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Old 05-12-2019, 07:17 PM   #761
L.J.Steele
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Why isn't GURPS as popular as the D20 system and games

Personally, I think tangible books are more helpful in getting players into the hobby. I most prefer the publishers who'll bundle the pdf and physical book in the same deal, that way I have the book when I want it and the PDF when that's easier. I've got multiple flash drives of PDFs for various games and I rarely look at them casually.
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:13 PM   #762
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Default Re: Why isn't GURPS as popular as the D20 system and games

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The thing about pdfs vs books is that books represent actual product on a store shelf, and thus a way to hook people who weren't already customers. However, with the way the retail market has evolved, the value of having a shelf presence has gone down, and I'm not sure how you replace it (other than advertisement, of course).
People here are conflating "I prefer the utility of physical books" with "books on shelves hook customers." The two are separate issues.
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:17 PM   #763
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Default Re: Why isn't GURPS as popular as the D20 system and games

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
People here are conflating "I prefer the utility of physical books" with "books on shelves hook customers." The two are separate issues.
There's a difference between "I prefer physical books" and "PDFs aren't real books".
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:42 PM   #764
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Default Re: Why isn't GURPS as popular as the D20 system and games

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
People here are conflating "I prefer the utility of physical books" with "books on shelves hook customers." The two are separate issues.
They are and both arent addressing the idea that unless your going to sell a large number of them books they just are not profitable, either for the stores or the publisher.
We simply cant rely on the current market being the same as the old market.

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There's a difference between "I prefer physical books" and "PDFs aren't real books".
Yes but the poster that started that tangent already issued his clarification.
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:54 PM   #765
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Default Re: Why isn't GURPS as popular as the D20 system and games

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The thing about PDFs is... they're intended to be printed. If they weren't I'd find a reflowing document a heckuva lot more convenient.
[snip]

The industry is what it is. It's a choice between digital GURPS books or no GURPS books. I know what my vote is for.
PDF is, indeed, a print format captured electronically, but printing PDF out can be rather expensive, and PoD is usually a better option fiscally.

As for other formats... Tables are not well supported by ePub nor by the Kindle Creator app. Essentially, the only reliable table is two column. Fine for single output of die-roll input. Not fine for many types of table.

Given that large format devices are expensive, and PDF of letter size is almost unreadable on a 7" kindle oasis... you can zoom in, but navigating it is a pain. SJG's product being optimized for POD on letter makes adoption for digital-only users harder.
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Old 05-17-2019, 12:14 PM   #766
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Default Re: Why isn't GURPS as popular as the D20 system and games

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However, with the way the retail market has evolved, the value of having a shelf presence has gone down, and I'm not sure how you replace it (other than advertisement, of course).
Until you reach a large enough size, the reality of the new era is that it all about the client-patron relationship with your customers as the patrons and you as their client.

I will glad to offer specifics if folks are interested.
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Old 05-17-2019, 12:29 PM   #767
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Default Re: Why isn't GURPS as popular as the D20 system and games

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For me PDFs are a mixed bag, as I see tabletop roleplaying as an activity where you can get away from computers for once.
It not a either or situation anymore thanks to Print on Demand. But the economics and reach of PoD are such that it may not work for SJ Games as means of distribution for new books.
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Old 05-17-2019, 02:13 PM   #768
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Default Re: Why isn't GURPS as popular as the D20 system and games

The only GURPS book I've seen on a shelf in years (not counting consignment) has been GURPS Zombies at my FLGS. They have one, lonely, copy of it, and no other GURPS books.

Most of the people I introduce to GURPS is through self-printed copies of GURPS Lite, and usually not at an FLGS. Or, it's through me talking about it, and pointing them to Warehouse 23 to get their own copy of Lite.

If they're interested, I'll usually loan them one of my dead-tree versions of Characters to look over, or, I'll just sit with them, help them make a character, and they'll play. Usually picking up their own copies of the Basic Set either from Warehouse 23, Drive Thru, or even Amazon. As this is happening more and more over Discord, it's usually me looking at my PDFs on monitor two while I'm talking with them and building their character on monitor one.

I haven't played face-to-face with my group in a couple of years. And there's one member of my gaming group I haven't met, in person, yet. We talk over Discord and play through TableTop Simulator.

There was a time when I would buy dead-tree versions of the Basic Set for my players, so they'd have the books.

Me, I prefer just having to lug around my laptop as opposed to 75lbs of gaming books.

Now, if we could just get an on-line product like D&D Beyond for GURPS, I'd be ecstatic.
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Old 05-18-2019, 05:00 AM   #769
L.J.Steele
 
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Default Re: Why isn't GURPS as popular as the D20 system and games

I have the first printing (with the awful binding) of Basic, which I bring along with UltraTech to our Space game -- dead tree is easy to pass around, and doesn't add in the distraction of -- oh look I have mail, when I look at my computer. (I had to stop bringing my laptop to games -- I found myself easy distracted during any down time.)

But back to the question. This week's Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff touches on some of it in its discussion of skill lists, and why some Gumshoe products go into finer detail for some things than others. GURPS, aspiring to be generic, has to have a huge, detailed list of skills and modifiers. Which is great, but it creates point sinks to have all of the skills needed to be competent in various technical areas, which may be unimportant to the campaign. To paraphrase Robin, if the campaign is about a bunch of forensic occult investigators, then everyone needs differentiated forensic, social, and magic skill because that's what they do all the time in session, the diversity offers niche protection, and it gives good roleplaying moments. Mundane combat skills, in that campaign, might be rarely used. If, however, you've got the forensics guy on the kick-ass modern anti-vampire special ops team, the setting needs detailed combat skills, but forensics could be a single skill or a Bang! skill. GURPS isn't well designed (or at least doesn't explain well) how to telescope the skill tree for a campaign.
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Old 05-18-2019, 10:11 AM   #770
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Default Re: Why isn't GURPS as popular as the D20 system and games

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Originally Posted by L.J.Steele View Post
I have the first printing (with the awful binding) of Basic, which I bring along with UltraTech to our Space game -- dead tree is easy to pass around, and doesn't add in the distraction of -- oh look I have mail, when I look at my computer. (I had to stop bringing my laptop to games -- I found myself easy distracted during any down time.)
I have a huge number of books on my desktop. But for running games, I download the currently useful set onto a tablet. I have not even enabled e-mail on the tablet; I have it for watching streamed video, carrying books to games, video calls with C when I'm away from home, taking the odd photo, and a couple of other things, not as a substitute computer. (We originally got it largely as a portable note-taking device for C to use, but now she has a laptop.)
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