Book Review: GURPS High-Tech: Adventure Guns


Hans-Christian Vortisch is perhaps one of my favorite role-playing game authors and I think, one of the most underrated. The sheer amount of knowledge the man knows on things that go boom and other martial topics is…well, ridiculous. First, if you don’t know who I’m talking about, go over to +Douglas Cole‘s Fire Squad interview with him in it. Done? Excellent. Onto Adventure Guns. I got got playtest this book, but like most of the playtesters, I didn’t get a credit. The playtest was kind of dead. I don’t know why for the others, but in my case it was two reasons: 1) the manuscript was extremely well-written and researched – I couldn’t find anything wrong within the scope of my knowledge and my best friend’s (an admitted “gun bunny”) knowledge. I instantly put to use half a dozen of the listed weapons in my campaign and tried to see if anything nuts happened. It didn’t. 2) I was nowhere near as versed in GURPS style and format as I am now (I doubt I would have found anything wonky anyways, Hans is extremely precise). The book itself is incredibly useful for both “pulp” and “wild west” games and features all manner of interesting weapons and bits of history. It’s only flaw, and the flaw of all gear/weapon catalogs is that it is repetitive at some points. Still, Hans manages to make even repetition entertaining as he lays out where you can see such weapons in history, fiction, and cinema – something he does quite well (check out his “Famous Wild West Gunfights” – you won’t be sorry). If you’re running a game that feature TL5 to early TL6 tech that also has firearms, you need this book. If you’re a gun enthusiast, you need this book. If you are running a game that has firearms period, you need this book. Overall, it gets 4.5 out of 5 pennies, despite the slightly repetitive nature of its text, which again, is something that all gear/weapon catalogs suffer and is not unique to this work. I personally would give it a full 5 pennies, but I am a gun enthusiast, so that colors my objectivity a bit.

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