Overview of 2018

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Welcome to the end of 2018 round-up, folks. As in previous years (2017, 2016, 2015), here’s a look back at the year in Mook, Game Geekery and GURPS.


Game Geekery

These were the most popular posts actually written in 2018:

  1. Color-Coded GM Screen
  2. Darknet 00: Character Creation Part 2
  3. GURPS Ultra-Lite Character Sheet
  4. Darknet 01: Game One
  5. Learning to Let Go, GURPS-Style

And these were the most popular not written in 2018 (identical to last year’s list):

  1. My GURPS GM Screen
  2. New to GURPS — Welcome!
  3. My GM Kit
  4. GURPS Quick-Start Character Creation
  5. Printing RPG PDFs to Hardcopy Books

One new post I’d like to note is the GURPS/Fate Core Skill List. I’ve been synthesizing GURPS and Fate for a few years now, and this was my latest attempt at making it easier to bridge the two. More on that below in “Goals for 2019.”

Patreon

Being unable to write too frequently this year was probably felt more by the fine folks of my Patreon than anyone else. I’m honestly humbled and delighted that you all stuck it out even when things came out only in dribs and drabs. Your support is amazing! I’m coming up with some GURPS-y goodness just for you all in the coming year. You seriously rock.

GURPS Discord (unofficial)

The unofficial GURPS Discord also continues to thrive as a helpful community for the GURPS inclined. The daily average of logged in members is ~400, and since its creation nearly 1,500 members have scurried through. If you haven’t already, swing by with your GURPS questions, characters, campaign ideas, whatever — it’s (almost) all GURPS, all the time!


My Personal Gaming

In mid-2018, I ended up in the hospital for nine days and was subsequently out of work for three months recuperating. Even since being back to work, though, it has still been extremely challenging to find time and motivation to get anything done.

I also missed both the February Orccon and September Gateway conventions, but I did manage a few games.

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory (Old West/Westworld), Gamex 2019

The PCs began this adventure as cowboys, deputized to hunt down and bring in a local gang of bank robbers… before discovering they were actually robots in a human-controlled amusement park and executing their bloody escape. Had a great time with this one.

The online Cyberpunk game I’ve been GMing, Darknet, continues to be a lot of fun too, and we just posted our fifth adventure video. I hope you’re enjoying it!

I also play in a long-running monthly online game, which is unusual for me, but it isn’t GURPS so I’ll just say that it’s also a blast-and-a-half!

It’s important to me to keep gaming throughout the year, not just for the joy of it but also because it’s fuel for everything else — I find it much harder to write about gaming when I’m not actually, you know, gaming!


The Year in GURPS

In the wider world, GURPS had another good year with more new PDF releases, more Pyramid issues (though see below), and an even larger presence on DriveThruRPG and Amazon than last year, including a print-on-demand hardcopy of “How to Be a GURPS GM.” All great things!

The two biggest GURPS-related items this year for me were the return of The Fantasy Trip and the cancellation of Pyramid Magazine.

I was really looking forward to The Fantasy Trip — a kind of “ur-GURPS,” as I understand it, with a similar structure but much, much more streamlined. However, as I’ve thought more about the kinds of games I want to pursue in 2019, its lost a bit of sheen. I’m still interested in it, enjoy learning about it, and look forward to pawing through the physical copies when they’re released — but I no longer feel the compulsion to hack it to be a generic system.

The cancellation of Pyramid was also a huge disappointment. I understand the logistics of why it’s necessary but I still hate to see it go. I never used much of its material as-presented, but as a way of getting pumped about GURPS and all it makes possible, and of connecting with the broader community of enthusiastic GURPS fans, it was top-notch.

Godspeed, Pyramid.


Last Year’s Goals for 2018

My track record this year was — well, let’s just say “spotty.” These were my goals for 2018 from last year’s post.

  • Continue running convention games. Because of the blasted afore-mentioned hospital stay, this was my first year only making it to a single convention. The game I GMed was super fun, and as always I enjoyed seeing friends I don’t see enough, but one convention for the entire year simply isn’t enough. Failed.
  • Run at least two more online one-shots. After having so much fun running my first online game last year, I was delighted when some friends asked me to GM an online game for them. While not a one-shot, I did GM five or six sessions of a cyberpunk game called Darknet in 2018. Success!
  • Make 52 posts to Game Geekery. Some of this was admittedly out of my control, but WOW did I fall short of that goal. Just awful. Mega-Failed.
  • Streamline and unify TheMook.Net site. I do keep things backed up and running smoothly, but none of the plans for site overhauls I’ve been toying with made any progress. So, this one’s kind of 50/50. Success/Failed.

Thoughts and Goals for 2019

2018 was kind of a crazy year and filled with pitfalls, but it did give me a chance to really think about my gaming and where I want to take it. This was precipitated by a couple of things.

First, a friend asked if I would GM a game in the new year for him and his daughters, ages 9 and 11, to which I enthusiastically agreed. And so I began working on making yet another GM screen for that game, one even simpler and more streamlined than my current color coded screen. Once I get something workable, I will of course post it for download.

Second, I decided I’d like to ramp up the work on my kitchen sink setting, the city of Locus, in the coming year, with a long view towards collecting and editing those blog posts into a setting PDF for DriveThruRPG. The background and narrative I already have in mind, but… which rules system?

Yes, I know — GURPS is the obvious answer. But there are some issues there, none of which have anything to do with whether or not GURPS can handle a setting like that (it can, without a doubt).

Obviously, I wouldn’t (and couldn’t) release an unlicensed GURPS PDF. So that means a query letter, a complete manuscript, a contract, deadlines, and all the back and forth tweaking that entails. In a year or two, the PDF would be released and I would earn roughly 25% of every sale.

Or instead of all that, I could write my own RPG and have complete control over it (for example, I would use playing cards for initiative, Fudge dice for resolution, and polyhedrals for damage). Then I could write and sell it on DriveThru at my own pace, and net 70% of every sale instead of 25%. But, there are already so many RPGs out there! Why reinvent the wheel to just add one more teeny-tiny niche to an already teeny-tiny community?

Which leads me to Fate.

Look at the Licensing Fate page at the Evil Hat website. It’s a thing of beauty. It explains two different licenses you can use to create your own Fate content, links to the online SRD of a number of Fate products, and offers downloads of both the “Powered by Fate” logo and the font/symbols used in the official books. Evil Hat doesn’t just mind if you produce custom content, they actually want you to!

I would kill for a similar GURPS page and policies, but the chances seem extremely low. I won’t say “Never” — I similarly thought SJG would ‘never’ sell on DriveThru, and ‘never’ offer Print-on-Demand — but I would be completely shocked.

So it looks like, after ~25 years of needing no RPG system other than GURPS, I’ll be branching out to include a bit of Fate as well!

Which segues nicely into…

Goals for 2019

  • Make 30 Posts to Game Geekery.
    I’m lowering the goal a bit for 2019. Thirty posts is still 2-3 a month, so it will be more than I’ve posted the past few months but less than every single week.
  • Continue GMing Convention Games and One-Shots (face to face).
    I love doing this, I always have fun, and I get to meet new people and increase the visibility and understanding of GURPS all at the same time. Definitely more of this! At least two for the year, hopefully many more.
  • Do More Online Gaming.
    In addition to my monthly Darknet game, I really want to start moving towards more online gaming, particularly with Fantasy Grounds. To really dive in, I would like to set up a proper ‘foundation’ for all my online games (tables, modifiers, etc.), and also digitize at least some of the notes I have from the past 15 convention one-shots so I can GM those games on Fantasy Grounds at the drop of a hat.
  • Create and Post Another Quick-Play Adventure.
    More than one would be great, but I’d like to post at least one more — people mention them to me frequently and say they are very helpful for getting a game going.
  • GM at Least One Fate Game.
    I’ve played quite a few Fate games and feel like I have a pretty good theoretical grasp of it, but I need to practice actually GMing it.
  • Locus.
    Finally, I’d really like to make some progress on getting Locus into shape and, ultimately, available to other gamers. On a side note, I’ve been writing some fiction set in Locus as well, so hopefully I can keep growing that until it’s novel length.

So, that’s about where we stand at the end of 2018, folks. I appreciate all the feedback and support you shared this year! It was truly amazing, and I hope you’ll stick around for more gaming goodness and Mook mania in 2019.

If you enjoyed this post and others like it, might you consider the Game Geekery Patreon?

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