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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    BardGuy

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    Default GURPS or True20?

    Now, it's been a while since I've played GURPS, as my group's changed quite a bit and they new players like D&D4.0. I also played M&M a while back, which I understand is very much like True20.

    Anyway, now to the point of the thread: Which system do you prefer?

    For what type of game?

    Why?

    What type of group do you have (serious, powergaming, etc) and does this contribute to your preference?

    Does each system (at it's core, well for GURPS Core plus Martial Arts because that's all I have access to) have advantages for specific types of games?

    I know GURPS can be gritty as hell (I remember that) and is somewhat easy to cheese out with the RP flaws. I only barely remember True20, and the only thing that really stands out is the lack of HP.

    Thanks.
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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    Personally, I dislike generic systems. A mechanic designed for a game tends to support the style of game that was intended: gritty high-carnage games will have a system with loads of damage and will inspire a fear of combat. For an extreme example, imagine converting Godlike to the d20 system with it's abstract and non-lethal combat. The whole style of the game would change.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    Not too familiar with True20, so I can't speak on that. It's similar to Mutants & Masterminds, right?

    GURPS, though, is the game for nitty-gritty scifi, cyberpunk, or modern mystery/police/military action (although Twilight 2000 v2.2 beats it for modern military). And TransHuman Space is incredibly awesome, and the system fits it so, so well.

    I would never try to run 90% of the genres, settings, and types of games that GURPS has had books published for. Fantasy, magic? No way. Space opera? Nu-uh. Superheroes? Absolutely not.

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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsotha-lanti View Post
    Not too familiar with True20, so I can't speak on that. It's similar to Mutants & Masterminds, right?

    GURPS, though, is the game for nitty-gritty scifi, cyberpunk, or modern mystery/police/military action (although Twilight 2000 v2.2 beats it for modern military). And TransHuman Space is incredibly awesome, and the system fits it so, so well.

    I would never try to run 90% of the genres, settings, and types of games that GURPS has had books published for. Fantasy, magic? No way. Space opera? Nu-uh. Superheroes? Absolutely not.
    Why not? I know "realistic modern" seems to work really well with GURPS, and I can see why not do a fantasy thing, but why not Space Opera or Superheros? It is because there are allready specialized systems for it (why I play D&D for fantasy) or is for annother reason?
    Johannes factotum of the Bard Defense League

    "A witty saying proves nothing." -Voltaire

    "Jack of all trades, master of none, though ofttimes better than master of one."

    The main question that any DM should ask before making a house-rule or exception is, "Is it balanced?"

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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    I'm running a steampunk GURPS game at the moment and the system is working well with it. Gun fights are suitably lethal and the wide range of skills allow for lots of different characters. The current group is: an officer of the loosing side of the last war turned gun and tactics expert mercenary, a mechanic/engineer grease monkey with dual pistols who drives a steam-cycle of his own design and a twitchy doctor from the loosing side of the last war who is handy with a knife and a pistol.
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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    Quote Originally Posted by BardicDuelist View Post
    Why not? I know "realistic modern" seems to work really well with GURPS, and I can see why not do a fantasy thing, but why not Space Opera or Superheros?
    I like GURPS fantasy because it can be realistic or highly cinematic depending on what we want to play, and because I like the banestorm world (as well as discworld)
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    Quote Originally Posted by BardicDuelist View Post
    Why not? I know "realistic modern" seems to work really well with GURPS, and I can see why not do a fantasy thing, but why not Space Opera or Superheros? It is because there are allready specialized systems for it (why I play D&D for fantasy) or is for annother reason?
    Because the rules are cumbersome, nitty-gritty, and lean really heavily toward heavy detail. That works very well for games where detail and realism is important, like SF.

    Compare creating and playing supers in M&M and GURPS. M&M makes it much easier to use and play them, and really captures the over-the-top, light-on-details style and feel much better.

    GURPS melee combat, for instance, is pretty tricky for many games. It's usually very quickly lethal, which works great for realistic games. A punk walks up and sticks a knife in your gut, and you drop on the floor, writhing and bleeding out. If skills and stats are high on both sides, blows are exchanged for a long while with no measurable result, until someone gets lucky and lops off an arm.

    This also makes GURPS great for realistic firefights. You don't want to get into them, you want to have the first shot when you do, you want to be at close range (or lying down and aiming with a really good rifle if the range is long), and you want to have good cover.


    I've got both 3rd edition Compendiums, I've read a ton of alternate and optional rules (which are, in themselves, a huge chore to sort out, compared to a light and easy system like M&M) - and I still can't really see how the game can really work cinematically. Can someone explain or elaborate? As far as I can tell, it still comes down to a single shot taking you out, unless you have superhuman HT, DR, or PD. Like I said, that's great for cyberpunk and the like, but not for anything cinematic or "mythical."

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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    Gritty, realistic, and deadly combat systems make for great fantasy games, I've found. That's because I like my fantasy to be 'real, but with magic'. WFRP is a great example of keeping magic and demons and undead in a system with a gritty feel and realistically deadly combat. I haven't chanced to play GURPS yet, haven't found copies of the books, but from what I hear, I'll like it. Especially for my fantasy settings.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tsotha-lanti View Post
    Like I said, that's great for cyberpunk and the like, but not for anything cinematic or "mythical."
    Who said a fantasy setting has to be either of those things? GURPS doesn't seem system that readily does Conan-esque Feats of Ridiculous Muscles, but such feats are not a necessary component of good fantasy. A Song of Ice and Fire is a wonderful fantasy setting, and would work a lot better with GURPS or WFRP than with d20, I think. d20 hands out awesome like cheap glass jewelry, and loads of awesome should be a rare and legendary thing in such a setting, not something you can find lying by the side of the street.
    Last edited by Prophaniti; 2008-08-17 at 11:21 AM.
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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    A fantasy setting doesn't have to be anything, but my point was the inability to really handle cinematic stuff.

    And in any case, WFRP does gritty "realistic" fantasy so much better than GURPS (and is still simpler) - why would you use GURPS for it? So does RuneQuest (any edition). Amusingly enough, RuneQuest also does mythical and epic fantasy with heroes who can defeat armies on their own better than just about any game. (Except, of course, its successor, HeroQuest.)

    GURPS is sort of fundamentally incapable of modelling most mythical heroes. How does Naisi Mac Usnach's player kill that spying NPC by throwing a chess piece through his eye, then hold off an entire warband on his own?

    Conan, incidentally, is pretty much one of the types of fantasy GURPS could handle (assuming there's some kind of extra effort rules; I forget just now) - early sword & sorcery is gritty. (In fact, it's Lovecraft with swords.) He's not really strong enough to kill that giant white man-eating ape with just a knife - he makes a big gamble, spends an action/hero/fate point or uses extra effort, and manages to withstand its ram-and-squeeze long enough to plunge his dagger into its heart... In combat, he specifically would keep avoiding attacks and relying on his armor while delivering blows with his superior skill. (Although, again, GURPS dodge/parry system would get in the way here, wouldn't it? I'm not that up-to-date on it, but isn't a guy with Broadsword-12 just as likely to parry Conan's Broadsword-25 as that random beggar's Brawling-10 attack?)

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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    of course, in GURPS 4th edition, with the full use of Magic and Powers, (both of which are already present in concept in the basic set in the Magic and Advantages chapters respectively) a properly cinematic fantasy campaign works as well, or better than, from some perspectives, a 'realisitc-gritty' one. GURPS combat is gritty because a well placed wound will hurt. Unless you've got skin as tough as iron, or are literally faster than a speeding bullet, or are wearing the heaviest armor you can find.

    GURPS combat is only "gritty" and "really lethal" if you have all of the 'realistic" and "harsh realism" options turned on. Crippling injuries, hit locations, over penetration, etc are all optional rules.

    If you want to see GURPS do "D&D style" fantasy, the Dungeon Fantasy line is worth checking out. It's high powered, "kill them and take their stuff" style fantasy.

    GURPS is sort of fundamentally incapable of modelling most mythical heroes. How does Naisi Mac Usnach's player kill that spying NPC by throwing a chess piece through his eye, then hold off an entire warband on his own?
    Off of the top of my head? A fearsome strength score (for any mythical figure it will probably be at least 20), the Throwing Art skill at a high skill level, and any perk, advantages, or techniques that may help. (a variation on heroic archer/gunslinger). An attack vs the eye is at a pretty hefty penalty, but at the levels used for these kinds of characters it can be easily overcome. Now you just hit the eyes. And thus, the brain. Unless his eyes are made of steel, he's dead. And fighting a warband? It depends on the warband? Generic skill 12-14 warriors? You could build a slightly cinematic, let alone mythical heroic character who could do that. Throw in Martial Arts and you can do it better and with style

    On the subject of your Conan attack/defense example....
    Conan's Broadsword-25 will have a higher chance of critical success, so he'd succeed to such a degree that the opponent has no active defense. In addition, there are numerous options to limit your opponents active defense value. In the Basic Set he can use deceptive attack to take a -2 to his skill roll for every -1 to the enemies defense. (he could take up to -8 before he actually impacts his likely hood of success). He could also use a feint, which allows him to set up an attack that gives a penalty to his enemies defense, or he could use expanded options from Martial Arts like Dual Weapon Attacks (which give a penalty to defend against when you attack with both weapons), Counterattacks (attacks made after a successful defense are defended against at a penalty)
    Last edited by Cybren; 2008-08-17 at 04:03 PM.

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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayabalard
    I like GURPS fantasy because it can be realistic or highly cinematic depending on what we want to play, and because I like the banestorm world (as well as discworld)
    I'll second this -- the game world is nifty, and supports a ton of different themes, from Crusades-era politicking to Sword and Sorcery to A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Loads of possibilities here.

    As for the guy slaying someone with a chess piece, then fighting out past his minions, I'd suggest giving Black Ops a once-over. I'm pretty sure there's a cinematic advantage in there called Badass.

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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsotha-lanti View Post
    And in any case, WFRP does gritty "realistic" fantasy so much better than GURPS (and is still simpler) - why would you use GURPS for it?
    For one: Mashups; if you want a time traveling campaign in a gritty fantasy setting (say, something like A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's court) then you're better off using GURPS.

    The other reason I can think of off the top of my head not to use WFRP over GURPS would be based on the setting: Which setting do you like better. I know which I prefer.

    GURPS is sort of fundamentally incapable of modelling most mythical heroes. How does Naisi Mac Usnach's player kill that spying NPC by throwing a chess piece through his eye, then hold off an entire warband on his own?
    Very high throwing skill, liberal use of Cinematic optional rules, and probably some stuff from powers thrown in there.
    Last edited by Jayabalard; 2008-08-17 at 07:09 PM.
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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayabalard View Post
    The other reason I can think of off the top of my head not to use WFRP over GURPS would be based on the setting: Which setting do you like better. I know which I prefer.
    Well, I like the setting. Although I'm really into homebrewing right now, and have already completely detached the mechanics of WFRP to use in my own, much less gothic, setting. Then again, I want to try GURPS, and haven't really heard anything bad about it. I'm not arguing with you, I guess, just... I'm not even sure what I'm doing with this post...
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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    Quote Originally Posted by Prophaniti View Post
    Well, I like the setting. Although I'm really into homebrewing right now, and have already completely detached the mechanics of WFRP to use in my own, much less gothic, setting. Then again, I want to try GURPS, and haven't really heard anything bad about it. I'm not arguing with you, I guess, just... I'm not even sure what I'm doing with this post...
    If you like to and are good at homebrewing, GURPS is great. It's practically excpeted that you make a lot up from scratch.
    Johannes factotum of the Bard Defense League

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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    You want bad stuff about it? Its complicated, totally and needlessly complicated, impossible to use without the books, still requires the GM to balance it, and has way too many tables.
    Last edited by Knaight; 2008-08-20 at 08:06 AM.
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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    You want bad stuff about it? Its complicated, totally and needlessly complicated, impossible to use without the books, still requires the GM to balance it, and has way too many tables.
    It has a few tables, almost all of them optional. If you're thinking in terms of balance, you're coming at things from somewhat of the wrong direction, but it definitely would take work to get a good idea of who will win a stand-up fight between dissimilar characters. (Unless you mean that the character-building point values are unbalanced...I honestly wouldn't know where to start evaluating that except when two abilities do much the same thing.)

    It is complicated, and might be impossible to use without the books, at least unless you strip down the combat system some. Running the lite combat system off the top of one's head is definitely possible.
    Last edited by Ulzgoroth; 2008-08-20 at 08:28 AM.

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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    I mean there are a lot of cheap ways to negate faults, and the GM has to be wary of it. That and the point values assume that various traits should have certain values, which would really value depending on the game. And it still has too many tables. For instance you have to reference weapon damage off of a table, and theres not much getting around that one, so whenever you pick up a weapon you have to flip to the page with the table to check how well it works. Ugh. And I'm talking about character creation, good luck with that without the books.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    For instance you have to reference weapon damage off of a table, and theres not much getting around that one, so whenever you pick up a weapon you have to flip to the page with the table to check how well it works.
    This seems like a really bad example; for one thing, this is true in pretty much ANY RPG... the weapon damage is listed in a table somewhere. For another: You'll have swing and thrust damage listed on your sheet for your strength, and any good GM will have the damage of any weapons that are lying around written down, so you just have to do combine them when you're actually playing.

    Ugh. And I'm talking about character creation, good luck with that without the books.
    I can do most of the character creation without the books; I'll need to give it a once-over to make sure the points add up at the end. In the end, I probably spend slightly more time with a book in front of me than I would with D&D.
    Last edited by Jayabalard; 2008-08-20 at 08:54 AM.
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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayabalard View Post
    This seems like a really bad example; for one thing, this is true in pretty much ANY RPG... the weapon damage is listed in a table somewhere. For another: You'll have swing and thrust damage listed on your sheet for your strength, and any good GM will have the damage of any weapons that are lying around written down, so you just have to do combine them when you're actually playing.
    You don't directly add though, you essentially add a number to your strength then check a table, which is unlike most RPGs. And there are tons of RPGs without tables for weapons. And frankly you spend too much time with a book in front of you with D&D. There are far more complicated systems, and GURPS does realism fairly well, but it still has unnecessary amounts of systems and is more complicated than its worth.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    You don't directly add though, you essentially add a number to your strength then check a table, which is unlike most RPGs. And there are tons of RPGs without tables for weapons.
    Pendragon comes to mind immediately. WFRP is similar, in that damage is based on your abilities over weapons. (Compare to D&D and RuneQuest, where each weapon has it's own damage value. It's sort of the opposite mechanic.)

    But!
    I thought you look up the Thrust and Cut values in a table, write those down on your sheet, and then add the appropriate weapon's "damage modifier"? If your Thrust is 1d-1 and your weapon is thrust+2, you deal 1d+1 damage?

    I definitely agree about too many tables and complexity, though. So it's all optional - but going through the rulebook and choosing which of all these optional rules to use is a huge freaking chore. Then you need all the tables you need out of all the tables there are...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayabalard View Post
    I can do most of the character creation without the books; I'll need to give it a once-over to make sure the points add up at the end. In the end, I probably spend slightly more time with a book in front of me than I would with D&D.
    Seriously?

    You can list all skills and advantages and remember their difficulties and point values?

    There's plenty of RPGs where you don't need the books to create a character after you've created a few dozen, but GURPS isn't one of them.

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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    You don't directly add though, you essentially add a number to your strength then check a table, which is unlike most RPGs.
    Yes, you do directly add it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GURPS Lite: Damage
    For muscle-powered melee and missile weapons, such as swords and bows, damage is ST-based and expressed as a modifier to the wielder’s basic thrusting (thr) or swinging (sw) damage, as given on the Damage Table (p. 6). For example, a spear does “thr+2,” so if you have ST 11, which gives a basic thrusting damage of 1d-1, you inflict 1d+1 damage with a spear. Swung weapons act as a lever, and so do more damage.

    For example:
    • You create a character with ST = 12; you write down your basic damage during character creation when you add all of the derived attributes: Thrust = 1d-1; swing = 1d+2.
    • You pick up a broadsword and look up the damage: sw+1, thr+2.
    • Your total damage when using the broadsword is (1d-1 + 2) = 1d+1 if you thrust, or (1d+2 +1) = 1d+3 if you swing it.


    It's pretty common in RPGs to have a stat based modifier to damage and a weapon based modifier to damage that are combined in some way. In GURPS case, you just directly add the weapon damage to your strength damage.

    And there are tons of RPGs without tables for weapons.
    There are lots of RPGs where there is no difference at all what weapon you're wielding? You learn something new everyday.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsotha-lanti View Post
    Seriously?

    You can list all skills and advantages and remember their difficulties and point values?
    No, but I remember quite a few of them, and actually balancing the points is a pretty minor part of character creation (at least for me). The design is 90% done long before I need the books to start totaling up points.
    Last edited by Jayabalard; 2008-08-20 at 09:40 AM.
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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    You don't add a number to your strength and do a lookup, you have a couple looked up figures based on your strength to which you add a constant for your weapon. This is not hard, it's one character-build time lookup more complex than D&D.

    Where are people getting all these tables, really? There are a lot of item lists and the like, but not many tables...ok, a couple pages of random hit location tables, if you're using those and happen to need random hit locations on a centauroid or ichthyoid...plus one for vehicles, and likewise a page of (text-format) crit tables. But those are all grouped at the back of Campaigns if you need them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayabalard View Post
    Really? There are lots of RPGs where there is no difference at all what weapon you're wielding? You learn something new everyday.
    Er, yeah, if anyone is looking at GURPS and expecting to find a rules-light game, I suggest they look elsewhere. And get their heads examined...
    Last edited by Ulzgoroth; 2008-08-20 at 09:41 AM.

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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
    This is not hard, it's one character-build time lookup more complex than D&D.
    Actually, it's the same as D&D; in both you have a strength modifier and a weapon modifier. It's just that the 3e and 4e D&D stat damage lookup is simple enough that most people have memorized it. The GURPS ST damage progressions are more complex, but it's not really that hard to memorize it.

    Er, yeah, if anyone is looking at GURPS and expecting to find a rules-light game, I suggest they look elsewhere.
    GURPS can be fairly rules lite when you're actually running it; that's true of most systems, since you can just ignore rules in any of them and run them simply. But since GURPS is clearly a game framework rather than a bunch of rules that are set in stone, people seem more accepting when you start tossing rules out the window, at least in my experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsotha-lanti View Post
    But!
    I thought you look up the Thrust and Cut values in a table, write those down on your sheet, and then add the appropriate weapon's "damage modifier"? If your Thrust is 1d-1 and your weapon is thrust+2, you deal 1d+1 damage?
    Yup, that's how it works. I think that he's misunderstanding the rules and thinks that the damage modifier is a ST modifier, and that you have to do a double lookup for each weapon.
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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayabalard View Post
    GURPS can be fairly rules lite when you're actually running it; that's true of most systems, since you can just ignore rules in any of them and run them simply. But since GURPS is clearly a game framework rather than a bunch of rules that are set in stone, people seem more accepting when you start tossing rules out the window, at least in my experience.
    I'm pretty sure rules-light tends to mean something a lot lighter than combat lite with nothing added.

    Not that I'm an expert, since the concept doesn't interest me at all...

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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
    I'm pretty sure rules-light tends to mean something a lot lighter than combat lite with nothing added.
    That's not what I meant; you can take it to the point where advantages, disadvantages, skills and attributes don't actually have anything but an adjudicated effect, not a rules effect... so that they're guidelines kind of like quirks are.
    Kungaloosh!

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayabalard View Post
    That's not what I meant; you can take it to the point where advantages, disadvantages, skills and attributes don't actually have anything but an adjudicated effect, not a rules effect... so that they're guidelines kind of like quirks are.
    Well, isn't that 'rules-free' or freeform, with a thin veneer of GURPS? Some rules are required to be rules-lite...

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    You don't directly add though, you essentially add a number to your strength then check a table, which is unlike most RPGs. And there are tons of RPGs without tables for weapons. And frankly you spend too much time with a book in front of you with D&D. There are far more complicated systems, and GURPS does realism fairly well, but it still has unnecessary amounts of systems and is more complicated than its worth.
    If a weapon deals "thrust +2" damage, then you find your basic thrust for your strength (say, 1d), and add two (resulting in 1d+2). You don't add two to your strength score and recalculate.


    AND, since i didn't read the thread.
    I just use GURPS Character Builder :O
    Last edited by Cybren; 2008-08-20 at 12:00 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: GURPS or True20?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cybren View Post
    AND, since i didn't read the thread.
    I just use GURPS Character Builder :O
    Definately. Using the character builder and just making a list of things available in your campaign make things so much simpler for the players. Really, it becomes a game with a lot of initial work on the DMs part when creating a world and setting, but after that, I think it runs just as easily as D&D.
    Johannes factotum of the Bard Defense League

    "A witty saying proves nothing." -Voltaire

    "Jack of all trades, master of none, though ofttimes better than master of one."

    The main question that any DM should ask before making a house-rule or exception is, "Is it balanced?"

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