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PnP News Bot
09-21-2010, 12:12 AM
Check out this new article from the Daily Illuminator that Steve Jackson Games posted:

September 21, 2010: The Very Model Of A Modular Roleplaying Game (http://www.sjgames.com/ill/archives.html?m=September&y=2010&d=21)



http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/dungeonfantasy/img/cover_sm.jpg (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/dungeonfantasy/) A while ago, GURPS (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/) Line Editor Sean Punch, Assistant Line Editor Jason "PK" Levine, and I were talking about plans for a forthcoming project (which I can't talk too much more about right now, I'm afraid). At the time, Jason mentioned that he was aiming for more of a "GURPS Medium" approach -- making an obvious comparison to GURPS Lite (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/lite/).</p>

I found this notion intriguing, because I realized how much over the past few years GURPS has managed to branch out, including source material suitable for rules-light lovers, new possibilities for GURPS gurus, and everyone in between. On the lighter side of the complexity spectrum, we have ready-to-use support material such as the GURPS Creatures of the Night (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/creaturesofthenight/) series or the MacGuffin Alphabet (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/macguffinalphabet/). They're compartmentalized and bite-sized; use a few pages for inspiration or the basis of an adventure!</p>

Around that same area we have the pick-up-and-play goodness of the GURPS Dungeon Fantasy (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/dungeonfantasy/) and GURPS Action (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/action/) series. All you need for any of these is the GURPS Basic Set (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/basic/) -- and players probably don't need to understand much more than is contained in GURPS Lite.</p>

http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/martialarts/img/cover_sm.jpg (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/martialarts/) Toward the middle are things like GURPS Psionic Powers (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/psionicpowers/), GURPS Mass Combat (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/masscombat/), and the GURPS Spaceships (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/spaceships/) series. These provide extra design options, additional subsystems, and new rules for players and GMs.</p>

Meanwhile, at the GURPSiest of the GURPS possibilities, I'd place products such as GURPS Martial Arts: Gladiators (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/martialarts/gladiators/) or GURPS Gun Fu (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/gunfu/) (and its sister book, the forthcoming GURPS Tactical Shooting). It's not that any of these supplements are particularly hard; rather, they merely require that other books be assimilated and understood. (You probably need GURPS High-Tech (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/high-tech/) before tackling Gun Fu, and you won't be able to do as much with Martial Arts: Gladiators if you haven't read GURPS Martial Arts (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/martialarts/).)</p>

Unlike some other games whose "lighter" options are wholly incompatible with the main game, all the varieties of GURPS play splendidly together. So if you start out with the neophyte-friendly GURPS Action and decide to add the more-complex GURPS Gun Fu, the system survives just fine -- in fact, it's even better, because you've made it your own. And isn't that what the Generic Universal RolePlaying System should do?</p>

-- Steven Marsh (smarsh@sjgames.com)</p>