July 9, 2018 at 9:10 am #725520
In the decades I’ve been gaming I’ve played pretty much all of the ‘big name’ systems… except for GURPS. As I sit here, I’ve got the urge to pick up the core books and see what I’ve been missing.
What should I do? Anyone got an opinion? Should I come-back in off the ledge and be grateful when the impulse passes, or should I take a leap into the abyss of near infinite pool of GURPS supplements and splash around for a while?July 9, 2018 at 9:45 am #725521Lockhart
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I only played (meaning as a player, never ran) GURPS a couple times. It was. I dunno. It didn’t tickle my fancy. It’s very clearly a system where once you pick a particular tool, you will try to solve all problems with that tool because it feels like your other options aren’t great. As a GM I feel you would really need to lock down options and provide solid guidance for a group that doesn’t wildly deviate from each other, and also so as a player you don’t end up feeling like all the options you picked aren’t useless or unintended frustrations for the game. But other than that a decent system that is highly balanced (so much so that it may feel odd if you’re used to characters that are above balance)
July 9, 2018 at 11:32 am #725523HalAdmin
- This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by Lockhart.
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I quite like GURPS. It is a decent system where you can build a character that does pretty much exactly what you want them to go. The can be flawed and imperfect but the system makes decent well-rounded characters.
I flirted with GURPS for a while a few years back with ‘A Jolly Proper Adventure’.
HalJuly 9, 2018 at 1:07 pm #725526
I’ve been reading a lot of “epic” power-scale fantasy novels recently – Sanderson, Weeks, Erikson, Esslemont – can it support that sort of play? I keep hearing you can build whatever you want, but you the system is always super-lethal.July 9, 2018 at 2:20 pm #725528HalAdmin
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The power level can be tailored to what you want the players to be able to do. Essentially it is a free-for-all point buy situation. The larger the pool of points you give them to start with, the more powerful they can be.
I always hold the power of veto over anything I might consider to be truly egregious or game-breaking but generally the flexibility is pretty nice in my mind.
I have been thinking about doing a series of Character Creation videos using different systems. Maybe I should add GURPS to the list 🙂
HalJuly 10, 2018 at 7:04 am #725533
So, you talked me into it. Then I looked at the GURPS wikipedia page that said there were books you had to have. OK, it didn’t say you had to have them, but it did use words like “supplements” and everybody knows supplements are good for you. Who doesn’t want to be supplemented?! And then I got carried away by books with interesting names like “Gun Fu” and “Gladiators”…
Hopefully I’ll like it since I’ll be reading it for the next few months…
Hal – some how-to vids would be cool.
July 10, 2018 at 4:18 pm #725541
- This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by EvilAardvark.
Chalk me up as one that didn’t love GURPS either. It’s fine, but I’d take Savage Worlds as my go-to generic system any day.July 22, 2018 at 2:51 pm #726011
So… I bought a bunch of GURPS and I read it and… I hate it. The minutia, the bottomless pit of special rules and sub-rules and optional rules and variant rules, the inconsistency, the waffling nonsense about being “realistic” and then having thousands of pages of rules about spells and dragons, the constant stream of simple but tedious arithmetic and bookkeeping. The system claims to be generic, but there’s a difference between being “generic” and having endless specific rules for every single possible situation that could arise. That’s not generic, that’s some obsessive-compulsive mania.
Why, why would anyone do this to themselves?
So… I gave up on it and decided to look around for other generic systems. Hero System was my next stop. I now think of it as GURPS “Slightly Less Crazy Edition”. But still not a game I want to play.
I think I’m going back to my old ways of customizing Wild Talents to suit my needs as a generic system. Is there another generic system that anyone would suggest that hits the middle-ground between death-by-minutia of GURPS and the gentle formlessness of Fate?July 22, 2018 at 5:44 pm #726045Lockhart
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Looking for a stop between GURPS and FATE is a big gap to bridge.
Reverse brought up Savage Worlds and it would be what comes to mind for myself too. Between the two it leans closer to FATE (in fairness, it’s hard for any system to lean towards GURPs without being GURPS heavy), however there are more definite mechanics in place and it lends itself more to the typical RPG structure of Players and GM vs. the collective story-telling FATE leans towards. It also covers a fairly wide variety of Genres under it’s main umbrella with a minimum of deviation into specific sub-systems and rules.July 22, 2018 at 8:03 pm #726047Vaeron
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I’ll just second Hal here in saying if you haven’t listened to the all-too-brief Jolly Proper Adventure you definitely should! I don’t remember anything at all about the mechanics, but it seemed very smooth to listen to. GURPS falls into the same realm as Savage Worlds for me – to many supplements (this coming from someone with two full shelves of Pathfinder) – but the recordings really are fantastic fun.July 23, 2018 at 6:32 am #726109
I find Savage Worlds to be my go-to that sits about halfway between DnD and FATE. It still offers some tactical choices, without being restricted to classes and the like, and it’s reasonably easy to create whatever type of character you want. Based on my (very brief) experiences of GURPS, SW is much simplified a shorter list of Hindrances / Disadvantages, less picky about the points spend, less endless sub-rules.
The Explorer Edition is all you need to run it, too, and it’s one of the cheapest RPG books available. The setting books offer a small number of different build options and rules variants, but most of them you could contrive yourself fairly easy, so I don’t see them as particularly necessary. I’d suggest just reading the core rules to start – or if money is difficult, our recording of World’s Most Wondrous Year was played with at least 2 Savage Worlds newbie players, so there’s a bit of rules information and explanation in there.July 24, 2018 at 1:34 pm #726140
I like Savage Worlds, and I’ve played a bunch of different games with it and it is a nice stop between no-crunch and eating gravel.
I like it, except for one thing… the core attribute of “Smarts”. It was thematically appropriate for Deadlands (which is where I think it came from) and feels fine in pulp games, but in fantasy, sci-fi and urban-fantasy games it is just so… anachronistic. I know it is a small thing, but it really bothers me and my players. If it wasn’t the stat you use most often it would be easier to ignore.
We’ve decided to go with One Roll Engine/Wild Talents and bits cobbled together from some of the derivative games – Reign, Kerberos Club, Better Angels, Godlike, The Favored Land. We want to play a high-powered fantasy game next and a slightly toned-down supers game feels like it might be good.
Thanks for the thoughts, everyone!July 24, 2018 at 5:03 pm #726144
Really? Is it the fact that it’s called “Smarts” as opposed to “Intelligence”, or merely the fact that it exists? Smart characters seem like a standard trope in fantasy and sci-fi.July 24, 2018 at 5:15 pm #726145
Is it the fact that it’s called “Smarts” as opposed to “Intelligence”
Yup, just that. I must say that the pluralization of ‘smart’ makes it particularly galling to me. Wyatt Erp, or Doc Savage’s sidekick or The Rocketeer might have “smarts” but you’re not going to hear Gandalf say, “come Frodo, we must make haste unto Rivendell to take counsel with Master Elrond: he has the smarts”.
I remember that there was a game – maybe Ghostbusters – that had Chutzpah as a stat; I couldn’t use that system for fantasy either. Not that Ghostbusters would be my system of choice for a Mistborn or Malazan style game…July 24, 2018 at 9:34 pm #726146
Old-school d6 Ghostbusters had Brains, Muscle (the skill that you’d use to “eat a telephone”, according to the rules), Moves, and Cool.
I dunno, I find Savage World’s Smarts and Spirit preferable to DnD’s Intelligence and Wisdom division. Most stat divisions get weird when you look at them hard enough. You could merely call it “Intelligence” or similar instead and make different character sheets for the game.
I’ve played several games of FATE and Savage Worlds where the skill list names have been customised to match the setting (without really changing how the skills worked). We’ve had Guns, Shootin’, Shooting, Shoot, Ranged Combat, and ‘Projectiles’, all doing much the same thing in different genres. Alchemy / Medicine / Healing / Medical Science is another one.
My Savage Worlds bugbear more extends to the base idea that Fighting (all melee skills, regardless of weapons, and unarmed) is a single skill, but Boating, Driving, and Piloting all need to be different ones. Because driving a boat is different from driving a car in a way that punching someone is the same as using a pair of wakasashis. Easy enough changed, though.
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