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Old 12-12-2005, 06:22 PM   #31
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Default Re: Why isn't GURPS as popular as the D20 system and games

According to Wiki ;*0, 1974 vs. 1977, so D&D is older.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor Tanhauser
As to D&D being the proginitor of all RPG's, wasn't traveller in production before D&D came out or at least didn't it come out about the same time as D&D?

I never got much into traveller, but some people I know are into it and always swear that traveller would have happened regardless of D&D or not.
That's logical. StarWars (toys), sci-fi miniature wargaming, etc..
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Old 12-12-2005, 06:24 PM   #32
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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 trappedslider
Why do you think GURPS isn't as popular as the D20 system and its games and why poeple don't like GURPS.
GURPS has been described by some as "The Grad School" of role playing games.

It does seem that I have met many players and GM's who have "moved up" from their other game systems.
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Old 12-12-2005, 06:28 PM   #33
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Default Re: Why isn't GURPS as popular as the D20 system and games

This is America. People like to arrogantly express their opinions even if they're not very valuable! :*)

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Originally Posted by zorg
lol!

Seriously. My question was a polite way of saying "Please, read the older discussions on the same topic, if you have anything to add after that, let us hear it..."
It's just because I get this pain in my head when another thread "Gurps vs D&D, Part X" (aka "What size is Gurps?", "Why is Gurps so small?" "Gimme more Gurps!" etc) pops up. All this brainpower here discussing the same old topics, over and over...

I mostly read this thread for the interesting (but off-topic) things whswhs (not the only one, of course) has to tell, sorting through the old news is somewhat tiresome.
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Old 12-12-2005, 11:27 PM   #34
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Default Re: Why isn't GURPS as popular as the D20 system and games

Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor Tanhauser
As to D&D being the proginitor of all RPG's, wasn't traveller in production before D&D came out or at least didn't it come out about the same time as D&D?

I never got much into traveller, but some people I know are into it and always swear that traveller would have happened regardless of D&D or not.
Traveller came out around the time of ADVANCED D&D's release. D&D itself dates to 1974.
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:16 AM   #35
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Default Re: Why isn't GURPS as popular as the D20 system and games

Well, this thread has been an education. Apparently, after four pages of thread, the agreement is that D20's popularity over GURPS is entirely due to marketing and name recognition, ignorance by gamers, and a shadowy conspiracy of GURPS-haters spreading foul lies.

The one person who made a desperate call for people to address issues about GURPS itself was shot down in one post flat.

You see what the problem is here? You're all suggesting that if it wasn't for all these external outside factors GURPS would be more popular than D20 or D&D. Hell, some of you seem to be suggesting that GURPS is the most perfect gaming system ever designed and would take the world by storm if it wasn't for some kind of conspiracy to destroy it.

You have all answered, as that other poster said, only half the question.

The fact is GURPS has some significant differences: power levels, its point-buy system, the complexity of its combat rules, the particularity of its magic system, all of which can be strengths but can also be turn-offs that limit the game's appeal.

I don't think the original poster was looking for a paean on the wonders of GURPS and the evils of D20, I think he was making a very simple and factual statement: GURPS is a less popular system than D20. There's nothing particularly wrong with that. GURPS is in no danger of disappearing, its still EXTREMELY popular by RPG standards, and one of the most popular RPGs ever. But it is less popular than D20, and for reasons that must include the differences between the two beyond some shadowy cabal out to destroy steve jackson.

So; I will risk trying this again: can people here see how things like the point-buy system would be a turn off that would make it less popular? What about the combat system? what about the magic system? The overall power levels? what else?

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Old 12-13-2005, 11:52 AM   #36
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Default Re: Why isn't GURPS as popular as the D20 system and games

Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGPundit
So; I will risk trying this again: can people here see how things like the point-buy system would be a turn off that would make it less popular? What about the combat system? what about the magic system? The overall power levels? what else?
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Sure, I can. In fact, this morning I was thinking about the future, to the point in time when I introduce my kids to rpgs. Which system would I choose? D&D. Why? It's easier to learn.

And then someday I'll teach them GURPS. And whatever else I might find interesting at the time.
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:59 AM   #37
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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 pyratejohn
Sure, I can. In fact, this morning I was thinking about the future, to the point in time when I introduce my kids to rpgs. Which system would I choose? D&D. Why? It's easier to learn.

And then someday I'll teach them GURPS. And whatever else I might find interesting at the time.
Good answer. So now the question becomes: how is D&D easier to learn than GURPS? I suppose that you recognize that its even easier to learn than GURPS lite? So what could be changed in the lite system that would make GURPS as beginner-friendly as D&D?

Because, after all, whatever hooks you as a beginner will not only be likely to hold onto your loyalties, but will also influence how you view all RPGs forever. And, there are relatively few people who's very first RPG was GURPS.

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Old 12-13-2005, 12:04 PM   #38
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Default Re: Why isn't GURPS as popular as the D20 system and games

Because a character begins life with very little power and slowly advances into more power, thus giving the new player a chance to learn the system as the character advances....???
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Old 12-13-2005, 12:50 PM   #39
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Default Re: Why isn't GURPS as popular as the D20 system and games

Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGPundit
So; I will risk trying this again: can people here see how things like the point-buy system would be a turn off that would make it less popular?
Sure, class & level systems are more popular as are more "channeled" point buy systems, like Storyteller (and I'm assuming WoD although I haven't really looked at it much), that limit how points can be spent. GURPS has the latter in the form of templates. As for the former, I don't think GURPS could have a class and level system and still be GURPS.
Quote:
What about the combat system?
What about the combat system?
Should GURPS offer more cinematic combat? Yes, and 4e's gone a long way towards it.
Should GURPS have longer rounds (like D&D) or rounds of a unspecified length (Storyteller/WoD(I think))? Some people say yes, I say no. The abstraction of combat is one thing that bugs me about those other games.
Quote:
what about the magic system?
Which magic system?
The problems with the standard GURPS magic system are exactly the same as some of the problems with the D&D magic system.
Quote:
The overall power levels?
I'm not sure what "power level" really means. GURPS uses reality as it's baseline as much as possible. 4e is certainly more flexible at other levels. Unfortutatly GURPS has never scaled well to the extremes, and although it scales better now, I'd probably use another system to run certain games (although neither of the industry leaders, unless my players demanded it). Both D20 and WoD (as well as HERO whose fans often offer this "power level" criticism) are worse at handling ordinary people and most fictional characters than GURPS is at handling Gods and Superheroes, IMO.
Quote:
what else?
I think the most interesting post in this thread was Ross_Winn's, is it possible that SJ Games could be vastly more sucessful, but for the man at the helm? I intend no offense to SJ, but from an outside observers perspective sometimes this seems to be the case. OTOH SJ Games has survived things that would have destroyed another company, and outlasted legions of competitors. Medium size may be an asset for a company in this business.

Last edited by sir_pudding; 12-15-2005 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 12-13-2005, 01:54 PM   #40
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Default Re: Why isn't GURPS as popular as the D20 system and games

Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGPundit
Well, this thread has been an education. Apparently, after four pages of thread, the agreement is that D20's popularity over GURPS is entirely due to marketing and name recognition, ignorance by gamers, and a shadowy conspiracy of GURPS-haters spreading foul lies.
I wouldnt go quite that far but D&D has had far greater name recognition for as long as I can remember over any other system, and the fact that so many other RPG systems even before the OGL for D20 system were essentially described as D&D Clones or D&D with a twist certainly didnt hurt D&Ds position as the Core RPG.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGPundit
The fact is GURPS has some significant differences: power levels, its point-buy system, the complexity of its combat rules, the particularity of its magic system, all of which can be strengths but can also be turn-offs that limit the game's appeal.

I don't think the original poster was looking for a paean on the wonders of GURPS and the evils of D20, I think he was making a very simple and factual statement: GURPS is a less popular system than D20. There's nothing particularly wrong with that. GURPS is in no danger of disappearing, its still EXTREMELY popular by RPG standards, and one of the most popular RPGs ever. But it is less popular than D20, and for reasons that must include the differences between the two beyond some shadowy cabal out to destroy steve jackson.

So; I will risk trying this again: can people here see how things like the point-buy system would be a turn off that would make it less popular? What about the combat system? what about the magic system? The overall power levels? what else?

RPGPundit
I would say that gurps does have some problem areas compared to d20 games

1: Fewer official worlds and far less developemnt of those worlds. D20/D&D simply crank out book after book about the same setting. As well as creating multimedia tie ins to these worlds as well. For instance Forgotten realms has had in the past has had at least 4 major campaign settings with fairly heavy support in 2cd edition, several novals written set in the realms both in 2cd edition and today. As well as having numerous popular video games set in the realms (Never winter and Baldurs gate).

That heavy support is really nice for both players and DMs alike. Players like it because they have a greater sense of what to expect in a forgotten realms campaingn as opposed to a home brew campaign. They can more directly tie their characters into the world by playing off of the numerous examples of characters from the books/novals (the rise Driztz clones in the realms is good if annoying example of this proccess). They can also of course increase the complexity of their characters back story by tieing it in better with the world or regions history.

DMs like it because all that material focussed on one setting lets concentrate on working up the campaign instead of working on both the campaign and world creation.

2: Focus on Genre would be gurps second weakness in comparisson to D&D, although this is also of course one of gurps major strengths as well. D&D is essenttially a fantasy based game engine and while it has been ported to other systems its core is still fantasy oriented. Once again that makes generates a lot of material for one genre which typically gets stacked onto the already large supply of world specific material.

Gurps doesnt do that nearly as much instead it spreads its focus onto numerous different genres (and does them quite well considering that they cover them with fewer books). This makes Guprs a much better toolset to create multi-genere game settings as well as making it one of the best toolsets I have ever seen for designing a game world to fit the GMs vision but it does mean that the GM will have to invent more cultural/campaign elements than if he stayed with a D&D system.

3: D&D character creation process is designed to produce characters relatively quickly and with quick Iconic referencing, and its adventuring system is designed to encourage the "core four" approach requiring teamwork for success (the core four refers to the four basic characters encouraged for every party the Martial character, the Rogue, The wizard, and the Cleric).

While personally I have a problem with the cookie cutter approach to character design that this encourages it does make it easy for characters in D&D game to have spot light moments since each character class is designed to be different from each other and the published adventures tend to assume a core 4 adventuring party from the begining.

4: Next is the laziness factor, never underestimate this factor in any activity. It seems to be far easier for me to get their hands on d20 products at various book stores and other d20 products compared to gurps books. It makes it much easier for the casual gamer who has no doubt heard of D&D to decided on D&D compared to gurps when he might see 40 or 50 D&D books but only one or two gurps books on the shelves.

Additionaly D&D plays a bit easier for a player and especially a DM. A player is required to make fewer overall game choices in D&D than he is in gurps during his advancement as his choices are far more restricted, and are predominantly oriented towards combat and combat oriented games.

While a DM has a lot more ability to phone in a D&D game than he doe a gurps game. CR tables tell you what level monsters should be a challenge for your players. Random treasure tables allow you to keep the players happy with looting without having to preplan the treasures. Th Dms guide tells you how much a particular PC at a particular level should possess in treasure at any given level, and XP requirements for each level let you plan out x encounters that you want to run before the party is rewarded by a level gain.

Now then all these bonuses for D&D do come with their own problems of course and over all I much prefer the flexibilty of Gurps to handle most game settings out of the box compared to D&Ds much more narrow scope. As well as the difficulty of D&D games staying gritty as the characters advance in power (its just not oriented towards a gritty world without major dm tweaking)
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