievement without me giving something in return seemed like stealing. I thought about sending you a thick, smelly wad of well-used US dollars . . . – P.J.
[No money necessary! Or at least, make it crisp, non-smelly Benjamins. – T Bone]
- Gulliver is brilliant. ’nuff said. – R.W.
- I have been a gamer and GM for many years. I have always enjoyed the GURPS system, but have felt that in many places, the rules just weren’t quite right. I have ammended my system several times to increase both realism and ease of game play. I can really appreciate the amount of work you have invested in GULLIVER and I thank you for making it available to the rest of us schmoes. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! – B.L.
- Un menu’ che ogni gurpsista dovrebbe provare spesso a digerire… 🙂 Contiene inoltre l’utile ed interessante GURPS Gulliver, una sorta di maxi-house rule che rivede parecchi aspetti del sistema di GURPS… per chi non si accontenta mai! – Link at http://quillan.altervista.org/pagine/links.htm
[The magic that is machine translation renders that as: “A menu that every gurpsista would have to often try to digest… It contains moreover the profit and interesting GURPS Gulliver, rising of maxi-house rule that it see again several aspects of the system of GURPS… for who is not never pleased!”]
- …In my games, my players and I have been amazed with how the rules in GULLIVER make creatures of nonhuman size and shape feel when you game them. – W.M.
- Witness Gulliver, quite possibly the biggest “not actually an official supplement” website out there… Gulliver is tremendous. In 20 years of role-playing I’d have to say that it is the best and most detailed supplement I’ve ever seen and something that I’d have quite happily paid £50 for. The fact that is was free is even better. – S, in online forum