Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Carpe Blogiem: My Top Ten Most Used Pyramid Articles



Mailanka posted a "Top Ten" list of the Pyramid articles he's used the most in his campaigns and I thought I'd do the same. Since I'm a fairly common contributor (about 28% percent of the time) I'm going to leave my own articles off the list. I've used the following items at least half a dozen times or more:


Perfect Defense (by Kelly Pedersen): Defensive Imbuements made a already useful system (Imbuements) even more useful. Since most of my campaigns makes use of imbuements in one way or another this article gives Power-Ups 1 a hecka of boost. 

The X-Terminators (by Sean Punch): This article helped GURPSfy a campaign I converted from another game system so well that I more or less used it as is. While I don't use it often anymore (I tend to draw from the Monster Hunters line now if I need such material) I did use it enough in the past that it makes it on this list by that alone. It remains perhaps one of my favorite Pyramid articles of all time.

On De Medici's Secret Service (by Matt Riggsby): Matt's done a lot of stuff, but of everything he's done in Pyramid I love this article the most. I've used it for time travelers, sailpunk knockoffs, and everything in between. It just opens up so many ideas and I really wish he'd do more like this. His "Il Lavoro Veloce" style is probably my favorite martial arts style printed to date.

The Mystic Knight (by Antoni Ten Monrós): Because of how often I use imbuement skills I find this article extremely useful. I rarely use DF, but when I do there is almost always a mystic knight in the party. It takes Pedersen's work and Dungeon Fantasy and marries them into a concept so useful that I'd be surprised if every Dungeon Fantasy GM doesn't make use of it.

Console Cowboys and Cyberspace Kung Fu (p. W. A. Frick): If you want to run any sort of cinematic computer hacking you need this issue of Pyramid. I seriously cannot say enough about it. It's wonderful and does everything from a Hackers-style contemporary game to a cyberpunk decker.

GURPS Fathom Five (by Roger Burton West): The only rules for underwater combat in the 4th edition GURPS cannon. I've referenced this article a lot in my campaigns. Mostly because my players lie throwing bad guys in the water and drowning them...well, technically that's only happened four times, but one of those times it was totally random. Anyways - super useful and something all GMs are probably going to reference at least once.

The Edge of Pscience (by Kenneth Peters): I'm a huge fan of Psionic Powers and even though I didn't get credit for it I did playtest that book and I've written a few articles on the subject myself. Peters did a wonderful job with his "psi catalysts" and I've flipped open this article more than once seeking inspiration for material for my own games and articles.

Hot Rides! (by David Pulver): I'm a huge fan of GURPS Vehicles from 3rd edition and I was one of those guys that made stuff just to make stuff. I did it because I a) liked to see things from the real world translate into the game world and b) liked to stretch my (limited) math skills. This article relieves half of that itch and I've used it to create all manner of vehicles for my players with my favorite so far was using it to create a Alternate Form for a tulpa who liked to look like a Duesenberg Model J. I created the GURPS stats using the article and then figured out what its "racial template" would look like using those stats. I reference this article at least two or three times per campaign - sometimes more.

Fortunately, I Saw This Coming  (by Jason “PK” Levine): You ever come across a idea in gaming that simple, elegant, and brilliant? It's rare, but it does happen. PK's rules for Foresight are all that and more. I instantly applied article to all of my campaigns - where else can you find Leverage-style "swaps" in GURPS? If you run a remotely cinematic game I highly suggest you pick this issue up - you will not be disappointed.

More Power to Dungeon Warriors (by Peter Dell'Orto and Sean Punch): As I previously said I don't often run Dungeon Fantasy, but I do cannibalize it quite a bit. This article was full of so much awesome I didn't know what to do with half of it right away. It's almost a mini-supplement in itself for making hand to hand fighters.


Picking Over the Bones
Honorable mentions include Takedown Sequences and Dodge This! both by Douglas Cole as well as
Green Power by Michele Armellini. I use Technical Grappling quite a bit and the first article is highly useful for illustrating points to players. I wish Doug's [FNORD] was out because I use the hell out of that thing. It's his greatest Pyramid offering to date and I can't wait till it sees print. Michele's Green Power is a quick catalogue of nature-powers that are just darned useful when designing monsters. A Little Bit Psychic by Sean Punch looks highly promising as does The Qanat Pirates of Old Than by Matt Riggsby, and a couple dozen more articles that have come and are earmarked to be used with another campaign that I'm not currently running. Overall, I find Pyramid to be more than a place I can get my own articles published - it's a place where the cup of GURPS overfloweth and all are welcome to drink from it. It's the source of ideas that are too short to be full monographes, but are just too good to remain obscure. And thanks to the heroic efforts of Steven Marsh, Nikki Vrtis, Jason "PK" Levine, and Sean Punch we get new material for our game system on a monthly basis - not many RPGs get to claim that.

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