Daily Illuminator

August 22, 2011: Alternate, Current

Pyramid 3-34 Alternate GURPS

At the time of the "war of currents" between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, Edison proved to be a key figure in the invention of the electric chair. Edison hoped to spread the idea that alternating current was more dangerous than his own direct-current method of providing power.

This month's Pyramid is devoted to "Alternate GURPS." By way of a segue, I note that there is no direct evidence that the alternate power contained in this issue is more dangerous than the material found in a regular issue of that fine publication. We decry as preposterous the rumors that David Pulver's article "Alternate Spaceships" -- with extensive alternative systems, system tweaks, and design features for the GURPS Spaceships line -- poses too great a hazard to human life. Authorities have conclusively cleared most of the deaths attributed to that feature.

We also view as slander the implications that players need to be particularly careful before handling the new grappling rules, options for revising armor, or tweaks to customizing combat contained therein. Normal precautions will prove effective against the awe-inspiring possibilities these articles open for GURPS enthusiasts -- even the one that calls for using a deck of index cards in lieu of dice. Plus, while it is true that there are optional rules for better handling of very small characters or very large explosions, we urge everyone to use those alternate choices responsibly. We don't need another "leprechaun inferno" incident making headlines.

Remember: This electronic issue is not to be read in the bath, nor should it be taken orally. Pyramid #3/34: Alternate GURPS is seriously fun, and it should be treated accordingly. Ask your doctor if a subscription is right for you.

-- Steven Marsh

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