GURPS Humanx (1987)

Picking a random GURPS book to round out the week and landed on the sourcebook for Humanx (1987). I have a lot of fondness for this cover, by Michael Whelan, even while having no real notion of Alan Dean Foster’s Humanx Commonwealth. Turns out it is a pretty good distillation of the core concept.

The books are about, well, the Humanx Commonwealth, which is an intergalactic political body created through the partnership of humans the the mantis-like Thranx. It seems a rather optimistic sort of arrangement, with both species advancing farther symbiotically than the might have otherwise on their own. There are other sorts of aliens as well, including the lizardy, militaristic AAnn, whose empire is the Commonwealth’s primary antagonists. There’s high technology and ships and psionics (I believe this is the first attempt by the system to tackle mental powers, even), lots of setting information (there are apparently a large number of stories to draw on!) and a starter adventure.

I really like it! I find a lot of RPG sci-fi seems pessimistic in character, so this is pretty refreshing, more in line with Star Trek or even Iain Banks’ Culture. Yet another instance of GURPS inspiring me to track down some novels.

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