Tabletop RPG Review: GURPS Old West

Old West

GURPS is an interesting animal.  On the one hand, it’s a kitchen sink game, where you can crunch as many numbers as you can get your hands on, or trim it down to a skeletal structure.  Frankly, it’s not my thing.  So, why did I collect the books so avidly?  Because the sourcebooks were unlike anything else out there, and exceptionally useful beyond the game.

With Old West, Ann Dupuis, Lynda Manning-Schwartz, Robert E. Smith, and Liz Tornabene have put together an excellent, well researched look at the American West.  The book covers the things you expect from a GURPS history book.  The history is boiled down and rewritten in an easily digestible format.  In the days before easily found ‘popular history,’ these books were my way to start building an understanding the world.  While there’s system-specific statistics and rules, you can skip it without much trouble.  

As usual, the authors have provided an excellent bibliography and filmography.  And they’ve included lots of interesting ways to use the book in your own game.  I’ve used GURPS books for many of my non-GURPS games many times in the past, and plan to use the information from this one in the near future.  Great stuff.
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