The Daily Illuminator
Home New Releases Our Games Catalog General Info Pyramid Feedback

September 30, 1999: Archon 23

This weekend, October 1-3, our faithful Men In Black will be running our booth at Archon 23. The Gateway Convention Center in Collinsville, IL (about 10 miles east of St. Louis, MO), is the site for this multi-media event. Archon chose Decipher Games as gaming guest, so our hobby should be well-represented. We're doing our part on that, too -- we are sharing some booth space with Biohazard Games, publisher of Blue Planet (another reason to come by the booth . . .).

Our MIBs will run a broad selection of our games, including GURPS, Car Wars, In Nomine, GURPS Traveller, Illuminati (of course), and Knightmare Chess, among others. The MIBs will also be showing off our new chess variant, Tile Chess (which will be available in early November); if you like Knightmare Chess, you really want to see this new game!

If you like cars, check out Archon's First Annual Post-Apocalyptic Car Show. They describe this as "Art cars with an attitude! (Think Car Wars/Road Warrior/Death Race 2000.)". So if you've got a heavily armored '77 4-door Impala with twin 37mm autocannon, it might have a real shot at first prize . . .

We just couldn't miss Archon's *23rd* anniversary . . . and we hope you can make it, too!
-- Monica Stephens

September 29, 1999: Tile Chess

In Tile Chess, the traditional chess pieces move across a virtual "board" of ever-changing size and shape. Strategy becomes more complex; as you conquer each of your opponents, you take over their pieces! To win, you'll have to think outside the board . . .

Tile Chess is designed for 2 to 6 players. It's even more portable than chess - there is no board, and the tiles will fit in a pocket. You can play on a table, a bar, the floor . . . wherever you like.

The set contains six sets of 16 tiles each, plus complete rules . . . enough for one large game, two smaller ones, or three 2-player games at once. An understanding of the basic moves of chess is required for play.

Tile Chess ships October 25th. Visit Warehouse 23 to order your copy today!

September 28, 1999: Chez Geek

Beer. Nookie. Roommates. Just another Friday night at Chez Geek, the fun new card game that lets you set up house with your friends -- for as long as you can stand them. Get a job at the beginning of the game, and sp end money and time to accumulate Slack points. You can have a party, hang out with friends, dodge losers, and play with the cats. Borrow from your roomies so you can have snacks while you watch TV. What other game gives you points for sleeping? Just look out for the car alarm. Drink, party, and sleep late as you pursue Slack points to win the game.

Just remember, when your roommate and his S.O. keep you up all night: You can't throw them out. They live here.

Illustrated by John Kovalic. Chez Geek is coming in November; reserve your copy today!

September 27, 1999: Kingdomality

What would your ideal job have been in the Middle Ages? Visit this site and see . . .

September 26, 1999: See Us On The Wildweb!

We are now listed on the Wildweb in their Buzz section. Go to and look for us under Roleplaying Games in the Games section. They have also reviewed two of our products, Illuminati New World Order and the Silicon Valley Tarot. You can see these reviews under the Card sections of their game department.

The Wildweb is a very cool site that covers all forms of entertainment . . . movies, music, books, TV, computer games, and gaming, and now Steve Jackson Games. They are also the first website to have their very own syndicated TV show. See it all at
-- Paul Spenard

September 25, 1999: There Are More Things on the Internet, Horatio

Illuminated Site of the Week: Sharks can't get skin cancer, but they can help us fight disease. Flies will sleep upside down so soundly you can vacuum them up, and we still don't know how they fly. Spheres of stone, balls of dark matter, economics, religion and statistics. Is all of t his weird but true or just truly weird? Find out for yourself.

-- Suggested by J.T. Benton

September 24, 1999: Swashbucklers Now In Playtest

Come to the age of the Swashbuckler, when the world was wide and fortunes could be made in an afternoon of smoking cannons and bloody cutlasses! Swing from a chandelier into the fray, rapier in hand, dagger in teeth, and show the Cardinal's guards they ca n't insult the queen! Or wait on the quiet back roads of England on a moonless night, pistols and reins in your hands, and hope the Squire's coach isn't too well guarded...

GURPS Swashbucklers is now in playtest! All you need is a Pyramid subscription . . .

-- Keith Johnson

September 23, 1999: New Games In Warehouse 23!

We have received two big new shipments in Warehouse 23. We now have the complete Rio Grande Games line. These high-quality European games have everyone buzzing, unless that's just the mind control lasers ra ttling your fillings. Löwenherz, El Grande and Mississippi Queen are three Rio Grande games that are very popular right now.

Brawl from Cheapass Games is here, and is selling like hotcakes. This fast-paced card game has players slugging it out in real-time combat! Each game is very quick, and you always want to play just one more . . . The art for Brawl is stunning and adds greatly to the game. We also have a restock of the new and very popular Vampyre Button Men, as well as the Fight City card game.

Keep an eye out for more games coming to Warehouse 23.
-- Paul Spenard

September 22, 1999: Deluxe Illuminati Gets Slashdotted

Yesterday we got written up on Slashdot, with an announcement of the re-release of Deluxe Illuminati. Some of the followup comments are rather interesting...

Murphy's Law being what it is, this comes at a time when the game is out of stock, so we are no doubt missing out on some sales. Ah, well. We are taking orders, and will ship in November, and it's cool to be on Slashdot...

September 21, 1999: New Toys To Play With

We have approved three new Game Aids for you to use!

Mike Joseph has created a shareware program called the GURPS Vehicle Designer 1.0.18. This Windows 95/98/NT 32 bit utility makes designing a vehicle in GURPS Vehicles a snap. You will still need to have a copy of GURPS Vehicles (which you can order from Wa rehouse 23) in order to use this program. You can find out more about it here.

Andrew Colemen has made this shareware GURPS NPC Generator for those GMs that need a quick villan, ally, or cannon fodder. You can find out about registration as well as screen shots at his website.

Alan Atkinson from the land down under designed this GURPS Vehicles Creation Sheet. This nifty little sheet speeds up the vehicle design process tremendou sly. You will need GURPS Vehicles and Microsoft Works 4 or greater in order to use this freeware application.

-- John Aaron Schmidt

September 20, 1999: AADA Winners!

The American Autoduel Association congratulates Michael Garrity on winning the 2049 AADA World Dueling Championships this year at GenCon. MJ Daniels, this year's AADA World Racing Champion, was head referee. Congratulations also to second-place winner D arrin Marquez, third-place winner Norman McMullen and Gold Cross Honorable Mention winner Glen Bucher.

Full play-by-play details of the final round are available on the AADA page.

Left to right, top row: Don Jacques and MJ Daniels
Bottom row: Glen Bucher, Darrin Marquez, Michael Garrity and Norman McMullen.

September 19, 1999: Back From Hell

is the newest Car Wars book. It's now available from Warehouse 23. Written by Mick Farren, it's a very gritty story indeed.

September 18, 1999: Batteries Not Included

Illuminated Site of the Week: It's all here: electronics, lasers, bionics, time travel and pyrotechnics. There's no branch of science Future Horizons won't explore, expand or exploit. Order a working model or get the plans and build your own . Whether you intend to enter the next millenium with a bang, a hum or a high-pitched whine, they're on all the cutting edges.

-- Suggested by Chaad

September 17, 1999: We've Known For Years It Was Coming

and now somebody has patented it. Oh, the horror. Click here for the future. Then flee for the hills to put off the inevitable . . .
-- Steve Jackson

September 16, 1999: Updated Computer Aids

Two of the GURPS computer aids have recently been upgraded with new versions.

Denis Sarrazin has version patch available for his GURPS Guru. You can download the patch directly from his GURPS Guru site.

Thomas Bont has put out a brand new version of GURPS Character Maker. You can download it directly from the Computer Aids webpage, or The FELIX GUR PS Software Library.
-- John Aaron Schmidt

September 15, 1999: Comic Book Life Update

Comic Book Life (beta) resumes its regular schedule today. CBL went on hiatus for a week while its editor, Jack Elmy, moved to the Left Coast (Orange County to be exact). Well, Jack has settled in and CBL is back. The new edition sorts out Superman's copyright status, and reviews Alan Moore's From Hell. Check it out!

September 14, 1999: New in the Warehouse

We've made few changes to the front page of Warehouse 23. You'll notice some non-SJG games in the "New Items" list - including Feng Shui, now published by Atlas Games; Lunch Money Button Men, and Atlas Games' Ultima Thule, a sourcebook for roleplaying in Mythic Scandinavia.

We've also just added Rio Grande Games, publishers of Mississippi Queen and other strategy games, to the Warehouse 23 lineup.

Look for more exciting additions to the Warehouse soon!

September 13, 1999: Too Much Fun at Shorecon

Heh. I finally got to play Parts Unknown. With James Ernest. And I got into a FUDGE Bunnies & Burrows game run by Steffan O'Sullivan. And played an NPC (don't ask how you play a non-player character; it would hurt your brain) i n Ann Dupuis' KoDT game, with Jolly Blackburn as the other NPC. Yea, verily, WAY too much fun.
-- Steve Jackson

September 12, 1999: Illuminated Wallpaper

Mmmmmm . . . wallpaper!

These were created by Vanessa Bell, aka Modesty. She entered the IO wallpaper contest with these two great collages of Illuminated art. I asked her very nicely and she modified them a bit for us . . . and here the y are!

Feel free to download them and use them on your own system. That's what they're for.

WAY neat. Thanks, Modesty!

wallpaper 1 wallpaper 2
-- Steve Jackson

September 11, 1999: Looking For Evil

One of the many projects currently underway is GURPS Villains, a compilation of dastardly foes from all ages, genres, and backgrounds. If you think you can come up with an original supervillain, dark lord, or psycho killer, or for that matter a realistic street scum or crime boss, why not write him up and send him in? Each submission must include game stats, a biography, and a selection of dramatic elements (schemes, henchmen, secret strongholds, etc.). If your writeup is accepted, you'll get name credit and two copies of the book. Submission guidelines can be found here.
-- Dr. Kromm

September 10, 1999: The Toxicology Report Is Pending

Illuminated Site of the Week: What do you do when your Furby dies? Perform an autopsy, of course. The Furby Autopsy takes you step by step through a dissection of the popular animated plush toy, and includes several photos of the gri m process.

-- Suggested by Stefan Jones

September 9, 1999: Hasbro To Buy Wizards of the Coast!

Toy giant Hasbro announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Hasbro to acquire Wizards of the Coast for approximately $325 million. Read the full story i n Pyramid!

September 9, 1999: Forgotten Futures Chat on Pyramid

Pyramid subscribers can chat with Marcus L. Rowland, creator of Forgotten Futures, this Friday night (the 10th) at 6pm CDT. Marcus is a British freelance games wr iter and designer, active since the late 1970s. He launched the Victorian/Edwardian RPG Forgotten Futures as shareware in 1993 and has since published five supplements, a CD-ROM, and several million words of material for the game. He'll be c hatting about Victorian RPGs, steampunk, and myths of the near past.

If you're not already a subscriber, don't miss out - subscribe today!

We also have more great chats lined up in the near future: Pyramid editor Scott Haring chats on Wednesday the 15th at 9pm. And on Tuesday the 21st, join Doc Cross for a mindtwisting experiment in genre mixing and RPG genetic tampering. Toon as a postapocalyptic horror game? Star Trek: The Swashbucklers? X-Files meets Castle Falkenstein? Over the Edge of the Rainbow? Come see what all of this could mean to your gaming group a nd even, dare we say it, the human race!

Visit the Pyramid Chat Page for the latest schedule and login info!

September 8, 1999: Hasta La Vista, Jack

Comic Book Life editor Jack Elmy is moving to Orange, CA. We're not losing him, though . . . this is another telecommute story. He'll continue to run CBL from California, while knocking off GU RPS production in between.

By the way, if you're a comic book fan and you haven't checked out Comic Book Life yet, what's keeping you? It's still free . . . and Jack's been getting a LOT of good mail about it.
-- Steve Jackson

September 7, 1999: Now In Playtest

Explore a culture built upon the ruins of countless civilizations stretching back for countless millennia. Embrace a society where time travel is an everyday occurrence - but time is no longer measured. Negotiate a world in which the mundane, the advanced, and the paranormal commingle freely - a place where the officer classes fight duels to the death using extraterrestrial flowers. Envision a juncture in time where two potential futures hang in the bal ance: one a Golden Age of rebirth, the other an icy grave of permanent winter. The New Sun Beckons!

GURPS New Sun is now in playtest. Pyramid subscribers can access the playtest files here. And if you're not already a subscriber, subscribe today!
-- Keith Johnson

September 6, 1999: Ralzakark Pronks On In

Matt Doublé, known as Ralzakark on the Pyramid MOO, is our new Pyramid chat coordinator. He'll be lining up more chat victims . . . err, guest speakers. If you have a suggestion, drop him a line at, or just catch him in the chat area!
-- Kira

September 5, 1999: This Weekend: ShoreCon

From Thursday night (the 9th) through Sunday, I will be at ShoreCon, at the Hilton in Cherry Hill, NJ . . . which is in Philadelphia's back yard. Also there will be, among others, Peter Adkison (Wo tC), Jolly Blackburn (Knights of the Dinner Table) and James Ernest (Cheapass). This one is going to be fun . . .
-- Steve Jackson

September 4, 1999: Back to Basics

Illuminated Site of the Week: Nothing like the tried and true to stoke the fires of paranoia. The Universal Conspiracy Against Everything neatly outlines the deceitful depths to which the Secret Masters' plot descends. The links alone will keep your browser humming for hours.

-- Suggested by Bob Schroeck

September 3, 1999: Vote For "Bob"!

Time magazine is taking a vote for "the century's worst scammer, con artist, media manipulator, grifter, liar or charlatan." And our friend J.R. "Bob" Dobbs is on the ballot. Right now, in fact, he's in #3, and closing in on Linda Tripp (though sti ll a good distance behind Geraldo).

I just voted for "Bob." Join me! He has his own website; he has his own INWO supplement; many doubt that he even exists. But of course he exists; do you think that rants like this come from a computer? Clearly he should win.

So click right here for the Time poll, and vote for "Bob"!
-- Steve Jackson

September 2, 1999: Quote for the Day

"One of the most difficult tasks people can perform, however much others may despise it, is the invention of good games . . ."
– C.G. Jung

September 1, 1999: The Traveller News Service

We've been running this feature for a while, but we recently applied a bit of Kira's programming wizardry to it, and Loren has been thinking of plotlines, and now it will be updated weekly, right here. Or you can get it by e-mail. Send mail to with the message "subscribe traveller"!
-- Steve Jackson

Past columns

Steve Jackson Games
Top of Page | Home