View Full Version : Gurps

2007-01-09, 03:42 PM
Does anyone here have much experience using the GURPS system? I just picked up the 3rd edition rulebook and it's looking pretty great. My friend and I love the skill based system it uses and it's flexibility. We were thinking about trying a modern/future game with it at some stage.
So, anyone have any tips/advice for using GURPS?

2007-01-09, 03:56 PM
It depends on the kind of game you like to play.

I'd suggest the Advantage/Disadvantage system is probably going to be the biggest difficulty to deal with for the GM. It's easy for characters to take meaningless or even contradictory disadvantages just for the points and ignore the in-game consequences (bad for both role-players and power-gamers alike).

2007-01-09, 04:19 PM
What the GM has to do in that case is make sure you don't have contradictory or redundant disadvantages. I think that GURPS can be a rewarding experience for Role-Players.

2007-01-09, 04:27 PM
My group are big on role playing and we tend not to ignore details. Our DM has a keen eye for details like that.

2007-01-09, 04:56 PM
It's also easy to take Advantages and Disadvantages that can break a party (e.g., Megalomania).

In addition to that, it's easy to make characters that are unintentionally underpowered for whatever purpose, regardless of the flavor you're after, by buying Attribute points instead of spending the points on Characteristics, Advantages, or Skills.

How many different RPG systems have you played with? If your experience is limited to d20 or D&D previous editions, it might be tough to become accustomed to the relatively significant differences between the level-based and the skill based systems.

2007-01-09, 05:16 PM
I've played D20 Modern, new and older editions of D&D and some skill based systems. I don't know the name of one of the systems, a friend just taught me the rules as we played online. The other skill based system was a Final Fantasy RPG system.

2007-01-09, 05:22 PM
Well, if you've got some experience with skill based systems, then you're probably already aware of the pitfalls of taking too many different skills that are underpowered and too few that are overpowered, thus rendering a character an unplayable mishmash of contradictions or an effective idiot savant.

The Attribute vs. Other characteristics, Advantage/Disadvantages, and Skill Selection issues are the biggest issues I think your group will face.

2007-01-09, 07:08 PM
GURPS is an excellent system, (personally, I prefer 4th edition) it does have two main problems though:

1) Difficult Character Creation: It can take hours to days to stat out a gurps character. If you've just got the 3rd edition rule book then it probably won't be too bad but if you get ahold of the compendiums or anything similar the sheer glut of options can make things take a while.

2) Difficult to 'balance': this doesn't mean that it's hard to keep people in line (although the parties can get a little lopsided from time to time) it mostly means that with all the numbers flying around it's easy for people to make sub-par choices and end up with a character who has invested too much in abilities, too much in skills, forgotten his advantages complete,y tried to make a melee based character without High Pain Threshold and Combat Reflexes, etc. So, be lenient with your characters, maybe allow them to rethink some of their choices after the first session or two.

Some tips for general GURPS play:

1) KEEP THE DISADVANTAGE CAP! I learned this the hard, painful, bloody and twisted way. It's there for a reason.

2) Don't uber-power. High powered GURPs can get a little nutty, if you're going to do it get GURPS Supers for a guide to high-powered characters.

3) Remember it's not D+D: GURPs combat is more realistic, and that means more painful for your characters, fights they would brush off in D+D can be a major threat. Especially keep in mind the differences in healing magic and DR

4) Keep a GM record. You may do this already, but since so many attributes exist and one character can have a whole lot at once it's important to remember what abilities/disadvantages they have. The disadvantages especially (players will remind you when you're forgetting their abilities after all) need to be kept in mind. It's a lot harder to remember what any given hundred point gurps character can do than remembering what even the most oddly built D+D character can.

2007-01-09, 07:16 PM
Hmm, I'm playing in a 4th ed. GURPS Fantasy game right now. While not exactly the same, I can give a little advice. I did play in an Infinite Worlds campaign for a couple of sessions though. A couple of things I noticed:

Guns do a LOT of damage. You can't expect to get into a gun fight in GURPS and expect to come away scott free. You can't just say that your 6th level guy is going to take out the pack of low level thugs and let your HP soak the damage. In particular, you have to look out for damage to limbs/extremities. Crippling damage is HT/2 for limbs and HT/3 for extremities (twice that blows it off). My character got hit by a bullet to the hand for like 8 pts of damage and, iirc, with my HT of 13, was one point away from having it blown off (I think I had a DR1 glove on or something as well).

Also, it is kind of easy to make the opposition overpowered. If you make the normal thugs the same power level as the PCs it is kind of easy to accidentally wipe out the party. Normal guys should be slightly below the power level of the characters to give the players a challenge, and show that the "hero material" PCs are in fact stronger than the average thug. Save the big tough boss with dodge of 13- and high skill level for the end of the adventure.

2007-01-09, 11:06 PM
I like it, it's just hard to find people who play it, IMO. I've been a group that once played regularly, and you can pick it up pretty easily.

I will echo the comments above, especially the one about Guns HURT, and beware power gamers.

2007-01-10, 01:06 AM
It is actually really hard to put too many points into Attributes.

+1 to an Attribute costs ~20 points even at medium-high levels. Increasing 1 skill costs ~4 points -- so if you have more than 4 skills at higher-than-crap-levels...

Plus, high Attributes makes your character learn new skills really really quickly once the game begins. When it only costs 1 or 2 points to get skills at a veteran or higher level...

Some of the best builds I've done have 10 to 15 points spent on skills, total.


Missing really important advantages is really easy, I'll admit.

2007-01-10, 01:08 AM
I personally really dig it. Fun and easy to learn and more realistic then D&D (especially if you're coming straight from it). But can be very deep if you want it to be (read: Complex Combat). I play 3rd ed as well and it's very fun. Buy compedium, that's my advice. A lot more stuff and it helps.

2007-01-10, 01:23 AM
Very good for story- and character-based adventures. I prefer to create the characters so they have real places in the adventure (of course, you can also accomplish this by guiding the players in creating characters - and who doesn't do that?); and then tailor the situations to play into their disadvantages (which must all be approved by the GM anyway - obviously). I like the whole "Well, you've said your character is this overconfident and that cowardly, and now you want to act some other way? Roll dice!" -system (I like it more in Pendragon and PenDragon Pass, though). GURPS is my game of choice for cyberpunk or sci-fi, because when you get shot or stabbed, you've been shot or stabbed.

You should've picked up the new edition, though. Much improved. Stuffs the old basic book and both Compendiums and then some into two books.

2007-01-10, 02:14 PM
Don't make vehicles -- of any sort. The rules for vehicles are not quite as clearly spelled out as weapon speed rules in AD+D first edition.

Other than that, it's fine.

2007-01-11, 02:49 AM
Don't make vehicles -- of any sort. The rules for vehicles are not quite as clearly spelled out as weapon speed rules in AD+D first edition.

I love GURPS Vehicles! The rules are ****, though, you're right, and you need a calculator and a good head with mathematics (especially when calculating, say, drag and air speed), and you can't re-create any real, existing vehicles in detail, but for futuristic stuff, it's fine.