In combat the potential to improve results by taking penalties is dramatic, though. A swordsman with ludicrous skill can make Rapid, Deceptive, Committed Attacks, while targeting vital areas through gaps in armor, becoming a whirlwind of death.
And if the players have enough points to play with that they can afford master-level skills without taking dangerous weaknesses in other areas, then the GM should be putting them in situations where high skill penalties are unavoidable. Otherwise the adventures aren't scaled to the power level of the characters.
---------- Post added at 10:17 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:40 PM ----------
I'm a fan of GURPS. I like how the rules try to simulate the action in a general way, rather than reducing everything to abstractions. I find I can use it to run everything I want to GM, and resolve things fairly quickly and smoothly.
I used to use BRP for Call of Cthulhu, and GURPS for everything else. The rules-light nature of BRP is a point in its favor, and I like the innovative experience mechanic. But the randomness of the system sometimes caused issues, and some rules were a little too abstract. The rules for double-barreled shotguns caused some scowling in my group, for instance.
CoC turns out to be an easy setting to convert to GURPS. Once you get the hang of it, you can read an adventure written for BRP and convert stats to GURPS in your head. So I just didn't need to use BRP. And I prefer to devote as much of my limited brainpower as possible to the campaign, not to keeping multiple systems straight.
---------- Post added at 10:46 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:17 PM ----------
I notice some people comment that they like GURPS for some genres, but not for superheroes. I wonder, are they talking about the current edition of GURPS? The Supers sourcebook for 3e was one of that edition's low points, but the 4e version is much better. I can't say a lot about it, since I don't GM Supers games. But I find it is much better liked. I have a copy, but I only mine it for ideas to use in other genres.
People sometimes say "GURPS" when they mean "GURPS Third Edition". Considering that 3e was retired nearly a decade ago, that seems strange to me. If you don't specify an edition, the implication should be 4e. But not everyone seems to see it that way.