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Old 05-27-2017, 07:56 PM   #1
Captain Joy
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Heartland, U.S.A.
Default GURPS Campaign Prospectuses Best Practices

I invoke the brilliant forum hive mind. What should a worthy campaign prospectus for a GURPS campaign contain?

Instructive examples of GURPS campaign prospectses are appropriate for this thread, but please do not use it as a clearinghouse to advertise for campaigns.
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Old 05-27-2017, 08:37 PM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Default Re: GURPS Campaign Prospectuses Best Practices

My typical campaign prospectuses are pretty minimal: just the high concept with just enough detail to get people involved. Campaign is a collaborative process between players and GM, so I can't have all the details set in stone when I throw something out. If people are interested, we work together on refining the details.

I dug up an old email that had 4 prospectuses in it, of which we eventually played these two:

Mecha Against the Giants
In a mostly low fantasy world, actual giants are invading. The Court Wizard performs his mightiest ritual and summons a squad of small (15' tall) mecha pilots. Dragooned against their will, they must use their powerful vehicles and limited ammo to defeat the giants and find a way home.

Tunnels and Technocrats
A group of relatively ordinary 21st century humans are transferred through time and space to the middle of a massive underground complex. They must find food, water, and safety amid the dark and dangerous tunnels. On the way, some of the learn strange and dangerous powers.

The other two were similar in style.

The prospectus for my current game included a short questionnaire, because I realized that I was asking for stuff that might be outside of people's comfort zones and I wanted to get honest answers. Here's that prospectus:

"Short version: In a land like Middle-Earth after Sauron won the War of the Rings, you're leaders of the Rebellion. You go around recruiting allies, questing for lost artifacts, and acting as generals in battles of armies.

So first question: Are you interested?
a) Sign me up! I always wanted to be a general in GURPS.
b) Sounds fun, but I don't want to be a general. I'm fine if other people want to be a general.
c) Sounds fun, but I don't want to deal with armies at all. A Rebellion themed dungeon fantasy game sounds great.
d) Not really interesting to me at all."

Again, that was something of a departure, but even if I was going to start doing questionnaires regularly, I'd keep them short and to the point.

I like to keep my prospectuses short and sweet. Ideas are easy, so just toss out some quick high concepts. If the play group thinks they're interesting, then spend some time refining them. If not, come up with some new ideas. I don't like spending a lot of time working on campaign concept only to find out that I'm the only person who thinks its interesting.
Read my GURPS blog:
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Old 05-27-2017, 09:07 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: On the road again...
Default Re: GURPS Campaign Prospectuses Best Practices

What I do on my prospectuses is to give a brief description of the game world and genre (e.g. Star Wars, After the End, zombie apocalypse, Monster Hunters, superheroes, etc.), a general idea of what the game is going to be about (space piracy, exploration, survival, intercharacter dynamics, vampires vs werewolves, Cthulhu cultists, etc.), and what level of combat I expect (low, medium, high, non-stop).

I also list systems I'm willing to run the game in.

If I'm doing strictly GURPS, I'll think about point values and put them on. Most of the time, though, I leave them off until I get a good idea as to which game the players are interested in and I get an idea for how powerful I want their PCs.

A recent example, my GURPS Rifts game:

Coming of the Devourer

Strange portents and dangerous prophecies abound in this post-post-apocalyptic world of magic and ultra-technology, indicating the coming of an otherworldly invader intent on total destruction. The east coast of North America is to be the front lines; if the menace is stopped early on, then the world can rest safely ... for a short time at least.

Genre: Post-Post-Apocalyptic Action/Adventure
Races: Human, Dog Boy, Psi-Stalker, Shemarrian, any playable race from any of the following books that would plausibly be on the Atlantic Coast during this time period: (insert list of Rifts books).
Expected Combat: Light at first, but quite possibly escalating as time goes on.
Additional Information: Web Page Available.
Possible Systems: GURPS 4e, BESM 3e, Palladium/Rifts.

Please note: If we use the Palladium system, I will be instituting a number of house rules, most notably that non-bionic and non-supernatural characters cannot be M.D.C. creatures. Equipment can be taken from most of these books, but only items that are available prior to 102 P.A. (No "new" Coalition gear.)

Absolutely NO races from Wormwood or Phase World/Three Galaxies, and NO heroic AbM Mechanoids, although I may allow a race or two from Manhunter or Aliens Unlimited. All characters brought in from other Palladium worlds are subject to GMly review, so don't get upset if I reject your character. What I would like to see is a primarily human party.
Another one I tried to run:
Spear of Destiny

Contrary to most religious dogma, Christ did not die by being nailed to a cross; he was killed by a Roman soldier's spear (as recorded in John's Gospel). It is said that he who holds the Spear of Destiny holds the fate of the world in his hands. There's just one catch: the Spear has been lost since the Middle Ages.

Hitler is obsessed with the occult, and will stop at nothing to possess the Spear of Destiny. It falls to you to find the Spear before Hitler's Nazis, and they already have a good head start.

Genre: Pulp/Cliffhangers
Races: Human
Expected Combat: Medium
Additional Information: Web Page Available.

This is what I get for watching Constantine and Raiders of the Lost Ark back to back. :)
"But mom, I don't wanna go back in the dungeon!"

The GURPS Marvel Universe Reboot Project and its not-a-wiki-really web adaptation.
Ranoc, a Muskets-and-Magery Renaissance Fantasy Setting

Last edited by Phantasm; 05-27-2017 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 05-28-2017, 05:55 AM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Denver, CO
Default Re: GURPS Campaign Prospectuses Best Practices

A couple examples from my recent past:

Genre/Setting: TL10 space-faring civilization run by corporations
The Setup: You wake up from stasis to find that you don’t know where you are. Or who you are or who any of these other people are.
PCs: High-powered individuals made with very limited input from the players.
Tone/Themes: Mystery, paranoia, and philosophy.
Combat: Moderate

The Fantasy Campaign
Genre/Setting: Fantasy – Either Cosmia or Krynn.
The Setup: A group of children grow up together, but when disaster strikes they are forced to band together and save the world.
PCs: Standard fantasy group.
Tone/Themes: Many clichés. Long-form game will take years to complete.
Combat: Moderate
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