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March 31, 2000: Detecting Unlawful Cyborg Killbots

Illuminated Site of the Week: The surreptitious overthrow of mankind by cyborg duplicates is further advanced than we suspected. The AIEEE engine at Brunching Shuttlecocks will help you determine who the robots among us are. Another illuminated triumph -- we think the Synthetic Technician Engineered for Violence and Exploration will be pleased.

-- Suggested by Ciaran Conliffe

March 30, 2000: GURPS Deadlands

GURPS Deadlands Comin' at you soon, pardner.

Deadlands, from Pinnacle Entertainment Group, has been hailed as one of the most exciting and original backgrounds to appear in years. Now that world will be linked to the GURPS roleplaying engine for a series of sourcebooks.

Said Pinnacle’s CEO, Shane Hensley, who designed Deadlands: "I'm a long-time GURPS fan, so this is a very exciting project for us! We’re thrilled to see the Weird West meet Steve Jackson’s incredibly popular game system. Legions of GURPS fans will now be introduced to the world of Deadlands, and our own posses can explore SJ Games' phenomenal rules and sourcebooks. It's two great tastes that taste great together."

My own comment, as quoted in our official GAMA press release, was, "Deadlands rocks. This will make GURPS fans very happy."

The first book, GURPS Deadlands: Weird West, is slated to appear in 4th quarter 2000. More books will follow on a regular basis. "GURPS Traveller showed us that our fans really like to see a whole series of books in a good background," said SJ Games' Ross Jepson. "Deadlands will let us bring that approach to a great new, very different game world."

-- Steve Jackson

March 29, 2000: Pyramid Chat With David Pulver And Sean Punch

Tonight in the Pyramid chat room, David Pulver (GURPS tech-book and science-fiction author extraordinaire) and Sean Punch (GURPS Line Editor) will discuss GURPS Transhuman Space. Transhuman Space is an upcoming line of hard-SF worldbooks, set in the Solar System, which will feature biotech, black-hole mining, and pirates . . . and no aliens or FTL travel. The first releases will be in early 2001, but plans are being made now. Come to the chat and be among the first to hear about them!

March 28, 2000: Another Pyramid Milestone

This week, Pyramid crossed the 3,500-subscriber mark! Apologies to those of you who are utterly, completely not interested in online zines, but personally I think it's neat that the digital weekly is now reaching far more people than the dead-trees version did, and okay, I'm crowing a little bit . . . Congrats to new Pyramid editor Steven Marsh; the numbers say he's doing okay!
-- Steve Jackson

March 27, 2000: Scoville Strikes Again!

From the creator of the Silicon Valley Tarot . . . with apologies to Allen Ginsburg . . . .
-- Steve Jackson

March 26, 2000: Hyper-Light-Speed Antenna

It would appear that the U.S. Patent and Trademark office has issued a patent on a device which is claimed to open a portal to a "new dimension," through which radio signals can supposedly travel faster than light. The inventor also claims that it makes plants grow better.

According to the patent, "All known radio transmissions use known models of time and space dimensions for sending the RF signal. The present invention has discovered the apparent existence of a new dimension capable of acting as a medium for RE [sic] signals. Initial benefits of penetrating this new dimension include sending RF signals faster than the speed of light, extending the effective distance of RF transmitters at the same power radiated, penetrating known RF shielding devices, and accelerating plant growth exposed to the by-product energy of the RF transmissions."

March 25, 2000: Welcome To 2010. Here Are Your Gadgets.

Want to see what kind of techie toys we'll be playing with in 2010? Here's a Business Week article with some good clues.
-- Steve Jackson

March 24, 2000: The Prince Albert Gag will be Missed

Illuminated Site of the Week: Will Hertes seems to have a lot of time on his hands, time he fills up by writing twisted prank letters to corporations and notable individuals across America. Then he takes their unsuspecting responses and kills some more time posting them on the Internet for amusement. His or ours? Who can say?

-- Suggested by John Haire

March 23, 2000: Hello from GAMA!

It's a very good show this year - more than 300 retailers are registered. We're keeping very busy. Response to the upcoming schedule has been good. Most asked question: When will the Ogre miniatures return? Answer: We're talking to people about that right here at GAMA. Cross your fingers.
-- Steve Jackson

March 22, 2000: Is Your Computer Possessed?

One of our nation's leading bastions of journalism has broken the story that will, no doubt, send the whole NASDAQ tech index into a tumble. Yes, it's true; there's as much as a 10% chance that the forces of Hell are in your computer even as you read this. See the Weekly World News story.

March 21, 2000: Warehouse 23 Supports Retailers

Here's the press release we'll hand out today at GAMA:

Steve Jackson Games' online retail catalog, Warehouse 23 ( has been successful in selling the SJ Games line – and other popular games, as well – over the Internet. Our stated purpose has been to serve those gamers who don't have a good local retailer. We want to continue to support both distributors and retailers; strong local retailers are vital to the hobby. But many retailers look askance at ANY kind of Net retailing, especially by publishers.

How can we show we mean it when we say that we really don't want to take sales away from existing stores? We think we have a way.

Our retailer list is already online, in our Gamer Finder ( Anyone can hit the Gamer Finder and look for gamers OR stores in any area. But now we have something even better. Anyone who orders from Warehouse 23 is now e-mailed a Gamer Finder report for his area:

"We appreciate your business, but we hope you'll remember your local games retailer too. Retailers are important to the hobby, and if you have a good one nearby, he deserves your support. Our Illuminated retailer database shows that there are (whatever) retailers in your area. If you'd like to check out your local store options, go to and search!"

With just a bit more programming, we'll have it set up so that if it only finds one or two stores, it will actually give the customer each store name, address and phone number!

That way, if Warehouse 23 gets a customer in your area . . . a customer who SHOULD be coming to your shop . . . we're doing what we can to SEND him to you.

And there's no reason other game companies can’t do the same thing with THEIR mailing lists. (If a company doesn't have the programming resources to copy our work, we’ll SELL them a copy of our Web scripts. Cheap. And we'll throw in a copy of our retailer database.)

And YOU can hit Gamer Finder any time, to check our information on your store and update it if need be. Or just mail with info on your store, and we'll check our database and update it if necessary.

Initial comments have been favorable. Mike Hurdle, President/CEO of Zocchi Distributing Inc., said "This is a bold and innovative move. Anything that helps move customers into the retail stores is good for the whole hobby."

John Mansfield of Pendragon Games in Winnipeg said "I like it! If only other manufactures were so supportive, we might stock up on their lines too LIKE WE INTEND TO DO WITH Steve Jackson!"


Hey, I like that last comment :-)
-- Steve Jackson

March 20, 2000: Off to GAMA

The GAMA show starts today in Vegas. I'll be there along with Marketing Director Ross Jepson, She-Of-Many-Hats Monica Stephens, and MIBs John Mion and Seth Kimmel. We will be making a couple of interesting announcements t here, and we'll spill the beans HERE at the same time. Stay tuned.

Mike Naylor Found!

In less than one day. Alive and well. The Illuminated network strikes again. Thanks, all . . .
-- Steve Jackson

March 19, 2000: Mike Naylor, Where Are You?

We're trying to get back in touch with Mike Naylor, who was a valuable Ogre contributor way back when. We would really like to get the Killing Zone manuscript, which he co-authored with David Graham, back into the pipeli ne, but we need to find Mike! So Mike, if you're out there, please phone home. Or if you know where Mike is, let us know, and let him know we are reduced to posting Illuminators to look for him . . .
-- Steve Jackson

March 18, 2000: The Auction Lives

We got preoccupied and let the auction run dry for a couple of days. But there's more stuff there now . . . check it out, starting with the ominously numbered Lot 223 and its clones. And Ogre fans in particular, keep watching, because we're going to put some prototype stuff up!
-- Steve Jackson

March 17, 2000: Contagious Dogma

Illuminated Site of the Week: Christianity Meme maintains that religion is a "meme," a thought complex developed through millennia of evolution and spread by proselytization. Is there a cure? Find out before you become a heavenly host.

-- Suggested by Don Baker

March 16, 2000: Ogre Maps and Other Good Stuff

Stephan Beal has created an online gaming site which includes some generic wargaming maps, a utility to create Ogre record sheets, and plenty of links to freeware gaming aids. Check it out!

March 15, 2000: Just Shipped

Several new things are shipping this week:

Starports (for GURPS Traveller)

Patrol, trade, and Xboat routes are the lifelines of the Imperium, and starports are the anchors to which they are tethered. Serving as trade centers, customs offices and outposts of civilization in far-flung systems, they play a central role in the lives of starfarers, and are a crucial source of goods, wealth and information for even the most planetbound of souls. At the same time, they are havens for smugglers, fugitives and black marketeers.

GURPS Traveller Starports classifies standard starports and describes their facilities, organization and functions. It includes examples and plans, and guidelines for starport adventures and encounters. It is designed to complement Far Trader and the upcoming Starships supplement.

#6610, ISBN 1-55634-401-5. 128 pages. $19.95.

Ogre/GEV (Boxed game)
Ogre, first released in 1977, was Steve Jackson's first design. Now the classic boardgame of futuristic ground combat is being re-launched. Starting in March with the combined edition of Ogre and its sequel G.E.V., SJ Games will release new and reprinted Ogre material throughout 2000. This will include a whole new line of Ogre miniatures, giant OgreMacrotures (tm), an Ogre sourcebook for GURPS, a reprint of the famous "blueprint" poster, and more. Once again the killing machines will stalk the war-torn countryside as Paneuropean and Combine forces battle to the death. A new generation of gamers is about to learn what it means to face the Ogre.

This is a re-release of the original Ogre/GEV game. It should not beconfused with the Ogre Miniatures rules, which are still in print!

#1402, ISBN 1-55634-426-0. $14.95

Cardboard Heroes: Dungeon Floors
Last year, the new Cardboard Heroes set revived interest in low-cost miniatures support for roleplaying games. Now, Cardboard Heroes: Dungeon Floors continues that support with over 90 full-color rooms, stairways and corridors, from 1" square closets to 6" x 6" rooms and long hallways. Cut them out, put them down, and rearrange them to form an infinite variety of dungeons for your adventurers. Also included are pits, chests, furniture, shafts, walls, pillars, and other subterranean architectural paraphernalia. Cardboard Heroes: Dungeon Floors will help to answer every player's question, "Where are we now?"

#2119, ISBN 1-55634-425-2. $19.95

GURPS Magic (reprint)
Sorcery, Thaumaturgy, The Black Art, Necromancer, Alchemy or the Great Art. By any name, arcane knowledge brings great power to its possessor . . . for good or for evil. This book is the complete guide to magic for the Generic Universal RolePlaying System.

GURPS Magic presents a colorful, detailed magic system. But it's much more. It is designed for easy modification . . .for the GM who wants to create his own background, or set adventures in the world of his favorite fantasy author. And it's flexible. Players can create any sort of wizard character they choose, from eager apprentice to mad hermit, from saintly healer to sinister necromancer.

This book is completely compatible with the magic rules in the GURPS Basic Set. It amplifies the material there, as well as adding more than 300 new spells! Also included are a complete system for improvisational magic, optional rules for "inherent" magic abilities, special advantages and disadvantages for mages, and a system to let the GM create his own unique types of clerical magic.

If you're ready for a world of magic, it's in your hands . . .

#6023, ISBN 1-55634-286-1. 128 pages. $19.95.

GURPS Vehicles (reprint)
GURPS Vehicles is your guide to any type of transportation you can imagine. From rowboats to racing cars, balloons to battlesuits. Greek galleys to GEVs -- if you can dream it, you can design it.

The second editon streamlines the design process, using the design order found in GURPS Robots, also by David Pulver.

#6505, ISBN 1-55634-325-6. 208 pages. $24.95.

-- Keith Johnson

March 14, 2000: Triple Threat Game Aids

Three brand new game boxes means three times the fun for Cyberboard owners! Two are designed for Ogre, and the other is for Triplanetary.

From the computer of Peter Lomax comes Ogre V1.0 for Cyberboard, just in time for the re-release of Ogre/GEV. From Robert Struble, the creator of the Necromancer Cyberboard, comes this Ogre Gamebox. Robert has also created a Triplanetary Gamebox.

These and lots more game aids are available from our Game Aids page.
-- John Aaron Schmidt

March 13, 2000: GURPS Steampunk Now In Playtest!

GURPS Steampunk combines the mood of cyberpunk with the setting of an alternate Industrial Age, where computers run on steam power, walking colossi stalk the battlefields, flying ironclads rule the skies, and science is the new frontier.

Whether your destination is 20,000 leagues under the sea or into space to hear the music of the spheres, GURPS Steampunk can get you there. It covers the real events, politics, and personalities of the Industrial Age, as well as the weird science that could have been created . . . vehicles, robots, airships, and more. Choose from several different Steam Age settings described in the book, or make up your own!

GURPS Steampunk is now in playtest. Pyramid subscribers can access the playtest files. And if you're not already a subscri ber, subscribe today!

-- Keith Johnson

March 12, 2000: SubGenius Site Overhauled

Our friends at the Church of the SubGenius have been inspired by "Bob" to make massive changes, all for the BETTER of course, to their website. Go gaze in awe.And if you haven't had a good rant lately, hit our Rant Generator and top off your Slack Tank.
-- Steve Jackson

March 11, 2000: Vital Copyright Info

Clearly someone is Illuminated at the Library of Congress. Check out the Copyright FAQs. It's good general information for anybody who has ever thought about writing. But, specifically, look at number 58.
-- Steve Jackson

March 10, 2000: International Cuisine

Illuminated Site of the Week: Step aside, Jimmy Carter. Doing its part for global understanding is the I Can Eat Glass Project. They're dedicated to collecting the phrase "I can eat glass, it doesn't hurt me" in as many languages as possible.

-- Suggested by Scott Nickell

March 9, 2000: The Internet Stops At The Border

The French have moved decisively against the latest English incursions into their language, establishing no less than seven different committees to stamp out the use of such words as "e-mail." French civil servants are now required to say "courrier electr onique" . Here's the UPI story.

March 8, 2000: GURPS Traveller: Rim of Fire Now In Playtest!

GURPS Traveller: Rim of Fire covers the Solomani Rim sector in detail. Writeups for over 400 worlds are included. Some are described in great detail, providing instant adventure settings, while others are merely sketched in to allow the indi vidual GM to customize his campaign. There is also an extensive history of the sector, including detailed descriptions of the Interstellar Wars and the rise of the Solomani Movement. And, of course, there are campaign and adventure seeds, and a trove of referee's information.

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

March 7, 2000: Moo On The Moon

The Artemis Society is a private venture to establish a permanent, self-supporting community on the Moon. Society members have now set up a MOO chat environment representing a future moonbase. You can read about it at, or log in directly at port 7777.
-- Steve Jackson

March 6, 2000: New INWO Web Volunteer

Well, we brainwashed another one. Seth Cohen has agreed to take over the role of volunteer assistant webmaster to update the INWO webpages. The goal would have been to get a volunteer who knows web design, EMACS, and UNIX. Instead, we're getting everything we're paying for. Expect updates t o change the site regularly, albeit in a piecemeal fashion. Seth holds down some other tasks (INWO Playtester, Man In Black) that take up free time, so he'll be doing what he can at the best possible speed to showcase INWO.
-- Steve Jackson

March 5, 2000: Phil Reed Promoted To Art Director

Phil Reed has assumed our Art Director duties. Congratulations, Phil; have fun. And that's all there is to that announcement fnord but I'll type in a bit more just so it won't look so bare and pathetic there on your computer screen.
-- Steve Jackson

March 4, 2000: GURPS Castle Falkenstein Now In Playtest!

Imagine a world very much like 19th-century Earth, but with wizards and swashbuckling heroes . . . and Dragons and Faerie! A world where Kabbalistic magic meets steam-powered technology against the backdrop of imperial intrigue, and where the writings of Doyle, Shelley, Verne, and their contemporaries are *fact.* A world of high fantasy and romance. This is the world of Castle Falkenstein.

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

March 3, 2000: Pleasant Dreams

Illuminated Site of the Week: This is just wrong.

-- Suggested by Joe Littrell

March 2, 2000: Finding Gamers and Stores

Here's another great web feature scripted by the incredible Kira: the SJ Games Gamer Finder. It's just what it sounds like. Anybody can use it; you don't have to subscribe to one of our zines or mailing li sts. Log in; add yourself to the database if you like; and search the database by location, favorite games, or both. Best of all, perhaps, is that entries won't get stale; you automatically get a reminder after 3 months, and if you don't choose to renew o r update your entry, it vanishes.

It's also set up to access our mailing list of game retailers. When you search a location, you can choose to see all the stores in that area, or the individual gamers, or both.

At this writing, it's just out of beta, and has fewer than 50 gamers in it . . . but I'd like to see it in the thousands. So log in and enter your own preferences, and check back every so often to see who you can find in the way of new friends or opponent s!
-- Steve Jackson

March 1, 2000: Ten Years Since The Raid

Today is an important 10-year anniversary, though not exactly one to celebrate. On March 1, 1990, the Secret Service raided Steve Jackson Games.

Those who haven't heard the story will perhaps want to check out the extensive web archives, all the way from the initial "We're not sure what just happened to us" press release, to the announcement of final victory in the court case. O f course, that was a lot later. Now, the anniversary of the judge's final decision WILL be a day to celebrate -- because that decision went a long way to nail down your right to online free speech, and not to have your computers casually taken away becaus e they "might" contain evidence -- but that anniversary is still more than three years away.

Still . . . today we CAN celebrate the fact that ten years later, we're still here and still making games. That counts as a win, too.
-- Steve Jackson

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