Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Sannin Kage Kisaragi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Behind You
    Posts
    7,873

    Default Trying to Wrap my head around GURPS.

    I bought a copy of the character rule book GURPS Fourth Edition. However im starting find this system very massive if not overwhelming. So many terms and math, it would seem like making a character is a major undertaking. However it does seem like so long as you get enough points or take enough disadvantages you could make virtually any character you could imagine. Still such a massive amount of info to take in, i haven't even gotten to the second on how combat works, and to be honest im scared to look at it. I've played D&D since i came to the world of table top RPGs, and its nothing like this. This edition was supposedly the most accessible one for new players but if that is the case im afraid to even look at the older versions.

    Any advice or shared experience with this system would be appreciated, even a more simplistic breakdown of how character creation works would be appreciated. I'm more of a hands on learning, i need to be in the middle of it asking questions and learning from experience than reading tons of text in a book, though i will eventually do that once i usually start to get the hang of things (was like that some what with D&D too.) However im not playing in a group right now, and if i go back to my old group i'll most likely be running the campaign since no one there i believe plays GURPs either. I'd be teach and running the game, and I can't see myself doing that with this already stumping me.
    Rogue and Bishop's daughter would be called Discharge, and she'd touch people and drain all or some of their bioelectrical energy out of them causing them to either die or fall unconscious. She could then use this energy to extend her own life, heal herself, enhance her physical abilities (speed, strength, stamina,) or discharge it as various energy beams.

  2. #2
    Vintage `81 sHayden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    The Keystone
    Posts
    3,604

    Default

    I wish I could help but I'm a strictly Shadowrun guy. You may want to ask around your local gaming shop though.

  3. #3
    Hunker down!
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    2,154

    Default

    We used to play GURPS regularly, though its been a while (prior to 4th version of the rules).

    I'm not a fan of it. The rules certainly work OK, though the game caters to more "realism" and crunchy than what I want (c'mon...there was/is a rules section for digging holes. A bit overkill.). If that is what you are aiming for GURPS is a good choice. If you want more a high fantasy/pulp game then I would go in a different direction (Pathfinder, Barbarians of Lemuria, Dicey Games, etc).

    Combat was a nightmare. The one second round thing was tedious. I hated being a magic user. You were basically looking at two or three rounds to fire off a spell that was worth a darn, and even then you had to roll to successfully cast the spell and roll to hit the target all the while fatiguing yourself. Not my cup of tea. Too tedious.

    The nice thing about GURPS is that you can take one set of rules and apply it to multiple genres, so you have only one set of rules to learn no matter if you are running fantasy, sci fi, modern, etc. With that said, there are other systems, such as Savage Worlds, that do a better job of that in my opinion.

    Though again, my experience is based on 2nd and 3rd. I've heard things are better with 4th, though I've never given it a shot.

    What type of game are you looking to run?

  4. #4
    Elder Member Shellhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Twin Cities
    Posts
    17,749

    Default

    I went through a GURPS phase. Using the 3rd edition rules, I ran a couple of GURPS Fantasy campaigns that each lasted a year. I also ran a homebrew GURPS Amber campaign for a few months, and some one-shot GURPS Horror adventures. That second GURPS Fantasy campaign became really popular, with 11 regular players, despite an average of one character death per session.

    Although GURPS is designed to work in all kinds of settings, for practical purposes, it works best with lower tech settings, especially medieval weapons and black powder weapons. Player characters don't to tend to have even 20 hit points, so modern firearms and high-tech weapons are devastating when they hit. That's also a problem for superhuman characters like in GURPS Supers or GURPS Wild Cards.

    A good way to get a basic handle on GURPS combat is to generate two characters and have them fight. The proto-GURPS product was Man-To-Man, which was basically GURPS Roman Arena. It was followed by Orcslayer, which was like a preview campaign for GURPS Fantasy. Anyway, run that fight at your own pace, checking rules as you go, until you get comfortable with it. Do it a couple of more times, with different types of fighters. Maybe a quick knifefighter versus a strong guy with a sword and shield. Or a classic gladiator with net and trident.

    Here are the basics: initiative is fixed, and based on your characters speed attribute, which is based on Dexterity and Health or something like that. When you attack, you try to roll less than your skill on 3d6. Your opponent may try to defend, rolling less than his skill on 3d6. If you hit, roll for a random hit location, unless you did a called shot on a specific location as your attack. Roll for damage if you hit, subtract your opponent's armor rating for that hit location from the damage, and the rest of the damage goes through. There may be additional damage depending on if your weapon does crushing, cutting or impaling damage. Too much damage against a given hit location will result in a crippling wound or even a severed limb. (Although the skull provides one additional point of armor, any remaining head shot damage is multiplied by 4 (!) to reflect brain damage.) Going below 0 hit points doesn't necessarily lead to immediate death or even incapacitation, depending on your Health attribute.

    Like D&D 3.5 and 4.0, tactical maps are pretty important in GURPS. It's a really good combat system, so location is important. The default space is the 3-foot hex. Not just to see if you can stab somebody in the back, but to factor in knockback, range, and retreating. That's one thing that I really liked about GURPS, you could defend at your standard skill level, by dodging, blocking (shield), or parrying, and you could pick up a nice bonus on that defense if your character retreated one hex back. It's true that spell-casters often need more than one round to get off a good spell, unless they really sink some points into mastering their favorite spells. In play, we found that fantasy combat sometimes played out like (American) football. Your spellcaster would drop back like a quarterback in the pocket, readying that fireball, while your fighter types held back the enemy. Then that fireball would land and BLAM, just devastate the enemy.

    Another great thing about GURPS is that players can really customize their characters with the various skills, advantages and disadvantages. However, players often take mental or social disadvantages, so a half dozen player characters may not be able to visit a tavern without a brawl breaking out every time. One group had a pyromaniac fire mage and a kleptomaniac elven pimp, plus a few other problematic folks. Most players don't like to take physical disadvantages.

    One more feature of GURPS is the well-written source books. Steve Jackson tended to recruit writers with specific backgrounds that made them suitable for the books they wrote. For example, the guy who wrote GURPS Martial Arts was somebody who also a martial artist, and the guy who wrote GURPS Special Ops was a military veteran.

    In the end, I burned out. That huge GURPS group was also a weekly campaign. Because of the detailed combat rules and the number of players, we usually only had time for one or maybe two big fights per session, plus one or two smaller skirmishes that only involved part of the group. The combats were often very memorable, but it was sometimes draining for me as a GM. I took a break for several months, and the next campaign I ran (Stormbringer) used the relatively simple Basic Role-Playing system. In fact, I haven't run anything complex since GURPS. I might be running a D&D 3.5 campaign soon, so I've been carefully studying those combat rules lately.
    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
    Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

  5. #5
    Hunker down!
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    2,154

    Default

    The various GURPS books are outstanding. I still use my Atomic Horrors and Ice Age books regularly for background material for other systems.

  6. #6
    Elder Member Shellhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Twin Cities
    Posts
    17,749

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by macul View Post
    The various GURPS books are outstanding. I still use my Atomic Horrors and Ice Age books regularly for background material for other systems.
    Last year, I ran a one-shot Call of Cthulhu adventure that was set in the Ice Age. (It was published in Strange Aeons II.) I got out my old GURPS Ice Age book and skimmed it for ideas, and found a great one that really made that adventure memorable: I asked players to only use words of one syllable that session. To help them get the feel for it, I had NPCs saying things like "fire bad" and "me no like that." It was fun.
    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
    Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •