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August 31, 1997: Where's the ketchup?

Several people have asked if we could explain the Dan Smith quote.

We could, sure . . .
-- Steve Jackson


August 30, 1997: New Ogre material on the web

Fish Flowers, our Ogre web editor, has been busy. New on the Ogre pages are Fencer Attack (a new scenario); several new units; some old errata that never got posted, and a fiction piece by J.D. Bell.

August 29, 1997: Rosemary West's Left-Handed Page

Thanks to everyone who applied to be our new Illuminated SiteKeeper. We've chosen Keith Grogan to take the reins, and here's his first pick for Illuminated Site of the Week.

Illuminated Site of the Week You know back in medieval times the Witchsmeller Pursuivant had it pretty easy convincing the locals that Mrs. Dimkins down the street dabbled in the Black Arts. Hey, she talks to her horse, she has a mole on her chin and the coup-de-grace: she's left-handed! BURN HER! Nowadays the state of affairs is a little better, but my leftie friends still tell me about the subliminals people try to pass them suggesting that they're just, well, not quite right. Fear not. You have a champion in Rosemary West, who has gathered together a veritable multitude of information dedicated to the Left Hand Path.

-- Number 2


August 28, 1997: Off to Worldcon!

The World Science Fiction Convention starts today in San Antonio. Micah and I will be there, along with uberMIB Laz Zanger and other agents not to be named at this time. We'll have a booth at the back of the dealer room; we'll be doing some panels; we'll be running demo games where we can find table space, and committing nameless activities in the shadows, just like always. Look us up!
-- Steve Jackson


August 27, 1997: Quote of the Day

"This is my town. I know where the ketchup is."

Dan Smith


August 26, 1997: That's One BUSY Secret Warehouse . . .

Warehouse 23 got 11,711 hits on Monday.

Wow.

Our construction crews are hard at work excavating Level 3 . . . we'll be needing it soon.
-- Steve Jackson


August 25, 1997: Fnord Redux

If you downloaded the Fnord program a few weeks ago when we announced it, you might have noticed some problems with it. Well, our INWO online editor, Sam Kington, spotted this and sent us an updated version. You can download the updated Unix gzip version or PC version.



August 24, 1997: The Secure Online Catalog

Our online catalog has had a secure ordering system for a while now, but we never did a Big Announcement. So (ta-daaaa...):

We're running a Stronghold secure server, and using a Verisign digital ID to encrypt transactions sent via the catalog. So if you order from us through the secure server, your credit card info is safely encrypted as it is sent from your browser to our server.

Which means: if you use the secure server, your information is *safer* than if you phoned it in. Which saves you time and money. And helps save the sanity of our Direct Mail people, who have been getting a *lot* of phone calls recently as the web catalog grows in popularity.

Look for a couple more interesting updates about the Web catalog Real Soon Now, when we get them out of beta-test.


August 23, 1997: New in the Warehouse . . .

Warehouse 23 grows apace. The recently-opened second level is up to almost 700 crates. Maybe more, by the time you read this.

A sampling of the new acquisitions, submitted by Karl Merris . . .

A pair of aviator-style sunglasses. If the wearer focuses his attention on a person for more than a second, a heads-up display appears, listing the subject's Social Security number, home and business addresses, criminal record, tax record, and other useful information. Occasionally, a subject will be encountered that provokes a different response. Crosshairs will appear over the subject's vital areas and the messages "TARGET ACQUIRED" and "AMMO DEPLETED" will flash across the wearer's field of vision. At the GM's discretion, this latter response may occur if the wearer views himself in a mirror.
-- Steve Jackson


August 22, 1997: Blenderphone

Illuminated Site of the Week We told you about this last year, before we set up the Illuminated Site of the Week. Well, now we're telling you again, because this is, ahem, *special* enough to deserve a repeat mention, and the semi-coveted IllSotW medallion. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you . . . the Blenderphone.

-- SJ


August 21, 1997: Show Your Membership in the Conspiracy!

Available now in our Direct Mail Catalog - Illuminati T-shirts! Show the world you're in control! These T-shirts are black with the yellow and red "Illuminati" logo, the eye-in-the-pyramid design and the spine chilling statement "Someone you trust is one of us." Limited quantities available! Only FNORD left! Get one today! Also available in very limited quantities, the same design printed smaller on the chest of a polo shirt. Very classy. These shirts were produced under license by Pegasus Publishing who sell other excellent T-shirts as well as bumper stickers, etc. Check them out. And stay tuned for future Steve Jackson Games related T-shirts, coming soon!
-- Micah Jackson


August 20, 1997: INWO Sealed Deck Championship

Having dealt conclusively with (FNORD), we can now report on the outcome of the INWO World Sealed Deck Championships, held in early July at DexCon 6 in New Jersey.

The tourney drew some good play, and lasted far too long into the night! The final round was a four-player slugfest, who sorted themselves out as follows:

Fourth: Sam Rubin, of Pottstown, PA. He was wearing white athletic socks with a black stripe. He played Discordia.

Third: Art Martella, of Hoboken, NJ. He was wearing plain white socks. He also played Discordia.

Second: Kevin Kreiner, of Binghampton, NY, playing Bermuda, wearing argyle socks.

First, and World Champion: Chris Reid, of Fredericksburg, VA. He was not wearing any socks at all. He played Shangri-La.
-- Steve Jackson


August 19, 1997: Shipping This Week

Heading to a game store near you this week . . .

GURPS Planet Krishna is a sourcebook for gaming in the world of L. Sprague deCamp's swashbuckling space opera Viagens Interplanetarias series. Jim Cambias wrote it, and it features an original cover painting by the legendary Kelly Freas and an introduction by deCamp.


And GURPS Ultra-Tech 2 is David Pulver's latest contribution of tons of new gadgets, weapons and other technological goodies for cyberpunk, science-fiction and time travel campaigns. You'll love it, honest.

-- Scott Haring


August 18, 1997: GenCon - Part II

When we last left our intrepid heroes, I had promised to write more about the In Nomine game that Gene and I ran and about what happened to Dr. Kromm. And so I shall. But first, the OGRE Challenge.

Sunday morning dawned bright and clear. But, it wasn't to stay that way long for Steve's ten opponents. One by one, they fell to the mighty OGRE's relentless onslaught. (Well, what do you expect when the OGRE is played by the game's designer.) Still everyone had a good time. Especially Steve who took every game, finishing with a record of 10-0. That made Steve Jackson Games undefeated at the con, since we'd won the Macrotures grudge match on Wednesday night. (I know, it was officially a draw, but we were ahead on points.) Will you be one of the OGRE's victims, next time?

Oh, look at the time... I guess the story about Dr. Kromm will have to wait again...
-- Micah Jackson


August 17, 1997: GURPS Fanzine

MIB David S. Carter sends us this announcement:

Issue 6.3 (Summer 1997) of the GURPS fanzine Journal of the PK Institute is now available. This special all-vampire issue features a mini-worldbook for GURPS Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Cyber-Slayer: a combination of BtVS and cyberpunk; plus a brief look at vampire nanotechnology. The issue is 11 pages in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format, measuring a svelte 224K, and will be published in print format as part of All of the Above #32.


August 16, 1997: New GURPS Character Generator

Those of you using the GURPS Character Generator by Imaginware may want to check out the latest version (1.7), now available for download from our site. We also have a change log so you can see what's new since version 1.5.

The GURPS Character Generator is a 16-bit application that runs under Windows 3.x or Windows95.
-- Kira


August 15, 1997: 23 Skidoo

Illuminated Site of the Week Just what IS it with the Illuminati and the number 23, anyway? Well we're not allowed to say, but this page might give you a few clues...

-- Kira


August 14, 1997: All the German INWO Cards in one box

We've just received one complete set of German INWO Limited Edition cards, and bidding has already started on the auction page. So, if you want to a) get your hands on those fun new cards in the German edition, or you just want to confuse your rivals (it looks like New York, it behaves like New York, it blows up like New York but it calls itself Frankfurt), you know what to do.

(We were expecting two or three lots, but so far we've only got the one. This could be your only chance.)

-- Sam Kington
INWO Online Assistant Editor


August 13, 1997: ... But Not To Each Other

SJ Games staffers Scott Haring and David Hanshaw are pleased to announce their engagments.

But not to each other. We should make that clear.

Seems that while Scott was down in Houston proposing to his girlfriend, Louise Webster, David was off in Colorado doing the same thing with his, Erin Ammon. This probably falls under the category of "great minds think alike."

Congratulations to them both.


August 12, 1997: Proper GenCon Report!

I would like to begin by apologizing to all our fans who checked in yesterday to get our GenCon report and got only a one line teaser. Sorry. But you're actually lucky you got anything at all. I was the only one who had any energy at all for the report. Now on with the real meat!

GenCon was, as always, a real adventure. We arrived on Wednesday night to set up our booth and stake out a table at the Safe House. Operational goals were met with minimal casualties.

Thursday we began working the Con in earnest. Knightmare Chess sold like hotcakes (that is to say, as if everybody wanted hotcakes and there weren't all that many left.) They were all gone by Saturday afternoon. NOTE: If you wanted one and we were sold out, check out our direct-mail catalog. They don't currently have any either, but they'll send you one when the sets come in from the printer.

Friday, after we recovered from the Violent Femmes concert and our valiant effort to ensure the personal safety of everyone at the Safe House we returned to the Convention. Scott GM'ed an excellent game of In Nomine which brought us some new players. GURPS Planet Krishna arrived hot off the presses and was well received. The bad news was that Ultra-Tech 2 never did show up. If you're a game store in Milwaukee and would like to pick up some Ultra-Tech 2 at the Hyatt to avoid the shipping crisis, write to Woody our sales manager.

Saturday was pretty much a blur. I do have some snippets of memory left. I vaguely remember selling some games. I'm pretty sure I was at the party hosted by White Wolf and FASA because I woke up with a mysterious three dot stamp on my hand which hasn't happened since I... well, let's just say I was an "idiot" that time, too.

Sunday was a great arm-flailing mad dash to the finish. Still no Ultra-Tech 2. However all was not lost. I did a deal so cool, that I can't even talk about it here yet. But let's just say, watch this space for an announcement and don't buy any Christmas gifts for In Nomine fans until you hear from me.

Well, that ought to do it for now. Next time, I'll write about how Gene Seabolt and I refereed an excellent In Nomine game, and what happened to Dr. Kromm. I'd better go and take some more Vitamin C. For more information about next year's GenCon plans (or any other convention related matter), send some e-mail to our newly blooded Con Manager Laz Zanger.
-- Micah Jackson


August 11, 1997: GenCon crew returns safe!

We're back safe. Con was excellent. More tomorrow.
-- Micah Jackson


August 10, 1997: Pyramid #27 to the Printer!

The headline says it all . . . Pyramid #27 has gone off to the printer.

Extra thanks (I mean, even more thanks than usual) go to Assistant Editor Gene Seabolt, who put together a big chunk of the magazine while I was off on vacation crossing America and going to baseball games and seeing friends and winning money on riverboats and having tons of fun and . . . but I digress. Gene did a great job this issue -- thanks!

This issue features, by the way, a preview of Activision's Heavy Gear computer game, an adventure for Deadlands, a generic fantasy roleplaying adventure, an INWO solitaire variant, and lots more. You should check it out.

-- Scott Haring


August 9, 1997: Report from GenCon

So here we are at GenCon. We've survived two days - only two more to go. The Men In Black are doing a fantastic job with the booth; we're running all kinds of demonstrations; life is good.

The convention itself is fine. There's lots of apprehension over What Will Happen To The Industry and What Will Happen To GenCon and Oh My Gosh This Is The End of Everything, but nobody has actually committed seppuku in the aisles.

We're making this connection through the courtesy of Gamer Concepts, a.k.a. The Zombie Crowd - check out their web review of the convention.

The one thing we're not seeing at this convention is lots of Hot New Releases (tm). But there are a few neat things, and if you survive for a couple more days you might be able to read about them here. That is, if WE survive.
-- Steve Jackson


August 8, 1997: The Skeptic's Dictionary

Illuminated Site of the Week Looking for the real truth about the world? The Skeptic's Dictionary has it all - skeptical definitions, essays and references on everything from aliens to zombies. Of course, the truth about the Illuminati has been suppressed. Fnord.

-- Kira

Illuminated Sitekeeper Wanted

Shig is no longer able to help us with the Illuminated Site of the Week, though we certainly appreciate all the work he's done on it. Thanks, Shig!

Now we're looking for a new Sitekeeper. You must be able to sift through the vast slushpile that is the Web, discover the sufficiently Illuminated and fun sites worthy of becoming Illuminated Site of the Week, and write good summaries of those sites.

If you think you're the One True Illuminated Sitekeeper, send us four Illuminated URL's, plus your description of them (just as you'd have it appear in an Illuminator). Mail to sj@io.com and kira@io.com. Thanks!


August 7, 1997: Virtual GenCon

So these guys are going to GenCon, see? They're driving. And in their copious free time they're documenting their trip on the web. Not much on the page today (it's Monday as this is written) except graphics. But then, the con hasn't started yet.

And if you're looking for more Net coverage of GenCon, check out WoTC's GenCon Cybercast page. They'll be uploading RealAudio reports of various seminars throughout the con.


August 6, 1997: Off to GenCon!

Hi ho, Hi ho...

We leave (or is it left? -- I never know when these things are going to be posted) for GenCon Wednesday morning. Taking the trip from Austin are Steve hisownself, Managing Editor Scott Haring, Editorial Right-Hand-Man Gene Seabolt, Director of Licensing and New Media Micah Jackson and Convention Liaison Laz Zanger. Joining us from the Frozen Tundra of SJ Games/North will be Sales Manager Woody Eblom.

We will also be surrounded by Men in Black and other important personages, including GURPS Line Editor Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch, Errata Coordinator (and Knightmare Chess expert) Hunter Johnson, and the Car Wars junkies from NOVA.

We'll have World Championships in Car Wars, INWO and Knightmare Chess, plus events in other games, like In Nomine and GURPS and fnord knows what else. Lots of demos at our booth, too.

See you there!
-- Scott Haring


August 5, 1997: The Marches Off to the Printer

Hup, two, three, four . . . The Marches has marched off to the printer. Book Two of The Revelations Cycle for In Nomine, The Marches covers the ethereal realm of the In Nomine game universe and also includes a new angelic choir, a new demonic band, expanded writeups on Gabriel, Blandine, Belial and Beleth, rules for Sorcerer player characters, and tons more.

Look for The Marches in the stores at the end of August.
-- Scott Haring


August 4, 1997: Dexter Does D&D

I was channel surfing the other night, and came to rest upon the Cartoon Channel and "Dexter's Laboratory." What made me stop was that Dexter was running his friends through a game of "Mazes & Monsters," which is exactly what you think it is, complete with a GM screen, character sheets, funny-shaped dice and little lead miniatures.

It was, like most "Dexter," hilarious. Dexter was every player's nightmare GM, until he got his comeuppance when his older sister came in, took over as GM and ran a much better adventure. Dexter, who when busted to player rank wanted to play "The Great Gygax," ended up stuck with a hobbit-like Burrower character that had no combat skills at all, much to his annoyance.

Like I said, great fun. Anybody got a video copy? I was laughing too hard to get a tape in the machine. If you do, send me e-mail.
-- Scott Haring


August 3, 1997: Dino Hunt in German!

It's actually been out for quite a while, from Pegasus, but we just now got copies. (Not their fault. Long story.)

A very pretty production. It's in a BIG box, with a big gameboard, and slightly modified rules to use the board. German family games, it seems, have to have boards.

It's got 80 dinos and 29 specials, the same one that our basic game does (I think...) There are no booster packs yet, but someday, maybe!

We'll be putting three copies on the auction Real Soon Now.


-- Steve Jackson


August 2, 1997: The company that games together...

Have you ever wondered if the SJ Games staff hangs around after hours playing our games? Well, sometimes . . . . Recently there was a GURPS Imperial Rome game in which Editor Gene Seabolt, Art Director Carol Burrell, and I played. Now you might be asking yourself, are the SJ Games staffers any good? The answer to that question is "yes," but only if the dice are with us. Carol had the misfortune of getting a critical failure on her Area Knowledge (Rome) roll and fell into a sewer. She then missed her swimming roll and all three of her luck rolls. Her character drowned. I guess that Marcus the Gladiator should not fall into the sewer when wearing all that armor. And the lesson for today is that neither should you... After all, the group who fails to roleplay history is doomed to repeat it!
-- Micah Jackson


August 1, 1997: The Bureau of Missing Socks

Illuminated Site of the Week Where did that other sock go? Stolen by aliens? Eaten by a vicious jogging bra? Crawled off into the depths of your garage to breed? The Bureau of Missing Socks is doing its best to find out. Read about their noble efforts . . .

-- Steve Jackson



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