GURPS Compendium I
Author: Sean Punch (compiler), Steve Jackson (editor)
Company/Publisher: Steve Jackson Games
Page count: 192 pages
Playtest Review by Bradford C. Walker on 04/25/98. Genre tags: none
After you buy this book, you need never go hunting through a dozen worldbooks for that particular Advantage, Disadvantage or Skill ever again. You will also never again have to put up with reprints of old stuff, like the Secret disadvantage.
This not a good thing- it's a great thing.
Everything that SJ Games published, up about 1996, that cost points ended up in this book. (The rest is in the second Compendium.) The exceptions include Advantages that are merely packaged bundles of other Advanatages, such as "IST Membership" and "Lensman", or that saw publication after the Compendium.
The book covers the final iteration of Superhuman/Mythic Strength, which unifies the different rules found in Supers, Greece, Aliens and Fantasy Folk. This goes well with the later section concerning racial generation.
The Advantage and Disadvantage sections are split into three sections each: Mundane, Occult/Paranormal and Racial/Superhuman. The mundane section subdivides further into Social, Mental and Physical sections. If it's been printed, chances are that it's in the book.
The Skills section includes a lot of skills that are usually seen as fluff or filler, but they can be used to good effect if the campaign allows for it. (You wouldn't see No-Landing Extraction in your usual Celtic Myth game, for example.) This section also addresses the type of subskill first seen in Martial Arts- Manuevers- and explains how the concept can be expanded beyond that genre. (GURPS Mage is the given example here, with Rotes being Manuevers based on Spheres.) A good suggestion is to use them for skill specializations, such as "Archaeology(Lemuria)" or "Mechanic/TL7(Cars)."
The sidebars introduce optional rules for Will, Disadvantages, Advantages and Fatigue. They address temporary Wealth, new ways to figure substats and much more.
Is it worth the money? Yes it is. This book is simply too useful to pass up, since it allows well over 90% of the character concepts you concieve to get on that character sheet. It, and its companion, are highly recommended to all gamers- even if you hate GURPS with great passion.
Style: 4 (Classy and well done)