All of the Above: the GURPS APA

No longer on hiatus. New Central Mailer.

Changing to electronic format.

So you're asking yourself, "So what's this whole APA thing about anyhow?"

APA's have a long a unusual history. Long before the internet people would join APA's for several reasons. It was usually because they had a common interest in something and a willingness to write about it. While basically a fanzine, there are some differences. The best comparison I can make is to liken an APA to a discussion forum, in print. X number of people join, and send in whatever they have to talk about or wish comments on for that issue. Then, the Central Mailer (me in this case) collects all of the submissions, collates it all together, and mails everyone a complete issue.

As an example: a new APA is forming, Tarn Rider, devoted to Gor. After finding ten people (the CM decides to limit it to ten members) willing to admit that they actually enjoy the Gor novels, he sets some rules (like how often issues will come out, etc.). Each of the ten people send in their material,All of the Above: the GURPS APA the CM shuffles the papers and then mails one to each member.

Oh yeah, and APA stands for either Amateur Press Association or Amateur Press Alliance depending on who you ask.

What goes in an APA?

I can't speak for all APA's, but the contributions usually consist of material like introductions (at least for their first issue), essays, personal stuff, fiction and art.

All of the Above, being a gaming APA devoted to GURPS, generally receives rules discussions, scenario springboards, campaign discussions, characters, new rules, and pretty much the stuff you'd expect from a gaming magazine.

Where's the discussion forum part come in?

The one thing that makes APA's different from your regular gaming magazines or fanzines are the mailing comments. These are where the members write in and comment (sometimes in great detail) about what everyone else wrote in the previous issue. In this way we challenge each other, to both improve our writing skills and to build on each others ideas.

So, tell me about All of the Above.

All of the Above is a quarterly APA with its primary focus on GURPS. GURPS is, of course, Steve Jackson Games' Generic Universal Role Playing System.

Now, just because our primary focus is on GURPS doesn't mean that other material isn't welcome. I'm fairly open minded, and as long as we don't get too far off the subject, members are welcome to discuss whatever they want.

Currently our membership roster is open, with 19 members, leaving eleven open slots. I know that 30 seems to be a small number, but APAs can get quite unwieldy when they get too large. With our current roster we're averaging around 150 pages or so per issue.

Are there any requirements for members?

A few, none of which are tough to deal with. All members are expected to contribute (I'd rather not tie up slots with lurkers). When you contribute you must email me an electronic copy of your submission at my email address. Please contact me on what type of file formats that I can use. I prefer that you leave at least a three quarter inch margin on the left and right side to allow for binding. Please number your pages!

Once I have everyone's submission I collate them all together, and create a PDF file, readable by Acrobat Reader.

But what if your roster is full by the time you contact me?

True, but we do have a waiting list. If you're interested in being a member, drop me a line. It's possible that an opening is available. Who knows maybe I can find a way to squeeze you in even if the roster is full. We are flexible, but what we want most are people who are willing to write something GURPS related on a quarterly schedule.

Several of our members have posted part or all of their submissions to their personal web pages here are some links:


Art copyright (c) 1994 Dan Smith.
Colorized by Robert Gilson