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Old 04-18-2010, 06:50 AM   #1
Wulfnor
 
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Default Dies the Fire/Emberverse RPG

Are there any Fans of S.M. Stirling's Emberverse series here? That begins with the first book "Dies the Fire"?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dies_the_Fire
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emberverse_series
I'm thinking about GMing a GURPS game set in it's alternative history setting. Set in the area that I live in. With the Players PCs are Themselves as they are now, with what knowledge and skills that they themselves know and have. Living where they now do, with the dependants that they now have, etc.
So are there any good guidelines on how to write up a GURPS Character of yourself? Has anyone else set a GURPS game in this setting? I know there was a article in The Roleplayer or Pyramid way back not long after when I went from The Fantasy Trip, to Man to Man and then to the 1st Edition of GURPS. Does anyone know what I'm talking about. With ST based on a scale of how much you could bench press for 4 reps. IQ based on how well you did on a IQ test. DX based some sort of eye/hand cordination test that I can't remember, etc. Does that sound familiar? I tried to search for it on this website with no luck.

In the game it will be the evening of 17 March 1998. An the Player/PCs are RPGing at there weekly Tuesday night GURPS session at the GM's home that is slightly out in the woods. When the effects of the Change happens
"What do they do after the Change takes effect"?
To play a PC, a Player really wouldn't of had to read the series. Just the first few chapters of the first book to get the primus down. Here is a link to those Chapters
http://www.smstirling.com/
(Go down the page halfway and click on the Book Cover for "Dies the Fire"?)
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Last edited by Wulfnor; 04-18-2010 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:57 AM   #2
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Default Re: Dies the Fire/Emberverse RPG

Your links <del>are</del> were dead.

Wikipedia on Emberverse and on "Dies the Fire"

And finally: smstirling.com/

--

The problem is that you pasted the links into the text and didn't use the link feature the icon that has a globe with "chain links" on it.

Last edited by nerdvana; 04-18-2010 at 07:03 AM. Reason: OP was corrected
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:10 AM   #3
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Default Re: Dies the Fire/Emberverse RPG

Thank's I saw that and fixed it.
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:23 AM   #4
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Default Re: Dies the Fire/Emberverse RPG

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Originally Posted by Wulfnor View Post
Thank's I saw that and fixed it.
NP. :)

EABA's game Timelords is based on the premise of playing oneself and had rules for how to determine your stats. For example, you pick a strength test and back calculate the results to a GURPS ST value...
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Dies the Fire/Emberverse RPG

I've read this and the Nantucket series, and have considered ripping off several of the themes and ideas for a game, but I don't think I would place it in the EXACT universe, as it would allow the campaign to be shaped by the players rather than lore.

I also wouldn't have my players stat themselves. If I was going to run a game like this I would want my players to be exceptional; as in they have knowlege and at least one skill that the average guy doesn't. I.E. Horsemanship, Archery, Swordsmanship, survival skills, heck even basket weaving and moccasin making, etc... Not Joe Guy the computer tech, or John the NASCAR driver who now has useless skills.

Also, in the beginning of the series, except for right after the event, the characters are training. The Bearkillers who don't know how to ride are learning, they are practicing with weapons etc...

basically I would want my players to have characters who would plausibly be alive a month after the event (with out hiding out with a stockpile of food).

I guess you could have a montage where the character's learn useful skills or replace their now useless skills with useful ones, though.

Last edited by Hugin; 04-19-2010 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 05-04-2010, 01:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Dies the Fire/Emberverse RPG

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugin View Post
I've read this and the Nantucket series, and have considered ripping off several of the themes and ideas for a game, but I don't think I would place it in the EXACT universe, as it would allow the campaign to be shaped by the players rather than lore.

I also wouldn't have my players stat themselves. If I was going to run a game like this I would want my players to be exceptional; as in they have knowlege and at least one skill that the average guy doesn't. I.E. Horsemanship, Archery, Swordsmanship, survival skills, heck even basket weaving and moccasin making, etc... Not Joe Guy the computer tech, or John the NASCAR driver who now has useless skills.

Also, in the beginning of the series, except for right after the event, the characters are training. The Bearkillers who don't know how to ride are learning, they are practicing with weapons etc...

basically I would want my players to have characters who would plausibly be alive a month after the event (with out hiding out with a stockpile of food).

I guess you could have a montage where the character's learn useful skills or replace their now useless skills with useful ones, though.
Well as RPGers, they do know alot about archaic stuff that will be very helpful. In my group there will be Players that have fought as Heavy Fighters in the SCA. An have shot Archery in the SCA. Have knowledge on how to make a catapult, or make a motto and bailey castle. What the best tactics and formation to use in small group skirmishes, etc. Just being people who are use to running scenarios through their head and have learned how to improvise to get around a problem. Has them head and shoulders ahead of your average citizen. I mean what RPGer doesn't have a sword hanging on the wall somewhere in there house!
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:03 AM   #7
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Default Re: Dies the Fire/Emberverse RPG

I'd be careful having the players "build themselves." This tends to result in building characters who are either much better than their own RL selves and characters who are underpowered and unsuited for the campaign.

Especially when it comes to IQ, there is no simple measurement to associate it with RL IQ. IQ Tests are NOT a good measure. There are some good threads on this, but I'm having trouble finding them due to not being able to search for "IQ." Remember to use talents if someone doesn't match the GURPS IQ definition, but is really good at certain things.

I LIKE the idea of having the players play themselves, I really do. However, you need to have some pretty strict guidelines so things are consistent.

Here's how I'd start:

Attributes:
Have the players rate themselves (Maybe even each other) in English, and assign a point value to that.
In other words, ask Peter, "How strong are you? Average, Below Average, or Above Average?" Then ask for clarification and rate them between 8-12 unless you have a good reason to go much higher or lower. I'd try to keep everyone's attributes in this range since statistics tells us most people will be in this range.

Skills:
Have the players list things they do regularly in terms like "Always, Often, Sometimes, and Rarely." Assign actual CP values to each of these words, and then assign them to skills. For instance, if Peter works at a Construction Site, "Always" may be a good description for his Construction Skill. If we assign 7 points to "Always" and the Default for Construction is IQ+0 (Sorry, IDHMBWM), he should have Construction at IQ+3. On the other hand, he "Rarely" fights with the SCA as an Archer, so you may want to give him Archery Sport only under the Dabbler perk.

Advantages/Disadvantages:
Go easy on these, in general. Most people who are Lecherous or Bullies only have it as a quirk, and Charisma +3 is a pretty extreme ability.

Point Totals:
I'd give the players a range you are shooting for and not worry too much about modern skills that aren't going to be used.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:10 AM   #8
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Default Re: Dies the Fire/Emberverse RPG

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanniynim View Post
I'd be careful having the players "build themselves." This tends to result in building characters who are either much better than their own RL selves and characters who are underpowered and unsuited for the campaign.

Especially when it comes to IQ, there is no simple measurement to associate it with RL IQ. IQ Tests are NOT a good measure. There are some good threads on this, but I'm having trouble finding them due to not being able to search for "IQ." Remember to use talents if someone doesn't match the GURPS IQ definition, but is really good at certain things.

I LIKE the idea of having the players play themselves, I really do. However, you need to have some pretty strict guidelines so things are consistent.

Here's how I'd start:

Attributes:
Have the players rate themselves (Maybe even each other) in English, and assign a point value to that.
In other words, ask Peter, "How strong are you? Average, Below Average, or Above Average?" Then ask for clarification and rate them between 8-12 unless you have a good reason to go much higher or lower. I'd try to keep everyone's attributes in this range since statistics tells us most people will be in this range.

Skills:
Have the players list things they do regularly in terms like "Always, Often, Sometimes, and Rarely." Assign actual CP values to each of these words, and then assign them to skills. For instance, if Peter works at a Construction Site, "Always" may be a good description for his Construction Skill. If we assign 7 points to "Always" and the Default for Construction is IQ+0 (Sorry, IDHMBWM), he should have Construction at IQ+3. On the other hand, he "Rarely" fights with the SCA as an Archer, so you may want to give him Archery Sport only under the Dabbler perk.

Advantages/Disadvantages:
Go easy on these, in general. Most people who are Lecherous or Bullies only have it as a quirk, and Charisma +3 is a pretty extreme ability.

Point Totals:
I'd give the players a range you are shooting for and not worry too much about modern skills that aren't going to be used.
Meh, if the point isn't to make an accurate simulation, you can simply say, "You have 25/25 points to build yourself. Nobody has any attribute above 12 except maybe ST, nobody has any skills above 14, and probably only one of those. Please, be reasonable."

Setting a point limit like any other character removes most of the problems and arguments about how good someone is at something, as does not being uptight about whether or not these are "accurate" representations.

All you need is a loose approximation that captures the spirit of the players as characters, perhaps a little cinematically.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:10 AM   #9
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Default Re: Dies the Fire/Emberverse RPG

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wulfnor View Post
Well as RPGers, they do know alot about archaic stuff that will be very helpful. In my group there will be Players that have fought as Heavy Fighters in the SCA. An have shot Archery in the SCA. Have knowledge on how to make a catapult, or make a motto and bailey castle. What the best tactics and formation to use in small group skirmishes, etc. Just being people who are use to running scenarios through their head and have learned how to improvise to get around a problem. Has them head and shoulders ahead of your average citizen. I mean what RPGer doesn't have a sword hanging on the wall somewhere in there house!
If you want to give the Games: RPG defaults to tactics and give actual points instead of defaults for all these things you've listed that's fine, but you're moving away from the realm of "players actually stating themselves."

For instance, I shot my recurve bow every other day for a year, but I wouldn't give myself any points in it. And I might not even give myself the Dabbler perk for it now that I haven't shot regularly in 2 years. (Eh, I might in this kind of game. LOTS of uses of the Dabbler perk here!) However, I could pick up my bow and teach myself pretty quickly again, so I'd avoid familiarity penalties where others may take days or even weeks to get over those with archaic equipment.

And just because someone has a sword in their house doesn't mean it isn't of Cheap Quality (break!) and doesn't mean they really know how to use it. In this scenario, I'd go for a baseball bat over a sword any day.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:13 AM   #10
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Default Re: Dies the Fire/Emberverse RPG

Quote:
Originally Posted by aesir23 View Post
Meh, if the point isn't to make an accurate simulation, you can simply say, "You have 25/25 points to build yourself. Nobody has any attribute above 12 except maybe ST, nobody has any skills above 14, and probably only one of those. Please, be reasonable."

Setting a point limit like any other character removes most of the problems and arguments about how good someone is at something, as does not being uptight about whether or not these are "accurate" representations.

All you need is a loose approximation that captures the spirit of the players as characters, perhaps a little cinematically.
Agreed, if we are indeed talking about loose approximations, but I don't think that's what he was originally talking about.

It also creates problems with modern skills that people sink points into that will do no good in this setting.

Maybe there should be a bank of an additional 10 points for modern skills that will disappear once The Evil Space Bats ruin technology? A clever character may be able to still use this information for a default to something else. For instance, a car mechanic may know what parts can be stripped (and do it quickly) to build new gates, weapons, or otherwise.
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