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April 30, 1999: Our Wondrous New Catalog: Warehouse 23

You can now hit to see our NEW online catalog . . . the fruit of months of programming time from webmaster Kira, and a couple of weeks of arduous text input from Reese. This version is new, improved and very featureful.

To start off with, it carries not just our games, but others. Right now it includes the BITS and Atlas Games lines. We plan to add other publishers soon. Who? That would be telling. Watch this space . . .

Other user-friendly features include a shopping cart and a very sophisticated search routine . . . to let you find exactly what you're interested in.

And we won't limit ourselves to games. Warehouse 23 is going to become a source of neat geek toys as we find 'em and like 'em.

The catalog also runs on a secure server incorporating the CyberCash system. This means that you can give us a credit card number, and not only is it a secure transaction, but our staff doesn't have to see it and retype it. HUGE time savings, letting us process orders even faster.

Other new features are on the way, including some neat coding that will let us make time-limited or quantity-limited special offers. When that's running, I shall brag again.

Now, like any new program, this catalog may have some bugs. If you see a programming glitch, please report it to webmaster Jackie Hamilton at If you see a content problem, please report it to Retail Sales Manager Reese Harrell at

This catalog represents a lot of work from a lot of people, and we think it will let us provide much better service to those of you who like getting your games by mail. Let us know.
-- Steve Jackson

April 29, 1999: Now In Playtest

GURPS Vehicles Companion and GURPS Alternate Earths 2 are now in playtest. Pyramid subscribers can access the playtest files here. And if you're not already a subscriber, subscribe today!

April 28, 1999: Gary Gygax Chat Today!

Pyramid subscribers will be able to chat with Gary Gygax on the Pyramid chat tonight at 7pm CDT. If you're not already a subscriber and want to participate, it's not too late; you can subscribe now and, if you pay by credit card, your subscription will be activated immediately. Don't miss out!

April 27, 1999: Now Shipping

These books shipped from SJ Games last week, and should be arriving in a store near you Real Soon Now...

Liber Servitorum: The Book of Servitors (for In Nomine)
The Good, the Bad and the Innocent . . .

There are many fighters in the War between Heaven and Hell. There are also mortals who are unaware of the battles that rage about them - but this might change at any moment.

The Liber Servitorum contains over 100 angels, demons, ethereal spirits and humans, completely described with both character stats and story backgrounds, for use with the In Nomine system. Game-Masters can use them as NPCs, or give them to players for a quick start.

Also included are tips and guidelines for getting and maintaining Roles and for creating and controlling Servants.

Stock #3314, ISBN 1-55634-369-8. $19.95.

GURPS Special Ops (Second Edition)
There is a violent world just on the edge of war - the world of special operations. Elite forces penetrate enemy lines to strike critical targets. Teams of experts turn civilians into organized guerrilla armies. A strike team rushes a hijacked airliner to free hostages.

You'll brief national leaders on the latest crisis; scheme and sweat to ram a workable plan through the entanglements of bureaucracy; face a ruthless foe at point-blank range with no margin for error. Your life, the lives of others, the interests of your homeland . . . all depend on your skills, courage and judgment.

GURPS Special Ops puts you into this world. All the violent action - and all the planning, organization and coordination necessary to bring off an operation successfully - are in your hands.

GURPS Special Ops has been out of print for several years. This completely revised edition covers the new nations and alignments of the post-Soviet era, and updates the rules for creating special-ops soldiers with the new GURPS template system.

Stock #6029, ISBN 1-55634-366-3. $19.95.

GURPS Black Ops (reprint)
Alien invaders, things slithering in sewers and alleys by night, dark plots by paranormal cabals -- all these and more lurk in society's shadow. To them, we are nothing more than food or slaves. If the world knew, it would go mad.

Our only defense is the Company, which takes conspiracy from theory to practice. As one of its recruits, you'll endure five years at the hellish Academy, where only the best of the best graduate and failing grades become tombstone inscriptions. The survivors become killers as dangerous as their prey, sworn to keep the secrets that would destroy society.

Odds are you'll die in style. Your job is to take as many of them with you as you can.

Black Ops takes cinematic roleplaying to the edge and over the top! Out of print since August 1998, this is another "by popular demand" reprint.

Stock #6081, ISBN 1-55634-366-3. $19.95.

GURPS Discworld (reprint)

-- Keith Johnson

April 26, 1999: Marcon In Columbus

Not next weekend, but the weekend after, I'll be going to Marcon in Columbus, Ohio, as their Gaming GoH. This is a big SF con . . . I was there once, years ago, and had a great time. A lot of our MIBs will be there, running all kinds of games . . . I will be demonstrating at least one (possible) future game, showing off new releases, and pushing Lego pirate ships around the floor.

I also note that they have Dr. Demento as a special guest. All right, I have to go check him out . . .
-- Steve Jackson

April 25, 1999: Are You Crazy Or Something?

Don't just sit around wondering. Take this quick Sanity Test and get an outside opinion. If you are a regular Daily Illuminator reader, give yourself a bonus . . . whatever feels right . . .

(Note that some of our testers reported getting a "Forbidden" result when they clicked the evaluation button after answering the questions. That may be very significant.)
-- Steve Jackson

April 24, 1999: Lots and Lots of Lite

Today we'll send GURPS Lite to the printer for its first real press run . . . 30,000 copies. Until now, Lite has existed only as a PDF file and the printouts that gamers made from it (plus, of course, the last 32 pages of GURPS Discworld).

A few thousand copies will be packaged with the GURPS GM Screen. The rest will be distributed to conventions, retailers, and to our MIBs, who will get them to more conventions and retailers.

That's a lot of copies. In fact, it's more than we had intended to print, but we think there are that many people out there who can use them. One thing that made the difference: the very enthusiastic bidding to become one of the characters in GURPS Rogues (see the auction page for details). That unexpected $1,000-plus will buy a lot of copies and do a lot to promote GURPS . . . so thanks, guys!
-- Steve Jackson

April 23, 1999: Illuminated Site of the Week: Cthulhu, Where Are You?

Illuminated Site of the Week: Jinkies! It's a steel-cage deathmatch between the Cthulhu Mythos and Scooby-Doo and the gang! Cthulhu, Where Are You? transplants the familiar faces of the Hanna-Barbera canine detective and his buds into Chaosium's Mythos collectible card game.

I know who my money's on; the maddening cry of "Tekeli-li!" isn't so fearsome when it's revealed to be Mr. McPheeny, the greedy farmhand. Fred, Shaggy and Velma are on the case, armed with Scooby-Snacks and the trusty Mystery Machine . . . Herbert West has met his campy match. Zoinks!

-- Suggested by Lynette Cowper

April 22, 1999: Alex Fernandez Joins SJ Games

Our new production artist comes to us from San Marcos, Texas. In addition to his computer and hand layout skills, he is a proficient artist. Some of his illustrations are included in the upcoming In Nomine book, the Corporeal Player's Guide. Alex will begin work on the third of May, and we look forward to having him aboard.
-- Alain Dawson

April 21, 1999: GURPS Who's Who 2 -- Submissions Needed

Work on GURPS Who's Who 2 -- our second volume of 52 historical characters in GURPS terms -- is now in progress, and as with volume 1, we need submissions. Rather than having a single author try to write and research the whole thing, we're taking contributions from GURPS fans across the net. The rewards aren't huge, but they do include the chance to get your name in print in a GURPS supplement, doubtless bringing you all the fame and satisfaction you've ever dreamed of . . .

Details of what we want can be found at

Please read that page and the formatting details and requirements linked to it carefully before submitting a character design; you won't get into the book otherwise.

April 20, 1999: Dino Digging in Australia

As promised, some pictures from my trip to the Inverloch fossil site in Victoria, Australia. All these photos are by Marion Anderson of Monash University, who was my host, guide and mentor on the dig!


(1) Looking down at the beach. The fossil-bearing layer at the Inverloch site is actually under water most of the time; you can only dig at low tide. The sky was incredibly blue; the sea was bluer than that. The paleo crowd had nearly complete possession of the beach; almost nobody else was around.


(2) Helping to shovel the sand out of the hole . . . every high tide, it fills up again. The actual "dig site" is very small.


(3) Look! I found . . . a rock.


(4) Sky, beach, rock . . . LOTS of rocks . . . and one very happy fossil hunter. We spent about five hours breaking rocks, and it went by in a flash. No, I didn't find a thing, personally, but the party collected more than 30 interesting bits. A very good trip! I'm ready to go again . . .
-- Steve Jackson

April 19, 1999: But Who Would Play It?

The nominations ballot for the Origins Awards is out. Okay, typos happen . . . but did White Wolf really publish an adventure called "Decent into Darkness"? The mind boggles . . .
-- Steve Jackson

April 18, 1999: In the Beginning . . .

Stefan Jones, when he alerted me to this Neal Stephenson rant, characterized it as a "great, steaming, meme-laden frontal lobe dump about Operating Systems, GUIs, Morlocks, popular culture, cars, Hole Hawg power drills, and why LINUX is like an Egyptian taxi ride."


It's a section from his new book, Cryptonomicon. Get it; you will have to download a compressed file from the site. Then block out some time to read it, and think about it, and take a deep breath or two.
-- Steve Jackson

April 17, 1999: More Horsepower

We recently bought a speedy new computer, an AMD K6-2 400MHz, which will soon become our new webserver. Our current machine (a P2) will be retiring to more mundane efforts, such as news, ftp, mailing lists, and lighter web traffic.

Of course, we haven't made the switch yet... but it'll happen soon. We have a new feature which will debut on the new box... stay tuned for details.
-- Kira

April 16, 1999: Knowledge is Power

Illuminated Site of the Week: And weird knowledge is weird power. The "Cool Fact of the Day" mailing list has almost 100,000 subscribers. It's just what the name implies: every day you get an e-mail with a Cool Fact. The nature and degree of coolness of your facts may vary, but it's always literate and generally pretty neat. If that sounds like your cup of tea, visit The Learning Kingdom web page to sign up. They also have lists for "Cool Word of the Day" and "Today in History."
-- Steve Jackson

April 15, 1999: Gary Gygax Comes to Pyramid Chat!

E. Gary Gygax, co-designer of Dungeons & Dragons, founder of TSR, member of the Adventure Gaming Hall of Fame, and all-around Gaming Legend, will be live on Pyramid Chat at 7pm CDT, Wednesday April 28. While the topic is "Gary Gygax on the RPG Today", he'll be glad to talk about the early days of TSR, his new Legendary Adventures roleplaying game, and anything else that comes up.

Only Pyramid subscribers can participate in Pyramid Chats, so sign up today!

April 14, 1999: What a Trip . . .

I'm back from Australia. I would have checked in yesterday, but I celebrated my return by coming down with a 24-hour flu bug. At least, I hope it was a 24-hour bug. I seem to be through the worst of it now.

The convention was neat; Australia is beautiful; the fossil dig was a great deal of fun; the snack foods on JAL are interesting.

More details, and photos, later. It's good to be home.
-- Steve Jackson

April 13, 1999: Discworld Hardbacks

We're about to release a limited run (2,000 copies) of GURPS Discworld in hardcover. Price is $34.95; you can order them through our online catalog, or from your local game store.

April 12, 1999: A criminal record

Now offered in our auction:

An illustration and sample character in the upcoming GURPS Rogues, based on the real-life buyer of the lot. Includes the original art and a signed copy of the book. The buyer must furnish us with "mug shots" for the illustration. We will also require a brief autobiography and a GURPS character sheet detailing the buyer in GURPS terms for the character (alternatively, the buyer can have up to three friends create character sheets for him and the author will use these instead). The buyer should expect to come out as an evil caricature of himself.

We have 3 identical lots for this. Visit the auction page to bid!

April 11, 1999: Armorcast Correction

It turns out that the "orange spot" in this image is actually a river section painted to look like blood, not the fluorescent crater.

Here's what the crater really looked like. (Thanks to Tim DuPertuis at Armorcast for pointing this out, and for sending us the crater picture!)

[bubbling crater]

April 10, 1999: In Nomine Survey

There are many directions that could be taken in the In Nomine books -- it's almost daunting! Here are a collection of "Wouldn't these be neat?" ideas generated through careful deliberation and off-the-cuff remarks, compiled into a survey form so that we can pick your brains. (Please ignore the subliminals.)

April 9, 1999: Report from Australia...

I have now eaten Vegemite. Actually, I liked it. I'm going to bring a jar home and see how it mixes with peanut butter. Tomorrow I will go dig for dinosaurs. I'll do my best to bring back some pictures, though they may very well not show anything more than several people staring intently at gray rocks . . .
-- Steve Jackson

April 8, 1999: July Releases!

Alien Races 2 for GURPS Traveller

The second book in the GURPS Traveller Alien Races series, Alien Races 2: Aslan and K’kree addresses the biology, home worlds, culture, and society of the fierce Aslan, the centaurian K’kree, and two minor species. It details their historical involvement with the Imperium, from first contact to present, and presents racial templates, rules for playing alien characters, and examples of unique technologies and ship designs.

144 pages. Suggested retail price $20.95. Stock number 6607. ISBN 1-55634-392-2

GURPS Warriors

Mighty barbarians hacking away with massive broadswords and battle-weary grunts with cordite-stung eyes come to life! GURPS Warriors utilizes the template system introduced by GURPS guru Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch in GURPS Wizards so you can get on with the game!

Inside you’ll find 29 warrior archetypes, along with templates and design advice allowing you to quickly and efficiently recruit your new warrior.

128 pages. Suggested retail price $19.95. Stock number 6085. ISBN 1-55634-393-0

GURPS Space, Third Edition

A classic becomes classier in this updating of the definitive guide to science-fiction roleplaying. Previous editions of GURPS Space offered a comprehensive set of tools to design your own starfaring campaigns, from space opera to hard science with any stop in between. Substantially revised and expanded, the Third Edition will: Upgrade the spaceship design and space combat systems; ensure that recent, popular science-fiction cinema and television settings will be easily simulated; and update the rules to conform with changes since the last edition brought about by GURPS Compendium I, Traveller, Ultra-Tech 2, and Vehicles.

144 pages. Suggested retail price $21.95. Stock number 6005. ISBN 1-55634-390-6

-- Gene Seabolt

April 7, 1999: John Kovalic Gets Sillier

John Kovalic, the perpetrator of both Dork Tower and Murphy's Rules for Pyramid, has added a new twist to his work. Three out of the past four Murphy's have been animated GIFs. The moving pictures take a bit longer to load . . . but we think they're worth it.

Not every future Murphy's will be animated, but when John has time and inspiration, it'll happen.

For those who aren't yet Pyramid subscribers: (1) Hey, why not? Click here to sign up. (2) Aww, what the heck, here's a sample.

April 6, 1999: Armorcast at GAMA

All kinds of neat STUFF was on display at GAMA. The miniatures people have an unfair advantage, though, because their goodies are so very visual. Here are three shots I took at the Armorcast table.

That bridge is actually made up of hundreds of tiny skulls . . . incredibly neat, and beautifully painted, too. I want one, but it would just remind me that Hot Lead isn't finished. (And I have no schedule to start working on it. So don't ask, okay? But things like this make me wistful.)

Just look at this cathedral. And there's a colored "stained glass" panel in the back.

An assortment of Neat Things. That orange spot at the top is a huge crater painted so well that it really seemed to glow. I wasn't the only one who thought, at first glance, that it was illuminated from below.
-- Steve Jackson

April 5, 1999: At The GAMA Show

I was very, very pleased with the GAMA show now that it's returned to Las Vegas; we'll certainly go back next year. Here's our booth setup. It looked very good; big thanks to Monica Stephens for design, planning and logistics, and to Gene Seabolt (that's him in the suit) and MIB Seth Kimmel for helping me set it up, man it and tear it down again. (And roses to Jill Lucas at FASA, for loaning us a roll of stretch-wrap so we could pack everything up, when our own roll walked away.)
-- Steve Jackson

April 4, 1999: World's Biggest Video Arcade?

Here are some photos I took at the Game Developers' Conference in San Jose. Everywhere you turn on the show floor, there's another gaudy booth full of video screens, inviting you to step up and blast away. (Yes, the first-person shooter still rules the computer game world.)

If this sounds like heaven on earth . . . it gets better. Many of the booths also give away CHOCOLATE.

It's good to be a geek.
-- Steve Jackson

April 3, 1999: The Secret Masters at Home


Ever wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes? Here is a a playtest session at Steve Jackson's house. From left to right: Jeremy Zauder, production assistant; Russell Godwin, print buyer; Loren Wiseman, art director and Traveller line editor; Megan Dawson, sister to our managing editor (yes, her eyes alway glow red like that); and Steve himself, lurking as usual.

We are trying out a new game, in which roommates (the players) try to coexist in an apartment, while getting enough slack to overcome the stress of having a bad job -- or no job at all. "Sleep" is one of the best activities, but watch out for the car alarm!

April 2, 1999: Lies, Damn Lies and Alien Statistics

Illuminated Site of the Week: The Statistics of Space Aliens page must be a ploy of the UFOs to convince us they don't exist. The author gives a statistical argument that we are currently alone in the visible universe. His Bayesian analysis seems to indicate that we have about a billion years before the next intelligent civilization appears in this galaxy.

But what if you've seen them?

-- Submitted by John Guin

April 1, 1999: CD-ROM Update

The FAQ about the long-awaited GURPS CD-ROM has been updated here.
-- Gene Seabolt

Past columns

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