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September 30, 1998: Army Men!

Before any of us had miniatures, we played with Army Men. And admit it . . . you still have some of them around, don't you? Here's a site dedicated to Army Men and all their ilk, complete with simple rules. As if any other kind would do . . .
-- Steve Jackson

September 29, 1998: Discworld Goodies

As our Pyramid subscribers are well aware, we cut quite a lot of material from GURPS Discworld - so to make it available, we ran it as a series of Pyramid articles. In case you missed them, here they are:

The "Recognised Divinity" Advantage was cut as well, but we've posted it on the website. Please note that this is an unofficial advantage, and suitable only for the Discworld.

We've also created this jumbo-sized ad image for GURPS Discworld:

If you want to grab this for your website, please do! The URL to link to is

September 28, 1998: New Author Solicitation Pages

We've created a new set of web pages intended to inspire writers (and aspiring writers) to submit proposals for new books. Take a look at

We will update this regularly to stimulate writing talent, to keep prospective authors up to date on our "wish list" of pre-approved titles, and to spell out what we expect in a proposal. We're renewing our commitment to work closely with our writers to maintain a dynamic production schedule . . . and keep on bringing you good games.

For further information, contact:

September 27, 1998: Kovalic Hits The Big Time!

Our very own John Kovalic (Murphy's Rules, INWO) -- who is actually not always our very own (Bosworth, Dork Tower) but we love him anyway -- has scored THE coup for a political cartoonist. He has a cartoon in Monday's National Weekly Edition of the Washington Post . . . which, papers being what they are, is available today! Congratulations, John! First of many, we hope . . .
-- Steve Jackson

September 26, 1998: More on Gateway

Your humble convention manager had a serious brain glitch about Gateway, forgetting one of the important contributors to the event - long-time artist Dan Smith! Dan was there signing lots of books (since he's done the art on lots of books!), posters, etc., making many people happy. He even signed our last two copies of the In Nomine hardback, which will go into the auction soon...

Mea culpa, Dan!

-- Monica Stephens

September 25, 1998: In Search of ... Atlantis!

Illuminated Site of the Week: This site documents the search for the Lost Continent of Atlantis. It features a substantial Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document, a look at the myths and legends, the scientific evidence, and an overview of the search in the Old and New Worlds and South Asia.

-- Submitted by Rick Cross

September 24, 1998: Fun at Gateway

While Steve and Loren were at DragonCon over Labor Day weekend, our volunteers out west were running a booth at a second show for us - Gateway '98, in Los Angeles. We decided to exhibit at this show at almost the last minute, and could not send anyone from the company to be there. Our California Men In Black were all on their own ... and they did very well indeed. Southwest Regional Director Lee Graham took charge of the preparations, and he, MIB Michael Hayden, and perpetual volunteer Tim Carroll ran the booth and organized demonstrations and games.

This is why we love our MIBs and volunteers . . .

It was a good show. We did fairly well at the table, we supported our fans, our MIBs may have found some good recruits, and we determined that we'll be doing more of the Strategicon-sponsored shows. (OrcCon, in February 1999, will be the next one.) See you there! -- Monica Stephens

September 23, 1998: Toon Miniatures Coming . . .

The minis for Toon have been out of production for a while, and hard to find. Well, they're coming back! We have just inked a deal with Raven's Forge Miniatures; we expect to see samples in a month or so. They intend to start by recasting the old figures, and then creating some new ones. Falling Down is more fun in 3-D . . .
-- Steve Jackson

September 22, 1998: Rumor Control

I picked up some good rumors at DragonCon and right afterward . . . but they're not true. Hate to disappoint anybody, but . . .

No, we did not fire everyone who was making more than $19,999.99 per year. We laid off four people (as announced a few weeks ago) at varying salaries, and the decisions were not based on any particular salary level.

No, I have not quit the company. Duh.

No, we have not hired a 14-year-old as Sales Manager. This one at least is easy to figure out . . . our new **Retail** Sales Manager (different job) is Reese Harrell. She did look pretty young in the picture we ran, (yeah, she gets carded a lot) but she's about to start her junior year at UT. We are not yet hiring out of high school . . .

No, we are not negotiating to buy White Wolf. Or anybody else, for that matter. The person who started THAT one should be writing fiction for a living. Hey, for all I know, he does . . .
-- Steve Jackson

September 21, 1998: West End Lives

and has set up a new website, featuring its products at up to 70% off retail.

September 20, 1998: Illuminated T-Shirts

We've recently added some new t-shirts to our online catalog; one is a Car Wars shirt with the slogan "The Best Defense Is A Good Offense". The other is an INWO SubGenius shirt, depicting a one-eyed "Bob" head in the pyramid, and the phrase "Get Slack and Control the World".

And of course if you missed them before, we have an In Nomine burning feather t-shirt, an Illuminati University t-shirt, and an Illuminated "Someone you trust is one of us" shirt.

Visit the t-shirts page to see pictures of them, and our online catalog to order!

September 19, 1998: In Nomine Book of Tethers Now In Playtest

In the war between Heaven and Hell, Tethers are the earthly strongpoints . . . the fortresses where Superiors can group their forces and where wounded celestials can find safety. Liber Castellorum is the Book of Tethers for In Nomine. It includes guidelines for creating Tethers, staffing them, attacking and defending them, and how to deal with Tethers (and their Seneschals) in the campaign. Liber Castellorum also contains a selection of Tethers for all the major Superiors, including a Generic Tether for each . . . one that is so typical of that Superior that it can easily fit into any GM's campaign.

Liber Castellorum is now in playtest for Pyramid subscribers. Subscribe today!

September 18, 1998: 10 Shares of the Anti-Christ, Please

Illuminated Site of the Week: The folks at Rapture Ready are waiting for the Lord to take them bodily into heaven. Here you'll find lots of information about the Second Coming, including the Rapture Index. It's kind of like the Nuclear Clock, where they look at various news in the world and determine how close to the Rapture we are.
- Brett Slocum

September 17, 1998: Thank You, White Wolf

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank White Wolf for a bit of very meaningful cooperation. We're currently working on GURPS Technomancer, a book about an alternate world in which science and magic both hold sway. Now, the word "technomancer" has been around for a while, in our products, FASA's, and others . . . but White Wolf did publish, earlier this year, a product called The Technomancer's Toybox.

At some times, between some companies, that would be enough similarity to start a fight. White Wolf looked at it and said "No, we don't have to have a problem with this." And I appreciate it.

Just to make sure there is no confusion, it does need to be made clear (and we WILL make it clear in the credits for our book) that this product is not related in any way to White Wolf's Mage: The Ascension or any other WWGS product.

Thanks again to White Wolf. As the man said, "Can't we just all get along?" Well, sometimes we can.
-- Steve Jackson

September 16, 1998: Layoffs at Broderbund

According to a Gamespot story, computer game publisher Broderbund/Red Orb has let hundreds of staffers go . . . dwarfing any paper-game company layoff in recent memory. A number of game titles were reportedly canceled, as well.

September 15, 1998: High-Tech To The Printers

The third edition of GURPS High-Tech has gone to the printers. It will ship in late October.

Incidentally, this is the same book that was announced earlier as "Second Edition, Revised." We sort of tripped over our own feet here . . . there was a spirited and not entirely relevant discussion over which one it should be, and apparently some of us went off one way, some of us went off another, and, well, duh. The cover of the book says Third Edition, and that would appear to settle the matter.
-- Steve Jackson

September 14, 1998: In Nomine Hardback Almost Gone

We're down to fewer than 80 copies here. When we're out, we're out . . . we never intended to reprint the hardback edition. If you've been intending to get this, now is the time. We'll be sold out very soon, and shortly after that the distributors will run out and it will be just random chance which stores happen to have one on a shelf in back somewhere . . . so rattle your retailer's cage now if you want one, or visit the online catalog.

September 13, 1998: GURPS TRAVELLER is here . . .

. . . and it looks beautiful. We received our sample copies Friday afternoon; the main shipment arrives next week, will ship to distributors immediately, and will be available for release to retailers on September 23. Some of you will see it in your stores that same day or the next!

Congratulations to Loren Wiseman, and the whole Traveller community, for a job well done.
-- Steve Jackson

September 12, 1998: FLASH - More Industry Layoffs

Several sources report that White Wolf has released a number of employees. As of close of business Friday, we had seen no company news release or official listing of names, but we are told that more information will be available soon. Sources indicated that this was seen by the company as a necessary "rightsizing" rather than any harbinger of more serious change. Pyramid has a brief report now, and will cover the story fully as it develops.

September 11, 1998: Deadly Animations

Illuminated Site of the Week: Remember the Stick Figure Death Theatre? Well, the torch has been picked up by the Surrey Stick Figure Theatre of Death. These sickos are very prolific (a dozen movies already posted, and another one every Tuesday), with titles like The Pet, The Check Out, The Stargazer, and the epic The Battle of Hastings!

- Suggested by Ken Burnside

September 10, 1998: They Like Discworld!

Re-orders for GURPS Discworld have been very strong (especially from the UK, where the bookstores are stocking it, sometimes prominently). Comments on the net have been good, and the reviews have started. Here's a review. Whoa . . . here's another one! Both of them give the book 5/5 in both style and substance. Congratulations to Terry Pratchett and Phil Masters for another hit!

September 9, 1998: Car Wars Lives!

If you like Car Wars 3-D, in 1:1 scale, check out this customized RX7. Lots and lots of toys, but the ones we like best are the paintball gun and the missiles . . .

September 8, 1998: Back from DragonCon

Loren and I made it back from DragonCon on Sunday night, and were just as glad we had Monday to recover. BIG convention, very busy. We had hoped to have advance copies of GURPS Traveller there to show and sell, but the printer let us down (it's still expected in the office next week).

There was a lot going on. Costumes everywhere, and several bands and DJ'd dances. (I went to the GWAR show. Can you say "mosh pit"? I knew you could.) With the help of MIBs John Mion and Susan Rati, we ran a booth in the dealer room (and the stock was pretty well depleted by Sunday afternoon). Loren and I did various panels, all of which were well attended even the ones at odd times. I even shook hands on a couple of licensing deals . . . more on them after the papers are signed.

All in all, a very good con.
-- Steve Jackson

September 7, 1998: To The Printer

Behind the Claw: The Spinward Marches Sourcebook for GURPS Traveller went to the printer on Friday. The death march isn't over, though... GURPS High-Tech, 2nd. Ed. Revised and Liber Canticorum - the In Nomine Songbook also head to the printer this coming week.

All of these will be shipping in October.

September 6, 1998: A New Shipment for the Warehouse

The Secret Masters have delivered 156 new items to Warehouse 23. All of the items have been safely boxed and placed in Level 5 . . . except for a few rejects.

September 5, 1998: Agog Over Google

A friend of mine recently told me about a cool new search engine: Google. When I first started using Google a few months ago, it had its problems, but since then it's matured, and its search results are now the most targeted of any search engine I've yet tried.

SJ and I recently put it to the test with a little vanity surfing - we searched for "Steve Jackson" (who is pretty widely mentioned on the web). Google's results? The SJ Games homepage was returned as the FIRST result, and SJ's own personal homepage in the top 10. We were impressed.

So despite the silly name, Google is a really great search engine; it beats out the big-name commercial engines by a mile. And plus, there's no annoying ads to slow you down. (At least, not yet...) Give Google a try!
-- Kira

September 4, 1998: I Knew Xena Was Historical!

Illuminated Site of the Week: The folks down at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, have a surprise for you: archaeological excavations of a centuar skeleton. The Volos site revealed a full centaur skeleton and some pottery. You may still be able to see the exhibit at the John C. Hodges Library.

Submitted by Steve Jackson

September 3, 1998: Visitor One Million . . .

When will the SJ Games site get its millionth visitor? Inside three months, we'd guess. Our front-page counter shows more than 900,000 visitors since the site was set up but y'all are hitting us faster and faster; the average is not yet 2,000 a day, but it's getting close. (And of course, that counter only registers hits on the front page. People who go directly to the Daily Illuminator, or to Warehouse 23, Pyramid,or to any of the game pages, don't show up in that total.

Hey, we like being busy!

September 2, 1998: DragonCon Ho!

Steve and Loren are now in Atlanta for DragonCon, which runs through Sunday. Big con. Good con. Much fun. If you're going, look them up.

September 1, 1998: SJ Games at B&N Online!

We have just received the start-up order from the Barnes & Noble Online Bookstore, and it should be on the way by the time you read this. The vast majority of SJ Games products should be available through the B&N web store within a week, including GURPS Discworld, GURPS Egypt, and Fall of the Malakim for In Nomine.
-- Loren Wiseman

Past columns

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