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Old 07-22-2012, 09:33 PM   #11
sir_pudding
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Default Re: GURPS: xxxxx Kits

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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.
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:33 AM   #12
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Default Re: GURPS: xxxxx Kits

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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?
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:33 AM   #13
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Default Re: GURPS: xxxxx Kits

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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.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:08 AM   #14
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Default Re: GURPS: xxxxx Kits

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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.
I meant a concept for the campaign, lol. Though my latest idea has been my strictist. I let the hardest to please (my g/f, so I don't get to slap) choose the period (1920s), and decided to make the players girl scouts (also to keep her interest). At this point I'm putting a campaign together that centres around girl scouts getting lost in the dreamlands of the Cthulhu mythos and trying to find their way back, with the assistance of some cats... and a tree. Though the players only know that they're going to be girl scouts and that it is likely to involve the mythos. I'm building the team of scouts myself, and if they're nice, I might throw them some extra points for customization. But I've gone completely off topic.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:09 AM   #15
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Default Re: GURPS: xxxxx Kits

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I've run into this problem as well. While I think "Powered by" sets would help expand the market, the existing market likes the complexity and wants more.
Powered by GURPS still needs Kromm's review, even from a licensee. Honestly, I wish someone would make a complete fantasy game Powered by GURPS and well-edited enough to keep Kromm from being tied down in going over it, but that's a pipe dream.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:26 AM   #16
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Default Re: GURPS: xxxxx Kits

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Basically, I'm imagining a box, GURPS Lite, some cardboard pieces, a few hexmaps, ...
One slight problem with this is that GURPS Lite doesn't include rules for using cardboard pieces on hex maps. The combat is the basic abstract system. If the intention is to provide a crystal clear starter set for newbies, this could be confusing.

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Old 07-23-2012, 07:45 AM   #17
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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.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:50 AM   #18
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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.
Ahhh... you make me glassy eyed with nostalgia, as that's pretty much how 1st edition GURPS was sold. I think I still have the box in the garage somewhere. The rulesbooks were coverless paper pamphlets, and there may have been a sheet of Cardboard Heroes in there.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:51 AM   #19
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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.
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:13 PM   #20
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Default Re: GURPS: xxxxx Kits

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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.
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