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Old 05-03-2016, 06:21 AM   #21
Captain Joy
 
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Default Re: GURPS PC 'roles'- a thought on pen and paper role playing in general

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Originally Posted by starslayer View Post
2. Survival- The ability to not be killed
Durability- You can take the hits
Avoidance - You don't get hit in the first place
Blocking - You put things in the way of getting hit (Walls, etc.)
I don't really see this as an archetype, more just defense options that any character concept anticipating combat will consider.

Last edited by Captain Joy; 05-03-2016 at 10:10 PM. Reason: capitalization, clarification
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:31 AM   #22
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Default Re: GURPS PC 'roles'- a thought on pen and paper role playing in general

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Originally Posted by starslayer View Post
Thus, I present the RPG character 'role' list
As others have said, this doesn't really capture the range of things you can do with GURPS. In particular, you're missing the specialist infiltrator, the character who can get in almost anywhere and steal the plans or the McGuffin without being caught.
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:32 AM   #23
ericthered
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Default Re: GURPS PC 'roles'- a thought on pen and paper role playing in general

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
As others have said, this doesn't really capture the range of things you can do with GURPS. In particular, you're missing the specialist infiltrator, the character who can get in almost anywhere and steal the plans or the McGuffin without being caught.
Its kind of touched on in the 'problem solving' category -- but that really is a combat oriented list. My own list would probably be about ways to solve problems:

Combat
Social
Information-Gathering
Movement (of both yourself and others)
Assisting in other categories.
Avoiding Non-violent Physical Threats

That list isn't too far off of yours, but I feel like there is at least one thing missing. I will say that killing/avoiding being killed is a large element in many genres, but its not the end of all roleplaying.

Such a list can have a point, but the exact composition of such a list will vary with its purpose: Why do you want such a list?
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:53 PM   #24
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Default Re: GURPS PC 'roles'- a thought on pen and paper role playing in general

Well, hmmm. I am curious how well our characters map to this framework. Using the Legend of the Zeroes party since its the most consistent and easiest to deal with

So, party members
Florina - Aspiring Pegasus Knight, complete with ally pegasus Huey
Monkie - Aspiring Druidic spell caster, complete (sometimes) with ally Wolf Momo
Tegan - RPMist Alchemist with crossbow, is not considering Aspiring due to a tendency to one shot dragons. Aspiring non Alchemist RPMist

Murder- the ability to kill stuff
Ranged murder - sniping, shooting, rocket launching - Tegan excels at this, whether they can shoot back depends on circumstances. She has the best to hit and damage of the party, but usually can only kill weaker things outright, unless she uses Ammunition Charm bolts, then she can one shot dragons. Notice that is no area effect or group category here . . . the party is so so in that regard. Florina and Monkie are laughable at ranged combat.
Direct engagement (They can shoot back)
Indirect engagement (they can't shoot back)
Close up murder
Direct engagement (Sword+board, sword, spear, etc.) From Minuteman37 - Florina and Huey are both so so to middling at direct engagement, if Florina can actually pull off a lance charge she can even do real damage. Lacks the skill to reliably land deceptive attacks or get past defenses. Monkie actually though now has flame jet, so if she burns the FP she can hit decently hard!
Monkie and Momo are poor to so so at direct engagement. Tegan has utterly no skill at direct engagement, but she has enough skill to eat the penalty to fire her crossbow in close combat, and given none of her comrades are good enough for deceptive attacks she isn't any worse at non close combat melee range shooting than they are melee range attacks. Her alchemy buff overrides the main drawback of a crossbow as a melee weapon by negating its low ROF. Noone can grapple. So Florina okay at melee, Tegan good (but better at ranged combat), Monkie dubious.
High mobility - Florina has a flying mount, which means she can attempt to chase fleeing enemies etc, or close quickly to melee (since her ranged is nigh nonexistent)
Area denial (IE- large area attacks, area of effects, toxic ground, emanations, etc). - Noone has any of these

Missing form of murder - PokeMurder. Florina's steed Huey is often better at killing things than she is, and Momo better than Monkie, and Monkie can also summon another wolf so have two pets in a fight!

2. Survival- The ability to not be killed
Durability- You can take the hits - Florina has the most HP (though still a small number), and various small to moderate amounts of armor DR in some hit locations. Tegan has small DR all over. Monkie has small to moderate DR in certain areas, but encumbered by armor. Huey notably has more HP than any 2 of the others put together and small DR in certain areas.
Avoidance - You don't get hit in the first place - Florina and Huey have okayish dodge due to higher speed than others and no encumbrance, Momo also I think. Tegan and Monkie not so much, and Monkie is encumbered by her armor. Florina also has a decent parry, and has an item with deflection 2 and a small shield to help her active defenses.
Blocking - You put things in the way of getting hit (Walls, etc) - Noone does this
Support- Healing, fixing, buffing, etc
Aggro- If your a tank or otherwise able to take the hits being able to force foes to target you is excellent support. - Florina sometimes can attract slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, she has no particular skill at it, but can at least try to distract things or slow them some while Tegan murders them all
Fixing - You can repair/build THINGS
Healing- You can repair PEOPLE (or PCs if they are themselves machines) - Monkie and Tegan both can get their heal on
Buffing/debuffing - you can boost the party or bestow penalties on the opposition - Tegan and Monkie do this some, though Tegan mostly herself. Monkie has actually learned Continual Light so can see
Problem solve- The ability to track down problems, follow clues, build stuff, and find a solution
Mundane- you have great detective skills. - None of us, though Monkie has some druidic skills
Build/use - you can either build neat things, or have access to high tech gear and can use it to get information/solve problems - None of us
Mystical - You have access to problem solving magic- seeker and analyze type spells, or things like psycometry - Tegan can do some magic stuff, also she can use magic to buff our perception or other things
Mental - You have mental dominance that can solve problems (mind reading, mind probe) - None of us
5. Social interaction - The ability to win friends and influence people.
Wealth- a little grease goes a long way to convincing people to do things - Florina has Wealthy, I don't recall it being used socially
Status- You have the power of your station which can move people - Florina is Status 1, I don't recall it being used socially either
Swaying - You can convince people about things/to do things - Monkie has Diplomacy, and Animal Empathy to use it on animals. I'm not sure we have any other real social skills
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:08 PM   #25
starslayer
 
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Default Re: GURPS PC 'roles'- a thought on pen and paper role playing in general

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Such a list can have a point, but the exact composition of such a list will vary with its purpose: Why do you want such a list?
After some discussion with Kal about PCs and challenges I have been wracking my brain to attempt to discern a way to better encompass the capabililities of a PC/party so as to aid in both adventure design and to allow late joining players to better be able to stake out their niche.

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Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
worked example for our low point campaign
That is not quite how I envisioned a worked example to look. For 1, the sub categories of the major categories are just potential examples- in theory this will be where the myrid infinity that is GURPS will really come into play as someone figures out how to create a sub-catagory of support that is 'provides ample bacon at critical intervals'.

I will try to replicate your work but for how I envisioned this being used.

0 is completely incapable, 5 is extremely capable. In theory if I were to do a lot of work with this I would build something like the 'its a threat' number values so that it would actually quantify the 'amount of awesome' the PC has.


Florina:
Murder - 4/2 (Close range sword+board) (4 for lance charge, 2 for sustained engagement)
Survival - 3 (taking hits)
Support - 2 (seems to tank for the party
Problem Solve -2 (wealth, status)
Social Interaction - 2 (wealth, status)

Monkie
Murder - 4/1 (Close range, flame jet- rapidly depletes fatigue reserves)
Survival - 1 (some DR)
Support - 3 (classic magic mage, limited spell list)
Problem Solve - 4 (Classic magic mage, limited spell list, some druid skills)
Social Interaction - 0-1 (some druid contacts? Monkie's personal disadvantages tend to make her very poor socially)


Tegan
Murder - 5/3 (Long ranged engagement, high skill, explosive arrows; still has a rapid fire ranged weapon when the explosive arrows are depleted or they are not applicable)
Survival - 1 (Possibly worse than Monkie, but her reliance on ranged combat tends to keep her out of harms way)
Support - 4 (RPM mage, with weird restrictions)
Problem Solve - 3 (RPM mage, with weird restrictions)
Social Interaction - 4/1 (seriously Tegan is terrible with people, why the party lets her talk to others is beyond me; However as long as the target likes girls and does not already hate Tegan her 'really damned high due to appearance' sex appeal is useful).

This establishes that the party is easy to challenge with problem solving based problems. They are imbalanced damage dealers, able to do good burst damage but then taper off if the fight lasts a long time or has situation modifiers, most of the party can't take more then a minor hit or two.

The party is absolutely disastrous in social interaction challenges- a simple ornery gate guard HAS locked up a quest for them in the past.

Based on the viewing of the murder/survival blocks the party is best when they can engineer rapidly dispatching foes and have lots of time to re-situate between combats. Based on there survival numbers for combat to be challenging but not result in deaths it should be kept on the low end (well below the party's own damage DEALING capability).

If someone else were to be building a character for this group they could easily see that a Social, Problem solving, support PC would be HIGHLY appreciated.

Last edited by starslayer; 05-03-2016 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 05-04-2016, 02:07 AM   #26
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Default Re: GURPS PC 'roles'- a thought on pen and paper role playing in general

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Originally Posted by starslayer View Post
If someone else were to be building a character for this group they could easily see that a Social, Problem solving, support PC would be HIGHLY appreciated.
Would such a character survive the combat challenges that this group seems to face regularly? Would the kind of encounters where such a PC would be effective happen at all often? Both of those are questions of how the GMing works in the game, and drawing deductions from the characters in isolation involves huge hidden assumptions about the GMing.

And yes, GMing is much harder to describe than GURPS characters. We don't have much in the way of an understood vocabulary for GMing styles, while we have a detailed numerical design system for characters.
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Old 05-04-2016, 09:54 AM   #27
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Default Re: GURPS PC 'roles'- a thought on pen and paper role playing in general

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Would such a character survive the combat challenges that this group seems to face regularly? Would the kind of encounters where such a PC would be effective happen at all often? Both of those are questions of how the GMing works in the game, and drawing deductions from the characters in isolation involves huge hidden assumptions about the GMing.

And yes, GMing is much harder to describe than GURPS characters. We don't have much in the way of an understood vocabulary for GMing styles, while we have a detailed numerical design system for characters.
Well being that the highest 'survival rating' in the group is a 3, with 2 members being able to amble along with what I've assigned a 1 rating (which ultimately comes down to 'wears leather armour')- yes, I think that a character built for naught but social skills so long as they are willing to wear armour when appropriate would do just fine (Though they should probably not sell down there ST to 7, take reduced HT, and then wonder why they got eaten by a bear).

As for would a social character have valid input- absolutely; as mentioned we had a whole quest go off the guardrails when no one could convince the guard that we needed to pass. Further when we do encounter human opposition a good convincing roll could go a lot further than a few explosive arrows, and be a lot less dangerous to boot. And lets not forget the 'passive' benefits of having someone who can negotiate better deals from contracts and quest rewards! Even ignoring what a more social character could do RIGHT NOW or retroactively- once the GM sees that there is a social element to the group he could tailor challenges to have social components or completion avenues (which is again kind of the point of all these numbers and 'roles' I am proposing).

As for combat challenges- we tend to get into a fight roughly once every other game, generally vs wild magical animals (Giant rats, etc); I have no idea if that is a high amount or a small amount- to me it actually seems middling; most of my other games have at least one opponent that COULD be dealt with via combat every game (Now does the party actually choose to use combat, that's another question; ironically our most 'combat capable' groups tend to spend more time talking people down from a fight then actually engaging).

Say someone who fit something like:
Murder - 1
Survival - 2 (has good sealth, wears armour)
Support - 2 (has good perception)
Problem Solve -3
Social Interaction - 5

Would not be out of scope with existing character capabilities, and would provide that much needed 5 in social interaction.
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Old 05-04-2016, 10:04 AM   #28
ericthered
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Default Re: GURPS PC 'roles'- a thought on pen and paper role playing in general

Part of the trick is that different games emphasize different challeges -- my current roll20 game is about ultra-tech cops, and we've yet to see combat. Whereas in some hack and slash you need everyone to be primarily a killer.
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Old 05-04-2016, 10:28 AM   #29
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Default Re: GURPS PC 'roles'- a thought on pen and paper role playing in general

Well, the specific premise of the game was 'low level aspiring adventurers flail about incompetently and fail a lot'

Then Tegan one shotted a dragon in the very 2nd fight

When Tegan hasn't been available we have successfully been annihilated by a pack of mutant beavers and a squad of goblins, so we have succeeded at incompetence twice

Also been foiled by the gate guards once and some land mines once with Regan, but haven't lost any fights

Not a party failure, but equally effective at 'low level incompetence', is Florina and Monkie fought a pair of crocoroach swarms, with Monkie flame jetting one but burning all her FP, and then Florina spending about 20 rounds retreating and stepping in circles as crocoroaches chased her with no one able to land a real blow (seriously, that scene was like 3 Stooges worthy)

Definitely a low combat game overall though
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Old 05-04-2016, 11:00 AM   #30
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Default Re: GURPS PC 'roles'- a thought on pen and paper role playing in general

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I'm not sure I agree.
There's a distinct difference between "things you can do", and "roles". You can, in GURPS, make someone who are good at surviving taking damage. This does not mean that it makes any sense to classify GURPS as having a distinct "Survivor" role. In fact, "surviving taking damage" is something that is heavily tied to combat, and specializing in "surviving taking damage" is, I daresay, a combat speciality. (It can be used in other situations, but it's not the main use.)

I don't have a complete survey of all GURPS groups and campaigns, but I'm fairly certain that "guy who doesn't die" is a character archetype that sees much use outside of "guy who doesn't die so he can murder other people better".
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