Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-22-2012, 07:08 PM   #1
D351
 
D351's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Negaunee, MI
Default GURPS: xxxxx Kits

So, I just finished playing a game of D&D Gamma World, which, with little experience with the D&D rules, was painful and non-sensical. I don't know for sure if it was the mechanics or just the poorly organised rulebook, but no one at the table had any fun. But I digress. What immediately came to mind when I opened the box was that it'd be awesome if SJGames sold boxes that came with cardboard pieces and map, GURPS Lite, and a short campaign. Best possible idea: a box set for each major GURPS setting; Yrth, Transhuman Space, Infinite Worlds, etc. Personally, I think that this idea makes more sense for GURPS, as the rules for GURPS are far more easily simplified for a small starter package, and attuned far better for a full storyline. Basically, I'm imagining a box, GURPS Lite, some cardboard pieces, a few hexmaps, and an adventure book (basic campaign, brief description of the setting, character templates, advert for the full setting book), with a single extra copy of any handouts (so the GM doesn't have to copy them from the book, allowing immediate gameplay), plus five or six character sheets. They could be marketed as GURPS: xxxxx Starter Kits, so new players and GMs can dip their toes in without having to dig up components/adventure/etc. separately. An added bonus is that, by including hexmaps, players are encouraged to get the full basic set books to use the tactical combat rules.

The two biggest problems I've faced in getting my roomies to play a GURPS campaign have been character creation and lack of components. While character creation can be dealt with by providing templates or pre-built characters, components are an issue of finding things that match the campaign. First, I've had a bit of difficulty in finding suppliers of hexmaps in the scale of GURPS, better yet ones that aren't dungeon fantasy settings. Second, with the diversity available in GURPS, it becomes even harder to find components that fit any possible setting. I'm sure many GURPS players who have all of the related books would buy the kits just for the components. I certainly would, especially for Infinite Worlds or Transhuman Space.
D351 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2012, 07:17 PM   #2
Kage2020
 
Kage2020's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Virginia, US
Default Re: GURPS: xxxxx Kits

Given the reticence for a "GURPS Lite Fantasy" (etc.) it strikes me as unlikely that they would bring the extra and go down the route of that and all the other bits. Of course, I don't in any work for SJGames, so obviously I cannot say that definitively, but... Well, there you have it.

Getting through the morass of character generation can often be done with GM-moderated, concept-driven approaches. Just FYI. Not saying that you haven't tried that, but again just throwing it out there.
Kage2020 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2012, 07:49 PM   #3
D351
 
D351's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Negaunee, MI
Default Re: GURPS: xxxxx Kits

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kage2020 View Post
Getting through the morass of character generation can often be done with GM-moderated, concept-driven approaches. Just FYI. Not saying that you haven't tried that, but again just throwing it out there.
Yeah, I've tried it with limited success. It's been like pulling teeth to get them to settle on a concept. It's ironic. If I'd picked a system with limited options, they'd settle for anything within those options, but because GURPS has such openness, they want to have all of those options on the table, which means digging through the book for hours, then complaining about how long it takes to make a character.
D351 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2012, 08:05 PM   #4
Jerander
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Rochester, MN
Default Re: GURPS: xxxxx Kits

Quote:
Originally Posted by D351 View Post
Yeah, I've tried it with limited success. It's been like pulling teeth to get them to settle on a concept. It's ironic. If I'd picked a system with limited options, they'd settle for anything within those options, but because GURPS has such openness, they want to have all of those options on the table, which means digging through the book for hours, then complaining about how long it takes to make a character.
Yeah, decision paralysis is a killer. Try arbitrarily (sp?) limiting the choices for them. "Fantasy game, Standard Magic, no Psionics." Or something.
Jerander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2012, 10:33 PM   #5
sir_pudding
Wielder of Smart Pants
 
sir_pudding's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ventura CA
Default Re: GURPS: xxxxx Kits

Quote:
Originally Posted by D351 View Post
Yeah, I've tried it with limited success. It's been like pulling teeth to get them to settle on a concept. It's ironic. If I'd picked a system with limited options, they'd settle for anything within those options, but because GURPS has such openness, they want to have all of those options on the table, which means digging through the book for hours, then complaining about how long it takes to make a character.
Don't run "GURPS". Run a GURPS campaign. You decide on the setting, themes, and style (or offer a prospectus with a list of choices). Specify the kinds of characters that will be useful in the game. Document exactly which optional and house rules you are using. Possibly even offer templates.
sir_pudding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2012, 08:45 AM   #6
robertsconley
 
robertsconley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Default Re: GURPS: xxxxx Kits

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Don't run "GURPS". Run a GURPS campaign. You decide on the setting, themes, and style (or offer a prospectus with a list of choices). Specify the kinds of characters that will be useful in the game. Document exactly which optional and house rules you are using. Possibly even offer templates.
In my twenty five years of running GURPS Fantasy this is the best way to go for novices.
robertsconley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2012, 08:51 AM   #7
robertsconley
 
robertsconley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Default Re: GURPS: xxxxx Kits

I strongly advocated in the past for a powered by GURPS Fantasy RPG that is complete and standalone. And in addition do a similar one for Horror and Space as well. Currently GURPS has the reputation of being difficult for novices to learn and taking a lot of work to prepare for.

With competition from Savage Worlds, Fudge/Fate and the resurgence of various Basic Roleplaying games this is hurting GURPS even more than the general slump in tabletop RPGs would otherwise done.

And it strictly an issue of presentation, GURPS can cover the bases from lite play to complex simulation but most gamers are not willing to wade through the choices to distill the game they want. So they turn to alternatives.

I feel that as far as generic system goes how Chaosium does it is better than the GURPS/Hero System approach. Yes have a universal system but focus your marketing on standalone RPGs using that system.
robertsconley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2012, 03:13 PM   #8
sir_pudding
Wielder of Smart Pants
 
sir_pudding's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ventura CA
Default Re: GURPS: xxxxx Kits

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertsconley View Post
In my twenty five years of running GURPS Fantasy this is the best way to go for novices.
I don't think I'm a novice but I can't conceive of the other way ever working at all.
sir_pudding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2012, 06:33 AM   #9
Figleaf23
Banned
 
Figleaf23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Default Re: GURPS: xxxxx Kits

Quote:
Originally Posted by D351 View Post
Yeah, I've tried it with limited success. It's been like pulling teeth to get them to settle on a concept. It's ironic. If I'd picked a system with limited options, they'd settle for anything within those options, but because GURPS has such openness, they want to have all of those options on the table, which means digging through the book for hours, then complaining about how long it takes to make a character.
Are you allowed to slap them?
Figleaf23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2012, 07:33 AM   #10
trooper6
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Medford, MA
Default Re: GURPS: xxxxx Kits

Quote:
Originally Posted by D351 View Post
Yeah, I've tried it with limited success. It's been like pulling teeth to get them to settle on a concept. It's ironic. If I'd picked a system with limited options, they'd settle for anything within those options, but because GURPS has such openness, they want to have all of those options on the table, which means digging through the book for hours, then complaining about how long it takes to make a character.
Before you ask them for a concept, you have to give a really clear campaign frame. At least that is what I do, and it works out swimmingly. For example, I never say: It's a fantasy game set in Greyhawk, what's your concept? That is never going to work well...because you havn't given the players anything to go on.

Instead, I might say. This is a fantasy campaign where you all are going to be connected in some way to the minor noble house of the Baron Von Duffy. It is a poor Barony on the edge of the Kingdom, but strategically important because it guards the West Gate...a gate that blocks the mountain pass that separates then the Kingdom from the evil Spider Dominion. The neighboring Barony, Baron von Doom, has long wanted to annex your barony...but the King has always blocked him. However, the King is currently ill, if he dies, a new King will be elected from among the Barons...and Baron Von Doom is the favorite...at least at the moment. This campaign will have dungeon crawling as well as diplomacy and politics. Who will you be and how will shape the future of the Barony and the Kingdom!

Then, without the books even being open I just start asking them questions and remind them of possibilities. They can be a son or daughter of the Baron...a bastard of the Baron. They can be captain of the guard. Baronial huntsman. Head Cleric...I get them to see the sort of possibilities then let them go at it. But they will rarely come up with something good, if you haven't given them a really good hook/frame. Once, one of them comes up with an idea, then we flesh it out through questions, and hopefully other players will jump in. So one player says he wants to play the Baron's oldest child and heir...a knightly daughter. Perfect in everything. Then another player says that he wants to play the younger child, a son, who the Baron likes better. I ask leading questions...and only after the players have developed the concepts do we open the books...then it doesn't take that long at all...because you don't need to go through long lists anymore.
trooper6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cardboard heroes

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:41 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.