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  Click here to go to the first special guest post in this thread.   Thread: Why I am Back with GURPS :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by MortonStromgal View Post
    That is not what I mean. I mean that I dont get 7/5/3 and pick I want 7 to go on my physical stats. This limits me, which I like, while still allowing for some flexibility.
    That's a mechanism for a completely different game. (World of Darkness?) If you like it, go with that game. There are even easier ones, e.g. PDQ where you allocate points among freeform "qualities", e.g. "Order of Hermes: Good", and you're done. (Assuming everyone agrees on the definition and limitations of the Order of Hermes.)

    I agree that making your own templates is a pain; unless every one of your gamers is a GURPS expert, that's the price of using the system.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmitchell View Post
    3d6 roll under is one of the things I'm not so much a fan of anymore; roll-over makes math at the table simpler.
    I disagree. Roll-under systems remove a mathematical step more often than not.

    Compare:

    "I need to roll a 25 or better, my effective skill is 15, I rolled an 8, 15 + 8 = 23, I fail."

    "My effective skill is 15, I need to roll under that. I rolled a 17, I fail."

    Roll-over systems have an advantage in that it's possible to have more levels of success (especially if you have exploding dice or dice pools or whatnot), but they're definitely not simpler math.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harwel View Post
    I disagree. Roll-under systems remove a mathematical step more often than not.

    Compare:

    "I need to roll a 25 or better, my effective skill is 15, I rolled an 8, 15 + 8 = 23, I fail."

    "My effective skill is 15, I need to roll under that. I rolled a 17, I fail."
    You're skipping over the step of calculating "effective skill". In roll-under systems, you add and subtract and add and subtract modifiers based on conditions. In a typical roll-over system, you have a base bonus, maybe a pre-calculated effective bonus, with environmental factors, against a "difficulty factor" which at worst the GM calculates on-the-fly based on circumstances. Mathematically, it's the same, but cognitively it's a little easier to add than subtract at the table ... and you can calculate many bonuses and difficulties ahead of time.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmitchell View Post
    You're skipping over the step of calculating "effective skill". In roll-under systems, you add and subtract and add and subtract modifiers based on conditions. In a typical roll-over system, you have a base bonus, maybe a pre-calculated effective bonus, with environmental factors, against a "difficulty factor" which at worst the GM calculates on-the-fly based on circumstances. Mathematically, it's the same, but cognitively it's a little easier to add than subtract at the table ... and you can calculate many bonuses and difficulties ahead of time.
    I don't agree with that either. A lot of roll-overs have a fixed target number and all modifiers are added or subtracted from effective skill. Either that, or the you're adding or subtracting modifiers from the target number. They are, in essence, the same in terms of calculating effective skill. Whether your adding or subtracting depends entirely on whether you're assessing higher or lower difficulty to a given task.
    Last edited by Harwel; 11-25-2009 at 10:58 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skygalleons View Post
    I guess I am the exact opposite when it comes to wanting to be involved with GURPS. I tried literally for years with my absolute favorite settings to get interested in GURPS, but I could not. The system is just too bloody complex. While not as bad as anything from the defunct FGU, who were at least honest enough to say "The system is complex because life is complex," GURPS manages to make even the simplest thing a week long event. Character creation or even worse, ship design are brutal. I can't speak for the math majors out there, but if your system involves cube roots, it is too complicated!

    In addition to the needless, one could even say mindless, complexity, my major problem with anything designed by SJGames is the company's insistence on one second long combat rounds. As an experienced marksman, with more years in the Army than I care to remember, a GURPS character can do more in one second than any human can possibly do.

    However, on the other hand, the extremely detailed nature of GURPS has one very strong plus. If you need a resource book, you simply can not beat a GURPS book. If I am running a setting and there is a GURPS book for that setting, I will snap it up as the GURPS book, even though it will never be used as the game being played, as I know it will cover the setting I am running better than anything short of a doctoral thesis on the topic.

    I guess it is gamers like yourself that keep GURPS afloat as somebody must like the complexity to keep the system alive after so long. Many far easier, and in my opinion fun, systems have had their parent company fold up over the years, so who is to say which view point is right. Good on ya for sticking to your system of choice. I can admire a gamer of conviction even if I completely disagree with their opinion.
    I appreciate your viewpoint, but would like to show you a slightly different perspective.

    GURPS basic set, pg. 8 "Quick Start", second paragraph, last sentence states: "And all the detail is optional - use it only when it makes the game more fun."

    Every rule in GURPS is modular. The game is designed to be played at any complexity level, so if you feel it is too complex, then you might want to play a simpler version of it. It was designed specifically to meet the needs of people who want a simple game (or a complex game).

    On a side note does anyone know how long sjgames.com has been down or why?
    Last edited by michael; 11-28-2009 at 12:21 PM. Reason: add content

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harwel View Post
    A lot of roll-overs have a fixed target number and all modifiers are added or subtracted from effective skill.
    I'll give you that, but I find adding bonuses in single digits easier than subtracting points from a number in the typical 1-20 range (or, worse, percentiles). YMMV.

    John Kim makes another persuasive argument for roll-over vs. roll-under (or roll-and-add as he calls it):

    These are mathematically equivalent, but there are psychological differences. In "roll-under" systems, the stat is expressed as a chance of success. This makes it faster in the case of difficulty zero, but it creates a bias which encourages difficulty zero. The GM sets the difficulty of a roll in relation to the standard zero difficulty (i.e. "this is a harder task than normal: -3" or "this is an easier task than normal: +2"). However, for many rolls a standard is difficult to define. For example, a percentile system might have a character who has 25% Cryptography skill. At a simplistic level, this seems easy to understand: she has a 25% chance to crack a code. But what is a standard code-cracking?

    In "roll-and-add" systems, the difficulties are rated on the same number scale as the skills. Having skill equal to difficulty tends to mean either 100% chance or 50% chance. Thus, instead of setting difficulties relative to a standard, the GM tends to set difficulties relative to skill (i.e. "this would be 50-50 for a starting professional").
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmitchell View Post
    I'll give you that, but I find adding bonuses in single digits easier than subtracting points from a number in the typical 1-20 range (or, worse, percentiles). YMMV.

    John Kim makes another persuasive argument for roll-over vs. roll-under (or roll-and-add as he calls it):
    The problem with using Mr. Kim is that he refers only to a linear dice progression in both of his examples which doesn't apply to GURPS or Hero System or any other bell curve system. With the roll under system employed by GURPS/Hero the standard difficulty of a task is what the skill is rated in like Cryptography 13 or less. This means that a character is very skilled in what they can do since the average skill task is 11 or less and they have an 83.8% chance of succeeding at moderately difficult tasks. Modifiers applied to the roll make a very big impact since each +1 or -1 reflects a change of 5% minimum up to 12% maximum change in the percentages of succeeding the task. A roll over system could work with a bell curve system, so ultimately it's a matter of preference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by michael View Post
    On a side note does anyone know how long sjgames.com has been down or why?
    Just went to sjgames and it loaded for me. Not sure whether you've checked since your post or not.
    Skunk
    a.k.a. Johnprime



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    I lied. Still can't find enough players. Also, I am burned out on crunch.

    I am going to be running a sci-fi game here soon with another system BUT I plan on mining Ultra Tech, Bio-Tech, and Space for ideas! Planet creation in Space is awesome.

    So, I love GURPS. I just can't play GURPS. But I can USE GURPS so our relationship is still a go, just more one-sided these days.
    Trentin C Bergeron (TreChriron)
    Bard, Dreamer & RPG Enthusiast
    October Northwest

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    Quote Originally Posted by trechriron View Post
    So, I love GURPS. I just can't play GURPS. But I can USE GURPS so our relationship is still a go, just more one-sided these days.
    LOL so you show up drunk and take advantage of GURPS good will! Then she doesn't hear from you for weeks.
    Playing: Pathfinder
    Running: infrequent VtM game


    "I'm beautifully hideous!" - Sven the Nosferatu

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    That's a testament to the amount of time and effort that Steve Jackson Games and their writers put into GURPS...even if you don't like or use the system, many of their sourcebooks are great treasure troves of ideas. I have the Old West sourcebook to supplement my Deadlands games, the Swashbucklers sourcebook for Pirates of the Spanish Main, etc.
    HARRY DRESDEN ó WIZARD
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    No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MortonStromgal View Post
    LOL so you show up drunk and take advantage of GURPS good will! Then she doesn't hear from you for weeks.
    yes, but I buy her books! I mean, it's not all crass and emotionless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Webhead View Post
    That's a testament to the amount of time and effort that Steve Jackson Games and their writers put into GURPS...even if you don't like or use the system, many of their sourcebooks are great treasure troves of ideas. I have the Old West sourcebook to supplement my Deadlands games, the Swashbucklers sourcebook for Pirates of the Spanish Main, etc.
    Exactly! Looking at some more Spaceships goodness this week with the release of Spaceships 7!
    Trentin C Bergeron (TreChriron)
    Bard, Dreamer & RPG Enthusiast
    October Northwest

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    Okay, so my new (used) copy of GURPS 3e just arrived....This will be the 7th or 8th copy of GURPS I've owned. And I can't really explain why. I purchased Man to Man when it came out and thought "Swordbearer type combat made more complex and without the flexibility of the percentile system" and put it on the shelf. Ended up giving it to a player when I, for whatever reason, picked up GURPS 2e. I think my old group spent most of an afternoon doing characters then decided we would rather go back to AD&D 1e. When GURPS 3e came out, I picked it up (OCD, I guess....). This one I actually ran a Japan campaign with for a few months. Then my group wanted to go back to AD&D 1e. Seems to have been a trend.

    Anyway, I moved to Alaska, left my old group behind, had the boat I was living aboard pop a through hull and flood, destroying a 15 year collection of games and notes for games....Sigh. So I started over and GURPS 3e was the second or third game re purchased. I didn't run it for years, however. Then enter the single best role player with whom it has ever been my pleasure to game. She took to GURPS character generation like a duck to water. Her previous experience had been almost entirely AD&D 2e and she found the lack of limitations in GURPS astounding. We played Japan, straight fantasy, Cliff Hangers, Swash Bucklers and a little sci fi. Then I introduced her to AD&D 1e during a record snowfall and GURPS kind of fell by the wayside.

    One divorce and a move to the Ozarks later and I, once again, have to start my RPG collection over. First came Privateers and Gentlemen. Then FASA Star Trek. Traveller. Sword Bearer. Warhammer FRP. Gang Busters (Actually never lost that one! My daughter had it). Pendragon. GURPS 3e....again. And so, a stranger in a strange land (the Ozarks are rather strange following 20 years in Alaska) I am a game master in search of players. And though I would be willing to run any of the games previously listed, my first choice would be for GURPS: Horseclans.... At least until I pick up a copy of AD&D 1e.

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    It's funny. With the exception of the "roll over vs roll under" which I don't really see as that different, every item that people list for why they don't like GURPS are SPECIFICALLY items that I call out to others when they ask me why I like it. I love being able to have a game that is super simple without a bunch of complex rules. Most of the time. But at times when I want to get all detailed on a specific front, I don't have to go and invent and eyeball if I don't want. It's all done. I just tell the players, we're using these rules and that's it.

    I ignore a lot of GURPS rules because my gamers are almost always D&D and they don't do well with the "well that crossbow can kill you in one shot" kind of things. So our GURPS combats look a lot more like D&D. But I know that when they are ready or it fits the particular game etc., the rules are there for me. I LOVE THAT.

    But then, I view the game as my servant, I am not a slave to the book. My favorite phrase is, "No, you can't have that just because it's in the book". I think that "because it is printed in the book, it must be available" is ridiculous. That's why you have a Game Master who guides the game. You take the game and use the rules you want to get the kind of game you like to play, and all the rules that don't support that type of play,........ YOU IGNORE THEM! It's awesome. I just love that GURPS doesn't step on my toes and say "You HAVE to use these rules or it ruins the whole system." I LOVE modular.

    And I really love being able to play a Bard that can kick butt with a rapier. My two cents.

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    Flexible but stiff

    To me, the best thing about GURPS is the character creation, always has been, always will be. In fact, my group and I will gladly tell you that Character Creation is our favorite game and GURPS our favorite type of it. Pick a world or a source book, delineate a few no-no's for your world, a few suggested archetypes, a sampling of useful/neccessary skills and viola! you're off and playing. Well, unless it's character creation in SUPERS heh. The only system more complicated that GURPS Supers is Champions in the old days. And really, I wouldn't even call either one complicated, just incredibly robust and open. But I LIKE THAT! Knowing that I can design a character that does exactly what I want, with full, unique, descriptions of said powers and thier limitations or enhancements, well, to me that's worth spending a week doing.

    And like any game I've played in the last 30 years of my adult gaming life, there is a learning curve to any system, but GURPS does have the capability to let you ramp it up as you learn. Heck yeah the breadth of books is daunting, but all you need is the core book, or even just Gurps light. In fact one of the best products that SJS has brought out in recent years is the 4e GMs screen, which includes GURPS Light and a handy book of all the character creation rules plus many forms useful to the GM. I always tell new players that all they need to play the game is that one 20 dollar expenditure and I can flesh out the rest. This way they have all the basic rules, all the charts and tables and a great crib sheet for character creation. It's an indespensible teaching tool for me. Plus it's not so great an expenditure for a player to make if they're willing to give my game a try. If they like it, well, that's when I introduce them to the library of GURPS books.


    I know I've played probably 100 different systems over the years. I used to work at a Game and Hobby shop for 10 years, so maybe I've been exposed to more than most, but again and again, regardless of how cool a new system or its game world is, I always end up returning to GURPS and the freedom it gives me. A well structured freedom that can be as simple or as rigorous as I wish it to be. I then dump the ideas garnered from that hot new game into my campaigns. True, it might take me a bit of tinkering to realize that world in the GURPS framework, but to me, a world is just a bigger, more complex character and I just loves me some character creation.

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