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Old 10-15-2016, 11:25 AM   #31
Victor Maxus
 
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Default Re: Least genre most low powered GURPS game that you have run?

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I've played in one one-shot game with 25-point characters. It was a zombie survival game.[/SIZE]
I've taken that a step further. I have a whole campaign of zombie survival with 25 point characters. I know some say a long running story line with low point characters may not be fun, but my players love it. They enjoy the idea of having to run and stay alive rather than fight and defeat evil. And when they do kill a zombie, they have a great sense of accomplishment. It's more enjoyable when you do it with a 25 point dweeb rather than a 250 point monster hunter.

Also a 25 point medieval campaign set on Harn where the characters are peasants working the lands of a manor on the border of the wilderness in a country on the brink of a possible civil war. They are pawns in all of this and again the goal is to survive.

50 point space campaign with the characters part of a colony ship lost in space searching for a new planet to live on.
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Old 10-15-2016, 03:14 PM   #32
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Default Re: Least genre most low powered GURPS game that you have run?

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The 'ordinary' protagonists of Stephen King or Dean Koontz novels usually prove quite adept at surviving supernatural horror. Even a band of children were mostly surprisingly competent, resourceful and courageous, in It.
Stephen King wrote a short story in which a journalist, with no special skills or training, escapes from a South American torture room. He feigns a seizure, jams a lit cigarette into the armed guard's eye, snatches his gun, kicks a chair into one adversary's charge in order to trip them, then shoots three people to death and then kills the remaining torturer in an ironic manner before escaping back to the US.

I mean it was a good story and all but still.
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Old 10-16-2016, 11:08 AM   #33
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Default Re: Least genre most low powered GURPS game that you have run?

I, too, am a lover of low-powered games. (If I had actually played a game in the past decade, that is.) Here's a very dated me on one of those stat yourself threads, and I maintain that I would make a perfectly viable GURPS: Zombies or Call of Cthulhu character or some such, at 65 points. But I happen to have a couple of skill sets that GURPS treats with high granularity, and no significant physical disadvantages as well as a couple of staggering social advantages, so I think that 50 points is a reasonable "normal people" level. It results in characters on the competent end of "normal", instead of playing meth addicts or whatnot.

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Old 10-16-2016, 11:41 AM   #34
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Default Re: Least genre most low powered GURPS game that you have run?

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Stephen King wrote a short story in which a journalist, with no special skills or training, escapes from a South American torture room. He feigns a seizure, jams a lit cigarette into the armed guard's eye, snatches his gun, kicks a chair into one adversary's charge in order to trip them, then shoots three people to death and then kills the remaining torturer in an ironic manner before escaping back to the US.

I mean it was a good story and all but still.
Yeah, that seems to me the norm for supposedly 'ordinary' people in extraordinary situations in most popular fiction. My concern is that players who expect their 'ordinary' characters to be able to do things like that might be unpleasantly shocked when they discover that 25 point GURPS characters are the nameless victims in today's fiction, not the inexplicably capable protagonists.
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Old 10-16-2016, 01:25 PM   #35
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Default Re: Least genre most low powered GURPS game that you have run?

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...but they are balanced against the Atticus Finches, who never fails a skill check, even when it's against Guns (Rifle) for a character who has no special reason or established background that would require him to be a cool and competent combatant in addition to the model of moral courage.
It's worth realizing in the time and place To Kill a Mockingbird takes place a random man being a good shot isn't that unusual. In rural and small town America hunting and shooting for sport is extremely common and it's not unreasonable that he'd pick up that skill.
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Old 10-16-2016, 05:50 PM   #36
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Default Re: Least genre most low powered GURPS game that you have run?

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It's worth realizing in the time and place To Kill a Mockingbird takes place a random man being a good shot isn't that unusual. In rural and small town America hunting and shooting for sport is extremely common and it's not unreasonable that he'd pick up that skill.
The mechanical action of accurate shooting at typical combat ranges is nearly trivial. In GURPS terms, that's TDM +10 or so. It's the ability to shoot as well when there's only one try and failure can mean death for yourself or others that's rare.

Personally, I believe that the adventuring use of a lot of GURPS skills, in particular combat skills, boils down to having certain mental qualities, more than expertise with the arcana of the tools involved. As such, there is a strong correlation between success with one of them and success with others.

As such, if an 'ordinary' person has courage, discipline and willpower, in GURPS terms, that translates into effective skill 12+ and even 14+ with a lot of skills given minimal familiarity. So the proper way to represent an ordinary person who rises to an extraprdinary situation is with a lot of points. GURPS points measure ability to succeed in adventuring situations, not inborn gifts or exotic training. So if someone is consistently successful, he's a high-point character, even if the concept is 'normal person who succeds through grit, luck, moral qualities or author-on-board'.
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Old 10-16-2016, 06:06 PM   #37
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Default Re: Least genre most low powered GURPS game that you have run?

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I don't know what 'mainstream' fiction refers to specifically, but if it refers to the kind of fiction produced by the most popular media creators of our generation, I'm pretty sure most of it is chock-full of competent protagonists, regardless of whether they are initially presented as trained professionals or ordinary people randomly thrown in peril.
It is the marketing category into which books which are neither "literary" or "genre" fiction are sold, and while it does occasionally include thrillers (Dan Brown) or science fiction (Jonathan Lethem) trying to find a mass market audience, it seems to mostly contain books in which ordinary people have relationships and conversations, with not nearly enough vivid sex to be marketed as romance. My Kindle just advertised a book about two middle aged women becoming friends after a divorce and a windowing respectively, I doubt there's a lot of "adventuring tasks" in that book. Or for a book I did read, where are the adventuring tasks in the contemporary parts of The Joy Luck Club? Even in the flashback parts, I don't recall the protagonist doing anything especially hypercompetent (though it has been years).

From a film perspective, where are the adventuring tasks in Remains of the Day or Lost in Translation? I suppose films like Requiem for a Dream have things that would be rolls in GURPS but I question whether the characters are competent to make them.

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Old 10-16-2016, 07:41 PM   #38
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Default Re: Least genre most low powered GURPS game that you have run?

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It is the marketing category into which books which are neither "literary" or "genre" fiction are sold.
In most of the bookstores that I visit, current literary fiction, and often whatever classic fiction they have, is on the same general fiction shelves as what you are calling "mainstream." For example, that's where I found Isabel Allende's Zorro and Margaret Atwood's The Robber Bride, and also Jane Austen and Rudyard Kipling. There isn't really a marketing distinction. The distinction is that some of that fiction gets written about by literary critics, and some largely gets passed over in silence.
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Old 10-16-2016, 07:52 PM   #39
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Default Re: Least genre most low powered GURPS game that you have run?

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In most of the bookstores that I visit, current literary fiction, and often whatever classic fiction they have, is on the same general fiction shelves as what you are calling "mainstream." For example, that's where I found Isabel Allende's Zorro and Margaret Atwood's The Robber Bride, and also Jane Austen and Rudyard Kipling. There isn't really a marketing distinction. The distinction is that some of that fiction gets written about by literary critics, and some largely gets passed over in silence.
I didn't make this up and some bookstores definitely separate literature from general fiction (which is separate from the genre shelves). The marketing isn't relevant to my point besides. There exists quite a large body of fiction that is about people and relationships, not action adventures. What you call it doesn't actually matter.

Icelander's claim requires either that this fiction doesn't exist (or at least doesn't form a significant enough body of work for consideration) or that the characters in these works routinely succeed at tasks that would generally require rolls in GURPS such that they have skill-12.

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Old 10-16-2016, 08:16 PM   #40
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Default Re: Least genre most low powered GURPS game that you have run?

Lowest power game I've ever run was: street kids in the big city. After some shoplifting, and an attempt at drug dealing, they attempted to snatch a purse on the subway. The little old lady had her cash in her bra and a brick in her purse. One PC KO'ed with a cracked skull and the rest ran for it.
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