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May 31, 2002: Those Voices In My Brain Are A Real Headache

Illuminated Site of the Week: Technical Configurations: Directed Energy Attacks & Mind Assault gives you a good idea what mind control is like from both sides. The hapless puppet's brain is an open book, ripe for abuse by soulless hidden masters; the puppeteers get a pension plan. And YOU will get popups if you hit the link, because it's on Tripod. Fair warning.

-- Suggested by Aaron Hiebert

Warehouse 23 News: A Game Line So Large . . .

. . . it needs a multi-volume index to stay organized. Rifts Index & Adventures - Volume Two covers two years of Rifts titles and includes new adventures, maps, and data.

May 30, 2002: Blue Shadow Chat

This Friday, May 31, at 7pm, our Pyramid chat will focus on the upcoming Transhuman Space: Blue Shadow.

Authors David Morgan-Mar, Kenneth Peters, and Constantine Thomas will discuss the project. Transhuman Space: Blue Shadow is the underwater source book for Transhuman Space, detailing the technology, organizations, and activities taking place in the oceans of Earth - and elsewhere in the Solar System.

Warehouse 23 News: The Map Is Not the Territory

Written for the Shadowrun RPG, Shadows of North America tells shadowrunners what they need to know about the 13 countries and city-states of North America.

May 29, 2002: Test Tube Tassie

A project to restore the extinct Tasmanian tiger via cloning has reached a milestone. Read the CNN story.

May 28, 2002: GURPS In Spanish

GURPS has not been in print in Spanish for several years. We are very pleased to announce that Devir Iberia will soon be filling that gap. Devir Iberia is a subsidiary of our old friends at Devir Livraria, who were our very first foreign licensee and have been ably publishing Portuguese translations for over a decade.

Warehouse 23 News: Transdimensional Bugs

Rifts Xiticix Invasion provides everything you wanted to know about the Xiticix, and the frightening consequences of their existence on Rifts Earth.

May 27, 2002: Memorial Day

Remember what it means, especially now that our troops are putting it all on the line in Afghanistan.

Our offices will be closed Monday. We'll be back Tuesday.
-- Steve Jackson

Warehouse 23 News: Gaming Mats With a Special Touch

In conjuction with Geo-Hex, Warehouse 23 now offers Battlescape terrain mats, in desert and green, adorned with the Ogre logo.

May 26, 2002: Join The Navy And See . . . Lots Of Things

Not to PICK on Network Solutions/Verisign or anything, but here's the scariest story that I heard in the wake of the Illuminator about our bad experience. Basically, the Navy had a domain registered with Netsol, and whoops, one day it didn't belong to the Navy any more; it was a gateway to a porno site. Read the Newsbytes story for details.

And it's by no means sure, given the bureaucracies involved, that the Navy will even get the domain back, even though they've at least managed to disconnect the pornster. So, again . . . if you have a domain registered with Network Solutions or Verisign, move it while you can. Unless, of course, you WANT it re-registered to an Estonian smutmonger named "Bog" . . . :-)
-- Steve Jackson

Warehouse 23 News: A Game Master's Best Friend

The Chivalry & Sorcery Game Master's Toolkit: Volume 1 is a collection of PDFs on CD-ROM that provides GMs with a combat matrix, adventure ideas, kingdom demographics, magical items, skill descriptions, and more.

May 25, 2002: Gotta Frag 'em All!

Esteemed MiB Control reports:

The winners of our Frag tournament for the first quarter of 2002 were Daniel Imm and Sean Henry (9 frags each). They each get a $25 certificate from Warehouse 23 and a copy of Fire Zone!

If you want to get in the act for this quarter, visit the Frag High Scores page.

Warehouse 23 News: Expand Your Wardrobe

With our exciting assortment of t-shirts from Atlas Games.

May 24, 2002: INWO Competition!

Yesterday was 5/23. If you were truly illuminated, it might have occurred to you to take a look at the news on the INWO page. Or perhaps not. In any case, INWO fans may be excited to know that we're holding a contest to see who can build the best set of playable decks from a Factory Set. Check out the official rules for details!

Scheduled Server Outage

Saturday morning at 1 a.m. I will be taking the server down to do some maintenance and upgrades. I expect the server to be offline for about an hour or two. We'll be back online as soon as it's done.

-- Sage

Warehouse 23 News: Retro-Futuristic, Self-Contained, Abstract Strategy Pocket Board Game

Proton is an easy-to-learn, innovative puzzle/game you can play anywhere, either alone or with a friend.

May 23, 2002: Now Shipping!

The following products are now shipping, and should be available very soon at a friendly local game store near you:

Transhuman Space: Fifth Wave
The first supplement to Transhuman Space is an overview of our home planet at the end of the 21st century. Humanity and its partners may be scattering into deep space, but Earth is still the center of the human universe . . . crowded, busy, fast-moving, and still picking up speed. Transhuman Space: Fifth Wave includes new racial packages, plus rules for cutting-edge technology: virtuality nodes, software for network intrusion and defense, and various land, sea and air vehicles of interest to adventurers.

144 pages. Stock #6701, ISBN 1-55634-459-7. $24.95.

The Red Planet. To the ancients, it was the God of War. To early astronomers, it seemed to be a world much like ours. To today's space explorers, it's the next step after the Moon . . . a harsh world that we might someday bring to life.

GURPS Mars describes Mars as it's been seen through the ages . . . as science now believes it really is . . . as it may be someday, mankind's first colony . . . and as the wild imaginations of science fiction writers have pictured it!

Four different settings provide a Mars for every campaign, from hard science to "Attack of the Bug-Eyed Monsters."

128 pages. Stock #6715, ISBN 1-55634-534-8. $22.95.

May 22, 2002: I Wept Because I Had No Shoes . . .

until I met a man who had no domain. Err, no feet. Whatever.

Thanks to everybody who wrote to share their own Netsol horror story. You're right, I could have had it MUCH worse.
-- Steve Jackson

Warehouse 23 News: The Traveller Universe Unfolds . . .

The sixth volume of the Classic Traveller Reprint series, Classic Traveller: The Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society, is also the first of a three volume compilation of the Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society.

May 21, 2002: Escape From Network Solutions

As part of reorganizing our servers, we recently moved our domain name registrations away from old-guard registrar Network Solutions, and to Enom, one of a number of new registrars with online tools that give the owner more flexibility.

But moving wasn't easy. Netsol demanded redundant confirmations, managed to introduce various delays, repeatedly lost the faxes they demanded we send, and and in once case lost our e-mail and demand that WE start the reregistration process over . . . but having made this demand they were glacially slow to notify Enom that the original change request had been killed on their end, so Enom couldn't start a NEW change request on the same domain.

And their "help desk" -- and I use the term facetiously -- let's not go there. Has anyone else noted the disturbing trend, among online companies of all types, to try to minimize the attention given to the customer once he's paid his money? It's not just Netsol . . . it's a growing problem. The net offers the potential of efficient, smart customer service, but that potential is not being reached.

Back to the public grumpiness. My advice to anyone with a domain registered with Netsol would be . . . change it now, before anything happens to put time pressure on you. Because if you ever need speed, you might not get it.

-- Steve Jackson

Warehouse 23 News: The Ultimate Supplement

When you have a game as hot as Hero System, 5th Edition, you don't procrastinate when it comes to releasing support material. The Ultimate Martial Artist, the most comprehensive reference available about martial arts in roleplaying games, is now available.

May 20, 2002: Frag Chat

Philip Reed, designer of Frag, will be doing a chat on the game's Yahoo group this upcoming Thursday, May 23 (fnord), at 7pm Central time. The address will be Spread the word . . .

Warehouse 23 News: The War is Over

A campaign supplement for Earthdawn, Barsaive in Chaos details six significant events that span the year after the fall of Vivane.

May 19, 2002: X-Bugs Price Cut

We've decided to cut the price on X-Bugs (shipping in a few months) to $24.95. It was at $29.95 - higher than I wanted - because it looked like we HAD to do that to make our markup after importing the plastic parts and paying the royalty. This was higher than the European price. But . . . I really want everybody to check this game out when we ship the first set. It's fun. I thought it was a dumb idea when I first saw it, but Roberto DiMeglio said "Come on, play it." And I did. And I liked it. And I have played a lot since then, and I still like it. So you're going to hear some more plugs from me as the ship date approaches . . .
-- Steve Jackson

Warehouse 23 News: Rip Back the Shroud of Conspiracy

Shadowforce Archer is a campaign setting for the Spycraft espionage role-playing game, focusing on the shadow operatives of the vast Archer Conspiracy, which is charged with keeping the world safe . . . from itself.

May 18, 2002: Credit Card Processors

Once again, we try to tap the mass mind and the wide (though peculiar) experience of our readers . . .

We're not exactly thrilled with the credit card processing company we're using right now for Warehouse 23. (We won't say its name, but it rhymes with Fardservices.) We'd like to believe that with as much money as is spent every day on credit cards, there's a processing company that can get the math right and send comprehensible bills. So . . . is anyone out there delighted with their card processor?

If you have a suggestion, please mail Michelle directly!

Warehouse 23 News: Stand By Your Clan

Issue 67 of the gaming comic Knights of the Dinner Table is now available.

May 17, 2002: More Obits Than You Can Shake A Parrot At

Illuminated Site of the Week: Ain't No Way To Go is the Internet's way of telling you to slow down. Herein find any number of odd and unfortunate ways to shuffle off this mortal coil. It's a collection of news stories from around the world, but that doesn't mean sensitive readers shouldn't exercise caution . . .

-- Suggested by Brett Slocum

Warehouse 23 News: An Unusual Winter Covenant

A supplement for Ars Magica, The Bishop's Staff features maps and descriptions of the town, covenant, and many characters, as well as new rules for Karaite magic.

May 16, 2002: Origins Voting, Part Two

If you missed yesterday's Illuminator . . . read this first, and THEN check out yesterday.

You will notice that both Chez Geek 2: Slack Attack and Chez Geek 3: Block Party got nominated. There's been a lot of controversy over "dueling nominations" in the past couple of years. Some people strongly feel that companies should be able to control what is eligible for nomination just so they won't "split their own vote." I'm strongly in the other camp. Nomination itself is a great honor, and when a company picks one product to be eligible, they are cheating the creators of the games they disfavor.

So it's entirely poetic justice that SJ Games should be in this position, with two great supplements both nominated and no doubt splitting the Chez Geek vote.

As it happens, though, the exact same creative team worked on both supplements. So I felt no qualm at all about polling the staff and John Kovalic and asking "Which one should we ask people to vote for?"

The undisputed winner was Chez Geek 3: Block Party because, though the supplements are otherwise very similar, Block Party has that cool box.

So, Chez Geek fans - if you're going to vote for one or the other, don't flip a coin; vote for Block Party. And if you're not going to vote for either one, blessings on you anyway, because the competition is cool, too. And it IS an honor to be nominated, and we're quite gleeful that BOTH Chez Geek supplements got nominated.

-- Steve Jackson

Warehouse 23 News: Mountains Named for the Bones of a Dwarven God

Further Adventures in the Northern Wilderness takes you to a wilderness where the conflicts of human and wolfen are forgotten, the mountains known as the "Bones of Belimar," that divide the Great Northern Wilderness and the Eastern Territory. Written for Palladium Fantasy, it includes adventures, random encounter tables, and adventure ideas.

May 15, 2002: Origins Awards Voting Live And Online!

The public voting stage of the 2001 Origins Awards has begun. Just register and vote. Some categories -- the graphics awards and the Hall of Fame -- can only be voted on by members of the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design. But the rest are open to the public. So go vote, already.

And while we wouldn't presume to tell you who or what to vote for (who, us?), we would be remiss if we didn't mention these fine SJ Games products on the ballot:

Best Game Accessory
Floor Plans 3 -- Underground Lab
Designers: Heather Oliver, Zach Howard, Tom Biondolillo, Phillip Reed, and Alexander Fernandez

Best Professional Game Periodical
Editor: Steven Marsh

Best Game-Related Short Work
Aces and Eights (in GURPS Deadlands Dime Novel 1: Aces and Eights)
Author: Micah T.J. Jackson

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniature
Ogrethulhu Mk V
Sculptor: Richard Kerr

Best Abstract Board Game
Designer: Phillip Reed
Designer: Francis K. Lalumiere

Best Card Game Expansion or Supplement
Chez Geek 2: Slack Attack
Designer: Alain H. Dawson
Chez Geek 3: Block Party
Designer: Alain H. Dawson

Best Traditional Card Game
Designer: Steve Jackson

Best Illustration
GURPS Steam-Tech cover
Artist: Alex Fernandez

Game of the Year
Designer: Phillip Reed
Designer: Steve Jackson
Designer: Francis K. Lalumiere

Also, several people with strong SJ Games connections have been nominated for the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design Hall of Fame:

Aaron Allston
Robin D. Laws
Loren Wiseman

Congratulations to all our nominees!

Warehouse 23 News: The Board Game of Cthulhoid Domination

In Cults Across America, you'll take charge of an insanity-inducing faction of frothing fanatics. You'll command cultists, high priests, tanks, nuclear reactors, the national guard, the Pope, the President, and maybe even Cthulhu himself. And if that isn't enough, make your own with the Cults Across America Blank Cards.

May 14, 2002: Robin, You've Got A Hit

So I'm looking at the current issue of Comics & Games Retailer, which is the least imperfect source I know of for market-share information. They collect info by polling a large number of retailers.

So this month GURPS is in fourth place for unit sales among RPGs. Not amazing. Sometimes it's fifth, sometimes third; once this year it was (woo hoo!) second.

And SJ Games is ranked fifth among companies, overall. Again, no surprises. Sometimes we're higher; very rarely we're lower. WOTC and White Wolf always beat us; Palladium sometimes does; others come and go.

But in 17th place among RPGs was . . . Robin's Laws of Good Game Mastering. Beating out, among other things, BESM and Mage.

Skipping for a moment the question of why so many retailers seem to assume that Robin's Laws is a game . . .

Way to go, Robin!
-- Steve Jackson

Warehouse 23 News: You've Got Three Days to Raise Some Hell

A low-level Penumbra adventure, Three Days to Kill pits you and your team against bandits who've made a dark deal.

May 13, 2002: The Goats In The Machine

We don't buy much online advertising, but we made an exception for Goats. Seemed like a perfect audience for Chez Geek, so . . . what the heck. So if you like Chez Geek and have never visited Goats . . . give it a try.
-- Steve Jackson

Warehouse 23 News: More Goodies for the GM

Game Master's Utilities Volume 5 - Electronic is a system independent collection of resources for Game Masters, including encounters, maps, locations, clipart, and much more.

May 12, 2002: Little Lego You

Okay, for my fellow Lego geeks out there . . . Picture Yourself In Plastic.

Warehouse 23 News: The Ars Magica Fanzine

An independent fanzine for Ars Magica, Mythic Perspectives provides additional background information, character types, and plot seeds.

May 11, 2002: New Playtests

Subscribers to Pyramid can dive into FOUR new playtests:

Warehouse 23 News: The Thirst for Knowledge

Turn lead into gold, create new magical items, and master your craft with Alchemy & Herbalists, the new d20 supplement from Bastion Press.

May 10, 2002: Eine Klein Bottle Music

Illuminated Site of the Week: Acme Klein Bottle has real Klein bottles for sale. How can they offer these fantastic prices? Volume, volume, volume.

-- Suggested by Mike Barnes

Warehouse 23 News: The Over the Edge Fanzine

The periodic supplement of the best information on all things Al Amarjan returns! The fourth issue of EdgeWork, has more of the most cutting edge information about the surreal, dangerous, and down-right weird setting for the critically-acclaimed game.

May 9, 2002: Cleverly Disguised Ad

Gnomic opening statement.

Witty follow-up line.

Semi-careful segue to a mention of one of our products.

Reminder that you really should buy it at your local retailer, but if you have no such creature, well, Warehouse 23 will take your money.

Another witty follow-up line.

Obligatory "fnord."

-- Signature Of A Staff Member

Warehouse 23 News: Your Guide To the Megaverse

A vehicle to numerous Palladium role-playing worlds, The Rifter #18 is now available.

May 7, 2002: Reflec Is Real!

Or at least it's going to be. GURPS Traveller fans will remember "reflec armor," which is flexible like cloth but can bounce a laser beam. Well, MIT is close to doing it for real . . .

Warehouse 23 News: New in town?

A wealth of vibrantly populated places to use in your d20 fantasy campaign, Seven Cities provides communities chock full of politics and intrigue, love and hate, life and death.

May 7, 2002: Steve And Steve Are Famous In Germany

Robin Laws advises us that his book was a big hit at the convention he recently attended in Hanover, Germany. He also passes on a great convention story . . .

"During a Q&A we were talking about the importance of designer name recognition in selling books. One of the attendees spoke about being on a streetcar and overhearing two teenage boys talk about teenage boy stuff - soccer, girls, video games. Then they started talking about RPGs. One mentioned this really great game called GURPS.

"It was designed by these two American guys - Steve and Jackson!"

Warehouse 23 News: Where Decipher Has Never Gone Before

Decipher's first roleplaying title, the Star Trek Player's Guide, is both a famous property and a pretty book. It is a 256-page full-color hard back that covers the first four series (sorry, Enterprise fans; you'll have to wait for a supplement).

May 6, 2002: So That's How They Do It...

We like Google. And, until now, we assumed that they used some conventional metric (like global well-connectedness) for ranking their search results. Turns out we were wrong...

-- Mark Cogan

May 5, 2002: The Way Of The Exploding Stick

Okay, the stick-man kung fu movie is now a game. Click that link, grasshopper.

May 4, 2002: Free Comic Book Day!

Yes, you read that right. Comic book publishers and comic book shops have teamed up so that today -- the day after the premiere of the Spider-Man movie -- is Free Comic Book Day. Special reprint comics and even a brand-new Star Wars story have been produced just for this event.

So show up today to your local participating comic book shop and get your free loot. Bring friends; bring relatives; bring friends' relatives!

-- Steven Marsh

Warehouse 23 News: Non-stop Action, Intrigue, and Betrayal

With new alien races, over 20 villains, a secret superpowered underground, and an entire planetary system to explore, Rifts Skraypers provides the tools you need to save not one, but several worlds.

May 3, 2002: An Anniversary And A Big Announcement

Warehouse 23 is three years old! It's hard to believe we carried only three companies when we first opened: Steve Jackson Games, British Isles Traveller Support (BITS), and Atlas Games. Since then, we've grown to include 79 different companies, but our "charter members" are still very important to us. The quality and popularity of Atlas Games' products has made it consistently one of our top-selling companies; we've carried all of their English language products, and Penumbra was the first d20 line we stocked.

We are, therefore, extremely pleased to announce that Atlas has contracted Warehouse 23 to handle their mail order fulfillment. If you've used Warehouse 23 before, you'll notice very little difference: a handful more products will be offered and fewer items will be "on order." If you've ordered from Atlas Games in the past, you'll still be able to browse and select items on their website, but you'll check out using the Warehouse 23 shopping cart and we'll ship the games to you.

This will be good for everybody! Warehouse 23 customers will enjoy better access to Atlas Games products; Atlas Games customers benefit from Warehouse 23's experience, services, and product selection; and the folks at Atlas Games get to put more of their time and energy into their wonderful products.

-- Michelle

May 2, 2002: Look At The Rat And Smile

Scientists have successfully demonstrated what the media is calling "remote control" of rats' movement. This is not literal control of the rats' muscles; the rats' pleasure centers are remotely stimulated, and this makes it possible to train the rats to respond to other remote instructions. So it's really remote command rather than control . . . but with the rat carrying a small wireless camera, it still offers some very interesting potential applications for exploration, rescue in collapsed buildings, and candid photographs of Hollywood personalities.

See the CNN story.

-- Steve Jackson

Warehouse 23 News: Tabletop Combat in a Frozen World

A unique concept in tabletop gaming, Diceland: Deep White Sea is a quick and physical combat game using colorful paper dice.

May 1, 2002: Now Shipping!

The following products are now shipping, and should be available from your friendly local gaming store very soon:

GURPS Cliffhangers 2/e
Adventure on the crumbling brink of disaster! This is the world of the dauntless heroes of the "pulp" adventure tales. Visit the exotic trouble-spots of a world in peril, and travel the trackless wastes of unexplored continents!

GURPS Cliffhangers includes background material on the world of 1925-1939; new hazards to be faced by the intrepid adventurer; suggestions for campaigns and adventures, and adapting the cliffhanging style to other milieus . . . and, of course, a guide to the style, rhetoric, and fiendish cunning of pulp-era villainy.

128 pages. Stock #6027, ISBN 1-55634-589-5. $22.95.

Car Wars Division 15 Set 1 - Hotshot vs. Piranha
This is the first of three Division 15 starter sets. Each one gives you rules, full-color 2-sided counters, a turning key, and two evenly matched car designs. Get one and play; get all three for a high-powered free-for-all!

The Hotshot is a luxury car that spits fire in all directions, with twin machine guns to the front, twin flamethrowers to the rear, and another FT on each side. The classic Piranha is a carload of trouble, with three front machine guns, plus a rocket launcher . . . and three gunnersm to fire them all at once.

16 pages with full-color counters. Stock #40-1201, ISBN 1-55634-583-6. $5.95.

Car Wars Division 15 Set 2 - Lightstrike vs. Banshee
This is the second of three Division 15 starter sets. Each one gives you rules, full-color 2-sided counters, a turning key, and two evenly matched car designs. Get one and play; get all three for a high-powered free-for-all!

The Lightstrike is a heavily armored compact that mounts a single computer-targeted laser. The screaming Banshee is a mid-size that shatters its foes with a sonic cannon!

16 pages with full-color counters. Stock #40-1202, ISBN 1-55634-584-4. $5.95.

Car Wars Division 15 Set 3 - Vindicator vs. Dragon
This is the third of three Division 15 starter sets. Each one gives you rules, full-color 2-sided counters, a turning key, and two evenly matched car designs. Get one and play; get all three for a high-powered free-for-all!

The Vindicator features a turreted recoilless rifle with an extra magazine, a machine-gun to the front, a minedropper, and a gunner . . . and over 200 points of armor! The deadly Dragon breathes fire with twin front-mounted heavy flamethrowers . . . and its tail carriess a deadly sting, with a heavy rocket and a micro-missile launcher.

16 pages with full-color counters. Stock #40-1203, ISBN 1-55634-585-2. $5.95.

Warehouse 23 News: Top 10 for April

Check out Warehouse 23's best selling items for April on the Warehouse 23 Top 10 page.

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