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Kizara
2009-08-29, 12:19 AM
Since my group and I have literally undergone a renisance in our roleplaying after discovering GURPS, I felt it necessary to share its awesomeness with others.

We were getting dissatisfied with 3.5, and even with my huge Tome of House Rules project (60 pages of 10pt font), it still had issues and I was getting tired of dealing with them. Our other DM (aside from me) couldn't deal with characters higher level then 10 or so, and the many gamey aspects of the system that we at first tolerated (hey its way better then freeform) started to grate on us. We weren't enjoying RPing as much, and noone other then me really liked optimization, although they did like character customization.

So, I almost stumbled upon GURPS and although it was pretty intimidating at first, and it has its drawbacks, its like we are 13 again and just discovering how awesome RPing can be now that we have a system that actually lets us play-out our character's actions instead of relying on abstract resolution.

Below follows my generic rant, that many of you may have seen, trying to 'sell' you on the primary virtues of GURPS.

Please, if you have any questions on the system ask and I will do my best to answer them. I am still newish to the system (only had about 10 sessions of it now), but I can probably answer most basic questions. Also, if you would like to relate GURPS to DnD (any version) and discuss it in this light, I have no problems with it, and I will often relate it to 3.5 DnD myself as its my main benchmark.


I highly reccomend GURPS!

From someone that started with, played and still is generally rather fond of 3.x DnD, I can attest that GURPS is awesome in the following ways:

1) Less balance headaches! Sure, its not completely gone, but its an easier foundation to start with to houserule problems away.

2) More versitile! If you like homebrewing even a little bit, you'll love GURPS because you almost homebrew each character in that you can customize each trait, advantage (kinda like Feats) and so forth to a very large degree.

Which leads us too...

3) More character customization! Between making interesting personality elements with disadvantages (like Klepomania and Klutz, or Bloodlust and Callous, just to name 4 of like 100 options), choosing EXACTLY the skills you want (no more class skills, or classes at all for that matter), make EXACTLY the character you want to play!.

4) More tactical, interesting and diverse combat! Like combat in 3.5? Ever use anything from Unearthed Arcana? Well this is going to be like crack for you! Combat involves active defenses (shield blocks, dodges and parries) and an actual hit is huge! With comprensive rules for damage types, injuries, disabling limbs, hit locations, layered armor, per-second rounds that allow for maximum simultaniety and more, its the deepest, best combat simulation that isn't a pain in the arse to run!

5) Its not 4ed! AT ALL! If you dislike 4E for ANY reason beyond "they stopped making 3.x stuff", you'll like GURPS, as its literally the exact opposite design direction.

Which leads to...

6) Its realistic! Most of the game is designed to be realistic and simulationist-oriented. There are rules (and comprehensive and good ones) for more cinematic, and/or silly games, the default assumption is a more gritty and realistic RPG. I can't even begin to list how many rules it has that are more realistic then 3ed. Also, it isn't as hyper-gritty as some systems. Although far more realistic then DnD, it still isn't as random or brutal as other systems.

7) Its easier to run! While its not easier to LEARN, its actually far easier to run as you don't have to keep track of dozens of bonuses, skills don't become totally broken after 6th level (there is no 6th level, and the skill system in general is way better, if a bit finely cut for my taste). Also, it uses 3d6 instead of d20, so its less luck-oriented and crits are less common-place. However, when they do come up (especially in combat), its a BIG deal, as you can't defend against a crit and it can easily do more or more lethal damage.

8) Its more adaptable! Want to run a sci-fi game with fantasy magic, lightsaber swords, phasors and Firefly-class transports? Its never been easier.

9) As much simluation as you want! The rules are set up that they go very deep, but you can use as many as you want. You don't have to use the hit locations, bleeding, and tactical movement rules (for instance). The game works perfectly fine (if shallow, it feels like DnD) this way, but it works that much better with all the 'optional' rules in play. These rules aren't like the lame Death From Massive Damage 3ed rule, they are progressive levels of simulation.


To reiterate: no or little gamism, no MMORPG conventions, no "rule of cool" bullcrap (except for some things that make a point of saying "this is cinematic, not for use in realistic games"), less caster imbalance (and its far, far easier to fix and control), a much better, more tactical and more immersive combat system, better and more customizable character options, etc etc... awesome!!!


Now, there ARE some downsides:

1) Its not as plug-and-play. If you want to say, play a Druid, the game supports this, but you have to do some homework and effort in putting it together. The more unique or specialized the concept the more this comes up. Its rather rewarding when you do tho. I can provide you with some examples if you like.

2) The fineness of how the skills are cut can be annoying. Is it really neccessary to have pickpocketing, filtch and sleight-of-hand to all be seperate skills? You gain a whole lot more then you lose here. And while playing skill monkeys can be expensive, its also more valuable to your group because you really contribute in ways that others need and can't be easily replaced by magic.

3) Its a lot to take in. The amount of options and the complexity of the rules (compared to the basic concepts of 3ed) are a bit more of a learning curve and is a bit more intimidating then 3ed. However, there's quite a bit less rules-lawyering needed in general, as the rules are almost to a whole very natural and intuitive. More then once I have thought "I don't know how they do X, but I would do it like 'such and such'." and then found the actual rule for it and been impressed that it was almost exactly what I already had in mind.

Kizara
2009-08-29, 12:21 AM
These examples are more geared towards providing discussion on why the combat system is so much fun, then providing you a hard working understanding of it.

I'll probably provide those kind of step-by-step including all details style of examples later, especially if they are asked for.

Example 1, talking about combat options:


Here is a great but very simple example:

Say you want to play a mediveal warrior. You think it would be really awesome to dual-wield broadswords (longswords, etc).

So, I'm not going to walk you through all of character creation, but here's some things you'll love about playing your character:

1) Your weapon choice, and how you use it, is very realistic. The damage type isn't a minor point, and it greatly effects how your hits hurt your opponents, and sometimes how well you can punch through armor DR.

2) You don't have to jump through hoops to use 2 weapons at once, and it opens some defensive options (more parrying) while closing others (no shield), and gives you some more offensive options (extra attack) while removing others (don't have a reach weapon).

3) As #2 aludes to, combat FEELS like actual combat! You defend not using "AC" or "Armor defense" or other nonsense, but actual defensive moves like parrying (that's based directly on your skill with your weapon), dodging (which is based on your character's speed), and blocking (which is based on your shield skill).

What if you want to make a feinting attack? You don't need a feat or something to do this, and it resolves exactly as you'd imagine: You make opposed weapon skill rolls, and if you beat your opponent your margin of victory is subracted from his next defensive roll against you. This is an example of a typical GURPS rule: logical, intuitive, and sensible while accurately simulating the required forces involved.

All combat moves that you can perform do not require you to have a feat, power, ability, whatever to do them, only enough weapon skill to pull it off. And its not like "you must have skill 15 to do this", an example:

If you want to hit someone in the neck, its -5 to your weapon skill roll. So if you had a 15 skill, you'll have to roll 10 or under to hit. If you 'hit', then your opponent can try to defend, if he can't block or dodge your blow, then you just hit him in the neck! You deal additional damage if you have a cutting weapon (like a broadsword) and if you deal enough damage you can decapitate him!

In general, combat is dangerous (but not crazy-dangerous you can never do it), requires tactics and really makes you feel like you are roleplaying a swordsman! There is so much more I can say here, but I'm trying to be at least a bit brief.

4) Other people aren't automatically just as good as a swordsman as you. As there is no 'levels', and most people who are not warriors will not invest as much into hp, strength, weapon skill and so forth as you, the difference in your ability will be very apparent: as it should be! Also, your choices in tactics and how good you are at playing your swordsman make a huge difference in your effectiveness, as opposed to your level and your d20 roll (not that there's no luck, but you are far less of a slave to it).


Example 2, discussing why the combat system is more realistic and not as abstract as, say, the DnD system is:


Well, the thing is there is far less 'abstraction' then any other system I've used. To me, this, and the manner in which your choices and tactics effect the outcome of the combat gives it a more immersive simulation then other, far more abstract, systems.

Although there are many contributing factors for this, the major ones are the use of active defenses and good hit location rules.

When your combat involes slugging away at HP, and trying to combine alot of abstract bonuses to gain an advantage in to-hit, damage and armor, it can be fun, but when you take a step back it doesn't feel like an actual sword fight (I'm referencing 3e here btw). When your combat involves an actual exchange of parries, dodges and blocks and when a single decent shot can end a fight, it feels a great deal more realistic.

For an example:

1) Your opponent has, say 15 HP (a reasonable amount for anyone not a heroic or veteren warrior).

-they are using a quarter staff (one of the few weapons that give a parry bonus, in this case +2) and their parry comes out to 13 (a rather high parry number).

-They are wearing only light scale with cloth underpadding on their arms (did I mention it has layered armor? With fairly good rules for it? another thing I love), so they only have 4 DR there.

2) You have 18 weapon skill, being a quite skilled warrior (18 is fairly high), and you want to target his arm (-2 to skill), and also lower his ability to defend against your attack, so you use Deceptive Attack (a technique or move, not a power or 'special use' ability) 2, giving you another -4 to skill but him -2 to his parry.

You roll against skill 12 (a bit risky, but doable roll), and make it with a 10 roll. You opponent rolls against his parry, which you lowered to 11, and fails with a 13.

You hit his arm, and because you have a slashing weapon that deals cutting damage, you deal 1.5x what makes it through his DR. This ends up being 5 x 1.5 = 7. This is over equal to or over half his hp, which is enough to cripple his arm (possibly permanently, he has to make a Health roll to avoid that), making it completely unusable to him for the short term and forcing him to drop whatever he is holding.

This doesn't take into account the many actions spent parrying or otherwise defending against each-other, the game of whether to use actions like All-Out Attack (Determined) to try to get a hit past his defenses but giving up your ability to defend until your next turn, thus taking a big risk. There's just so much more strategy that goes into it.

Kizara
2009-08-29, 12:35 AM
(reserved for teaching-oriented examples and walkthroughs)

This is my last reserved post, feel free to post now and discuss, ask questions of, and generally talk about GURPS.

Olo Demonsbane
2009-08-29, 12:52 AM
Sounds like a lot of fun! What are the books you need to play?

Kizara
2009-08-29, 12:59 AM
Sounds like a lot of fun! What are the books you need to play?

GURPS 'core' is its Basic Set, which are officially titled:

GURPS Basic Set: Characters

and

GURPS Basic Set: Campaigns

The first is essentially the PHB, and the second the DMG. While you can play a game with the first, all the optional rules (including all the tactical combat goodies) in the campaigns book make it well wroth your while.

And while GURPS does have a decent amount of suppliment books, you hardly need them as the core gives you quite a bit to play with. However, when you are ready for more options (mainly in the form of expanded or more detailed rules) for different aspects of the game, you can easily pick up some of the very well-put together splat books out for the system.

I will however say that if you are looking to play a modern or sci-fi game, then picking up the appropriate splat book is a bit more needed, as the basic game is more geared towards fairly realistic medival fantasy then other genres, and thus the options for them are a bit less (they are there though). Its particularly noticable in the equipment section. One cool thing to note about rules for those areas is that guns feel exactly as different compared crossbows, swords or fireballs as they should be.

PinkysBrain
2009-08-29, 01:03 AM
Talking about mundane combat is not the way to pull in D&D players (well except for those core fighter lovers). Just to head you off, talking about a game heavily based around social encounters and skill challenges isn't either ;)

How well does it do games where the mages have a good grasp of a dozen or more spells, where melee characters can move around like quicksilver and cause earthquakes pounding the ground? (Also since it gurps, how well does that mix with technology?)

How forced are you into specializing into 1 or 2 knock out combos if you optimize a bit? In D&D each level unlocks new options, not just making the old ones better. This is generally what I fear in level-less point buy systems, even with diminishing turns, specialization and only very slow evolution of the character as points increase partly because of it. (Conceptually I'm more fond of the level based caps from M&M.)

What about resurrection? In any game with high lethality (which includes D&D with a DM which doesn't pull his punches) it's pretty much impossible to have a long term hack and slash campaign with character continuity without resurrection.

Convince me it can do high fantasy hack and slash well :) (Don't tell me I shouldn't like that.)

Kizara
2009-08-29, 01:25 AM
Talking about mundane combat is not the way to pull in D&D players (well except for those core fighter lovers). Just to head you off, talking about a game heavily based around social encounters and skill challenges isn't either ;)

Well, a common thing heard is that playing a fighter is too boring and doesn't have good options. I've tried to show that in GURPS this is far from the case.



How well does it do games where the mages have a good grasp of a dozen or more spells, where melee characters can move around like quicksilver and cause earthquakes pounding the ground? (Also since it gurps, how well does that mix with technology?)

Like most systems, it is more stable at lower power levels and point totals, but it still handles high-powered games (and has many rules designed for the superhero style play you describe) better then DnD in my opinon.

Magic is difficult, personally taxing, takes time to do, but is really quite powerful. Also, magic competes well with guns, and sci-fi melee options keep them as competitive as they should be. For instance, in the style of superhero game you describe, a bruiser might buy a very high movement speed, personal DR, a very high strength and some additional HP on top of that, and be able to rush ranged using characters to get in range of his powerful attacks.

Thing is, I need a bit better of an idea of exactly what you had in mind in character abilities and power levels before I can really acurately answer your question. For instance, I can say alot more about the magic system, both in general and in different contexts.




How forced are you into specializing into 1 or 2 knock out combos if you optimize a bit? (This is generally what I fear in level-less point buy systems, even with diminishing turns, specialization and only very slow evolution of the character as points increase partly because of it ... conceptually I'm more fond of the level based caps from M&M.)

What power level are you looking at? At very high power levels and point totals (400-500+, "heroic fantasy generally being in the 150-200 range), this does become a bit of an issue, as if someone invests such a huge amount of points in an offensive style, it means they can't also have another offensive style equally as strong. Keep in mind we are talking about pretty crazy stuff here, like having a 20 level, 200 pt Innate attack that does like 30d6 damage and... argh, lets just say that playing super hero games have... considerably more to talk about as far as options go, because more points= more posibilities, and very large amounts of points= system starts to become less stable.


Convince me it can do high fantasy hack and slash well :) (Don't tell me I shouldn't like that.)

Now, for me, high fantasy is stuff like 3.5e DnD. I will say now that GURPS is designed to be a bit of a lower-magic setting then 3.5.

The magic system is less imbalanced and running-away crazy as it is in 3.5, but its still VERY versitile and quite powerful. The difference is that power comes at a cost, instead of being basically free.

Here's an example: in GURPS, you have spell trees (like prerequisite trees) instead of 'levels', and the basic spells in the fire college are Create Fire, Shape Fire, and Ignite Fire; and they are as open-ended as they sound.

As far as hack n slash, melee can buy (point-econonmical) advantages that make them resistant to magic, or to certain effects that might be created by magic (like fire, posions), or just have a fat hp total. I've talked about the combat system above, and its far more interesting and rewarding then the dnd-style combat system.

Here's an example of a more high-fantasy melee character I created recently:
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=122395

In many ways he has much of the abilties that a DnD paladin has.

EDIT: As you edited in your question about ressurection, I'll address that now.

Healing spells, like the rest of the magic system, take some building up the prerequisite tree before you are a potent healer. There are two reasons for this:

1) At lower point levels (where you won't have as much of the tree), people don't have many hit points, and thus healing magic is as cooresponding powerful. There are spells that let you do all the healing-oriented things that a 3.5 cleric could do in there, but it takes some effort to get to them. Also, like all magic, healing costs fatigue points and has casting times.

2) Balance, as in a system with fairly realistic lethality, if healing was easy and commonplace, it would somewhat defeat the point.

As for ressurection itself, it takes 300 fatigue points base (that's an unbelievable amount), has a LOT of spell prerequisites (basically at the top of the healing college tree) and takes 2 hours to cast. However, its high costs can be mitigated (like most spells) by having a high level in the spell. Also, there are special rituals and the like that you can do to mitigate costs.

You see, spells are skills with special rules governing them, so you can 'master' a spell like ressurection, making you much better at it then someone that simply knows it. And in this case, its almost necessary.

PinkysBrain
2009-08-29, 01:47 AM
Here's an example: in GURPS, you have spell trees (like prerequisite trees) instead of 'levels'
Trees are good, they enforce diversification ... do the other systems in the game have branching as well?

and the basic spells in the fire college are Create Fire, Shape Fire, and Ignite Fire; and they are as open-ended as they sound.
Open ended in what way? You mean like the DM specifying an ad hoc DC when you try to do something not explicitly in the spell description?

Here's an example of a more high-fantasy melee character I created recently
Pacts seem necessary to really open up options at normal point buys ranges but they require intentionally not making optimal use of them to not break the game ... true?

PinkysBrain
2009-08-29, 01:53 AM
As for ressurection itself, it takes 300 fatigue points base (that's an unbelievable amount), has a LOT of spell prerequisites (basically at the top of the healing college tree) and takes 2 hours to cast. However, its high costs can be mitigated (like most spells) by having a high level in the spell. Also, there are special rituals and the like that you can do to mitigate costs.
In D&D raising the dead becomes possible at the same level as the early save or sucks ... Charm Monster for instance. Is that true in GURPS as well, or is resurrection only possible for Elminster type casters?

Kizara
2009-08-29, 02:12 AM
Trees are good, they enforce diversification ... do the other systems in the game have branching as well?

Not really. But many of them have progressive levels. Other character options are fairly straightforward.


Open ended in what way? You mean like the DM specifying an ad hoc DC when you try to do something not explicitly in the spell description?

Create fire creates real, magical fire in the area you specify (and you can always make a bigger area by powering your magic with more fatigue/hit points; same with duration). This fire ignites things, and burns with no fuel.

Shape fire allows you to shape and move fire (magically or non) in any way you desire. Spreading it out causes it to deal less damage, and it moves at 5 yards per second if you are shuffling it. In all ways its treated as magic fire that you shape. Its about as hazardous as normal fire.

Note that these are the two most basic spells of the fire school, but I'm showing you them because they demonstrate that magic is versitile and limited by things like a mage's ability to cast it well (skill level, magery level, fatigue points), not arbitary hard limitations.



Pacts seem necessary to really open up options at normal point buys ranges but they require intentionally not making optimal use of them to not break the game ... true?

Well, to an extent. They are fairly self-balancing, but in general the system requires a modicrum of restraint. You don't have to deliberately pick bad options or refrain from obvious good choices, but if you go way out of your way to find a loophole and be abusive, ESPECIALLY at higher point levels, you can break the game, yes.

Yahzi
2009-08-29, 02:18 AM
In D&D raising the dead becomes possible at the same level as the early save or sucks ... Charm Monster for instance. Is that true in GURPS as well, or is resurrection only possible for Elminster type casters?
Well, you could theoretically have a magic item that gave you 300 pts of spell power, meaning you could cast Ress every couple of days or so. I don't recall exactly - it's a been a while.

Since Kiz has talked about the good points of GURPS, let me point out a few flaws:

1. 20th level (500 pts or so) characters can be killed in a single round by a single 1st level (20 pts) character with a high chance of success, given easily available equipment.

2. Even if you rule out sniper rifles and bazookas, a super-high level character can still be wounded and eventually killed by as little as 2 or 3 dozen 1st level characters.

3. One of my 3.5 players currently has a character that can auto-kill any number of creatures within 20 ft. Also, nothing can get closer than 20 ft. Nor can anything move out of his 20 ft range. And he flies. At 10th level. Tell me how you can do that in GURPS!

4. GURPS magic does not create an absolute need for a long list of abilities/magic items that every creature over CR 10 level has to have or just die instantly. (Non-detection, Mind Blank, Protection from possession, ability to hit non-corporeal creatures, Anticipate Teleport, etc.).

5. Even worse, GURPS Bestairy does not describe a huge collection of high-rank monsters which lack those required abilities, with no way to get them.

6. Monsters and NPCs in GURPS follow the same rules as players. This means that NPCs of equal level and equipment can actually defeat the players on a semi-regular basis. There is really no mechanism in GURPS for spoon-feeding parties a fixed series of encounters which are meant to consume a quarter of their "resources". In GURPS, all combats are dangerous for the players!

7. Feat selections rarely lead to insta-locks, where the PCs are unstoppable as long as they are allowed to perform their signature move over and over again, regardless of situation/environment/common sense.

I could go on, but I think you get the point. How is anybody supposed to have fun in a game like that? :smallsigh:

Thatguyoverther
2009-08-29, 02:34 AM
Not to seem derogatory but isn't GURPS just Hero System light?:smallconfused:

I don't know if you've ever played the system but Hero System seems to do all of the things GURPS can do but more so. On the other hand all the disadvantages of GURPS apply to Hero System doubly.

Kizara
2009-08-29, 02:42 AM
In D&D raising the dead becomes possible at the same level as the early save or sucks ... Charm Monster for instance. Is that true in GURPS as well, or is resurrection only possible for Elminster type casters?

Honestly, in part I don't know. I've only been using the system for 10 sessions, and have not pursued the magic system in great depth.

I would say that ressurection, based on the pre-reqs, is fairly epic though. 300 FP is crazy, and even at 30 skill (grand-mastery level in most games), its only 3/4 reduction, its 75, which is concievable but still very high.

The end of most spell trees have a save-or-die, but I'm not familiar with all of them. In general, there's less 'win' buttons for magic unless you are pretty creative.

Fridrik Bj
2009-08-29, 02:43 AM
Since my group and I have literally undergone a renisance in our roleplaying after discovering GURPS, I felt it necessary to share its awesomeness with others.

I'm glad you decided to soldier on through the steep learning curve and embrace GURPS. It sounds like you have fallen in love...:smallwink:

Lord Herman
2009-08-29, 03:06 AM
The OP is correct. GURPS is awesome.

I've started playing around with it a couple of months ago, and I'm amazed at what it can do, and how well it does it. I've always found D&D to be a bit too cinematic, so GURPS' realistic and gritty options really appeal to me.

Now I've started making a GURPS adaptation of the Warhammer 40k setting, as presented by Dan Abnett and Sandy Mitchell's novels. So mostly focused around the Imperial Guard and the Inquisition, but with the option of playing just about anything from Space Marines to Tau Fire Warriors. It works really well, as the system fits the setting perfectly; lots of rules about dying horribly, losing your mind, and even exact rules about how much burn damage you need to do to set a heretic alight.

PinkysBrain
2009-08-29, 03:12 AM
5. Even worse, GURPS Bestairy does not describe a huge collection of high-rank monsters which lack those required abilities, with no way to get them.
They all have see invisibility and can fly or what? (I assume invisibility and flying are still in there, a bit too iconic to leave out.)

Kizara
2009-08-29, 03:24 AM
Not to seem derogatory but isn't GURPS just Hero System light?:smallconfused:

I don't know if you've ever played the system but Hero System seems to do all of the things GURPS can do but more so. On the other hand all the disadvantages of GURPS apply to Hero System doubly.

I really can't imagine a system that is even close to runable that has more depth then GURPS 4e (especially including suppliments).

But no, I haven't played Hero System, so I can't really answer your question.

I will however say that GURPS is as GURPSy as it needs to be, and anything more then its highest levels of complexity would be essentially maddening to run.

Feel free to prove me wrong.

Kizara
2009-08-29, 03:40 AM
Well, you could theoretically have a magic item that gave you 300 pts of spell power, meaning you could cast Ress every couple of days or so. I don't recall exactly - it's a been a while.

Since Kiz has talked about the good points of GURPS, let me point out a few flaws:

1. 20th level (500 pts or so) characters can be killed in a single round by a single 1st level (20 pts) character with a high chance of success, given easily available equipment.

I'd like an example of this, as I basically feel you are flat wrong and that a 20 pts character (I wouldn't even call that lvl 1, 20 pts as defined by the system is something like a small child) could not attack anything with a high chance of success, since he cannot even buy up a single weapon skill high enough to have a good chance of making a solid attack.


2. Even if you rule out sniper rifles and bazookas, a super-high level character can still be wounded and eventually killed by as little as 2 or 3 dozen 1st level characters.

While not as preposterous as the first claim, I still doubt this and am asking you to provide some sort of evidence or example to back up this claim. Also, "super-high level" needs to quantified.


3. One of my 3.5 players currently has a character that can auto-kill any number of creatures within 20 ft. Also, nothing can get closer than 20 ft. Nor can anything move out of his 20 ft range. And he flies. At 10th level. Tell me how you can do that in GURPS!

The database backup ate the post I had that went into this in detail, but suffice it to say that I think that even in 3.5 such a character is ludicrous and is almost certinally using a combination of cheese that I would ban (individually, let alone the combination) if it were my game.

Also, GURPS has AoE attacks that can kill low-hp, weak creatures by the masses. It has repulsion and fear effects. And superman-style flight is 40pts for twice your base move in speed.


4. GURPS magic does not create an absolute need for a long list of abilities/magic items that every creature over CR 10 level has to have or just die instantly. (Non-detection, Mind Blank, Protection from possession, ability to hit non-corporeal creatures, Anticipate Teleport, etc.).

Um... ok? I concede this point. Especially as GURPS doesn't really have CR 10 creatures.


5. Even worse, GURPS Bestairy does not describe a huge collection of high-rank monsters which lack those required abilities, with no way to get them.

While I have not pursued the GURPS Bestiary books in depth, I will say that they follow the same rules as other characters (after all, monsters are just another kind of character) and have more or less have access to the same abilities that a character could, as logic would dictate.


6. Monsters and NPCs in GURPS follow the same rules as players. This means that NPCs of equal level and equipment can actually defeat the players on a semi-regular basis. There is really no mechanism in GURPS for spoon-feeding parties a fixed series of encounters which are meant to consume a quarter of their "resources". In GURPS, all combats are dangerous for the players!

Good? I always hated any manner of "spoon-feeding" or fixed concepts of encounters. I run deep and immersive games that my players pursue their goals in, and overcome challenges; they sometimes also contain an overarching meta-plot. Not to say I don't have encounters, or combat, just that its not... procedurally generated?


7. Feat selections rarely lead to insta-locks, where the PCs are unstoppable as long as they are allowed to perform their signature move over and over again, regardless of situation/environment/common sense.

I could go on, but I think you get the point. How is anybody supposed to have fun in a game like that? :smallsigh:

Yes, the system is intended to be largely balanced and game-breaking loopholes are rare and are often the result of intentional and malicious abusing of the system.

I assume you are being satirical in this post in general, as you are basically saying "GURPS is bad because its not horribly, unplayably broken like 3.5 at its wrost!" which I have a hard time viewing with a straight face. If you honestly, actually have these complaints then I'm afraid GURPS is not for you... cause, you know, its playable...

Thatguyoverther
2009-08-29, 03:40 AM
Feel free to prove me wrong.

I just might have to do that. :smallbiggrin:

I'm thinking about running a game here, provided I can fine enough. If you find yourself in possession of a book and the creation software you should let me know.

Kizara
2009-08-29, 03:43 AM
They all have see invisibility and can fly or what? (I assume invisibility and flying are still in there, a bit too iconic to leave out.)

Both Invisibility and Fly are present in Advantages and spells. So, depending on how you see your character, you could be...

A ghost that can go incorporal/invisible (the rules for this are even better then the already-decent 3.5 ones) and fly.

A mage that has some knowledge of Illusion and Air schools (both spells are mid-high tier on their trees).

An angel with big feathered wings, but who can hide them sometimes (rules for this), and acts as a subtle influence on the modern world (can turn invisible).

Etc...

T.G. Oskar
2009-08-29, 03:43 AM
I played GURPS once (actually, it was my introduction to tabletop roleplaying), and I can say it's...well, different. It's pretty generic and universal (what the G and U in GURPS intend to represent), in that you can meld it into what you desire. If you want high fantasy, it allows for high fantasy; but if you want cyberpunk, it allows for cyberpunk. It has supplements, but those are mostly for alternate rules (I used the Religion rules to remake my first and only character, since it was better for him than the base rules)

Mostly, it works like most point-based games in that you make a character based upon a same set of points. It can be standard (about 30-50 points), High, (up to 100?), and all the way to Supers (300-500, and that's for superheroes and whatnot). Those points can be used for mostly anything; from insanely powerful mages and clerics, to your typical superhero, to a cyborg with loads of enhancements, to a pilot wielding a mecha (and yes, I saw a Supers campaign that had lots of superheroes and one rich guy who wanted to pilot a mecha; the campaign ended and the guy still didn't had his mecha ready, because he asked for too much). Mostly, it works somewhat like WoD/Storyteller's/Storytelling in that you buy from Attributes, Talents, Spells and Powers through points, and you can get extra points through Flaws and Quirks. Quirks are pretty minor and are actually ways to encourage roleplaying (like always saying "Jumpin' Jehosaphat!" as an expression of surprise), but Flaws are pretty rough (between low level flaws such as minor mental disorders to such things as Terminal Illnesses, a Dependant who can't protect itself jack and ALWAYS or nearly ALWAYS has to be rescued, and whatnot). Talents are your basic feats + skills + Abilities + Backgrounds all in one: you get a Talent, you can use Magic, or Clerical Magic, or Psionics, or have Superpowers, or just be Badass Normal. Now, this is an old version I'm speaking off; dunno if it has changed a bit.

First time I played it, I wasn't as polished as I am now, and I began late in the game. I recall having something along the lines of 10 St(rength), 10 D(e)x(terity), about 12 In(telligence) and 13 H(eal)t(h), but with a special item of the GM I grew up to be quite a badass. I could cast spells from the Healing, Creation, Light and I think two more spheres, IIRC (I had some trouble working with the concept of religion, mostly because being a complete noob I was paired with help with someone who's obsessed with details; oddly enough he's one great pal), plus was quite badass with a Bastard Sword and heavy armor. And yeah, I was pretty much a Paladin (technically, the way the church's hierarchy was determined placed me exactly as a Paladin, with stuff such as Bishop and whatnot as later choices)

Battle is pretty straightforward, actually. IIRC, movement was based off Dex, attack was based off Strength, you can cast as many spells as you like so as long as you don't fall fatigued (which was based off Health), the power of spells is based off Int...the usual. Attacking from the back gave a tactical advantage, being with basic heavy armor and shield gave a pretty potent defense, and you can't die unless you failed your Health check (and with 13-14 Health, it was nearly impossible to fail!) Technically, there's no dependance on magic items, but you can key off your powers to depend on the items, which is considered a minor Flaw IIRC.

It's been so long, I just can't recall very well how the system went, but it's pretty solid. If anything, while it's pretty easy to GM and pretty easy to play, it requires a bit more of roleplaying and solid storytelling in order to make it work, as IIRC the book is designed to not have any fluff. It's almost entirely crunch, with light fluff to give ideas on what you can do, but mostly the GM makes the story and that's it. Supplements are not extra fluff, but different types of crunch.

Oh, and it's not that easy to break, either. Also, IIRC, there are different ways to get the same spells (Resurrection isn't, or at least wasn't a Healing only spell; it was also a Necromancy spell)

Cybren
2009-08-29, 04:01 AM
1. 20th level (500 pts or so) characters can be killed in a single round by a single 1st level (20 pts) character with a high chance of success, given easily available equipment.

Except if the 500 pt character put some points in to DR, or Unkillable, or Supernatural Durability or... or.... or..

Yes, if you build a 500 point character that is just 500 points of mundane skills and advantages, your character will still be mortal. Because the GM has decided to run a high power game while still keeping characters mortal on purpose.


2. Even if you rule out sniper rifles and bazookas, a super-high level character can still be wounded and eventually killed by as little as 2 or 3 dozen 1st level characters.

This applies to both this and the first item. There are no levels in GURPS. Even trying to correlate point costs to levels doesn't work. The point value of a character does not correspond to combat ability. Monsters do not have point values.


3. One of my 3.5 players currently has a character that can auto-kill any number of creatures within 20 ft. Also, nothing can get closer than 20 ft. Nor can anything move out of his 20 ft range. And he flies. At 10th level. Tell me how you can do that in GURPS!

Toxic Attack with malediction, emanation, and uncontrollable. Flight.


4. GURPS magic does not create an absolute need for a long list of abilities/magic items that every creature over CR 10 level has to have or just die instantly. (Non-detection, Mind Blank, Protection from possession, ability to hit non-corporeal creatures, Anticipate Teleport, etc.).

I don't really understand what this means


5. Even worse, GURPS Bestairy does not describe a huge collection of high-rank monsters which lack those required abilities, with no way to get them.
1- GURPS Bestiary is not a "canonical" book of this is how you build creatures. The kind of enemies you throw at your PCs should be tailored for their abilities. GURPS characters, campaigns, players, and GMs vary too much to have a monster manual that can accomplish everything. Also, GURPS Bestiary hasn't been updated for the 4th edition.


6. Monsters and NPCs in GURPS follow the same rules as players. This means that NPCs of equal level and equipment can actually defeat the players on a semi-regular basis. There is really no mechanism in GURPS for spoon-feeding parties a fixed series of encounters which are meant to consume a quarter of their "resources". In GURPS, all combats are dangerous for the players!

Yeah, duh. You're in combat. If you're running a campaign where the PCs aren't terribly more powerful than the average bear/person/whatever, then more fights will be lethal. Unless you let PCs take advantages that bolsters their defenses. Or you use mook rules, which the basic set provides examples of (mooks can't take active defenses and a successful attack always kills them)



7. Feat selections rarely lead to insta-locks, where the PCs are unstoppable as long as they are allowed to perform their signature move over and over again, regardless of situation/environment/common sense.


I don't know what this one means either.


I could go on, but I think you get the point. How is anybody supposed to have fun in a game like that?


I think most of this betrays a lack of understanding of the (admittedly intimidating) GURPS rules.

Kizara
2009-08-29, 04:03 AM
I played GURPS once (actually, it was my introduction to tabletop roleplaying), and I can say it's...well, different. It's pretty generic and universal (what the G and U in GURPS intend to represent), in that you can meld it into what you desire. If you want high fantasy, it allows for high fantasy; but if you want cyberpunk, it allows for cyberpunk. It has supplements, but those are mostly for alternate rules (I used the Religion rules to remake my first and only character, since it was better for him than the base rules)

Mostly, it works like most point-based games in that you make a character based upon a same set of points. It can be standard (about 30-50 points), High, (up to 100?), and all the way to Supers (300-500, and that's for superheroes and whatnot). Those points can be used for mostly anything; from insanely powerful mages and clerics, to your typical superhero, to a cyborg with loads of enhancements, to a pilot wielding a mecha (and yes, I saw a Supers campaign that had lots of superheroes and one rich guy who wanted to pilot a mecha; the campaign ended and the guy still didn't had his mecha ready, because he asked for too much). Mostly, it works somewhat like WoD/Storyteller's/Storytelling in that you buy from Attributes, Talents, Spells and Powers through points, and you can get extra points through Flaws and Quirks. Quirks are pretty minor and are actually ways to encourage roleplaying (like always saying "Jumpin' Jehosaphat!" as an expression of surprise), but Flaws are pretty rough (between low level flaws such as minor mental disorders to such things as Terminal Illnesses, a Dependant who can't protect itself jack and ALWAYS or nearly ALWAYS has to be rescued, and whatnot). Talents are your basic feats + skills + Abilities + Backgrounds all in one: you get a Talent, you can use Magic, or Clerical Magic, or Psionics, or have Superpowers, or just be Badass Normal. Now, this is an old version I'm speaking off; dunno if it has changed a bit.

Its basically as you describe it. The general tenets of the system haven't changed, only refined. You can take disadvantages without completely hosing yourself if you use some sense with it. But if you want to play a terminally ill angsty mage or something, you get the points for your trouble.


First time I played it, I wasn't as polished as I am now, and I began late in the game. I recall having something along the lines of 10 St(rength), 10 D(e)x(terity), about 12 In(telligence) and 13 H(eal)t(h), but with a special item of the GM I grew up to be quite a badass. I could cast spells from the Healing, Creation, Light and I think two more spheres, IIRC (I had some trouble working with the concept of religion, mostly because being a complete noob I was paired with help with someone who's obsessed with details; oddly enough he's one great pal), plus was quite badass with a Bastard Sword and heavy armor. And yeah, I was pretty much a Paladin (technically, the way the church's hierarchy was determined placed me exactly as a Paladin, with stuff such as Bishop and whatnot as later choices)

Its ST, DX, IQ, and HT now.

Also, please check out my paladin that I linked earlier in the thread. Might give you some perspective. Also, I commend you trying to get some much with GURPS on your first go, I was far more conservative.


Battle is pretty straightforward, actually. IIRC, movement was based off Dex, attack was based off Strength, you can cast as many spells as you like so as long as you don't fall fatigued (which was based off Health), the power of spells is based off Int...the usual. Attacking from the back gave a tactical advantage, being with basic heavy armor and shield gave a pretty potent defense, and you can't die unless you failed your Health check (and with 13-14 Health, it was nearly impossible to fail!) Technically, there's no dependance on magic items, but you can key off your powers to depend on the items, which is considered a minor Flaw IIRC.

This is largely incorrect now, although I suspect even then you weren't really using the cool tactical combat rules.

Your Basic Speed (and thus your Basic Move) are calcuated thusly: DX + HT /4. And that is how fast you can move in combat, although encumbrance effects this very easily if you want to wear non-light armor.

Attack is your weapon skill (which functions largely like other skills), which is based on D(e)X. And I've talked about the attack/active defense system quite a bit above.

The magic system still has a bit of an issue with this, and could use some minor houseruling to rein it in, but yes its still largely limited by fatigue (there are no spell slots or spells per day, unless you go way, way out of your way to make it like that).

Attacking from rear/flank is very advantageous, although there are also alot of other tactical options in combat (see my second post in this thread for some discussion on this).

Its true that using the more basic rules for injury its fairly hard to die from your wounds. In a way, this actually helps rescue the system from having a really high lethality rate. Its still higher then DnD, but its not the "combat is suicide" that some systems have.


It's been so long, I just can't recall very well how the system went, but it's pretty solid. If anything, while it's pretty easy to GM and pretty easy to play, it requires a bit more of roleplaying and solid storytelling in order to make it work, as IIRC the book is designed to not have any fluff. It's almost entirely crunch, with light fluff to give ideas on what you can do, but mostly the GM makes the story and that's it. Supplements are not extra fluff, but different types of crunch.

Indeed. Personally, I didn't run pre-made stuff anyways and always made each campaign from more-or-less scratch, so this doesn't bother me at all. Supplements do actually provide extra 'fluff' in the form of understanding of their material. For instance, Martial Arts gives you a LOT of background information on the development, history, and practice of the martial arts, as well as a whole crapload of new rules. But I'm glad you could appreciate how much easier it is to use in-game even just playing it briefly.


Oh, and it's not that easy to break, either. Also, IIRC, there are different ways to get the same spells (Resurrection isn't, or at least wasn't a Healing only spell; it was also a Necromancy spell)

It might be, I didn't look through the entire magic book, just under healing till I found that spell.

Cybren
2009-08-29, 04:05 AM
It's also worth mentioning that GURPS Magic is pretty controversial among some groups. The first thing to take away from it is that the spell colleges are thematic groups, not really trees. There's no balance factor to how they're arranged, since the spells are all already balanced by casting time and fatigue cost.


Talking about mundane combat is not the way to pull in D&D players (well except for those core fighter lovers). Just to head you off, talking about a game heavily based around social encounters and skill challenges isn't either ;)


Honestly I think the opposite. If the average D&D player saw the kind of things you can do in GURPS in even a regular fight without magic/super powers/etc, they'd probably drool. THEN bring in Imbuements, Magic, Powers, and, well, the rest, as they say, is history (http://sjgames.com/gurps/books/dungeonfantasy/).


Not to seem derogatory but isn't GURPS just Hero System light?

I don't know if you've ever played the system but Hero System seems to do all of the things GURPS can do but more so. On the other hand all the disadvantages of GURPS apply to Hero System doubly.

GURPS doesn't try to model everything using the same set of rules. While you could use GURPS Powers the way HERO works, it would ruin a lot of what makes GURPS great.

Kizara
2009-08-29, 04:18 AM
Honestly I think the opposite. If the average D&D player saw the kind of things you can do in GURPS in even a regular fight without magic/super powers/etc, they'd probably drool. THEN bring in Imbuements, Magic, Powers, and, well, the rest, as they say, is history (http://sjgames.com/gurps/books/dungeonfantasy/).

Seriously.

I saw this and thought "I've been trying to cobble-together houserules to make 3.5 do this for YEARS; and I feel like a stubborn fool for not simply doing this earlier!"

T.G. Oskar
2009-08-29, 04:30 AM
Its basically as you describe it. The general tenets of the system haven't changed, only refined. You can take disadvantages without completely hosing yourself if you use some sense with it. But if you want to play a terminally ill angsty mage or something, you get the points for your trouble.

Well, as far as I could recall, some were pretty serious. Dependant (is that the name? Is it still at 4th edition?) was pretty tough, especially the worst version. At least the minor one was pretty decent (the dependant knew how to survive an attempt or two without your aid), but the one that granted the buckload of points could be nightmarish with a sadistic DM (you're on a life-and-death situation, and all of a sudden you get a call from someone saying "hey, I got your dependant, and it's going to die unless you come within an hour." Also, I recall that if you lose the dependant, you had some kind of penalty or whatnot.

But yeah, the idea is to choose the right disadvantages, and do as much as possible with quirks. Only five quirks, and each grant (or granted) one point, but those were not that bad. You were expected to roleplay them, but most of the time it wasn't something truly crippling.


Its ST, DX, IQ, and HT now.

It has always been ST, DX, IQ and HT. Hasn't changed. I just happened to mention them by name; hence, the St(rength), with the letters out of the parentheses mentioning the name.


Also, please check out my paladin that I linked earlier in the thread. Might give you some perspective. Also, I commend you trying to get some much with GURPS on your first go, I was far more conservative.

Sorta similar to mine, except I had a higher Religious Rank (5 or 7, IIRC), and definitely went for Power Investiture (if that's the one that allows you to use spells). Though, that ST 17 is pretty huge; my highest stat was HT, and it was about 13-14. Though, that made me really hard to kill; the only thing I lament was that I couldn't cast Vigor as a spell. I didn't understood what it did, but had I recalled that pretty early, that would have made me nearly invulnerable (and the night even longer than it was)

But in either case, I was under a 100 point build. But it was awesome: I was a Paladin of a triad of deities (and followed the Goddess of Creation, which had an "amorphous form" which produced some laughs, barely fought honorably and always struck back, and was known later on as the "rapper Paladin"), and I traveled with a "pyromaniac, pyrokinetic" elf, a mage that used the rules of Magi Nation (a TCG of mages, just in case), a Pokemon summoner (whose best summon was a horde swarm of Pikachus), a wooden golem with the ability to cast Rune Magic (and who was quite unpredictable, to the point of being potentially lethal), and a Samurai-ish warrior who knew the secrets of Hiten Mitsurugi and had an unhealthy relationship with his beloved horse.

Did I mentioned it was meant to be on Earth's future, with a thing that nuked technology and allowed magic to flourish, and the whole purpose of my character was to revive technology, while preventing the paladins of the "dark and destructive" god from preventing it, and stopping yet another Church (false, and it used magic) from holding absolute power?

Yeah...good days.


This is largely incorrect now, although I suspect even then you weren't really using the cool tactical combat rules.

Your Basic Speed (and thus your Basic Move) are calcuated thusly: DX + HT /4. And that is how fast you can move in combat, although encumbrance effects this very easily if you want to wear non-light armor.

Attack is your weapon skill (which functions largely like other skills), which is based on D(e)X. And I've talked about the attack/active defense system quite a bit above.

The magic system still has a bit of an issue with this, and could use some minor houseruling to rein it in, but yes its still largely limited by fatigue (there are no spell slots or spells per day, unless you go way, way out of your way to make it like that).

Attacking from rear/flank is very advantageous, although there are also alot of other tactical options in combat (see my second post in this thread for some discussion on this).

Its true that using the more basic rules for injury its fairly hard to die from your wounds. In a way, this actually helps rescue the system from having a really high lethality rate. Its still higher then DnD, but its not the "combat is suicide" that some systems have.

I was remembering what I could remember. And it was my first time. I learned a bit, and I can recall a bit, but don't force my memory that much. So, perhaps I wasn't using the full onset of the rules, since I was still on diapers and using the tactics of the other people.

In either case, I was pretty hard to beat. I recall that I had to do HT rolls and roll lower than my HT to remain alive, and I spent about an hour and a half trying to do that. It was insane, and I ended up felled because of a bad roll


Indeed. Personally, I didn't run pre-made stuff anyways and always made each campaign from more-or-less scratch, so this doesn't bother me at all. Supplements do actually provide extra 'fluff' in the form of understanding of their material. For instance, Martial Arts gives you a LOT of background information on the development, history, and practice of the martial arts, as well as a whole crapload of new rules. But I'm glad you could appreciate how much easier it is to use in-game even just playing it briefly.

Which is what I meant. You don't have extensive descriptions on how that applies to World X, actually, which is what I meant with fluff and light fluff. What it's provided is to give an idea on how to apply it to your own world. Perhaps it's how you and I define fluff, mayhaps.


It might be, I didn't look through the entire magic book, just under healing till I found that spell.

Perhaps it's an old edition quirk, but I recall pretty well that Resurrection was a Healing AND Necromancy spell. The description said something along the lines of "being Necromancy the school/sphere of death control, it makes sense that you can use said magic to reverse death".

Also, Heat. Both a Fire and an Ice spell. Description? "Just as adding heat makes things hot, removing heat makes things cold." Oddly enough, it was one of the basic spells of both Fire and Ice.

Oh, and I recall the other few spheres I had access. Animal and Plant. I recall since I intentionally watched a Gryphon/Griffon so I could create it next (I had Create Animal, as well as Vigor and Heal and I can't remember which other spells) Too bad I could only play like three or four sessions, since it was mid-semester and the GM was leaving that semester, so it was the last game he'd throw.

Kizara
2009-08-29, 04:47 AM
Oskar, it sounds like you had an incredibly powerful character for 100pts.

I doubt I could make a mage that had your spellcasting abilities alone and still be a character at that point budget, let alone the other stuff.

As for not dieing, in 4e you auto-die at 5x your hp, and you have penalties and have to roll 2 rolls everyone round in negative hp in order to not go down; one to stay conscious, and one to not die.

The plot and characters of your campaign are certinally zany and fun, and illustrate what you can do with GURPS if you want to 'run with it' a bit. Sounds like a blast, glad you had fun. Characters you kick ass with are always funner to play and fonder to remember.


Cybren: Thanks for your contributions to the thread, I was hoping to attract some more experienced GURPS players to the thread so they could deal with questions outside of my current knowledge and experiences. Also, I'll be sure to PM you with my own questions in the future. :P

Rainbownaga
2009-08-29, 05:04 AM
@ Yahzi

I'm guessing most of that was sarcasm, right. 2-3 dozen (even inept) characters targeting a single target and eventually killing it. I remember a post from world of darkness discussing whether a human character with maxed out stats could hold his own against 3 or 5 gangbangers (i can't remember which).

I think he mangaged to kill one.

T.G. Oskar
2009-08-29, 05:06 AM
Oskar, it sounds like you had an incredibly powerful character for 100pts.

I doubt I could make a mage that had your spellcasting abilities alone and still be a character at that point budget, let alone the other stuff.

Remember that it was an older system. If I recall correctly, the Power Investiture Talent (or whatever Talent I used for spellcasting) gave me the ability to use spells with some discount, but the mechanic was a bit different. Since I had a low level of that Talent (though I'm pretty sure it was Power Investment; in either case, it should be on the Religion supplement if available), I couldn't use spells at an advantage like regular spells do.

Also, the Attribute/Ability Score system was a bit different IIRC. I recall wasting about 50 points or so on Attributes, and the ST and DX (or was it ST and HT? Perhaps, if my DX was 10 or so...) were enhanced by the GM with an "item" to compensate with the level of the other people (who were playing for about a year or two). I think I also had some extra XP to balance things up. In either case, it wasn't a tried-and-true 100-point character.


As for not dieing, in 4e you auto-die at 5x your hp, and you have penalties and have to roll 2 rolls everyone round in negative hp in order to not go down; one to stay conscious, and one to not die.

Perhaps it was that, since I fell into negative HP pretty quickly. All I recall was that I had such a high HT, I barely got over 13-14 (or whichever my HT really was; my memory is a tad hazy). I finally failed, IIRC, with a roll of 15.

Also, do triple 1's count as critical successes and triple 6's as botches? The thing that I can correctly identify is that GURPS uses bell curve.


The plot and characters of your campaign are certinally zany and fun, and illustrate what you can do with GURPS if you want to 'run with it' a bit. Sounds like a blast, glad you had fun. Characters you kick ass with are always funner to play and fonder to remember.

Well, oddly enough it wasn't a zany story, but a serious story. It was that the group was dysfunctional at its core. But still, it managed to do its work as it should.

As for those who think in D&D terms: GURPS is a tad more balanced in the term of "magic trumps mundane". Being a point-based system, a mundane character could have better stats, and better advantages while choosing little disadvantages. As well, you can enhance what you can do with skills, which is crucial since the rules work differently (if my memory is hazy, you roll a target number, your bonus or penalty with the skill modifies that target number, and if you exceed that number, you fail). Magic requires a specific talent, requires an expenditure of points between that and skills, and you must pump those spells you learn to cast them better separately, as well as each spell having a prerequisite (you can't learn Resurrection unless you have several other spells, which imply having the equivalents of Cure X Wounds, Regeneration, and one other spell to do it at a slight penalty). Bell curve aids a lot, but mages aren't the end-all be-all of the game; having low IQ hinders your magic ability, and having low HT hinders you through Fatigue Points. Finally, you can have Magical Resistance as a talent, which forbids you from using magic but makes magicians harder to affect you.

So yeah, so much for "I cast magic, I win". It requires a different level of thinking to achieve that, and you will be in a bit of disadvantage compared to someone who used his or her 70 points on skills and other talents.

Also, GURPS =/= Storyteller/Storytelling system(s). It's rewarding for roleplayers, but it lends itself quite well to hack & slash parties, since the battle rules are simple enough. Heck, IIRC social encounters are roleplayed here, not enforced by rules. But then again, I've played so long ago that it may be different. The idea is "GURPS is different", not "GURPS is mundane/social RP and thus won't apply to munchkins".
For that, go play Munchkin RPG by Steve Jackson.
You can't say much until you try.

Yora
2009-08-29, 05:07 AM
Hm, I have to say I'm not sold.

I like my games focusing on storytelling with combat rules mostly as a tool to determine at which actions the PCs succeed and at which they fail. And social interaction rules seem to reduce roleplaying instead of supporting it.
And as people tell here, GURPS is apparently more detailed than d20, so I guess it would be even less useful to me.
If you want to have drawbacks and quirks, just say that the character has them. You don't have to include very tiny penalties to very specific situations to do that. Or roll for both characters if one of them tries to hit the other. It all takes extra time and makes the players think more abot the number than about the "play" they are staging.

Meh, does not sound like a game for me.

Kizara
2009-08-29, 05:26 AM
Remember that it was an older system. If I recall correctly, the Power Investiture Talent (or whatever Talent I used for spellcasting) gave me the ability to use spells with some discount, but the mechanic was a bit different. Since I had a low level of that Talent (though I'm pretty sure it was Power Investment; in either case, it should be on the Religion supplement if available), I couldn't use spells at an advantage like regular spells do.

Also, the Attribute/Ability Score system was a bit different IIRC. I recall wasting about 50 points or so on Attributes, and the ST and DX (or was it ST and HT? Perhaps, if my DX was 10 or so...) were enhanced by the GM with an "item" to compensate with the level of the other people (who were playing for about a year or two). I think I also had some extra XP to balance things up. In either case, it wasn't a tried-and-true 100-point character.

Power Investature (which is in the Basic Characters book), functions extremely similarly to Magery. The biggest difference is that you have a pre-defined list according to your god (that your GM has to essentially make for you), but that you don't have to worry about the prerequisite tress that other mages do.


Perhaps it was that, since I fell into negative HP pretty quickly. All I recall was that I had such a high HT, I barely got over 13-14 (or whichever my HT really was; my memory is a tad hazy). I finally failed, IIRC, with a roll of 15.

Also, do triple 1's count as critical successes and triple 6's as botches? The thing that I can correctly identify is that GURPS uses bell curve.

The following are criticals:

Success Roll: Equal or less than attribute. ST 12 for a strength check passes with a 12 or less.

Critical Success: 3-4 always. 5 if effective skill is 15+, 6 if effective skill is 16+.
Critical Failure: 18 always. 17 if effective skill is 15 or less. Roll 10+ effective skill.


Well, oddly enough it wasn't a zany story, but a serious story. It was that the group was dysfunctional at its core. But still, it managed to do its work as it should.
Heh.


As for those who think in D&D terms: GURPS is a tad more balanced in the term of "magic trumps mundane". Being a point-based system, a mundane character could have better stats, and better advantages while choosing little disadvantages. As well, you can enhance what you can do with skills, which is crucial since the rules work differently (if my memory is hazy, you roll a target number, your bonus or penalty with the skill modifies that target number, and if you exceed that number, you fail). Magic requires a specific talent, requires an expenditure of points between that and skills, and you must pump those spells you learn to cast them better separately, as well as each spell having a prerequisite (you can't learn Resurrection unless you have several other spells, which imply having the equivalents of Cure X Wounds, Regeneration, and one other spell to do it at a slight penalty). Bell curve aids a lot, but mages aren't the end-all be-all of the game; having low IQ hinders your magic ability, and having low HT hinders you through Fatigue Points. Finally, you can have Magical Resistance as a talent, which forbids you from using magic but makes magicians harder to affect you.

So yeah, so much for "I cast magic, I win". It requires a different level of thinking to achieve that, and you will be in a bit of disadvantage compared to someone who used his or her 70 points on skills and other talents.

This is largely all correct. I'll also point out that in 4e, IQ and DX are 20 pts instead of 10, and they earn every point with how useful they are (especially IQ for a mage).


Also, GURPS =/= Storyteller/Storytelling system(s). It's rewarding for roleplayers, but it lends itself quite well to hack & slash parties, since the battle rules are simple enough. Heck, IIRC social encounters are roleplayed here, not enforced by rules. But then again, I've played so long ago that it may be different. The idea is "GURPS is different", not "GURPS is mundane/social RP and thus won't apply to munchkins".
For that, go play Munchkin RPG by Steve Jackson.
You can't say much until you try.



Honestly, while you can pare GURPS down to steamline it enough so that you can run it as a very rules-light system, you are really missing the point if you do that. Unified resolution mechanics, ad-hoc character generation and other 'semi-freeform' styles of mechanics are the opposite direction of this system.

If you do not desire to have a system that can accurately protray almost anything you want to RP (sometimes with a bit of work, granted), and have that entity both feel and mechnically function distinctly from something else (A gun is not the same as a bow, or a fireball, or a sword, or a energy blaster, in a great many more ways then different amounts of damage dice.), and accurately protray almost action that said character could take, then I suppose GURPS isn't for you. To me, the amount of immersion and RPing options this gives me is completely invaluable. Did I mention it's not nearly as difficult or headache inducing as 3.5 to run?

I will say that while GURPS has some social interaction mechnics, they are fairly light and actually functionally far more useful then ethier 3e or 4e DnD's ones. It works like this:

Witty PC: *roleplays tricking the guards with a cunning lie and diversion*
GM: Ok, roll vs Fast Talk (the PC's skill) *GM modifies the check based on roleplaying, how guillible he feels the guard is, how hard the con is, and so forth*
Witty PC: Success by 3!
GM: *gives feedback, roleplaying continues*

Really, if this is too rules-heavy for you, you may wish to consider not using anything more rulesy then Wushu for your roleplaying.

arkol
2009-08-29, 05:55 AM
This thread is really making me curious bout GURPS. Since I'm in a place where I can't even get a dnd book, getting a GURPS one will be impossible so I ask, is there any kind of SRD or something floating around on the web for GURPS?

T.G. Oskar
2009-08-29, 05:56 AM
Power Investature (which is in the Basic Characters book), functions extremely similarly to Magery. The biggest difference is that you have a pre-defined list according to your god (that your GM has to essentially make for you), but that you don't have to worry about the prerequisite tress that other mages do.

Oh really!? Well...that's a big change. Originally, Basic Rules only had Magery and it was a bit more complex.

But yeah...mostly that. Except the GM mostly went for specific schools of magic instead of a specific spell list. Perhaps it's because it was 3rd Edition. Though, I recall it was somehow tied to Religious Rank? Or perhaps houserule; in either case, I was better because of Power Investment/Investiture.


The following are criticals:

Success Roll: Equal or less than attribute. ST 12 for a strength check passes with a 12 or less.

Critical Success: 3-4 always. 5 if effective skill is 15+, 6 if effective skill is 16+.
Critical Failure: 18 always. 17 if effective skill is 15 or less. Roll 10+ effective skill.

Yeah, I kinda forgot about that. Though perhaps that 4 is critical success rule is new? But yeah, most rolls are attribute checks, with the penalties or bonii for the specific skill. It's pretty simple, actually. Also, critical successes and botches were pretty amazing indeed.


This is largely all correct. I'll also point out that in 4e, IQ and DX are 20 pts instead of 10, and they earn every point with how useful they are (especially IQ for a mage).

Well, DX isn't that crucially important in most cases. Not something to keep low, but not something to keep high unless you want to be a fast kind of person. If you're going for shields and parrying, dodging isn't that important. You might lose a bit on the costs of DX vs. specific weapon, but if you're going for a specific weapon and want mostly a decent attack rate, paying the points for the skill ends up a bit more rewarding. +2 bonus on the weapon hit rate is about 12 points (but for a single weapon), while Dex requires about 40 points for that (but acts for all weapons). If you're going for a +2 on more than 3 weapons, then it's better to have DX than on separate skills; otherwise, if it's one, then it's better to pay the +2 on the skill and perhaps add 1 more to DX. If for two weapons, then DX and pay for the +1 on the weapons. That should give about a regular range of 12, which is only on top of the bell curve average roll. Going a bit more tactical, and you can save the 20 points for better stuff.

Of course, if you have over 200 points, then it's reasonable to have awesome stats.

(Which begs the question: 17 ST? How come!?)

Magic is a bit different: IQ for the base, then you buy the level of proficiency of each spell separately (IIRC); you start at a -3, and then go up to a +2.

warmachine
2009-08-29, 06:24 AM
To counter this fanboyism, I will state that point buy freedom means you cannot be bad at maths and if a player has munchkin tendencies, the GM must be at least as good at maths and assertive as him. For example, a PC with DR 10 would be near invulnerable in a standard medieval fantasy or IQ 17 would grant professional level in all untrained, IQ-based skills. The rules don't block these because they can make sense in a high power level campaign but they don't in typical, heroic power levels. A GM must understand his genre and campaign conventions and stamp on any munchkins who try to break them. GURPS is a toolkit and you must understand your tools.

EDIT: Mind you, if you're on this forum, you can probably character optimize and spot maths abuses in the abstract, rules-heavy D&D. So you should be fine.

Kizara
2009-08-29, 06:27 AM
This thread is really making me curious bout GURPS. Since I'm in a place where I can't even get a dnd book, getting a GURPS one will be impossible so I ask, is there any kind of SRD or something floating around on the web for GURPS?

That would be the intention, of course. :)

And you can get GURPS Lite for free off their site, but its too late right now for me to get you a link. Just Google GURPS Lite.



Oskar:

Religious Rank "often accompanies" higher levels of power investature, but isn't mechanically hard-linked to it.

DX is wroth its point cost, if you want a DXy character. If you are going to take alot of Dex-based skills; such as sneaking around, many weapons, etc, and want a high Basic Speed, then its wroth it. Otherwise, no, just buy the few DX-based things you need and deal with not being quite as fast on the draw.

Also, assuming you already have a few points in it, its 4 per level to continue to level a skill.


As far as my character's 17 ST, I have 2 things to say about that:

1) Its a fantasy character, having above-norm abilities isn't outrageous. Its 17, not 30.

2) Strength is "more open-ended then other attributes" and "humans could have even 20 strength or higher! World record-setting weight lifters are extremely strong!" to quote the book a bit.

So, basically, I spent 70 pts on it cause I wanted to. I feel that every aspect of that ST benefits my character: the HP, the weapon damage and the basic lift. Moving around in layered plate armor is bloody hard without high lifting strength!

Kizara
2009-08-29, 06:31 AM
To counter this fanboyism, I will state that point buy freedom means you cannot be bad at maths and if a player has munchkin tendencies, the GM must be at least as good at maths and assertive as him. For example, a PC with DR 10 would be near invulnerable in a standard medieval fantasy or IQ 17 would grant professional level in all untrained, IQ-based skills. The rules don't block these because they can make sense in a high power level campaign but they don't in typical, heroic power levels. A GM must understand his genre and campaign conventions and stamp on any munchkins who try to break them. GURPS is a toolkit and you must understand your tools.

This is true, except that it does say that IQ 17 is not suitable for human characters (for everything but ST, 15 is the human limit, it spells this out very clearly).

But yes, DR 10 would be pretty lame, although it would cost him 50 pts. If you were playing a lower power level campaign, at say 125 pts, he would have a hard time having anything else for his character with such a huge dump of points.

The system is fairly self-balancing, but you do need to pay attention to what is going on, especially if you don't trust your players. Its perhaps not the best system for 12 yr olds that are more interested in fighting with each other about a game then actually roleplaying.

Aotrs Commander
2009-08-29, 06:46 AM
Personally, when I want a system that goes anywhere and does anything, I use Rolemaster. It's awesome.

(When I'm not playing 3.5 or it's deriviatives in D20 Star Wars and Sg-1 hybridised together.)

If I tried GURPS, I'd only make just as many pages of house-rules anyway. Because no system that I have ever, ever played, wargames or roleplaying, escpaes without moderate to heavy houseruling...

(And I'm not too fond of Add Multiple Dice systems anyway, which as I recall GURPS is - and I might be wrong, sicne it's been a while since I looked at Discworld GURPS.)

Morty
2009-08-29, 08:37 AM
I have to say, GURPS sounds quite fun. A simulationist, realistic system that tosses the "rule of cool" and "cinematic elements" where they belong, i.e. the trash is a system for me, and I've been trying to gear my own system towards just that. I'm a bit unsure about the rules-heaviness though, as they can bog the game in a more distracted group - and my group is one of them - even if the GM understands everything just fine. Also, I'd have to houserule Vancian casting into it somehow...

Thespianus
2009-08-29, 09:04 AM
Personally, when I want a system that goes anywhere and does anything, I use Rolemaster. It's awesome.

Didn't Rolemaster end up being an excercise in table-rolling? :)

Anyway, I love to see someon going FROM DnD to one of the many other systems out there. I love this thread.

I'm the other way around, I'm coming TO DnD from a background that's been built up over the years by games like MERP, Twilight 2000, the "original" Vampire-system, Call of Cthulu, Amber (diceless), and, yes, a bit of GURPS too.

Going to DnD from this motley crew of systems is weird. Some of these systems are not using experience points or levels for character power advancement, and things like magic are implemented in a plethora of different ways.

However, DnD appeals to me due to (amongst other things) the very "engineery" way one generates and builds characters. There are, obviously, tons of balancing issues, and at first I found the use of a tactical battle grid very odd too, as I've never really used that kind of physical representation of the characters before going into DnD (AD&D was my first DnD system)

Gnaeus
2009-08-29, 09:07 AM
I love gurps. It is a great system.

There are a few things I would point out as potential drawbacks though.

Character creation can take a long time, especially in you are using a lot of setting books with additional character options to sift through. I can easily spend 3+ hours making a gurps character. Now, you can do it in less time, and I am a player who enjoys building complex characters, so it is 3 hours of fun for me, but it is a huge level of complexity above (roll 24 d6, arrange, write down class and race and pick 1-2 feats, drop a handful of skill points into a short skill list.)

Dangerous combat makes this worse. When you spend a lot of effort on a character, and he walks into a combat and immediately dies as a result of a crit, and you know you have to go through the process all over again, it can be a bit disheartening.

On the other hand, there are dozens of popular games on the market where designers put a lot of work into their setting but have a bad system, and my first reaction to those is almost always "Hmm. I would just run that in GURPS".

Gnaeus
2009-08-29, 09:11 AM
Didn't Rolemaster end up being an excercise in table-rolling? :)

Rolemaster just needs a DM who is very familiar with the system, and a photocopier to copy the charts for every weapon or spell the players will commonly use so that you can staple them to the character sheet.

kjones
2009-08-29, 09:11 AM
Character creation can take a long time, especially in you are using a lot of setting books with additional character options to sift through. I can easily spend 3+ hours making a gurps character. Now, you can do it in less time, and I am a player who enjoys building complex characters, so it is 3 hours of fun for me, but it is a huge level of complexity above (roll 24 d6, arrange, write down class and race and pick 1-2 feats, drop a handful of skill points into a short skill list.)

Dangerous combat makes this worse. When you spend a lot of effort on a character, and he walks into a combat and immediately dies as a result of a crit, and you know you have to go through the process all over again, it can be a bit disheartening.

I think both of these apply to D&D as well. (Character creation takes a very long time if you're starting above 1st level.)

Rasilak
2009-08-29, 09:11 AM
Yeah, GURPS is a really nice system - If you don't mind a little homebrew, you can do almost anything with minimal effort. But I find the magic system kinda klunky (not necessarily compared to other systems, but to the rest of GURPS - those skill trees just don't fit the "spirit" of the other rules). However, they can quite easily corrected to be as simple as everything else. (I use a skill for each school of magic, and if the player wants to use magic, I just make up a modifier, duration and fatigue cost - if you want, you could write some short guidelines for it, but you really don't need to. No need to learn spells, you just raise the skills to be able to make harder checks for bigger effects. The skills are based on IQ modified by Magical Aptitude - how exactly depends on what "magic level" I want in my setting. For low-magic I use 1/3 of IQ per point in Magical Aptitude, for high-magic I use it as written)

(And I'm not too fond of Add Multiple Dice systems anyway, which as I recall GURPS is - and I might be wrong, sicne it's been a while since I looked at Discworld GURPS.)
Yeah, GURPS is 3D6 roll low. But there's an optional rule to use 1D20 for more random results (and less math while playing).

and @ rules heavyness: You can play GURPS with minimal rules. Most of it is optional, and you probably won't need more than 2-3 sourcebooks in any setting (except if you're trying to do some mega-mashup of everything).

EDIT:

On the other hand, there are dozens of popular games on the market where designers put a lot of work into their setting but have a bad system, and my first reaction to those is almost always "Hmm. I would just run that in GURPS".Yeah, that's probably my #1 use for GURPS, too.

Gnaeus
2009-08-29, 09:40 AM
I think both of these apply to D&D as well. (Character creation takes a very long time if you're starting above 1st level.)

Its a matter of degree. D&D does not take as long per character creation as gurps in general (If you have all the D&D books in play vs. gurps core only it could, but overall gurps is a more complicated system that requires a lot more decision making at start). And it is very easy to die by accident in gurps, and much harder for the party to pull out a raise dead scroll and put you back into play quickly.

Kylarra
2009-08-29, 10:25 AM
I'm not really sold. The OP's previous statements and biting commentary on anyone that dares to not want to try GURPs are a pretty big turnoff for me. They say a product should sell itself, but when its primary proponent is rather offputting, the product isn't going to get much love there. So you may want to turn it down a few notches.


From a mechanical standpoint, I don't want to be figuring out a half dozen+ different modifiers and calculate the most optimal way to debilitate my opponent on every single basic attack. While simulationism is a fun endeavor, with my current group, trying to do that would take forever (which I realize is not necessarily the issue with every group, so don't say "oh that's a group issue and not a system one"). Heck, sometimes it takes them a while to figure out what they're going to be doing on their turn in 4e, and that's "relatively simple" with the math written out for them.

I've also seen how long character creation takes them in the Storyteller System (Scion), so I know that point-based systems will need to be "utterly spectacular" viewed through my own criteria, before I'd consider buying a book and/or suggesting it to the group.

So in an effort to keep things on topic,

Approximately how diverse can power levels along the same point buy become, assuming not necessarily uber-optimized, but say math majors who are unfamiliar with the system versus your average shiny-explosion loving teenager become? Let's assume average optimization for the MM and "rule of cool" for the latter. "Spike" vs "Timmy/Johnny" in MtG terms, if you understand those. One of the issues we had with Scion is that with some basic application of the value of exp vs bonus points in the beginning, certain players were able to create characters who were strictly better (ie, exactly identical, but with more exp left to spend) than another character. Note: this was a thought exercise and not just some player being a jerk to another.

Supplementary, how easy is it to create someone focused on social or mental aspects, but have decent secondary prowess in combat? Another problem we had in Scion is that our Mental character managed to create someone with minimal combat applications (neither command skills, nor combat skills, nor useful tricks, I realize that this is a build-fault and not a system fault per se, but I was curious how easy it was to say, create a "scientist" who is still half decent at defending herself.)

With the myriad of immersion options that you're promoting as a good thing in GURPS, approximately how long does combat take, assuming battles between equivalent or near equivalent powers?

I'll probably have more queries later, but that should be a good enough start I think.

Yahzi
2009-08-29, 10:32 AM
If you honestly, actually have these complaints then I'm afraid GURPS is not for you... cause, you know, its playable...
Oh, GURPS is for me. I've been amazed by it since Melee/Wizard. I wrote a 70 pg source book that customized my world to my own design, and wrote a computer program to generate every single noble and mage in the 5 kingdoms. With only slightly more work than it takes to make a single high-level adventure in D&D that makes any kind of sense at all. GURPS is definitely for me.

It's just not suitable for my cheese-eating players. :smallmad:



2-3 dozen (even inept) characters targeting a single target and eventually killing it.
My point was that in GURPS, a large enough number of basic guards/soldiers can still kill the heroes. That number being something in double-digits.

Contrast that to D&D, where a properly built 10th level fighter is able to destroy thousands of 1st level guards. If not an infinite quantity.

So yes... sarcasm. :smallbiggrin:


Oh! Oh! I just thought of another flaw! Mages in GURPS don't render all other character classes redundant by the end-game. And Clerics don't even exist - you can't be a Fighter and Mage with virtually no penalty to either class. Also, combats take way to long. In any good D&D game over 10th level, combat is reduced to rolling initiative. In GURPS you actually have to play it out, and it might take more than 3 rounds! :smallsigh:

AshDesert
2009-08-29, 10:38 AM
I've been fairly interested by GURPS recently, and I want to know how a couple of character concepts I've had floating around in my head for a little while that I just haven't been able to pull off in DnD no matter how much I try.

The first is an assassin/alchemist character that's more of a stealthy, covert, sneak into the castle and poison the duke kind of guy. I also imagine him having some sort of item (magical or biotech) that lets him turn invisible and incorporeal while granting him flight a few times per day for a few minutes each use. Would that be conceivable in an average heroic power GURPS campaign, while still letting him get some skill-monkey type abilities?

The second I've been thinking about is a semi-dragon (not quite half, but more dragon blood than a Sorcerer in DnD) with somewhat functional wings (a few minutes of sustained flight per day and gliding from high places) and a short-range breath attack, some scales (light natural armor), while also being a competent melee warrior (thinking more two-handed weapons than sword-and-board).

Again, would either of those character concepts work in an average power GURPS campaign? I've been interested in it for a long time and I've heard a lot of good things about it. Hearing that my two pet-concepts could actually work would probably be enough to encourage me to at least try it out with my group.

Tehnar
2009-08-29, 10:52 AM
I played a few sessions of GURPS around 1996 (since I am not sure what version was then). This was at the start of my foray into roleplaying games. The other system I tried was DnD.

The reasons I stuck with DnD were:

- long and complicated combat resolution (we were using blocks, dodges and parries), leading to long combat. This is actually more important for me now, as my typical session is around 4 hours. Actually the question is, how long does combat take for a typical group compared to 3.5?

- very slow character advancement, or the character gets more powerful very slowly. Has that been changed with the editions?

Kylarra
2009-08-29, 10:58 AM
The second I've been thinking about is a semi-dragon (not quite half, but more dragon blood than a Sorcerer in DnD) with somewhat functional wings (a few minutes of sustained flight per day and gliding from high places) and a short-range breath attack, some scales (light natural armor), while also being a competent melee warrior (thinking more two-handed weapons than sword-and-board).Semi-OT

but I saw this and thought "Diamond Dragon". It's a prestige class from Dragon Magic that allows you to mimic some draconic abilities and has an 8/10 manifester progression. It's not perfect, fluffwise, but psionics are the best way to approximate limited use/day wings and such. You can enter as psion/wilder 6 or psywar 7. It's only average BAB progression, but if you take mostly self boosting powers, you should still be fine.

Sorry, I just really like dragons. :smallbiggrin:

Foryn Gilnith
2009-08-29, 10:58 AM
I'm not really sold. The OP's previous statements and biting commentary on anyone that dares to not want to try GURPs are a pretty big turnoff for me. They say a product should sell itself, but when its primary proponent is rather offputting, the product isn't going to get much love there. So you may want to turn it down a few notches.

I second this, although I think its original wording is a bit insulting. Your original post is too enthusiastic, too many exclamation points, too much yelling. It's like the obnoxiousness of Billy Mays combined with the untrustworthiness of Vince Shlomi. I start to think you're hiding something, and begin to discount you as a fanboy and disbelieve your statements.


But enough of the negativity. I have supportive questions for you.
1) I only have the Characters book. How important is Campaigns?
2) How can I learn to play GURPS? I'm estranged from a real gaming group, and use PbP for most everything.

Yahzi
2009-08-29, 11:01 AM
Again, would either of those character concepts work in an average power GURPS campaign?
No.

They would work in a WuShu cinematic game, where the heroes are absurd constructs that have no relation to the world they live in, and wield powers so removed from the NPCs that they might as well be invading kindergarden classes.

You're still thinking in D&D terms. Half-dragon? What the *&*^ does that even mean? How the hell do you walk around with wings and not get instantly attacked for being a demon? Only in D&D can an obviously extra-planar professional murderer expect to be allowed free access to a city until he decides to start eating peoples' faces.

The alchemist is a pretty good idea, except for the part where he can also become a ghost to deliver his poisons in ways that cannot be blocked, defended, or protected against. If such characters existed, how is it possible that there would be any Dukes left in the world? They would have all already been poisoned to death.

Again, the point of GURPS is not "The PCs have 10+ splat books of ridiculous powers and the NPCs have a pointed stick." NPCs in GURPS usually don't sit around waiting for the players to show up and murder them. I realize that's a statement about setting, not rules; but the rules do affect the setting, and the whole tone of GURPS is just like that.

I can't figure out why you can't do those characters in D&D. Well, except for the Alchemist of course, since poison is a stupid joke in 3.0/3.5.

Melamoto
2009-08-29, 11:03 AM
I can't believe nobody thought of doing this already. If you really want to help convince, there is a Free 32 Page E-Book that explains the basic rules and was specifically mentioned as a tool to introduce new players to the game (http://e23.sjgames.com/item.html?id=SJG31-0004). Check it out and see if you like it.

Yahzi
2009-08-29, 11:05 AM
I second this, although I think its original wording is a bit insulting. Your original post is too enthusiastic, too many exclamation points, too much yelling.
On the other hand, I found the OP to be dynamic and entertaining.

YMMV.


But enough of the negativity. I have supportive questions for you.
1) I only have the Characters book. How important is Campaigns?
2) How can I learn to play GURPS? I'm estranged from a real gaming group, and use PbP for most everything.
1) You can get by without it if you want to.
2) There's the rub. Everybody plays D20. And the reason why is...


- very slow character advancement, or the character gets more powerful very slowly. Has that been changed with the editions?
Nope. This has not changed. Characters in GURPS are not expected to go from nameless peasants to god-kings in the space of 3 months. That's pretty much contrary to the entire spirit of the game, and if you play it that way, it won't be very satisfying.

Kylarra
2009-08-29, 11:06 AM
You're still thinking in D&D terms. Half-dragon? What the *&*^ does that even mean? How the hell do you walk around with wings and not get instantly attacked for being a demon? Only in D&D can an obviously extra-planar professional murderer expect to be allowed free access to a city until he decides to start eating peoples' faces.
Eh, break it down into generic terms.

He wants a character with some sort of dragon heritage. Done and done. In the right campaign with no particular crunch boosts, it's just a matter of writing it on his paper.

Going further he wants:

A ranged energy attack that can be generated from the mouth.

Limited flight (hopefully manifested somehow as walking around with wings in non-D&D settings is, as you said, absurd).

Melee competence

Scales - Damage resistance/reduction. Possibly with some sort of visibilty flaw (either fluffed or crunch)



On the other hand, I found the OP to be dynamic and entertaining.

YMMV.

Well in my defense, I was referring to things like (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6818606&postcount=140):


The only reason to pick 4e over GURPS is if you desire a system that artbitarily pigeonholes you and cares more for MMORPG conventions over one that gives you an unprecedented ability to customize your characters (and good tools to do it with!) and provides you with a deep, engaging and immersive roleplaying experience.

But I said my piece and I'll drop the subject unless specifically addressed for it from now on.

Milskidasith
2009-08-29, 11:14 AM
Eh, I'm not sold on Gurps. It doesn't, in fact, seem to be easier to play than D&D at all, which would have been a major point.

You say it's easier to play than D&D because you don't need to have an absurd number of modifiers... but I've looked at character sheets, and they have a list of skills longer than my post up to this point. Not only that, but I can't see character creation being the only long point. From what you've said, a typical attack would be: "Pick a body part, attack, roll 3d6, roll for something to limit the opponent, opponent picks a type of way to not get hit and rolls against you, then you have a few more rolls if you get hit." That seems more complicated than D&Ds "Roll a d20. Huh, you beat his AC. He's hit."

Not only that, but with the sheer number of modifiers you listed that could be changed in a single action (a guy takes -4 on his attack skill to give the opponent a -2 to parry while attacking his arm which gives him some other negatives and may permanently disable the arm) is far more than D&Ds "Write your temporary modifier if you get a buff/debuff spell cast on you, and keep track of what your modifier is with just your normal gear."

You've tried to pass GURPS off as the holy grail, but I just can't see it from this. You say it's easier to run than D&D, more complicated than D&D in a good way but not as complicated in all the bad ways (huh?), that it has less modifiers to keep track of and that you can attack in a bunch of ways to lower or increase your modifiers, that it's very easy to make an exact character concept but that character creation seems to take forever, etc. It seems fun if you want a full simulationist game, but I just think GURPS would take forever and maybe a bit longer to run compared to D&D.

Cybren
2009-08-29, 11:17 AM
Hm, I have to say I'm not sold.

I like my games focusing on storytelling with combat rules mostly as a tool to determine at which actions the PCs succeed and at which they fail. And social interaction rules seem to reduce roleplaying instead of supporting it.
And as people tell here, GURPS is apparently more detailed than d20, so I guess it would be even less useful to me.
If you want to have drawbacks and quirks, just say that the character has them. You don't have to include very tiny penalties to very specific situations to do that. Or roll for both characters if one of them tries to hit the other. It all takes extra time and makes the players think more abot the number than about the "play" they are staging.

Meh, does not sound like a game for me.

The entire purpose of awarding points for selecting disadvantages is to subsidize them. Who will play a one-armed character if all it means is they've got a huge disadvantage?

Melamoto
2009-08-29, 11:17 AM
If you're not sold, try having a quick skim through the basic rules I linked above. Seriously, it should let you know if you'll like the system or not.

Kylarra
2009-08-29, 11:17 AM
You've tried to pass GURPS off as the holy grail, but I just can't see it from this. You say it's easier to run than D&D, more complicated than D&D in a good way but not as complicated in all the bad ways (huh?), that it has less modifiers to keep track of and that you can attack in a bunch of ways to lower or increase your modifiers, that it's very easy to make an exact character concept but that character creation seems to take forever, etc. It seems fun if you want a full simulationist game, but I just think GURPS would take forever and maybe a bit longer to run compared to D&D.
Stop being more eloquent than me. It makes me sad inside. :smallfrown:

Your post is pretty much an expanded form of what I was trying to ask about combat durations.

OverdrivePrime
2009-08-29, 11:22 AM
GURPS is a system I've always admired, but have only played twice. I love the complexity and detail of character creation, and I honestly do love spending 4-10 hours tweaking out all aspects of my character. And then spending another 2-3 days writing a backstory and detailing the town that he's from. A lot of my players feel the same, and we'll happily spend a session just making characters rather than playing.

My one problem with GURPS comes from way back in the day when I played (probably GURPS 2nd edition), and combat took *forever*. I loved my options, and I had fun envisioning the parry and counter attacks, and the frosty effect of my ice weapon spell crippling my enemy, but one combat between two (new) player characters and four NPCs took three hours. We had gotten into a random fight with some brigands, and whoop - that was it. No time for more of the game.

It sounds like in GURPS I could finally create the 'ranger' character I've always imagined (think of a 3.5 ranger without the favored enemy or the goofy reliance on either TWF or Archery, and then spell casting with the bard progression, but from the druid list). Next time I'm at half price books, I'll have to see if I can find a copy of the new rules.


For those out there who've played both systems, how does the GURPS 4e system compare with Shadowrun 4e in matters of ease of play?

Also - are there any downloadable spreadsheets or online programs available to speed GURPS combat?

Cybren
2009-08-29, 11:35 AM
Approximately how diverse can power levels along the same point buy become, assuming not necessarily uber-optimized, but say math majors who are unfamiliar with the system versus your average shiny-explosion loving teenager become? Let's assume average optimization for the MM and "rule of cool" for the latter. "Spike" vs "Timmy/Johnny" in MtG terms, if you understand those. One of the issues we had with Scion is that with some basic application of the value of exp vs bonus points in the beginning, certain players were able to create characters who were strictly better (ie, exactly identical, but with more exp left to spend) than another character. Note: this was a thought exercise and not just some player being a jerk to another.

There are some ways to squeeze out the same ability for less points. It's inevitable with the way the rules work but they're all pretty obvious. (the Combat Reflexes advantage was intentionally under priced to encourage characters to take it, for example).


Supplementary, how easy is it to create someone focused on social or mental aspects, but have decent secondary prowess in combat? Another problem we had in Scion is that our Mental character managed to create someone with minimal combat applications (neither command skills, nor combat skills, nor useful tricks, I realize that this is a build-fault and not a system fault per se, but I was curious how easy it was to say, create a "scientist" who is still half decent at defending herself.)

It will vary from campaign to campaign, as that will change what abilities the GM will let you take. But getting the ability to defend yourself is not difficult.


With the myriad of immersion options that you're promoting as a good thing in GURPS, approximately how long does combat take, assuming battles between equivalent or near equivalent powers?

It depends on what those powers are. Two classic Brick superhero's slugging it out becomes a war of attrition. A skirmish between a group of adventurers and a band of orcs might be over in an instant if the adventurers take their enemies by surprise.




You say it's easier to play than D&D because you don't need to have an absurd number of modifiers... but I've looked at character sheets, and they have a list of skills longer than my post up to this point. Not only that, but I can't see character creation being the only long point. From what you've said, a typical attack would be: "Pick a body part, attack, roll 3d6, roll for something to limit the opponent, opponent picks a type of way to not get hit and rolls against you, then you have a few more rolls if you get hit." That seems more complicated than D&Ds "Roll a d20. Huh, you beat his AC. He's hit."

Not only that, but with the sheer number of modifiers you listed that could be changed in a single action (a guy takes -4 on his attack skill to give the opponent a -2 to parry while attacking his arm which gives him some other negatives and may permanently disable the arm) is far more than D&Ds "Write your temporary modifier if you get a buff/debuff spell cast on you, and keep track of what your modifier is with just your normal gear."

Characters have long list of skills because GURPS is a skill based game. Skills are the characters bread and butter.

Those extra combat options (take a penalty on attack to give enemy a penalty of defense, or feints, or move and attacks, etc) are best compared to the way D&D uses powers, or feats, or spells. It's no more complicated than D&D, and with everyone using the same set of abilities people learn the rules faster.

Mind you, GURPS combat is one of those things with lots of toggles. You can get rid of all the extra options but in my opinion that stops making it GURPS. (And will require a GM to understand how that effects the rest of the game).

Tyndmyr
2009-08-29, 11:36 AM
I'm not a huge fan of Gurps, and I'll go into why for a bit. Keep in mind that I've only actually played a coupla times, and thus, am not an expert in it's rules.

1. It's kinda a meta-system. More of a D20 analog than a D&D comparison, if you get me. IMO, meta-systems are clumsy, require a *lot* more work to build a good setting from, and in general, making it harder to have a good, believable setting makes it harder to have a good game. On the flip side...it's not the worst meta-system I've played with. I had the misfortune to try Hero once, back before I finished post-calculus math.

2. I prefer blended systems rather than more consistent systems. I love than in D&D, the casting mechanics are interestingly different than psionics, truenaming, straight melee, or what have you. As you've probably guessed, Im referring to 3.5 and previous, as 4.0 is a departure from that. From what I've seen, Gurps doesn't have the same variety in mechanics. Now sure, this makes balancing the game easier, but frankly...I don't care.

3. As for customization...sure, there are a great deal of options, but who would really say that say, D&D 3.5 lacks options for characters? Most of the RPGs I play anyhow are great on customizability, so that's really not a big draw. It seemed like a generally slow game to play, too...but that may be because only one of us was familiar with the system. Hard to call on that one.

Eh, depends what you're after, I guess.

Cybren
2009-08-29, 11:47 AM
What I would say GURPS biggest flaw is that it requires a GM who knows the game, a group patient enough to learn the game. It IS complex, but so are all game systems. It's just most of them introduce complexity gradually while GURPS presents you with all of it at once.


2. I prefer blended systems rather than more consistent systems. I love than in D&D, the casting mechanics are interestingly different than psionics, truenaming, straight melee, or what have you. As you've probably guessed, Im referring to 3.5 and previous, as 4.0 is a departure from that. From what I've seen, Gurps doesn't have the same variety in mechanics. Now sure, this makes balancing the game easier, but frankly...I don't care.

Well, taking 4th edition (of GURPS),

GURPS Magic has a system of skill-based spellcasting. It and Thaumatology also have several variants and alternative systems that resemble it to different levels. Magic also contains rules for alchemy that work on a different system as well.

Powers has another system of building any variety of power (from super powers to magic spells) using the advantages presented in the Basic Set.

Power-Ups 1 offers Imbuements, which are abilities that let you do crazy stuff with weapons (usually specialized to one weapon skill).

Martial Arts details ways to build martial art characters (as in, any kind of armed or unarmed fighting), and combining that with some advantages and skills makes for another deadly suite of abilities.

That's just off the top of my head, and other than Imbuements, even if they're found in other books, they're all expansions of or greater detail for the rules found in the Basic Set.

Moff Chumley
2009-08-29, 11:47 AM
For anyone but hardcore gamers, GURPS just seems like altogether too much work... 4e is fun. I don't need anything out of a system aside from fun. I like it, my players like it, it lets me tell a story, and it lets them tell a story. Honestly, in those conditions, what does GURPS offer that 4e doesn't?

Cybren
2009-08-29, 12:00 PM
For anyone but hardcore gamers, GURPS just seems like altogether too much work... 4e is fun. I don't need anything out of a system aside from fun. I like it, my players like it, it lets me tell a story, and it lets them tell a story. Honestly, in those conditions, what does GURPS offer that 4e doesn't?

GURPS offers lots that D&D doesn't, but it lacks plenty of things D&D has.

Generally I play GURPS for sci-fi or low fantasy (which isn't to be confused with low powered fantasy), while I choose D&D because, well, D&D is its own animal entirely.

kyuubigan
2009-08-29, 12:15 PM
If you like GURPS, than might I suggest another system for you and your group to try: Tri-Stat. Tri-Stat is a lot like GURPS in its open-ended style of play. But it doesn't contain its flaws or its god like power levels.

Tengu_temp
2009-08-29, 12:25 PM
Tri-Stat is a lot like GURPS in its open-ended style of play. But it doesn't contain its flaws or its god like power levels.

That's not true. Tri-Stat is ridiculously easy to break - you can have two characters built on the same amount of points, and one of them will be invincible and able to destroy a planet with a single attack, while the other one will be a total loser who can't really do anything.

The most balanced (which is to say, it still requires the DM to make sure one munchkin doesn't break the whole game) of open systems is Mutants & Masterminds, if you ask me. And seeing that its gameplay is fast, exciting and cinematic, and it's easy to build exactly the character you want once you know the system well, I see not reason why should I play GURPS.

Starshade
2009-08-29, 12:34 PM
Limited flight, like being able to fly with small wings with wingspan half of char height, and being able to glide only (not gain height), would be 16 points, and the ability to fly would probably be mostly magical due to the size of the wings(but still needing them).
a burning attack cost 5 points per 1d of damage, if you want to hit anything but one target, well, you'd need to calculate the cost based on size of the desired cone or area.
One level of burning attack would be something like a small kid kryptonian toying with a weak heat vision (still potential lethal), and boosting it would be a dragon's fire.
claws and armor would be simple, a bigger issue would be how a half dragon would fit into the gameworld. :smallamused:

Dienekes
2009-08-29, 12:47 PM
Well, you could theoretically have a magic item that gave you 300 pts of spell power, meaning you could cast Ress every couple of days or so. I don't recall exactly - it's a been a while.

Since Kiz has talked about the good points of GURPS, let me point out a few flaws:

1. 20th level (500 pts or so) characters can be killed in a single round by a single 1st level (20 pts) character with a high chance of success, given easily available equipment.

2. Even if you rule out sniper rifles and bazookas, a super-high level character can still be wounded and eventually killed by as little as 2 or 3 dozen 1st level characters.

3. One of my 3.5 players currently has a character that can auto-kill any number of creatures within 20 ft. Also, nothing can get closer than 20 ft. Nor can anything move out of his 20 ft range. And he flies. At 10th level. Tell me how you can do that in GURPS!

4. GURPS magic does not create an absolute need for a long list of abilities/magic items that every creature over CR 10 level has to have or just die instantly. (Non-detection, Mind Blank, Protection from possession, ability to hit non-corporeal creatures, Anticipate Teleport, etc.).

5. Even worse, GURPS Bestairy does not describe a huge collection of high-rank monsters which lack those required abilities, with no way to get them.

6. Monsters and NPCs in GURPS follow the same rules as players. This means that NPCs of equal level and equipment can actually defeat the players on a semi-regular basis. There is really no mechanism in GURPS for spoon-feeding parties a fixed series of encounters which are meant to consume a quarter of their "resources". In GURPS, all combats are dangerous for the players!

7. Feat selections rarely lead to insta-locks, where the PCs are unstoppable as long as they are allowed to perform their signature move over and over again, regardless of situation/environment/common sense.

I could go on, but I think you get the point. How is anybody supposed to have fun in a game like that? :smallsigh:

Dude, you just sold me. Me and my group love the gritty realistic fantasy. I think I might have to look into this.

warmachine
2009-08-29, 12:47 PM
I have to say, GURPS sounds quite fun. A simulationist, realistic system that tosses the "rule of cool" and "cinematic elements" where they belong, i.e. the trash is a system for me, and I've been trying to gear my own system towards just that.
Strictly, that's incorrect. Cinematic elements are not missing. GURPS is universal, after all. There are lots of them, ranging from re-rolling unlucky results to having the bad guys automatically miss their initial gunfire. However, they're all optional.

Morty
2009-08-29, 12:51 PM
2. I prefer blended systems rather than more consistent systems. I love than in D&D, the casting mechanics are interestingly different than psionics, truenaming, straight melee, or what have you. As you've probably guessed, Im referring to 3.5 and previous, as 4.0 is a departure from that. From what I've seen, Gurps doesn't have the same variety in mechanics. Now sure, this makes balancing the game easier, but frankly...I don't care.


Hm, this is something that, admittedly, worries me a bit, as I too love the diversity of D&D 3.5.


Strictly, that's incorrect. Cinematic elements are not missing. GURPS is universal, after all. There are lots of them, ranging from re-rolling unlucky results to having the bad guys automatically miss their initial gunfire. However, they're all optional.

Still works. I can happily ignore cinematic elements of the game and have stuff happen because it makes sense, rather than because it's "cool", "cinematic" or what have you.

Tyndmyr
2009-08-29, 01:00 PM
Strictly, that's incorrect. Cinematic elements are not missing. GURPS is universal, after all. There are lots of them, ranging from re-rolling unlucky results to having the bad guys automatically miss their initial gunfire. However, they're all optional.

Isn't that true of...pretty much any system? The rule of cool is great and all, but if you really wanted to play without it, you can.

The same goes for say...slower level progression. If you think D&D advances too quickly, dividing xp by the modifier of your choice is vastly easier than changing systems.

Epinephrine
2009-08-29, 02:03 PM
Isn't that true of...pretty much any system? The rule of cool is great and all, but if you really wanted to play without it, you can.

The same goes for say...slower level progression. If you think D&D advances too quickly, dividing xp by the modifier of your choice is vastly easier than changing systems.

There's a difference between saying that any rules in any system are optional, and GURPS presenting several optional rules to tailor the system to different levels of cinematics.

Jerthanis
2009-08-29, 02:06 PM
Thanks for this thread, it's taught me that I should stay away from GURPS as someone who hates simulationist gaming, even though I like classless, levelless games.

Also, I hate games that give significant points for taking disadvantages. A question was raised earlier that asked who would play a one-armed man if it just meant a huge disability? I would ask instead, who would play a two-armed, both-eyes-having man without insomnia if it meant his psychic powers weren't 10% better? It's never a system that evens out the playing field for those who want to play characters with mechanical disadvantages, it's always a system where the person who wants to play a normal looking guy with all his limbs and few significant mental traumas gets punished.

PinkysBrain
2009-08-29, 02:10 PM
Both Invisibility and Fly are present in Advantages and spells. So, depending on how you see your character, you could be...
My point was that these are essentially win buttons against who lack the required abilities to deal with them (regardless of system).

So I have some doubts about the statement that :

GURPS Bestairy does not describe a huge collection of high-rank monsters which lack those required abilities

Cybren
2009-08-29, 02:29 PM
My point was that these are essentially win buttons against who lack the required abilities to deal with them (regardless of system).

So I have some doubts about the statement that :

Except the GURPS Bestiary isn't a Monster Manual-like catalog of "these are the foes the GM sends at you". The capabilities of the monsters needs to be calibrated for the power level and abilities of the party. This is one of the reasons why GURPS is such a GM-taxing system.


Thanks for this thread, it's taught me that I should stay away from GURPS as someone who hates simulationist gaming, even though I like classless, levelless games.

GURPS isn't simulationist, it's universal. Thus it uses an approximate modeling of reality as a base to alter. GURPS can and does support many playstyles. Sean Punch, aka Kromm, the Line Editor and co-creator of GURPS 4th edition pretty much hates simulationist gaming.



Also, I hate games that give significant points for taking disadvantages. A question was raised earlier that asked who would play a one-armed man if it just meant a huge disability? I would ask instead, who would play a two-armed, both-eyes-having man without insomnia if it meant his psychic powers weren't 10% better? It's never a system that evens out the playing field for those who want to play characters with mechanical disadvantages, it's always a system where the person who wants to play a normal looking guy with all his limbs and few significant mental traumas gets punished.

Well, no. Taking disadvantages will give you more points. Taking no disadvantages means you have no disadvantages, which is a pretty hefty bonus in and of itself. Disadvantages are also useful for other reasons. What are the game effects of only having one eye? How many points is the disadvantage so I know how to price the affliction I have that gives it?

Kurald Galain
2009-08-29, 02:40 PM
What I would say GURPS biggest flaw is that it requires a GM who knows the game, a group patient enough to learn the game. It IS complex, but so are all game systems.

...well, except for rules-light systems, and rules-moderate systems...

Both GURPS and D&D are easily in the top five most complex roleplaying games out there. Most other RPGs aren't even close, and as a result are really easy to learn.

PinkysBrain
2009-08-29, 02:40 PM
Well, no. Taking disadvantages will give you more points. Taking no disadvantages means you have no disadvantages, which is a pretty hefty bonus in and of itself. Disadvantages are also useful for other reasons. What are the game effects of only having one eye? How many points is the disadvantage so I know how to price the affliction I have that gives it?
Lets say you are a munchkin optimizing for adventuring in a high fantasy setting ... can you honestly say a character without disadvantages/pacts will get anywhere close to one created with those tools? These systems are ideal for min/maxing AFAICS.

Cybren
2009-08-29, 02:47 PM
...well, except for rules-light systems, and rules-moderate systems...

Both GURPS and D&D are easily in the top five most complex roleplaying games out there. Most other RPGs aren't even close, and as a result are really easy to learn.
Point, but I find rules-light systems to be inviting more arguments and bickering than they prevent.

Lets say you are a munchkin optimizing for adventuring in a high fantasy setting ... can you honestly say a character without disadvantages/pacts will get anywhere close to one created with those tools? These systems are ideal for min/maxing AFAICS.
Close? Sure. The character who took disadvantages will have an edge, but the disadvantages will be a burden. If he goes crazy with them they will also be a burden for the whole group (which is why the Basic Set urges GMs to set a hard limit on disadvantages).

The real "munchkin exploit" in GURPS is buying down attribute levels (which are counted as disadvantages), which is closer to just taking 8s on irrelevant stats in a point buy game. You'll see people on the Steve Jackson Games forums talk about IQ! or HT!

Kizara
2009-08-29, 03:40 PM
(And I'm not too fond of Add Multiple Dice systems anyway, which as I recall GURPS is - and I might be wrong, sicne it's been a while since I looked at Discworld GURPS.)

If you mean a dice pool, no it doesn't use that (and I don't like those systems etheier). It uses 3d6 for its resolution mechanics, like 3/4e DnD uses 1d20 for it's. Circumstance modifiers are added to this roll depending on the situation, like in DnD.




From a mechanical standpoint, I don't want to be figuring out a half dozen+ different modifiers and calculate the most optimal way to debilitate my opponent on every single basic attack. While simulationism is a fun endeavor, with my current group, trying to do that would take forever (which I realize is not necessarily the issue with every group, so don't say "oh that's a group issue and not a system one"). Heck, sometimes it takes them a while to figure out what they're going to be doing on their turn in 4e, and that's "relatively simple" with the math written out for them.

This isn't really the case. One of the things that makes GURPS easier to run then DnD is that you don't have looks of + modifieres and bonuses from different sources to deal with. You start getting a bit more of this at higher points or when magic is involved, but its not the headache that 3e was. Is it as simple as 4e? Probably not.


Approximately how diverse can power levels along the same point buy become, assuming not necessarily uber-optimized, but say math majors who are unfamiliar with the system versus your average shiny-explosion loving teenager become? Let's assume average optimization for the MM and "rule of cool" for the latter. "Spike" vs "Timmy/Johnny" in MtG terms, if you understand those. One of the issues we had with Scion is that with some basic application of the value of exp vs bonus points in the beginning, certain players were able to create characters who were strictly better (ie, exactly identical, but with more exp left to spend) than another character. Note: this was a thought exercise and not just some player being a jerk to another.

This is a good question, and to an extent I have not played with the system long enough to honestly be able to answer it.

However, I can say that if you take the time to examine all options for your character, chose only what you really need, and seek ways to get discounts on points, you can do more with less. The difference isn't going to be close what it is in 3e DnD, but you can have two people make the same character, and have one who was better at specializing for his role and is more effective at it. The other character will have some 'cool' things which are perhaps not as helpful as his player thought they would be (but its NOWHERE the level of picking bad feats and classes in 3e). As far as your specific example of "experience points vs bonus points in the begining" I'm not familiar with that system to really know what you mean by it, but I don't believe GURPS has an 'exploit' like that.


Supplementary, how easy is it to create someone focused on social or mental aspects, but have decent secondary prowess in combat? Another problem we had in Scion is that our Mental character managed to create someone with minimal combat applications (neither command skills, nor combat skills, nor useful tricks, I realize that this is a build-fault and not a system fault per se, but I was curious how easy it was to say, create a "scientist" who is still half decent at defending herself.)

This, however, is not what you may want to hear. Being a point-based system, you have to pay for everything in GURPS. So, if you make a social character or a knowledge-based character, you will not also have as many points to make a combat master. However, you can at least contribute to combat by having just 1 weapon skill (they cost as much as normal skills), having some hp (which any character should buy, and its cheap comparitively, at 2 pts/HP) and playing intelligently. But, yes, if someone spends absolutely no effort at all towards combat, they will have no abilities in it, but its possible to make a social face or a knowledge master that has some combat ability on your point budget. For instance, you could have the scientist have Guns skill and use the guns he invents, thus making him a potent, if somewhat fragile warrior. You could have a medival bard that has magic (there's rules for bardic magic, they aren't fantastic but they are there), and magic can of course contribute in many ways.



With the myriad of immersion options that you're promoting as a good thing in GURPS, approximately how long does combat take, assuming battles between equivalent or near equivalent powers?

Ever use the ToB with 3e? While the rules are not similar to those much at all, its a good gauge for complexity. I would say that there's as much to learn of GURPS combat (assuming you don't use the crazy-detailed highly-optional Martial Arts rules) as there is of ToB mechanics and various Maneavuers. If people know what they are doing, and understand what's going on (battle map, good DM description), it depends on the players. If you have players that are decisive, it'll go pretty quick. If they diddly around about every possible option, then you are going to have to give them a bit of a boot in the pants. In general, if you are using the cool tactical options rules, it doesn't make for a 'quick and dirty' combat resolution, but a more tactically immersive one that yes does take a bit longer.


- long and complicated combat resolution (we were using blocks, dodges and parries), leading to long combat. This is actually more important for me now, as my typical session is around 4 hours. Actually the question is, how long does combat take for a typical group compared to 3.5?

- very slow character advancement, or the character gets more powerful very slowly. Has that been changed with the editions?

For the first, it depends on the kind of DnD you are running. If you have all splats open and have to worry about a myrid of different kinds of effects, circumstantial bonuses, unique abilities and so forth, then I'd say that GURPS combat is far less of a bookkeeping headache.

However, to address the issue, let me give an example:

Most people have a priority order for their defenses, they know if they are attacked they are going to try to use (say) parry first, then dodge (cause they have no shield). So when they are attacked, they already know what their parry is unless the attacker used Deceptive attack, which lowers it by a cooresponding amount.

So it goes like this:

GM: Bob, you are attacked by the gnoll. He's aiming for your left arm.
GM: *rolls attack roll* Ok its good, roll defense.
Bob: *rolls parry, his best defense* Ok I made it.
(next action)

GM: Ok Sue, you are attacked but *this* gnoll, he's going for a face shot.
GM: *rolls* Oh... well he crited, sorry Sue.
GM: *referes to his cheatsheet, sees that a face hit increases the wounding multiplier for the gnoll's weapon to 2x* *rolls damage, multipliers it by 2x*
GM: Ok Sue, the gnoll hits you in the face for (1d6+2 (5)x2=10) 10 damage, and since its a headshot roll vs stunning.
Sue: *rolls vs HT* Phew, I made it.
GM: Ok sue you are now staggard though, as you have less than 1/3 hp remaining, this cuts your basic move in half, which also effects your move speed and dodge.
Sue: :(

This should give you some idea.

For the second point, yes unless your GM wants to be liberal with points, your characters do not gain in power that quickly, but at a more realistic pace. Also, this is part of the reason the system is more inherently balanced, because you don't have 1 small dungeon and a few random encounters and (now being level 5) have a plethora of new abilities. Not only does this not really make much sense if you think about it, but I find that it gets out of hand quickly. I often used 1/2 xp progression to keep leveling more sane.

Truth be told, I found it a bit limiting at first as well, but in some ways you appreciate how your character grows and when you do get that new, 15-pt ability, its more meaningful for you.


But enough of the negativity. I have supportive questions for you.
1) I only have the Characters book. How important is Campaigns?
2) How can I learn to play GURPS? I'm estranged from a real gaming group, and use PbP for most everything.

1) This can be easily compared to 3e DnD. How important is it to have the DMG? Well, you can run the game without it, but you don't have as much to work with. I would actually say that Campaigns is more important then the 3e DMG, as it has many good and game-enhancing optional rules, and good explanations or expansions of existing ones. You don't need it, but its really nice to have.

2) Well, if you are patient there's always the read the books and learn method. Its not that hard really, if you have a bit of patience and stick with it. Alternately, get someone like me on an IM service and learn by pestering them with questions as you read. Finally, you can come to this (or the GURPS) forums if you have additional questions.



1. It's kinda a meta-system. More of a D20 analog than a D&D comparison, if you get me. IMO, meta-systems are clumsy, require a *lot* more work to build a good setting from, and in general, making it harder to have a good, believable setting makes it harder to have a good game. On the flip side...it's not the worst meta-system I've played with. I had the misfortune to try Hero once, back before I finished post-calculus math.

I'm not sure I get you here. Yes, GURPS is independant of any specific setting, but how does it make it harder for you to make your own? Most of the details about worlds and settings are independant of the gaming system, and GURPS is largely simulating sensible, realistic rules that should not get in the way of any believable setting.

For instance, the way that magic works makes more sense to have things like apprentice mages or mages that master 1 particular spell and become known for it, both staples of many fantasy worlds. The way combat works means that you don't have to just rely on 'DM description' to have, say, a PC cut off an opponent's arm in a shower of blood. To me this adds to immersion and a believable setting.


2. I prefer blended systems rather than more consistent systems. I love than in D&D, the casting mechanics are interestingly different than psionics, truenaming, straight melee, or what have you. As you've probably guessed, Im referring to 3.5 and previous, as 4.0 is a departure from that. From what I've seen, Gurps doesn't have the same variety in mechanics. Now sure, this makes balancing the game easier, but frankly...I don't care.

I understand where you are coming from. I have the same feelings myself, and there is a bit that's lost here with GURPS. I feel you gain far more then you lose, but I will admit that one of the things that makes it less of a headache is that it doesn't have a different system for everything, but that also makes all those other concepts a bit less unique.

I will say that magic works, feels and functions quite a bit differently then, say, melee combat or gun use. But its still tied into the normal system enough that its not a nightmare.

Is GURPS more homogonized then 3e? Maybe slightly, but nothing at all like 4e. Honestly though, one of the reasons that we stopped playing 3e (before we found GURPS, so we just didn't really play at all) is that we got so tired of all the millions of things you have to try to keep track of, or designing settings that include all of the oddball choices out there, or keeping track and balancing 30 different styles of mechanics. I will however say that its good to come to GURPS with a 3e background, as you have all the cool ideas from it in your mind and you can make them with GURPS (more or less).


3. As for customization...sure, there are a great deal of options, but who would really say that say, D&D 3.5 lacks options for characters? Most of the RPGs I play anyhow are great on customizability, so that's really not a big draw. It seemed like a generally slow game to play, too...but that may be because only one of us was familiar with the system. Hard to call on that one.

GURPS has less options then all of 3e's splat, but it has more customizability by far. You see, in DnD you have a limited amount of character reasources during the course of your character's career, and how you use them is where optimizing comes in (and yes this is fun, I enjoyed it too). You will go to level 20, and the path you get there is what matters, and what feats and skills you pick.

But your feats and skills are dependant on your class, which is a pre-defined trope that focuses you into a role. In GURPS, you can pick whatever skills and advantages (sorta like feats) that fit your character concept, and are not bound by a class. Also, when you gain more points during adventuring, you can spend them on things your character has actually learned and improved upon in his time. But that's not really what makes it so customizable, and to explain this is a bit hard without you having the character book because the material that shows the customization options is like 20 pages.

You see, when you take an advantage, lets say an Innate Attack breath weapon. Currently, its a line of fire (cause you chose fire out of 6 other options) that does 1d6 damage usable at will for 5 pts/level. Now, you go over to the Enhancements and Limitations part of the book, and apply:

Cone (10 yard width) +100%
Limited Use (1 per-day usage) -40%
Jet (continous beam like a flamethrower) +0%
Costs Fatigue (2 FPs) -10%
Cyclic (fire clings like a Napalm effect for 1 second, but is resistable) +50%

So, while you can do some of this with a metabreath feat and such, here it's just how you define the ability. Also, you can increase the damage by buying that attack at higher level (the 1d6 is base 1 level ability). Now, bare in mind that this is options I have chosen out of many others and you can see what I begin to mean by customizability.

EDIT: If anyone feels they have raised a question that has not adequately been addressed by myself or another, please repeat yourself. I cannot monitor this thread 24/7 and there's a lot to go through and people have similar questions. But I don't want anyone to feel they are being ignored.

However, for those trying to drag up stuff from a previously locked thread (and debatably attacking me), please stop doing it, as I do not want this thread to get locked and will not address your concerns of things that were not said in this thread. If you have a personal issue with me I invite you to PM me.

Kizara
2009-08-29, 04:01 PM
Point, but I find rules-light systems to be inviting more arguments and bickering than they prevent.

Close? Sure. The character who took disadvantages will have an edge, but the disadvantages will be a burden. If he goes crazy with them they will also be a burden for the whole group (which is why the Basic Set urges GMs to set a hard limit on disadvantages).

The real "munchkin exploit" in GURPS is buying down attribute levels (which are counted as disadvantages), which is closer to just taking 8s on irrelevant stats in a point buy game. You'll see people on the Steve Jackson Games forums talk about IQ! or HT!

Indeed. GURPS is not rules-light, although you could play it that way. If you want a fast and loose rules light system you probably should look elsewhere, as other systems do fast and loose cinematic games that use description for resolutions instead of actual simulation better. I find GURPS to be more managable, intuitive and providing of a far better simulation then 3e, but its not Wushu and I'm not trying to advertise it as such.

It is not really easy to learn, pick up and play. Its not as assininely hard as people seem to feel it is, as most of it is intuitive and sensible and well-explained. But no, you can't just scim over the books in 5 minutes, throw together a character in another 5 and start playing and only have 1 resolution mechanic (like some kind of dice pool descriptive combat thing) to work with. I personally hate systems like that, and I would never try to pass GURPS off as one of them.

Also, as for min/maxing. Yes, you can do that. You can play a dumb-as-nails, ugly as crap fighter that smashes really good. In a well run campaign that isn't just a settingless, mindless dungeon crawl, that character has its own problems. and will find that all the other challenges that life presents him he is ill-equiped for. He makes a darn good bodyguard to the intelligent mage that runs his life and makes all his decisions though, and that mage is happy to have him and his big bag of slothering HP raging in front of him whenever unpleasant men try to attack him.

Morty
2009-08-29, 04:14 PM
Hm. So, how does magic in GURPS work? So far, I understand that it uses "talent trees" and a character has rather few spells, which I'm not fond of. I can play with something like that, I just prefer a lot of specific spells.

Sebastian
2009-08-29, 04:27 PM
No.

They would work in a WuShu cinematic game, where the heroes are absurd constructs that have no relation to the world they live in, and wield powers so removed from the NPCs that they might as well be invading kindergarden classes.

You're still thinking in D&D terms. Half-dragon? What the *&*^ does that even mean? How the hell do you walk around with wings and not get instantly attacked for being a demon? Only in D&D can an obviously extra-planar professional murderer expect to be allowed free access to a city until he decides to start eating peoples' faces.


Now you are just exaggerating, all he need to do is picking the right disadvantages like (not the exact names) obvious feature (wings), or similiar then depending how rare are half dragons in the world game and how the general population see them, take things thing like social stigma, unusual background or ugly, for example. It is a perfectly playable character if the Gm allow it, and that is the the key of the questin, in every point based game there is no a thing like "everything is allowed" that seems to be the standard in 3.x and DND4, but the gm decide what you can pick and what you can't and in which combination, maybe you must take magery together with social stigma because in his world wizards are shunned, or maybe you must buy magery together with some kind of Status because people see them as gifted from the gods, or maybe something else altogether. Someone mentioned before than someone with 10 DR would be invulnerable in a typical medieval world, that's why a GM shouldn't allow DR so high if he plan to play a typical medieval world, unless there is a really good reason for it.

T.G. Oskar
2009-08-29, 04:41 PM
Oh! Oh! I just thought of another flaw! Mages in GURPS don't render all other character classes redundant by the end-game. And Clerics don't even exist - you can't be a Fighter and Mage with virtually no penalty to either class. Also, combats take way to long. In any good D&D game over 10th level, combat is reduced to rolling initiative. In GURPS you actually have to play it out, and it might take more than 3 rounds! :smallsigh:

Odd, since Kizara and I were talking about Power Investiture. Limited spell pool, but you can get them technically faster. And through a different mechanic.

But yeah, it's usually "strengthen my weapon skillz" or "strengthen my magics", with each point. It's not like "a spell replaces my BAB, hence I can treat my BAB like crud since I have the spell that fixes that! And while that, I have this other spell that replaces the Rogue entirely!"

And there are ways to work both (decent DX, spending points on one or two skills plus Shield, and going for Religious Rank/Power Investiture, then make your own god so that you get the spells you like)


You say it's easier to play than D&D because you don't need to have an absurd number of modifiers... but I've looked at character sheets, and they have a list of skills longer than my post up to this point. Not only that, but I can't see character creation being the only long point. From what you've said, a typical attack would be: "Pick a body part, attack, roll 3d6, roll for something to limit the opponent, opponent picks a type of way to not get hit and rolls against you, then you have a few more rolls if you get hit." That seems more complicated than D&Ds "Roll a d20. Huh, you beat his AC. He's hit."

Funny you say that. Actually, the bare mechanic is "Roll 3d6. Hunh, you beat the target number. Let's see if it defends".

The bunch of skills would be the equivalent of Storytelling's advantages, except a bit more simplified. You can do your stuff without those skills, but they impose a penalty to the roll. So, it's more like "3d6 - (or +) skill penalty (or bonus)" roll, than "1d20 + modifiers". The difference comes when you add the load of stuff.

GURPS has a bit more of active defense, which is shown with the dodge, block or parry abilities. D&D only has AC, which is a bit more abstract.

GURPS doesn't need you to strike a body part, you can just say "I strike X", and you strike X. D&D is similar in that regard.

The complexity of D&D enters when you add the modifiers, and that's something that you as a player can't evade. So I have over 11 Strength? That's extra points to my attack and damage. The Bard went with Inspire Courage? Extra points. My sword is magical? More points. Feat bonus? Even more points. To a newbie, GURPS will eventually be easier to understand than D&D's monstrous scaling modifiers, since eventually you'll be forgetting what modifiers you have on. 4th Edition lessened the application of those modifiers, but it still suffers a similar problem. From those modifiers, you have BAB, Str bonus, feat bonus, quite probably later enhancement bonus to weapon to worry about. In GURPS, you only have the skill modifier to worry about; the GM determines if there's other circumstances to apply.

Striking a different body part is like using grapple, or trip, or disarm. It has it's own little set of rules, but you don't have to use them. Except, striking a different body part (D&D technically has that, but it's usually unofficial and known as "called shots") is less of a hassle; it just adds a circumstancial modifier to the whole roll.

If I see myself defending GURPS a bit, it's because I find it a bit simpler and enjoyable. That doesn't mean I hate D&D (quite the contrary, I'm a junkie for class-based systems, even though I need to go for 3rd party sources for one thing I simply can't apply to 3.5 with the Core + supplements); I just say it's a bit easier and a bit more flexible than D&D, even though both have the same learning curves. And believe me, you can spend years playing D&D and you always learn something new. Usually, clarifying one rule.
For the record: IMO, Aberrant >> Mutants & Masterminds
The idea is to invite people to try it, since no amount of words can drive people to try new stuff. I can be sure those who are convinced that GURPS is not their game will find it enjoyable despite their initial attitudes, given that they're not munchkins. Not 100% sure, but pretty sure nonetheless.

Cybren
2009-08-29, 10:41 PM
Hm. So, how does magic in GURPS work? So far, I understand that it uses "talent trees" and a character has rather few spells, which I'm not fond of. I can play with something like that, I just prefer a lot of specific spells.
Magic, as detailed in the Basic Set and GURPS Magic supplement is skill based, and generally requires access to an advantage to use.

Standard GURPS Magic defines locations (game worlds, buildings, planets, etc. it's up to the GM) in terms of mana levels. Normal Mana means that you need the magery advantage to cast spells. Low mana imposes a skill penalty, no mana means no one can cast spells. On the other side, high mana allows everyone to cast spells, and very high mana gives mages a bonus to skill (but is dangerous, all failures are critical failures).

Thus, anyone can learn spells, but barring situations relating to the mana levels, only people with Magery can cast them. The spells themselves are thematically divided into colleges. There are colleges like fire, air, mind control, plants, necromancy, etc. Some spells belong to more than one colleges. Most spells with have some kind of prerequisite. Sometimes they're just certain levels of magery, others it's you need certain spells, either a specific spell, or x number of spells from that college.

The spell colleges are mostly thematic though, and the GM is encouraged to make his own spell colleges or prerequisite lists, as this isn't part of balance so much as flavor. This is one of the largest criticisms of the core GURPS Magic system, in that it isn't very generic.

Spells require fatigue points to cast. So more powerful spells have higher FP costs. Extremely powerful spells have very high fatigue point costs, so they are usually cast with a group of mages pooling their FP. This slows them down and makes them easier to foil but provides deeper resources of energy.

GURPS Mages actually will pick up large amounts of spells over their lifetime, because they can spend lots of points on attributes and magery, and then only one or two points on spells each to learn them at high levels. This is the major balance complaint, not that they become ultra super powerful and make "fighters" irrelevant, but because with the number of spells available to them they could easily get break into other peoples niches. Like D&D though, going for pure damage isn't usually their best bet in a fight.

On top of this though, there's plenty of other magic systems, such as Ritual Magic (which uses the same system but altered so magic is more versatile but weaker), Path/book magic, syntactic magic, or Powers (which is building spells as advantages like Flight (Costs Fatigue, Requires Rituals & gestures) )

mikeejimbo
2009-08-30, 12:00 AM
Hm. So, how does magic in GURPS work? So far, I understand that it uses "talent trees" and a character has rather few spells, which I'm not fond of. I can play with something like that, I just prefer a lot of specific spells.

How do you want it to work?

That's how it works in GURPS. Yes, with a little work. But you get what you want. That's why I like GURPS.

Actually, I like GURPS for two very obvious and boring reasons. One is that I like the work. Doing the work of setting up "OK, how does *this* work in this campaign setting?" is the fun part for me. That and creating characters, when I'm not GMing.

The other obvious reason is that SJ Games has paid me more money than Wizards of the Coast.

Morty
2009-08-30, 07:54 AM
Magic, as detailed in the Basic Set and GURPS Magic supplement is skill based, and generally requires access to an advantage to use.

Standard GURPS Magic defines locations (game worlds, buildings, planets, etc. it's up to the GM) in terms of mana levels. Normal Mana means that you need the magery advantage to cast spells. Low mana imposes a skill penalty, no mana means no one can cast spells. On the other side, high mana allows everyone to cast spells, and very high mana gives mages a bonus to skill (but is dangerous, all failures are critical failures).

Thus, anyone can learn spells, but barring situations relating to the mana levels, only people with Magery can cast them. The spells themselves are thematically divided into colleges. There are colleges like fire, air, mind control, plants, necromancy, etc. Some spells belong to more than one colleges. Most spells with have some kind of prerequisite. Sometimes they're just certain levels of magery, others it's you need certain spells, either a specific spell, or x number of spells from that college.

The spell colleges are mostly thematic though, and the GM is encouraged to make his own spell colleges or prerequisite lists, as this isn't part of balance so much as flavor. This is one of the largest criticisms of the core GURPS Magic system, in that it isn't very generic.

Spells require fatigue points to cast. So more powerful spells have higher FP costs. Extremely powerful spells have very high fatigue point costs, so they are usually cast with a group of mages pooling their FP. This slows them down and makes them easier to foil but provides deeper resources of energy.

GURPS Mages actually will pick up large amounts of spells over their lifetime, because they can spend lots of points on attributes and magery, and then only one or two points on spells each to learn them at high levels. This is the major balance complaint, not that they become ultra super powerful and make "fighters" irrelevant, but because with the number of spells available to them they could easily get break into other peoples niches. Like D&D though, going for pure damage isn't usually their best bet in a fight.

On top of this though, there's plenty of other magic systems, such as Ritual Magic (which uses the same system but altered so magic is more versatile but weaker), Path/book magic, syntactic magic, or Powers (which is building spells as advantages like Flight (Costs Fatigue, Requires Rituals & gestures) )

Hm, interesting. I don't mind it that it's not generic, quite the opposite in fact; and quite I like what I see here. And if it's indeed possible to houserule just about anything in GURPS, then it gets even better.

Shademan
2009-08-30, 07:58 AM
I have read abit in the campaign and character books and I must say GURPS look interesting. I would like to try it out, but I find the books abit hard to read, that might just be my pdf. files tho'. the letters are sorta weak and hard to read.
that, and I can't seem to find the bloody head-injury table!

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-30, 08:28 AM
I have read abit in the campaign and character books and I must say GURPS look interesting. I would like to try it out, but I find the books abit hard to read, that might just be my pdf. files tho'. the letters are sorta weak and hard to read.
that, and I can't seem to find the bloody head-injury table!

I have some GURPS stuff in dead tree form and some in pdf, and yes I would say that the physical print is easier to read than on a monitor, like most text really IMO.

When you say "head-injury table", I guess you prob mean the Critical Head Blow Table, which is on p.B556

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-30, 08:47 AM
And if it's indeed possible to houserule just about anything in GURPS, then it gets even better.

Yes I would say it is possible to houserule just about anything. Really in any RPG, the GM/DM/referee/whatever can houserule to get the feel/effect they want - who can stop us? :smallsmile:

But my own feeling so far is that it doesn't feel like I have to houserule, at least not as much anyway. Now TBH, this may be a misconception in part by me, due to the fact that GURPS is so customisable by design. This "customisation" doesn't feel like "houseruling", more like tweaking by choice than like fixing by necessity. However, that may just be my non-impartial feelings getting in the way :smallwink:

Shademan
2009-08-30, 08:55 AM
I have some GURPS stuff in dead tree form and some in pdf, and yes I would say that the physical print is easier to read than on a monitor, like most text really IMO.

When you say "head-injury table", I guess you prob mean the Critical Head Blow Table, which is on p.B556

ah, thanks a bunch

Morty
2009-08-30, 09:05 AM
Yes I would say it is possible to houserule just about anything. Really in any RPG, the GM/DM/referee/whatever can houserule to get the feel/effect they want - who can stop us? :smallsmile:

But my own feeling so far is that it doesn't feel like I have to houserule, at least not as much anyway. Now TBH, this may be a misconception in part by me, due to the fact that GURPS is so customisable by design. This "customisation" doesn't feel like "houseruling", more like tweaking by choice than like fixing by necessity. However, that may just be my non-impartial feelings getting in the way :smallwink:

I'd like to houserule in semi-Vancian spellcasting that I'm fond of, myself. And since they've made a Discworld GURPS supplement, I suppose it's possible...

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-30, 09:36 AM
I'd like to houserule in semi-Vancian spellcasting that I'm fond of, myself. And since they've made a Discworld GURPS supplement, I suppose it's possible...

Well, I have a feeling that "spell slots" a la Jack Vance have been touched upon more than once in GURPS supplements relating to magic, but I may be wrong. In any case, there's a sidebar on p.56 of GURPS Thaumatology that offers 2 different ways to model this sort of effect within GURPS. It's labelled "Spell Slots" helpfully enough, and I found it in 2secs under the heading "Vancean magic" in the index :smallbiggrin: (btw, that's another thing I love about the game - the indexes are usually awesome :smallcool:).

I guess that whether or not that does it for you exactly, depends on what you mean when you said "semi-Vancian". But if even it doesn't, those examples would prob give you a good headstart :smallsmile:

As to the GURPS Discworld angle, IIRC that book uses fairly default GURPS magic system rather than "spell slots"....my recollection may be in part down to the fact that I believe that they were only referenced in the earlier novels as a spoof ref/analogy to DnD and I don't think the author described magic that way so much in the later books. But it's been a while since I read either the novels or the sourcebook, so I may be wrong there.

EDIT: I've now dug out my copy of GURPS Discworld and can confirm that what I said above is basically right. On p.122 the sidebar mentions the idea that spells must be memorised in some of the stories, but then points out that the main source of that theory of how magic works was actually Rincewind, who isn't a very qualified expert and so it recommends prob best not to use this idea except for v unusual/powerful magics. Anyway, I guess that unless you actually intend on using that setting, it doesn't really matter...the example above from Thaumatology shows that it can be done :smallwink:.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-30, 09:53 AM
ah, thanks a bunch

no problem :smallsmile:

Kizara
2009-08-30, 11:45 AM
Yes I would say it is possible to houserule just about anything. Really in any RPG, the GM/DM/referee/whatever can houserule to get the feel/effect they want - who can stop us? :smallsmile:

But my own feeling so far is that it doesn't feel like I have to houserule, at least not as much anyway. Now TBH, this may be a misconception in part by me, due to the fact that GURPS is so customisable by design. This "customisation" doesn't feel like "houseruling", more like tweaking by choice than like fixing by necessity. However, that may just be my non-impartial feelings getting in the way :smallwink:

This is generally accurate.

Although I have already made some houserules that are indeed adding or modifying existing rules.

Also, you may want an Enhancer or Limitor on an advantage that the book doesn't explicitly provide, so you make it up yourself. This is unbelievably simple, since literally all you do is think up a name for it, what effect it has (or why its limiting) and assign it a %age value.

If, for instance, you decided that halflings in your setting are Lucky but don't have to pay as much for it (and are compensated for this with social stigma or something), you could make a -50% limitor for luck, and call it "Halfling".

Note that this isn't generally how races work in GURPS, but you could do it this way if you wanted.


Fyi, how races work in GURPS is a lot like how templates work in 3e, since they literally are "racial templates".


I have read abit in the campaign and character books and I must say GURPS look interesting. I would like to try it out, but I find the books abit hard to read, that might just be my pdf. files tho'. the letters are sorta weak and hard to read.
that, and I can't seem to find the bloody head-injury table!

You can zoom in with adobe, might make it easier. Personally, I find my GURPS pdfs pretty easy to read. No less so then my 3e pdfs in any case.

Morty
2009-08-30, 11:51 AM
Well, I have a feeling that "spell slots" a la Jack Vance have been touched upon more than once in GURPS supplements relating to magic, but I may be wrong. In any case, there's a sidebar on p.56 of GURPS Thaumatology that offers 2 different ways to model this sort of effect within GURPS. It's labelled "Spell Slots" helpfully enough, and I found it in 2secs under the heading "Vancean magic" in the index :smallbiggrin: (btw, that's another thing I love about the game - the indexes are usually awesome :smallcool:).

I guess that whether or not that does it for you exactly, depends on what you mean when you said "semi-Vancian". But if even it doesn't, those examples would prob give you a good headstart :smallsmile:

By semi-Vancian I mean that wizards do prepare spells, but the process doesn't looks exactly like it does in Vance's books - from what I hear, wizards there spend a lot of time to prepare one, powerful spell. For an RPG game, more weaker spells work better, obviously.


EDIT: I've now dug out my copy of GURPS Discworld and can confirm that what I said above is basically right. On p.122 the sidebar mentions the idea that spells must be memorised in some of the stories, but then points out that the main source of that theory of how magic works was actually Rincewind, who isn't a very qualified expert and so it recommends prob best not to use this idea except for v unusual/powerful magics. Anyway, I guess that unless you actually intend on using that setting, it doesn't really matter...the example above from Thaumatology shows that it can be done :smallwink:.

While there is a departure from preparing spells after Light Fantastic, some later books also work with the idea of "preparing" spells, like Reaper Man or The Last Continent. Though I understand why the designers of GURPS Discrworld might not want to use it.

Cybren
2009-08-30, 04:49 PM
I'd like to houserule in semi-Vancian spellcasting that I'm fond of, myself. And since they've made a Discworld GURPS supplement, I suppose it's possible...
I know of at least one game that was run by people on the Steve Jackson forums that built Vancian spellcasting.
They used the GURPS advantage Modular Abilities with certain modifiers on it.

Also, here's a collection of very common houserules and very well written articles on GURPS:
http://www.mygurps.com/

Knaight
2009-08-30, 04:57 PM
Good old GURPS. I love the system, particularly playing in it, but its heavier to run than I like. Still, it is a very, very customizable system, up there with Fudge.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-30, 06:24 PM
By semi-Vancian I mean that wizards do prepare spells, but the process doesn't looks exactly like it does in Vance's books - from what I hear, wizards there spend a lot of time to prepare one, powerful spell. For an RPG game, more weaker spells work better, obviously.

It's been a loooooooooooooong time since I ever played Dungeons and Dragons, so pls excuse my ignorance.....but what is significant about your example above that cannot be served by at least one (if not more) of the existing versions of DnD?

What I mean to say, is that I've total confidence that you could model almost any system you want using GURPS (I'm a convert). However, if DnD can already do what you want magic-wise, why are you considering changing to GURPS? Or is there a non-magical reason you're interested in a new system?

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-30, 07:23 PM
I'm not a huge fan of Gurps, and I'll go into why for a bit. Keep in mind that I've only actually played a coupla times, and thus, am not an expert in it's rules.

1. It's kinda a meta-system. More of a D20 analog than a D&D comparison, if you get me. IMO, meta-systems are clumsy, require a *lot* more work to build a good setting from, and in general, making it harder to have a good, believable setting makes it harder to have a good game. On the flip side...it's not the worst meta-system I've played with. I had the misfortune to try Hero once, back before I finished post-calculus math.

Meta-system? Not my terminology, but I'd basically agree. Certainly d20 seem closer in classification to GURPS than DnD...except that it seems that there is more than one version of "d20", depending on whether we are talking fantasy or modern/futuristic. So d20 might be a "meta-system" but it's not truly universal.

What this means in practice is that d20 is not suited to every setting (fantasy or otherwise) equally. Now, of course neither is GURPS, but it comes a lot closer, IMO. Sure, GURPS requires a lot more work from the GM, because it gives the GM more power and they have to know how to use it wisely :smallwink: I'm not sure what you mean by "believable setting" in this context though. I've no exp of Hero, so no comment there.


2. I prefer blended systems rather than more consistent systems. I love than in D&D, the casting mechanics are interestingly different than psionics, truenaming, straight melee, or what have you. As you've probably guessed, Im referring to 3.5 and previous, as 4.0 is a departure from that. From what I've seen, Gurps doesn't have the same variety in mechanics. Now sure, this makes balancing the game easier, but frankly...I don't care.

Blended systems? What do you mean by that in this context pls? And why are blended and consistent mutually-exculsive? Taking your example of casting mechanics though, in GURPS the psionics and magic systems don't work the same way either. In fact, I'd say that GURPS give more variety in ways to model effects, magical or otherwise. GURPS has balance issues too, you know - just from what I understand, they're different issues :smallsmile:


3. As for customization...sure, there are a great deal of options, but who would really say that say, D&D 3.5 lacks options for characters? Most of the RPGs I play anyhow are great on customizability, so that's really not a big draw. It seemed like a generally slow game to play, too...but that may be because only one of us was familiar with the system. Hard to call on that one.

Customisation? If we are talking building PC concepts within the rules, then D&D can't compare there, sorry.

GURPS slower to play? Not necessarily generally, but certainly combat can slow down within my group...but again, I'm the only one that really knows the rules. Certainly there are so many options/possibilities that I wouldn't recommend to a newbie group that they use all the options at once, but introduce them gradually. However, I like the control that GURPS gives, and although it can occasionally get frustrating if certain players take forever to decide what they want to do on their turn, that's more the person than the system - I think GURPS just highlights it more, rather than being the cause of the problem. However, the choice that GURPS grants is exactly why I'm prepared to take the hit on that :smallbiggrin:

Kizara
2009-08-30, 09:09 PM
I know of at least one game that was run by people on the Steve Jackson forums that built Vancian spellcasting.
They used the GURPS advantage Modular Abilities with certain modifiers on it.

Also, here's a collection of very common houserules and very well written articles on GURPS:
http://www.mygurps.com/

You're awesome, many thanks. Great reasource.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-30, 09:42 PM
You're awesome, many thanks. Great reasource.

Indeed. The guy who does that site is in fact so awesome, that he just got made the Assistant Line Editor for GURPS - he really knows the system!

Jack Zander
2009-08-30, 10:01 PM
It seems like combat would take a lot longer to resolve with GURPS compared to most systems (especially DnD). Is this true?

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-30, 10:16 PM
It seems like combat would take a lot longer to resolve with GURPS compared to most systems (especially DnD). Is this true?

From my own limited exp (one campaign/3-4 players) I'd have to agree. Although in the case of my group, I'm the only person who knows the rules in depth, so that's surely a factor.

Another factor is number of participants in the combat (PCs and NPCs)...hordes of enemies or NPC allies for the GM to worry about will take its toll more than in D&D i imagine.

TBH, it is possible to dial-down all the optional rules, stick with just the Basic Combat and things should go more quickly. But I choose not to do this - the options and choices are why I use that system in the first place :smallwink:.

Players have far, far more freedom to make meaningful choices in combat, and for me that's worth the downside of the extra time and brain-work.

xPANCAKEx
2009-08-30, 10:22 PM
It seems like combat would take a lot longer to resolve with GURPS compared to most systems (especially DnD). Is this true?

Once you have a handle on the rules, and you're pretty specific about what you wanna do then it can be very swift. The additional rules (style of attack/hit locations/weather conditions) CAN bog things down a bit - just depends how your group is. But for the most part, as long as everyone on top of their game its pretty easy deal with

its not QUITE as quick as DnD (due to extra dice being rolled) - but its not that much slower that it takes hours

Kizara
2009-08-30, 10:24 PM
It seems like combat would take a lot longer to resolve with GURPS compared to most systems (especially DnD). Is this true?

Well, let me say there's a few aspects to this.

1) You have to know what you are doing. GURPS combat bogs down if you have people half-interested in knowing what they can do and what's going on (as discussed above). This is no different from 3e assuming your group is anything but core-only melee.

2) There are more steps in actions, and in resolving effects (like criticals, crippling limb hits etc) then in DnD, especially 4e. This causes it to take longer, but if you know what you are doing and stay focused not much longer.

3) GURPS rounds are in 1 second intervals, and thus sometimes it takes more effort to describe a sequence then it would in DnD. However, it also allows a far greater amount of accuracy and simultaniety.

4) There is far less to keep track of, assuming a normal DnD game involving lots of buffs, different bonuses, AoOs (no AoOs in GURPS because not needed in how it treats combat; it uses very few abstractions like this) or effects that change your state or status. This greatly reduces the amount of questions and feedback that is needed, and in general if everyone has their head in the game and knows the rules (which are really, really not that complex at all, although admittedly its a bit more then "roll d20, add attack modifier to see if you hit"), they can act quickly.


All in all, I think it evens out, or even gives the edge to GURPS over 3e DnD. Having to take more rolls to resolve actions is heavily balanced out with having less situational effects to keep track of. I can attest that I find GURPS combat to be far, far more rewarding (especially as a melee character) then 3e, and somewhat easier to run (if you are using PCs or monsters with interesting abilities at all), and I know the rules far less well.

EDIT: Note that I define more rewarding as a better, more immersive and tactically satisfying simulation, which GURPS combat is; as opposed to easier, or 'rule of cool' kind of stylistic fun (although GURPS supports this, I don't really care).

FMArthur
2009-08-30, 10:26 PM
Honestly, the only problem I have with long combat is when it becomes uninteresting and long. GURPS seems to make combat significantly more interesting, from my perspective.

elliott20
2009-08-30, 10:30 PM
Ahh a GURPS love declaration thread.

I really need to find a group that is playing GURPS so I can pick it up again.

xPANCAKEx
2009-08-30, 10:50 PM
Honestly, the only problem I have with long combat is when it becomes uninteresting and long. GURPS seems to make combat significantly more interesting, from my perspective.

definately backed

my groups game recently involved a very long winded raid on the bandit camp, but combat NEVER got dull for me. I have a sword/board melee character on the go and had a range of options to keep it varied and keep the opponent (and my DM) very much off guard

even unintentionally chopping off a large chunk of my own leg to distract and dumbfound the opponent worked a treat!

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-30, 11:01 PM
definately backed

my groups game recently involved a very long winded raid on the bandit camp, but combat NEVER got dull for me. I have a sword/board melee character on the go and had a range of options to keep it varied and keep the opponent (and my DM) very much off guard

even unintentionally chopping off a large chunk of my own leg to distract and dumbfound the opponent worked a treat!

heh, i wasn't going to mention the suicidal frontal assault (admittedly at night) on the main badit camp, xPANCAKEx :smalleek: - you guys took me by surpise with that one.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-30, 11:29 PM
Honestly, the only problem I have with long combat is when it becomes uninteresting and long. GURPS seems to make combat significantly more interesting, from my perspective.

I'll give you an example which hopefully appears interesting/dramatic.

Towards the end of the big fight with the bandit leader, who was wearing a hvy "bronze" corselt that blows couldn't penetrate and who seemed to always be missed by arrows when the party archer had him bang to rights....the guy was finally brought down in a decisive manner: the party "merchant" got behind him and grappled him from the back. He struggled to break free but although stronger than her, it wasn't enough to counter her skillful hold on him. IIRC, the "merchant" managed to force him to drop his remaining weapon. The archer then stepped in front and smashed him across the face with a swing of his falchion. His ability to defend severely hampered by the unshakable grapple, the brigand leader failed to avoid the strike. That one hit to the head was enough to v badly wound him and he collapsed unconscious. The merchant released her grip as the body slumped to the floor. Any remaining brigands pretty much legged it at that point :smallamused:

Jack Zander
2009-08-31, 12:02 AM
I'll give you an example which hopefully appears interesting/dramatic.

Towards the end of the big fight with the bandit leader, who was wearing a hvy "bronze" corselt that blows couldn't penetrate and who seemed to always be missed by arrows when the party archer had him bang to rights....the guy was finally brought down in a decisive manner: the party "merchant" got behind him and grappled him from the back. He struggled to break free but although stronger than her, it wasn't enough to counter her skillful hold on him. IIRC, the "merchant" managed to force him to drop his remaining weapon. The archer then stepped in front and smashed him across the face with a swing of his falchion. His ability to defend severely hampered by the unshakable grapple, the brigand leader failed to avoid the strike. That one hit to the head was enough to v badly wound him and he collapsed unconscious. The merchant released her grip as the body slumped to the floor. Any remaining brigands pretty much legged it at that point :smallamused:

Hmm... that seems no different from DnD at all. I've at a halfling rouge party member who was pretty much invincible until an orc got close enough to grapple him, succeeded, and held him there while his buddy stabbed him repeatedly with a dagger. He only survived cuz his teammates bailed him out after two turns of brutal stabbings.

Cybren
2009-08-31, 12:15 AM
Hmm... that seems no different from DnD at all. I've at a halfling rouge party member who was pretty much invincible until an orc got close enough to grapple him, succeeded, and held him there while his buddy stabbed him repeatedly with a dagger. He only survived cuz his teammates bailed him out after two turns of brutal stabbings.

It's hard to come across in descriptions but the differences are immense.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-31, 12:21 AM
Hmm... that seems no different from DnD at all. I've at a halfling rouge party member who was pretty much invincible until an orc got close enough to grapple him, succeeded, and held him there while his buddy stabbed him repeatedly with a dagger. He only survived cuz his teammates bailed him out after two turns of brutal stabbings.

Well, I'm not sure whether you consider that a good/bad thing. Perhaps that wasn't the clearest example in the way I told it. What might not have been obvious is that:
A) the corselet made the brigand leader practically invulnerable to normal strikes to the torso - even most critical hits and called shots to the vitals would bounce off, but this did not extend to areas of the body not physically covered by it, such as the limbs or head
B) the archer deliberately chose to target the face when he swung - this wasn't a lucky/crit roll
It is the level of detail inherantly available in the system, that I feel allow it to be so much more than "roll d20, hope I get a 20 so I can do something cool". In GURPS the players choose where and how to attack, and this affects the dice roll and the possible outcomes. One of the most basic things any sword wielder decides is whether to swing or thrust, and that is a meaningful tactical element albiet a v basic one, within the GURPS system.

Kizara
2009-08-31, 12:25 AM
Well, I'm not sure whether you consider that a good/bad thing. Perhaps that wasn't the clearest example in the way I told it. What might not have been obvious is that:
A) the corselet made the brigand leader practically invulnerable to normal strikes to the torso - even most critical hits and called shots to the vitals would bounce off, but this did not extend to areas of the body not physically covered by it, such as the limbs or head
B) the archer deliberately chose to target the face when he swung - this wasn't a lucky/crit roll
It is the level of detail inherantly available in the system, that I feel allow it to be so much more than "roll d20, hope I get a 20 so I can do something cool". In GURPS the players choose where and how to attack, and this affects the dice roll and the possible outcomes. One of the most basic things any sword wielder decides is whether to swing or thrust, and that is a meaningful tactical element albiet a v basic one, within the GURPS system.

To be fair, unless you want to go for an eye shot, you rarely want to thrust if you have a weapon that does swing damage, as it does way less damage. Unless you know of a tactic that I'm unaware of.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-31, 12:35 AM
To be fair, unless you want to go for an eye shot, you rarely want to thrust if you have a weapon that does swing damage, as it does way less damage. Unless you know of a tactic that I'm unaware of.

Sure: impaling damage :smallbiggrin:
Impaling damage that gets through armour has x2 wounding multipler (wounds tend be deeper and thus less likely to be superficial)
True that base damage for a swing is almost always higher than for a thrust (and this is even moreso the stronger the fighter). However, swing damage is usually either crushing (x1 wounding multiplier) or cutting (x1.5)

So if the opponent is lightly armoured or unarmoured, then a thrust often good option for double damage. This not even counting a vitals hit (heart or lungs at -3 to skill), which bumps the Impaling damage to x3. Only impaling attacks can normally target the vitals, so that option not available if you swing the sword.
EDIT: and IIRC a vitals hit increases the chance of Knockdown/Stun from a Major Wound. So, not only more likely to do higher damage, but the target more likely to fail their Health roll under the circumstances = fight over.

Kizara
2009-08-31, 12:59 AM
Sure: impaling damage :smallbiggrin:
Impaling damage that gets through armour has x2 wounding multipler (wounds tend be deeper and thus less likely to be superficial)
True that base damage for a swing is almost always higher than for a thrust (and this is even moreso the stronger the fighter). However, swing damage is usually either crushing (x1 wounding multiplier) or cutting (x1.5)

So if the opponent is lightly armoured or unarmoured, then a thrust often good option for double damage. This not even counting a vitals hit (heart or lungs at -3 to skill), which bumps the Impaling damage to x3. Only impaling attacks can normally target the vitals, so that option not available if you swing the sword.
EDIT: and IIRC a vitals hit increases the chance of Knockdown/Stun from a Major Wound. So, not only more likely to do higher damage, but the target more likely to fail their Health roll under the circumstances = fight over.

I suppose I was only speaking from the experience of my 17 striking strength (high for a realistic game) greatsword fighter, who often fights more heavily-armored opponents. He gets a lot more out of swing neck shots (-5) that make his cutting damage x2 and (as per our house rule) can decapitate if he does their hp in damage, which at 3d+2 is often at least possible. More often he doesn't get a clean decapitation, but hitting an area that often has at most 4 DR from armor is generally more wrothwhile then doing 1d+4 against vitals through 5 torso armor (to say nothing of someone wearing heavier armor, like a suit of scale over their mail, which makes it closer to 10).

But yea, if you are less strong and fight against less well armored opponents, you would get more out of thrust shots. I love my heavy melee brusier though, I just got enough for my plate armor! I have move 3 while wearing it, but its still awesome! :)

On that note, GURPS encumbrance rules are much better then DnD's. I don't have time right now to detail them, so maybe Pawn can for me. :)

EDIT: Oh, and Vitals work like a head shot so yes you got a really good shot at having them fail their stun rolls, which means unless they have backup you can very likely basically destroy them before they can recover.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-31, 07:05 AM
On that note, GURPS encumbrance rules are much better then DnD's. I don't have time right now to detail them, so maybe Pawn can for me. :)

I don't really know the D&D enc rules, sorry, so would be hard for me to comment, especially considering that encumbrance is often heavily tied into the particular game's rules for combat, so I suspect that this would be quite a complex one as the whole turn/movement paradigm is different between the 2 systems.

Morty
2009-08-31, 07:15 AM
It's been a loooooooooooooong time since I ever played Dungeons and Dragons, so pls excuse my ignorance.....but what is significant about your example above that cannot be served by at least one (if not more) of the existing versions of DnD?

What I mean to say, is that I've total confidence that you could model almost any system you want using GURPS (I'm a convert). However, if DnD can already do what you want magic-wise, why are you considering changing to GURPS? Or is there a non-magical reason you're interested in a new system?

Well yeah, my reasons for wanting to try out GURPS are mostly unrelated to magic. I was just curious if it's possible to recreate my favorite model of magic in this system. If it is, excellent.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-31, 07:33 AM
Well yeah, my reasons for wanting to try out GURPS are mostly unrelated to magic. I was just curious if it's possible to recreate my favorite model of magic in this system. If it is, excellent.

It is. Although, as a former D&D player (albeit a much old version), it seems to me that the default GURPS spellcasting mechanics, while not perfect, are certainly superior to Vancean systems. But if that's what you want, GURPS can deliver. I would just recommend that if you were to try GURPS, you give the default system a go first, so that you can compare first hand.

I'm interested to know what your actual reasons for changing might be, though...

Morty
2009-08-31, 08:04 AM
It is. Although, as a former D&D player (albeit a much old version), it seems to me that the default GURPS spellcasting mechanics, while not perfect, are certainly superior to Vancean systems. But if that's what you want, GURPS can deliver. I would just recommend that if you were to try GURPS, you give the default system a go first, so that you can compare first hand.

Though GURPS default casting seems decent enough, I simply like Vancian casting, because it's unique and gives magic a good flavor - and it's estabilished in my homebrewed setting that seems a perfect match for GURPS. But I agree that I should get familiar with the built-in magic before starting to tinker with it.


I'm interested to know what your actual reasons for changing might be, though...

A realistic, low-power and detailed system sounds like my thing. D&D is good, but I'm tired of its high power level and lack of realism, and WFRP is fun, but kind of falls apart sometimes.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-31, 08:11 AM
A realistic, low-power and detailed system sounds like my thing. D&D is good, but I'm tired of its high power level and lack of realism, and WFRP is fun, but kind of falls apart sometimes.

Well, "realistic, low-power and detailed" should be no problem. GURPS also does high-power and cinematic, too. Or any number of variations in-between (which is prob what many of us want, in practice anyway).

As for WFRP, it always looked cool, but I never had a chance to play back in the day. Anyway, if I wanted to RP in that setting now, there is an unofficial conversion out there that looks pretty thorough, so I'd prob just use that (search for GURPS Hammer 2.0 if you're interested).

Shademan
2009-08-31, 11:23 AM
well since all the GURPS guys are gathered here allready, may I ask how you buy skills? the whole ordeal confuses me greatly

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-31, 11:29 AM
well since all the GURPS guys are gathered here allready, may I ask how you buy skills? the whole ordeal confuses me greatly

Sure I'll try :smallwink:
Not sure exactly what info you're asking for, though.

Skill costs?
Prerequisites?
Effective skill levels?
Relative levels?

Shademan
2009-08-31, 11:32 AM
well I wanna buy me some skills. I am building a knight and need falconing, armouring, riding and heraldry. now I know they are all 'average' and what stat they are linked to... but then i'm stumped.
to put it simple: how do I put some damn ranks in skills?


:smallamused:

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-31, 11:47 AM
well I wanna buy me some skills. I am building a knight and need falconing, armouring, riding and heraldry. now I know they are all 'average' and what stat they are linked to... but then i'm stumped.
to put it simple: how do I put some damn ranks in skills?


:smallamused:

Cost-wise, skills are 1pt for initial buy-in, then another 1pt for next level (2pts total), then 2pts for next level (4pts total) then 4pts for next level (8 total), then another 4pts for each level after than (12pts, 16pts, etc).

Also the difficulty class of the skill (Easy,Average,Hard,Very Hard) determines what that first point will buy you the skill, at relative to the controlling attribute (and thus how much it will cost to get the skill up to a certain absolute, such as Broadsword-15, say).

TBH, reading all that makes it sound worse than it is...
The table on p.B170 should help lay it out better than what I just described.

If you are taking Riding (whatever, let's say Horses) as a DX/Average skill, what this means is that for 1pt an Average skill will give you a base skill level of your DX-1 and to have it at DX level would cost you 2pts. Whereas a DX/Easy skill such as Brawling starts at DX level for 1pt, and 2pts would give you DX+1 instead.

Hope that helps. Ask again if it doesn't :smallredface:


EDIT: actually, can you post your knight-in-progress here? It will prob help talking in specifics rather than me plucking numbers out the air. Might also possibly be of interest to others who don't know how GURPS chargen works either.

Shademan
2009-08-31, 11:59 AM
ok, so if i invest one point in riding it counts as if i have 10 ranks in it?
(dx 11)

but offcourse: http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheetview.php?sheetid=150483

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-31, 12:06 PM
ok, so if i invest one point in riding it counts as if i have 10 ranks in it?
(dx 11)

but offcourse: http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheetview.php?sheetid=150483

Sorry, I'm largely ignorant of D&D nowadays (and hence what "Ranks" equate to). But if you mean a skill level of 10 in this case (DX 11), then yes :smallbiggrin:

Also I see you have Halberd on that sheet, with a skill level of 14. That would cost you 12pts (DX/Average skill at relative level of attribute+3).

Natael
2009-08-31, 12:10 PM
ok, so if i invest one point in riding it counts as if i have 10 ranks in it?
(dx 11)

but offcourse: http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheetview.php?sheetid=150483

I think you have the jist of it, though not quite the terms.

Dx 11
Riding is a dx/av skill, putting one point in it gets you stat -1 as your base skill level. So your base skill in riding would be a 10 (you were correct on that part).

For those that are thinking: "Hey, you fail at riding a horse if you roll above a 10 on 3d6? That is as bad as Rifts!!"

When doing easy tasks (such as just riding a horse), you would get a bonus to your skill for it being easy (I think the range example in the book said you'd have a +8 for driving a car on a road with no traffic, during the day, with good weather, to -8 to trying to make a get away chase in a blizzard and icy roads). An effective skill of I believe it is 16, will make it so you don't have to make any roll for successfully completing the task (i.e. you wont have to roll driving to go from home to work every day).

Jack Zander
2009-08-31, 12:14 PM
So, with called shots, are there any rules for hitting the wrong target? If I am aiming for the eye, and I miss, do I have a chance to hit them in the face instead?

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-31, 12:20 PM
So, with called shots, are there any rules for hitting the wrong target? If I am aiming for the eye, and I miss, do I have a chance to hit them in the face instead?

Yes and No. See the table on p.B552. Basically, the locations with [1] in the Notes column such as Eye or Face, mean that you hit the Torso instead if you miss by 1.

Shademan
2009-08-31, 12:28 PM
http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheetview.php?sheetid=150483 think I got it right now. thanks for the help

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-31, 12:43 PM
http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheetview.php?sheetid=150483 think I got it right now. thanks for the help

Actually, i'm not sure you do :smallwink:

Halberd-16 (A); should cost 20 CP, not 12
Riding-11 (A); should cost 12 CP, not 8
I think the others look OK

Also, you really should put the specialisations for both Riding (eg Horses) and Armoury (Body armour or Melee Weapons) as part of the skill name - specialisation is mandatory. Best if GM tells you the TL of campaign too, so you can note that next to Armoury.

I would also recommend putting the skill diff in parentheses as I've done above, and also fill in the Rel Lvl column too. These are not essential but I find that both make bookkeeping easier, esp when comes time to "level up" :smallbiggrin:

Shademan
2009-08-31, 12:55 PM
wait, so when I pay 12 points it is not ST+3?

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-31, 12:58 PM
wait, so when I pay 12 points it is not ST+3?

Yes that's right, and for a ST-based skill, that would be 16. But all melee skills are DX-based, not ST-based.

It's prob one of the reasons that DX costs twice as much as ST :smallwink:

EDIT: Oh, the correct name of the skill is actually Polearm, BTW (it covers more than just the halberd).

Shademan
2009-08-31, 01:00 PM
confound it! Should have put more points in dx then

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-31, 01:18 PM
Looking at your sheet...

Blessed (Heroic Feats) is prob good for "holy warrior" character types.

Combat Reflexes is prob a no-brainer for any experienced combat-centric character.

Daredevil, Code of Honour and Guilt Complex are all good and could land your PC in some tough RP situations (in a good way, of course :smallbiggrin:)

No Sense of Smell/Taste is just asking for someone who doesn't like you might find out and try and poison you :smallwink:

Secret needs specific details for the GM, inc. Frequency of Appearance (how often it's likely to be a risk of coming up)

Shademan
2009-08-31, 01:23 PM
I have talked with the DM about the secret. and he only lacks smell. It is easy for me to identify with that as I can't smell.


Daredevil, Code of Honour and Guilt Complex are all good and could land your PC in some tough RP situations (in a good way, of course )
Thats what I'm counting on :smallwink:

Cybren
2009-08-31, 01:29 PM
confound it! Should have put more points in dx then

Not really. ST is the warrior stat by and large.

It increases:
HP, meaning you can take more hits
Damage, which is good for obvious reasons.
Basic Lift, which means you can wear more armor and not get encumbered

DX is useful but ST probably should be higher.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-31, 01:32 PM
and he only lacks smell. It is easy for me to identify with that as I can't smell.

Firstly, that sounds pretty unrealistic to me. Human taste and smell are intrinsically linked. Which means that this is a rather exotic disadvantage for a human and if I were your GM, I'd want a darn good reason/background to explain how he got it. :smallsmile:

Secondly, if you reduce the scope of a disadvantage, and actually make it less, ya know, disadvantageous then it should be worth less points as a result. Your GM should re-price it accordingly. :smallwink:

Shademan
2009-08-31, 01:32 PM
delay that confound! the knight is apparently awesome :smallbiggrin:


Firstly, that sounds pretty unrealistic to me. Human taste and smell are intrinsically linked. Which means that this is a rather exotic disadvantage for a human and if I were your GM, I'd want a darn good reason/background to explain how he got it
yeah I hear that alot. "you can't smell? then you can't taste!" but I taste perfectly fine. can't smell tough.

hm... no taste should let him eat pretty much anything... how come that is a disadvantage?

Jack Zander
2009-08-31, 01:47 PM
delay that confound! the knight is apparently awesome :smallbiggrin:


yeah I hear that alot. "you can't smell? then you can't taste!" but I taste perfectly fine. can't smell tough.

hm... no taste should let him eat pretty much anything... how come that is a disadvantage?

Well you should be able to taste sour, salty, bitter, and sweet things. Also, your taste is probably there, just not as strong as it would be normally.

Being able to eat anything is a huge disadvantage. Our taste tells warns us of things like poison, or of rotten foods that have lost their nutrients, and could make us sick from bacteria. This guy has no idea if what he eats is going to kill him tomorrow, or that he should put that glass down after a sip.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-31, 01:49 PM
hm... no taste should let him eat pretty much anything... how come that is a disadvantage?

In game terms? My first response would be "Poison!" After that, there are things like food that might be off, or totally inedible. I think in RL (and throughout history for thousands of years), taste has helped humans identify whether something was good/safe to eat or not.

From a GURPS standpoint, disadvantages are not "free points". If the GM knows that a given disadvantage is not going to factor in the campaign, then they are expected to disallow it.

Therefore, if you and the GM don't consider that it WILL be a disadvantage, that's prob a good indication that it should only be a 1pt Quirk under the circumstances.

Shademan
2009-08-31, 01:51 PM
well I don't know, but I THINK I don't taste any less than anybody else. also, I am quite picky when it comes to what I eat.
I mean, you eat chicken you taste chicken, so do I. I just can't smell it.

on a pluss side, the knight can eat his own crappy cooking :D

ninjad edit: yeah, taste is good and I love good food. so taste: good.
poison: bad
but hey, high HT and aggressiveness. I think it'll work out :D

Draz74
2009-08-31, 02:00 PM
well I don't know, but I THINK I don't taste any less than anybody else. also, I am quite picky when it comes to what I eat.
I mean, you eat chicken you taste chicken, so do I. I just can't smell it.

I've heard that, for example, apples and onions are difficult tastes to tell apart for someone with truly no sense of smell. Whereas the difference is very obvious for someone with a normal sense of smell.

Though it seems that even without a sense of smell the texture difference would be obvious ...

Shademan
2009-08-31, 02:03 PM
nah I tired that. onion is foul and apples is da ****! :smallbiggrin:
I eat about one or two apples a day

Saph
2009-08-31, 04:52 PM
GURPS is okay. The main problem I have with it is that it's always the second-best system for whatever I want to do. If I want to do magic and combat and monsters, I'll play D&D. If I want to do really imaginative modern-day supernatural stuff, I'll play Mage. If I want to do Star Wars-style space opera, I'll play Star Wars. GURPS can do all of those, but you're generally better off picking a system that specialises in what you want to do. GURPS is . . . well, generic. It's right there in the title. Every system has a few specially tailor-made mechanics for its preferred type of game that GURPS, because of its generic nature, lacks.

Morty
2009-08-31, 04:55 PM
Well, "realistic, low-power and detailed" should be no problem. GURPS also does high-power and cinematic, too. Or any number of variations in-between (which is prob what many of us want, in practice anyway).

That's fine by me. It doesn't matter that it can also do high-powered, cinematic games - I don't have to run them if I don't want to.


As for WFRP, it always looked cool, but I never had a chance to play back in the day. Anyway, if I wanted to RP in that setting now, there is an unofficial conversion out there that looks pretty thorough, so I'd prob just use that (search for GURPS Hammer 2.0 if you're interested).

WFRP is okay, but it has its issues, like that characters tend to have too low chance to succeed in a given task.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-31, 05:08 PM
GURPS is okay. The main problem I have with it is that it's always the second-best system for whatever I want to do. If I want to do magic and combat and monsters, I'll play D&D. If I want to do really imaginative modern-day supernatural stuff, I'll play Mage. If I want to do Star Wars-style space opera, I'll play Star Wars. GURPS can do all of those, but you're generally better off picking a system that specialises in what you want to do. GURPS is . . . well, generic. It's right there in the title. Every system has a few specially tailor-made mechanics for its preferred type of game that GURPS, because of its generic nature, lacks.

I don't agree. D&D doesn't do all types of fantasy genre equally well. It does D&D-style fantasy, certainly. And I'm fairly sure it does a reasonable job. But it could be argued that D&D is no longer the best at doing the genre which it invented (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/dungeonfantasy/). Even before those were published, there were plenty of examples on the SJGames forums of people who converted their favourite D&D setting such as Dragonlance over to GURPS, because they were dissatisfied with the limitations of the original system.

As for Star Wars, are you talking the old WEG version (which I've heard was pretty good) or the D20 version. The former I might accept, but not the latter - that's absurd.

Mage I know little about, but what I've heard doesn't interest me. I've no doubt that if I wanted to run a "really imaginative modern-day supernatural" campaign, I could do it in GURPS. It'd take work certainly, GURPS always does. But that work means that I end up with the magical metaphysics (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/thaumatology/) in my gameworld that I want for that setting and the mechanics to fit that exactly.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-08-31, 05:18 PM
As for Star Wars, are you talking the old WEG version (which I've heard was pretty good) or the D20 version. The former I might accept, but not the latter - that's absurd.

I assume that by "the D20 version" you're referring to the revised core ruleset? Star Wars Saga has been produced by Wizards. Not an absolute fit, still getting there when it comes to competing with WEG - but I'd take it over GURPS in a heartbeat. Speed and simplicity is good for Star Wars, especially when you have a company making many specific rules and equipment for the setting.


It does D&D-style fantasy, certainly. And I'm fairly sure it does a reasonable job. But it could be argued that D&D is no longer the best at doing the genre which it invented (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/dungeonfantasy/). \

It could be argued. Many things can be argued. The people in the GURPS following and the D&D players represent the sides of that argument. But I really doubt there's any conclusive evidence to be had in this debate. I'm too biased to comment fairly - and, if I may say so, so are you. And most everyone on these forums.

Knaight
2009-08-31, 05:36 PM
Not necessarily. I personally have played both, like GURPS better, and have both as secondary systems. I'm not invested enough in either to be very biased. I agree with GURPS being better, and will put other systems above GURPS. Then bias starts showing.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-08-31, 05:37 PM
I assume that by "the D20 version" you're referring to the revised core ruleset? Star Wars Saga has been produced by Wizards. Not an absolute fit, still getting there when it comes to competing with WEG - but I'd take it over GURPS in a heartbeat. Speed and simplicity is good for Star Wars, especially when you have a company making many specific rules and equipment for the setting.

When I think of the Star Wars movies, I can't imagine how you would define the characters from the mythos in terms of levels, in a way that was meaningfully consistent with how the PCs might be defined. Any more than I could imagine defining a character from Star Trek in terms of levels.

"Speed and simplicity" are largely a factor of prior experience. It would be far easier for me to run a SW game using GURPS than the d20 system, due to familiarity with the rules. Just take prepublished materials for the WEG or Wizards catalogs, or even just the database on the SW website and then wing it, converting to GURPS on the fly only those aspects that are actually required.


It could be argued. Many things can be argued. The people in the GURPS following and the D&D players represent the sides of that argument. But I really doubt there's any conclusive evidence to be had in this debate. I'm too biased to comment fairly - and, if I may say so, so are you. And most everyone on these forums.

True enough :smallbiggrin:. The only evidence I could provide would be testimonies from some of those who have converted. D&D still has largest share of the market, although the market is dwindling and that's bad for everyone in the industry.

Fhaolan
2009-08-31, 06:27 PM
Personally, I quite like GURPS, and I also like 3.x D&D, but for completely different reasons.

D&D is much easier to start a game. Everything is basically all built out for you, and you can get right into putting together character and the campaign world. There are weird bits in the rules that may be... discordant relative to the world/characters you want to build, but most people can disregard that, or houserule around it.

It's somewhat more difficult to *start* a GURPS game. Because GURPS is a toolkit that can be adapted to any game, the GM has to spend the time building out the game. Then the players have to spend the time building out the characters. Once you've *started* gaming however, GURPS goes quite nicely and is amazingly flexible when you've put the effort into it. Since the GM & players have to decide which rule options are valid for the campaign, the need for true 'houserules' is reduced.

And just to complete the spectrum, the Hero System is even more gear-headed than GURPS. There are more stats, and any special powers need to be built up from first principles. CharGen takes even longer, and the GM has to be even more on top of things.

GURPS and Heroes both, however, have ways to speed up the CharGen though with the use of templates/archetypes. As a GM you still need to go through them and make sure they don't conflict with the game world you're wanting to build, but for players it makes it a lot easier.

It depends on what you want to do. Do you want to adapt the character/world concepts to the game system, or adapt the game system to the character/world concepts? One gets you into the game faster but can feel limiting later on, while the other gives you more creative freedom but has a steeper entry cost to starting the game in the first place.

There are several e-books produced by SJG for putting together a D&D-like game using GURPS. http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/dungeonfantasy/dungeonfantasy1/ is the first in a series of books on creating classic dungeon-crawl games using the most recent GURPS edition.

Fiery Justice
2009-08-31, 06:55 PM
Though I'm a GURPS fan and I really like the system, I'm going to actually back up d20 Star Wars (Saga Edition). Because of the Space Operatic nature of Star Wars, the class system gives you the fundamental Archtypes. Prestige classes and cross-classing give you a reasonable amount of lee way and let you play the varying forms of things pretty easily. The replication of Force Powers is satisfactory (I mean, I'm not going gaga over it, but it works pretty well) and if you play your class right, you'll end up being an icon.

I know GURPS can do that, but for beginner players, I think Saga probably has a little bit more guidance and they won't look back on their characters and think, "Dang, this character makes no sense" once they've gotten better.

Cybren
2009-08-31, 09:31 PM
GURPS is okay. The main problem I have with it is that it's always the second-best system for whatever I want to do. If I want to do magic and combat and monsters, I'll play D&D. If I want to do really imaginative modern-day supernatural stuff, I'll play Mage. If I want to do Star Wars-style space opera, I'll play Star Wars. GURPS can do all of those, but you're generally better off picking a system that specialises in what you want to do. GURPS is . . . well, generic. It's right there in the title. Every system has a few specially tailor-made mechanics for its preferred type of game that GURPS, because of its generic nature, lacks.

Of coruse there are far more genres than there are game systems. D&D is a narrow subset of fantasy. Star Wars is a single setting with a lot of tropes of its own. Mage does contemporary fantasy but it's completely different from Harry Potter, for example.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-01, 05:35 AM
Though I'm a GURPS fan and I really like the system, I'm going to actually back up d20 Star Wars (Saga Edition). Because of the Space Operatic nature of Star Wars, the class system gives you the fundamental Archtypes. Prestige classes and cross-classing give you a reasonable amount of lee way and let you play the varying forms of things pretty easily. The replication of Force Powers is satisfactory (I mean, I'm not going gaga over it, but it works pretty well) and if you play your class right, you'll end up being an icon.

I know GURPS can do that, but for beginner players, I think Saga probably has a little bit more guidance and they won't look back on their characters and think, "Dang, this character makes no sense" once they've gotten better.

OK, well I'll have to accept your experience over my conjecture :smallredface:. And certainly, I'll agree with you on guidance, in so far as the chargen process being easier (the hardest bit for many players in GURPS)...but, once the PC is created, is not the actual understanding of how your character abilities work easier in GURPS?

EDIT: As for the GURPS chargen process...in hindsight, a better way for me to describe it would be involved, rather than hard. This is significantly reduced if the GM is using templates.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-01, 05:39 AM
Of coruse there are far more genres than there are game systems. D&D is a narrow subset of fantasy. Star Wars is a single setting with a lot of tropes of its own. Mage does contemporary fantasy but it's completely different from Harry Potter, for example.

Indeed. This is what I should've said. Thank you :smallsmile:

Hallavast
2009-09-01, 05:50 AM
Mine is a very simple (if juvenile) quibble. I have a large collection of assorted polyhedral dice. Can I use most (if not all) of them with GURPS? :smallbiggrin:

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-01, 05:52 AM
GURPS has one ruleset to ring them all :smallbiggrin:

Seriously though, with GURPS 4e, I have one set of mechanics that works equally well for almost any setting/genre/trope you care to emulate. As a GM, although it means more prep work for me, I can't see myself going backwards to a more limiting system. Sure, I'd probably play D&D if a friend was running it, but I'd prefer GURPS.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-01, 05:59 AM
Mine is a very simple (if juvenile) quibble. I have a large collection of assorted polyhedral dice. Can I use most (if not all) of them with GURPS? :smallbiggrin:

No :smallfurious:. Nothing but a d6 is used.

You're right though, it is a juvenile quibble :smallwink:. I went through a similar thought process a few years back. But I got over it and haven't looked back.

My box of polyhedrals is now consigned to the spare room, devoid of all d6s except an old wooden one that's slightly chewed :smalleek:. It only comes out on rare occasions. The box I mean; I should prob chuck that old wooden die :smallredface:.

fusilier
2009-09-01, 05:11 PM
Glad to hear you like gurps. There are many differences between it and D&D and comparing them is not a simple task. I haven't read all the posts in this topic, and I'm sure a lot of this has been covered already.

I think GURPS is a very easy system for players to learn by simply sitting down and playing. I guess I've always been prejudiced against the various forms of D&D, because the first RPG I played was the old D6 version of Star Wars (West End Games). After a session I understood the core mechanism. It took several sessions of AD&D (2nd Ed.) of pretty much the DM tell me what die to roll, until I started to grasp the mechanics. (I never read any of the books for either system) GURPS has a very simple core mechanic, although character creation is admittedly more complicated. However, GURPS character creation is pretty intuitive as you noticed. The ads/disads are mostly self-explanatory, as are skills. The math can get a bit weird if you're not using some program, but then you mainly have to consult charts to get the correct result.

On the downside, there can be an overwhelming amount of rules for the GM to consider. I usually make cheat sheets for a particular campaign of the rules that are relevant (1930s gangsters, I need to know how long it takes to reload that revolver, or clear a jam in a Tommy Gun -- 17th century swashbuckler's, what's the chance of breaking a rapier when using it to parry a boarding axe? -- or do I even want to bother with that level of detail?).

Sounds like you are enjoying the freedom and diversity that comes with GURPs and that's good. Its good to try different systems, as playing one for too long can become stale (for some people anyway).

P.S. This has probably been mentioned already, but if anybody is interested in checking out GURPS, you can download the "lite" version for free. There's technically enough in there to run a campaign, but it's more just to inspect the basic system.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-01, 05:25 PM
P.S. This has probably been mentioned already, but if anybody is interested in checking out GURPS, you can download the "lite" version for free. There's technically enough in there to run a campaign, but it's more just to inspect the basic system.

Thanks fusilier for mentioning this. GURPS Lite had been spoken of a while ago, but without a URL. You bringing it up again has reminded me to provide a link to the free download page (http://e23.sjgames.com/item.html?id=SJG31-0004), which I should have done already :smallsmile:.

EDIT: I pretty much agree with the rest of your assessment, BTW :smallwink:.

Jack Zander
2009-09-01, 05:40 PM
Thanks fusilier for mentioning this. GURPS Lite had been spoken of a while ago, but without a URL. You bringing it up again has reminded me to provide a link to the free download page (http://e23.sjgames.com/item.html?id=SJG31-0004), which I should have done already :smallsmile:.

EDIT: I pretty much agree with the rest of your assessment, BTW :smallwink:.

Thanks, I've been wanted to try out some GURPS for a while now.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-01, 05:43 PM
Thanks, I've been wanted to try out some GURPS for a while now.

No problem, mate. :smallbiggrin:

Any Qs you have, I'll try my best to answer them.

fusilier
2009-09-01, 05:55 PM
Thanks fusilier for mentioning this. GURPS Lite had been spoken of a while ago, but without a URL. You bringing it up again has reminded me to provide a link to the free download page (http://e23.sjgames.com/item.html?id=SJG31-0004), which I should have done already :smallsmile:.

EDIT: I pretty much agree with the rest of your assessment, BTW :smallwink:.

Thanks, Unwitting Pawn. I actually still run 3rd edition GURPS, there are things about it's system that I prefer (also, I had finally collected the core books, just before the switch to 4th). However, the systems are so similar that it takes a very little change to go from one to the other. Things I like from 3rd, are PD and DR, and the fatigue rules (once I finally read the rules, they made a lot of sense to me). I think 4th edition's language rules are much better though. I've contemplated implementing their style of language in 3rd edition, but it's never really been relevant in my games.

Anyway, I believe with some internet searching it might be possible to find a pdf of the 3rd edition GURPS Lite.

I'm just glad to see people trying different systems. For some D&D is the be-all end-all of rpg's. But I think I prefer a bit more diversity. I recently got to try the Legend of the Five Rings RPG. I think there are a couple of different versions out there. This was d10 based and was a roll/keep system. Meaning you roll x dice but only count y dice (y<=x). While the system isn't perfect, it's not bad at all, and I enjoyed it. There's actually a lot of diversity in Roleplaying games out there, and they can be fundamentally different from one another.

Jack Zander
2009-09-01, 06:26 PM
Is this a misprint?


A roll of 3 or 4 is always a critical success.
A roll of 5 is a critical success if your
effective skill is 15+.
A roll of 6 is a critical success if your
effective skill is 16+.

Cybren
2009-09-01, 06:28 PM
Is this a misprint?

No?

The higher your skill the greater chance you have a critical success.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-01, 06:33 PM
Is this a misprint?

No, that is bang on. And that applies to any skill roll at all. Not just combat.

Bear in mind however, that critical success might not mean the exactly same thing in GURPS and D&D.

Jack Zander
2009-09-01, 06:43 PM
So the only time a 5 is critical success, is when I have a +15? And 6 is critical success if I have anything above 16? Or is that supposed to continue? It just kinda stopped there.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-01, 06:45 PM
Thanks, Unwitting Pawn. I actually still run 3rd edition GURPS, there are things about it's system that I prefer (also, I had finally collected the core books, just before the switch to 4th). However, the systems are so similar that it takes a very little change to go from one to the other. Things I like from 3rd, are PD and DR, and the fatigue rules (once I finally read the rules, they made a lot of sense to me). I think 4th edition's language rules are much better though. I've contemplated implementing their style of language in 3rd edition, but it's never really been relevant in my games.

Ugh, PD? I'm glad they got rid of that in 4e. I never had chance to play GURPS 3e, but I have some of the books and it always seemed like a silly idea to me. :smalltongue:


I'm just glad to see people trying different systems. For some D&D is the be-all end-all of rpg's. But I think I prefer a bit more diversity. I recently got to try the Legend of the Five Rings RPG. I think there are a couple of different versions out there. This was d10 based and was a roll/keep system. Meaning you roll x dice but only count y dice (y<=x). While the system isn't perfect, it's not bad at all, and I enjoyed it. There's actually a lot of diversity in Roleplaying games out there, and they can be fundamentally different from one another.

Interesting sounding mechanic. I've never player LotFR and not really heard anything about it, TBH.

Yeah, and diversity is good too. As a player, I'd be up for giving almost any RPG a go (except of course FATAL, but then that doesn't really count as a "game" in my eyes). It's just that as GM, given that I've found a near-perfect ruleset that can do most anything I'd want, there seems no point learning a new system for what is in most cases going to be a marginal improvement (for that one specific setting/genre) at best. Like I said though, as a player I'm much more open, because that means someone else is doing all the hard work, so it's their call. :smallwink:

EDIT: Just remembered one exception to my general rule of only GMing with GURPS, and that would be Paranoia. :smallamused:

Cybren
2009-09-01, 06:46 PM
So the only time a 5 is critical success, is when I have a +15? And 6 is critical success if I have anything above 16? Or is that supposed to continue? It just kinda stopped there.

Nope, just stops there

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-01, 06:48 PM
So the only time a 5 is critical success, is when I have a +15? And 6 is critical success if I have anything above 16? Or is that supposed to continue? It just kinda stopped there.

No, it doesn't go beyond 6 for a critical success (at effective skill of 16+). Statistically, I believe that has a fairly significant probability of happening, though. I'm sure a better maths-head than I on this forum could prob analyse it to prove one way or the other. :smallwink:

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-01, 07:10 PM
While we're on the subject of criticals, I might as well point out that a Critical Failure is a lot less likely in GURPS. :smallwink:

Jade_Tarem
2009-09-01, 08:01 PM
GURPS is fantastic. Seriously.

A number of people have posted saying that they're "not sold" because, as nearly as I can determine, GURPS isn't DnD. Or freeform, whatever. That's a bit of an oversimplification, but the general gist of the complaints takes a few basic forms:

1. It's too much like work.

Ok, this one is always tricky. We want our recreation time to be used recreationally, right? The thing is, having played/DM'd for quite some time, I feel fairly confident in saying that what you get out of your gaming hobby is proportional to what you put into it. While the basic level of effort that person X will put in won't change from system to system, when I play GURPS I get the sensation that more of the effort that I *am* putting in is being used constructively in terms of making the mechanics of the character fit the roleplaying image of him that I had in mind. If I want to do something kooky in 3.5 DnD I have to go digging through a half-dozen rulebooks to find it - and the time that I spend doing that is time that I am effectively not making a character, you see? And if I want to do something even slightly off the wall in 4e DnD, well, I just cant - they took that away from the system in the name of making it easier to make a character, but the truth is that what they've really done is made it impossible to play most characters and easier to play maybe fifteen or sixteen pre-made characters available in the PHB. I'll get into more detail on the difference between DnD splatbooks and GURPS in a second.

2. The disadvantages are broken/silly/stupid/why can't you just RP them?

Well, you can, but like someone said, they're subsidized for balance reasons. If you have a problem with gaining additional psychic power for missing an arm, then just don't play like that - our group frequently sets a disadvantage cap as well as things that you can't do with your points, since it doesn't fit the setting. Obviously, in a game about simulationism you'll need to exclude what doesn't fit the simulation. If the player had a better reason why the disadvantage offered him psychic power, then you should probably go ahead and allow it. By no means is the everyman "punished" if you're doing it wrong.

Often, the real problem with disadvantages is the lack of enforcement. That's a GM issue, not a system issue.

3. It's too hard to learn.

It's really not, and you don't have to be a math whiz to do it - especially if you use one of the excellent freely available character generators. It takes me (and my group) about as much time to generate a GURPS character as it does a 4e or 3.5e DnD character. The difference is, we're usually happier with the GURPS character.

4. It's too mechanically clunky.

Technically related to number 3. I can only say that in practice, my group has never had a problem with this. Even assuming that someone wants to do something that no one knows anything about, it becomes a matter of 'look up and decide what bit of character is most relevant, roll versus the success point.'

In the very first game of GURPS I played, a superhero-type thing, I was playing some cross between the Karate Kid and Cloud Strife - you know, the one from Advent Children that can deflect bullets with his sword (further proof that it takes more than some shmuck with a sniper rifle to kill a 300 point character). We reached a certain floor of a skyscraper with a miniboss of some kind standing dramatically in front of a large, sweeping window, and combat went down like this:

- My character has enhanced time sense - he automatically goes first.
- My character employs a flying kick knockback attack, with the appropriate penalites for trying that stunt actually recorded under the relevant sections of my character sheet.
- Roll succeeds anyway.
- Dr. what's-his-face is pushed back and through the window - yes, there were rules for this - and falls 66 stories. Combat ends.

Even this somewhat complicated maneuver took no longer than the average turn of DnD to figure out, and felt a whole lot more cinematic. It didn't really feel that clunky even compared to 4e DnD's so-called "streamlined" combat (which I've also tried).

5. Social mechanics cripple roleplaying.

Yes, because 3.5 diplomacy is so much better.

Epic Level Wizard: "Fear my mighty arcane might! Rawr!"

Level 12ish diplomancer build: "Actually, you're going to become my devoted follower until the end of days. I have some errands for you to run."

Epic Level Wizard: "At once, my lord!"

Hmmm... seems that RPing with a simple mechanic smells a bit like cheese.

Truthfully, my group has found the extra mechanics enhance roleplaying - at least to the point of reminding us of the boundaries of our characters. If I've taken disadvantages to the tune of being bad at people skills, It's nice to have that reflected in the way I interact. Meanwhile, if I've taken advantages to be an important or politically powerful person (something that you just plain can't do in DnD), it's nice to be better treated by people.

6. High-point characters can be killed by low point characters

Yes, automatic weapons are probably going to be a serious threat to your character. GURPS is a bit more realisitic in that fashion. Now, if you want to play a game where your characters are powerful enough that such silly things as bullets won't be more than an inconvenience, that's certainly doable. For the most part though, armed persons are going to be dangerous. You know the saying: "God made man, Samuel Colt made all men equal."

In, say, 3.5 DnD, a powerful hero, someone like a level 12 figher, can charge a group of armed commoners secure in the knowledge that there is no way said commoners can beat him, Tucker's kobolds be damned. In GURPS, even true badasses have to realize that half a dozen guys with flamethrowers are something to worry about. You might have to do something other than mindlessly charge them. What a calamity! What a terrible freaking system!

Seriously, though, the idea that lethal force would frequently be lethal opened up a whole new world for our group, as far as roleplaying, tactical thinking, and GMing was concerned, and it hasn't bothered us much.

Final thoughts: GURPS Flexibility vs. 4e DnD "Streamlining"

My group got into GURPS because we were tired of the same old characters and settings that we had in DnD. Switching to 4e, by the way, only made things worse.

Let's say I want to play a wizard. What kind of wizard? Well, there are two options.

Two.

Bwuh? We're talking about a person who has discovered within themselves the power to reshape reality, but there are only two ways to take it from there? I can be a "blaster," which is what WotC really, really wants you to be because it's easier for them to playtest, or you can be a "control" wizard - you can control once a day, anyway, and then it's back to blasterville.

So, what? What if I want to be a constructive wizard, attempting to forge great works of arcane power to aid my allies? What if I want to make something a bit more permanent than a fireball? What if I want to cast buff spells?

Well, I can't. I have to pick a buffing class. Apparently the power of the arcane is purely destructive, but for some reason wizards get a better rep than warlocks.

And what if I want to play as something in between two of the presented classes? Say, for instance, that I want to be like a warlord, but sneakier, with a touch of arcane power. Well, I can't do that either. And playing something outside the rigid class system? Completely out of the question.

"But Jade," you say, "WotC is releasing five to ten splatbooks to handle these concerns!"

To which I can only say no. No, no, no. I'm not forking out forty dollars for the privilege of multiclassing, another forty for the ability to play as a bard, and still another forty if I want to play as something other than human/elf/half elf/the other elf/dwarf/Neeshka/hobbit. It became pretty clear that the quality of the product mattered less than how much merchandise they can put out when the PHBII and DMGII appeard maybe a day after 4e came out. While I realize that making money is kind of the point, there was a time when churning out "splatbooks" to cover what should have been in the basic rules was frowned upon. The fact that they designed the entire system around making you buy minifigs just made it worse.

So, what does that little 4e rant have to do with GURPS? GURPS addresses these problems all at once, and doesn't restrict you to the awkward semi-medieval setting that DnD is stuck in. That is why you should play it - freedom from the restrictions that WotC wants you to think are a necessary evil. Yes, your gaming hobby will take a little more work, a bit more thought, but for the most part I've found it worthwhile.

Froogleyboy
2009-09-01, 08:41 PM
1. 20th level (500 pts or so) characters can be killed in a single round by a single 1st level (20 pts) character with a high chance of success, given easily available equipment.

2. Even if you rule out sniper rifles and bazookas, a super-high level character can still be wounded and eventually killed by as little as 2 or 3 dozen 1st level characters.



But, is this not true in real life? An expert martial artist can be killed by a small child with the right equipment?

Jack Zander
2009-09-01, 08:44 PM
But, is this not true in real life? An expert martial artist can be killed by a small child with the right equipment?

Eh... I dunno about that. Maybe in some sort of freak accident. Not in an arena setting.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-01, 09:23 PM
Froogleyboy:

It's difficult to make those sorts of comparisons between D&D levels and GURPS character points. On the SJ Games forums there are differing opinions anyway, on the value of each against the other.

In some sense, GURPS character points (CP) are closer in function to XP than levels. In any case, the value of each doesn't scale in the same way as characters improve.

I think the most important point however, is that Yahzi was almost certainly being sarcastic.

That said, GURPS tends to have rules based on reality as much as possible, but the dials can turned either way to make each aspect of the game more or less cinematic, according to campaign preference. So yes, a high-powered PC cannot normally assume total immunity from the attacks of ordinary mortals. Not sure I go so far as to say "small child" though. :smallwink:

Froogleyboy
2009-09-01, 09:31 PM
I don't know . . . If i shot jackie chan in the face, I doubt he would still attack me

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-01, 09:31 PM
Jack Zander: How you doing with GURPS Lite? Any more Qs?

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-01, 09:34 PM
I don't know . . . If i shot jackie chan in the face, I doubt he would still attack me

Right, as long as you hit. :smallwink:

And GURPS would model that fairly well. The best defence is not getting hit. The second best defence is not getting hurt. Wounds hurt in GURPS. And a headshot usually ruins your whole day.

Jack Zander
2009-09-01, 10:15 PM
Jack Zander: How you doing with GURPS Lite? Any more Qs?

I'm reading through it a little at a time. I'm on disadvantages right now. I'm liking everything I see so far. I'm pretty excited about trying to convince my group to switch.


I don't know . . . If i shot jackie chan in the face, I doubt he would still attack me

Yeah, give that gun to a 6 year old, and watch as Jackie Chan kicks the gun out of his chubby hands before he gets a shot off. Or just runs circles around him until he is close and the kid runs out of ammo.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-01, 10:34 PM
I'm reading through it a little at a time. I'm on disadvantages right now. I'm liking everything I see so far. I'm pretty excited about trying to convince my group to switch.

A few things throw people who've spent most/all their time on D&D, so you may get some initial resistance. Good luck though!


Yeah, give that gun to a 6 year old, and watch as Jackie Chan kicks the gun out of his chubby hands before he gets a shot off. Or just runs circles around him until he is close and the kid runs out of ammo.

Heheh, actually that reminds me of another point: All weapons in GURPS have a min ST requirement, so depending on how light the gun/calibre was and how strong that 6 year old was, Jackie might not even need to kick! :smallbiggrin:

Ellye
2009-09-01, 10:36 PM
Just wanted to say that GURPS was the first system I've ever played and is still one of my favorites. It deserves a much better reputation. :)

fusilier
2009-09-02, 04:10 AM
Unwitting Pawn:

PD stands for Passive Defense. Armor and shields usually had it. It would add to your active defense (it represented the ability of the armor to turn the blow, usually as a result of its material and shape). In 3rd edition your "dodge" was your flat move, unlike 4th which I think gives a +3. Bullets would generally ignore PD. And historical PD's were never that great anyway. DR of course was Damage Resistance.

Jack Zander:

If I drop a 42 cm shell from a Big Bertha Cannon (it's in the back of the 3rd ed. High Tech book), any where near your character -- it doesn't matter how many points you have over my character, you're toast (along with a good chunk of that Belgian Fortress you were standing on).

It's not really appropriate to think about high-point characters vs. low-point characters in that limited sense. As GM I don't even pay attention to points when I design my NPC's. I simply look at the relevant stats, and assign ones that look good. This usually means that effective NPC opponents work out to much lower point costs than the Player Characters -- but that's because these NPC's are designed with only combat in mind. They don't have to worry about driving cars, being able to hack into computer systems, etc.

The point-value does not directly correspond to fighting ability. It should (roughly) correspond to overall usefulness in the campaign. Although sometimes its hard for GM to leverage everyones skills. When players design characters the background skills and advantages/disads, get built in too. It's possible for these to be abused if the player approaches the game from the wrong direction. I've seen some long-time D&D players make that mistake when they first tried GURPS.

--EDIT-- P.S. Once you get the chance to play around with the system you will see what I mean about NPC opponents. Main adversaries I usually build completely, but the minor thugs, point-cost is irrelevant. Although major adversaries can vary from being under the PC's point value, to well over it -- again, I'm still just looking at the major stats, everything else is fluff :-)

P.P.S I suppose if your character had the "Immune to Kinetic Damage" advantage, my Big Bertha may not be that effective . . . ;-)

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-02, 06:53 AM
PD stands for Passive Defense. Armor and shields usually had it. It would add to your active defense (it represented the ability of the armor to turn the blow, usually as a result of its material and shape). In 3rd edition your "dodge" was your flat move, unlike 4th which I think gives a +3. Bullets would generally ignore PD. And historical PD's were never that great anyway. DR of course was Damage Resistance.

Yeah, I know what PD represented. :smallwink:
I just thought it was fundamentally a bad concept, like AC in D&D. That's why I'm glad it got the chop in the move to 4e.

Armour's ability to "deflect" a blow should be represented in its DR attribute. Not in a way that is mechanically identical to not being hit at all. People weighed down by heavy armour all over, should shrug as the blows bounce off, not somehow be more likely to "dodge" the hit than a faster unencumbered person.

There can be dramatic reasons why the distinction is actually important, as well as for plausibility.

Meschaelene
2009-09-02, 08:28 AM
This is a forum where people have complained that the Attack of Opportunity rules in 3.x were too complicated. Pick up GURPS vehicles if you would like to see complicated.

I was trying to design vehicles for a GURPS Traveller game -- after a few hours, I was saying, "No, I am trying to design vehicle for a game, not for NASA."

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-02, 09:04 AM
This is a forum where people have complained that the Attack of Opportunity rules in 3.x were too complicated. Pick up GURPS vehicles if you would like to see complicated.

I was trying to design vehicles for a GURPS Traveller game -- after a few hours, I was saying, "No, I am trying to design vehicle for a game, not for NASA."

That would be GURPS 3e you're talking about here, as there is no GURPS Vehicles for 4th edition (yet). As I've never played 3e, I never bought the Vehicles book, but have heard similar comments to yours about its complexity.

Traveller: Interstellar Wars (for GURPS 4e) has a starship design system tailored for that setting. Not used it yet, but looks fairly detailed. No idea how stacks up to the old Vehicles book though.

OTOH, the GURPS Spaceships book is much simpler. :smallsmile:

That said, there are people who say they "require" that level of complexity of the old GURPS 3e vehicle design system, and who have refused to move over to GURPS 4e as a result. Go figure. :smalleek:

Jack Zander
2009-09-02, 10:26 AM
Jack Zander:

If I drop a 42 cm shell from a Big Bertha Cannon (it's in the back of the 3rd ed. High Tech book), any where near your character -- it doesn't matter how many points you have over my character, you're toast (along with a good chunk of that Belgian Fortress you were standing on).

The original arguement was a little child with the right equipment, vs Jackie Chan. I don't think a little kid is going to be able to operate Big Bertha.

Besides, Jackie is immune to Kinetic Energy. Haven't you seen his movies :smalltongue:

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-02, 10:29 AM
Besides, Jackie is immune to Kinetic Energy. Haven't you seen his movies :smalltongue:

Heheh, his characters may have suitable immunity for the purposes of genre convention, but Jackie himself doesn't - I've seen the out-takes! :smallbiggrin:

Sebastian
2009-09-02, 02:52 PM
I don't know . . . If i shot jackie chan in the face, I doubt he would still attack me

Bah, he would just deflect it with his fist. :)

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-02, 03:17 PM
Hey! If we're gonna do nothing but talk about Kung Fu movies, we can at least make it relevant to the thread topic. :smallwink:

GURPS Martial Arts (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/martialarts/) - The total must-have for any self-respecting melee fighter. I have this and can thoroughly recommend it. No really.

GURPS Action 3: Furious Fists (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/action/action3/) - Apparently focuses on movie-style martial arts PCs for cinematic modern-day campaigns. Newly released, so I haven't got yet.

Jade_Tarem
2009-09-02, 03:50 PM
Bah, he would just deflect it with his fist. :)

I see what you did there.

fusilier
2009-09-02, 05:02 PM
Yeah, I know what PD represented. :smallwink:
I just thought it was fundamentally a bad concept, like AC in D&D. That's why I'm glad it got the chop in the move to 4e.

Armour's ability to "deflect" a blow should be represented in its DR attribute. Not in a way that is mechanically identical to not being hit at all. People weighed down by heavy armour all over, should shrug as the blows bounce off, not somehow be more likely to "dodge" the hit than a faster unencumbered person.

There can be dramatic reasons why the distinction is actually important, as well as for plausibility.

Well, I guess we disagree. :-)

Admittedly PD does increase the complexity, but I do not view it as making one "dodge" better. Imagine that somebody with a rapier thrusts at your chest. You attempt to dodge the blow, but aren't fast enough. However, due to your attempt, instead of hitting your chest the point of the rapier hits your shoulder obliquely. Now, if you were not wearing any armor, there would simply be flesh for the point of the rapier to sink into, and you would be wounded. But, if you had rounded metal shoulder armor of some kind, the point of the rapier (striking obliquely and not perpendicular) would be very likely to slide off the armor, at most scratching the surface of the armor a little. The armor is not really resisting the damage (i.e. the armor is not absorbing the shock of the blow), it has redirected the energy in such a way that it effectively misses.

That might not fly for you, but it's always the way I've thought of it, and I think it works pretty well. ;-) It's really not that big of a difference. The only issue is that to compensate for lack of PD in 4th edition, they gave a bonus to flat dodging, which might make it a bit over powered (I haven't played enough of 4th to really comment though).

-------
My point about the Big Bertha, is that there are plenty of real world instances where simply being "more skilled" isn't going to save you. I'm thinking it would be pretty easy for a kid to pull the firing lever on a cannon. Now, why is it there, who loaded it, and how it came to be trained upon where the other character was standing . . . who knows. A really well trained, unarmed, martial artist, standing in the middle of a field, a hundred yards away from a merely competent rifleman with an M16 -- who would you put your money on? A lot of these scenarios are frankly silly, and if they actually came up in an RPG it would probably be the sign of a bad gm'ing (or perhaps an attempt to get rid of an unbalanced character) :smalltongue:. But GURPS does allow you to handle such weird things.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-02, 06:30 PM
Well, I guess we disagree. :-)

Admittedly PD does increase the complexity, but I do not view it as making one "dodge" better. Imagine that somebody with a rapier thrusts at your chest. You attempt to dodge the blow, but aren't fast enough. However, due to your attempt, instead of hitting your chest the point of the rapier hits your shoulder obliquely. Now, if you were not wearing any armor, there would simply be flesh for the point of the rapier to sink into, and you would be wounded. But, if you had rounded metal shoulder armor of some kind, the point of the rapier (striking obliquely and not perpendicular) would be very likely to slide off the armor, at most scratching the surface of the armor a little. The armor is not really resisting the damage (i.e. the armor is not absorbing the shock of the blow), it has redirected the energy in such a way that it effectively misses.

That might not fly for you, but it's always the way I've thought of it, and I think it works pretty well. ;-) It's really not that big of a difference. The only issue is that to compensate for lack of PD in 4th edition, they gave a bonus to flat dodging, which might make it a bit over powered (I haven't played enough of 4th to really comment though).

I see what you're saying. I've come across a similar explanation before. However, by PD adding to the Active Defence roll, and that it tends to be higher the "better" the armour type, this is mechanically the same as increasing the defender's mobility, just when they should be slowing down due to encumbrance.

Why might it matter whether someone has actually "dodged", or the hit merely deflected? Touch-based effects, such as melee spells? Contact-based advantages? Those sorts of effects become easier to simulate clearly now PD has been scrapped, IMO. I'm not saying that most of the time, PD didn't do the job perfectly well. I'm sure it did, just like AC largely does the job of abstracting a persons defences within D&D. I just see that there is the greatest scope for verisimilitude with the way it is resolved in GURPS 4e.

EDIT: On the matter of balance in GURPS 4e, PD was replaced by a flat +3 across the board, not just to Dodge. All three Active Defences incorporate this flat bonus, so once it is written on the sheet it is fairly straight forward. Dodge is still the lowest AD in almost every case, so it is not unbalancing there. I don't think that anything has been lost by cutting PD, really.

Cybren
2009-09-02, 09:04 PM
The reason they cut passive defense was because they felt that it was unintuitive for people who wanted to focus on avoiding blows using mobility or skill would still be better off wearing armor.

B9anders
2009-09-03, 02:55 AM
As a happy GURPSer, I thought I'd chip in with some pros and cons of it as well.

Pros:

Modularity: GURPS can be scaled to your own tastes any way you like. Combat can be as simple as rolling 3d6 to hit, 3d6 to defend and then roll for damage. Or it can be expert fighters using a mixture of feints, beats and ruses to probe for weaknesses, targetting chinks in the armor at the vitals whilst grappling at the opponents weapon with the free hand.

It can be brutally realistic with injury effects that are downright nasty and scale up to all-out cinematic wuxia warriors fighting on tree tops whilst parrying bullets in bullet time.

Likewise with character creation. It can be very overwhelming for newcomers to look over 200 pages of advantages, disadvantages, modifiers to same and skills to flesh out your character, but it needn't be more overwhelming than picking up a template, choose the options you want and be done with it in 15 minutes. Someone else mentioned Dungeon Fantasy, which I'd like to chime in with as a great series for fantasy gaming as it really condenses gurps into being ready to play quick and easy.

The great thing about GURPS is that it is a system that allows you to think of any pretty much any character concept, special move in combat or whatever feat and there will be rules showing you how to do that.

Finally, and this is a very geeky thing, it is extremely elegant mathematically speaking. When you start playing around with the advantages, disadvantages and modifiers it becomes apparent that with such a large breadth of advantages and potential for tweaking these traits in all kinds of different ways, it really is amazing how balanced and coherent it stays all the way through it. It's not perfect of course (you can destroy the universe with 51 character points) but by and large the seams are very well made.

Cons:

Although GURPS can be made very simple, I would say it still requires a GM who knows the system at least moderately well to know how to scale it. And imo you do miss out a bit by keeping it too simple. It's not fun to look up rules all the time in combat because you want to play with all the bells and whistles.

On the other hand, if you have a group that knows the combat system, including GURPS Martials Arts, from front to back, you have a group that can narrate as visual a combat scene as they like and the system will play things out the way it's narrated, which is a very cool thing.

Nonetheless, that requires intimate familiarity with a lot of options, which is a weakness - to really take advantage of the system is a demanding task.

The magic system - actually I don't think it's that bad, but if you go to the GURPS fora this is one of the most heavily debated topics there. Namely that with the rest of the system being so well-integrated and finetuned, the magic system feels a bit like an add-on to the rest of the system and its hard to really tell how well it balances with the rest of rules. With GURPS Magic and Thaumatology, you can tweak and create your own systems of magic any way you like but that takes a fair amount of work.

armor weights - armor is very heavy in GURPS. I'd recommend looking at some fan-made alternative weights.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-03, 05:15 AM
The reason they cut passive defense was because they felt that it was unintuitive for people who wanted to focus on avoiding blows using mobility or skill would still be better off wearing armor.

Now why didn't I just say this?
Thanks, Cybren. :smallsmile:

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-03, 05:24 AM
I'd concur with most of what B9anders has said.


armor weights - armor is very heavy in GURPS. I'd recommend looking at some fan-made alternative weights.

I'm not sure how much of a "Cons" this is though. I mean sure, it seems the GURPS armour weights are out when reading the opinions of experts. But many RPGs get equipment weights wrong. Not necessarily enough of a problem to discount the system IMO. Anyway this should eventually be fixed when GURPS Cabaret Chicks on Ice is finally released (next year sometime?)

prufock
2009-09-03, 06:45 AM
Gurps definitely seems like it would be interesting to try, but I come from a sort of "less is more" mindset of gaming. That's probably why I like the Mutants and Masterminds/True20 mechanics a bit more than traditional D&D. I don't need subtle differences between weapons; if something hits, it hurts, and all I need to know is how much.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-03, 06:57 AM
Gurps definitely seems like it would be interesting to try, but I come from a sort of "less is more" mindset of gaming. That's probably why I like the Mutants and Masterminds/True20 mechanics a bit more than traditional D&D. I don't need subtle differences between weapons; if something hits, it hurts, and all I need to know is how much.

I've never played M&M so I can't really comment there. But I can certainly appreciate the "less is more" preference that some players have. That said, why not play FUDGE or Risus?

Jack Zander
2009-09-03, 11:38 AM
My point about the Big Bertha, is that there are plenty of real world instances where simply being "more skilled" isn't going to save you. I'm thinking it would be pretty easy for a kid to pull the firing lever on a cannon. Now, why is it there, who loaded it, and how it came to be trained upon where the other character was standing . . . who knows. A really well trained, unarmed, martial artist, standing in the middle of a field, a hundred yards away from a merely competent rifleman with an M16 -- who would you put your money on? A lot of these scenarios are frankly silly, and if they actually came up in an RPG it would probably be the sign of a bad gm'ing (or perhaps an attempt to get rid of an unbalanced character) :smalltongue:. But GURPS does allow you to handle such weird things.

Oh, I agree, Jackie Chan could not hold up against a trained person with a gun from a great distance (close quarters makes it a fair fight), and I think GURPS models this well (from what I've seen, not played). However, the original arguement about a little kid being able to beat Jackie, I'd still put my money on Chan.

prufock
2009-09-03, 11:50 AM
I've never played M&M so I can't really comment there. But I can certainly appreciate the "less is more" preference that some players have. That said, why not play FUDGE or Risus?

I've read a little about Fudge, and it does seem interesting. I like the "Fudge die" idea, and the simple 7-point scale (9, really, if you count "none" and "Legendary"). It also seems pretty flexible. I've just never had any exposure to it. Now that you've brought it up, though, maybe I will try it (and I see a free PDF available online).

I wouldn't want to make the jump to pure free-form, though. I like that there is some randomness to die rolls, and that your scores in traits affect those.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-03, 12:41 PM
I've read a little about Fudge, and it does seem interesting. I like the "Fudge die" idea, and the simple 7-point scale (9, really, if you count "none" and "Legendary"). It also seems pretty flexible. I've just never had any exposure to it. Now that you've brought it up, though, maybe I will try it (and I see a free PDF available online).

Glad to be of help. :smallsmile:


I wouldn't want to make the jump to pure free-form, though. I like that there is some randomness to die rolls, and that your scores in traits affect those.

Pure free-form wouldn't be my cup of tea either, I suspect.

Out of interest, what is it about the True20 mechanics that you consider meets your "less is more" preference better than traditional D&D?

fusilier
2009-09-03, 01:59 PM
The reason they cut passive defense was because they felt that it was unintuitive for people who wanted to focus on avoiding blows using mobility or skill would still be better off wearing armor.

Cybren and Unwitting Pawn:
I see your arguments. One of the things I liked about PD, is that it represented a different aspect of armor design. Removing it to clarify the rules a bit, is a perfectly legitimate thing to do -- although I don't think it was ever "broken" or unbalanced. I'll try to keep this response short, because I really don't see it as that big a deal.

First, well designed armor should not slow down the wearer's reflexes significantly -- if it's heavy it will be more fatiguing to wear it, and that will clearly affect how long the user can expect to maintain agility in combat. Second, armor rarely had high PD (sci-fi stuff could), and was often ignored by firearms. Third, and this is my concern, by giving a +3 bonus to dodge, it is now significantly easier to dodge firearms than in 3rd edition. For average characters it's still not likely, but an 8 is quite an improvement on a 5. In 3rd, I think you could get a +3 to dodge a projectile by diving for the ground, but this would leave the character prone. Like I said before, I haven't played enough of 4th to be able to tell if this change actually matters.

Now, I have a question about the rules. Is "dodge" based off the character's move, or his "current" move. If I remember correctly encumbrance reduces move. Therefore, particularly encumbering (i.e. heavy) armor would reduce the character's ability to dodge, even if it was constructed in such a way that his flexibility/agility in hand-to-hand combat is not diminished. Therefore, heavy, but well constructed armor might be given a little more PD to offset this quirk of the rules?

Again removing PD because it appeared complicated/confusing, or the reasoning behind it wasn't entirely clear . . .

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-03, 02:11 PM
Now, I have a question about the rules. Is "dodge" based off the character's move, or his "current" move. If I remember correctly encumbrance reduces move. Therefore, particularly encumbering (i.e. heavy) armor would reduce the character's ability to dodge, even if it was constructed in such a way that his flexibility/agility in hand-to-hand combat is not diminished. Therefore, heavy, but well constructed armor might be given a little more PD to offset this quirk of the rules?

Dodge and Move and both based off Encumbrance Level. Basic Speed and Basic Move are the numbers that do not change.

Yes, encumbrance (inc. heavy armour) reduces your ability to move and dodge. I don't see this as a quirk of the rules that requires fixing, but rather verisimilitude that has been improved. Even well constructed armour is still weight, which will reduce your manoeuvrability, relative to you moving while nekkid.

Oslecamo
2009-09-03, 02:15 PM
Yes, encumbrance (inc. heavy armour) reduces your ability to move and dodge. I don't see this as a quirk of the rules that requires fixing, but rather verisimilitude that has been improved. Even well constructed armour is still weight, which will reduce your manoeuvrability, relative to you moving while nekkid.

You would be admired with the amount of people who swear by their lives that you can perfectly move in fullplate, including but not limited to acrobacies and swimming.

There's also people who claim that whips are the ultimate weapon and they can pierce metal whitout problem in RL.

And anyone who has gone to the Wotc forums will know the katana fanboysm going around the gaming population.

So, just to point out that everybody has diferent degrees of "verisimilitude".

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-03, 02:31 PM
You would be admired with the amount of people who swear by their lives that you can perfectly move in fullplate, including but not limited to acrobacies and swimming.

There's also people who claim that whips are the ultimate weapon and they can pierce metal whitout problem in RL.

And anyone who has gone to the Wotc forums will know the katana fanboysm going around the gaming population.

So, just to point out that everybody has diferent degrees of "verisimilitude".

True, opinions will differ. I merely express what feels real/believable/appropriate to me. Anyone playing GURPS is free to houserule or ignore the encumbrance rules altogether if that's what they want.

As for full plate, GURPS doesn't specifically prevent you doing most athletic things in heavy armour. It just counts as weight you're carrying, like anything else.

Whips are clearly not the ultimate weapon. We don't need to attempt re-enactments or simulations to test this theory one way or the other. Merely to look at history. My guess for the "ultimate weapon" pre-gunpowder would probably be the sword. And I have seen a sword fail to penetrate chainmail, so that doesn't give much hope for most whips. :smallwink:

Oslecamo
2009-09-03, 03:32 PM
Personally I'm a bow/crossbow fan. Many people claim that heavy medieval armor would easily stop pre-gunpowder ranged weapons, but heck, the english somehow slaughtered the heavy french cavarly at range someway, and crossbows were actually banned in England for being deemed too powerfull, so I always think that bows/crossbows aren't dealing enough damage in most RPGs:smallbiggrin:

Starbuck_II
2009-09-03, 03:43 PM
Whips are clearly not the ultimate weapon. We don't need to attempt re-enactments or simulations to test this theory one way or the other. Merely to look at history. My guess for the "ultimate weapon" pre-gunpowder would probably be the sword. And I have seen a sword fail to penetrate chainmail, so that doesn't give much hope for most whips. :smallwink:

What no! The Sling is the ultimate, sure it takes special training, but you can shoot as far as a longbow and deal about the same damage in real life.

No, not a slingshot, but a real sling.
Only Star Wars Saga made a decent sling (still underestimated it).

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-03, 04:04 PM
What no! The Sling is the ultimate, sure it takes special training, but you can shoot as far as a longbow and deal about the same damage in real life.

As this is a GURPS thread, I'll just mention that the sling is fairly well represented stat-wise. The effective range isn't as good compared to bows there, but the damage is on a par, or even slightly higher for stronger folks. You're certainly right that the sling was a harder weapon to become proficient at than bow or crossbow. In GURPS terms it ranks as a Hard skill.

It is the skill/training angle as to why I wouldn't rate the sling as "ultimate" historically speaking, as more nations/armies had troops equipped with bows (and later crossbows) over the sling for that reason. So if we're talking ranged as opposed melee, I'd have to agree with Oslecamo, sorry. :smallwink:

fusilier
2009-09-03, 04:35 PM
Personally I'm a bow/crossbow fan. Many people claim that heavy medieval armor would easily stop pre-gunpowder ranged weapons, but heck, the english somehow slaughtered the heavy french cavarly at range someway, and crossbows were actually banned in England for being deemed too powerfull, so I always think that bows/crossbows aren't dealing enough damage in most RPGs:smallbiggrin:

Yeah, I would agree, bows and crossbows were pretty impressive. I think it was a Papal bull that "outlawed" crossbows as being too deadly. Probably they were worried that peasants were too easily knocking off noblemen, with all their training and expensive armor. :-) I don't think the crossbow ban was ever widely followed. The English benefited from simply having a lot of people who grew up using the longbow, so the crossbow was never as popular in England as it was on the continent. Bows are usually considered to be superior, but require more training (to train an archer, you start by training his grandfather - as the saying goes). The only confusing thing about GURPS bows/crossbows, is that the damage they deal is based on the strength of the bow . . . not the strength of the user. It makes sense, but it means you have to know the bow's strength. It's possible to make crossbows stronger than the user, but this will result in slower reload times.

Slings were probably used a lot in the middle ages, we just don't hear about them. Only the lowliest of the peasant rabble would have used them, so who would bother writing about them? Slings were certainly popular weapons in the ancient/classical world, and in the Americas.

In melee, if you want to deal with good plate armor, picks and maces are pretty effective. Heavy falchions are reputed to be capable of breaking chain-mail, and axes would probably work too. But most of these weapons are somewhat awkward, especially for trying to defend with. (Gurps can represent this with heavy weapons becoming "unready" after use.) The sword is a good compromise weapon, capable of defensive blocks, but also able to exploit any weaknesses in armor. Most fighters probably would try to avoid being hit, rather than simply trusting their armor to take the blow. The blow itself can knock one off balance, straps and rivets can start to come loose, and your opponent might get lucky and hit a weak spot, or reveal a defect in the armor!

Nice thing about GURPS, is that modifying things to suit the GM's particular taste, is rarely a point of contention. Chance's are, if you don't like some rule, somebody else has already written an article about how they modified it! :-)

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-03, 04:49 PM
The only confusing thing about GURPS bows/crossbows, is that the damage they deal is based on the strength of the bow . . . not the strength of the user. It makes sense, but it means you have to know the bow's strength.

It's funny, because I found this confusing at first too, as it's different from how other GURPS weapons "work".

But really, GURPS bows and crossbows actually work closer to how weapons work in most other RPGs (damage is largely down to the weapon, rather than the wielder). Whereas with almost all other medieval/fantasy weapons in GURPS, the opposite is true (damage is largely a function of the strength of the wielder, but modified by the weapon).

Oslecamo
2009-09-03, 04:52 PM
In melee, if you want to deal with good plate armor, picks and maces are pretty effective. Heavy falchions are reputed to be capable of breaking chain-mail, and axes would probably work too. But most of these weapons are somewhat awkward, especially for trying to defend with. (Gurps can represent this with heavy weapons becoming "unready" after use.) The sword is a good compromise weapon, capable of defensive blocks, but also able to exploit any weaknesses in armor. Most fighters probably would try to avoid being hit, rather than simply trusting their armor to take the blow. The blow itself can knock one off balance, straps and rivets can start to come loose, and your opponent might get lucky and hit a weak spot, or reveal a defect in the armor!

Wich reminds me, the poor spear/lance is always left in a dark corner. It is there, but swords/axes/maces are the ones taking the spotlight.

However, if you really wanted to pierce armor in melee, you would go with the spear. Specially because it makes the enemy's momentum work for you. Nothing like holding up your spear and impale the enemy right trough. And wall of spears/bayonets was a viable tactic all the way to the napoleon wars, wich is really saying something.

Swords were originally backup weapons for when the battle become too crowded for one to be able to use the spear effectively, or for when it broke/got stuck. If there's space to move around, then the spear's reach was just too big of an advantage.

I guess that they become popular because only the rich and powerfull could afford swords, while any peasant could get a spear in times of need.

Axes...Are just cool I guess. And easy to use.

fusilier
2009-09-03, 05:27 PM
Wich reminds me, the poor spear/lance is always left in a dark corner. It is there, but swords/axes/maces are the ones taking the spotlight.

However, if you really wanted to pierce armor in melee, you would go with the spear. Specially because it makes the enemy's momentum work for you. Nothing like holding up your spear and impale the enemy right trough. And wall of spears/bayonets was a viable tactic all the way to the napoleon wars, wich is really saying something.

Swords were originally backup weapons for when the battle become too crowded for one to be able to use the spear effectively, or for when it broke/got stuck. If there's space to move around, then the spear's reach was just too big of an advantage.

I guess that they become popular because only the rich and powerfull could afford swords, while any peasant could get a spear in times of need.

Axes...Are just cool I guess. And easy to use.

Spears and lances are actually pretty awesome too. The problem is they are big and unwieldy, mainly designed to be used en-masse. So in an rpg they're not going to show up too much. A spear is probably not too bad a weapon. Again it's more of a peasant weapon, and it's slow to react if somebody get's inside it's range. But for thrusting, while keeping your opponent at a distance it's good. Pikes are definitely too big for individual combat (they're still cool though).

My players are now totally paranoid of halberds! This all stems from one combat, where after fighting through all the other (and better) NPC's, the lowly halberdier managed to finish them all off. Mainly he used the halberd as a short pike/spear (i.e. he used the spear-tip, not the hook, or the axe head). Although he knocked-out the last player left with a sword, as they had ended up indoors. None of the players were killed, but all but the musketeer (who ran) were wounded.

In GURPS I've found that it's actually kind a difficult to kill a player, but it's easy to injure them badly.

B9anders
2009-09-04, 10:17 AM
Spears, in particular long spears, are terrific weapons in GURPS. Solid impaling damage, long reach, can be used one and two-handed. One-handed, it goes well with a shield (which, when using a long spear is a good alternative option for fighting at closer reach if opponents close), two-handed, it can be used with staff skill as well for better parries.

Spear and sling (and shield) are the most obvious weapon choices for me when building a fighter. They are cheap and easy to replace (and hence, also cheaper to acquire with higher quality for better damage and skill bonuses) and every bit as competitive as swords and bows when used right.

That said, if you're not nervous about falling back on your dodge score for defence, there is something to be said for the sheer damage potential of the halberd (or duelling halberd, my personal preference).

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-04, 06:23 PM
Spears, in particular long spears, are terrific weapons in GURPS. Solid impaling damage, long reach, can be used one and two-handed. One-handed, it goes well with a shield (which, when using a long spear is a good alternative option for fighting at closer reach if opponents close), two-handed, it can be used with staff skill as well for better parries.

Spear and sling (and shield) are the most obvious weapon choices for me when building a fighter. They are cheap and easy to replace (and hence, also cheaper to acquire with higher quality for better damage and skill bonuses) and every bit as competitive as swords and bows when used right.

That said, if you're not nervous about falling back on your dodge score for defence, there is something to be said for the sheer damage potential of the halberd (or duelling halberd, my personal preference).

Some good comments there. I love that in GURPS there's more to a weapon than simply how much damage it does.

Yahzi
2009-09-04, 09:43 PM
In, say, 3.5 DnD, a powerful hero, someone like a level 12 figher, can charge a group of armed commoners secure in the knowledge that there is no way said commoners can beat him, Tucker's kobolds be damned. In GURPS, even true badasses have to realize that half a dozen guys with flamethrowers are something to worry about. You might have to do something other than mindlessly charge them. What a calamity! What a terrible freaking system!
Exactly! I'm glad somebody finally got what I was saying! How can you possibly have fun killing things if those things could actually, in some way, possibly injure you?
:smallbiggrin:

My favorite GURPS moment: two idiots drive a convertible into a building (don't ask). We look up the rules: it's 100 d6 - 300 damage. The first player grabs a bucket of dice and rolls. Final tally: 6 pts of damage - a broken arm.

Second player says, "Ah, that's easy. I can do that." Picks up the dice and rolls something like 100 pts of damage.

One guy walks away and the other one dies instantly.

The coolest thing is that car crashes are actually like that.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-05, 07:39 AM
Exactly! I'm glad somebody finally got what I was saying! How can you possibly have fun killing things if those things could actually, in some way, possibly injure you?
:smallbiggrin:

Well, don't you know that there's no point in being heroic if there's actually any risk involved? :smallwink:


The coolest thing is that car crashes are actually like that.
I'm not sure I'd call it cool exactly, but yeah that weird stuff can happen IRL. I saw case where a young guy (sober, oddly enough) was the front seat passenger in a car accident. He wasn't wearing a seatbelt. The vehicle skidded off the road, went through low wall/hedge and rolled/tumbled into the adjacent field. At some point during this nightmare the front seat passenger went through the front windscreen. He was very lucky to be able to walk out of hospital about 48hrs later. Hopefully, he'll wear a belt in future.

Oslecamo
2009-09-05, 03:41 PM
Well, don't you know that there's no point in being heroic if there's actually any risk involved? :smallwink:


Tell that to the exalted fans, whose characters have something called "invincible defenses", wich basically make them unkillable by anything. And yet they claim to be playing great heros, despite the whole system being built in the assuption that the world is populated by nothing but mooks for you to crush and show off.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-05, 04:30 PM
Tell that to the exalted fans, whose characters have something called "invincible defenses", wich basically make them unkillable by anything. And yet they claim to be playing great heros, despite the whole system being built in the assuption that the world is populated by nothing but mooks for you to crush and show off.

Well, I'd hate to judge before all the facts are in (I've never played Exalted), but that does seem almost pointless on the face of it. Is the idea there that they still have to fear each other, and the game is based around that principle, or what?

Kylarra
2009-09-05, 04:40 PM
Well, I'd hate to judge before all the facts are in (I've never played Exalted), but that does seem almost pointless on the face of it. Is the idea there that they still have to fear each other, and the game is based around that principle, or what?
*sigh* Perfect Defenses are charms that effectively allow you to nullify one attack with an expenditure of essence. The downsides include the fact that a) it costs essence, b) it's a charm which means you need to have combo'd it with something else or you can't be using other attack charms, and c) it has a flaw related to one of the Exalted's virtues.

And yes, against non dragon-blooded mortals, your Exalted are pretty much invincible. You're reincarnated godlings (not the technical term, but close enough) after all.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-05, 05:24 PM
*sigh* Perfect Defenses are charms that effectively allow you to nullify one attack with an expenditure of essence. The downsides include the fact that a) it costs essence, b) it's a charm which means you need to have combo'd it with something else or you can't be using other attack charms, and c) it has a flaw related to one of the Exalted's virtues.

Thanks for the explain. So, not quite a total immunity without cost then. :smallamused:

Crafty Cultist
2009-09-05, 11:56 PM
Just wondering how GURPS handles magic items and minion creation?(undead, mechanical soldiers ect)

Cybren
2009-09-06, 01:35 AM
Just wondering how GURPS handles magic items and minion creation?(undead, mechanical soldiers ect)

GURPS magic allows for enchanting magical items. It takes a lot of time and energy to make most magic items so PCs are rarely good at enchanting.

"Minions" can be created using spells to turn corpses into zombies, or call elemental spirits, or enchant golems and homonculi, or, bought as Allies, which is an advantage and isn't (necessarily) magical.

Allies work like all other GURPS advantages. Pay the points ,get the advantage. Pay more points, and the advantage is better. For example, you can pay more points to have your ally be a mindless minion you control instead of an NPC. Spells require knowing the spell, and fatigue points used to cast it, and can be dismissed or dispelled.

PirateMonk
2009-09-06, 10:04 PM
What would be the best way to handle a supernatural attack based around eating the victim? The best I can come up with so far is Binding with the Engulfing enhancement linked to a digestive Innate Attack. Is there some better way that I'm missing?

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-07, 05:51 AM
What would be the best way to handle a supernatural attack based around eating the victim? The best I can come up with so far is Binding with the Engulfing enhancement linked to a digestive Innate Attack. Is there some better way that I'm missing?

I'm prob not the best one to answer that question. Can I ask though, what is it about the attack that makes it "supernatural" in nature, as opposed to just eating/swallowing the victim naturally?

PirateMonk
2009-09-07, 09:28 AM
I'm prob not the best one to answer that question. Can I ask though, what is it about the attack that makes it "supernatural" in nature, as opposed to just eating/swallowing the victim naturally?

It probably doesn't change much, but I'm designing it for cultists of a gluttony demon who are likely eating things around their own size.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-07, 10:16 AM
It probably doesn't change much, but I'm designing it for cultists of a gluttony demon who are likely eating things around their own size.

Crikey! Human(iod)s swallowing someone their own size? That's not only "supernatural" but quite cinematic. :smallwink: Is this demon a snake?

I'm not really experienced with this side of rules as never needed to custom-build an attack yet, but I'll make a suggestion :smallredface:

Do you have GURPS Powers? It offers a new special enhancement for Constriction Attack called Engulfing (+60%) - if the victim doesn't break free between when you start to grapple and when you start to crush him, then he's Pinned (as per p.B370). Perhaps you could combine this with an Innate Attack (corrosive) with the Follow-Up enhancement? I've no idea what the correct way of working out the total cost of that would be, though.

There are few others on this forum who might know this sort of thing better, or alternatively, the SJ Games forum has a GURPS section crawling with experienced advantage-builders.

PirateMonk
2009-09-07, 10:38 AM
An Engulfing Constriction Attack looks like it could work. Follow-Up only works for carriers that are natural weapons or Innate Attacks, but I suppose Constriction could be considered natural weapon. Cyclic for the digestive attack would also be good.

Thank you.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-07, 11:40 AM
An Engulfing Constriction Attack looks like it could work. Follow-Up only works for carriers that are natural weapons or Innate Attacks, but I suppose Constriction could be considered natural weapon. Cyclic for the digestive attack would also be good.

Thank you.

No prob

You may be right on the restrictions for Follow-Up, I guess further reading is in order. :smallconfused: The main thing I would say about building this attack though, is it comes down to whether or not the cultists are going to be PCs? Or is it just for "monster" NPCs?

Because, if the latter, then you don't need to build it exactly using the advantage rules, costing it down to the last point. As long as you know what the PCs can use to avoid or counter the attack, that should be enough.

Jack Zander
2009-09-07, 12:56 PM
How does GURPS handle races other than humans, and how does it handle monsters?

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-07, 01:24 PM
How does GURPS handle races other than humans, and how does it handle monsters?

The answer depends on what you mean by the question, really.

If you actually mean "PC races", then they are defined with a racial template, either from one of the sourcebooks or defined by the GM for their own setting. Racial templates are basically a collection of attribute levels, advantages, disadvantages and other traits which define the average/standard member of that race or species. Players can then "buy" the template with CP during character generation. The "Campaigns" book of the Basic Set (equiv to DMG) has full rules for GMs to create templates.

When you say "monsters", if you mean any race, species or creature that is not available as a PC race, then there are two ways to handle this. For GMs creating their own homebrew monsters, there is usually no need to define them using a full template, especially considering that "building" and costing costing complicated advantages can be time-consuming. Normally only PCs need to be built with that level of mechanical detail. Having said that, there are a few times when it might be necessary, and usually the published sourcebooks will have a full template for every race, even if it would not make sense for PCs to be Dragons or whatever (I guess this is so that is easier for GMs to see how the creature was constructed within the rules, in case they want to modify anything, or even allow it as a playable race).

Juhn
2009-09-07, 01:43 PM
I've looked into GURPS a little bit, and the one thing that really catches my interest is the Transhuman Space setting. Anyone have any experience with it?

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-07, 02:06 PM
I've looked into GURPS a little bit, and the one thing that really catches my interest is the Transhuman Space setting. Anyone have any experience with it?

Sorry, I've no experience of it.

When I first got into GURPS (4e), TS was a 3rd edition setting and I was worried about having to do too much conversation while I was new to the system. Since then, I believe there has been a 4e update and new PDFs are still being produced for it. That makes a more interesting proposition when the setting is fully supported, so I'm curious to know more myself.

Juhn
2009-09-07, 02:10 PM
Yeah, they have an update PDF for the setting for fourth edition. You still need the third-edition hardcover in order to actually play, though, from what I can tell.

Jack Zander
2009-09-07, 07:27 PM
Cool. Templates sound pretty neat. What kind of things do larger and smaller creatures get? Is it pretty close to what DnD does?

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-07, 08:05 PM
Cool. Templates sound pretty neat. What kind of things do larger and smaller creatures get? Is it pretty close to what DnD does?

Sorry, I don't know much about D&D - it's been years since I played. I know that some creatures count as larger or smaller and take up more or less squares on a grid, and that large/powerful creatures require level adjustment, but I don't know much more than that.

As for GURPS, a creature's size is measured by the Size Modifier stat (SM). Humans have an SM of 0. Generally, having a larger or smaller SM is considered neither an advantage or disadvantage as the benefits roughly balance out. Small creatures (-1 SM or lower) are harder to hit. Large creatures (SM +1 or higher) are easier to hit, but this is balanced by ST being cheaper than normal.

The cost of a racial template can be considered functionally similar to D&D level adjustment, although the GURPS system is more granular and thus likely to be better balanced.

Yahzi
2009-09-07, 08:12 PM
Tell that to the exalted fans, whose characters have something called "invincible defenses", wich basically make them unkillable by anything. And yet they claim to be playing great heros, despite the whole system being built in the assuption that the world is populated by nothing but mooks for you to crush and show off.
To be fair... the DMG suggests you parcel the enemy's strength into 1/4 size doses before tossing it at the players. So Exalted's just carrying on the old tradition.

At my table we don't do CR-appropriate encounters. If something isn't dangerous, I just roll a dice and tell you how many you kill before the rest run away. The only encounters we play out are the ones that are CR+4 or CR+5: you know, even odds.

Although with my Formians, we did do a series of encounters leading up to the attack on the Queen. But that's only because even though the encounters were CR-appropriate, they were actually dangerous, because of my home-brewed ants. :smallbiggrin:

(Check out my sig if you want to use them yourself!)

Edit: oh, right... we were talking about GURPS. Can anybody come up with an absurdity of GURPs, so I can get back to my favorite hobby of biatching? :smallwink:

Knaight
2009-09-07, 08:15 PM
Sorry, I don't know much about D&D - it's been years since I played. I know that some creatures count as larger or smaller and take up more or less squares on a grid, and that large/powerful creatures require level adjustment, but I don't know much more than that.

As for GURPS, a creature's size is measured by the Size Modifier stat (SM). Humans have an SM of 0. Generally, having a larger or smaller SM is considered neither an advantage or disadvantage as the benefits roughly balance out. Small creatures (-1 SM or lower) are harder to hit. Large creatures (SM +1 or higher) are easier to hit, but this is balanced by ST being cheaper than normal.


Its kind of like Scale in Fudge, although Scale is a more elegant mechanic. Fudge is completely free, which means comparisons to it are decent for reference, plus the author played GURPS and wrote multiple GURPS books before making Fudge, so there are quite a few similarities.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-07, 08:42 PM
Its kind of like Scale in Fudge, although Scale is a more elegant mechanic. Fudge is completely free, which means comparisons to it are decent for reference, plus the author played GURPS and wrote multiple GURPS books before making Fudge, so there are quite a few similarities.

From what I've seen of it, Fudge looks simple and straightforward. I'd certainly give it a go as a player.

However, from a GM perspective, I'm much more predisposed to GURPS over any other system*. GURPS 4e is far from perfect, but it has lots of granular control. I'm still learning with it, but it seems that the system can do so much.

* The notable exception to this would be Paranoia XP, but that is somewhat a unique case.

Knaight
2009-09-07, 09:02 PM
I'm the opposite. I would love GURPS as a player, but as a GM it is too heavy. Fudge is a light weight, simple chassis, that I can mold effortlessly into whatever I want it to be. I can easily get whatever I want out of the system, and it stays light enough to run quickly. It can be extremely light weight (Over the Fudge), or fairly heavy (Blood, Sweat, and Steel), It can be extremely cinematic(Fudge Firefight), or very realistic and down to earth(Bolt on the Non-Linear Wounding System, then use the high powered weapons option).

Its even fairly easy to double or triple the amount of attribute or skill levels without screwing up the die system, and this gives a lot of granular control. You just need to know the system.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-07, 09:20 PM
I'm the opposite. I would love GURPS as a player, but as a GM it is too heavy. Fudge is a light weight, simple chassis, that I can mold effortlessly into whatever I want it to be. I can easily get whatever I want out of the system, and it stays light enough to run quickly. It can be extremely light weight (Over the Fudge), or fairly heavy (Blood, Sweat, and Steel), It can be extremely cinematic(Fudge Firefight), or very realistic and down to earth(Bolt on the Non-Linear Wounding System, then use the high powered weapons option).

Its even fairly easy to double or triple the amount of attribute or skill levels without screwing up the die system, and this gives a lot of granular control. You just need to know the system.

Hmmm. That certainly makes Fudge sound versatile. I'm not liable to switch my tabletop campaign away from GURPS, though. I feel I know it well enough now to be able to wing it when I need to. In fact, what I don't know/understand about GURPS 4e makes me want to play it more, in order to better understand it. And the quality of the supplements is generally excellent.

EDIT: Also, I love the GURPS skill system.

Jack Zander
2009-09-07, 09:38 PM
Alright, the moment of truth...

Do smaller creatures in GURPS have a bonus to hiding?

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-07, 09:46 PM
Alright, the moment of truth...

Do smaller creatures in GURPS have a bonus to hiding?

In a word: Yes. (the forum doesn't allow such short posts though)

Jack Zander
2009-09-07, 10:21 PM
So then do they give smaller creatures a bonus to spot as well?

VKO
2009-09-08, 10:01 PM
Actually, I can't find a rule anywhere that says smaller creatures get a bonus to Stealth, but there's definitely more forms of cover you could justify using if you were a foot tall! Likewise, they get no such bonus to Perception checks.

The thing is, in GURPS you build everything from the ground up. So if you want to make a tiny insect that's fairly loud and thus bad at stealth (like a horsefly) you buy down its SM for no cost and give it a disadvantage that says it's loud and bad at stealth. Likewise, you can build an invisible monstrosity with Silence 10 (meaning it is excellent at remaining quiet naturally).

Low SM creatures are much harder to hit with ranged weapons, though.

SM mostly affects your reach in melee situations, how cheap it is to buy strength, and how easy you are to hit with ranged attacks.

Try not to think of GURPS in D&D terms. Nothing is "packaged together". It's like a warehouse where you buy exactly what you want. I want a character who's good at hitting things with his fists? I buy up boxing as high as the GM lets me. I want a good Will score? I just buy it up. I want to be able to sneak really well? I buy up stealth. No stacking modifiers in most cases, but there are a good number of advantages that will give you bonuses more cheaply than straight buying skills.

Much like a warehouse, however, you will get completely lost if you don't go in with a plan for your character and a list of things to get. The good side of this is that they usually have a way to make it.

Belial_the_Leveler
2009-09-09, 01:50 AM
The good side of this is that you can build really terrifying monsters with a few well-placed abilities.
The bad side of this is that your players will start doing heavy book attacks against DM if you do.


Powergaming note:
There's a spell that stops time in a small bubble around you. If you use that and you have an at-will ranged attack, you can do freaky stuff. Reminds me of a mage/archer character that walked up to an enemy, stopped time then unloaded 400+ arrows towards said enemy in one round.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-09, 04:54 AM
Actually, I can't find a rule anywhere that says smaller creatures get a bonus to Stealth, but there's definitely more forms of cover you could justify using if you were a foot tall! Likewise, they get no such bonus to Perception checks.

The thing is, in GURPS you build everything from the ground up. So if you want to make a tiny insect that's fairly loud and thus bad at stealth (like a horsefly) you buy down its SM for no cost and give it a disadvantage that says it's loud and bad at stealth. Likewise, you can build an invisible monstrosity with Silence 10 (meaning it is excellent at remaining quiet naturally).

Low SM creatures are much harder to hit with ranged weapons, though.

SM mostly affects your reach in melee situations, how cheap it is to buy strength, and how easy you are to hit with ranged attacks.

Try not to think of GURPS in D&D terms. Nothing is "packaged together". It's like a warehouse where you buy exactly what you want. I want a character who's good at hitting things with his fists? I buy up boxing as high as the GM lets me. I want a good Will score? I just buy it up. I want to be able to sneak really well? I buy up stealth. No stacking modifiers in most cases, but there are a good number of advantages that will give you bonuses more cheaply than straight buying skills.

Much like a warehouse, however, you will get completely lost if you don't go in with a plan for your character and a list of things to get. The good side of this is that they usually have a way to make it.

Nice warehouse analogy! That's a good way of comparing it :smallsmile:

Actually, I wasn't thinking of Stealth so much, when Jack Zander asked about hiding - I was looking at Camouflage and Smuggling skills which both suggest modifiers for SM. When trying to Shadow someone, though, I note that being smaller than everyone else in the crowd can be a disadvantage in this case, as much as being bigger.

I think for GURPS types of skill checks, it's very easy for the GM to rule on the fly and say that the SM counts either way, based on what seems realistic/appropriate for that person/character/creature in that specific situation. Not sure how easy or not that it is to do in D&D, though so can't compare that.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-09, 05:08 AM
The good side of this is that you can build really terrifying monsters with a few well-placed abilities.
The bad side of this is that your players will start doing heavy book attacks against DM if you do.

Indeed. :smallamused: GURPS does give the GM a lot of control, but like with all RPGs the one sitting in the GM's chair has to use their power wisely.


Powergaming note:
There's a spell that stops time in a small bubble around you. If you use that and you have an at-will ranged attack, you can do freaky stuff. Reminds me of a mage/archer character that walked up to an enemy, stopped time then unloaded 400+ arrows towards said enemy in one round.

Not aware of which spell you're referring to. Do you remember the name?

Like I said above though, the GM has to exercise control wisely and that goes for the chargen process too. Otherwise it's quite easy for players to make overpowered or even useless PCs relative to the campaign. I would say that unrestrained min-maxers could wreck havoc in GURPS, in the short term anyway.

Jack Zander
2009-09-09, 09:26 AM
What I am referring to is a glitch in DnD.

Small characters have a bonus to hide, becuase they are smaller so they can hide in more places and are generally harder to see.

However, this means that a hobbit has a harder time seeing a hobbit, than a human does seeing a human.

And if they gave them spot bonuses, then hobbits are all eagles now.

It just didn't make sense no matter how you stated it, and I was wondering if GURPS had any similar problems.

Unwitting Pawn
2009-09-09, 10:04 AM
What I am referring to is a glitch in DnD.

Small characters have a bonus to hide, becuase they are smaller so they can hide in more places and are generally harder to see.

However, this means that a hobbit has a harder time seeing a hobbit, than a human does seeing a human.

And if they gave them spot bonuses, then hobbits are all eagles now.

It just didn't make sense no matter how you stated it, and I was wondering if GURPS had any similar problems.

Well, I think that most modifiers for things like that in GURPS are situational. So the GM may well apply the SM as a bonus/neg to the skill being rolled against, and the skills of Camouflage and Smuggling that I mentioned earlier have specific suggestions for this. However (and I've no idea whether D&D is similar or different in this regard), those modifiers are not absolute or automatic IMO. The wording of the GURPS rules indicate that it is down to the GM to determine if/when certain modifiers apply. This allows for application of common sense. If a halfling is hiding from another halfling, then as GM I would prob not factor SM in at all. However, if a halfling has hiding from a human, then I might apply the modifier as GM, if the human did not know it was a halfling they were looking for (or would naturally just assume it was a human), but not apply a modifier for size if they specifically suspected a halfling or other small person (maybe they thought they were looking for human boy, frex).