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Old 04-06-2016, 11:08 AM   #41
Emerald Cat
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA
Default Re: Just Roll 3d6 - GURPS Content Posts

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Originally Posted by philosophyguy View Post
I'm actually curious how other GMs handle the "technical language" barrier in templates, because a lot of template advantages are not intuitively obvious to brand new players.
In the template's description, I would describe what the template is trying to accomplish. This at least gives the players a solid foundation for choosing their template(s). Well defined optional lenses are also good for allowing new players to make decisions without having to understand the whole system.

Explaining why you chose the advantages you did when developing the template in the Customization Notes can help your players along. Footnotes are another option but may be too cluttered. Either way, I would stick to cliffnotes explanations of the advantages.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:39 AM   #42
philosophyguy
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Default Re: Just Roll 3d6 - GURPS Content Posts

I have a couple of posts up since this thread was updated. Using Disadvantages to Create Character Hooks explores ways to build in character motivations or challenges during the creation process.

Because GURPS is so flexible, one of the things that new GMs should learn is that it's okay to change your style in order to create the kind of game you want. Simplying the Game with Your GM Style looks at how you can change the way you run the game to create specific effects, as opposed to hunting for the right rules to replicate the effect.

Keeping Decisions Interesting is about balancing the level of granularity in the game with your players' comfort level. All the bells and whistles create a ton of opportunities for players to think strategically—but only if they understand the strategic choices that those details imply. For newer players, that cognitive load can quickly become overwhelming.

Finally, Writing Clearer Stat Blocks has a couple of suggestions for how to make GURPS stats more accessible and reader-friendly, especially for players with less experience in parsing GURPS traits.
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:40 PM   #43
Emerald Cat
 
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Default Re: Just Roll 3d6 - GURPS Content Posts

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Originally Posted by philosophyguy View Post
Finally, Writing Clearer Stat Blocks has a couple of suggestions for how to make GURPS stats more accessible and reader-friendly, especially for players with less experience in parsing GURPS traits.
Adding line breaks really does help make a stat block easier to read. One change I would make to your formatting would be putting each Secondary Characteristic on its own line. That will be much easier to follow than with two secondary characteristics per line. Having each category be its own line and adding indents would also make the template easier to read.

Using your investigator example:

Investigator (100 pts.)

Attributes: ST 10 [0], DX 12 [40], IQ 12 [40], HT 11 [10]

Secondary Characteristics:
Dmg 1d-2/1d
BL 20 lbs.
HP 11 [2]
Will 12 [0]
Per 13 [5]
FP 11 [0]
Basic Speed 5.75 [0]
Basic Move 5 [0]
Advantages:
Charisma 1 [5]
Legal Enforcement Powers [5]
Security Clearance [5]
Disadvantages:
Curious (12) [-5]
Greed (12) [-15]
Sense of Duty (Comrades) [-5]
Stubbornness [-5]
Skills:
Criminology (A) IQ+1 [4]-13
Fast-Talk (A) IQ [2]-12
Guns (Pistol) (E) DX+1 [2]-13
Search (A) Per+1 [4]-14
Stealth (A) DX+1 [4]-13
Streetwise (A) IQ [2]-12
This should make the template a little easier to navigate.
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Old 05-19-2016, 03:02 PM   #44
philosophyguy
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Default Re: Just Roll 3d6 - GURPS Content Posts

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Originally Posted by Emerald Cat View Post
Adding line breaks really does help make a stat block easier to read. One change I would make to your formatting would be putting each Secondary Characteristic on its own line. That will be much easier to follow than with two secondary characteristics per line.
I debated that for a while, and I'm not sure there is a clear-cut right answer. While length is less an issue for electronic media than print, it's still possible for a template to be too long. If someone needs to scroll the screen, that's a bad sign. This particular template is short enough that it doesn't matter, but I can imagine longer templates in which saving the four or so lines would be useful.

It's definitely easier to get away with putting secondary characteristics on a shared line than it is with other traits because there's a fixed set of elements and so the reader can learn the standard order. By contrast, a list of advantages could include any number of elements and thus is harder to parse as a block.

But you're right—if you have the space, it's even easier to parse the version with each secondary attribute on its own line.
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:08 AM   #45
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My review of Template Toolkit 1: Characters is now up. Digging through this volume was fun; there were a couple of neat ideas that I plan to expand on in a future post.
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:06 AM   #46
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This week's post is a little different than usual. I explore a house rule for adjudicating just how much is covered by a wildcard skill: wildcard breadth checks. When players use wildcard skills and come up with a novel-but-tangential potential use of the wildcard skill, this rule allows the GM and player to gamify whether the character's intended action actually falls under the wildcard's scope.
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Old 06-15-2016, 08:26 AM   #47
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The latest post expands some ideas from Template Toolkit 1: Characters to look at how to quickly create characters with custom traits. The basic idea is to use the character concept to drive traits, rather than looking over the standard list of traits and building a character out of the pre-existing list.

This approach takes some of the simplicity from class-based RPGs, but it still allows the players and GMs a lot of flexibility if they want to deviate from a standard class archetype. Most importantly, it makes character creation quick and easy for someone who isn't as familiar with GURPS' trait lists or character creation principles.
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:48 PM   #48
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It's been a while, but Just Roll 3d6 is back with a new post! In this installment, I look at fatigue rules and give advice for ballparking fatigue costs. This post will help GMs guesstimate reasonable fatigue costs, especially in rules-light games.
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Old 08-03-2016, 01:56 AM   #49
Tallor
 
Join Date: May 2016
Default Re: Just Roll 3d6 - GURPS Content Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerald Cat View Post
Adding line breaks really does help make a stat block easier to read. One change I would make to your formatting would be putting each Secondary Characteristic on its own line. That will be much easier to follow than with two secondary characteristics per line. Having each category be its own line and adding indents would also make the template easier to read.

...

This should make the template a little easier to navigate.
Odin's beard that is a beautiful character sheet.
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:09 AM   #50
philosophyguy
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
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The latest post, Understanding Reaction Modifiers, looks at the the practical effect of reaction modifiers. If you've ever wondered how useful a +1 reaction bonus is or how severe a -2 reaction penalty is, now you can know!

Reaction rolls are described in the Basic Set as one of the three core mechanics (the other two being success rolls and damage rolls), but it seems like reactions are under-utilized in a lot of games. I realized that I didn't use reaction rolls as often as I should because they seemed less mechanically accessible. For success rolls, I know what happens when a character's effective skill drops from 11 to 9, but I didn't have the parallel understanding for reaction rolls. This post grew out of my own curiosity; hopefully others will find it inspires them to use reactions more (and to play them out because they understand the importance of the bonuses).
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