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Discworld Roleplaying Game: Adventures on the Back of the Turtle Hardcover – Sep 1 2002

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Steve Jackson Games (Sept. 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556346875
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556346873
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 2 x 27.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 839 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,340,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa161e84c) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa165bac8) out of 5 stars Never played and still enjoyed. Dec 3 2004
By John W. Black - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
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
HASH(0xa16649c0) out of 5 stars Excellent and Self-Contained (mostly) FRPG rule-set. Jan. 29 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
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...
HASH(0xa1664a38) out of 5 stars Long Out Of Print - WHY? Nov. 10 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)
HASH(0xa1664738) out of 5 stars Discworld all over again March 17 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