January 20, 2011: The Low-Tech Series
GURPS Low-Tech for Fourth Edition was something of an experiment. Instead of 250+ pages of gear and gadgets, science and social tools, we decided to break the tome into four (or more!) pieces. The core would still be a fairly sizable book: 160 pages, filled with the sorts of things most gamers need most of the time. Weapons, armor, medicine, and basic tools are what adventures are likely to look up. This text would be given the full-color hardcover treatment, and the results can be found on the shelves of your friendly local game store right now.
The other pages -- the ones addressing much more specialized topics, which would be more attractive to a narrower slice of the audience -- would be distributed as digital files via e23. As of today, three volumes of Low-Tech Companion have been released: Philosophers and Kings, Weapons and Warriors, and Daily Life and Economics. (Some have suggested that Fantasy-Tech 1: The Edge of Reality should be part of the Low-Tech Companion series, but we eventually decided to keep the realism/fantasy divide more obvious.)
The RPG market is changing, and publishers need to alter the structure of their books to meet those changes. Of course, since the brave new world doesn't come with an instruction manual, sometimes we need to experiment. The success or failure of this experiment will be judged, as are many things, by the financial success of the project.
So vote with your dollars, and help us guide GURPS into the future . . . with Low-Tech. Hmm, maybe we should have done this experiment with Ultra-Tech; the metaphor would have worked much better there.
-- Paul Chapman
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