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Old 10-18-2012, 10:11 PM   #11
samd6
 
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Default Re: Help with Convention Pre-Gen Character Packets

Pages 2 and 7-9 should not be part of the character packet. They should be part of a common packet, of which you have multiple copies.

The way I've done one-shots is a character sheet and a cheat sheet, though that was for a simpler system. Character sheet as normal. The cheat sheet is what you have buried back on page X+1. It should come right after the character sheet.
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:11 PM   #12
DAT
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Aiken, South Carolina
Default Re: Help with Convention Pre-Gen Character Packets

Page 2 I can see, as well as pages 8 & 9.

But page 7 has character specific items.

I guess I was seeing the character packet as a self contain handout of all the information the players might need. It seems more people are suggesting a nominalistic approach. Or is it the number of pages?

If I squeeze the first 7 pages (minus page 2) on to one page front and back with small font and reduced margins, do people think that is better than 6 pages with a bigger font size?
-Dan
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Old 10-20-2012, 03:04 AM   #13
Dunadin777
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Default Re: Help with Convention Pre-Gen Character Packets

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAT View Post
Page 2 I can see, as well as pages 8 & 9.

But page 7 has character specific items.

I guess I was seeing the character packet as a self contain handout of all the information the players might need. It seems more people are suggesting a nominalistic approach. Or is it the number of pages?

If I squeeze the first 7 pages (minus page 2) on to one page front and back with small font and reduced margins, do people think that is better than 6 pages with a bigger font size?
-Dan
I'd say that, in a situation where you can expect no one has GURPS familiarity and some won't even be RPG-experienced, you should definitely go for a 'nominalistic' approach. Giving players every bit of information they could possibly want only guarantees one thing--everyone will get information they don't want. Rather than explaining advantages on a separate, comprehensive page, for instance, try to squeeze in a functional explanation directly onto the character sheet for the player and don't bother to give him the rules for other character's abilities. For the traits that are self-explanatory or at least largely so (every trait limited by GM fiat, for instance, or the role-play oriented social traits), just leave them on their without explanation and give a quick verbal summary of that ability to the players.

Last year I went to my first game convention, and in the course of three days I played 4 RPG sessions led by three very different GMs. Two sessions were GURPS and led by the same person--Quarkstomper--and the other two were in vastly different systems (a playtest of a post-apocalyptic fantasy game called Mistrunner and a game of Savage Worlds: Deadlands) and polar opposite GM styles. In all four of the games, though, the highlights were in the ways players adopted distinct tactics, choices, and play styles to improvise fun solutions to the problems at hand. You only need a cursory comprehension of the rules to do that, and if you put X number of pages in front of each player you run a risk of them relying on the sheets as a crutch instead of rolling dice and playing their roles.

I alluded to this earlier, but I'll elaborate: at most, I'd give the players 1 page of character fluff and background, 1 page of character stats, and 1 page (maybe 2 for magic and powers-heavy characters) of essential combat summary. All the other stuff you have in your initial outline is good, but overwhelming; I'd put all of those other pages aside in a stack/folder/wad of materials to present to the odd player who seems eager and anxious to dive in deeper right away.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:21 PM   #14
DAT
 
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Location: Aiken, South Carolina
Default Re: Help with Convention Pre-Gen Character Packets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunadin777 View Post
I'd say that, in a situation where you can expect no one has GURPS familiarity and some won't even be RPG-experienced, you should definitely go for a 'nominalistic' approach. Giving players every bit of information they could possibly want only guarantees one thing--everyone will get information they don't want. Rather than explaining advantages on a separate, comprehensive page, for instance, try to squeeze in a functional explanation directly onto the character sheet for the player and don't bother to give him the rules for other character's abilities. .
I probably posted too much, so what I was trying to show got lost.

The descriptions of advantages/perks/disadvantages/quirks posted in the back of the packet were only for the advantages/perks/disadvantages/quirks that the character has. So in the case of the sample packet for the Half-Elf Wizard. The 'advantages' she has are: 'Half-Elf', Energy Reserve (Arcane), Magery, and Signature Gear. So back in the description section of her character packet, those are the only advantages I give descriptions for. Dido for the perks/disadvantages/quirks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunadin777 View Post
For the traits that are self-explanatory or at least largely so (every trait limited by GM fiat, for instance, or the role-play oriented social traits), just leave them on their without explanation and give a quick verbal summary of that ability to the players.
I was going to do that for skills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunadin777 View Post
Last year I went to my first game convention, and in the course of three days I played 4 RPG sessions led by three very different GMs. Two sessions were GURPS and led by the same person--Quarkstomper--and the other two were in vastly different systems (a playtest of a post-apocalyptic fantasy game called Mistrunner and a game of Savage Worlds: Deadlands) and polar opposite GM styles. In all four of the games, though, the highlights were in the ways players adopted distinct tactics, choices, and play styles to improvise fun solutions to the problems at hand. You only need a cursory comprehension of the rules to do that, and if you put X number of pages in front of each player you run a risk of them relying on the sheets as a crutch instead of rolling dice and playing their roles.
I do want to strike a balance in giving the players an idea of how to best utilize their characters and letting them experiment with the system. Its no fun if in the first encounter the Cleric goes running forward doing an all out attack and get pin cusioned with arrows.

During the last convention I attended, I played a game of Rogue Mage (used the Mutants and Masterminds rules). One thing that all the players missed from the GM's description, and we didn't have a written background for, was why we wanted to do something key to the plot (i.e., not let a demon take over a mine). Another piece of information that one of the other players didn't understand is why they were suppose to be secret about using their powers. I took it as a lesson learned to make sure you give out the key information in at least two forms, verbal and written.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunadin777 View Post
I alluded to this earlier, but I'll elaborate: at most, I'd give the players 1 page of character fluff and background, 1 page of character stats, and 1 page (maybe 2 for magic and powers-heavy characters) of essential combat summary. All the other stuff you have in your initial outline is good, but overwhelming; I'd put all of those other pages aside in a stack/folder/wad of materials to present to the odd player who seems eager and anxious to dive in deeper right away.
1 page of character fluff and background - check (pg 3)
1 page of stats (plus advantages/disadvantages/skills) - check (pg 4)
1 page of essential combat summary - check (pg 7)
1 page of spell list - check (pg 10)

page 1 is a short description and (if I can find one) a picture/drawing that I was going to use as a cover sheet. I could put the description on pg 4 and not include a picture.

page 2 is moved out.

page 5, the equipment/gear list, I can't see getting rid of. I could put on the back of page 4.

page 6, the reactions, fatigue, and armor/DR/HP quick summary; I guess is not absolutely needed. Everything on it can be gleemed from the rule books.

pages 8-9 and 11-17 are all summarized from rule books; so I guess can be dropped.
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