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February 29, 2000: GAMA in Las Vegas . . . and Aggiecon

In just three weeks (March 20-23) the GAMA show will take place in Las Vegas. This is the annual "wholesale" show - companies put up booths and do presentations for retailers. There might be 400 or more retailers represented this year . . . which makes this a big deal. If you're a retailer, and if you're thinking about going . . . by all means, do it! Travel to Vegas is cheap, and the event is worthwhile.

Ross Jepson, Monica and I will be going, setting up our pretty new booth display, and generally waving the flag and taking the chance to talk to industry friends.

And right after that, March 23-26, Monique, her husband Paul-the-MIB (who is our liaison with the con), Russell, and Alain will be going to Aggiecon in College Station. The Guest of Honor this year is Terry Pratchett, so our table will have a lot of copies of the Discworld book and poster!
-- Steve Jackson

February 28, 2000: Dino Hunt Returning In April

Dino Hunt Returning In April Dino Hunt will come back into print this April. There will be no significant changes, and no new cards yet (not that we have given up on the idea, but not this time). This is just a reprint so that people who haven't been able to get the game, or want to give copies to their friends, can find it again. The booster packs remain available (we never ran out).

If you're a dinosaur fan, check out the Dino Hunt page every so often . . . when we spot interesting dinosaur news, it's posted there.

Pictures of Io-chan!

The threatened baby pictures of Iolanthe McCoy, the newest celestial, have materialized, and may be viewed on her father's page. Iolanthe is doing fine!
-- Steve Jackson

February 27, 2000: Ogre/GEV Playtest On Pyramid

I've got one question I want to settle for a possible revision of Shockwave. There's now a Pyramid playtest board set up for it; try out the options and tell me what you think! Thanks.
-- Steve Jackson

February 26, 2000: Four Job Openings!

We have no fewer than four job openings available right now: Print Buyer (newly split-off job), Art Director, Retail Sales Manager (retooled job, now in Austin) and Promotional Writer (brand new job, which will take a lot of work off MY hands). You can see details posted on our job openings page. Read down past the four job descriptions for some general information about working at SJ Games.
-- Steve Jackson

February 25, 2000: Bill's Buying...for the Next 221,917.81 Centuries

Illuminated Site of the Week: Hard to wrap your head around, isn't it? The Bill Gates Net Worth Page puts the billionaire's finances in perspective in a variety of amusing and sometimes frightening ways. How much can he spend a second? How much Evander Holyfield can he eat? And what is he worth right now?

-- Suggested by Ross Jepson

February 24, 2000: Just Shipped

The following products left our warehouse last week, headed for your local game store:

Superiors 2 (for In Nomine)
The Takers -- the lovers of humanity . . . Mmmm, humanity. Andrealphus, Kobal, Haagenti, and Nybbas are all fleshed out in the second of the Superiors books.

What's it like to work for Lust, and why you should fear the smart Gluttons; pulling Pranks and getting everything on film. Enter the neon and haze of Shal-Mari, and the frantic script-rooms of Perdition. These expansions include all the material you need to design characters to serve these four Princes, as well as adventure seeds which can be used for their Servitors.

#3321, ISBN 1-55634-422-8. 144 pages. $20.95.

Suppressed Transmission
Of Course You Know About the Suppressed Transmission . . .

Of course. But do you know about the Philadelphia Experiment, the Antarctic Space Nazis, the Ancient Astronauts, the Great Pole Shift, and the Esoteric Truths encoded in Shakespeare's plays? Kenneth Hite does.

Suppressed Transmission is his wildly popular column of conspiratorial musings and High Weirdness, appearing weekly in Pyramid Magazine. This anthology of ST's first year contains 34* of those original columns and more, including annotations, "stuff Ken left out," and an extensive bibliography. This book is required reading for anyone interested in the Secret History of our world . . . or any other. Read it soon, before it too becomes a Suppressed Transmission.

* 34, of course, is (2*3*5)+(2-3+5). Fnord.

#3005, ISBN 1-55634-423-6. 128 pages. $19.95.

GURPS Grimoire (reprint)
Mages struggle to probe the mysteries of life, death, time and space. At last, we gather their magical knowledge together - GURPS Grimoire, the ultimate resource for would-be sorcerers and established mages. This indispensable rulebook gives new, powerful spells for all campaigns, from Ice-Age epics to gritty cyberpunk slumcrawls.

GURPS Grimoire has over 400 new spells, as well as two new colleges. The adventurous - or the desparate - can now manipulate time and space using Gate Magic. Savvy wizards stay current with Technology Magic, and give "machine power" and "rad" entirely new meaning! Several new sub-colleges also add flexibility in dealing with weather, electricity, ice and acid.

An expanded chart of spell prerequisite, and a handy table for quick reference, are included. And Scott Paul Maykrantz, author of GURPS Creatures of the Night, expands the GURPS Magic tables for generating Demons.

This book is completely compatible with the rules in the GURPS Basic Set, as well as those in GURPS Magic, Second Edition.

#6514, ISBN 1-55634-243-8. 128 pages. $19.95.

GURPS Martial Arts (reprint)
The ultimate hand-to-hand combat book! The 160-page GURPS Martial Arts, 2nd Ed. covers over 50 different armed and unarmed fighting arts, including the historical and modern styles of both the East and the West, as well as fantasy and science fiction styles, presented in both realistic and cinematic forms. From the French fencing of swashbuckling cinema to Kendo down at the dojo, from Kung Fu at the Shaolin Temple to Savate on the piers of Marseilles, Martial Arts has it all (not to mention a convenient lie-flat binding).

#6036, ISBN 1-55634-314-0. 160 pages. $22.95.

GURPS Russia (reprint)
GURPS Russia presents the Russian world from its beginnings in the 10th century to its new beginnings in the early 18th. In this book, the GM will find complete details on the history, folklore, and daily life not of the Soviet Union or of the Imperial Age, but of medieval Russia - a culture that seems all but forgotten in the twentieth century, overborne and overshadowed by the U.S.S.R. To most Westerners, the word "Russia" is synonymous with communism, nuclear war, competing space programs, and WWI-level farm equipment serving in the fields of The People.

This book puts characters into the Russia of the Middle Ages, from the 10th century to the 18th. It also opens up the world of Russian folklore and fairytales, where all sorts of interesting -- and sometimes frightening -- creatures dwell.

#6082, ISBN 1-55634-258-6. 128 pages. $19.95.

-- Keith Johnson

February 23, 2000: Pictures from the Windy City

Chicago Picture 3 We finally got the pictures of Steve's Chicago trip (on CD no less -- ain't technology great?).

Here is Steve with Jeff Swegler, the owner of Games Plus in Mount Prospect, Illinois. Note the wall full of miniatures! We had a great time running a demo of Chez Geek in the main store, with customers dropping by on their way to the card game tournaments in the adjacent game room. Thanks to Jeff for having us.

Chicago Picture 2 Another rousing session of Chez Geek, this time at Amazing Fantasy Books in Frankfort, Illinois. We had eight people in this game, which is the most we've ever tried to play it with. I am the one in the shiny purple shirt; Steve is to my right. The store owner, Joe Gentile, stands above us, looking on. Thanks to Joe and his sister and store manager Lori Gentile-Strons for hosting this get-together.

We also went to Something Wicked, the mystery bookstore in Evanston, Illinois. A section of this store houses Dangers Untold, which caters to gamers -- and when I say "caters," I mean it; Juice and donuts were provided (mmm, donuts!). Thanks to Linda DeWoskin, the owner of Something Wicked, for treating us so well. Thanks also to Aaron Alexuk, the "Castle Keeper" of Dangers Untold, who not only displayed a large selection of SJ Games merchandise, he also showed off his huge personal collection of SJ Games books dating back to the early years of the company. Unfortunately, we cannot show show a photograph because [NOT AVAILABLE AT YOUR CLEARANCE].

Chicago Picture 1 Finally, we come to a picture of the actual Chez Geek, wherein the game was first designed and played. With Steve are two of the playtesters, who are also denizens of the apartment -- on the extreme left is Dan Meltz, and on the extreme right is Marcus Bauman. The panda/human hybrid is my sister, Megan Dawson (it's a long story). Note Darth Vader sporting the attractive "bonnet of doom" look, which may be achieved by turning his helmet upside down. Try it, it's fun!

Of course, we took more pictures than are shown here, but they have been censored for your protection. Have a nice day. Fnord.

-- Alain H. Dawson

February 22, 2000: More Staff Introductions

New Staff - Felton Monique (Moe) Chapman is our new Convention Coordinator. She says: "I live in San Marcos with my husband Paul and my puppy Sebastian. I graduated from Southwest Texas State University last December with a major in Sociology. When I am not at work I am catching up on the latest Stephen King novel, visiting with friends or baking (nothing beats fresh made cookies). Occasionaly I do a some freelance work on web pages -- my web site is here. I have played RPGs for about 13 years, GURPS for about 7 years. Currently I am in a Feng Shui and WoD campaign and soon will be playing Delta Green .

Felton Simpson has been our Shipping Supervisor since July (I told you we were a bit late with these announcements). He resides in Killeen. Famous last words: "I don't think I'd mind the 1 1/2 hour drive, I really enjoy the challenges of Austin traffic." Felton is married with two children. His spouse, Shauna, is currently performing military duty in the Republic of Germany.

-- Steve Jackson

February 21, 2000: BookWorld Picks Up SJ Games

It has been several years since SJ Games was represented by a real book distributor . . . which has meant that it can be very hard to find our line in chain bookstores, let alone independents. But as of a few days ago, we are represented by BookWorld, which was recently named one of the two best book distributors in the country by an independent survey. They have more than 30,000 retail accounts . . . we think they'll do a good job for us. Bookstore sales are not highly profitable, but they do provide a service, and they do bring in new customers and increase the overall visibility of the games, so this should be a very good thing.
-- Steve Jackson

February 20, 2000: Another Good Month . . .

According to the latest Comics Retailer survey, which covered December of last year, our GURPS sales were up for the fourth month in a row. Our overall percentage of the market was up too. Backpats to Ross Jepson (Marketing & Sales) and the whole creative staff (getting good stuff out on time so it's there to be sold). Fnord! Fnord! Fnord!
-- Steve Jackson

February 19, 2000: Man in Yellow Hat Denies Involvement

Illuminated Site of the Week: Too much attention from grade-schoolers will get to anyone, and when it does, they'll snap. Witness the fate of poor Furious George, a shell of his former self. Help George navigate the country, robbing banks, hot wiring cars and shooting for the high score as you go.

-- Suggested by Drew Johnson

February 18, 2000: Archangel Gives Birth To Reliever

Our In Nomine line editor, Elizabeth "Archangel Beth" McCoy, has just given birth to Iolanthe Lynn Casey McCoy. Mother and daughter are doing well -- as, apparently, is Beth's husband and co-author of GURPS IOU, Walter Milliken. Iolanthe is 2 months premature, weighs 2 lbs. 15 ounces, but is fine.

We'll bring you the Illuminated Site of the Week tomorrow. It's a good one. But this news wouldn't wait. We may very well inflict some baby photos on you before long.
-- Steve Jackson

February 17, 2000: Secret Master ISO Minion . . .

Have you dreamed of working for the Secret Masters? Then here's your chance! We are in need of a print buyer. Check out our Job Opportunities page for the job description. If you think you have what it takes, e-mail your resume to me, the Production Master.

Good luck, and may the best minion win!

-- Russell Godwin

February 16, 2000: Geek Toys

Warehouse 23 gleefully announces a new division: GEEK TOYS. What do we mean by that? Hard to define. How about "Neat, stupid stuff that Evil Stevie likes to play with?"

It will be a long time (if ever) before this is a BIG section of the Warehouse. Something will have to be really special before we put it here. But if you like games and High Weirdness, we think you'll want to see some of this stuff. These are toys that both kids and adults can enjoy . . . and that's neat. Not necessarily educational (though some will be) . . . just cool stuff.

February 15, 2000: Does P.J. O'Rourke play TRIBES?

So I'm reading through his fairly-new book Eat The Rich -- which I highly recommend if you are an economic conservative and have a bad attitude. He is funny, bitter, and says exactly what he thinks.

Anyway: At one point he's talking about the basics of a free market, and says:

"When Neolithic spear makers did business with Neolithic basket weavers, the spear makers were able to carry things around in a manner more convenient than skewering them on spear points, and the basket weavers were able to kill mastodons by a manner more efficient than swatting them with baskets."

Which is why I wonder: is he playing Tribes?
-- Steve Jackson

February 14, 2000: GURPS Ogre Now In Playtest!

For more than 20 years, the mighty Ogre cybertanks have terrorized boardgamers and miniature players around the world. Now the Ogres are coming to roleplaying.

Take the part of a GEV pilot, driving his craft at fighter-plane speeds a foot off the ground . . . a ragged partisan, armed only with determination and a nuclear bazooka . . . or a brand-new artificial intelligence, awakening to a world in which it is the most dangerous creature of all . . . the Ogre.

Playtests are open to Pyramid subscribers only, so don't miss out - subscribe today!
-- Keith Johnson

February 13, 2000: More Hits, All The Time!

No, it's not your radio station. It's our home page. Wednesday, for (as far as we know) the first time, the weekly hit total reached 20,000. And that doesn't even count the people who go direct to some feature, like the Illuminator, and bypass the home page. Not too shabby for a little game company . . .
-- Steve Jackson

February 12, 2000: New Staff

New Staff - Bernadette and TJ We've fallen a bit behind on introducing our new staffers. Here, in no particular order (actually, in the order that we got good pictures of them) are two of our New Kids on the Block:

Phil Reed

Phil was spawned in another dimension and is currently visiting our plane to work as a graphics designer and production artist and scout Earth out for invasion and eventual engulfing. He did several covers for us on a freelance basis before moving his current physical shell to Austin. We know he's an alien because he comes in so early in the morning.

T.J. Fullington

TJ is currently the only full-time member of our nascent web design division (watch for more on that, before too long). He was born in Nashville but considers Chicago to be home. TJ enjoys games of all sorts: roleplaying, board games, chess, dominoes, pinball, computer games and blackjack (but only when money is involved).
-- Steve Jackson

February 11, 2000: Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me

Illuminated Site of the Week: Remember when they switched calendars and the peasants revolted, demanding to get back their "lost days"? You do? Just how old are you?

If the rest of us want to be part of history, we can sign the petition to end daylight-saving time. Wake up, people. DST kills, and the life you save may be your own.

-- Andy

February 10, 2000: New Pyramid Editor Named

Our new Pyramid editor, stepping into the position so ably held by Scott Haring, is Steven Marsh. Steven lives in Tallahassee (like that mattered in the Age of the Internet). A long-time gamer, he also brings a perspective in game retailing to the table. He'll be working with Scott this week as Scott puts his last issue together. The one after that is Steven's. Wish him luck, and stay tuned to see where he goes with all this . . .

You can see his personal website at (say it out loud . . .).
-- Steve Jackson

February 9, 2000: JTAS Rocks On!

The Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society is rolling along very well. The second issue has been posted. It'll all be free for another few days, so drop in and see what we've got!

Our number of paid subscribers broke 100 earlier today, which may not be a lot compared to the number of Traveller fans there are out there . . . but we're taking it as a huge compliment that so MANY people have paid before they had to. Thanks!
-- Steve Jackson

February 8, 2000: Another Relaunch: Ogre Returns

Hear that rumbling? The Ogres are coming back . . .

One of our March releases will be a new edition of Ogre/GEV. This is the opening salvo of a whole new Ogre assault. Look for plenty of supporting fire, starting with . . .

Shockwave (May 2000) - More maps, more units, and more scenarios for G.E.V.

GURPS Ogre (June 2000) - Roleplaying in the world of Ogre. Jonathan Woodward is writing this, and his first draft is already in. It's going to be . . . interesting.

Ogre Macrotures (mid-2000) - You’ve seen Macrotures at the conventions . . . now you can deploy them in your own battles. Giant 1/48 resin vehicles from Armorcast!

And watch for word about new 1/300 miniatures. No ETA yet, but they’re on the way . . .

Prepare for the attack by visiting our Ogre pages for lots of Ogre scenarios, optional rules, commentary, history and art . . .
-- Steve Jackson

February 7, 2000: Feeling Lucky?

American Science and Surplus, purveyors of all kinds of Stuff, is advertising a bargain on roleplaying books. The catch is, you don't get to know what they are. But they're reeeeeeeeal cheap . . . They have polyhedral dice on sale, too, as well as what, from the description, must be "Dragon Dice."

February 6, 2000: Dungeon Floors!

Cardboard Heroes Dungeon Floors Over the years, several different publishers have offered cardboard "dungeon floor" sections that you could use as roleplaying maps. But they all seem to be off the market now. So here we go . . .

We're going to release Cardboard Heroes Dungeon Floors in March. Like the first Cardboard Heroes set, it will be a 16-page book requiring much dedicated attention with the scissors. But this time, what you get is not hundreds of miniatures, but hundreds of inches of tunnels and rooms, along with lots and lots of (pardon the phrase) subterranean architectural paraphernalia. (Hey, we had to call it SOMETHING . . . )

Cardboard Heroes Dungeon Floors These floor sections feature a 1" square "rock tile" pattern, overlaid by a black hex grid . . . so you can use them with GURPS, any version of D&D, or almost any other fantasy game. And they're PRETTY. They were "painted" on the computer by Denis Loubet, who did most of the original Heroes artwork. Our own Phil Reed then did production magic to multiply and enhance Denis' work . . . and they look really great.

Late breaking news: We are going to print up some extra loose pages and offer them in Warehouse 23, so people who need just one more big room, or whatever, can order a single page rather than having to buy a whole 'nother book.
-- Steve Jackson

February 5, 2000: Ooo, Look At The Cute Widdle Dinosaur

A team of amateur paleontologists has made a unique discovery: the fossil of a young Tyrannosaurus rex. They call him Tinker, and they're slowly putting him back together in their Texas Hill Country lab. Here's the Dallas Morning News story, and here's Tinker's own website.
-- Steve Jackson

February 4, 2000: It'll All End in Tears

Illuminated Site of the Week: Been a long day? All hope is gone? Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy some cool merchandise about your alternatives from the pessimistic purveyors at Despair, Inc.

-- Suggested by Robert J. MacDonald

February 3, 2000: Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society Relaunches

We are VERY proud to announce that SJ Games has been granted the exclusive online license to carry on the Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society tradition. The new JTAS is up and running NOW at Please check it out!

With GURPS Traveller line editor Loren Wiseman at the helm, JTAS will be much like its print incarnation . . . but it will be updated every single week. It will NOT be a SJ Games house organ. It will cover ALL versions of Traveller, and review a variety of Traveller-related material. And yes, Loren is looking for writers!

Like our other online zine, Pyramid, it will be available by subscription only, for $15 per year (that is, less than a nickel a day). Like Pyramid, it will also include both live chat and asynchronous discussion areas. And like Pyramid, it will be done RIGHT (said Steve, modestly). I am very proud of Pyramid, and I expect JTAS to be every bit as active and interesting.

For its first two weeks (from now to Feb. 14), access to JTAS will be free. Please give it a look, and let us know what you think.
-- Steve Jackson

February 2, 2000: Scott Haring To Leave Pyramid

Scott Haring, who was the last editor of the paper version of Pyramid and the first (and last, though not only) editor of its digital incarnation, will be leaving soon to take a full-time job elsewhere in the industry. I'll let him make his own report on the details in his next Pyramid editorial.

We'll miss Scott a great deal. It is not easy to meet weekly deadlines. It's very difficult to meet weekly deadlines with quality material, with no full-time staff, while simultaneously being your own ace reporter and committing genuine journalism whenever news breaks. Some of our friends in the industry have become quite annoyed at Scott's ability to ferret out and break stories. We were proud of that. We still are. Thank you, Scott.

All of which leaves us with some big shoes to fill. The job description has been posted; if you believe that you might be interested, write directly to me at Paste your resume and other relevant information into the body of the letter (don't send an attachment). Please act quickly if you are interested; private postings to an industry mailing list, even before the job description was updated, have given me a number of very good applications. The position is, for all practical purposes, open immediately.

Pyramid will go on and will continue to grow, but Scott will be missed. We wish him the best of luck.
-- Steve Jackson

February 1, 2000: Home Again . . .

Actually, I won't get home until nearly dark today, but I'm already looking forward to it. The Chicago trip was very worthwhile . . . lots of good ideas brewing . . . and now it's time to DO something with them. Here's a shot from our visit with Bungie Software; Doug Zartman is demonstrating a new game, and Alain and I are admiring it. My, they have some nice things cooking there . . .
-- Steve Jackson

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