Recent Chat Activity (Main Lobby)
Join Chat

Loading Chat Log...

Prefer not to see ads? Become a Community Supporter.
Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 31 to 37 of 37

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

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Out on the Road
    Posts
    8
    Downloads
    5
    Uploads
    0
    Prefer not to see ads?
    Become a Community Supporter.
    I've been a big fan of GURPS for years ever since I discovered G:3E back in the early 90s. These days, it is one my 3 goto systems for gaming, (the other two being Hero and Savage Worlds). One of neatest tricks for GURPS I was ever introduced to was, "Take any 3 GURPS books and you can make a game out of it." That's something you can still do with humungous library of books for the system.

    One thing I have learned about GURPS, (and Hero when it comes down to it), is that it does require a bit more prep work than a dedicated system like Pathfinder or Eclipse Phase. Not much more, though. The GM just needs to define what rules are to be used such as combat, (Will it be the combat lite, detailed skirmish set or something in between? Cinematic to Realistically Deadly?), skills, (detailed skill set or Wildcard skills?) and starting points, (50 pts to 500 pts)*.

    The Players need a solid character concept based on the GM's world before cracking open the books. The best characters I've seen are the ones who's player have and ultimate goal in mind. This allows character growth in-game, which makes for a more satisfying experience than having all the goodies up front (possibly a reason why I'm not big on most Supers games).

    Basically, the hard part of GURPS comes from the up-front stuff before the game starts, and that even isn't that hard when you know what you have in mind.

    My 50 cents

    * I have played awesome 50-point GURPS games. One of the more interesting ones was playing a character in hiding in Nazi-Occupied Warsaw. It's all about prespective.
    I'm wise enough to know that I don't know half as much as I think I know. Y'know?

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Seminole
    Age
    39
    Posts
    72
    Blog Entries
    2
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    As a game designer there are some things about GURPS that made me twitch. I haven't played it in years, but I know the basic success mechanic is the same as always. Rather than rolling dice and adding for a total, you roll under a stat. This led to a very narrow ceiling on what was practical for attribute and skill advancement. Once a score got to 16, it really didn't matter as the odds of rolling a 17-18 on 3d6 is pretty much nill.

    This is also due to the bell shaped curve and the non-linear progression that 3d6 creates. This curve created a lack of granularity and a fairly drastic decrease in risk as scores improved made for very little incentive to continuously improve.

    On the contrary, the d20 system can always have someone that is bigger, badder, or better because of its linear progression and d20 + Skill mechanic.

    Now I know that GURPS has ways to address this issue. But its not as simple or intuitive as the d20 system. Ironically had they inverted their success system and made it 3d6 + Stat I would probably have played it more.

    The other thing that I saw was the slooooow combat and relatively low drama from the system. A good GM can compensate for this effectively, but Combat seemed very monotonous, slow, and tedious. Maybe there have been improvements to the system since I played that made combat more exciting (and I haven't played 4th ed). In fact, it seemed to reinforce the "I attack" response more so than creative description, which was also limited by the 1 second round.

    Lastly, there is the appearance of complexity from the size of the book. The GURPS 4th edition book is HUGE! And frankly I don't have that much time to read through all those rules. Sure I don't need to. Only certain sections really need a good read to get started, but the illusion of complexity is there. Picking up an encyclopedia takes less effort than lifting the GURPS books LOL

    These days when I consider a new game system I try to figure out how many pages that I need to read to build a character - not counting equipment or spells. If it is more than about 50 pages then I put the game down. Because GURPS has so many advantages, disadvantages, and quirks, it looks huge. That's a lot of options to filter through. Too many for a beginner. So this may be a factor for its declining popularity.

    If d20 did anything right it was splitting out the player books from the GM books.
    Randal Snyder
    Sundered Epoch.org

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Out on the Road
    Posts
    8
    Downloads
    5
    Uploads
    0
    They did separate the Players book from the GMs book. They tossed out the idea of a single book for those very reasons you just sited.
    I'm wise enough to know that I don't know half as much as I think I know. Y'know?

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Sylvania
    Posts
    17
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    I was reading through this thread, and thought I’d respond to a few bits that caught my eye.

    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!
    First, for those who don’t know, “cube roots” refers to the Vehicles sourcebook for the third edition of GURPS, published in the ‘90s. It used cube roots in some calculations. The third edition rules were discontinued nearly a decade ago, so they don’t have much relevance for GURPS as it exists today. Using an out-of-print sourcebook from an obsolete edition of the game as an example of what’s wrong with the system is quite a stretch.

    EDIT: Though I don't have a copy to refer to, I believe the cube roots rule in the 3e Vehicles sourcebook was explicitly optional as well. Making it even less relevant.

    RE-EDIT: I finally scrounged up a copy of GURPS Vehicles for 3e to check. Cube roots were in fact used to calculate the performance of watercraft. But a table of cube root values was included, so you never actually had to take the cube root of anything. The only math you had to do was multiplication and division.

    There is no 4e Vehicles sourcebook per se, but there is a very user-friendly series on spaceships. There is also an article in Pyramid magazine which converts the Spaceships rules into a general-purpose vehicle design system.
    http://e23.sjgames.com/item.html?id=SJG37-2634

    About character creation, if you don’t like building from scratch, why not use the Templates? The Basic Set has Templates for fighters, sneaky/brainy types, and mages. They work for settings from ancient times through the future, and take minutes to use. The genre and setting sourcebooks have additional templates as well, if the ones in the Basic Set don’t fit.

    About overall complexity, GURPS Lite is 32 pages long. It has everything you need for a campaign – character creation, weapons, combat, skill use, experience, etc. Everything else in the Basic Set is optional detail. That’s not my idea of complex.
    http://e23.sjgames.com/item.html?id=SJG31-0004

    Quote Originally Posted by Skygalleons View Post
    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.
    The one second round works about as well as any game abstraction can be hoped to. GURPSists have done a lot of research, and debated ad nauseam on the SJG forums about cases where it doesn’t fit reality. It has held up well overall, and the few genuinely problematic situations mostly involve melee combat, not guns.

    GURPS is meant to accommodate the full range of human ability. And military personnel typically don’t come close to the upper limit of human potential. In fact, The High Tech sourcebook had to introduce options that expand what a gunman can do in a round, because some people have proven that they can move faster than is possible by Basic Set rules.

    The default flavor of GURPS is what the designers call “heroic realism”. The game emulates the more down-to-earth end of the action/adventure spectrum. Characters are relatively believable, but surpass the limitations of ordinary people at times. Getting true gritty realism requires limiting options in character creation, using some optional rules, and maybe using a few house rules as well.

    ---------- Post added at 02:28 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:03 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Descronan View Post
    As a game designer there are some things about GURPS that made me twitch. I haven't played it in years, but I know the basic success mechanic is the same as always. Rather than rolling dice and adding for a total, you roll under a stat. This led to a very narrow ceiling on what was practical for attribute and skill advancement. Once a score got to 16, it really didn't matter as the odds of rolling a 17-18 on 3d6 is pretty much nill.

    This is also due to the bell shaped curve and the non-linear progression that 3d6 creates. This curve created a lack of granularity and a fairly drastic decrease in risk as scores improved made for very little incentive to continuously improve.

    On the contrary, the d20 system can always have someone that is bigger, badder, or better because of its linear progression and d20 + Skill mechanic.

    Now I know that GURPS has ways to address this issue. But its not as simple or intuitive as the d20 system. Ironically had they inverted their success system and made it 3d6 + Stat I would probably have played it more.
    It’s true, “the basic success mechanic is the same as always”. And, as always, you often have to roll at serious penalties. Your 16 skill will sometimes be reduced to 12, or 8, or even less, due to poor light, Afflictions, Speed/Range penalties, etc. And you can voluntarily take penalties to get enhanced results. All things being equal, a skill 20 swordsman is much more effective than a skill 16 swordsman, because he can negate his opponent’s defenses with Feints, Deceptive Attacks, and Rapid Strikes, target gaps in armor, incapacitate opponents with strikes to vital areas, etc. And sometimes you have to win contests of skill, which means not only making your roll, but making it by more points than your opponent.

    I don't get how you could play the game and miss this stuff.

    In a fantasy setting, it is simple to give a bad guy extremely high skill, plus enchanted gear, so he is basically unbeatable in a duel except by an opponent of awesome skill. In a modern day campaign, extreme skill with a rifle may be needed to take out a terrorist from a rooftop at night. The same goes for non-combat skills; a typical surgeon won’t be able to save a critically injured alien’s life using improvised tools, for instance.

    The GURPS approach to challenging highly-skilled characters is to give them greater challenges, and to apply skill penalties commensurate to the challenges. That's “simple” and “intuitive” enough for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Descronan View Post
    The other thing that I saw was the slooooow combat and relatively low drama from the system. A good GM can compensate for this effectively, but Combat seemed very monotonous, slow, and tedious. Maybe there have been improvements to the system since I played that made combat more exciting (and I haven't played 4th ed). In fact, it seemed to reinforce the "I attack" response more so than creative description, which was also limited by the 1 second round.
    That hasn't been my experience. I use GURPS for my Call of Cthulhu games, in part because of the quick, brutal fights, and the disquieting level of detail in the system. I also like it for fantasy, though in that case I change the options a bit. I go for less speed and a more tactical feel, since I like combat to play a bigger role in a fantasy game. The system also generates drama in combat, due in part to the realistic effects of injury. When a PC falls to the ground with a leg wound, a routine combat suddenly turns tense, because (s)he is in actual danger. The defense penalties for reeling from the pain of the wound, and lying on the ground, mean a normally capable fighter could be run through and killed unless help arrives fast. I like the sudden suspenseful turns combat can take.

    I also find the system encourages more than simple attacks. Depending on the situation, feints and deceptive attacks may be needed to keep the enemy from blocking, or grappling and pinning may be more effective than striking. And since attacks to hit locations have realistic effects, players are encouraged to go for a punch to the jaw, a slash to the arm, or a thrust to the armpit behind the breastplate.

    As a GM, I find that the range of options in combat helps me tailor the actions of NPCs to the needs of the storyline. If the combat needs to be drawn out, the bad guys fight defensively. If I want to create a feeling of shock and horror, the bad guys fight all-out, sacrificing defense to inflict as much damage as quickly as possible. And I can add color to the fights like in any game, interjecting some dialog or stopping to describe an action in detail.

    There have been some improvements to the combat rules in 4e, but nothing major. The general flow of combat should be about the same. I find that (as any GURPS player will tell you), when combat is monotonous, the problem is usually operator error.

    Quote Originally Posted by Descronan View Post
    Lastly, there is the appearance of complexity from the size of the book. The GURPS 4th edition book is HUGE! And frankly I don't have that much time to read through all those rules. Sure I don't need to. Only certain sections really need a good read to get started, but the illusion of complexity is there. Picking up an encyclopedia takes less effort than lifting the GURPS books LOL

    These days when I consider a new game system I try to figure out how many pages that I need to read to build a character - not counting equipment or spells. If it is more than about 50 pages then I put the game down. Because GURPS has so many advantages, disadvantages, and quirks, it looks huge. That's a lot of options to filter through. Too many for a beginner. So this may be a factor for its declining popularity.
    I'm repeating part of my last post, but GURPS Lite (the free introductory rulebook) is just 32 pages. And it has everything you need to run a campaign – character creation, combat, experience, weapons, etc. The rest of the rules are just optional detail.
    http://e23.sjgames.com/item.html?id=SJG31-0004

    And Basic Set: Characters has Templates to help you make a character in minutes. You can start out with that, then learn about the rest at your own pace. It’s big because it’s not just one game – it’s like an RPG Lego kit, from which you can build lots of different games.

    What is your source for the claim that GURPS is declining in popularity? Of course, the market for tabletop RPGs seems to be shrinking, so the long-term trend is for all of them to decline. But as far as I am aware, GURPS is holding onto its share of the market.
    Last edited by Ceo_Druidechta; 06-17-2013 at 01:29 PM.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Seminole
    Age
    39
    Posts
    72
    Blog Entries
    2
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Ceo_Druidechta View Post
    I don't get how you could play the game and miss this stuff.
    It was a VERY long time ago. And according to my son, I'm old... LOL
    Randal Snyder
    Sundered Epoch.org

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Sylvania
    Posts
    17
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Descronan View Post
    It was a VERY long time ago. And according to my son, I'm old... LOL
    To be fair, I find that a lot of gamers start with a new RPG only knowing bits and pieces of the core rules. GURPS is probably less forgiving of that than a lot of systems.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Oakdale
    Posts
    37
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Ceo_Druidechta View Post
    I was reading through this thread, and thought I’d respond to a few bits that caught my eye.
    I just want to say... that was a great post.

Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 48
    Last Post: 06-14-2013, 03:41 PM
  2. Getting back into the game
    By Thriondel Half-Elven in forum 3.x Edition & Pathfinder
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 04-05-2009, 09:18 PM
  3. I'm back
    By starfalconkd in forum Introductions
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 06-09-2008, 07:19 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •