PDA

View Full Version : GURPS: How Much Of A Commitment?



Mulsiphix
01-15-2008, 09:35 AM
As it comes down to me spending the actual cash I am really questioning myself again. Is abandoning D&D 3.X for GURPS the right thing to do? I don't want to be confined just to fantasy but I've heard GURPS is really only good for modern and future settings. Since I'm really not interested in modern that pretty much confines me to Future/Sci-Fi. I realize both systems have supplements that were published which will allow me to play in other genres but at the systems core, they were designed primarily for or just work the best with, it functions near-seamlessly with really only one setting.

Sure the rules can be bent but this requires time. The more house-rules you create the harder it is going to be for new players to feel comfortable and secure with your setting. One of the biggest cons for me right now, as far as D&D is concerned, isn't so much the fantasy setting as it is the rules. I've ready many complaining and stating that they are overly complicated. Combat can take a very long time with a lot of enemies on the board. Monte Cook's final battle had over 100 mini's on the board (95% were non-party friendly). I can't even imagine how long it must have taken them to work through that final battle.

I'm changing my focus from Wargaming to get some serious RP. I prefer to have 75% RP and 25% combat on average in my sessions. I know there will be some very serious combat heavy portions of the campaign and that is fine by me. What I fear is over complicated combat that really slows down the game. I know players will get bored when it isn't their turn but I want to minimize the chances of this happening as much as possible. With GURPS MUCH simpler gaming mechanics (character creation aside) I think it would allow for far less "I'm bored" moments.

From what I understand GURPS is about world building though. How much preparation am I really looking at before I can start playing a meaningful campaign? I know that DM who doesn't prep much will probably have a decently shallow campaign and the DM who invests a lot of time will have a more rewarding campaign. Not in the sense that the DM creates all the monsters and lays down a concrete path the PC must walk, but in that the game is played in a very detailed world like D&D is. A DM has to do little preparation in D&D and his players will generally have a firm understanding of the world around them. GURPS I would imagine is quite different. It is geared towards world building isn't it? Not a lot of ready made modules or super detailed worlds you can easily adventure in like Ptolus?

I'm really struggling here guys and gals. Please give me feedback. Is fear of combat a stupid reason not to get into D&D 3.X? Am I putting far to much emphasis on world building to have an enthralling experience in the GURPS world? Is GURPS a bad choice for my introduction to role playing? Is the combat really not horribly different between D&D and GURPS? Please help guide me.

Drohem
01-15-2008, 10:57 AM
hmm...ok, here we go:

3.x D&D/d20 Modern:
I wouldn't stay away for fear of combat. It's not really that overly complicated. It can be as strategic as you want or not. If you don't use a battlemap or board and just keep it abstract, then you can move it along fairly quickly. Also, as the GM you don't really have to have every statistic about a creature to run a combat; you can just wing it with a few numbers. All you really need for combat is Hit Points, attack bonus total, and Armor Class. Sure, if you tried to run a 100 person fight with individual initiatives and combats, then it bog down. However, you really don't need to do that; you could just assign group of say 25 each or all 100 and give them the same initiative and combat rolls. You can scale D&D combat up or down as much as you want. At it's core, D&D combat is fairly simple.

As far as money goes, all you really need to play is the three core books: Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual. You can usually find these used and new on eBay and Amazon for reasonable prices (half or less of original price). As it has already pointed out, you don't even really need the core books: the 3.5 D&D SRD is free online, and so is the d20 Modern SRD.

The links to the 3.5 Dungeons & Dragons SRD and the d20 Modern SRD are on this page (left side under System Reference Document):

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=d20/welcome

The SRDs are all the rules for the core books, just boiled down and without fluff and pictures. All you really need to play these games are contained in the SRDs. If you are into tinkering and world building, then these are the perfect platform because you can use these SRDs to tailor your own fantasy, past, modern, or futuristic games and campaigns. The 3.5 D&D SRD is the three core books boiled down. The d20 Modern SRD is the core book, the Urban Arcana campaign book, and the d20 Future book boiled down.

Seriously, if cash is tight, then all you need is the free SRDs to start. If you are the type that needs a physical book (I'm like that too), then I would recommend buying used online. You can usually find good deals and the books will more than likely be in good condition.

GURPS 4e:
As I have said before, you cannot go wrong with GURPS as your first game system for a number of reasons. Unlike D&D, which may go through another edition change in a relatively short time, GURPS 4e remain in its current edition for years to come; if the past is any indicator. The books are hardbound and sturdy. All you really need to play GURPS is the one core book. The great thing about GURPS is the quality of the material. Whereas there have been many D&D books produced, there is a significant balance issue between the books produced after the core books. This is not the case with GURPS. Steve Jackson Games products are thoroughly playtested and researched before they are released.

As far as combat, GURPS can be as crunchy or streamlined as you like because you can tailor it to your liking with options or not. This is similiar to my take on D&D combat above: if you use a battleboard, then GURPS can bog down as well with large combats. But, you don't need to get that detailed; you just can keep it abstract and keep tracking of effective combat skill, DP/DR, Move and Hit Points. If you are focused more on role-playing and less combat, then all you really need are a few numbers for either D&D or GURPS combat. However, you can always make both systems combat more detailed if you wish.

As far as cash goes, GURPS is the better bargin for your money for several reasons. I already talked about the physical quality of GURPS books. Also, the material quality is top-notch and is regarded as the highest in the RPG industry. Any GURPS sourcebook you purchase will have a longevity in your RPG collection because it can be used as a resource for any RPG system that you have or will own. Also, the differences between 3rd and 4th editions GURPS are not all that great, which means that will very little work you can use any of the 3rd edition GURPS sourcebooks with your 4th edition GURPS game. This fact shouldn't be overlooked: 3rd GURPS has a large product line which is composed of quality material. You get the best of both worlds here: quantity of quality sourcebooks that can easily be converted to 4th edition GURPS. Again, you can easily find 3rd GURPS now used online for relatively cheap because now there is a new edition. If you are looking to maximize your spending power, then this is an avenue you should consider.

Also, with GURPS, all you really need to play the game is the Lite version, which is also free to download. It is just a streamlined version without all the myrid of choices; which could be a bonus starting out with the system. One of the most time consuming thing about GURPS is character creation due to the choices. However, this is GURPS strong point: characters are very detailed and can be tailored made to focus on role-playing and not just a bunch of combat statistics like D&D. If you are just using the Lite version, then you can reduce the number of choices at character creation which will reduce the time in creating characters for both the players and the GM's NPCs.

GURPS Lite can be downloaded here:

http://e23.sjgames.com/item.html?id=SJG31-0004

Conclusion:
Both systems have merits and flaws. Both systems are good for what they were created to do as a game. It comes down to a fundamental different approach: D&D/d20 Modern are class-level based systems, and GURPS is skill-driven point assignment system. D&D/d20 Modern character creation is quick and dirty while GURPS is more detailed and character driven. Combat for either game system can be as abstract or detailed as you wish.

Considering quality, logveity, and money spent, I would say that buck for buck GURPS is the better choice. GURPS has been around since the beginning of the RPG industry, and has set the standards for quality in the industry. GURPS is one of the top 5 game systems of the industry. More RPG produced are really just a variation of a select few systems: they are either skill-driven percentile based (Basic Role-Playing), class-level based (Dungeons & Dragons), or point-based (GURPS) when boiled down.

Don't get me wrong, I love both systems for different reasons. I have been playing D&D in every edition since 1982 (well, technically: 1st and 2nd AD&D, 3.0 and 3.5 D&D). I played 3rd GURPS for almost 10 years. My group of friends gravitated back to D&D when 3.0 Dungeons & Dragons came out and we haven't gone back to GURPS. However, I would play GURPS again in heartbeat if the group would go for it.

GURPS- GO FOR IT!!!! ;)

Drohem
01-15-2008, 11:20 AM
Addendum:

Ok, just a note about the differences between 3.5 Dungeons & Dragons and d20 Modern.

3.5 D&D is really designed specifically for a high fantasy game. Whereas, d20 Modern is designed for mundane or cinematic games. With d20 Modern, you can play in any era of history, modern day, or the future. It is robust in that regard. Also, the d20 Modern allows you to create a more diverse character than D&D due to the Basic/Advanced class system. In d20 Modern, the six basic classes only have 10 levels, and is designed so that character should multi-class because there are no restrictions on multi-classing. In order to achieve 20th level wth a d20 Modern character, you have to multi-class since no class is designed with 20 levels.

The great thing about d20 Modern is that if you want to add fantasy elements from D&D to your d20 Modern game, you can with the Urban Arcana Campaign book. It contains d20 Modern-ized versions of D&D classes, player character races, and creatures. It should also be noted that there is power level difference between D&D and d20 Modern; as it should be in my opinion. D&D has a greater power level than d20 Modern, and that is why I recommend using the rules in the Urban Arcana Campaign book if you want to add fantasy elements to your d20 Modern game rather straight importing D&D classes, creatures, races, spells, or items.

In conclusion, d20 Modern has been an under-rated game system, and has been over-shadowed by 3.x Dungeons & Dragons. WotC has focused on D&D for years, and put d20 Modern on the back-burner; especially since they have been working on D&D 4e. However, WotC has released that a new edition of d20 Modern is scheduled to be released in 2009.

All you need to play d20 Modern is the core book. However, with a just a few other sourcebooks (d20 Past, d20 Future, and Urban Arcana), you can create a campaign for any type of genre or time period just like GURPS.

Note: I really like d20 Modern. ;)

Mulsiphix
01-15-2008, 12:26 PM
After reading both of your posts I remain torn. There is so much available for D&D and I don't want to miss out. While I can use the Ptolus setting for a GURPS adventure it just isn't the same as playing it with the rules it was created around. Arg :(

Maelstrom
01-15-2008, 01:18 PM
Why not ask your potential players if you can't decide yourself?

Farcaster
01-15-2008, 02:06 PM
Again, I think it depends on what you are wanting to run. If you are going to be running a fantasy type game, I think D&D is by far your best choice for many reasons. First and foremost, you will probably find more people who enjoy and are already familiar with D&D for fantasy type games than any other system. There are also a lot more materials out there for D&D than GURPS fantasy that will be there and available for you when you want to use them -- modules, supplements, pages upon pages upon pages of monsters...

If you're going with a modern setting, or futuristic, I personally don't like the feel of d20 modern. Having level based advanced doesn't feel right to me. For anything other than fantasy, I prefer a skill based system that leaves it possible to create very diverse characters.

tesral
01-15-2008, 04:49 PM
Here is a conundrum. I was asked to weigh in, and I can't really say anything that has not already been said. D&D, good for high fantasy, do it if you do high fantasy. GURPS, good for Heroic level modern or future, do it if you play that. Both systems have the ability to handle other genre through related products or built into the system, but are best at the above.

Except perhaps that you don't have to stick with only one system. While I made a decision many years ago to only run D&D, that doesn't mean I restrict myself to only playing D&D. On the shelf right here I have D&D in Every edition, GURPS, Hero, Rifts, Star Trek in two flavors (FASA and LUG) d20 Modern, Star Wars d20, Shadowrun, Toon, Call of Chluthu, Mythworld, Fringerworthy, Bureau 13, and more. I collect and play game systems large and small. I have boxes with even more obscure games in in the basement.

Decide on which game you are playing, and get that system. However do not close yourself to just getting one system. Variety is the spice of life. Read lots of systems. Good ideas are where you find them.

Mulsiphix
01-15-2008, 05:33 PM
How much time does it take to get up and running with GURPS? Other than Drohem, what do you guys think about my fear of overly complex combat in D&D 3.X? I'm equally interested in Fantasy as I am in Future/Sci-Fi so the setting itself really isn't a factor in making this decision. This decision will be based on:
How much time is required to get a game up and running?
As an introduction to RP is one system stronger than the other/a better candidate?
Would it be foolish to not to learn to play a game due to its overly complicated game play mechanics?
Is D&D or GURPS have more potential than the other for RP'ing?
I have no group of players here locally. I plan to host my games online at first to get the hang of DM'ing before I even start seeking out anybody local. ANY feedback is good feedback and would be greatly appreciated. More info is needed :o

Drohem
01-15-2008, 06:34 PM
1. Honesty, probably about the same amount of time once you're familiar with the system. The class-level nature of D&D makes it easier to ballpark numbers more quickly. Whereas with GURPS, you have to add/subtract points to fully flesh out a NPC. But, as I've already indicated, as a GM you don't really need to fully flesh out all NPCs- you just need to ballpark a few crucial numbers. If a particular NPC is going to be re-occuring, then you can take the time to fully detail it.

2. Well, with no system bias, I would say neither has an advantage over the other. I would say that GURPS offered a better template for character role playing due to the Advantage/Disadvantage system.

3. Short answer- yes, when talking about GURPS and D&D. Believe it or not there are some systems out there that are more complicated than these two, and in that case, then it might not be foolish to stay away from the more complicated systems.

4. Role playing potential is really a function of the player and GM. However, I would say that GURPS has more potential based upon the detailed character creation system, especially in regards to Advantages/Disadvantages/Quirks. In D&D, beginning characters can easily become template or character cut-outs. GURPS allows for highly detailed and specific characters that are unique.

Mulsiphix
01-15-2008, 08:59 PM
Drohem I can't thank you enough for your super detailed responses. I really appreciate it. I was talking with my wife in the car, going over everything said in this thread and the pro's and con's of each system. In the end both systems are pretty damn even. There is no clear winner that I can see.

When I started looking into RP'ing D&D was where I started my research. I fell in love with products like Ptolus and Wilderlands. Upon further research I came to find amazing varients like The Complete Book Of Eldrich Might, Arcana Unearthed, The Book Of Iron Might, Iron Heroes, and Arcana Evolved. Further research led me to D20 and I found products that really peaked my interest like DragonMech, Book Of Erotic Fantasy, and Conan. As if this weren't enough I came across quality DM props and tools like DMGenie, MapTool, SkeletonKey Games e-Tiles/Adventure Tiles, paper terrain, and countless professional quality maps. I fell in love with D&D. I was instantly a D&D fanboy and when I heard of GURPS I thought it was a pathetic wanna be system. As I started to actually read D&D products and talk with actual D&D players on these boards (the 3.X vs 4E conversations were most helpful) I started to see how broken the 3.X system was in many players eyes. The more I sought answers the less excited I became.

I started to look into other RP systems and GURPS was the very last system I looked at. I fell in love all over again. GURPS was just what I was looking for. The problem is that I have a "kid in a candy store" complex never having experienced anything but wargaming. I want to try so many different settings but I really don't have the time to learn multiple rule systems, nor play games in all of them so the systems mechanics get commited to the "experienced" section of my long term memory. Even if GURPS does offer me boundless possibilities in the end I'm going to have to settle on one or two settings and play in them for a while. I just don't have the time to play in everything I want to, at least not right from the start.

Fantasy however is not something I want to shove aside. I love fantasy and I am still very much in love with D&D. After hearing here that D&D and GURPS can be as easy going or complex as you choose to make them, the list of reasons to choose one system over the other seems to be growing ever shorter. Both are evenly matched and both are assured to give me great amounts of fun.

In the end though I have a mind set that I don't quite understand. I feel that if I get into GURPS right now and it is as awesome as I imagine it will be, there is the chance (especially with 4E around the corner) that I will never play D&D 3.X and all those supplements I fell in love with. Sure more D&D will be there to be had but the window for 3.X goodness will grow smaller as time goes on. However, if I play D&D first there is no question in my mind that I will play GURPS. It is just a matter of time before I pick it up. With this mindset it would appear D&D is the clear winner. But it is bugging me horribly that I believe both systems are truly equal and yet if I choose GURPS over D&D in the beginning, there is a chance that I may never play both. Bah I'm just rambling now :(

Digital Arcanist
01-15-2008, 10:06 PM
I'm still confused why you can't get both.....

I love D&D and I love GURPS.....I mowed lawns for my books, maybe you could too?

Drohem
01-15-2008, 10:32 PM
Well, there is the fact that 3.5 will be replaced by 4e shortly. I strongly suspect that it is going to be a long time before another edition of GURPS will come out.

Unless you are a serious bibilophile, then I would recommend buying used copies of the core books. :)

Mulsiphix
01-16-2008, 12:01 AM
I just don't have the time to learn both systems. I see no point to learning both and then only playing using one of them. If I were to learn both right now I would need to have two sessions a week, one D&D and one GURPS, so the info that I did learn would actually stay with me. I really only have time for one system right now and am trying to figure out what would be the best one to go with. I know for many here such concerns are non-existent as you are seasoned PnP'ers but for a wargamer wishing to go RP, I actually have a lot to lose if I end up disliking the system I go for. I'm putting a lot of thought and effort into it and driving myself nuts. There is a thin line between dedication to finding the system that is right for you and obsessing over the task. That line is blurred to me right now. I'm usually very opinionated and make such decisions easily. It is a rare occasion indeed that I am so utterly torn :o.

Digital Arcanist
01-16-2008, 12:25 AM
Play it safe for now and stick with D&D. There is a larger, more accessible player base and you can go as high-tech as you want with the settings.

Down the line you definitely need to sample the other systems like Champs, M&M, WoD, and the myriad other games. The best place to do it is probably GenCon, DunDraCon, and whatever local conventions you can find.

jayphailey
01-16-2008, 12:29 AM
People have been playing fantasy role playing games using GURPS for years.


It's not really an either/or choice.

Jay ~Meow!~

Digital Arcanist
01-16-2008, 12:31 AM
People have been playing fantasy role playing games using GURPS for years.


It's not really an either/or choice.

Jay ~Meow!~

It is when you have to buy the books and learn the rules. Apparently Mulsiphix has no faith in his ability to retain information.:( Let this be a lesson to you youngins....don't get old or you might end up like Mulsiphix!!:p

jayphailey
01-16-2008, 12:44 AM
I have yet to run into any setting, Faerun, Star Wars, Star Trek, modern day cop show, modern day urban fantasy

Not a single one that I couldn't run *adequately* using GURPS, either edition, Hero System, or D20 modern.

I am more Story based, so for me, it's about the players buying into their characters and the situations the characters find themselves in.

Sometimes the Players like the crunchy stuff - and a pretty straightforward combat secenario fills that need in any of these systems.

Sometimes a good session is when no die are touched.

Sometimes a good session is when the Players gulp and grip their dice, wondering if their characters are going to survive this mess.

The systemry is really secondary to the story and how well the players buy into it.

So what game system to buy?

GURPS is a good mix of flexible and easier. HERO system is good for detailed character conceptions and more finely detailed simulation. D20 is excellent for ease of play, but so-so on flexibility.

I can't tell you which one you will be happier with. I can tell you it's really far far secondary to who you're playing with and how much fun you have.

I know that D20 modern has a lot of support, but it's going to change, soon, because of D&D4th/Star Wars SAGA.

The GURPS books are spendy but they probably won't come up with a new edition soon. GURPS also has a boat load of world books and support information.

So. Flip a coin.

There is no point in getting really worked up, here. Role Playing Gaming is fun, but it's supposed to be just that. Fun. If you're not having fun, then it's not working like it should.

Jay ~Meow!~

Mulsiphix
01-16-2008, 01:26 AM
My ability to retain information is quite adequate. But given that I split my time between raising two toddlers at home, am trying to write my first novel, supplementing my income with an eBay business, and spending quality time with my wife when no kids are around... well reading the entire PHB and DMG is a daunting task indeed. Thats a good 600+ pages right there that I need to be quite familiar with. I don't need to be a rules lawyer right off the bat but I would like to avoid looking up rules during the game as much as possible. Whether that is an actual physical book or the searchable SRD, it still brings the game to a halt.

In order to keep things consistent I prefer not to have to "wing it" when it comes to rulings anymore than I have too. I know that D&D isn't about rules lawyering and that the rules are more guidelines than unavoidable laws set in stone. However, I plan to house rule things quite a bit for my custom campaign settings. To do this I must first have a strong grasp on the existing rules before I can start to analyze what is lacking, what needs to be changed, what needs to be removed, etc... Since I've never played as a player and am going straight into being a DM there is little more I can do to prepare than to be well acquainted with the information presented in the PHB and DMG.

I don't see GURPS as much of an epic learning experience as the majority of the complexities lye in character creation and not the game mechanics themselves. However when learning D&D is concerned I just don't think I''ll have enough free time to learn the GURPS system and host a second game each week in a GURPS setting. Since I only have time to play in one setting each week there really is no point in learning both right now. While I am confident I could learn both I don't think there is much point to learning both systems and only playing a weekly game using one of the systems. I'm definitely a "cause and effect" learner. I take in info just fine but without seeing it executed I will eventually forget a lot of what I learned. I remember Algebra near perfectly but remember virtually nothing from French class.

I'm still leaning heavily towards GURPS. It would be much easier if Malhavoc Press didn't put out so many blockbuster products. I think it is funny that I covet his work so much when the majority of it was variant rules and alternate classes, spells, feats, etc... GURPS gives me all the possibilities that Malhavoc Press books do, except its under one unified system. Too bad there aren't products like Ptolus or Wilderlands for GURPS :(

jayphailey
01-16-2008, 01:52 AM
It is entirely possible to convert world bokks and supplements betyween systems, if you want to.

The setting is not the same as the game mechanics.

Jay ~Meow!~

tesral
01-16-2008, 03:02 AM
Unless you are a serious bibilophile, then I would recommend buying used copies of the core books. :)

Used is a great idea. Half price and less even. Get twice the book for the budget.

On the role-playing side you will get just as much role-playing as GM and players want. The system is not a factor. Anyone can write a background. I have backgrounds for fiction characters that have absolutely no system attached at all.

jayphailey
01-16-2008, 03:14 AM
Agreed. Cheap books and used books are just as good. If not better.


http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b/105-2692760-6111613?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=d20+modern

Not the best prices for the core books. but the supplement oprices are not bad.

Ebay has some better prices
http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?ht=1&from=R4&satitle=D20+Modern&sacat=267%26catref%3DC6

Jay ~Meow!~

fmitchell
01-16-2008, 07:59 AM
Amazon also has decent prices for GURPS books, generally in the $23 - $26 range.

Mulsiphix
01-16-2008, 08:34 AM
At this point price isn't much of a concern. I will buy the books off of eBay as they are cheaper, I can get them in lots, and I already do a lot of eBay buying and selling on a weekly basis. Besides the core books will be more than enough to get me started. Still trying to figure out what kind of setting I want to play in first :)

Maelstrom
01-16-2008, 10:40 AM
I just don't have the time to learn both systems. I see no point to learning both and then only playing using one of them.

What do you mean by learning a system? It doesn't take long to figure out how to build a 1st level Fighter in D&D and run it against some Goblins. You can even do that with your wife, you as the DM and she as the player, if you're interested. Just about everything you need for this is in the SRD, so you are not down any money. If you want a better indication, buy a used premade adventure, or find one online. They usually have almost all you need to play. Granted, these adventures are usually made for multiple players, but they can be scaled somewhat.

Hmm... didn't you mention you have Dungeonmastering for Dummies elsewhere? If so, that has a very nice starting adventure tracking down a wererat.

I haven't played GURPS, but I'm sure lite is just the same. Pick out enough rules so that you can play one session with a very small plot, I'm sure folks could help point you in the direction for that.

Then see which one you liked better and go for it. There is no right answer, if you like Fantasy you'll like D&D assuming you have a relatively open mind and a willingness to fix things you think are broken. Same goes for Gurps, I'm sure.

I can see why you are overwhelmed... This forum is full of some of the most intelligent and advanced RPG players I've met, with some brilliant ideas and deep questions to work out. You don't need to start complex though, start simple and work from there.

Drohem
01-16-2008, 11:01 AM
GURPS Fantasy world of Yrth is pretty darn cool to me. It's not the cup of tea for everyone, but if you're into earth's history and cultures at all, then you'll find Yrth pretty cool.

Basically, on the fantasy world of Yrth a long time ago the Dark Elves (not actually dark, named so because they broke away from other elves and misused magic) created a magical storm that went crazy and beyond their control. It is called the Banestorm.

The Banestorm has bends the boundries between worlds, and picks up people, groups and sometimes whole villages or towns from other worlds. The Banestorm has touched earth many times throughout our history.

Consequently, there is a large Oriental cultural mash from earth on Yrth. There is a large Celtic presence on Yrth. Their is a huge religious struggle between Christians and Muslims on Yrth. The Crusades from earth has basically continued on Yrth.

It is a really interesting concept and great way to blend some earth cultures and religions with a fantasy world.

Mulsiphix
01-16-2008, 11:33 AM
Yrth sounds fascinating. I've been talking my wifes ear off for a solid four days now about my dilemma and I think I've finally come to a conclusion. GURPS is my system of choice. When I remove Ptolus, Wilderlands, and Malhavoc Press, there are few products left for D&D that I am excited about playing. I've been playing fantasy themed video games for years. Final Fantasy series, Neverwinter Nights, Bauldur's Gate series, and pretty much any popular fantasy themed RPG since the days of Nintendo. I was an avid video game console collector and have played a lot of games that were never even released in the states. While hardly D&D I was immersed in fantasy for the last two decades which is probably why D&D isn't the mouth watering fruit it is to so many others.

jayphailey brought up a very good point. This choice should have nothing to do with the products available for the systems but should be about the choice between system mechanics, as backgrounds can be tailored to fit just about any game system with a little work. When choosing between a class based system and a point based system the choice is, without doubt, clear; point based systems are for me. I could go on to discuss the benefits, as far as I'm concerned, but that is another thread all together.

I put wargaming on the side to pursue role playing. D&D's RP element relies heavily on the DM and combat within the system is more like a wargame. D&D combat as a wargame is a broken system as far as I am concerned. If I had to choose between D&D combat and another system, I would pick another system every time. D&D combat is overly complicated and not in a good way. The wargames I do know and love (BattleTech, Warhammer FRP/40K, VOR, Heavy Gear) are awesome and I've always fantasized about RP'ing as my characters. GURPS is the perfect system to do just that. GURPS + Wargame = PWNAGE!

I know the reason I kept coming back to D&D was because I didn't want to let Ptolus or Malhavoc Press go. Ptolus can be converted and what Malhavoc Press offers (variants, alternatives, new options) is freedom from well known system templates. GURPS offers me this freedom right out of the box with no need to purchase lots of other books to get the same effect. My thanks go out to everybody who participated in this thread and for being patient with me. I sincerely appreciate it ;)

jayphailey
01-16-2008, 09:29 PM
You're welcome. I find that, in regards to role playing gaming, all ida are grist for the mill. Ideas are where you find them.

Jay ~Meow!~

tesral
01-17-2008, 03:14 PM
I put wargaming on the side to pursue role playing. D&D's RP element relies heavily on the DM and combat within the system is more like a wargame.

I wish to clear this up. Role-playing in any system is entirely dependent on the GM and players. No system truly helps or hinders that. D&D isn't better for role-playing that anything else, nor is it worse.

Combat in any system will come off all war game on you, it is the necessity of the simulation. D&D combat flows quickly and easily, if you have people that can make up their minds. If you don't you get a 30 second egg timer. You can make it complex, but at the core it is not. Roll to hit, roll to damage, next please.

Background and motivations are created by the player. Even GURPS doesn't give you an role-playing reason for something like a "hunted". You have to create that. It just tells you what the disadvantage is, what the in system effects are. The role-playing reason and the special effects are up to you and GM.

Want some honest advice? Find a large gaming group at a local college. Play a few games before you decide on something. You don't need the books to play. GURPS has GURPS lite you can download, D&D has the SRD. Making a large investment without trying out the product is not a great idea.

MortonStromgal
01-17-2008, 04:23 PM
GURPS Fantasy world of Yrth is pretty darn cool to me. It's not the cup of tea for everyone, but if you're into earth's history and cultures at all, then you'll find Yrth pretty cool.


I agree!!!!! though if your players have strong feelings on religion one way or the other it can ruin an otherwise fun game

Drohem
01-17-2008, 04:26 PM
I agree!!!!! though if your players have strong feelings on religion one way or the other it can ruin an otherwise fun game

hehe..not a problem in my group...they're all equally predujiced against *any* organized religion. ;)

Farcaster
01-17-2008, 04:50 PM
I put wargaming on the side to pursue role playing. D&D's RP element relies heavily on the DM and combat within the system is more like a wargame. D&D combat as a wargame is a broken system as far as I am concerned. If I had to choose between D&D combat and another system, I would pick another system every time. D&D combat is overly complicated and not in a good way. The wargames I do know and love (BattleTech, Warhammer FRP/40K, VOR, Heavy Gear) are awesome and I've always fantasized about RP'ing as my characters. GURPS is the perfect system to do just that. GURPS + Wargame = PWNAGE!

Mul, I thought you hadn't played D&D before? If that's so, how can you possibly make such assertions?

Mulsiphix
01-17-2008, 07:06 PM
Mul, I thought you hadn't played D&D before? If that's so, how can you possibly make such assertions?Farcaster I do a lot more reading on this forum than I do posting. Ever since I came I've been asking questions and getting clarifications on things I do not understand. I've soaked up the information in every post that has crossed my path. I've read thousands of posts and the majority of that content was about D&D. Since 4E is coming about there has been A LOT of comparing between 3.X and 4E. From game mechanics people like, to the ones they hate, to what they would like changed, etc...

Away from this website I've been sitting in on D&D games in various online game clients. I've been downloading videos from youtube and myspace to see how a game of D&D is really played. I've read Dungeons & Dragons For Dummies, Dungeon Mastering For Dummies, and bits and pieces of just about any book I can find locally in a store. I've been on a maddening search to locate and read every extensively written (goes into actual detail about how the game was played, player turns, etc... not just a summaries version of what happened in a game) blogs, game journals, campaign wiki's, etc...

While I have no sat in as a player I have spent the last three and a half months digesting as much information as possibly could about D&D from many different angles. From what I have seen so far it is my opinion that a good chunk of D&D games are far more combat oriented than they are RP oriented. The combat in D&D is overly complicated and in a bad way. It is drawn out and just isn't how combat in a PnP should be handled. I believe that D&D really is two games in one. There is the RP game and the Combat game. They are so different and unincorporated that they are two different things indeed. From what I have read about 4E I am optimistic that combat will change, not so static, in 4E. D&D as an RP game can be awesome with the right DM but in your average game the RP seems to be an afterthought and Combat is the main focus. This is of course just my opinion but I do feel that I have enough information to make an educated decision, even if that decision is not based on personal game playing experience.

MortonStromgal
01-17-2008, 09:29 PM
Good lord man just play one! thats the fun :D I saw D&D 1 on 1 adventures in the gaming store today... Now as anyone can tell D&D is not my game of choice but you should spend the hours playing not researching :rolleyes:

Maelstrom
01-17-2008, 09:35 PM
Hey Mul, I don't really understand the assertions you are making about D&D being overly complicated and broken... I'd love to see where you got these impressions and whether its misconceptions or just differences of tastes, but I hesitate to do that here and bog down a GURPS thread with such details. If you're game, start a topic and prepare for war in D&D land :D

Mulsiphix
01-17-2008, 11:48 PM
I'd love to see where you got these impressions and whether its misconceptions or just differences of tastes, but I hesitate to do that here and bog down a GURPS thread with such details. If you're game, start a topic and prepare for war in D&D land :DBring it on (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php?p=18701#post18701). My initial post doesn't include any examples of where I got these misconceptions from but I will be happy to post some when I have a little more time to go digging through non-active threads.

Farcaster
01-18-2008, 01:07 AM
Farcaster I do a lot more reading on this forum than I do posting. Ever since I came I've been asking questions and getting clarifications on things I do not understand. I've soaked up the information in every post that has crossed my path. I've read thousands of posts and the majority of that content was about D&D. Since 4E is coming about there has been A LOT of comparing between 3.X and 4E. From game mechanics people like, to the ones they hate, to what they would like changed, etc...
Mul,

Reading about something and experiencing it are completely different things. Every post, every article, every book is going to bring to the table the bias of its author. I for one am biased towards D&D and I found GURPS lacks the right feel for the type of fantasy games that I enjoy. I also personally think that the GURPS system as a whole is far more complicated than D&D, but just because I say it, does not make it the gospel truth.

The only way you are truly going to know which system is better for you is by trying them out. One certainly can't make an informed decision if the body of one's knowledge is based on the opinions and pontifications of others (and most notably, not people who will be players in your game). But, what I was questioning was the voice of authority from which you seemed to be speaking. If you've haven't played D&D or GURPS (or even flipped through the books and read the rules), how can you assert that one's combat system is better than the other, or that D&D's system is broken while the GURPS combat system better supports roleplay? It's a bit disingenuous to make a statement like that based only on regurgitated information.

In another context, imagine that I got all of my news from radio commentators. My vision of the world would be very skewed, would it not? While I may admittedly tune in to the talking heads of radio, I must take their words with a grain of salt and do my own research into the issues. Their insights might (occasionally) be valuable, but I cannot rely on their rhetoric alone to know the truth of things.

Mulsiphix
01-18-2008, 01:25 AM
I've grown very frustrated with choosing a system. My time is so limited and I find both books intimidating. To be honest learning BattleTech was quite hard for me. It was VERY time consuming, quite confusing, and so hard to remember at times that I seriously wondered if it was worth pursuing. I stand today a BattleTech junkie and am glad I stuck with the program. However, while being a veteran BTech'er is nice, I still reflect upon the learning process as a sour cocktail of nostalgia mixed with mental terror. If it is at all possible I want to avoid learning both. I find both systems intimidating and the learning process for each system would be time consuming. The way I look at each system is, which am I prepared to learn 110%?

As a DM I feel it is my duty and obligation, on this I know many of you will not agree but I stand firm on this belief, that referencing rulebooks on my part is unacceptable during a game. Learning each system in this manner will prove far more time consuming than just reading the books once and being done with it. I believe that radio hosts are generally extremists that are hired to appeal to a specific target audience. I do not believe anybody here is offering me anything more or less than their genuine opinion. I agree that experience is needed to truly make an informed decision but I am not ready to make such a sacrifice in time if I can make an acceptable decision based on the opinions of those who are very experience and opinionated.

As long as people are willing to discuss topics with me I will continue to ask questions. Whether it is a smart thing to do or not is definitely in the eye of the beholder. I respect your opinion and definitely can see the logic behind it. However, I am more than willing to take the risk that comes with making this decision without actually experiencing each game system on my own before making said decision.

Farcaster
01-18-2008, 01:57 AM
I'm not trying to disparage your approach to finding a game to play. I'm only advising caution when slinging mud at a system you've never played. I think this is good advice for all of us, actually. Ever since the announcement of 4e for D&D, I've been seeing a lot of people railing against a system that isn't even out yet. I was guilty of doing the same thing when 3rd edition came out, and I had to eat my words later on down the line when I actually read, played and understood the game mechanics. That is why I am reserving my judgement until I see the finished product. I may have a lot of What-the-Heck moments, but before I start shaking my fist and decrying WotC as the Anti-Christ, I will wait until I can see the whole picture.

Mulsiphix
01-18-2008, 02:56 AM
I declared them the Anti-Christ over how they handle Magic The Gathering a very long time ago. Sadly they have yet to change anything I consider a negative into a positive. I still find myself paying boat loads of cash to buy the same republished cards over and over again as each new edition and expansion comes out :o

Drohem
01-18-2008, 10:55 AM
I declared them the Anti-Christ over how they handle Magic The Gathering a very long time ago. Sadly they have yet to change anything I consider a negative into a positive. I still find myself paying boat loads of cash to buy the same republished cards over and over again as each new edition and expansion comes out :o

Egads! You got sucked into the CCG thing? You poor devil. Knowing my own complusive nature, I avoided that demon like the plague. :D

MortonStromgal
01-18-2008, 11:59 AM
L5R ruled my wallet for many years. The thing is if you only ever want 1 system just go with gurps otherwise just pick up one that interests you and go from there. I really think GURPS is for you based on you collecting oWOD stuff from other threads. They had some GURPS 3rd conversion books for VTM, WTA, and MTA. If you only ever want to learn one system GURPS is it hands down. You can always pull things from other system.

Mulsiphix
01-18-2008, 09:09 PM
Yeah I got sucked into the MTG thing. What was even more horrible is I thought it was a stupid hobby when I was younger and was big on video games. Somebody finally got me to sit down and play it and I was hooked. Being the completist that I am I collected as far back as I could. What was even worse is that I had a really hard time finding people locally to play with so I switched over to Magic Online and purchased everything all over again. I'm a real sucker for that game.

A while ago I was trying to decide between WOD and D&D. When I found GURPS I put WOD to the side because I thought the oWOD would very easily convert over to GURPS. So why limit myself to just WOD when I could get more settings out of GURPS hehe.

Drohem
01-18-2008, 09:58 PM
A while ago I was trying to decide between WOD and D&D. When I found GURPS I put WOD to the side because I thought the oWOD would very easily convert over to GURPS. So why limit myself to just WOD when I could get more settings out of GURPS hehe.

Good thinking; and Steve Jackson Games already did most of the work with their 3e White Wolf line.

Mulsiphix
01-18-2008, 10:18 PM
Very good to hear :cool:

nijineko
01-19-2008, 10:25 AM
here are my two copper pieces....

i like both systems. i found that there was one character that i could make better in gurps than dnd, at least until they finally came out with something similar to what i wanted. and dnd "feels" fantasy-ish. it has all that history behind it.

i went through the same issues trying to pick which system i would spend my money on first, and which ones i would wait til they hit the bargin bin.

me personally, i've found gurps best if you want to cross systems. there is no better game for playing a lensman, john carter of mars, scarlet pimpernel, and riverworld crossover than gurps! when you want to not just mix and match genres, but toss them in the blender and hit the tim-the-toolman-taylor-super-maximum-overdrive-puree-liquidation-big-red-button, gurps is your game.

as for me personally, i've never happened to play fantasy in gurps... (just about everything but). so i haven't experienced it. leaving me with the impression that dnd has a more 'fantasy' feel. but hey, it really boils down to some of the good advice you've already received. which do you feel more comfortable with? which do you feel more proficient at teaching to someone, if it comes to that?

=D

Mulsiphix
01-19-2008, 12:25 PM
Lately I've seemed to really ruffle the feathers of a lot of the veterans. I've received numerous PM's offering me everything from personal opinions to game invitations to links for research and a good amount of general non-biased advice. I feel the community has really gone out of their way to try and help me make the decision that is right for me and for that I am truly grateful.

Over the last couple of days my wife has made it very clear how very much she wants to play Ptolus. Other than Ptolus she has no other fantasy settings she wants to play. The biggest reason she has fallen in love with Ptolus is because I bought the book, it came with all that awesome stuff in the envelope, we bought one of those massive Vinyl maps, several SkeletonKey Games tile sets, and other goodies. I accepted that D&D was the system I was going to play for about 24 hours.

It was a very tough 24 hours mentally. My mind just cannot let go of GURPS or Ptolus. It can let go of all of the other Monte Cook settings but not Ptolus. I finally came to the conclusion that D&D wasn't for me because it really is a fantasy powered system. There are all sorts of cool D20 products, including D20 Modern, but it just isn't for me. I am compelled to create my own settings. I am obsessed with playing multiple settings. I can see myself playing two or three different campaigns at one time, two to three sessions per week. Each one of those campaigns would be a different genre. D&D could accommodate this but not as well as GURPS.

Not to mention I am absolutely dying to create my own campaign setting from utter scratch. I know it will take a long time but I look forward to the process. I went out today and purchased the GURPS 4E Basic Set Characters & Campaigns books on eBay. They're paid for and going to be shipped next week. Whether I like it or not GURPS is going to be my first system. No matter how hard I tried to consider both systems I always came running back to GURPS for one reason or another. This time the decision is quite final. Thank you for bearing with me through my flip-flopping and constant, often-unfounded, flaming of each system. Thank you all ;)

MortonStromgal
01-19-2008, 01:55 PM
I think you made a good call based on what you want to do. ;)

Mulsiphix
01-19-2008, 02:00 PM
Thank you :o

Drohem
01-19-2008, 05:48 PM
I think you made a good call based on what you want to do. ;)


Ditto :D

tesral
01-20-2008, 12:17 PM
I am going to back Farcaster 100% here. Theory is not practice. It doesn't matter how much you watch or read. Until you are actually in the system, you don't know how it works.

Frankly, find a game and play it. Don't jump into GMing anything cold. Speaking from experience here. A total lack of DMs meant I had to start that way, but it is not the way to do it. We made every mistake in the book my early group and I. I doubtless could write a book on how not to DM. Find a game, play a game, ANY game, GURPS, D&D, Bunnies & Burrows, whatever game. The best way to learn a system is not to read it, but to use it. I would actually class reading the system then trying to play as the worst way to do it.

I don't care which system the book is not the game. There is a certain ineffable "tribal knowledge" that has never been and never will be placed between the covers of any book. You need to play the game, with someone that knows it.

A virgin can study the mechanics of sex, read a thousand sex manuals, and watch a million porn films, but until they get in bed and do it, they don't really know anything. RPG is the same way. Trust your Uncle Tesral.

Mulsiphix
01-20-2008, 01:22 PM
A virgin can study the mechanics of sex, read a thousand sex manuals, and watch a million porn films, but until they get in bed and do it, they don't really know anything. RPG is the same way. Trust your Uncle Tesral.First off that last sentence is just creepy :eek:. And I completely disagree. I won't go into why but personally speaking I disagree very strongly.

jayphailey
01-20-2008, 05:16 PM
Analysis Paralysis. Grab some friends and go play.

Jay ~Meow!~

tesral
01-20-2008, 07:45 PM
First off that last sentence is just creepy :eek:. And I completely disagree. I won't go into why but personally speaking I disagree very strongly.

I'm a creepy kind of guy. :p

Don't worry, you'll find out. Trust the been, there done that Grongnards. We've been there and done that. The book is not the game. Jay is right Analysis Paralysis. Stop talking and thinking and go play.

Mulsiphix
01-20-2008, 07:56 PM
Don't worry, you'll find out. Trust the been, there done that Grongnards. We've been there and done that. The book is not the game. Jay is right Analysis Paralysis. Stop talking and thinking and go play.:eek: And the creeplyness continues :rolleyes:

nijineko
01-21-2008, 11:44 AM
hey, mul... every try reading the roleplaying gamer's bible? (http://www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Roleplaying-Gamers-Bible-2nd/dp/0967442907) very comprehensive. ^^

besides it's not about the system. it's who you play with. no system is inherently broken. it's the people. any group can compensate for rules, if they want to.

Mulsiphix
01-22-2008, 12:14 AM
No but it just got added to my list. I didn't even know about it. Thank you very much for the link ;)

michael
08-28-2009, 11:34 AM
How much time does it take to get up and running with GURPS? Other than Drohem, what do you guys think about my fear of overly complex combat in D&D 3.X? I'm equally interested in Fantasy as I am in Future/Sci-Fi so the setting itself really isn't a factor in making this decision. This decision will be based on:
How much time is required to get a game up and running?
As an introduction to RP is one system stronger than the other/a better candidate?
Would it be foolish to not to learn to play a game due to its overly complicated game play mechanics?
Is D&D or GURPS have more potential than the other for RP'ing?
I have no group of players here locally. I plan to host my games online at first to get the hang of DM'ing before I even start seeking out anybody local. ANY feedback is good feedback and would be greatly appreciated. More info is needed :o

I find that D&D has a more complex combat system and that GURPS does promote more RP. Also, I would play in someone else's campaign before running a game of any sort.

tesral
08-28-2009, 12:36 PM
Playing any game before you try to run it is a good idea. Get a little experience under someone that knows the system. Doing is a better way to learn that reading the book.

Harwel
08-29-2009, 03:15 PM
Pshaw. What happened to the good old days when people just jumped right in and did it? Do a dry run combat with a few non-combat tasks thrown in, and then just do it.

Bearfoot_Adam
08-31-2009, 06:29 PM
Whats up with Resurecting Mulsiphix's old threads. Sorry Thoth I think you have been replaced by a better necromancer

squidyak
09-01-2009, 07:25 AM
I say you split the difference and play Alternity.

michael
09-01-2009, 08:23 AM
Alternity is sweet. I love the Mechaluses.

Magesteff
09-24-2009, 06:41 AM
GURPS vs AD&D -

I generally do not buy any system that I don't play in often. Which doesn't say much as I have been playing games for over 20 years. I have a mostly full set of AD&D 1ed (about 10 books). I have three books from AD&D 2nd Ed, and none from following editions. GURPS -have about 15 or so books 1st Ed, core books (basic, Magic Spells and Psionic powers), and setting books (i.e. Fantasy, Cliffhanger, Supers).

Off and on I have played in long running campaigns in each. AD&D uses many different sided dice. GURPS uses 3d6 dice generally (damage and effects might use additional d6).

I look at the systems as "Background" mechanics, once you get used to it, you can use any system for any genre. GURPS has more setting books for the different genres, but you can adapt AD&D to any genre you want with a little work.

My main criteria is "how often am I going to use this system?" and "am I using this system in any games that I have played more than a few times?" - I haven't played in any long running campaigns of higher editions of AD&D besides 1st ed - and only bought the few books of 2nd Ed because it looked like I was going to be playing in a long running campaign (which only lasted a few weeks). I played in many many GURPS groups for years, but now not so often.

I figure I have spent several hundred dollars worth on AD&D 1st and GURPS 1st, and this was back when the books were under $20 US. Now the core books are costing much more, double and often triple that amount. It is difficult for me to justify spending that level of money on a system that will be coming out with a new edition in a couple years. I'm also an older player, and have to budget my money carefully if I am going to make certain I have money to pay my rent.

My opinion... put your money into a new system rather than one you have an earlier edition for, or put your money into rounding out your books for a system you already have. If you don't have GURPS, buy the core rule book. If you don't have AD&D books buy a core rule book for that. If you already have a core rule books, regardless of edition, expand on those that you have rather than buy the next edition.

This is just my opinion, your mileage may vary.