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Old 07-19-2016, 04:10 PM   #1
lachimba
 
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Default GURPS as a convention game

As an effort to do something that I can do to make GURPS more popular as opposed to something that SJ Games should do, I've decided I want to try running GURPS at a convention.

The recent big two gaming convention in Sydney had a ton of D&D, but not much else in the way of RPGs.

What do those with experience think would work best as a convention game?

I'd like to have the whole game done in less than five hours. Ideally about three would be great. So I'd ideally have characters made and take some short cuts.


Any other advice would be appreciated.
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Old 07-19-2016, 04:20 PM   #2
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Default Re: GURPS as a convention game

Don't try to compete with D&D in the Fantasy market. Run an After the End game instead.
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Old 07-19-2016, 04:39 PM   #3
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Default Re: GURPS as a convention game

I fully believe gurps is a much better system than DnD
But not in a convention setting.

It usually takes time to fully appreciate gurps
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Old 07-19-2016, 04:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: GURPS as a convention game

Your biggest problem will be time. RPG's take time, and gurps is no exception. Combat in particular can be time consuming. Choose if you want to display combat or to display skills. I personally would go for a investigation plot with a fight at the end. Some social stuff, some looking around for information, and then a showdown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
Don't try to compete with D&D in the Fantasy market. Run an After the End game instead.
Or something else that really shows off the ability to run anywhere. I've seen westerns pushed as a place where gurps really shines. Really, anywhere other than the ninety and nine will fill that requirement. Don't go too out there though: you want the game to be accessible.

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Originally Posted by Lucian View Post
I fully believe gurps is a much better system than DnD
But not in a convention setting.

It usually takes time to fully appreciate gurps
It takes time to fully appreciate the character building aspect, I'll give you that. Sadly, you don't have time to display that at a convention. I suspect that you can pick up people on mere simulationist/realism grounds though. As well as flexibility.
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Old 07-19-2016, 05:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: GURPS as a convention game

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Your biggest problem will be time. RPG's take time, and gurps is no exception. Combat in particular can be time consuming. Choose if you want to display combat or to display skills. I personally would go for a investigation plot with a fight at the end. Some social stuff, some looking around for information, .
Yeah, it takes my group, who've been playing for months, at least 45 minutes to resolve combat.

Of course my bad guys aren't push overs but still
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Old 07-19-2016, 06:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: GURPS as a convention game

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Your biggest problem will be time. RPG's take time, and gurps is no exception. Combat in particular can be time consuming. Choose if you want to display combat or to display skills. I personally would go for a investigation plot with a fight at the end. Some social stuff, some looking around for information, and then a showdown.



Or something else that really shows off the ability to run anywhere. I've seen westerns pushed as a place where gurps really shines. Really, anywhere other than the ninety and nine will fill that requirement. Don't go too out there though: you want the game to be accessible.



It takes time to fully appreciate the character building aspect, I'll give you that. Sadly, you don't have time to display that at a convention. I suspect that you can pick up people on mere simulationist/realism grounds though. As well as flexibility.
I generally run investigation type games. I'd kind of like to go gonzo, the other fallback (not GURPS) option for me to run would be Nights Black Agents The Dracula Dossier. I'd hate for no one to join the game if they don't understand it(But I'll bring along someone who knows GURPS or not do the game at all)

Last edited by lachimba; 07-19-2016 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 07-19-2016, 06:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: GURPS as a convention game

Dark Tower. You want magic and gunslingers and mutants? GURPS has rules for that.
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Old 07-20-2016, 09:30 AM   #8
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Default Re: GURPS as a convention game

Quote:
Originally Posted by lachimba View Post
As an effort to do something that I can do to make GURPS more popular as opposed to something that SJ Games should do, I've decided I want to try running GURPS at a convention.

The recent big two gaming convention in Sydney had a ton of D&D, but not much else in the way of RPGs.

What do those with experience think would work best as a convention game?

I'd like to have the whole game done in less than five hours. Ideally about three would be great. So I'd ideally have characters made and take some short cuts.


Any other advice would be appreciated.
I've been doing this for a while (it's why I got into the MIB programme in fact).

Absolutely, have pre-gens. These days I tend to add a "cheat sheet" to the back explaining what each advantage and disadvantage does. Oddly, having a character photo can be surprisingly helpful in getting a handle on a character. Image search is your friend.

I take about five minutes to explain the system, pointing at things on the character sheet as examples ("I'll ask you to roll against a skill, as it might be Stealth; you roll 3d6, the lower the better, and tell me how much lower or higher you got"). I don't usually mention special combat rules until it's time to do it ("do you want to shoot now, or take a second to aim").

Combat generally isn't a big part of my games - convention or other. When they do happen, they're usually over in a few seconds, not the drawn-out slugfests of D&D and its spiritual kin.

Subject matter: I've been running a lot of historical/modern cosmic horror lately, since I've been writing scenarios for YSDC Games Days, but really anything that seems like fun and isn't done to death by other games ought to work. Let's see… for YSDC, WWII horror, modern deep sea horror, working on Falklands horror. I've also done investigative urban fantasy, interstellar murder mystery, steampunk airship action, 1960s psionics, 1600s pirates… my more successful games tend to be in real-world settings with a bit of a hidden-powers twist.
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Old 07-20-2016, 09:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: GURPS as a convention game

I'll say it again, as a system gurps is fantastic and I believe it is much more balanced than DnD though admittedly, I'm only familiar with 1st 2nd and 3rd edition.

But to brand new players, who've presumably played DnD since they are nerdy enough to be at a table top convention lol. They're gonna sit at a table and play a strange, less stream lined version of DnD that only uses
3D6. They won't have the time to appreciate GURPS awesomeness.

And unfortunately that's all they are gonna see, if your goal is to spread the popularity of this system. I'd stick with combat lite, to get the game going. But while you have them playing, emphasize the true strength of gurps.

What this system trades off in stream lined action it makes up for in super balanced and completely custom characters that can be truly unique. As well as completely custom and unique settings.

This could work if you had a way of contacting and pre-signing players up to meet you at the convention. Than the fun would be before hand as I would explain the campaign and ask each person to imagine a character and I translate that to gurps.

That's what I do to new players to get them excited, I say imagine a person, why are they on an adventure, what skills can they bring to a group, what is their method of combat etc etc
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Old 07-20-2016, 11:28 AM   #10
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Default Re: GURPS as a convention game

I haven't run GURPS at a convention, but I do have experience introducing new players to the system in short, con-game length sessions (including folks entirely new to RPGs).

For setting, I would say run what you're comfortable with, even if that's generic medieval ish fantasy. If you decide to run generic fanatasy, maybe try to show what GURPS can do that D&D doesn't, like maybe some stuff with status, allies, enemies, etc.

When I introduce new players, I emphasize two things: GURPS can do anything, and playing is straightforward (roll 3d6). I try to hide the fiddly bits. I hide most environmental skill modifiers, except for things super obvious in a scene. So, I might give a penalty for darkness, but not for attacking someone standing on a table. I don't explain anything about character points except that things that make you better cost character points, and things that make you worse give you character points.

For example, when I introduce new players to GURPS with fantasy, I always use verb/noun flexible magic from Thaumatology, especially with totally new players. It highlights flexibility, it's intuitive, and it's really different from D&D or video games. Sometimes I even totally ignore spell energy costs (if everyone plays a magic user).
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