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Discworld Roleplaying Game [Hardcover]

Phil Masters , Terry Pratchett , Paul Kidby
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2002 Discworld
Sensational French Discworld illustrator Marc Simonetti, provides twelve fantastic illustrations for the brand-new Discworld calendar: the annual Discworld treat!

The 2013 Discworld calendar is an inspired collection of paintings by French illustrator Marc Simonetti, cover artist for the French Discworld mass market paperback editions.

The calendar dates are extensive, and exhaustively researched, and include all major real-time calendrical data for Great Britain, Eire, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA, as well as notable Discworld dates.
--This text refers to the Calendar edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Steve Jackson Games,U.S. (1 Sep 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556346875
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556346873
  • Product Dimensions: 28.1 x 21.9 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,105,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Terry Pratchett is a publishing phenomenon. He has sold more than 65 million copies of his books worldwide, and among his many prizes and citations are the World Fantasy Award, the Carnegie Medal, the BSFA Award, eight honorary doctorates and, of course, a knighthood. Sir Terry Pratchett is best known for his Discworld series, set on a flat planet, supported on the backs of four elephants, who in turn stand on the back of the great turtle A'Tuin as it swims majestically through space. Four of these novels - Hogfather, Going Postal, The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic - have been adapted for television, with more to follow. He lives near Salisbury in Wiltshire. --This text refers to the Calendar edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
"No, not the Fighting Fantasy Steve Jackson, the GURPS Steve Jackson". I hear it quite a lot; it's an easy mistake to make, and an assumption I held myself for years.
GURPS (General Universal Role Playing System) publish a whole range of interesting background variants for the entertainment of the roleplaying public. It has to be said that Pratchett's fantasy Discworld is hugely popular and etched into the public consciousness in a way that allows instant comprehension of the setting by experienced gamer and layman alike.
But does this work? GURPS is not an especially user-friendly system, for all its cross-genre potential, it is decidedly clunky in many areas, not least character generation. I wouldn't advise trying this until you've got your head around tabletop roleplaying, maybe something accessible like Dungeons & Dragons or Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. The Discworld games always suffer in practice because Terry Pratchett isn't actually sitting at the table being innovative and witty. Games tend to trail off into a recital of half-remembered plotlines, non-player characters, settings and events. This gets more confusing these days, when the volume of Pratchett's excellent novels lends itself to a reasonably strict chronology.
So, it's an interesting read for a Pratchett fan who's a gamer. But don't expect anything new here, and a Pratchett obsessive will find this repetitive. There are better games than GURPS, and even within GURPS you'd be better considering their Illuminati variant or any one of many other comedy or more user-friendly game settings.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent game! 1 Dec 2003
I greatly enjoyed this game. It's not a "Fighting Fantasy" style gamebook, but a set of rules and information (including outlines of "typical" characters, and full details of how spells work) which you can use to create your own adventures with your friends. Even if you aren't into role-playing, it's still quite useful as a guide to the Disc, as it goes into more detail in some areas than the Discworld Companion, and contains much fascinating new material (although any info that isn't actually in the "official" books may be contradicted at a later date). There are also tons of Paul Kidby pictures, and a reproduction of the Stephen Player/Stephen Briggs "Discworld Mapp". There are also some ready-made "Scenario Seeds" near the end.
Mr Pterry and noted RPG-writer Phil Masters have produced an excellent product here, guaranteed to keep role-playing Disc fans engrossed for hours!
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30 of 51 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a new genre for pratchett fans 18 Jan 2003
i used to love steve jacksons books when i was a kid and when i found out he'd teamed up with my favourite author to create a discworld role playing book i was ecstatic!
i waited patiently for the book to be released and as soon as it was i rushed out and bought it and speant the next two days engrossed.
it's a great game, discworld characters and their fate in the palm of your hand literally!
the only problem is (exactly like with the original jackson books) that if you take a wrong turning you can just keep your finger in the page you turned from and make a different decision. that somewhat makes it slightly boring after a while.
i reccomend this book if you can show more restraint than me and keep from cheating!
get it if you're a die hard pratchett fan (just to say you've got it!) but don't bother if you just enjoy the master's great story telling, you won't find it here, unless you cheat and that defeats the object in the first place!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Never played and still enjoyed. 3 Dec 2004
By John W. Black - Published on Amazon.com
The Discworld RPG is a great read even if you don't play GURPS. It's not bad even if you hate RPGs. The book is bursting with source material and backgrounds - it's not uncommon for personality descriptions to take a full column. If you're a gamer, it's nice to have the actual writeups. If you're not a gamer, the art and small storylines through the book are still entertaining. Of particular interest to me was the magic section - not so much for how it's used in the game but for the Disc's philosophy of how it works. Also, without this book, I never would have known that all native-born Ankh-Morporkians are born with Disease Resistance. And a shiv...
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Self-Contained (mostly) FRPG rule-set. 29 Jan 2008
By Terrance L. Roddy - Published on Amazon.com
I have the original paperback version of this book. It is an adaptation of Steve Jackson's Generic Universal Role-Playing Game System (GURPS) to Terry Pratchett's Discworld as a Role-Playing environment. A pretty good "GURPS Lite" extract of the basic GURPS rules is included as an appendix (32 pages) at the end of the book, so you technically don't need anything other than pen(cil)s, paper, and ordinary six-sided dice to run and play a Discworld-based Fantasy Role-Playing Game (FRPG).

For a Discworld fan who doesn't want to play role-playing games, this book may still be of interest: it includes informative capsule summaries of most of the major characters in the Discworld novels, and Pratchett-approved insights into the metaphysics of the Discworld universe. It also contains many monochrome drawing by illustrator Paul Kidby.

For a Discworld fan who has never tried role-playing games, but is interested (and has a reasonable number [2 to 6] of similarly-interested freinds), this is an excellent choice. For a hard-core FRPG player, they probably already know about (and have) lots of GURPS stuff - the relavent parts can easily be used with and in a Discworld GURPS game.

While this was explicitly intended to be (and is) an "all-you-need" gamebook, there is now a "supplement" as well: GURPS Discworld Also (a backhanded pun on "Too" instead of "Two"), that is basically more of the same - more Discworld-specific character-information, rules, etc. The supplement is not needed, but is nice to have...
4.0 out of 5 stars Long Out Of Print - WHY? 10 Nov 2010
By Stephen Mann - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
CAVEAT: I'm talking about the Hardcover version of "Discworld (powered by GURPS)" here.
ANOTHER CAVEAT: I play games using GURPS, but I don't run such games.

For those who've experienced Pratchett's Discworld books and who play Role Playing Games there must've been a point where they looked up from a book and thought "I wish I could join in the fun here".

People are divided over the wisdom behind making RPG versions of beloved literary universes. The thought is that people, real people, will never be able to pull of the same actions and motivations that drive the stories which have captivated us in the first place.

This of course is true. I doubt any two people could sit down and recreate a Pratchett masterpiece as an interactive experience. But it doesn't mean that trying to do so is doomed to failure, or that it is somehow wrong to accept from the start that the players will be more like the background characters who lead relatively pun-free existences on The Disc than them wot gets to be listed first in the scrolling credits. I fall into this group, the one that wants to walk on the Disc even if it means some of the colours running. Read with this in mind.

The book is hardcover, but perfectly bound (which is why a star fell off the rating of this review - perfect bindings have no place in a hardback book). SJG have learned a thing or two about producing game books since this one was published and now understand that people will pay a little more for a stitched binding when it comes to hardback game books. Thank you Wizards of the Coast for showing the way forward on that front.

That said, the binding seems hardy enough to withstand having the pages opened fully on the game table. Getting them to *stay* open may involve anvils, ship's anchors or any other appropriately humorous weight.

The pages are matte-finish (not the gloss of the current fourth edition of GURPS), and made of sturdy paper that will withstand much handling.

The presentation is excellent. The book is littered with artwork (shaded pencil drawings in monochrome) of a very high quality, and the written matter pays homage to the Pratchett style both in the delightful use of language to present the subject and copious humorous footnotes (a feature of the novels that I look forward to from the moment I open the front cover).

The engine used to run the game version of Discworld is GURPS, and although this is a third edition-era opus it will work just dandy with the latest version of GURPS (fourth edition at time of writing). The last part of the book is devoted to GURPS Lite, a stripped-down version of the full rules-set that can be used on it's own to run games on the Disc.

One rather odd - but not deadly - thing was the need to convert Ankh-Morpork dollars into GURPS Dollars ($AM are about 4 times as sturdy as $GURPS) in order to make the book fully compatible with the rest of the GURPS product line. Throughout the book monetary values are quoted in GURPS dollars rather than the (to me) more obvious $AM. Horses for courses.

I don't know If I shall be running Discword-based games using GURPS - I find the system rather intimidating and keep getting the feeling that the highly granular and realistic GURPS system (a very fine achievement I should add) is not "in keeping" with the nature of the material. A more lighthearted system might fit the setting more comfortably for me.

But the nice thing is that GURPS stuff can be converted into just about any system with a (very) little work.

Oh and you can get a nice update for this game that contains some scenarios as described here: GURPS Discworld Also

Other Useful Resources:

Turtle Recall: The Discworld Companion ... So Far
The Streets of Ankh-Morpork
The Discworld Mapp
A Tourist Guide to Lancre: A Discworld Mapp (Discworld Series)
Death's Domain: A Discworld Mapp (Discworld Series)
5.0 out of 5 stars Discworld all over again 17 Mar 2010
By Charles D. Oliver - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
To those who wished to play trolls and have fun hating on dwarves once more, oh how I love you discworld
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