…Gaming shelf. Heh. Try gaming bookcases: between my gaming books and my wife’s, the living room is a homage to the 20′ by 20′ room with an orc and a chest.
Anyway, just got my copy of GURPS Low-Tech, thus bringing me fully up to date on the actual print runs of 4th ed. Really, at some point I should run a game in this system (the problem is that I can think in 3rd ed, but not quite in 4th ed)…
The Difference Engine was one of the first alt-history/steampunk books that I ever read; and it pretty much gave me a permanent taste for both. I suspect that the maps help: I love alternate history maps.
I’ll be happy when November hits and I don’t feel quite the same urgency about political blogging, either. Alas, this is the busy season for that sort of thing; although I actually had a GURPS thought for the first time in months the other day*…
How long has the GURPS community waited for GURPS Vorkosigan Saga? Let me put it this way: the editor started off his acknowledgment by apologizing for the delay. This roleplaying game sourcebook was in production for five years. There were probably bets made on when, if ever, this book would ever see the light of day. The only reason why all of this didn’t end in a frontal assault on Steve Jackson Games is that Bujold fans tend to be kind-hearted souls without access to kinetic energy weapons.
…I kid. This book was a bit of a Jonah; everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong, and after a certain point you have to accept that sometimes that just happens. And it’s nice to have a copy in hand. But man, was this a wait.
One of the funniest things that was in the original GURPS Autoduel was its suggestion that the dystopian future of that world’s 2020s would portray the 1980s as being idyllic (in much the same way that we romanticize both the 1950s and the 1890s). It’s still funny (nobody gets near-future disaster scenarios wrong like roleplaying games do*), but not because it isn’t increasing true that we do.
*Which is not the games’ fault, really: if you’re playing in a near-future game, you want it to be different than the current time period, right? That means “exciting,” and exciting means that something’s probably blown up somewhere. Or lots of somethings. Whatever the current worry is, really.
Steve Jackson Games is saying precisely that, and it’d be nice to see. Oh, they’re calling it “The Vorkosigan Saga Sourcebook and RPG,” but that’s so that people who are Lois McMasters Bujold fans first and roleplaying gamers… pretty much not at all… will buy the blessed thing.
If you are not a Bujold fan, or a Vorkosigan series fan, then I suggest that you rectify this error at your earliest possible opportunity. It’s good space opera in general, but what elevates it to something special would have to be some of the characters: they’re some of the best-crafted that you’ll ever encounter in science fiction, and Bujold herself has a refreshing willingness to treat her created societies on their own terms, and not necessarily ours. Plus, she hates idiot plots*. That’s worth something right there.
*Defined as “any plot narrative that can only work if nobody ever takes five minutes to ask three or four simple, straightforward questions of anybody else.” Distressingly common.