Saturday, January 7, 2017
GURPS - Places of Mystery
From their website:
"I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Percy Shelley, "Ozymandias"
GURPS Places of Mystery is designed for use with a very wide range of games. This is a book of places and locations, chosen because they all have at least a hint of the unusual about them. Some are widely believed to be centres of great magic; others "merely" have an interesting history, or unique features. Others again are simply amazing tourist spots, for one reason or another. The sites chosen for this book are nearly all buildings, cities, or other human constructions. We've slipped in a few natural places of mystery, such as Ayer's Rock (which is just as much a sacred site as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre) and Loch Ness (which we just couldn't leave out), but they are exceptions to prove our rule. The rule was instituted mostly because of the space we had available, and the need for a consistent "style." No doubt, someone could also write GURPS Geography and Geology, and in fact it would have almost as much gaming potential. (And we'd quite like to see it.) But this supplement is about the creations of humanity – in humanity's slightly stranger moments.
Incidentally, some of the buildings mentioned in this book are intact today, but time, nature, and the human tendency to fight wars being what they are, many are in ruins, or actually lost. (One or two probably never existed in the first place.) Still, ruins have lots of atmosphere; remember the conclusion of Shelley's poem.
So let's go places."
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