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Old 08-12-2017, 09:09 PM   #971
whswhs
 
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Default Re: What GURPS needs... now

Let me add to my last two comments that I think I'm seeing multiple agenda here.

* "I want GURPS to be a game that I can introduce D&Ders to and have them be willling to play it."

* "I want GURPS to be a system that I can use to introduce new people to roleplaying, and have it be accessible."

* "I want GURPS to be a system that someone who's never played in or run GURPS can pick up and figure out how to use for the campaign they really want to run."

My ideal agenda is the second; in practice I sometimes have to go for the first. Obviously I don't go for the third!

Those three probably call for different approaches. We might suppose that Dungeon Fantasy addresses the first, so how to address the other two is more the question.
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:10 PM   #972
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Default Re: What GURPS needs... now

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Originally Posted by kmunoz View Post
The fact that "character generation session" is even a thing is part of the problem.
I can't fully disagree with this. One of the things I love about the Storyteller System/World of Darkness is the utter simplicity of character creation. I can hand you a character sheet and walk you through basic character creation very quickly, and all the information the player needs is on the sheet. Other systems such as Call of Cthulhu have a similar, though slightly more complex, character generation setup with the character sheet containing all the important information you might need for character creation.

This would never work for GURPS because the skill list is so much larger. Storyteller has, what, 30 skills broken into three groups? Call of Cthulhu has about 50 skills. GURPS has something like 300 skills, *NOT* including required specialties, optional specialties, or techniques.

However, once those skills are down on the character sheet it is no more complex than CoC or WoD.

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Originally Posted by kmunoz View Post
But boy do I wish character creation didn't require algebra, an astrolabe and higher order physics.
Good thing it doesn't.

The most complex math in character creation involves multiplication and division, and then only in a couple places - calculating Basic Speed is the main one, though setting levels of attributes or (dis)advantages as well as optional use of Modifiers does require some multiplication as well. The rest of character creation requires nothing more complex than addition and subtraction. These are all 3rd grade math skills.

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"Character generation session" is death.

I can *begin running* a D&D *campaign* 30 minutes after the group first sits down, Day 1.
This is a direct result of a D&D character being based on a couple stats and a couple skills while GURPS has many options. If you want to run GURPS with that level of simplicity simply replace all of the skills with about 30 Wildcard skills (heck, nick the list from Storyteller), remove almost all advantages ("fighters" get their choice of Luck or Combat Reflexes, Mages or Clerics get Magery or Power Investiture), and remove disadvantages completely. Spells will use Wildcard skills too. And everybody get one of each of their primary weapon type and a set of Leather Armor.

You will get a character about as simple as your average D&D character, with just about as much depth. Of course, in doing so you remove almost all of the customizability of GURPS.

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Originally Posted by kmunoz View Post
And I play with kids (ages 11-14) as well as adults (ages 41-44). I can't expect half of my gaming group to be able to do the math required to make a complex character. And that's even with one of the kids being an actual, frightening genius. Even she can't generate a GURPS character using just pencil and paper, if she wants to play anything other than a meathead with an axe.
You're far overstating your case, in that I know it's not really true. What people have a problem with is adding large columns of numbers - they are essentially lazy (and I'm using "lazy" in a non-pejorative way here; people have an aversion to doing this for whatever reason). Unfortunately, if you want to play a game which includes 300 skills, where a character might have 30-40 of them, it's going to require adding a bunch of numbers together unless you drastically change the number of skills and their cost structure. The same goes for Advantages and Disadvantages to a lesser extent.

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Originally Posted by kmunoz View Post
The day some young upstart game designer manages to pull off D&D style character creation/development with the universalism and realism I find in GURPS is the day I leave GURPS. Characters are a chore in GURPS, and chores are *not fun.*
The problem is that this will probably never happen. Adding options to character creation necessarily increases complexity - not complexity as in rocket science but complexity as in long grocery lists. And a good chunk of the genericness and universalism of GURPS comes from all the options it offers.
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Last edited by ericbsmith; 08-13-2017 at 03:44 AM.
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:14 PM   #973
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Default Re: What GURPS needs... now

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I find that new people are totally fine with nearly any system, so long as you talk with them about "character concept" and "story" and "campaign role." It's more actual play where the different systems are uneven in quality, in my experience.
Yep! I agree. I find new people are often much easier to get into a system than people who are really fixed with one game only.
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:27 PM   #974
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Default Re: What GURPS needs... now

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I find that new people are totally fine with nearly any system, so long as you talk with them about "character concept" and "story" and "campaign role." It's more actual play where the different systems are uneven in quality, in my experience.
I've stressed this to a lot of people. At a local convention I had a slightly heated discussion with a couple panelists regarding this (they weren't fond of GURPS). Frankly it doesn't matter if you're playing D&D, Storyteller, Call of Cthulhu, or GURPS, if you shove a book at somebody that's never read it and tell them "Make a character" and do nothing else then they are going to be dissatisfied with the character creation experience. One of the problems, I think, is that too many people are used to doing that with D&D.

What makes D&D or Storyteller character creation so "quick and easy" to a lot of people isn't the simplicity of character creation, it's the familiarity with the system. Once people get familiar with making characters in the system things get much simpler, and using character concept, story, or campaign role can be ways of guiding that character creation in any game system to make it simpler.

GURPS is more complex than those systems, but it isn't massively more complex, it can just seem like it because of the long list of traits and the indecision most people get when faced with too many choices. And offering streamlined and cut down lists of traits (ala Dungeon Fantasy or After the End or Monster Hunters) is certainly another way of dealing with the "too many choices" problem, however the guiding hand of the GM is a better one (and helps even if you are using templates).
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:39 PM   #975
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Default Re: What GURPS needs... now

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Let me add to my last two comments that I think I'm seeing multiple agenda here.

* "I want GURPS to be a game that I can introduce D&Ders to and have them be willling to play it."

* "I want GURPS to be a system that I can use to introduce new people to roleplaying, and have it be accessible."

* "I want GURPS to be a system that someone who's never played in or run GURPS can pick up and figure out how to use for the campaign they really want to run."Those three probably call for different approaches. We might suppose that Dungeon Fantasy addresses the first, so how to address the other two is more the question.
I would add
"I want to be able to quickly run a game by having lots of available adventures"
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:09 PM   #976
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Default Re: What GURPS needs... now

GURPS *has* templates, and lots of them. They're just scattered in various books like Dungeon Fantasy, Action, After The End, etc. I would argue that this is more scalable and efficient than having one big book of templates for all kinds of genres, which I probably wouldn't like very much.

Some of my "new-to-GURPS" players just went with a template (after all, that's pretty much what you do with class-based games like D&D!) and their characters were ready super quickly -- most of the time was actually spent going over what each stat does, and generally teaching the system.

The problem I think has to do with the "buffet" aspect of GURPS rules (and other point based systems). It's too tempting to just flip through 300 pages of advantages, disadvantages, skills, etc. and pick whichever ones seem interesting. This makes character creation not only dreadfully slow, it also gives you a worse result, a character that's a hodge podge of useful skills and min maxed traits without much to bring it to life.

I usually try to get players to _think_ about the character they want to play, and then I would point them to a template (if it exists) or to the traits they need to model that character... but of course, as soon as the players get the books in their hands the same problem pops up... so the GM needs to watch out for that, and potentially withhold the books as long as possible from the players' hands by making them create their character using plain words and sentences. It's like William said -- what's the character's concept, story, and role in the party.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:17 PM   #977
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Default Re: What GURPS needs... now

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordabdul View Post
GURPS *has* templates, and lots of them. They're just scattered in various books like Dungeon Fantasy, Action, After The End, etc. I would argue that this is more scalable and efficient than having one big book of templates for all kinds of genres, which I probably wouldn't like very much.
I will also note that GURPS 3rd did have three template books - GURPS Rogues, GURPS Warriors, and GURPS Wizards. While point costs have changed slightly, and a few advantages or disadvantages have been removed/renamed/changed point cost, about 90% of any given template can be used verbatim in 4e. There was even an unofficial conversion of all three files into 4e for GURPS Character Assistant. So that's even more templates available if you like GCA.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:17 PM   #978
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Default Re: What GURPS needs... now

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordabdul View Post

The problem I think has to do with the "buffet" aspect of GURPS rules (and other point based systems). It's too tempting to just flip through 300 pages of advantages, disadvantages, skills, etc. and pick whichever ones seem interesting. This makes character creation not only dreadfully slow, it also gives you a worse result, a character that's a hodge podge of useful skills and min maxed traits without much to bring it to life.
I agrere.
I think a class type book (not aimed strictly at DF) would be a good idea.
Something like Warriors that had various Templates, or at least indexed the relevant ones and had suggestions for building variations on that type of character. Also use Lens.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:19 PM   #979
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Default Re: What GURPS needs... now

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Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
I would add
"I want to be able to quickly run a game by having lots of available adventures"
But that one doesn't conflict with any of the three I proposed and doesn't distinguish one from another. Rather it may be a possible strategy for pursuing any of those three goals. It could also be a strategy for running GURPS for your established player group, if you have one.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:54 PM   #980
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Default Re: What GURPS needs... now

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But that one doesn't conflict with any of the three I proposed and doesn't distinguish one from another. Rather it may be a possible strategy for pursuing any of those three goals. It could also be a strategy for running GURPS for your established player group, if you have one.
My point was that it appears to me to be one of the specific goals/desires by some of the posters in the thread. It may help with some of the other goals and certainly some people think so but I think its an actual end goal for some people posting.
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Pyramid Writers Group Pt II
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