William H. Stoddard, with Peter dell’Orto, Dan Howard, and Matt Riggsby, GURPS Fourth Edition Low-Tech. Steve Jackson Games: Austin, TX. Flash forward to and GURPS 4th edition. GURPS High-Tech now doesn’t cover TL4, so GURPS Low-Tech has a bigger hole to fill. Introduction. In late , Steve Jackson Games completed their series of core tech books for 4th edition GURPS with the new, second edition.

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Its a hard time for small publishers.

On November the 12th Steve Jackson Games released its annual Report to the Stakeholders and announced that los a year with their second highest revenues ever they could not afford to print their fully typeset GURPS Discworld. Apparently they have a much harder time selling their roleplaying games than their card and board games. I think that is a shame, because many of their books would be valuable outside the small number of people who play games with the GURPS rules.

SinceGURPS has eked out a place in the market for roleplaying games as the system which on one hand makes the relationship between game mechanics and events in the real world clear, and on the other hand offers broadly reasonable results when ordinary people try to do ordinary things. In this case, that produced a book with four authors, nineteen other contributors, and a legendary playtest full of enthusiastic discussions of low-tech contraception a much neglected detail in adventure fiction!

Sprague de Camp settings Planet Krishna and the Hyborian Age back when de Camp was publishing Conan pastiches and fanzinesbecause GURPS lends itself to the kind of fantasy where the heroes worry edotion money and escape danger by knowing a technical trick which their enemies do not. Low-Tech attempts to organize tehc list all of the tools and technologies invented before and interesting to characters in 4thh about adventurers, mystics, technicians, or inventors.


Given limited space and a house style which forbids citing sources, the authors made some gech wise choices about what to concentrate on. Low-Tech focuses on explaining what a particular item does, and how it compares to alternatives.

There are many books and articles which give a history of pow from prehistoric wooden cords-and-bolts to the first combination locks; this book gives a very concise overview of each type, but kow tries to answer how difficult each of these types is to pick or break, and how the would-be thief goes about those tasks.

Every item has a cost arbitrarya weight usually at least estimated on the back of an envelopeand some kind of game mechanic attached.

Some thoughts on “GURPS Fourth Edition Low-Tech”

The sidebar from a previous edition which meticulously listed kJ per pound for various fuels without ever explaining what a kJ of fuel could do is mercifully absent. Low-Tech also focuses on objects which are likely to be used by important characters in an adventure tevh. This includes firearms and jollyboats, but also timekeepers, writing equipment, surgical instruments, and ritual paraphernalia.

For gamers and storytellers, this makes it a valuable compliment to books which focus on the technologies of everyday life or on things which survive well in the ground.

GURPS Fourth Edition: Low-Tech

A few tools which were obscure in our world, like beekeeping suits and asbestos clothing, can be disproportionately significant in games and stories. The short entries for each item inspire visions of interesting scenes in a story or editioh game. A brief section at the beginning summarizes foundational technologies, from fibres to pottery to the seven classical metals, and reminds readers of some of the ways in which a preindustrial editio is different from a modern one.

This book also does its best to describe the world history of technology, and not just Europe and perhaps East Asia. So it gives space to South East Asian lantaka cannons, Byzantine and Islamic fire-siphons, Chinese miniature clepsydras, and Inuit igloos as well as to the usual plate armour, movable type, battle wagons, and yurts.


In short, GURPS Fourth Edition Low-Tech has something to offer anyone interested in the preindustrial world, whether roleplaying gamers, historical novelists, or fans of adventure fiction.

Warehouse 23 – GURPS Low-Tech Companion 3: Daily Life and Economics

And its certainly the most fun and thoughtful book of technology for a roleplaying game which I have read. A younger and richer self was an uncredited playtester on this volume. December 23, at 3: Back in the day, I played Gurps a couple of times. The problem I had with it, was that it seemed to take hours to resolve battles that were only supposed to be taking 4ht few minutes.

Much too short of a turn sequence. Brings back a lot of memories. December 23, at 4: Quite a few games seem to have the reverse problem, where they underestimate what people can do in a few seconds with edged weapons or modern firearms.

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Warehouse 23 – GURPS Fourth Edition: Low-Tech

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Learn how your comment data is processed. I recall really liking their martial arts supplement though. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Tecj your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Email required Address never made public.