Sunday, 28 February 2016

Ars Mundi: The Serpens Codex

Arecibo saw it first, by pure chance. In the ever-present radio noise of the universe, a small blip, 24 times as strong as the background. Two blips. Three blips. Then five, seven, eleven, thirteen and seventeen blips. Then it repeated. Seven prime numbers. The signal repeated over and over again and as the Earth turned, every radio observatory around the world trained their receivers on the constellation of Serpens. The pattern repeated for forty-seven days, during which time scientists hotly debated what it meant. But the initial consensus was immediate:

We were not alone.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Equipment Locker: Laser Sword

What's cooler than a laser sword? A laser KATANA of course
I was a little dissatisfied with the selection of melee weapons in GURPS Ultra-Tech. Vibroblades are cool but I wanted something a little lower-tech than a force sword that still had an 'energy sword' feel. There's also issues with the immense power of force swords, so you can't really just dial down the TL on them. This is where the laser sword comes in.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Equipment Locker: The Swordstaff

An entirely fictitious weapon, the swordstaff (plural swordstaves) is exactly what it sounds like – a sword stuck on the end of half of a quarterstaff, favoured by technical fighters, melee-capable mages and show-offs alike.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Ars Mundi: Redpowder

Resembling a fine, glittering dust, as if a farmer had accidentally ground ruby into meal, redpowder gives off mystery and otherworldliness like a vapour. The European powers trade for it from the East, the scintillating red stuff coming west along the Silk Road from the farthest reaches of the Earth, perhaps beyond even Cathay. The man who discovered its fantastical properties was unfortunately struck blind and burned badly by his discovery, though learned much from the experience and is still regarded today as the father of prismatic muskets.

Monday, 15 February 2016

World-R-Us: Alexandria

Alexander the Great conquers Greece, Asia Minor, the Levant, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia and Parthia, all the way to the Hindu Kush. He is forced to abort his invasion of India after a revolt of his troops, so returns to Babylon to recover and draw plans to advance into Arabia as a prelude to conquering India and beyond in pursuit of the ends of the world. In our world, Alexander the Great died in Babylon, his plans incomplete. Whether the cause was illness or poison is still unknown. Alexander's death left his empire fractured and decentralised, the task of nation-building the conquered lands left unfinished as the Diadochi fought over the remnants of what might've been a great empire.

But what if Alexander hadn't died?

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Playbook: High-Cyclic Controlled Bursts for Ultra-Tech Guns

GURPS High-Tech has a great little rule where some guns can fire "high-cyclic controlled bursts". For those who haven't read the book, this is when a gun fires several rounds so quickly after each other that they all leave the barrel before the has moved due to recoil, giving the entire burst Recoil 1. GURPS Ultra-Tech was written before this rule was devised, so lacks rules for them, even though it explicitly mentions that ultra-tech firearms can stack cartridges within the barrel for ultra-fast firing speeds! So I wrote some quick rules to fix this.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Reliquary: Karpov Arms LBV-M47

The Karpov Arms LBV-M47 (Lazernaya Bitva Vintovka Modela 47, or "Laser Combat Rifle, Model 47") is a military-grade light laser carbine manufactured by the now-defunct Karpov Arms corporation. Karpov Arms went out of business at least forty years ago, yet newly-made LBV-M47s still show up in the hands of guerilla armies, criminals and mercenaries across the galaxy, all either with the serial numbers filed off or with the stamp of some armoury nobody's heard of.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016


This is a blog about Steve Jackson Games' GURPS 4th Edition. I'll be posting mostly content that I make, remix or alter for the game, which is going to cover a wide variety of topics, genres and levels of detail, although there will be a faint predilection towards science fiction, since I have a slight preference for that to other genres. I'm planning to structure the blog in the useful skeuomorphism of 'columns', separating posts by content type. So far I have several columns planned:

Ars Mundi

Elements, ideas and seeds for worldbuilding, generally ones I haven't expanded into full-blown settings elsewhere. It will also include discussions on worldbuilding, especially on implications or knock-on effects of technology or other features.

Equipment Locker
New equipment and worked examples of equipment created using existing rules for equipment creation and modification. This may also include discussions on the utility of existing equipment. 

Forms Most Wondrous

Animals, beasts, monsters and aliens of all kinds, magical and nonmagical, realistic and cinematic. Will occasionally include player races/species.

New optional rules, or expansions upon existing ones.

Artefacts, relics or mythical treasures. Any kind of item that is one-of-a-kind, unique or noteworthy.


Rants/diatribes about game mechanics, game design or approaches to play that don't serve any concrete purpose. Feel free to ignore.

Utility Closet

Random useful information that doesn't fit under other columns. Typically more GM-focused.


Seeds or fully-detailed descriptions of settings or parallel worlds. It differs from Ars Mundi in that these are fleshed-out and given specific details, rather than throwing out concepts and discussing how they might be used. Where applicable, information for integrating them into GURPS Infinite Worlds will be given.