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Old 12-16-2018, 08:56 PM   #11
Blue Ghost
 
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Default Re: Was GURPS Autoduel a big thing?

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Originally Posted by Chris Goodwin View Post
My group back in the 80's didn't really try to use it for converting Car Wars campaigns to roleplaying; we did start fresh with GURPS Autoduel. Although I think I did reuse a CW character's name, now that I think about it.
No one I ever did CW with ever had the notion to do a GURPS Autoduel game. It was strictly CW.


A loose parallel is Champions / HERO. I bring that up because like Car Wars the Champion system is combat mechanic / dice heavy. And I'm guessing that's why my Car Wars' play groups never did GURPS Autoduel.

I guess another equivalent is historical wargaming. Unless it's D&D where PCs are involved in a battle, I rarely ever see Civil War or WW2 wargamers take characters into battle. Or, extend that experience into a RPG session.

And I'm thinking Car Wars suffers somewhat from that. A game designer said that dice heavy combat games for some reason don't seem to lend themselves to RPing. And even though GURPS Autoduel isn't dice heavy, it seems like there's nary a connection between CW RPing and GURPS Autoduel.

Sorry if this post seems kind of aimless, but this disconnect is something that's been on my mind for some years now.
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Old 12-17-2018, 06:50 AM   #12
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Default Re: Was GURPS Autoduel a big thing?

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... A game designer said that dice heavy combat games for some reason don't seem to lend themselves to RPing.
Warhammer and Warhammer 40K both spawned RPG's (several in the case of WH40K). I can't imagine a more dice heavy combat game (three or more dice rolls per model per combat).

I don't think the number of dice rolled makes any difference, it is the role in the game the player identifies with. If you control single figure you are liable to invest some personality into that figure. If you control hundreds then they are just playing pieces.

I can see why you might not get invested in (say) ACW as you are controlling 100's of troops, the psychological drivers on one specific soldier will be blurred out in the collective. In the mass combat games that have an RP element the character is generally a hero or leader and thus their individual motivations/dispositions can be expected to dis-proportionately affect the outcome of the battle.

In CW you generally control one vehicle and that one vehicle often has a single character in it. The performance of the vehicle is directly related to the skills of the occupants (rather than say WH where the crew are largely irrelevant to the vehicle). Given that situation it is easier to see why the driver or gunner will take on greater significance.

If you are happy just pushing counters round a table and the people in the game are just targets or dice modifiers (or have become used to them dying every other scrap) then I can see that you might not invest in the RP aspects. If you want an ongoing campaign however, you need something to glue it together or the whole thing becomes rather pointless.

I know some people play teams or corporation based campaigns (to mitigate the high body count in CW), but they are just substituting an "off-screen" presence for an "on-screen" one. How many arena teams are called "The Green Team" or "Team 3". We tend to give them names with personality or a theme, in this way the team becomes a PC (like a hive mind).

If you don't develop grudges between drivers in the arena then you are missing half the fun ;)
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Old 12-17-2018, 07:56 AM   #13
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Default Re: Was GURPS Autoduel a big thing?

I suppose.

The guy I was talking with was someone I met at Dundracon earlier this year or last year (I can't remember when), who was a key figure in Champions' founding and design. And I told him point blank that our group played Champions' "battles", but it was supposed to be an RPG, and we rarely did any non-combat RPing other than maybe a pre-battle research / setup session. We didn't interact with NPCs, roll dice for encounters, travel to other places and all the other stuff that you do in an RPG. It was essentially Car Wars or SFB with superheroes and villains. The characters were essentially dueling vehicles or starships, and the game itself (at the time, I don't know about now as I haven't played it in eons), used the impulse movement system.

Your "hero" was your play piece, and even though you built him like you would a car for Car Wars, there wasn't that same kind of investment in the character as say a D&D or Traveller character.

So I thought there might be some kind of logic operating in combat games that have an RP elements, like Car Wars, but for some reason don't capitalize or otherwise expand the RP elements. In all the other CW RP threads the conversation usually orbits around the fact that PCs only have three HPs, and therefore aren't really viable characters for an RP session as you're going to wind up dead sooner or later. That, and the emphasis of Car Wars is on arena combat, with the occasional road scenario here and there.

I've never actually done a corporate team game for CW, so yeah I missed out, but it's like CW, for all the RP aspects attached to it and written for it, doesn't seem to spawn a lot of RPing. Even this forum rarely, but occasionally, discusses CW RPing, but it's otherwise almost a non-factor. Hence the reason why I asked if other people did GURPS Autoduel either in lieu or as an alternative to CW rping, or maybe just as a separate game altogether.

I don't know. I get being invested in a character, but again it's like the characters for certain games are more play pieces than actual characters, and maybe that's what CW RPing suffers from.
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Old 12-17-2018, 01:37 PM   #14
Chris Goodwin
 
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Default Re: Was GURPS Autoduel a big thing?

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Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
No one I ever did CW with ever had the notion to do a GURPS Autoduel game. It was strictly CW.


A loose parallel is Champions / HERO. I bring that up because like Car Wars the Champion system is combat mechanic / dice heavy. And I'm guessing that's why my Car Wars' play groups never did GURPS Autoduel.

I guess another equivalent is historical wargaming. Unless it's D&D where PCs are involved in a battle, I rarely ever see Civil War or WW2 wargamers take characters into battle. Or, extend that experience into a RPG session.

And I'm thinking Car Wars suffers somewhat from that. A game designer said that dice heavy combat games for some reason don't seem to lend themselves to RPing. And even though GURPS Autoduel isn't dice heavy, it seems like there's nary a connection between CW RPing and GURPS Autoduel.

Sorry if this post seems kind of aimless, but this disconnect is something that's been on my mind for some years now.
The roleplaying group I played GURPS Autoduel with had all, as far as I know, played Car Wars, and the group did other games as well (board games, hex and chit wargames, etc., Battletech, among them) but roleplaying campaigns were the major activity. I'm pretty sure we played an arena duel or two of Car Wars proper, but the GURPS Autoduel campaign seemed a pretty obvious extension. (There was a non-Champions Autoduel Hero game that didn't get off the ground, using ADC and Espionage/Danger International, that I was interested in also, before GURPS Autoduel.)

Contrariwise, my Car Wars group from around the same time (consisting largely of myself, my two brothers, and a couple of friends from school we'd gotten into the game) sort of almost turned into a Car Wars roleplaying campaign. Characters with backstories and histories, and ongoing storylines that weren't gamed out so much as "Hey, it would be cool if Pierre and Francis did this thing..." Airwolf was part of it, as well.

To my mind, all a game needs in order to be considered a roleplaying game is rules that support pretending your "playing piece" is a person. Rudimentary though they may be, I assert that Car Wars, at least as far back as Sunday Drivers/Crash City if not further back, provides such support, and can in fact be considered a roleplaying game under my definition. The groundwork was laid for it in the "human element" and "continuing characters" portions of the original zip bag/Pocket Box game, but SD/CC explicitly said "Name your characters and give them motivations so they're not just playing pieces, and hey, you might consider having a referee to handle things that aren't made explicit..."

What's more, I don't think we'd still be talking about Car Wars without them; if they weren't there, we wouldn't have had Autoduel Quarterly, nor Autoduel Champions, nor GURPS Autoduel, nor Uncle Albert, nor the other pieces of support material, official and non, that sustained us this far.

I'll be honest, I can only play so many arena duels or road fights. Those alone wouldn't have sustained my interest, nor I'm sure that of most of us, for nigh 40 years.
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Old 12-17-2018, 01:42 PM   #15
Chris Goodwin
 
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Default Re: Was GURPS Autoduel a big thing?

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Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
I suppose.

The guy I was talking with was someone I met at Dundracon earlier this year or last year (I can't remember when), who was a key figure in Champions' founding and design. And I told him point blank that our group played Champions' "battles", but it was supposed to be an RPG, and we rarely did any non-combat RPing other than maybe a pre-battle research / setup session. We didn't interact with NPCs, roll dice for encounters, travel to other places and all the other stuff that you do in an RPG. It was essentially Car Wars or SFB with superheroes and villains. The characters were essentially dueling vehicles or starships, and the game itself (at the time, I don't know about now as I haven't played it in eons), used the impulse movement system.

Your "hero" was your play piece, and even though you built him like you would a car for Car Wars, there wasn't that same kind of investment in the character as say a D&D or Traveller character.
My roleplaying group I mention above pretty much used Champions and the other Hero System games as our go-to for a lot of things, and we (as did a lot of others at the time) had long running campaigns with lots of roleplaying and character interaction. (I get playing Champions like that; lots of people did, and that was sort of the primary mode for a lot of superheroes-in-Car Wars play from Autoduel Champions. But Champions was a pretty meaty system for low investment character play of the sort we saw with Car Wars "playing piece" characters.)
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Old 12-17-2018, 07:22 PM   #16
Blue Ghost
 
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Default Re: Was GURPS Autoduel a big thing?

Chris Goodwin; well, I guess that blows my theory out of the water.

I am kind of lamenting that I never played CW as a fully realized RPG, other than Convoy and one or two ADQ adventures. But I thought there might be some underscoring theme that prevented CW from exploding as an RPG on the gaming scene. However, after reading all the replies, I guess it was just my lack of exposure to CW as an RPG in the first place.

Oh well. Thanks to everyone for all your thoughts.
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Old 12-17-2018, 10:03 PM   #17
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Default Re: Was GURPS Autoduel a big thing?

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The first. The other two options are already over-populated ;)
Please consider writing this book. I, for one, will buy and read it.

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Old 12-18-2018, 12:57 AM   #18
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Default Re: Was GURPS Autoduel a big thing?

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Please consider writing this book. I, for one, will buy and read it.

Drew
Yes, we have plenty of rules. I miss the more narrative tangents that can be incorporated into SJ Game products. There's a whole category of expressing what the rules allow you to create that gets marginalized.
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Old 01-01-2019, 03:39 AM   #19
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Default Re: Was GURPS Autoduel a big thing?

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Please consider writing this book. I, for one, will buy and read it.

Drew
:)

Thanks for the vote of confidence, if I do write it, you personally will not have to buy it ;)
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Old 01-01-2019, 03:50 AM   #20
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Default Re: Was GURPS Autoduel a big thing?

I was reading Apocalypse World recently and I thought it might provide an ideal driver for a CW campaign.

It seems to be less GM plotted than many RPG's, which suits a game where everyone want's to get into a car and shoot stuff.

It has a 2d6 dynamic making conversion a little easier.

It has a more abstract rules dynamic which again related well to the rules lite nature of the RP side of CW (and the roll 2 dice and pray meme).

I am not sure about the sex aspect (I presume that it sells copy, but at my age, sex isn't the fundamental driver that it might have been when I was a teenager). I was thinking of just replacing it with duelling instead.

It is designed to expand and compress time to accommodate off-screen antics (such as extended healing for characters).

Each character has a limited number of skills (special moves) and again this fits well with CW rather parsimonious approach to skill acquisition.

It's set in after the apocalypse where the world is dog eat dog.

I haven't had a chance to use it yet, does anyone have an experience with the game and whether it would fit the non car combat aspects of the game? Better has anyone put together play books for it?

Happy New Year.
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