The Daily Illuminator

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June 28, 1996

What's New On The Website

We've added a few new pages recently and we'd thought you'd like to know about them. New Page Number One is the current Dino Hunt card frequency list. Coupled with the collector info page, this page should tell collectors everything they need to know about the Dino Hunt card breakdown.

New Page Number Two is the GURPS feedback page, a directory of people and places you can go for answers to your all your GURPS questions.


-- Xxx Xxxxxxxx

June 27, 1996

VictorMaxx / Autoduel Update

Good news on the Car Wars-based video game under development by VictorMaxx - it may be reaching your home much earlier than we thought! As you might recall, VictorMaxx has been working on Autoduel, a Location-Based Entertainment center (LBE) similar to the Battletech centers that dot the country. Recent developments have led VictorMaxx to shift the development focus from the Autoduel LBE toward an internet-playable version called AutoDuel Online.

What does this mean for you? Two words every gamer loves to hear - Beta Test! Note that the software is not yet currently in beta form but VictorMaxx is currently taking beta tester applications in preparation for later testing expected to start in the third quarter of this year.

For more information, see VictorMaxx's 6/13 press release.

-- Bob Apthorpe

June 25, 1996

Belated Birthday Wishes

This was recently unearthed from the Webmaster's mail queue from GURPS editor extraordinaire Spike Y Jones. We apologize for the delay.

As some of you may already have heard...


Miranda Harmony Jones was born at 8:50 pm local (Eastern) time, on Tuesday, June 18th, 1996.

She was a big baby, weighing in at 8 lbs. 7 oz. (3.8 kg), and measuring 21 inches (0.533 m), arriving exactly on one of the three due dates various doctors had given us for her.

The delivery wasn't an easy one, but Mary and Miranda (and Spike; they may not have had as bad a time of it as Mary and Miranda, but Mary's mom and Spike were pretty tired and tortured themselves after coaching through this one) are both doing well. Everyone is tired, hungry, and slightly achey, but everyone is also in good health.

Both parents (and lots of grandparents, uncles, and other onlookers) are already fixated on every little move the baby makes, and those of you who never thought they'd see the day when Spike became a father will be astounded to hear that he's already fed Miranda, changed some diapers, held her through some painful medical procedures, and fallen warily asleep with her perched on his chest.

The saying goes, "Will wonders never cease?" This one has only just started.

Congratulations to Miranda, Mary and Spike from everyone here at SJ Games!

-- Bob Apthorpe

June 24, 1996

AADA World Duelling Championships

Despite its absence from the Origins program book, the AADA World Duelling Championships will be held at Origins, July 4-7, in Columbus, OH. The Preliminary Round will be Friday at 12:30, with the Semi-Finals Saturday at 12:30 and the Championships Sunday at 12:30. Anybody may enter -- register for Event #1182 at event registration, and bring your ticket to the Union Room in the Hyatt. Remember that official AADA Club Champions get a bye to the Semi-Finals, and need not play in the Preliminary Round. For complete rules, check the AADA News in Pyramid #19.

-- Scott Haring

June 21, 1996

Claudia Takes Atlanta!

Our intrepid Sales/Marketing/[DELETED]/Convention Guru Claudia Smith is off at DragonCon in Altanta this week, rubbing elbows with luminaries including Bruce Sterling, Mark Hamill, John Kricfalusi, Robert Anton Wilson, and Lloyd Kaufman.

So if you can't get tickets for Olympic Rythmic Gymnastics, wander over and play some Dino Hunt and Knightmare Chess. Or get Bob Burden's autograph. Either way, there's plenty of fun to be had in Atlanta this weekend.


-- Bob Apthorpe

June 20, 1996

The CDA Down Under

I've taken a little heat for my not-so-optimistic position on the CDA and the raft of stupid laws that will inevitably spring up in its wake. While the judges' opinion is a strong, sensible document that could perhaps go a long way towards eroding the strength of the Pacifica decision and temporarily staying the omnipresent, tiny-minded control freaks (whose 'family' and what 'values'?) that tirelessly try to make everyone as miserable as they are, any fool know that people like that don't give up easily.

More to the point, they aren't restricted to the confines of our nation (good for us and bad for everyone else). Which brings us to today's topic, STOP! campaign in New South Wales, Australia. A draft copy of the bill has been posted, leaked, whatever, for review and comment (question: do Parliamentary governments have bills? Hell, I barely know how our government works...) It's been described as being more odious and draconian than the US CDA, and given that the governments of the UK and related countries (i.e. Canada, and Austalia) have traditionally maintained a much tighter control on the press than we 'enjoy' in the US, one wonders how much worse it could be.

So, if you're in Australia or you have some free time to muck with the government of N.S.W., check this out and help them cast out the Demons of Stupidity.

Otherwise, the only content suitable for Australians may be "The Amazing Counter-Rotating Rod Serling Head" page

-- Bob Apthorpe (who does, in fact, care about what happens in the land of manly football and manly-sized beers.)

PS: Who picked up the Wooden Spoon this year, or haven't the playoffs started?

June 19, 1996

Evil is Afoot! Part II

Yesterday was a spoof; today we'll start talking about the real issue: role-playing games as political fodder.

The Italian press, copycatted by papers in other European countries, is attributing a spate of suicides in Italy to role-playing games. That is, there was at least one teen-aged suicide, and the victim may or may not have played role-playing games or knew people who did. Hard facts have been difficult to come by, but that hasn't daunted the Italian media or government officials in their quest to draw attention to themselves in the wake of this tragedy.

Consequently, the Italian gaming community has been fighting back. Visit their site and get the inside story for yourself.

-- Bob Apthorpe

June 18, 1996

Evil Is Afoot! Part I

It seems that all Europe is aflutter with the rumor that role-playing games are quite harmful to "The Youth of Today"®, turning your average gamer into a walking, talking, die-rolling time bomb. And it's only a matter of time, the critics say, until the poor kid rolls three 6's (get it?) and lights off like a big ol' H-Bomb.

It's a story we've heard before and one that won't go away as long as there's political capital to be made from spooking the masses. And, as usual, the gamers and the game companies are protesting that this is all a load of crap, that more deaths and injuries are linked to organized athletics, bicycling, or tainted kippers than to role-playing, etc., etc.

But occasionally there's an outlier. In this case, the outlier is Niilo Paasivirta with his Game of Satan.

We cannot condone this - Niilo, you aren't helping the cause any! No respectable company would make light of the eternal struggle between the forces of Good and the forces of Evil (at least not until In Nomine comes out...). So, cut it out. You're giving us all a bad name...

-- Bob Apthorpe

Warning: this message contains information that may be above the heads of the sarcastically-impaired. Niilo, we laughed so hard, we think we may have dislocated something. We're sending you the medical bill.

June 17, 1996

Dino Hunt Update!

As of Monday, the rest of the Rare form is off to the printer. The 68 Rare dinosaur cards are the ones that will be inserted in several different magazines in the next couple of months, including Pyramid.

Also, we've added a couple new pages to the Dino Hunt site including collector info, game mechanics, and educational uses.

-- Bob Apthorpe

June 14, 1996

Copernicus to Release Polish Edition of INWO

Steve Jackson Games has licensed Copernicus Corporation, of Warsaw, to produce a Polish edition of Illuminati: New World Order and of The INWO Book. More than 70 million INWO cards have already been printed in English and German. The game won the Origins Award for Best Card Game of 1994, and its supplement, Assassins, is a nominee for Best Card Game of 1995. "Just another step toward total global domination," commented Secret Master S**** J******. The Copernicus edition is scheduled to appear in September, 1996. It will include about 20 new and unique cards satirizing European politics and society. Copernicus is also the publisher of the Polish edition of R. Talsorian Games' Cyberpunk RPG.

-- Bob Apthorpe

June 13, 1996

Demo Hunt Now Available!

Dino Hunt! Can't wait for the impending release of Dino Hunt? Satisfy your craving with a sample - Demo Hunt is now available!

Demo Hunt contains:

-- Bob Apthorpe

June 12, 1996

CDA Struck Down, DOJ Plans Appeal, Nation Breathes A Little Easier

There's not a whole lot that I can add to what's already been said. The Communication's Decency Act is a bad piece of legislation and should never have made it as far as it has. It's a credit to this nation that at least some segment of the judiciary has recognized precisely how bad this law is and struck it down.

But hold off on the exhuberence and celebration for just a second. The war hasn't been won; rather, it's just beginning. As they say, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance and those that seek to control (or bury) the hearts and minds of this nation's citizens aren't going to let this stop them. Not by a long shot.

As part of the Modern Media Ethic that I'm bound by, I leave you with the following out-of-context "sound bite" (or is that "sound byte"?):

"The Internet is a far more speech-enhancing medium than print, the village green, or the mails. Because it would necessarily affect the Internet itself, the CDA would necessarily reduce the speech available for adults on the medium. This is a constitutionally intolerable result.

Some of the dialogue on the Internet surely tests the limits of conventional discourse. Speech on the Internet can be unfiltered, unpolished, and unconventional, even emotionally charged, sexually explicit, and vulgar -- in a word, "indecent" in many communities. But we should expect such speech to occur in a medium in which citizens from all walks of life have a voice. We should also protect the autonomy that such a medium confers to ordinary people as well as media magnates."

-- Judge Stewart Dalzell

If you've got the time, read through the full text of the judges' opinion on the CDA suit. It has a thorough, lucid, and accurate description of online communications and is actually quite readable for a serious legal document. Besides, the judges use some choice words that you'll miss out on by trusting your friendly neighborhood newscaster. Or me.

One final word to Judges Sloviter, Buckwalter and Dalzell:


-- Bob Apthorpe

June 11, 1996

GURPS Fallout Update!

[Gunfight In The OK
Corral] We've got some good news - we've just received more screen shots of GURPS Fallout, the first GURPS computer role-playing game from Interplay Productions.

Fallout is planned for Windows 95 release, with a DOS version very likely. A Macintosh version is expected from Macplay.

"How true to the real GURPS will Fallout be?" you might ask. Very close. As close as a computer version can be. Interplay is paying close attention to the rules and plans on fully supporting the reaction rules (in case anyone takes a Charismatic, Very Beautiful character with Voice and Sex Appeal.)

For more info, check out the GURPS Fallout FAQ.

Screenshots Copyright ©1996 Interplay Productions

-- Bob Apthorpe

June 10, 1996

GURPS Compendium I Now Available!

[GURPS Compendium I] They're here! GURPS Compendium I just arrived today and should be whizzing its way to your local game store soon.

But that's not all - Pyramid #20 arrived on the same truck.  [Pyramid 20] Pyramid #20 features an in-depth look at the new action-packed roleplaying game from Daedalus Games, Feng Shui and a mini-adventure for GURPS Goblins, plus all our regular features and much more!

-- Bob Apthorpe

June 7, 1996

New Arrival!

Congratulations to Lori and Hunter Johnson (a.k.a. GURPS Errata God) on...

Forrest Galen Johnson, born 2:02am (Eastern) Monday, June 3, at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. 8 lbs 7.8 oz, 21.5 inches. Mom and baby (and Dad) are healthy and happy.

-- Bob Apthorpe

June 6, 1996

"Welcome To The World of Inflatable Advertising"

Wow - how can you pass up a website with a line like that?! I'm a sucker for goofy promotions, and with Dino Hunt coming out soon, what better way to say "Weeeee're Heeeeere!" than a 30-foot inflatable T-Rex? Imagine the havoc we could cause at Gen Con, heh heh...

This is why I don't have a budget.

On a slightly unrelated note, the XXXenophile card game (based on the comic by Phil Foglio) is on the web! Featuring artists such as Phil and Kaja Foglio, Colleen Doran, Dan Smith, and many others, this game promises to cause much amusement (not to mention a great degree of consternation among The Perpetually Offended and others with uncomfortable underwear).

Hmmm . . . that gives me an idea. I wonder if the XXXenophile people have any interest in inflatable advertising?..

--- Bob Apthorpe

PS: Happy D-Day!

June 5, 1996

Sample Copies of GURPS Compendium I Arrive From Printer

[GURPS Compendium I] This just in - we've received our sample copies of GURPS Compendium I from our printer and they look swell. The Dan Smith art is at times reminiscent of Matt Howarth and Mike Allred and works well (in my admittedly biased opinion). Compendium I also has that amazing 'lay-flat' binding to help preserve your gaming investment.

This also means that the real shipment of books should be arriving in-house in about a week, so stay tuned.

-- Bob Apthorpe

June 4, 1996

Claudia's Adventures At Chessex Open House

I recently attended the Chessex MW Open House, in Fort Wayne, IN and I must say that I enjoyed Indiana and especially the show. I focused my attentions on Dino Hunt and Knightmare Chess, and kept copies of GURPS Goblins and Basic Set (redress) scattered on my table for people to look at. Retailers 'oohed and aahed' over Goblins and asked a lot of questions about In Nomine (I joked that if we get it out before September 22, it is still technically Summer). I also invited them to come and play the Knightmare Chess and Dino Hunt with me at the open gaming.

Around noon on Sunday, a most unusual form of rescue arrived. David Wheeler of Dragon's Lair was doing his rounds. Once he introduced himself and I answered his questions, he offered to watch the booth for a moment if I wanted to run and get a cup of coffee. I came back in time to see him doing a wonderfully enthusiastic show of Goblins. I 'hired' him on the spot.

Open gaming was fun. I ran simultaneous demos of Knightmare Chess and Dino Hunt, participating in Knightmare Chess more than Dino Hunt. The Knightmare Chess games ran about 1/2 hour each, and the Dino Hunt games about 15-20 minutes each. My table was constantly full of people who were enjoying the games, and I didn't receive a single negative comment. The highlights of the evening were when a lady who was always beaten at chess managed to beat her opponent, a nationally ranked player, and when a ten year old girl came over with her mother, learned Dino Hunt, and then started running around and grabbing people to play with her.

This was the busiest show I have done yet, next to GAMA. I could not believe the sheer number of interested people there. I can't wait for next year's show.

-- Claudia T. Smith

June 3, 1996

GURPS Worldbooks Get Organized!

This weekend has been a busy one - for me, anyway. Now that we've got most of the GURPS Worldbooks their own web page, it's time to start grouping them by topic. Due to the miracle of modern database technology, we've been able to push, file, stamp, and index them and pull together lists of books by genre, topic or intent. So, if you're looking for related material, it will be easier to find and a lot more convenient than browsing through the main index.

Currently, we have topical indices for Adventures, Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Modern, Space and Time-Travel. Magic, Paranormal and Tech will be showing up soon.

As a special bonus, I've converted one of the adventures from GURPSnet into HTML format - The Gold of Tolosa for GURPS Imperial Rome.

Have fun,

-- Bob Apthorpe

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