While searching for gifts for my youngest brothers I came across a new 4th edition of one of my favorite role-playing games ever: Gurps, the Generic Universal Role-Playing System. The 4th edition incorporates a lot of material from 3rd edition supplements which is great for me, considering that I haven't followed the game for probably nearly a decade. I own quite a few 3rd edition source books, and they'll all be compatible, but I haven't gotten any of the more recent material from the late 90s and early 00s.
The new Basic Set is split into two volumes, the 336 page Gurps Basic Set: Characters and the 240 page Gurps Basic Set: Campaigns; they can be bought together for a total price of around $56 from B&N, including whatever taxes and shipping options I ended up with. I also picked up the Gurps Mecha: Mighty Battlesuits and Anime Fighting Machines and Gurps Space: Roleplaying in the Worlds of Tomorrow modules, and I really should get Gurps Vehicles : From Chariots to Cybertanks...and Beyond! just to get a good foundation going.
The interesting thing is that I've only actually played Gurps a few times, and never in very prolonged campaigns. I'd love to, but it's just never happened. What makes Gurps so fun is that the rule books are such a blast to read and really stimulate my mind. They've got (and I own) modules for everything from high fantasy settings to time travel to ultra-tech to illuminati to dragons to superheroes, and they're all engaging and deep treatments that can be combined consistently into a single game. There's no reason your battle mech can't fight against cabals of wizards! Plus, they release a new module every month! (Why don't they have a discounted subscription service?!)
When I finish my PhD I'd like to invest a few nights a month into a neato Gurps campaign. I just gotta find other people to play with me....
(By the way, here's the official Gurps forum.)
(By the way again, yes, I signed up to be a B&N affiliate, so if you follow the links above -- and like, spend money -- I think I get a kickback or something... just as if I worked for the UN! (But unlike as if I worked for Friends of Iraq.))