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July 31, 2001: Jayson's D6 Game System

Sent to us by the creator, Jayson Howell . . . yes, D20's days are numbered . . .

The PCs each pick a character class. There are five:

All characters begin at level one, except the Drow Assassins, who have to pay for the pizza and chips to offset the chaos they're about to cause.

Roll for Hit Points. I don't care what you roll, they're not used for anything.

For any action, roll a D6.

1 - You're a loser. Your character's OK, but you're a loser.
2 - Your character is wounded. Take some damage.
3 - It's your turn to get everyone a new soda.
4 - Punch someone next to you. If they hit back, claim you were just playing in character, and that their retaliation was metagaming at its worst.
5 - Someone else's character is wounded. Brag about how cool you are.
6 - CRITICAL SUCCESS! Punch two people, as per #4.

Level advancement: Your GM will tell you when he thinks you should go up a level. It's strongly recommended no one advance more than one level every 4 minutes, 38 seconds.

Warehouse 23 News: Behind every powerful man . . .

. . . is a powerful woman, and while her power more be more subtle, it is no less strong. Sophia's Daughters, the newest Secret Society for 7th Sea, has cultivated and organized women of all types of power (martial, magical, and political) to protect Théah from a potential threat far greater than it has ever known.

July 30, 2001: TL8 Is Here. Look Into The Box.

Heathrow Airport is installing iris scanners to identify passengers quickly. Look into the box, and zap! you're blinded by an industrial laser. Well, no, that's not what's supposed to happen. You should be perfectly safe as long as your iris pattern matches the one on file, and if not, well, you have another eye, don't you?

No, that's not really what happens at all. The iris scanner causes no permanent damage. The brilliant flash merely leaves passengers stunned and tractable, making for quieter and safer flights. Effects wear off in from 4 to 12 hours in most cases. Rumors that posthypnotic suggestion is involved are entirely . . . ahh, where was I?

Read the MSNBC story, which is dryer but far more accurate, since major news media aren't supposed to make up stuff the way we do fnord.

July 29, 2001: The Sartre Cookbook

"Let them eat cake!"

"Well, what, exactly, do you mean by cake?" Are you talking about a specific cake, or the class of cakes, or the concept of cake, or "cake" as a metaphor . . . ?"

Are you thinking too much about food? Naaaah . . . not compared to Jean-Paul, you're not. The Sartre Cookbook offers new insight into the tortured soul of a man to whom "reasoned argument" meant a food fight.

July 28, 2001: Sign Those Hardbacks, Jackson!

So the Limited Edition Hardbacks of GURPS Steampunk came in, and they look beautiful, and whoops, I have to sign them all. And the signatures have to be LEGIBLE. Fortunately, not being Pete Abrams, I'm not required to draw cute little characters with every one . . . you'll have to make do with the smiley pyramid.

Over half of these were pre-ordered - wow, and thanks! - and by the time you read this, they'll have shipped out already. So if you haven't gotten one, and want to, this is the time to jump on it.

Distant early warning . . . the next LEH will be GURPS Atlantis.

-- Steve Jackson

July 27, 2001: Corroborating Evidence

Illuminated Site of the Week: Peel back the onion and there's always another, deeper layer. The International Movement for the Ban of Radiofrequency Weapons Controling Human Nervous System had a fairly rosy view of mind control compared to the Project Freedom Network's psycho-electronic weapons. The New World Order, political prisoners and Freemasonic Brotherhood are just icing on the cake.

-- Suggested by Cornelius Tacitus

July 26, 2001: Progress Report

Still here. Still editing. The stack is down to 8 manuscripts. I remember sleep . . . sleep was good . . .

Chez Dork progress being make. Car Wars progress being made. Need to be triplets.
-- Steve Jackson

Warehouse 23 News: Never judge a book by its cover . . .

. . . especially when the cover is a five foot tall rat with a sword. The Way of the Ratling for L5R examines the oft misunderstood Nezumi and details their battles against both their enemies and their would be allies.

July 25, 2001: It's A Bull Market, It Seems.

Bored? Well, you could always exploit the entertainment potential of the noble cow. That's what this guy did. If you want, you can do it yourself. Great minds think alike, I guess... where do people come up with this stuff? I blame Monty Python.

As for us, we're certainly taking a cue from these men of genius... that's right, at Steve Jackson Games we know full well the recreation possibilities of the cow, and are working hard to provide you, faithful readers, with plenty of bovine amusement, as evidenced by the forthcoming Battle Cattle: the Card Game, based on the original Battle Cattle by Wingnut Games. And of course, we're not the only ones... Cheapass Games is fully aware how versatile the cow can be, as well.

I'm having a really difficult time keeping myself from closing this post with the word "cowtastic."

- Sage

July 24, 2001: Now Shipping!

In case you haven't noticed yet, the following items have shipped, and should be making their way to your friendly local gaming store (if they aren't already there):

Game starts. Enemy in sight . . . Frag him! Grab his stuff! Run! Get a bigger gun! Grab some armor! There he is again! Frag him! Whoa, there's another one. Run . . . you're hit! You're down. Respawn! Grab a weapon! Start again!

Frag is a computer game without a computer. It's a "first-person shooter" on a tabletop. Move your fighter and frag your foes; draw cards for weapons, armor, and gadgets; move through the blood spatters to restore your own health! If you die, you respawn and come back shooting!

Easy to learn, fast-moving, fun . . . we playtested Frag at a Florida convention, and the crowd got so big and noisy they had to move us!

Yes! This is a winner! Frag 'em all!!

For two to six players. Includes two different play maps, counters and figures, plastic bases, cards, and rules.
Stock #1339, ISBN 1-55634-536-4. $34.95.

Go down in the dungeon. Kill everything you meet. Backstab your friends and steal their stuff. Grab the treasure and run.

Admit it. You love it.

This new card game, designed by Steve Jackson, captures the essence of the dungeon experience... with none of that stupid roleplaying stuff. You and your friends compete to kill monsters and grab magic items. And what magic items! Don the Horny Helmet and the Boots of Butt-Kicking. Wield the Staff of Napalm... or maybe the Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment. Start by slaughtering the Potted Plant and the Drooling Slime, and work your way up to the Plutonium Dragon...

And it's illustrated by John Kovalic! Fast-playing and silly, Munchkin can reduce any roleplaying group to hysteria. And, while they're laughing, you can steal their stuff.

168 cards, rules sheet, and sturdy set-up box
Stock #1408, ISBN 1-55634-473-2. $24.95.

GURPS Traveller Deck Plan 5: Sulieman-Class Scout/Courier
The 100-ton Sulieman is one of the most commonly encountered vessels in Imperial space and on its borders. The Scout Service uses thousands of Suliemans for reconnaisance, survey, courier/VIP transport, and liaison duties; the Sulieman II seeker is the standard mineral survey craft. Retired scouts are sometimes granted the long-term use of a Sulieman for private prospecting or trade.

Because this vessel is so easily available to PCs, this deck plan will be of interest to players as well as GMs. It comprises 8 double-sided sheets (hexes on one side, squares on the other), and includes a set of Cardboard Heroes miniatures to crew the ship and provide encounters.

Stock #7505, ISBN 1-55634-515-1. $16.95.

GURPS Character Sheets: Summer of Horror Edition
This pack contains 20 blank forms: 12 copies of the two-sided GURPS character sheet, two sheets with grimoire forms on both sides, and two sheets with GM control sheets on both sides.

Use them for any character type in any genre . . . you can do anything with GURPS!

Extra Summer of Horror bonus: a set of Cardboard Heroes miniatures. A horde of skeletons and mummies . . . including two undead giants! Use them in your fantasy game . . . your horror game . . . or drop them into some other genre and terrify your players!

Stock #6420, ISBN 1-55634-538-0. $14.95.

You can pick these up from your local retailer, or order them from Warehouse 23.
- Sage

Warehouse 23 News: New Ogre Mini

The Roadrunner GEV-PC is now available as an individual miniature.

July 23, 2001: Secret Meetings

Pyramid fans - at least, those who visit the MOO - no doubt wonder what the staff talks about in the locked Programming Room late at night.

Sometimes it's Really Classified Cutting-Edge Stuff. (No, really!) And sometimes . . . well, last night it was punchlines for jokes that do not actually exist.

SJ . o O ("If it's not Wan Ting, it's an otter!")
marq . o O ( "How's *that* for pants! )
SJ . o O ( "Fine. Start with the flagpole." )
marq . o O ( "no, no -- YOU eat the tadpole, and I'll go fishing!" )
SJ . o O ( "Fourteen, actually, but one of them forgot his shoes." )
marq . o O ( "What? And leave the marmoset?" )
SMarsh . o O ( The Devil looked at the poodle and said, 'Anyone who'd do -that- can keep it.' )
SJ . o O ( "If I were any closer, I'd be Italian." )
marq . o O ( "I SAID .... "What? And leave the Marmoset"! ... you know ... the MAR-mo-set! ... maybe I'm not telling it right ... " )
SMarsh . o O ( "You can get more than two good pictures out of a ViewMaster." )
SMarsh . o O ( Actually, that's an okay punchline... 'What's the difference between George Lucas and a ViewMaster?' )

And we couldn't top that . . .
-- Steve Jackson

July 22, 2001: Happiness Is A Full Plate

So I must be overjoyed. As I emerge from a couple of weeks of dealing with business issues and look over the stack of Manuscripts To Be Read . . .

Well, I've got a dozen of them. They range from fragments of books that haven't yet been contracted, to first drafts (I'm really looking forward to the new "Miles Vorkosigan" worldbook but it's fourth on the list) to final-we-hope printouts of announced titles like GURPS Monsters. And that's not even counting the stack of proposed cards for the new Chez Geek expansion, and of course my turn with the new Car Wars rules. It's a good thing I love my work . . . and it's a good thing the all-night service station down the road has such great coffee.

-- Steve Jackson

July 21, 2001: Phil's In San Diego

at the Comic Con. We expect him to bring back lots of neat ideas and maybe some new art book deals for Cartouche Press.

July 20, 2001: "I Knew I Shoulda Taken That Left Turn at Alamagordo"

Illuminated Site of the Week: At the GFP Bunny Project, they practice transgenic art "with a commitment to respect, nurture, and love the life thus created," which in this case is a glowing green rabbit.

-- From multiple submissions

July 19, 2001: New Ogre Commander

Paul Chapman, head of our Miniatures Division, has acquired a new hat. A longtime Ogre fan, he now officially adds the title of Ogre Line Editor to his other duties. He will oversee development and playtesting of new and future Ogre supplements, expansions, and related goodies for both the boardgame and miniatures versions.

July 18, 2001: GURPS Deadlands: Weird West Now In Playtest!

The Civil War rages on, 16 years after the first shots were fired. A new fuel has jump-started a steampunk Industrial Revolution -- but why does ghost rock scream when it burns? The Great Quake shattered California, turning it into the Great Maze, home to pirates and partisans, manitous and madmen.

Oh, and the dead walk the earth. Welcome to the Weird West.

Saddle up and ride on out, as the great hit for Pinnacle Entertainment Group comes to GURPS! In GURPS Deadlands: Weird West, two great games come together! Play a hex-slinging card sharp, an undead gunfighter, or a mysterious Indian shaman -- it's all here!

GURPS Deadlands: Weird West is now in playtest! Pyramid subscribers can access the playtest files. And if you're not already a subscriber, subscribe today! (Note that this is a very short playtest, closing on July 30 -- get your comments in today!)
-- Andrew Hackard

July 17, 2001: Looking For A Resin Manufacturer

We need a company with the capacity to produce high quality resin figures for our larger projects. Price is definitely important, since we are going to be selling these through distributors as well as direct! We'd prefer a North American factory, to reduce shipping costs, but we'll consider anyone who can meet our quality standards. The exact type of resin can vary, as long as it meets our standards. The best candidate will be receptive to feedback and flexible in terms of batch sizes. If you know of a company which fits this description, let us know at Thank you!

July 16, 2001: Status Report

Well, we're still here.

Our more-then-decimated crew is shaking down and pulling together. We still don't have a handle on our true financial situation, but our new controller is making progress. New things are still going to the printers – in fact, we sent back the final proof Saturday for GURPS Cabal.

Our thanks to everyone - both fans, and fellow publishers - who wrote with words of encouragement.

And our special thanks to those who chose to support us by visiting Warehouse 23 and picking up some stuff. The Monday after the announcement was a busy day for the Warehouse crew, but they didn't complain at all :-)

Warehouse 23 News: For the Glory of Egypt!

Build pyramids, influence the Pharoah, and honor the gods in Ra, this week's Rio Grande Games special.

July 15, 2001: GURPS Blue Planet Is Coming

Forgive me for not writing this up in that nice remote third-party press release format, but I'm a bit preoccupied right now. Nevertheless, here's some GOOD news:

We have signed a licensing deal with Fantasy Flight Games to produce a GURPS adaptation of FFG's Blue Planet, to be called . . . wait for it! . . . can you guess . . . GURPS Blue Planet.

No release date to announce yet, since it's not WRITTEN, but we'll fast-track this one. I have always admired the Blue Planet background and am pleased to be bringing it to GURPS fans. And the general setting is similar enough to that of Transhuman Space that there's lots of crossover potential.
-- Steve Jackson

Warehouse 23 News: J.U.M.P. even higher!

The Evil Polish Brothers have released the first two expansions for J.U.M.P. Into the Unknown, Die-Cast Messiahs vs. Cannibal Korp and Savage Manakins vs. Micro Titans, playable on their own or combined with the core set.

July 14, 2001: Cool Or Not?

If you're at all net-aware, you know about Hot or Not?, the website where people post pictures of themselves, and everybody else rates them on the classic 1-10 scale . . . well, somebody's done it for gamers.

No, no, not a website where gamers post pictures of themselves (shudder) . . . but a website where they can post pictures of their lovingly painted miniatures. is up and running, and already has over 100 photos of painted miniatures.

Haven't seen any Ogre Miniatures posted yet, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time, hint, hint.

-- Scott Haring

Warehouse 23 News: Kobolds and Ninjas and Burgers, Oh My!

Two new offerings from 9th Level Games: Necro-Groundhog of the Awfully Dark Graveyard of Excruciating, Arcane Death!, a new solo adventure for Kobolds Ate My Baby; and the Ninja Burger RPG, based on the popular website.

July 13, 2001: Nothing New Under the SEGA

Illuminated Site of the Week: If you're getting a sense of déjà vu while playing that new video game, there's good reason. The Grand List Of Console Role Playing Game Clichés reminds us that the best plots are the ones you already know, or at least bits and pieces of them.

-- Suggested by Nana Yaw Ofori

July 12, 2001: Hey, Who's That Guy?

Just when I think I've been clever enough to avoid it for the past two months or so that I've been here, the Chief reminds me that I should probably introduce myself to those who regularly (or irregularly) frequent the site.


Rather than bore you with details about myself, I'll just let those of you who are crazy (or bored (or both!)) enough to care take a look at my character sheet, which seemed like a good idea at the time...
Oh, and props to my friend Rae (whose site belies her artistic abilities) for the rather accurate depiction of me, especially since it allows me to avoid the camera eye. ;)

So hello there, nice to meet you. Just call me Sage. Everyone else does. :)

July 11, 2001: T-1 Is Good

Well, we finally have our T-1. After a week of increasingly frustrated troubleshooting, the IO guys finally came out here and physically checked the installation. Turns out the Southwestern Bell installer had not only mislabeled the cards when he did the installation, but had not even uncovered the right ports. So there was NO WAY it was going to work. Fixed now. Fast now. Wheeeeeeeeee!
-- Steve Jackson

July 10, 2001: GURPS Age Of Napoleon Now In Playtest!

Very rarely, one man defines the time in which he lives. One such man was Napoleon Bonaparte, and his ambition shaped the face of a continent. From humble beginnings in Corsica to ignominious defeat in Russia and at Waterloo, Napoleon was the sun around which Europe revolved. Now GURPS brings the age of Napoleon to life. The book focuses on 18th and 19th-century Europe, including the beginning of the end of colonialism. GURPS players will find a wealth of roleplaying information about commoners, soldiers, nobles, spies, privateers . . . and revolutionaries. Filled with the superb research which roleplayers expect from a GURPS historical supplement, Age of Napoleon breathes life into bloody battlefields . . . as well as the equally bloody political intrigue of Napoleon's Europe.

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

Warehouse 23 News: Why limit yourself to an island . . .

. . . when you can have the whold world. Mayfair Games has imported, and translated, several new expansions for Settlers of Catan that allow you to play in such exotic locales as ancient Egypt, China, or Troy; during the reign of Alexander the Great; or in Nurnberg.

July 9, 2001: GURPS Cliffhangers, Second Edition Now In Playtest!

Adventure on the crumbling brink of disaster, dodging the jaws of death with barely a pause for breath between perils. This is the world of the dauntless men and daring women of 1920s and 1930s adventure tales. Live the pulse-quickening, heart stirring, cliche-inspiring exploits chronicled in pulp magazines, movie serials, and newspaper comic strips. Visit the exotic trouble-spots of a world in peril; travel the trackless wastes of unexplored continents; soar through the wide, blue skies of the first generation of manned flight.

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

Warehouse 23 News: An extra-large with everything except anchovies

Mamma Mia! is a fast-pace frenzy of pizza making: place orders, snatch ingredients, and hope your memory (and luck) are better than your rivals.

July 8, 2001: Limited Edition Hardbacks

Warehouse 23 is proud to announce our new Limited Edition Hardback series. The first release is our new Origins Award winner . . . GURPS Steampunk. These books are currently being bound (in gorgeous black imitation leather, with gold foil lettering on the cover) at a secret location. Upon their return, Steve Jackson himself will personally sign and number every one.

Quantities are extremely limited, so order yours today!

Warehouse 23 News: Watch your step!

Put your foot in the wrong place and you could end up six feet under in Dead Presidents, a new Deadlands adventure for an experienced posse.

July 7, 2001: Origins Award Winners

This afternoon was a low; tonight is a high . . . We just received an announcement of the Origin Award winners. They're listed below. The high points for SJ Games, though: Pyramid, GURPS Steampunk, and the Munchkin's Guide to Power Gaming. Congratulations to everybody involved!

The full list:

2000 Origins Awards Winners
Announced at Origins 2001

Best Abstract Board Game
Icehouse: The Martian Chess Set
Designers: Andrew Looney, John Cooper
Looney Labs

Best Historical Board Game
Axis & Allies: Europe
Designer: Larry Harris
Avalon Hill

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game
The Great Brain Robbery
Designer: James Ernest
Cheapass Games

Best Graphic Presentation of a Board Game
The Hills Rise Wild!
Art Director: Jesper Myrfors; Graphic Designer: John Tynes
Pagan Publishing

Best Trading Card Game
Sailor Moon Collectible Card Game
Designers: Mark C. MacKinnon, Jeff Mackintosh, Karen McLarney, John R. Phythyon, Jr.
Dart Flipcards

Best Traditional Card Game
Designer: Andrew Looney
Looney Labs

Best Card Game Expansion or Supplement
BRAWL: Club Foglio
Designer: James Ernest
Cheapass Games

Best Graphic Presentation of a Card Game
BRAWL: Club Foglio
Graphic Designer: James Ernest
Cheapass Games

Best Game-Related Novel
Dragons of a Fallen Sun
Authors: Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman
Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

Best Game-Related Short Work
Matt and Gilly's Big Date
appearing in Dork Tower #11
Author: John Kovalic
Dork Storm Press

Best Historical Miniatures Rules
Fields of Honor
Designer: Shane Lacy Hensley
Pinnacle Entertainment Group

Best Science-Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures Rules
Mage Knight: Rebellion
Designers: Jordan Weisman, Kevin Barrett

Best Historical Figure Miniatures Series
Hammer's Hellhounds (US Paratroopers)
Sculptor: Jim Bland
Easy Eight Enterprises

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Figure Miniature
for Dungeons & Dragons
Sculptor: Kim Graham, Will Hannah
Wizards of the Coast

Best Vehicular Miniature
Shadowsword Titan Hunter
for Warhammer 40,000
Sculptor: Brian Fawcett
Forge World

Best Amateur Game Periodical
Alarums & Excursions
Publisher: Lee Gold

Best Professional Game Periodical
Editor: Steven Marsh
Steve Jackson Games

Best Play-by-Mail Game
Designer: Rick Loomis
Flying Buffalo Inc.

Best Roleplaying Adventure
Death in Freeport
for the d20 System
Designer: Chris Pramas
Green Ronin Publishing

Best Roleplaying Game
Dungeons & Dragons
Designers: Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams
Wizards of the Coast

Best Roleplaying Supplement
GURPS Steampunk
Designer: William H. Stoddard
Steve Jackson Games

Best Graphic Design of a Roleplaying Game, Adventure, or Supplement
Monster Manual
for Dungeons & Dragons
Graphic Designers: Sean Glenn, Sherry Floyd
Wizards of the Coast

Best Game Aid or Accessory
The Munchkin's Guide To Powergaming
Designers: James 'Grim' Desborough, Steve 'Big Steve' Mortimer, Phil 'Editor' Masters
Steve Jackson Games

Warehouse 23 News: Historical Settlers of Catan

Imported from Germany (but with English instructions), Alexander der Grosse & Cheops allows you to play Settlers of Catan during the era of either Alexander the Great or the Pharoah Cheops.

July 6, 2001: Bad News

I have had to make a very tough decision. Effective today, SJ Games laid off 13 people.

This doesn’t mean we are going out of business. But I could see no other way to STAY in business. For over a year, we have had incomplete financial statements; for many months we have had a negative cash flow. I was repeatedly assured that better reports were coming, and that soon we’d be able to tell how much of our constant cash deficit was simply due to growth, and how much might relate to overstaffing, overhead, or individual projects that weren't pulling their weight.

But a few weeks ago, our CFO left. Our financial reports are over a year out of date (that is, it has been more than a year since any accounting period was fully closed to show profit or loss). Our inventory is a mess. I have been writing personal checks to keep our bank account in the black. It is hard to describe the problem in more detail without using technical accounting terminology and really bad language.

What it seems to boil down to is that for the better part of a year, I’ve been paying a great deal of money every day for the pleasure of owning a game company. Now, this business is fun, but not THAT much fun. More to the point, I’ve now thrown in all the money I can (and then some), always believing that we were about to see a turnaround. Looks like I was far too trusting for far too long.

Unfortunately, some good employees are now going to suffer for my mistake. I’m very sorry.

For those concerned about what happens now at SJ Games, some Q&A follows. And I’ll be on Pyramid Chat tonight at 7 to discuss this, along with some other staff members.

Q: So SJ Games has been losing money?

A: I don’t know! Like I said: no reliable financials. It’s quite possible to be profitable but have negative cash flow. Indications are we really weren’t profitable last year, but I don’t know yet by how much, or where the loss might have come from. Our per-product sales were up in 2000 (and are up more in 2001), we’ve been producing more products, and the distributors have been paying their bills. The cash ought to be there, but it’s not.

Q: What are you doing about it?

A: We’ve hired a new controller with extensive experience. He’s working to clean up the books. We have some really good stuff about to ship . . . Frag, Munchkin, Chez Dork . . . and that will bring in some cash. And those of us who are left will be working harder.

Q: Who’s being laid off?

A: I have a personal problem with posting the list of names, because nobody on that list is to blame for the situation. If you work for a competitor and want to pick up our losses . . . GO FOR IT. These are good people and we want to help them find jobs. Write me personally ( and tell me what kind of skills you’re looking for, and I’ll forward the info to anybody who meets your requirements.

Q: So how do you know this layoff will solve the problem?

A: I don’t. I just know that if we DON’T cut our monthly expenses by this much, we won’t be able to pay the remainder of our bills. This way, we will. One step at a time.

Q: What happens to the schedule?

A: We’ll post a new schedule very soon. For close months, not much will change; products already at the printer, or ready for the printer, will ship on schedule. We’re still sorting out how much we can do with our remaining staff and resources.

We’ll probably cut the size of our press runs, even if that means going out of print on some books in 6 months or less, just because that saves cash in the short run.

Car Wars will still happen in October, for sure.

Q: How can I help?

A: Think kind thoughts. Forgive us if we don’t ship our new books and games quite as quickly as we had planned. If you feel like spending money, remember Warehouse 23 . . .

-- Steve Jackson

Warehouse 23 News: It's not just a job . . .

. . . it's an adventure! Actually, it's a full supplement for BESM, Centauri Knights, set on an alien planet complete with secretive ancient aliens, a secretive megacorp, and robots.

July 6, 2001: Just a Little Hint? Pleeease?

Illuminated Site of the Week: They say three can keep a secret if two of them are dead. The Disclosure Project has gone above and beyond the call by listing dozens of stories from UFO eyewitnesses in hopes of getting the government to come clean about aliens. If you've got a congressman, they want your help.

-- Suggested by David Cunnius

Warehouse 23 News: Sail the 7th Sea . . .

. . .with two new supplements from AEG: Mightier Than The Sword and Vendel • Vesten.

July 5, 2001: Prime Directive Gets GURPS-Powered!

Powered By GURPS Steve Jackson Games and Amarillo Design Bureau, Inc. announced an agreement today that allows ADB to use the GURPS roleplaying system in their new edition of Prime Directive, a roleplaying game set in the Star Fleet Universe of ADB’s Star Fleet Battles, Federation & Empire, and other best-selling games.

"This is the next step in our strategic plan to take the Star Fleet Universe where it always should have been,” ADB President Steve Cole said. “Prime Directive, 2nd Edition is the linchpin of a comprehensive line of gaming products set in our universe.”

The Star Fleet Universe is the science-fiction world of the original Star Trek television series. The first release in the new Prime Directive, 2nd Edition line is scheduled for late in the year. “We knew we needed to upgrade the system as part of a new edition,” Cole said, “and GURPS was our first choice. It’s the game that our staff and our fans were begging us to use.”

“Powered by GURPS” is a new label for roleplaying lines that use the GURPS game system but are more than just GURPS supplements. Prime Directive, 2nd Edition will be the first game published by a company other than SJ Games to carry the “Powered by GURPS” logo. “But not the last,” Jackson said. The new Transhuman Space line, which kicks off from SJ Games in late 2001, will also be “Powered by GURPS.”

-- Scott Haring

Warehouse 23 News: Just patch it!

We have an all new line of patches, exclusive to W23, covering (pun intended) Ogre, Traveller, and more.

July 4, 2001: Happy Fourth Of July!

Today is Independence Day here in the U.S. of A., and a national holiday.

The Steve Jackson Games offices are closed today, but we'll all be back at it tomorrow.

In the meantime, you may wish to celebrate by setting off a Nazi Atom Bomb or one of the other fascinating products advertised on the same site. (They seem to be claiming that "Nazi" is a registered trademark, too.) One of the fireworks you can select is the "Millinnium Greast Special," but that page is gone. Perhaps it's just as well. We still want to know why the Atom Bomb package shows a Wookiee with a machine-gun.

Whatever you do this Fourth, remember: Do not fire near child or old aged person or sick. Light fue with port-fire and get away . . .

Warehouse 23 News: Top 10 for June

Come check out the hottest picks of June, and help decide the top picks for July!

July 3, 2001: Life As A Radio Signal

How'd you like to be encoded and beamed into space? Eternal life as a complex waveform? Read the Yahoo News story.

July 2, 2001: Top Ten Advantages To Being A Fictional Character

If you'll recall, a couple of weeks ago Gaming Report entered me in their poll for favorite fictional character for President. All riiight . . . Interestingly, the poll is no longer visible on their site, indicating that perhaps it too was fictional.

Having thought it through, here are my Top Ten Advantages to Being a Fictional Character.

10. Can have a sidekick.
9. Occasional discrepancies in hair and eye color explainable as careless writing.
8. Never have to go to the bathroom unless it’s necessary to the plot, which it rarely is.
7. Can ask Zoe out to dinner, if I promise not to say the magic word that turns her into a camel.
6. Can (unlike real human beings) wear a superhero costume without looking ridiculous.
5. Eligible for advantages which require an Unusual Background.
4. No longer have faults, merely dramatic flaws.
3. Can trademark own name.
2. Cannot be harmed by ordinary weapons.

And the number one advantage to being a fictional character:
1. TOLD you I was too good to be true!

-- Steve Jackson

Warehouse 23 News: Diamonds in the sand . . .

Garner the riches of Medieval Arabia in Samarkand, this week's Rio Grand Games special.

July 1, 2001: Car Wars Comes Roaring Back!

With three new products at the top of the October release schedule, we are kicking off a new era for Car Wars, one of our best-selling games ever.

The original Car Wars debuted in 1981. It was an instant hit, winning the Origins Award for Best Science Fiction Boardgame of 1981. The game spawned dozens of expansion sets and supplements, a fan club with two national tournaments a year, Autoduel Quarterly magazine, and crossovers with the GURPS and Champions roleplaying games.

And now ... it’s back. The classic game of car combat is now bigger, faster, deadlier, and easier to play. The new Car Wars features a triple-sized scale -- car counters are 3" long. “The upscaling is just one feature,” designer Phil Reed said. “We went back to the original Car Wars as our starting point, and left out a lot of the additional complications that came later. It’s easier to learn and play, and loads of fun.”

Car Wars Card Game Scott Haring was Car Wars Line Editor, editor of Autoduel Quarterly, and designer or developer of many Car Wars expansion sets and supplements during the game’s original heyday. He said, “Where I think we lost our way was when players spent more time with vehicle design spreadsheets, fine-tuning armor compositions and ammunition weights, than they did actually playing the game. I’m so glad to see this new version putting the emphasis back where it belongs -- the action on the highways and in the arenas.”

The first product in the Car Wars relaunch will be Car Wars: The Card Game, an August release. The card game provides the first peek at the new graphic look of Car Wars, a look that will continue throughout the entire line.

"We knew we wanted something different for the art and graphic presentation as well as the system," Reed said. "After a year of searching for 'the' artist I found Sanford Greene, and his style is perfect. It’s kicky and dynamic, and very much in the anime tradition, and that makes it perfect for the new feel of the game, as well as today’s audience.”

Scheduled for October are three “Starter Set” booklets. Each booklet has the basic movement and combat rules, with two pre-designed cars (plus several variant designs per car). Bound into the booklet (and printed on the covers) are counter sheets with all the counters you need. Each booklet will retail for $5.95.

The first three Starter Sets all feature Division 5 vehicles. One booklet is all that is necessary to play the game, but all three will give players six different cars (plus variants) for maximum mayhem! And more Starter Sets are coming in future months, featuring motorcycles and other vehicle types, and higher Divisions.

Future plans for the Car Wars line include the complete vehicle design system, miniatures in the new 3” scale, and a free online magazine, Autoduel Times.

“I love the new look, and I love the direction the design has gone in,” Haring said. “But mostly, I’m just happy that Car Wars is back!”

Warehouse 23 News: Strategy boardgaming, taken to a new level.

Conquer the universe in J.U.M.P. Into the Unknown, the new expandable strategy boardgame from Evil Polish Brothers.

Past columns

Steve Jackson Games
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