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Old 08-12-2009, 02:23 PM   #1
vicky_molokh
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Default On assembling teams for GURPS Action . . .

Greetings, all!

I'm currently taking part in an Action game, and I'm currently contemplating proper ways to 'assemble' a team for such games in general. Our team includes a Criminal Assassin, Security Chief Wire Rat/leader (me), Criminal Shooter and a Military Face Man as PCs, and two NPCs - a driver and some investigator, both of which appear occasionally.

I wonder how people try to pick the roles for teams of a given size - four and six seem the most balanced team sizes, but two and three are probably present too.

Here are some of my observations (I'm willing to hear yours):
  • An Assassin can substitute for a Shooter or Infiltrator to some extent, or as a driver in a pinch. No fancy 'class skills', but some of the more general ones are easy to buy up (high DX). One of the most important roles, even if the campaign isn't about crooks.
  • The Cleaner is probably one of the best all-around multitaskers. Can talk, shoot, drive etc.
  • Demolition Man seems to be a secondary role, only appropriate once the team size is more than 4.
  • Face Man seems good all-around too.
  • Hacker seems tertiary (unless the campaign is centred around computers and electronics); only for teams>4.
  • Infiltrator seems good at first sight, but not all campaigns call for a cat burglar. However, if it is a primary role, she can substitute for most other DX-based roles to some extent (again, driving and shooting come first).
  • Investigator may be primary or secondary depending on campaign type.
  • Medic seems secondary, but does boost a team's effectiveness considerably once team size is >4.
  • Shooter is a primary that easily dual-classes into other DXists.
  • Wheel Man is primary to secondary, but definitely a specialist. It's cool to have one, but he is either in the spotlight or far away in the background. Seems like a role which must dual-class into something.
  • Wire Rat seems like a good support overall in a higher-tech game, especially espionage, cops or houserobbers type of campaigns. But it seems that it's a bit hard to multi-class with this one.

I hadn't analyzed the lenses in the above list. I'll add them later.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-12-2009, 02:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: On assembling teams for GURPS Action . . .

Five Man Band. Nuff said.
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Old 08-12-2009, 02:56 PM   #3
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: On assembling teams for GURPS Action . . .

Here's what I think about Lenses:
  • Criminal is mostly good for Infiltrators, or if one wants a high Streetwise/Stealth, but not very cool otherwise (particularly because it gives no access to Rank). It also lacks First Aid, so don't go all-criminal without a Medic.
  • Intelligence is good to have because of Intelligence Analysis, Rank, and seems overall well-rounded. Rank provides worst combat support and not very impressive in general. Has no Medevac, which is bad without medics, but the only one to have False ID.
  • Law Enforcement is good for substituting Investigators, and for getting some backing from the law. Tied with Security for the best Rank/administrative support (esp. combat).
  • Military is a nice add-on to boost combat capability, leadership etc. The only Rank to provide Fire Support.
  • Security gives us nice skills for dual-classing into light combat, medicine, investigation and leader/analyst roles. Tied with Law Enforcement for the best Rank/administrative support. Has Disappearance.
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Old 08-12-2009, 03:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: On assembling teams for GURPS Action . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigermann View Post
Five Man Band. Nuff said.
Never, NEVER send someone to that site. We'll never see them again... :)
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Old 08-12-2009, 03:16 PM   #5
Mark Skarr
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Default Re: On assembling teams for GURPS Action . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randyman View Post
Never, NEVER send someone to that site. We'll never see them again... :)
Exactly. I had to resist doing it earlier. The [reference deleted for sanity of forums] is the fastest way to waste time in the history of the internet.
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Old 08-12-2009, 03:22 PM   #6
Kromm
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Default Re: On assembling teams for GURPS Action . . .

A data point only: My current secret-agents campaign has five PCs. They weren't expressly built on the Action templates . . . but basically, they were, as I created a template system that was adapted from Action and designed to work at the same power level. So far, the players have had good luck with this mix (lens in blue, templates in red):
  • Criminal Demolition Man/Wheel Man
  • Intelligence Face Man/Femme Fatale (see Pyramid #3/8)
  • Law Enforcement Infiltrator/Investigator
  • Military Assassin/Demolition Man
  • Security Face Man/Medic*
* This PC is on break while his player is away. To make up strength, the PCs have a part-time NPC:
  • Intelligence Hacker/Wire Rat
Edit: For extra fun, match the PCs in my campaign recaps to the list above. More clues will appear in the recap that I hope to write up this coming weekend, which will cover two sessions.
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Old 08-12-2009, 03:47 PM   #7
Dragondog
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Default Re: On assembling teams for GURPS Action . . .

Taking a quick look at your latest recap, I came up with this.
Possible SPOILERS below












• Criminal Demolition Man/Wheel Man Vinnie
• Intelligence Face Man/Femme Fatale (see Pyramid #3/8) Anabel
• Law Enforcement Infiltrator/Investigator Zhang
• Military Assassin/Demolition Man Wen
• Security Face Man/Medic* Jean
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Old 08-12-2009, 04:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: On assembling teams for GURPS Action . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Molokh View Post
An Assassin can substitute for a Shooter or
Infiltrator to some extent, or as a driver in a pinch. No fancy 'class
skills', but some of the more general ones are easy to buy up (high DX). One
of the most important roles, even if the campaign isn't about crooks.
Assassin should be skilled in several areas, as most assassin work alone
since they don't advertise. If you're talking about a "general killer"
then that's different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Molokh View Post
The Cleaner is probably one of the best all-around
multitaskers. Can talk, shoot, drive etc.
Okay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Molokh View Post
Demolition Man seems to be a secondary role, only
appropriate once the team size is more than 4.
Could/Should be filled by the assassin if it's a high enough point
game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Molokh View Post
Face Man seems good all-around too.
Probably depends on the philosophy behind the team. Face guys can
be leaders (they brought the team together) or they're bit-players
"hey we need a face-guy!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Molokh View Post
Hacker seems tertiary (unless the campaign is
centred around computers and electronics); only for teams>4.
Okay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Molokh View Post
Infiltrator seems good at first sight, but not all
campaigns call for a cat burglar. However, if it is a primary role,
she can substitute for most other DX-based roles to some extent (again,
driving and shooting come first).
Like I mentioned someone should have these skills in some capacity because
more often than not you need someone who can get you in and get you out.
These type of characters should have several plans for both type of
situations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Molokh View Post
Investigator may be primary or secondary depending
on campaign type.
Assassins are often investigators in a general sense, especially the
ones who work alone. If it's just someone brought in to kill or do the
work the others won't...then it's a specialist.

Since almost any RPG game revolves around gaining information in some
capacity, it's likely these skills will be possessed by one of the main
teamers and probably added-on by those who stick with the team; especially
if the team has to split up from time to time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Molokh View Post
Medic seems secondary, but does boost a team's
effectiveness considerably once team size is >4.
Depends on the setting. In fantasy they're a must. In a high-tech or
ultra tech setting it might be more common for people to die - heh!

Usually most DF type games rely on teams who "keep coming back for more!";
while an ultra-tech game might be "leave 'em" or "let's get out while the
getting's good".

If healing potions, scrolls and ultra-tech drugs abound, then it can
be relegated to the back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Molokh View Post
Shooter is a primary that easily dual-classes into
other DXists.
Yeah.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Molokh View Post
Wheel Man is primary to secondary, but definitely a
specialist. It's cool to have one, but he is either in the spotlight
or far away in the background. Seems like a role which must
dual-class into something.
Yeah.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Molokh View Post
Wire Rat seems like a good support overall in a
higher-tech game, especially espionage, cops or houserobbers type of
campaigns. But it seems that it's a bit hard to multi-class with this
one.
Yes and no. I think these are specialists unless it's Shadowrun or
Cyberpunk.

I have a rather versatile pair of NPC bounty hunters, they're essentially
the

Investigator
Shooter
Assassin
and Infiltrators

all rolled into one. The other spots are filled by contacts and research,
meaning when they want to snatch a guy, they case the cabin in the mountains
and take pictures and know certain things -- like getting a hacker or electronics
specialist to hook them up with a gizmo so they can start the air conditioner or
heater from outside while the occupants are sleeping to cover their entry noise.

Knowing about cover noise is from their military training but getting it to work
means finding a specialist and giving him the correct info.

>
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Old 08-13-2009, 06:21 AM   #9
mlangsdorf
 
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Default Re: On assembling teams for GURPS Action . . .

Hacker and Wire Rat lens into each other easily enough.

Shooter doesn't lens into Demolitions, surprisingly enough, as Demolitions is a DX/IQ balanced template and Shooter very much isn't. Wheelman is a better lens for Shooter.

I tend to assume that the core team is Infiltrator + Face Man or Investigator. That gives a good mix of thief/spy skills, social skills, and some combat ability. Other roles are brought in from there.

My current F2F game is Action. We originally weren't going to have a Shooter, under the assumption "everyone can shoot." But one of the players volunteered for one, and it has made a big difference in the chase scenes. Gunslinger is HUGE in chase scenes, allowing accurate aimed fire while moving.
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