Happy Birthday to Douglas Cole!
October 2, 2015
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Okay, y’all. It’s a special day: Douglas Cole’s birthday. And that means you need an excuse to buy yourself a present!
For old school tabletop fantasy roleplayers, let me suggest The Manor Issue #8 for its really cool article on grappling. If you are a GURPS gamer and haven’t gotten it, yet… let me point you to GURPS Martial Arts: Technical Grappling. Because, gosh darn it… at some point you want to be able to “distinguish between between bear and lion attacks.” (Admit it… you have to want to know that even if you don’t play GURPS!!!)
Who is Douglas Cole, you ask? Only the guy that wrote the Violent Resolution series, the best set of articles you’ll find from this year on the topic of game design and trends in role-playing games. I declared Doug to be the top gaming blogger of 2014 last year. Now he’s on my shortlist for best fan writer for 2015.
Go check out his stuff already!
Here’s what I said about his Pyramid articles ages ago:
Armor Revisted — “This is a fascinating article. On the one hand, it is a concise set of designer’s notes that explains the foundational premise of the GURPS firearms rules. On the other… it provides two additional dials that can be applied the the weapons and armor stats in the game. As a bonus, these are explained in such a way that it is clear when and why to do things in the alternate way. A big part of running a game depends on being able to visualize what is happening before the players begin to interact with it. This article explains what the core combat rules actually mean in such a way that a GM that understands this can better improvise his rulings on the fly. This is surprisingly interesting given the technical nature of the ideas.”
The Deadly Spring — “This will probably be the most infamous Pyramid article of all time. Good grief! You choose the materials and specifications… plug in to a variety of equations… and maybe you’ll have a bow at the end. I majored in math and I don’t understand half this stuff. (Physics departments produce an entirely different strain of nerdiness, I suppose.) This article makes the unplayable Striker look like a chump’s game. It includes some sample bows, but… for me… a generic bow is sufficient for most of what I want to do.”
The Last Gasp — “These rules are really, really neat. It’s kind of mind blowing that a game that has been developed for as long as GURPS has can be improved like this. Wow! Groups that can handle the extra bookkeeping will be richly repaid. (The one adventure that I designed myself for convention play would have benefited greatly from these rules. I didn’t want to kill the player characters within the allotted time, but some sort of penalty for wasting time and energy could have greatly increased the dramatic tension of the session. The long-term fatigue rules here are exactly the sort of thing I was struggling to improvise for myself.)”