Monday, March 21, 2016

Review: GURPS Powers: The Weird

Last Thursday's release was GURPS Powers: The Weird, which covers "weird powers: the capabilities of exotic and mysterious supers, of cosmic entities, of alien beings who have slipped in through the cracks in reality... and of human explorers who have gone there and come back changed."

There are three chapters after the intro.  The first is "Weird Science," which covers the necessary Traits.  It also introduces a new variation of Styles in Weird-science Styles, which I found very interesting.  Styles are being used in a variety of interesting ways.  I've briefly considered creating Alchemy Styles, using the GURPS Magic Alchemy system, but I haven't had any luck with fleshing them out.  Seeing this makes me want to take another stab at that.

Another thing that occurred to me after reading the first advantage description in this chapter was using one-shot Gadgeteer to create AD&D style artifacts.  Gadgeteer, with "Cosmic, Items need not obey local laws of physics, +50%"  could certainly cover that.

Perks, Skills, and Techniques are also covered, with the Techniques section being really interesting with a good number of new ones.

The second chapter is "Realms and Phenomena," covering Other Places, astral realms, hyperspace, and the Cabalistic structure of worlds among other things.  This is a fairly short chapter with lots of good bits and food for thought for weird-worldbuilding.

The final chapter is "Powers," and this is the really meaty part of the book.  A couple of powers listed were neat, Logos being the real winner for me. With a bit of tweaking it could handle the abilities of the Bene Gesserit of  the Dune series perfectly, and this is the first time I've seen a power write-up that really could.  Noumena and Metamateriality were also good enough to deserve specific mention.

Final Grade: A-.  This book contains solidly built styles and excellent powers, as well as evocative descriptions of the abilities that had me thinking about ways to use this in my ongoing Fantasy games, even though they aren't really thematic for that.  Anyone who likes the GURPS Powers framework should definitely pick this one up.

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