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Old 06-25-2020, 03:30 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: USA
Default GMing an FGO-Inspired Game?

Hi all, sorry for all this text! So, since the end of December 2019 Iíve been running a GURPS 4E game for six players with 700CP characters loosely inspired by characters from/similar to those found in the game/anime Fate/Grand Order (FGO) (the Type-Moon fandom/wikia page is a dumpster fire compared to the FGO one for the mobile game, imo, but your mileage may vary).

Everything leading up to the gameís first session went well (introduction to the system with Lite manual, character creation with my supervision/feedback/vetting, etcÖ) but, as is the case with many games, finding a time we could all consistently meet proved to be a challenge. Only three of my original players from December have remained in the game, while the other three-four slots have been in somewhat-constant flux until about a month ago when I managed to find three players that seem willing to stick with their characters and my campaign.

And while only a couple players had any knowledge of GURPS to begin with, the groupís managed well enough with the Lite and Basic Manuals, and even though Iím not running a rules-heavy campaign, there have been a lot more moving parts to keep track of compared to what theyíre used to, but I digress.

For one thing, I know Iím not the only person to post on these fora about GURPS and FGO, and my questions are not about statting characters, but the composition of the 700CP character (Servants, as theyíre called) party is from
oldest player character to newest:

1. Naval hero Sidero (Yi Sun-sin), player experienced with Pathfinder/D&D
2. Egyptian Cat Goddess Bastet, player has 0 tabletop experience, but listens to a lot of D&D podcasts
3. Slavic folk witch Baba Yaga (and her Chicken Hut, lol), their player is a few years older than me, has lots of tabletop experience, some with GURPS too
4. Achilles, recruited off FGO subreddit, so a gamer first, but has some experience with D&D
5. A Proud Tengu, also from FGO subreddit; lots of tabletop experience and enthusiastic, but 0 GURPS knowledge
6. Francine Descartes, last from FGO subreddit. Totally new to tabletop RPGs.

Thereís also a Katsushika Hokusai/Oi character I made to help guide the party at some points.

Anyhow, the game began with the Servants/Demiservants being sent back (from TL10) to 19th century Crimea to deal with a singularity/Significantly Dangerous problem that occurs during the Crimean war (1854). The groupís traveled around the peninsula, visited a sleeping underwater eldritch city, fought off something like the Dunwich Horror in an abandoned town, and just visited a church where a strange rite had recently happened, and they were ambushed by something like Dagons.

As of last session, the party is still at the church, with a dead priest and theyíve discovered scraps of what seem to be parts of the Egyptian Book of Gates. This is also the session where I had to stop halfway and tell them I had no idea what to do because what Iíd originally aimed for them to do (get to Sevastopol and figure out whatís causing all the chaos?) was not longer really making much sense after throwing in Lovecraft stuff and now Egyptian mythology. So I clearly need help. Iíve asked them what they want and two players said:

ďPersonally Iím looking for a balanced roleplaying and combat experience with stakes, when out of game I want to feel like the choices I make matter, make me make hard decisions like asking me to choose between what are basically ultimatums, I want be able to interact with NPCs who are their own people and donít feel like they exist merely for the sake of being a plot device, and I want to play in a world where it feels like it could exist on its own without a player ever touching it, and for fights and dungeons I donít have too many requests other than asking you donít make it difficult for the sake of being difficult (like old arcade games that are difficult just to pad play time).Ē


ďI have little experience with tabletop RPGs prior to this, so I came in with no real expectations (and so far, I'm pleasently surprised). Most of the points Overlord cited seem valid to me, though if I have to add my own touch, I would say to balance the campaign so that each character has a least a moment to shine. Like having a fight with a particularly tough ennemy that managed to knock down most of the characters and the team has to rely on the brawler specialists to win what seems to be an battle of endurance, having a time where you need to track down a certain character in a wild environnement that makes use of the hunting characters, having a time where the well-known characters from a land uses their fame to open a few doors for the group (could have done that with Baba Yaga since it's in the right setup), having complicated puzzles that require the inteligent characters of the bunch to wreck their brains on it, etc (though I do realise how difficult it would be to balance that with a team of players can be absent from the game at the last minute).Ē

I am inclined to agree more with the second person's feedback because I wanted to try using some challenges that arenít just fighting things. Really, 700CP fights on a regular basis kinda get boring and Iím having to hit them with lots of penalties if I want to challenge them at all.

Does anyone think this game can be saved? The player with the most experience half-jokingly suggested that I just send the party back to the future to regroup and figure out where/when to go from there, which is just fine if more than a couple people in the group RPíd their characters more. To be fair, I havenít really introduced many, if any, memorable or dynamic NPCs aside from Oi/Hokusai. I was considering having Florence Nightingale make an appearance, though, but that feels ex machina sort of, doesnít it?
Any input is appreciated because I need help for tomorrow afternoonís game and donít want to let them down like I did the last session by cutting it short halfway through the session time.

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