View Full Version : Gurps

2008-10-27, 06:24 PM
So, I recently got the Basic Sets of GURPS, it looked like fun, so, hey, why not? Why not indeed...

My problem resides in the sheer volume of information. So, I turn to you, fellow playgrounders. How am I supposed to sift through this information and pick out the pertinent points? Should I simply read the rules for now and casually read advantages? Should I just dig in for a week and read?

The sheer number of advantages is dizzying and, to be frank, boring to read. but if I don't read them, I'll never know what they do. You can see my Catch-22 (wonderful book, by the way, but that is neither here nor there) and I ask for your assistance.


2008-10-27, 06:43 PM
The biggest thing to remember when you get started with GURPS is that it is meant to be all-encompassing. I think I'd suggest starting with GURPS Lite (which you can download for free). It'll give you a good idea of the basics of the rules in a few pages. Then from there read up on the things that peak your interest.

Next I'd look at the character examples in the back of one of the books. Look up the rules on how their abilities work. Most of them are covered in the Basic Set. That'll give you a good overview of how a character should look in GURPS.

Finally try to create a few characters of your own. If you've got a particular idea in mind, I think it is much easier to sort through the piles of advantages and disadvantages to find things that go with your concept. As you do this, be sure to try a few different kinds of characters, historical, modern, futuristic, academics, warriors, socialites, etc.

Also, SJ Games is very good about publishing sourcebooks that will help you sort out the signal from the noise for the game type that you'd like to run. I understand not wanting to invest any more money in the system just to learn it, but once you get an idea of what you want to do with it I would recommend getting one of those to help you plan your campaign. It can help to sort out the useful skills advantages, disadvantages, and optional rules for the type of game you want to run.

2008-10-27, 08:23 PM
This is why I like playing GURPs but never plan on running it. If I were to run it though I'd probably skim the rules and then read up on anything relevant when it comes up. For instance I'd look over the flaws and see that there's overconfident. If a player wants it I'd then go and see what it does.

2008-10-27, 08:32 PM
I recently started picking up GURPS, and here's what worked for me....

1) Decide who you want to play, what they can do, what they'll act like.

2) Find the table that has all the advantages listed (it's like 90% of the way through the book, for some reason)

3) Scan down the list and write down anything that sounds like it has any potential for the specific character you're looking for.

4) Look up those in the actual chapter, and scrap everything that doesn't fit.

That'll give you a short enough list to work with. Take whatever you see as a necessity, but I'm told a good rule of thumb is to spend maybe 1/3 of your points on Advantages, 1/2 on base stats, and the remainder (1/6) on skills... and then adjust from there. A skillmonkey will have more skills, and someone with superpowers will have more advantages, and someone in peak physical perfection (Batman, Captain America, Ozymandias) will have more in base stats, but that should give you a good baseline to deviate from.


2008-10-28, 01:26 AM
I agree with what has already been said here. Start with Gurps Lite if you are feeling overwhelmed.

Another thing that I would suggest is that you pick up a computer program for making your character. I use GCS (Gurps Character Sheet) for both Gurps 3.0 and 4.0 (I still run 3.0 -- very similar, the 4.0 book is better organized). http://www.roleplayer.com/Welcome.html

GCS has lists of everything, and, while it doesn't perform all the necessary computations for you, it does list page numbers for every skill, advantage, and disadvantage. So you can easily check something up, while designing the character. It also includes that reference on the Character Sheet, so if you forget during game play, you can quickly find the source for it.

Also, how you approach character creation is important too. If you are used to min-maxing in D&D, you're going to have trouble. That doesn't really work in GURPS, it will usually end up with unrealistic characters which the GM (should) rightfully reject.

Finally, don't give up! If you are having trouble designing a character talk to other people. I know a GM who mostly runs D&D campaigns. Every now and then he tries to run a GURPS campaign, but gives up because he doesn't understand the rules as well as he understands D&D rules, and doesn't ask anybody for help.

2008-10-28, 06:22 AM
First, remember that GURPS is a toolkit for designing your own system, not an off-the-shelf system. The system you want depends on the campaign genre and style you want. Many traits won't apply to your campaign. Many optional rules won't apply. Thus, first think about your campaign genre, style, power level, realism level etc. Consider this when you read the rules.

Alas, with GURPS, you must understand the rules as well as merely know them. For example, an IQ 17 character is an unrealistic super genius who can claim skill levels of around 12 (professional level) in IQ-based skills he's never learnt. This may break your game. This may be the super know-it-all role required for your game. You, the GM, must decide what caps and options must be applied.

Lastly, devise a list of Talents and character templates. It will coalesce your thoughts about what skills and character roles are useful in your campaign .

2008-10-28, 04:17 PM
At first, you should read the rules. Not the list of Advantages, skills, etc. but only the standard rules at the beginning of each chapter. Play around with the character creation for a moment of two - chose a setting you are familiar with and create a fitting character or two, convert some other characters or real life persons, etc. until you have an impression how character creation works.
If you have an understanding of the basic rules, check which of the optional rules you want to use.
Unvite a freind or two and play around in arena combats, or make some of your own (the rules are complex, not complicated - once you have understood how the core mechanisms work, you can pretty much run the game without consulting the books and improvising the actual game contents.
Chose a campaing style and setting, and play.

Gurps doesn't treat you like a dependant infant in need of guidance but as someone who can think on your own. It looks more complicated than it actually is, but in truth, gurps is not a difficult game, but in its core mechanisms a very simple one- this simple design is than used as a base for the numerous options.