December 28, 2011: A Few Of My Favorite (e23) Things
Yesterday, the inimitable GURPS Line Editor Sean "Kromm" Punch filled you in on the overview of what came out for GURPS in 2011. I'm going to "zoom in" a bit and discuss a few releases I found particularly intriguing this year.
One aspect of e23 I love is that we're able to release more "experimental" items -- ideas that would have been difficult or impossible in the print-only era. For example, GURPS Reign of Steel: Will to Live updated the classic GURPS Reign of Steel setting to GURPS Fourth Edition stats. Although we'd done a Fourth Edition update previously for the Transhuman Space line (see Transhuman Space: Changing Times), this marked the first time we've done an update supplement on a standalone book. Reign of Steel: Will to Live has sold quite well so far -- not surprising, given how cool giant robots are. However, what I found surprising is how much Will to Live goosed the sales of GURPS Classic: Reign of Steel on e23. The month that Will to Live was released, we sold more copies of the original Reign of Steel than in any previous month. Clearly fans "got" the idea that if they bought the original Reign of Steel and the Will to Live add-on, they'd have a complete ready-to-use setting -- and they were hungry to get both! These conversion supplements are tricky to get right, and we're not sure we're ready to tackle another one quite yet, but we're pleased with how this one turned out.
In 2011, we've really tried to take steps toward improving the quality of the art in our e23 releases. The best example is GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 1. Each creature comes with a new illustration, making it perfect to inspire the GM or set the mood for players. If you haven't already, check out the Flickr set of illos to see what we mean. Then pick up the full supplement for info on gladiator apes, void brutes, dinomen, and more!
The entire Transhuman Space line got a lot of love over 2011. What makes these new releases noteworthy to me is that they're also useful for just about any near-future RPG (or even more far-flung fare). Transhuman Mysteries (written by fan-favorite William H. Stoddard) offers amazing insight into the future of crime and crimestoppers, while Cities on the Edge addresses all manner of futuristic urban issues. If you're a science-fiction gamer and haven't looked into how fun these can be, consider this to be your secret initiation handshake. (And I probably don't need to plug Martial Arts 2100, since kicking butt will be even cooler in the future than it is now . . .)
Of course, like any parent, I can't pick "favorites" among my e23 children. What did you like most from 2011? Feel free to join the discussion on our forums!
-- Steven Marsh
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