If you're a subscriber, you can access the groups via NNTP at pyramid.sjgames.com port 119. Be sure to configure your newsreader to authenticate using your Pyramid username and password.
Space Dock was created and written by Andrew Batishko for Windows 95 or greater. It's the very first program to be approved and posted for GURPS Traveller. For those of you who don't know how to build a ship, Andrew built in a walk-through that takes you step by step through the shipbuilding process. This program is also packed with a lot of optional features, such as the ability to use the M.A. Lloyd rules for streamlining ships. There is also a built-in function to calculate the surface area of your ship. Yet another nice thing about Space Dock is that you can create and define ship parts instead of using the standard defaults in GURPS Traveller.
Richard Wilkes is the owner of the Adventurer's Guild in Hoquiam, WA. He is also the creator of the GURPS Character Sheet for Mac. While it isn't the first character sheet that we've approved and posted to our site, it is one of the most user-friendly and compact that I've seen. For starters, Drag-n-Drop is fully supported. There's a save feature that really comes in handy for keeping track of characters. As an added bonus, it prints out on one standard 8 1/2" by 11" page. The program automatically calculates many things for you, making character creation both faster and easier.
Thomas Bont is the creator of two programs. The first one is GURPS: Traveller Vehicles. In order to get the most out of this program, you should at least have read the basics about GURPS Traveller vehicles. Thankfully, if you aren't good at math (or don't want to spend all the time doing the math), Traveller Vehicles does do all of the calculations for you. It also gets into all sorts of details about your ship, but still remains easy to follow. One of the other coolest features that I found in this program is the number of entry fields for things like the names of the people in your crew, information about your ship, and the ship's history.
Character Maker is Thomas Bont's other program. It has a
great interface and a beautiful startup page. With it, you can create your
character the way you want to. This means that you can start and end
wherever you would like. There are editable databases for advantages,
disadvantages, skills, weapons, and more. You can add, delete or modify
anything in these databases, making it customized to your preferences. By
using the built-in speed buttons, getting from one screen module to another
is child's play. Something that I found particularly useful was the
cheater's helper. You choose what you're looking for in the character's
skills, etc., in order to get a desired result. It then shows you what your
options are in order to get that result. Character Maker is also
fully compatible with Chris Young's GURPS Help File (also on our Game Aids page).
-- Reese Harrell
From their web site:
"We are a nonprofit membership organization that both conducts and sponsors research into the workings and powers of the mind, including perceptions, beliefs, attention, intention, and intuition. We are bold enough to inquire about phenomena that don't fit into the conventional scientific model."
Non-subscribers can search the archives here; Pyramid subscribers can search the archives here.
Two GURPS reprints shipped Monday as well: GURPS Fantasy Bestiary, with over 250 extensively researched descriptions of fantasy animals and plants, and GURPS Bio-Tech, covering the technology of the next century.
Visit your local game retailer to get these goodies, or order them directly from us!
The highlight, though, was the Kill Evil Stevie game. My clones and I went down at least a half-dozen times. The best one, though, was the first . . . the assassin used a very effective combination of stealth and speed, surprising everyone so completely that nobody was quite sure the dart had hit until an onlooker confirmed it. Afterward, the successful killer revealed that he was, in real life, a Secret Service agent.
-- Steve Jackson
Decoded, the alien signals read:
"Simply send 6 x 1050 atoms of hydrogen to the star system at the top of the list, cross off that star system, then put your star system at the bottom of the list and send it to 100 other star systems. Within one-tenth of a galactic rotation you will receive enough hydrogen to power your civilization until entropy reaches its maximum! IT REALLY WORKS!"
But this one seems to be for real. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is about to pass a regulation that will require your bank to spy on you and your account, and report "suspicious" transactions to the Feds.
Specifically, it requires banks and financial institutions to set up customer profiles, then notify government investigators if you "deviate" from your profile. It forces banks (at their own expense) to determine the customer's "sources of funds" and their "normal and expected transactions," monitor all transactions, and identify those that are "inconsistent with normal and expected transactions." And any "suspicious activity" must be reported to federal investigators.
They say it's all for our own good, to prevent money laundering. But it's a gross invasion of privacy. It's Big Brother.
Here's the official government page where the FDIC confirms this is for real. And here's a watchdog page with a lot more information . . . including an online petition you can sign.
I've signed it. I've also called my US Representative and both my Senators. If this isn't stopped by March 8, it'll go into effect for real, and it'll take an act of Congress to kill it.
-- Steve Jackson
Also, look at the host for this site, Dreams of the Great Earth Changes, which hosts a plethora of other sites and links for such topics as Mythology, Dream Prophecies, The Millennium, UFOs, Conspiracies, Crop Circles, Gardening, and Metaphysics.
Submitted by Jim Taylor
Once again, I'll be assisted by many, many Men In Black. Our Big Deals for this con will be:
Have I mentioned recently how pleased I am with our MIB program? It's really beginning to click. Monica Stephens, MIB Control, made a rare out-of-Austin appearance at RadCon, and we were met at the airport by ex-staffer Laz Zanger, now a Washington resident, who used to be Control. We also had one Regional Director and one Cell Leader on hand, plus a classified number of other operatives. Indeed, it was a very MIB weekend. And JohnCon will be another one, but we'll get to that tomorrow.
-- Steve Jackson
So we put on the game anyway. Without baseplates, or mini-ships for the strategic map, or chests, or barrels, or Skeleton Island, or Dinosaur Island, or gold and jewels . . . and with only the pirate figures that Derek Schin (bless him) happened to bring. And fun was had.
But it will be a cold day in Hispanolia before I trust UPS with anything that HAS to be there on time. FedEx may be expensive, but at least they deliver.
-- Steve Jackson
Make sure to check out The Evil Scientist Manifesto.
Submitted by James Schafer
Steve Jackson Games announced new leadership and renewed support for the American Autoduel Association today, adding yet more energy to the current renaissance of Car Wars. The responsibilities of the old position of AADA President, a post vacant since December, have been split into two new offices: League Manager and Head Referee.
Steve Jackson said: "Managing the AADA properly is too much for just one volunteer to do. We had two very qualified people willing to act as a team and divide the tasks, so we put them both to work!" The two new officers will coordinate with each other, SJ Games, and Car Wars fans via the Internet.
Elizabeth Lindsay of Chicago is the new AADA League Manager. Her primary responsibilities will be coordinating Car Wars enthusiasts worldwide as they set up duelling schedules at the chapter level, arranging multi-chapter regional tournaments leading up to the World Championships, and maintaining the league standings and chapter database for the entire AADA. Contact her at AADAmgr@sjgames.com.
Robert Deis of Denver will assume the new position of Head Referee of the AADA. His primary responsibilities will include answering rules questions, maintaining errata, and organizing the AADA World Racing Championship and World Duelling Championship tournaments. Contact him at AADAref@sjgames.com.
Together, Liz and Rob plan to greatly expand the AADA tournament schedule, leading up to what we hope will be spectacular World Championship events this summer. Tournament dates and sites will be announced soon.
Liz's past work for Steve Jackson Games has included in-house computer support and MIB Cell Leader for Austin. She is currently the MIB Cell Leader for Chicago.
Rob is a 15-year Car Wars veteran, two-time World Duelling Championship finalist and three-time Mountain West Regional Champion. He served as referee for last year's World Duelling Championships, and maintains the Car Wars and AADA web pages at www.sjgames.com/car-wars.
A thought: since the probe is to be launched on the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers flight, why not be redundant: send two, one for Orville and one for Wilbur?
-- Steve Jackson
Alan Watts created an image he called Lego Death. And here's the letter he got from Lego's legal department:
"Our attention has been drawn to the above sub-homepage, which, as you know, consists of a picture with the title "Legodeath". The picture incorporates the head of a LEGO* mini figure with a blood-like substance oozing from it, thus giving the impression that the LEGO mini figure has been beheaded. For this reason we hereby contact you.
"As you probably know, the registered LEGO trademark and the LEGO mini figure product configuration are two of the most important assets of the LEGO Group of companies. The LEGO mini figure is protected by copyrights, solely and exclusively owned by the LEGO Group.
"The LEGO Group of companies is very concerned about the morbid context in which our LEGO mini figure is used. Please do not understand this as if we wish to restrict what you want to publish on the Internet. However, we do wish to protect the wholesome, child-oriented reputation of the LEGO trademark and product configurations and to prevent that they are associated with destruction and violence.
"We hope that you understand our position and that you will consider removing the "Legodeath" picture from the homepage."
The LEGO Foundation
Riiiiiiight. Their newest "non-violent" lines are Ninjas and Star Wars. So the next time you see a Lego ninja with his katana, or a Lego Darth Vader, just remember: don't associate them with destruction and violence!
-- Steve Jackson
-- Steve Jackson
Well, we're doing better now. We've thrown a lot of effort at this project in the last month. Jackie wrote a database to make it easier to keep up with submissions. I rewrote the license to make it easier for us to administer them, and Gene turned it into PDF to make it easier to fill out (if you can't handle PDF files, though, write us for a hardcopy). And Reese has been working very diligently to get that database filled in, to re-open communications with those software authors who gave up on us, and to get the backlog of programs evaluated and, we hope, approved!
Correspondence on this should go to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a program that you'd like to share with other gamers, let us know!
-- Steve Jackson
We've created a page to showcase several of the entries we liked best; those can be seen here, along with the new Warehouse 23 logo.
Thanks again to everyone who entered!
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