December 31, 2001: I Don't Think We're Ready For This One
What's the Afghan idea of a good game? Sort of like a cross between polo and a street fight, with a headless goat instead of a ball. I don't think we'll be seeing it at Origins any time soon, more's the pity. Do you suppose the Salt Lake City Olympic committee would . . . naaaah.
-- Steve Jackson
Published by Kenzer & Co., Knights of the Dinner Table, Issue 62 is now available.
December 30, 2001: Weeeeee!
I have no excuse for pointing you to this, except that it cracks me up. It has had a similar effect on enough of my friends that . . . well, I think this may be a digital version of booze. It makes you silly, and I really suspect it kills brain cells.
Content warning: Contains the word "gonads" - repeated over and over - and a drug reference. If you are a child, or simply childish, you will laugh hysterically. If you are upset by such things, you know what not to do.
Of course, the subtitles also have one really naughty word and one awful misspelling, neither of which I would want my six-year-old repeating if I had one. So use your own judgment, if you have any.
And now, without further ado . . . Weeeeee!
-- Steve Jackson
Warehouse 23 News: 160 Pages of Epic Adventure
Everything you ever wanted to know about Juicers (O.C.C.s, motivations, the process and effects of being "juiced", side effects and insanity, the Prometheus Treatment, world information, and more!) can be found in Rifts Juicer Uprising, a World Book for the Rifts RPG.
December 29, 2001: What's Sauce For The Goose Is Sauce For The Gander
President Bush has been quoted as saying he was "madder than heck" because a Secret Service agent of Middle Eastern descent was denied boarding on an American Airlines flight (see the CNN story). The man wanted to carry a handgun on the flight; there were discrepancies in the paperwork he offered to identify himself. (The details haven't been published, and that's probably for the best.) The airplane's pilot was not satisfied with the man's answers and did not allow him on the plane.
The pilot had a hard call to make. He no doubt realized that if the man's claims were true, there would be screams from both the left ("You're profiling!") and the right ("How dare you interfere with the Secret Service!") But if it was a ruse . . . his passengers, and perhaps thousands of people on the ground, could die. The pilot made the correct, hard decision . . . and now, sure enough, people all the way up to the President are second-guessing him.
Rather than go through with the threatened federal "inquiry" into the pilot's motives, the President should phone that pilot and thank him for doing his job. He protected his passengers, and perhaps thousands of other lives. He could have knuckled under to an armed man claiming to be a Secret Service agent. He could have delayed the flight, perhaps for hours, to check. But he did the right thing.
It's too bad the Secret Service agent was embarrassed . . . and it's a shame he missed his flight . . . but our government is telling us that we'll all have to get used to occasional inconveniences in the name of security. That goes for federal employees, too . . . even the ones with guns.
The Secret Service, of all people, should know that when your job is protection, you take the responsibility to safeguard your charge - be it a President or a plane - regardless of whom you might offend at the time. And sometimes you make the wrong call, but in times like this, nobody should ever be punished for playing it safe. Our leaders should quit their yap about "profiling" and remind themselves that security that doesn't err on the side of caution is no security at all.
Warehouse 23 News: An Adventure For Two Starfarers
Starship Catan is the new two-player card game based upon the Starfarers of Catan board game.
December 28, 2001: Shallow Thoughts
Not intended to be funny, though you are welcome to laugh if the spirit moves you.
-- Steve Jackson
- Why do the stores only have eggnog between Thanksgiving and New Year's? I like eggnog.
- What did we all do BEFORE we sat alone all day in front of our computers?
- We are being told that gas is cheap because it's under a dollar a gallon. I'll think it's cheap when it's under 50 cents a gallon. But I hope this doesn't discourage the people working on hybrid-electric cars.
- Why are the hours so long but the days so short?
Warehouse 23 News: One Ring to Fool Them All!
Brand new for the Kobolds Ate My Baby! roleplaying game, Torg of the Rings! provides our first parody of the season's biggest movie.
December 27, 2001: And Onward We Go . . .
Got up Wednesday at 5am (eeeuuuw) and hit the stores, doing my small bit for the economy. Went by 11 places before 11am. Buying a few gifts and some discounted lights. What do I want with lights? Maybe you'll find out this summer . . .
Post-Christmas crowds seemed small, which was perhaps not good . . . but good-mannered, which was nice. The only real bit of Grinchism I encountered was at the "Famous Christmas Store," to which I doubt I will ever return. The "pink" light bulbs I bought there are just as pink as can be when not lit up . . . light them up, though, and they're orange . . . but the Famous Christmas Store doesn't consider this a problem. All sales are final. Ahh, well, I'll mark them down as one of the "We have your money, go away now" breed of retailer, and give my business to someone else.
Orchids, on the other hand, to my local Loew's. Just before Christmas they had started a sale . . . and their method of pricing had confused a lot of customers. They didn't sit around complaining that the customers were dumb. They admitted the problem and changed a few hundred shelf tags. That's the kind of company that will survive a contracting economy.
I hear you asking "What about those manuscripts, Steve?" The stack is down to exactly 4 inches. I just finished reading Phil Masters' first draft of his Ottoman Empire supplement, which will fit both GURPS Castle Falkenstein and the original Castle Falkenstein. Very nice manuscript; we will probably be announcing that one pretty soon.
-- Steve Jackson
December 26, 2001: Name Your Thulhu
Yes, it's a name generator for Pokethulhu. You get descriptions as well as names! Among the huge batch I got were:
- Lickibast (cat-headed sticky tongue-thing)
- Psyshabb (spherical color-changing duck)
- Abhothukachu (sticky mouse)
- Magnegai (insectoid electromagnet)
- Yekubil (fat sticky super-intelligent gerbil)
- Wigglyyig (squamous happy thing)
- Lloigonyx (squamous rock-thing)
-- Steve Jackson
Warehouse 23 News: So You Want To Be a Knight
For Chivalry & Sorcery: the Rebirth, the Knights' Companion details the role of a Knight from the Dark Ages to the Renaissance.
December 25, 2001: Stack Report
Rather than a generic "Hey, it's Christmas, happy holidays to everybody" message, why don't I tell you what I'm actually thinking today?
I don't know what the holidays mean to you, but what they mean to me this year is a chance to finish off my stack of manuscripts. You may recall that a couple of months ago I reported that it was more than a foot tall? Well, it's shrunk. And since I'm dealing with things on a first-in first-out basis, there's no longer anything screamingly urgent there.
But it's all important, both to the writers whose work it is and to the people who want to see the finished book. And I'm going to get that stack down to zero before the new year.
And this is going to make me HAPPY! I mean, world peace would be nice. Love, Kahlua, and a prosperous 2002 are all to be hoped for. But we take things one step at a time, and my Christmas present to myself is this stack is going to vanish!
So Merry Christmas to YOU, too . . .
-- Steve Jackson
Warehouse 23 News: The Slow Boat From England
Two new BITS releases for use with any version of Traveller: 101 Corporations and Delta 3 Is Down.
December 24, 2001: Compaq Has The Answer
You know the story about the "any" key? As in . . . It says here, press any key. None of my keys are marked "any" . . .
Would it surprise you to hear that this is in the Compaq FAQ, along with a polite answer?
Good for them.
Warehouse 23 News: The Wild West, Rifts Style
Rifts Spirit West details the New West as seen through the eyes of Native Americans as they rise to build new nations.
December 23, 2001: Ancient History, Net Style
The Google Usenet archives are now available again. They go back 20 years. They've got a page of Usenet firsts . . . first mention of Microsoft, first mention of Madonna, yada yada . . . One of them is the first mention of the Secret Service raid on SJ Games.
Warehouse 23 News: The Evil Empire of Humanity
Brand new from Palladium Books, After the Bomb RPG is a complete roleplaying game of post apocalyptic insanity, where intelligent mutant animals have inherited a devastated Earth and humankind teeters on the brink of disaster.
December 22, 2001: PayPal For Warehouse 23
By popular request (and because the programming was way easier than I
expected), Warehouse 23 now accepts PayPal for domestic orders. Simply complete an order as usual (selecting PayPal as the payment type, of course) and a button will appear on the confirmation screen. Clicking on the button pulls up the PayPal payment screen with the total and order number filled in. If you don't have a PayPal account yet, you can sign up for one ahead of time or as part of the checkout process.
As with all new features in Warehouse 23, we're very interested in what our customers do and don't like about it, what features they'd like to see added, and, especially, if anything doesn't work properly.
We hope to be able to expand PayPal acceptance to international orders once we get all the kinks worked out. If a lot of people use the service, we'll add PayPal to other SJ Games online offerings, like the auction and the ezines.
Warehouse 23 News: Welcome to Beautiful France
An all-new adventure collection for Weird Wars, Hell in the Hedgerows contains four screaming sagas of war-borne horror, starting in the hedgerows of France and eventually taking players into the heart of Germany herself!
December 21, 2001: "Message for You, Sir"
If you're like most people, you often think, "Pumpkins aren't airborne enough." If you're like these guys, you fix that by building trebuchets and other siege engines to get the job done. Then you compound the problem by writing poetry about it.
-- Suggested by Paul May
Warehouse 23 News: How Do You Like Your Chess Mats?
We offer three different varieties of Chessex vinyl chess mats, two with standard chess notation (beige and oyster) and one without (oyster).
December 20, 2001: And Think Of The Recreational Uses
An ingenious new device for transporting, and viewing, a living organ. Read the Popular Mechanics article.
Warehouse 23 News: Rumble in the Jungle
A covert ops adventure setting for Heavy Gear, Operation: Jungle Drums contains a ready-to-play adventure, a full cast of pre-generated characters, brand new information, and never-before-seen background on the Special Intervention Unit.
December 19, 2001: WWII Rules
Congratulations to Gene Seabolt, author of GURPS WWII. Initial comments and anecdotal evidence indicate that not only is it selling well, but people actually think well of it when they read it. This bodes well! The first supplement, Hand of Steel by Shawn Fisher, just landed on my desk. This is the one about commandos and such. Should be fun.
Warehouse 23 News: The Study of Terrain
For the Gear Krieg roleplaying and miniatures games, Fields of War explores various battlefields and covers additional game rules necessary to fight tabletop battles in complex, life-inspired environments.
December 18, 2001: Christmas Holiday Closing
Our last day of official work here will be Friday, Dec. 21. After that the office is closed until Jan. 2. You might find somebody around in the interim, but you also might not. Of course, we all have e-mail, and some of us may be reading it occasionally over the holidays. Or not :-)
-- Steve Jackson
The Ogre Mark III-B (and repair kit) and Ogrethulhu Mark V (and repair kit) are now available as individual miniatures.
December 17, 2001: The Plot Thickens!
Jim Tetrick advises us:
"Go to your local bookstore, in the travel section, and look for the book
titled National Geographic Guide to America's Outdoors: Great Lakes (ISBN 0-7922-7754-6). On page 237 there is a picture of a couple
camping at Wyalusing State Park in Wisconsin. Look carefully at the
book the ruggedly handsome gentleman is reading -- that's GURPS Ogre!
Gamers go camping? Yes, Virginia, gamers do go camping. And yes, the
so-called "ruggedly handsome gentleman," the back of whose head you see,
"This was from back in Oct. of 2000, when we spent a week camping up
there. I waited until the book was out to let you know because I was not
sure that the GURPS Ogre book would be recognizable in the final
photograph. But it looks to me to be open to pages 108-109, with the Nuclear Damage Table visible . . ."
Knuckles is having a really bad day in KODT: Illustrated, Issue 10.
December 16, 2001: Ho Ho Ho
Lo, it is good to live in a world where people translate Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer into Old English. And back.
Warehouse 23 News: Enough Colors to Make a Rainbow Jealous
Reaper Miniatures has expanded its Pro Paints line with five new colors: Hawkwood, Ocean Blue, Stone Grey, Amethyst, and Burnt Orange.
December 15, 2001: Wargames West Closes Down
Wayne Godfrey, CEO of game distributor Wargames West, announced today that the company will close at the end of the year. The announcement made no mention of bankruptcy; publishers will be paid with returned merchandise and/or cash. (In a typical distributor bankruptcy, such as the recent Zocchi closing, publishers are likely to lose whatever inventory was in the distributor warehouse as well as the money they were owed.)
Wargames West was our second largest distributor; the two companies were both around their twenty-year mark, and had been working together for almost all that time. This is a significant loss to us both business-wise and personally.
Although most retailers have accounts with more than one distributor, Wargames West was the preferred supplier for many stores. We will be working with other distributors to help them take up the slack and keep the games coming. But we'll miss Wargames.
This second closing of a major distributor in as many months does not bode well for the existing distribution system. Your local store may need all the help it can get; go buy something. Drag your friends to buy something. You know the drill.
-- Steve Jackson
Warehouse 23 News: Accept the Challenge!
Add two more friends to your Starfarers of Catan games with the brand-new Starfarers of Catan 5-6 Player Expansion.
December 14, 2001: Love is in the Air
So you've had an argument with a girlfriend?
No. You haven't. He has. Put the brakes on that breakup, because you don't know how good you've got it.
-- Suggested by Anthony Salter
Warehouse 23 News: Half Sourcebook, Half GM Advice
The first book of its kind for the Legend of the Five Rings RPG, Mimura contains a complete village, nearly 200 NPCs, a new Ronin school, new techniques, new monsters, and over 100 adventure ideas.
December 13, 2001: More About GURPS
The very important page "More About GURPS", which had gotten extremely old and dusty, has been completely rewritten by Sean Punch (and spiffed up with our new GURPS page design). So if you want to see a good overview of the system, by The Line Editor himself . . . there it is!
The Jovian Fleet Blueprint File contains eighteen highly detailed spaceship blueprints for the Jovian Chronicles roleplaying game.
December 12, 2001: Warehouse 23 Christmas Dates
If you're thinking of Warehouse 23 as a place to buy gifts - and we hope you are :-) - remember, the last chance to order before Christmas is noon Dec. 21. We will reopen on December 27 to help you spend your Christmas money.
And remember, Warehouse 23 now has gift certificates too . . .
This has been an ad. Obligatory SJ Games status note: Unreasonably cold yesterday. Unreasonably warm today. Raining both days and roof leaking both days. Eeeuuuuw.
-- Steve Jackson
Warehouse 23 News: A Fight For Your Very Soul
Set in H.P. Lovecraft's Dreamlands, The Dreaming Stone is a campaign setting for the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game.
December 11, 2001: Now Shipping!
The following products are currently being shipped to distributors:
GURPS Deadlands Dime Novel 2 - Wanted: Undead or Alive
Sean Bailey was a mean ol' cuss . . . and that was before a ghost rock mine caved in on him. Now he's out to get even with the people who killed him off. It's up to bounty hunter Caleb Harling and his friends to stop him before he turns Bailey's End into a ghost town.
"Wanted: Undead or Alive!" is the second in our series of fiction set in the world of Deadlands. There’s also GURPS game information, so GMs can run their own adventures in and around Bailey's End.
32 pages. Stock #6782, ISBN 1-55634-567-4. $8.95.
Ogre Scenario Book 1
Lots of Ogre adventure, at a bargain price. This book includes seven complete scenarios, requiring only the original maps from Ogre/G.E.V.. In "Hammer & Anvil," an Ogre stumbles into a trap . . . now, can the trap survive what it's caught? In "Run For The Border," an Ogre tries to defect to the other side. In "Black Knight," a demented Ogre holds a pass against both forces. Plus four others!
16 pages. Stock #3204, ISBN 1-55634-607-7. $5.95.
In Nomine Anime
It's a new take on In Nomine . . . but it works. This book showcases how perfectly the world of angels and demons fits the "anime" style of art and fiction. Just shout "Gabriel's Flame of Vengeance!" and fry those evildoers . . . or serve the Demon Prince of Technology by building a giant mecha and piloting it against Heaven! Includes discussions of character types, hints for in-genre roleplaying, and complete campaign backgrounds.
32 pages. Stock #3325, ISBN 1-55634-596-8. $9.95.
Lightstrike: The Art of John Zeleznik
John Zeleznik has one of the most vivid artistic visions in science-fiction and fantasy art today. Fans know his work from Shadowrun and Rifts, as well as GURPS Robots, GURPS Reign of Steel, GURPS Vehicles, GURPS Atomic Horror, GURPS Ogre, and many others. Cartouche Press is proud to bring Lightstrike: The Art of John Zeleznik to lovers of cool art everywhere.
Hardcover, 64 pages, full color. Stock #60-1002, ISBN 1-55634-560-7. $26.95.
The Art of John Van Fleet
This Cartouche Press book showcases a graphic talent second to none: John Van Fleet. In this 64-page full-color book, you'll find some of his best work, including covers and pages for Batman, Star Wars, and White Wolf's Vampire . . . and a 13-page authorized graphic novelette for The Matrix, never before printed!
Hardcover, 64 pages, full color. Stock #60-1003, ISBN 1-55634-559-3. $29.95.
Warehouse 23 News: Vampires in South America
Rifts Vampire Kingdoms: vampires, monsters, Mayan gods, the Yucatan peninsula, and dual dimensions.
December 10, 2001: GURPS Character Builder
The GURPS Character Builder should be in stores now. Our first computer program. Kinda neat. And verrry educational. For us, I mean . . . and I'm sure we will learn more, very soon, about publishing and supporting software.
The web page includes a FAQ, a bug report / feature request system, and online registration.
We did have a bit of a discussion here about my wording on the back cover: "We regret that there is no version of this program for any OS other than Windows . . ." It was pointed out to me that this was a negative, and one shouldn't market with negatives.
But I really am sorry that we're not able to offer this for anything but Windows. It's ironic, since my own computer, and most of those at the office, are Macs. But that's the way it goes. (No disrespect to the programmers, who did an excellent job. We inherited this program from the original publisher, and the original publisher asked for a Windows application, and that's what they got.)
The best we can do is share what we know about emulators, and appreciate what we've got. And we do appreciate it. Not only will this program make things easier for GMs . . . it will make it a LOT easier for our authors and our editors to create characters for new books. Every little bit helps.
-- Steve Jackson
Warehouse 23 News: Twice the Issues for Twice the Laughs
Due to alien interference, we received Dork Tower #14 and Dork Tower #15 on the same day.
December 9, 2001: The Acts Of Gord
Gord runs a videogame store. Gord does not suffer fools gladly. Although he's glad to see fools suffer. Read the chronicles of the Acts of Gord.
Warehouse 23 News: Spirituality, Magic, and Dreams
Adrift on the River of Dream is a new core
sourcebook for the Tribe 8 roleplaying game.
December 8, 2001: It's Out!
We set our GURPS WWII release date for December 7 to commemorate Pearl Harbor Day. Drop by your friendly local game store and see what you think of it . . .
Warehouse 23 News: A Henchman Collection
The Nodwick Chronicles is a collection of the first six issues of the Nodwick comic book by Aaron Williams.
December 7, 2001: And the Valets Won't Stick Around for a Tip
The U.S. Army TACOM National Automotive Center, in partnership with the International Armoring Corporation and Integrated Concepts & Research, introduces the SmarTruck, a warrior-worthy vehicle packed with all the spy goodies and optional weapons the on-the-go armorer could want. Would-be international kidnappers will be almost as surprised by the grenade launchers as citizens will be to discover the Army has a national automotive center. Go here to see some specs or, if .pdfs are too slow, see the news story from Wired.
-- Suggested by Karl
Warehouse 23 News: The Dead Have Risen
The Book Of All Flesh, based on Eden Studios's All Flesh Must Be Eaten roleplaying game, presents more than two dozen original tales of zombie horror.
December 6, 2001: Chat With Gene Seabolt
We're having a Pyramid chat with Gene Seabolt, SJ Games Production Manager and GURPS World War II Line Editor, on Thursday, December 6 at 7PM CST. He'll be discussing the newly released GURPS World War II and future developments in the line.
Warehouse 23 News: Happy Entrails To You
Knights of the Dinner Table, Issue 61 is now available.
December 5, 2001: Build Some Character
Pyramid subscribers can get a (slightly) advance look at the GURPS Character Builder demo version . . . check out Steven Marsh's message on the GURPS board.
December 4, 2001: Mail Call
I like reading mail. Why? Because sometimes I get things like this . . .
Subject: thanks for retroactive permission to eat cards
INWO is the favorite game of several of my friends and I. A couple years ago, we decided, because we thought it wasn't fair that the person with the best cards consistently could make the best decks, and since we were lending cards all the time anyway, we decided to communalize all our INWOcards, to make a big pile of them that everyone who played with us could use. Now, I saw one problem with that. Back then I played almost exclusively discordian decks (and had started to do so before reading the Principia Discordia and becoming a discordian myself, strangely enough), and so hated the Deprogrammers with a passion. I hated them so much, in fact, that I traded for all I could find, just to take them out of circulation. But, now that my cards were becoming communal, anyone could use them against me. So, I started, well, eating the cards, chewing on them anyway. I was stopped, and some of my large collection was saved to haunt me. Anyway, those friends weren't particularly happy with my eating the cards, and have ragged me about it on and off since. So, you can imagine my joy when, perusing the Munchkin (another great game) FAQ, I saw: "Q. I hate the Kneepads of Allure. I think they unbalance the game. What should I do? A. There are several possibilities. -Steal the Kneepads cards out of all your friends' games and EAT them. If they catch you, lie."
Now I can tell my friends nyah nyah nyah, Steve Jackson says specifically that it's ok to eat cards you don't like. In fact, I can even tell them that I travelled forward in time to read the FAQ and so knew that it was permissible to eat evil SJ Games cards before I even ate those naughty Deprogrammers, or else why would I have eaten them instead of gotten rid of them in a more normal fashion? That should cover the lying about it when caught part... So, yeah, thanks again. --David Garlock
-- Steve Jackson
December 3, 2001: Munchkin ReFAQ'd
As part of the process of creating the cards for Unnatural Axe, I have been reviewing the Munchkin rules. While I was at it, I finally created the FAQ I've been planning to do . . . and here it is.
-- Steve Jackson
December 2, 2001: Back To The Roots
We did a big assembly run today on GURPS Character Builder, Munchkin, and Chez Geek 3: Block Party. PLUS, three books came in from the printer today. So I went in to help out, and put in a half-day doing assembly.
I hadn't done that for a while. Back in the day, when we were shipping maybe one assembled product a month, everybody sat down together and did assembly runs. But it's been years since I did a real assembly shift. And let me tell you, it's no walk in the park. The next time you play a game, spare a thought for the people who work at the publisher and don't play games all day . . . not that any of us do . . . but sit all day and put components in a box, and put components in a box, and put components in a box, and put components in a box, and move the stack of boxes to another table, and then do it again.
-- Steve Jackson
Warehouse 23 News: Top 10 for November
Check our Warehouse 23's best selling items for November on the Warehouse 23 Top 10 page.
December 1, 2001: Frag - Now With 3D Acceleration!
Phil Reed created 12 modular squares for a 3-D Frag map, along with buildings and props and so on . . . it came out the first time for a demo at Dragon's Lair in Austin. This is very neat . . . cardboard, wire, cast resin, and a really great paint job. You'll probably see it at the big conventions this summer.
Warehouse 23 News: Where Do You Want to Go?
More than a collection of unique locations, At Your Service, for the Over the Edge RPG, is a gold mine of adventure ideas.
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