on 19 October 2005
"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.
on 1 December 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!
on 18 January 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!