August 9, 2017: The Discworld Roleplaying Game: Moving Along
The Discworld Roleplaying Game has been out for half a year now, and the recent release of the PDF version offers an excuse to add a few notes about the book. To start with, anyone still wondering what's inside might like to read some of the (at least) four, gratifyingly positive, reviews published online:
Between the compilation of the book – and especially its bibliography – and its actual appearance, the corpus of Discworld literature expanded a little. Sadly, we gained only one more adult novel, Raising Steam, before the tragic death of the creator of the Disc himself – but that novel added a whole new set of options for games by moving the Disc into its very own Steam Age. I'm personally obliged to point out here that steam power offers a whole load of possibilities to roleplaying games; I can also say from personal experience of running convention demo games that steam trains offer lots of options for the GM, by making it easy to move characters around significant parts of the Disc quickly and conveniently. Also, that novel inspired the publication of another bit of Discworld ephemera, Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook, which describes various locations along those railway tracks – some of them replete with possible scenario hooks.
Perhaps even more broadly useful to Discworld gamers, though, is the appearance of The Compleat Discworld Atlas, which expands on the already invaluable Discworld Mapp (the way a frog expands on a tadpole). GMs skimming through the book, and finding countless notes on previously undocumented areas of the Disc, might even miss the actual point of the exercise - the huge and gorgeous douple-sided map of the whole Disc, folded up and tucked in the sleeve at the back, complete with supplementary thumbnail maps covering things like climate and magic levels.
And last, some seriously game-specific stuff: I've done my best to add a few extra post-publication notes to the book - initially on the Steve Jackson Games discussion boards, but for convenience, I've also collated them as PDFs. Mostly, this is material that was squeezed out of the book itself: more Occupational Templates, more example spells, and full stats for more characters from the books, along with a look "Under the Bonnet" at how these rules were derived from the full GURPS ruleset and hence how the two versions relate. But in tribute to the next big GURPS launch, I also brewed up "Discworld, Dungeonworld" – for using the Disc as "The World" in GURPS Dungeon Fantasy games. Oh, and readers who use GURPS Character Assistant might like to know that we now have a GCA version of the Discworld character sheet (which even calculates Magic Points for you when necessary); I've worked up a full Discworld data file for GCA.
-- Phil Masters
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