View Single Post
Old 08-02-2015, 03:41 PM   #14
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Medford, MA
Default Re: Combat as a contest of attack skill vs defense

Originally Posted by Captain Joy View Post
The only reason they're playing GURPS is to accommodate me. There are three GMs in the group; we each use a different system in a different genre. My GURPS Star Trek game gets run about every other month, which means they never get comfortable with the combat options.

You said it, trooper6. I was a bit disappointed they didn't embrace the tactical nuances that GURPS has to offer; but as GURPS makes it easy to adjust complexity to taste, it's no a problem accommodating their proclivities.
I'm just wondering if there might be other strategies.

In my experience getting D&Ders to play GURPS, they often don't like anything that is different from D&D mechanics (because they spent a lot of time learning those mechanics). They would start by complaining about defense rolls, about the 1 second combat turn, about this and that. I found that trying to make GURPS more like D&D by ditching all the things that made GURPS special didn't, in the long run, convert them to GURPS. They just kept seeing it as a "not as fun D&D."

So instead, I amped up all the GURPS specific things. I kept the defense rolls...but highlighted the called shots and other cool things you could do with high skill. If they felt combat was slow (which...was never as slow as those high level D&D3e fights), I showed them ways to speed it up. If they were frustrated they didn't get to hit all the time (because of defense), I threw some low level people at them with poor defenses that they would hit all the to give them a sense of "I'm badass." To give them a healthy appreciation of defense I put them up against some big foes who would do LOTS of damage if they hit...they big foe with a club would hit a red shirt and make them paste...showing the effects...then the players really appreciated their defenses. I gave them my combat options handout that makes things easier for them. I showed them the awesomeness of GURPS character creation in one-on-one sessions.

I have converted D&Ders to GURPS...but usually not by trying to make GURPS into D&D. However, if the players are dyed in the wool D&Ders only, and your enthusiasm for the system won't convert them...I just don't know if it is worth it to make them play it. They will only go and bad mouth the system to other gamers behind your back...and it seems like it would be counter-productive in the long run.

Oh! One more thing...which, I don't know if it is doable, but you might consider it.
They might like GURPS combat if they had a bit more familiarity with it...and playing once every other month isn't all that conducive to that as you noted. In my rotating GM group, each GM would run an adventure which would last 5-10 sessions before we would switch. Perhaps your group could play a few more consecutive sessions of each game before rotating to the next. It would let people get more into the groove of a new system.

Last edited by trooper6; 08-02-2015 at 03:54 PM.
trooper6 is offline   Reply With Quote