Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Reviewing: GURPS Low-Tech Companion 1: Philosophers and Kings

Who needs this -
  • Very Meticulous GMs for a Political/Diplomatic Campaign
  • World Builders in the tradition of Harn, Westeros, and near-realistic settings.
Whats Important that you can' get anywhere else -
  • Official GURPS message travel rates,
  • Official GURPS monument building tools
  • Ruling with Accounting Double Entry Booking is in the TL (just apply the TL penalty to Accounting systems before Double Entry Booking)
  • Official Musical Instruments and their Specialties
  • A few pages on Alchemy, Herbalism and Medicine
Can I get the information from anywhere else -
If you review the table of contents its a lot of stuff covered in history syllabuses. what is important about the book is looking at the historical perspective of the writers to understand where you differentiate in academic sides.

What I think.
Overall i'm unsure if it is a cost efficient purchase for me. I understanding that they had explain many fundamental and "boring" aspects of history that only history nerds would appreciate, but it would have been to deal with it by giving sources a bibliography (which it doesn't) so that people can go into the details for themselves. What i think is lost is a lot of the settiing building tools people would come to expect from the title Kings and Philosophers.

What comes to my criticism is that it could do with a little bit more of tools for little Gamer projects: like City building. They have Monument Building rules set, Building Low Tech Landscapes in Pyramid, City Stats, and Mass combat. I feel that they could have finished it off with a Basic Administration system or Rule, especially in the Chapter they dealt with bureaucracy.

The Monument Building system is Isolated and requires a working Economy and administration game system for it to have more value through context.

I think Kings and Philosophers could be the last in the companion set for Low Tech, if they could have fit a more useful City generation system.

I think the key of making people appreciate this book more is allowing them to put their understanding of history to good use, through game elements that allows them to recall these important principles as to why things work a particular way.

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