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Old 10-05-2020, 06:31 PM   #11
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: How would you promote GURPS to RPG newbies?

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Originally Posted by Turhan's Bey Company View Post
I am, like Bill, inclined not to sell GURPS to newbies, but rather sell the campaign. Someone without experience in rpgs has no interest in the virtues of point-by vs. class and level systems or 3d6 roll low vs d20 roll high. I do think it's wise to shield them from the character creation system, which, though marvelous in many ways, really only shows its power down the road. Talk to them about what kind of character they want to play, explain that there are trade-offs ("You can be really smart or really strong but probably not both at the same time. You can pick what we call 'disadvantages' that let you have more useful traits, but they'll limit your choices in play from time to time, sometimes when it's very inconvenient."), built the character for them, and go over it after the fact to explain precisely how everything works and potentially tweak the character. A gung-ho newbie might want to build their own character, but I'd at least want to be in the room when it happens to offer advice and steer them out of blind alleys.

For new-to-GURPS-but-not-rpgs, I'd prefer to do the same, but would be a little more confident in letting them make their own character (but, of course, advising before and reviewing after). My consideration there would likely be to try something outside of whatever genre they were most used to. If, say, I were starting with someone who played That Other Game (tm), I'd go with a SF game or modern-ish setting. That gives more room to set expectations free of the other game's preconceptions.
My approach is a shade more directive than yours, but less so than thalcos's. I want to watch while players create their characters, take their drafts, write them up as character sheets, and send them back and forth and discuss how to adjust them, as much for experienced players as for newbies. And I want everyone to get together in the same room or videoconference and talk about the campaign and their character concepts, to make sure they aren't stepping on each other. That also gives them a chance to come up with connections (for example, in my current campaign, two players are designing new characters, and they decided to make them fraternal twins). On the other hand, I don't do pregens, at least not for a campaign (I've done them for a one-shot, but I rarely do one-shots). Even completely new players get to build their own characters, though in their case this largely consists in their discussing their concepts and having me lead them through the various traits that will realize those concepts; I don't expect them to read the rulebook and figure out how to use it.
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Old 10-05-2020, 10:02 PM   #12
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Default Re: How would you promote GURPS to RPG newbies?

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Even completely new players get to build their own characters, though in their case this largely consists in their discussing their concepts and having me lead them through the various traits that will realize those concepts; I don't expect them to read the rulebook and figure out how to use it.
Actually, I agree with this approach. Most of my experience teaching new players is at conventions, where there's just not much time to ping pong character ideas back and forth. But if I were going to introduce folks to GURPS in my living room, I'd go with this approach, unless it was intended to be a disposable one-shot.
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Old 10-06-2020, 03:56 AM   #13
whswhs
 
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Default Re: How would you promote GURPS to RPG newbies?

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Originally Posted by thalcos View Post
Actually, I agree with this approach. Most of my experience teaching new players is at conventions, where there's just not much time to ping pong character ideas back and forth. But if I were going to introduce folks to GURPS in my living room, I'd go with this approach, unless it was intended to be a disposable one-shot.
I expect that if I ever ran games at conventions I would do likewise, for the same reasons. When I ran a one-shot of Hellcats and Hockeysticks, I offered a choice of pre-generated characters; the only things players got to add were names and the expenditure of two skill points.
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Old 10-06-2020, 03:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: How would you promote GURPS to RPG newbies?

"For our next game we're going to be using GURPS, it's a roleplaying game similar to Dungeons and Dragons but better suited to the world you're all interested in playing in. You can look over a free copy of the rules here http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/lite/3e/gurpslite.pdf, but we'll be learning this rule system as a team so I'm going to take plenty of time for everyone to learn how to play."

A lot of the obstacle of getting players to try GURPS is the notion that trying GURPS is some burden that we have to ask players to take on.
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Old 10-07-2020, 04:16 PM   #15
Alden Loveshade
 
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Default Re: How would you promote GURPS to RPG newbies?

When I used to run several GURPS games at each of three conventions per year, I did two primary promotions:

1) I ran some games with titles that would sound familiar to just about every one. For example, "GURPS Monty Python" could get me Pythonites who'd never heard of GURPS.

2) I'd says, "If you can roll three six-sided dice, you can play GURPS." Players would tell me what they wanted their PC to do, and I'd tell them what to roll on. Simple as that.

Note that when I started GMing GURPS, I had never played it and none of my players had ever played or GMed it.

EDIT: For conventions, I almost always built the PCs in advance. The primary exception was for GURPS Davenford, which was a fantasy campaign set in Megalos, Yrth, with several sessions run at three annual conventions (OrcCon, Gamex, Gateway, all Strategicon). For that, players designed and played their regular character(s).
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Last edited by Alden Loveshade; 10-07-2020 at 04:35 PM. Reason: Edit as shown
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Old 10-07-2020, 04:30 PM   #16
Alden Loveshade
 
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Default Re: How would you promote GURPS to RPG newbies?

I posted mostly about convention games.

For my first campaign (which I actually did before conventions), I had some players who had never played GURPS nor any roleplaying game. To build characters, I first gave them a basic idea of the world they'd be in.

Then I'd ask them what they wanted their character to be able to do, and I'd let them know what Attribute/Advantage/Skill etc. level to choose. And I'd help them with Disadvantages/Quirks that would fit their concept. So we built their PC together.

For an experienced roleplayer new to GURPS, I assisted less. Then I'd let them start designing the PC, then say things like, "Actually, in GURPS a DX of 7 can mean your PC's going to fall down a lot during chases."

One or two of my players never did get to knowing the rules all that well, but it didn't matter. My job was to ask them, "What do you want your character to do?" Then tell them what to roll on.
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My first GURPS book, GURPS Fantasy Folk: ?????, is awaiting playtest.
Exchange Students (fantasy/horror/science fiction anthology including my story set in my GURPS galaxy)
Online interview of myself and one of my published GURPS characters
Home page http://alden.loveshade.org
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Old 10-07-2020, 04:49 PM   #17
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: How would you promote GURPS to RPG newbies?

Attributes are a lot more important in GURPS than any many systems, so new players usually do not understand how big the difference is going from 10 to 14 (especially D&D players, where they are used to every +2 attribute giving a +1 to tests)
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Old 10-07-2020, 11:59 PM   #18
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Default Re: How would you promote GURPS to RPG newbies?

I focus on the game not the system.

For people new to RPGs or GURPS. I create their first character for them based on description from them based on my description of the world. I tell them to imagine they are in a slightly gritty adventure movie and depending on the power level I explain they are a lot like (insert name of characters). After the character is done I explain what the character is good at and any special skills and weaknesses (in plain language) the character has. Then I tell them to describe what they do and ill translate it into game system and don't worry they will pick it up. I gradually let them learn the rules and terminology at their own speed including character creation services or helping them until they get the hang of it.

If I'm talking to a new person who wants to run a game in GURPS and ask me why I like it i explain that the base system does a really good job of emulating a reality everyone recognizes so you can wing it really easily if you don't have a rule on hand and that is one of GURPS biggest strengths.
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Old 10-08-2020, 01:03 AM   #19
whswhs
 
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Default Re: How would you promote GURPS to RPG newbies?

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I focus on the game not the system.
I'm seeing several people say versions of that, to the point where I think it's the central message of this thread. And it's certainly my approach as well.
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Old 10-08-2020, 05:15 AM   #20
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Default Re: How would you promote GURPS to RPG newbies?

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Originally Posted by mehrkat View Post
I focus on the game not the system.
Generally speaking, this would be my approach, but I don't think I would roleplay with someone I didn't know well, especially because I tend to play around with odd things like taboos, don't really know... any genre conventions, and tend to tailor campaigns around the players. And if I do know them well enough, then presumably I'd know which approaches to take with them.

On the flipside, life isn't that simple. Sometimes I've roleplayed with people I've known for all of five minutes who don't seem to know much about fiction in general. From there I ask fast and simple questions about what kind of character they'd want to play. Just tell them to imagine anything. I'll write up a quick-and-dirty sheet, explain what I just wrote so they can grasp and grok their character and just explain things on the fly. Being forced to improv is basically how I GM and I just memorize rules and such when I'm not roleplaying.
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While I do not think that GURPS is perfect I do think that it is more balanced than what I am likely to create by GM fiat.
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