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Old 05-11-2012, 12:54 PM   #40
vicky_molokh's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kyv, Ukraine
Default Re: (Quick-Patch Version of the) FAQ of the GURPS Fora

Q: Why are many write-ups of monsters and opponents left with no templates/point values/etc.?

Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
With apologies to those who like it, point values on creatures expressly designed as evil NPC monsters represent too much work for too little gain.

It takes me perhaps five minutes to slap down the right attributes and traits to fit a monster description, and maybe another five minutes to calculate damage, Dodge, etc. so that they're consistent with those attributes and traits. It takes me at least an hour to work up a relatively complex monster on points if I must modify Affliction, Innate Attack, Leech, etc. for its special attacks; build unique techniques for its trademark combat moves; coin new perks for its minor-but-beneficial features; and so on. Indeed, a complex Innate Attack can take me 5-10 minutes all by itself. And if the creature uses Alternate Forms, or has a set of alternative abilities, or uses an actual structured power (with power modifier, power Talent, and abilities) . . . well, it can take hours to write up properly.

And that's me, one of the designers of GURPS Fourth Edition; coauthor of GURPS Martial Arts (for techniques) and GURPS Powers (for abilities and powers); author of GURPS Power-Ups 2 (for perks); and one of two people in the whole world paid to work on GURPS and only on GURPS as a full-time job. My freelancers assure me that things are tougher for them. This is why PK and I must double-check all of their math, which adds editorial overhead to the writing overhead.

Such expense is nevertheless entirely justified for a race that's intended for PCs, for Alternate Forms for PCs, and/or for NPC Allies. However, if the author intends his creation to be strictly monstrous a race of foes and if most gamers will likely use it that way, then this additional work is impossible to justify. Freelance writers simply do not get paid enough to do an order of magnitude more work on the off chance that somebody will need a point cost for some optional rule and gamers wouldn't pay what the books would cost if we remedied that. The gamer who's interested in off-label use has the tools at his disposal if he wishes to work out points.

The point of GURPS is that it provides the means to transcend old-school concepts like "NPC races." This means that it provides the tools to do the math, not that it does all the math for you. The fact that one can work out point costs for monsters if one wishes is the promise that the game makes. There's no promise that it will do that every time. In a good many cases, the latter would be a rather perverse "Because it's there!" exercise.
Vicky 'Molokh', GURPS FAQ and uFAQ Keeper
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