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Old 12-14-2005, 09:13 PM   #41
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Default Re: Why isn't GURPS as popular as the D20 system and games

WOW..i'm surprised at the responces i've gotten to this topic..

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Originally Posted by Nosforontu

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.
I've mentioned the topic about support in another thread....having a OGL and SRD helps d20 and D&D in particular because you can get more than just WOTC stuff and help out the 3rd party guys..unless its crapy stuff which has and is still going on today. (maybe this should be its own discussion) Thats something that turned me to the d20 stuff instead of GURPS...
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:10 PM   #42
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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 Nosforontu

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 that can be true, it often is not. With some 2200 feats available and all kinds of regular classes and the like it can take quite a while to make a D&D character.

IF the new player comes into a low level game which the DM limits to basic classes, creation is fast. Otherwise it slows down a lot.
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Old 12-14-2005, 11:39 PM   #43
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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 sir_pudding
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 surived things that would have destroyed another company, and outlasted legions of competitors. Medium size may be an asset for a company in this business.
I never did understood why he turned down the Robotech license at the final minute. (At least that was the word back when.)
On the other hand, how many times has the D&D publishers gone bankrupt, changed hands, etc.?
Hero too, I believe, has gone through a couple of bankrupcy phases, and most other gaming companies tend to be either fleeting or suffer massive highs and lows.

D20 plays much like a video game, dududu and you level up, this is fun and easy to do.
GURPS plays more like a Sim Life or a Sim Story, it's not for everyone, but more fun for those who enjoy it.
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:10 AM   #44
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Default Re: Why isn't GURPS as popular as the D20 system and games

Honestly, I think the biggest thing GURPS is lacking is a flashy setting. If there were dome dynamite IP behind it, I think it would sell a lot better. Most players don't care about game mechanics unless they're really bad. In my experience, players will say, "yeah, there are some problems with the game, but it's robust enough to do the job, so I'll just stick with it."

Games are bought for setting--cool factor if you will. If a game provides a fantastic, imaginative, and immersive concept, it will sell. GURPS books are usually toolkit oriented, and encourages the individual groups/GMs to make their own fantastic setting. This appeals to a limited demographic. If people buy an awesome setting with a house system, they would rather just play it than convert it--it's less work and less money. GURPS can do most anything, but ask yourself why most people should buy Serenity, convert it to GURPS, and then play it, when it is playable on its own.

I think GURPS made great steps towards achieving this with the Transhuman Space line. In that case, there was an excellent and well supported game line where the GURPS factor was only secondary. It is generally considered one of the best Science Ficton RPGs of all time. Sadly, it does not look like that line will be continued in print format. I hope that some other equally fantastic PBG line comes up to replace it.
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:59 AM   #45
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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 Captain-Captain
While that can be true, it often is not. With some 2200 feats available and all kinds of regular classes and the like it can take quite a while to make a D&D character.

IF the new player comes into a low level game which the DM limits to basic classes, creation is fast. Otherwise it slows down a lot.
I don't think that's such a big deal, though. 2200 feats is a lot, but most people I've ever played with have a simple division of which books are allowed, which cuts the number down by a lot. Plus, most feats tend to require earlier ones, so when making a new first level character the choices are even fewer.

I'd love to play GURPS sometime. No one seems to run it in Denver, though. I've played little mini-campaigns, but they all seem to break down and stop in ways that D&D and Call of Cthulhu don't.
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Old 12-15-2005, 11:42 AM   #46
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Default Re: Why isn't GURPS as popular as the D20 system and games

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I'd love to play GURPS sometime. No one seems to run it in Denver, though. I've played little mini-campaigns, but they all seem to break down and stop in ways that D&D and Call of Cthulhu don't.
What ways are those if i may ask? I wonder if we could get kromm to chime in on this topic?
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Old 12-15-2005, 01:43 PM   #47
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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
What ways are those if i may ask? I wonder if we could get kromm to chime in on this topic?
I dunno. They all stopped. To be fair, the Champions games I've been in have done the same thing. My CoC and D&D campaigns, on the other hand, keep going until the story is over.
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Old 12-17-2005, 01:00 PM   #48
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Default Re: Why isn't GURPS as popular as the D20 system and games

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I dunno. They all stopped. To be fair, the Champions games I've been in have done the same thing. My CoC and D&D campaigns, on the other hand, keep going until the story is over.
Oh alrighty....and i'm getting closer to making a new thread about third party support just need to iron out my thoughts before posting them....
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Old 12-17-2005, 07:23 PM   #49
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Default Re: Why isn't GURPS as popular as the D20 system and games

Forgive me if I'm retreading old ground; I just stumbled upon this and it's 5 pages long, but here's what I think is going on here:

1.) Name recognition. D&D is the Coca-Cola, The Wal-Mart, the Tupperware, the MCDonalds, the Kleenex of roleplaying. It was the first, and when it came out, it was the only one of its kind. It also was alone on the field for long enough that people played it or nothing at all for a while.

2.) Shallower learning curve. In d20 you wind up with a very narrow base of abilities at the start and acquire more as you go on. GURPS is just the opposite. You start knowing HOW to do just about everything you'll ever want to do, you just get BETTER at it over time. This makes it a bit more intimidating for newbies. In this way, GURPS' greatest strength is also its biggest repelling factor. There's just SO MUCH you can do with it, that it's daunting for newbies.

3.) Open gaming License. Anyone, anywhere, can make D&D compatable product.

4.) Xenophobia. There's a number of D&D gamers that will want to kill you if you suggest the existance of another RPG. (This isn't altogether unlike the founder of a roleplaying company named after a certain metallic element beginning with the 16th letter of the alphabet, but I digress)

5.) Marketing. WotC has a massive, high-powered product-promotion machine running constantly, and it aggressively licenses its products out to computer game companies.

6.) Fast-food factor. WotC churns supplements out constantly, often at a rate of 2 or even 3 a month. It's like eating not at McDonalds maybe, but possibly at someplace like Noodles & Co, Corner Bakery, or Panera. The stuff's decent quality, but it's somewhat formulaic. GURPS products, on the other hand come out much less frequently, and tend to be more like eating at a nice Italian bistro. The product has been crafted a bit more lovingly. Not as slick, maybe, but much more satisfying. GURPS books, for instance, tend to have massive bibliographies in the back as testament to the amounts of research done by the authors.

7.) Setting properties. The D&D name isn't JUST D&D itself, but also the highly-profitable Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, Dragonlance, and Eberron settings, plus a bunch of others that still continue to sell old product on RPGNow.

8.) Fiction support. Novels don't get written about GURPS properties. (Though on a fairly regular basis the reverse has been true)

9.) Materials needed to pull off a game. If I'm going to run a d20 cyberpunk game, buy d20 Modern, d20 Future, and d20 Cyberscape. I can run my game now. If I want to do the same thing with GURPS, I'm going to buy the basic set, ultra-tech, ultra-tech 2, cyberpunk, and then possibly add cyberworld, mecha, robots, and vehicles to the mix. If I'm going to run fantasy, I pick up the SRD or buy the PHB, DMG, & MM. With GURPS, It's GURPS Basic Set, Magic, Low-Tech, Fantasy, Grimoire, Fantasy Folk... ...now don't get me wrong, I LOVE this about GURPS, and my patient acquision of a massive GURPS library over the years has virtually insured that anything I can possibly fathom can be pulled off in my games, but still, that's a lot of books. Then again, my cyberpunks will have things like Gyrocs, monochain shotshell, personal miniguns, and other nifty, incredibly cool toys that d20 doesn't simulate.

10.) Realistic vs. Cinematic. d20 is a VERY cinematic system. A level 20 human paladin can hack through an entire army of CR 1 zombies without breaking a sweat, likely killing as many of them as 8 per round with the help of the great cleave feat. PCs are hard to kill, and when they do die, they come back pretty quickly most of the time. GURPS, on the other hand is much more realistic. A 700-point black op can be killed by a 25-point NPC terrorist with a powerful sniper rifle and a good line of sight.

Note that none of this has anything to do with the validity of either system's existence. Both are excellent at what they do. If I want to run fast-starting, cinematic fantasy and take on armies of undead, d20 is likely my system of choice. If I want to dig into intrigue, play around on the gritty side, blend genres together, and/or have firearms in my game, it's probably GURPS. I'm currently running a post-apocalyptic game using the d20 modern/future rules with a fair amount of third-party material tacked on, and I'm STILL frustrated with the amount of options I miss from GURPS. On the other hand, my last game, a high-powered world-spanning fantasy epic, hummed along like a sewing machine under the d20 rules. My next game WILL be GURPS, no matter what genre I use, though. I'd like to go a little grittier, and that seems to be the way to do it without making the players feel abused.
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Last edited by timespike; 12-17-2005 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 12-17-2005, 07:57 PM   #50
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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 timespike
Forgive me if I'm retreading old ground;

Note that none of this has anything to do with the validity of either system's existence. Both are excellent at what they do. If I want to run fast-starting, cinematic fantasy and take on armies of undead, d20 is likely my system of choice. If I want to dig into intrigue, play around on the gritty side, blend genres together, and/or have firearms in my game, it's probably GURPS. I'm currently running a post-apocalyptic game using the d20 modern/future rules with a fair amount of third-party material tacked on, and I'm STILL frustrated with the amount of options I miss from GURPS. On the other hand, my last game, a high-powered world-spanning fantasy epic, hummed along like a sewing machine under the d20 rules. My next game WILL be GURPS, no matter what genre I use, though. I'd like to go a little grittier, and that seems to be the way to do it without making the players feel abused.
ITs alright oyu did a nice job ad a nice spin from your p.o.v and as for your current d20 game have you looked at D20: PA?
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