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Old 07-29-2018, 03:31 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default New to GURPS, Making sense of suplements for Zombie Apocalypse.

Hello! I am looking to plan out my first game of GURPS. I have read the two base books as well as the Zombies book. I am looking to capture the feel of a Zombie survival horror using GURPS.

I know most people suggest All Flesh Must Be Eaten, but the game lacks the visceral crunch I seek.

I want encumbrance, I want fatigue, I want lethal combat, I was starvation, dehydration and infectious wound rules, I want the feel of a zombie survival horror down to the need to count your pieces of food else starve.

So I decided that to accomplish this I needed a game that I could take the crunch I wanted easily. And so I have chosen GURPS.

Thing is after reading these it seems I need to read more! Thats why I am hereas there are tons of books and need help slimming thwm down.

Here are a few details My group consists of 5 people who will be playing and learning the game with me. We are all familliar with D&D3.5/Pathfinder/d20 style games. I have let them know the reputation GURPS has as well. They have all said they are willing to go down the rabbit hole. So some mistakes will be make and rules winged.

The setting is modern day 2015, United States of America, Phoenix, AZ. Pre infection. The zomnies are caused by an infection and follow the general rules made up by George Romero. Sometimes the virus reacts to other chemicals in the body to make spechial infected kind of like Left for dead, but i intend on useing the human element more. We plan on open die all game. We accept PC will die. We are intrested in a long term game. So we could use a few books npw and expand later. Any suggestions or pointers would be helpful.

As the game is in modern day i need rules for moden day items. Im not sure what books to look into as the zombie guidebook throws alot of suggestions at you.
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Old 07-29-2018, 03:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: New to GURPS, Making sense of suplements for Zombie Apocalypse.

Welcome! For the setting you describe, you first of all want High-Tech, which is about modern-day equipment, and will teach you enough to be able to describe real-world equipment in GURPS terms.

Loadouts: Monster Hunters will be useful if you want the work of picking gear done for you, but if you and your players like trawling through catalogues and optimising your equipment yourselves, you don't need it.

There are supplements for character design. If you want an action-movie style, GURPS Action 1: Heroes would be useful, or Monster Hunters 1: Champions for high-powered types who will be going out and hunting zombies.

If you want detailed combat rules, you want Martial Arts. For action-movie shooters, get Gun-Fu, and for more detailed tactical experts, Tactical Shooting. Those last two have a fair bit of overlap in the rules they cover, so you probably only want one of them at first.
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Old 07-29-2018, 04:12 AM   #3
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Default Re: New to GURPS, Making sense of suplements for Zombie Apocalypse.

Is this kind of a zombie apocalypse setting? I ask because you mentioned the need to track food and such.
If so I recommend After The End or described here.

Cinematic video game style would possibly want Monster Hunters or Action and almost certainly Gun Fu as already advised.
Realistic or hard core Tactical Shooting will serve you better.
Martial Arts and High Tech are useful regardless.
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Old 07-29-2018, 05:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: New to GURPS, Making sense of suplements for Zombie Apocalypse.

Originally Posted by Steamwitch View Post
...I am looking to capture the feel of a Zombie survival horror using GURPS. ... I want encumbrance, I want fatigue, I want lethal combat, I was starvation, dehydration and infectious wound rules, I want the feel of a zombie survival horror ...
GURPS was a very good choice for the type of game you are looking for! *thumbs up*

Indeed, while reading your initial post, what first came to my mind was "After the End"... ( fatigue, starvation, dehydration... etc) - As you are already well equipped when it comes to basic rules and genre stuff for Zombies, the things you may still be missing are likely found in a specific setting kit like that.

I think you'll really like After the End, it offers a great post apocalyptic survival theme with many game aids for developing your own ideas on top of that...

On top of that probably you would like to get "High-Tech", which is the generic tech catalog with a lot of additional equipment/weapon stuff, more vehicles, some additional rule details etc. for modern era campaigns, which I use a lot personally in all games set in TL5-TL8.

IMHO Tactical Shooting is not well suited for a Zombie Campaign, I'd leave that for more military/spec ops things etc., the same goes for Martial Arts in my personal view of your setting description, unless you want to focus on 'Kung Fu' style Zombie ass kicking and/or a lot of detailed tactical choices in melee situations ;) (PS: Moreover these last two expansions are best used in an advanced group very familiar with the basic rules)

Last edited by OldSam; 07-29-2018 at 06:05 AM.
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Old 07-29-2018, 05:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: New to GURPS, Making sense of suplements for Zombie Apocalypse.

I think the single most useful book for you after the basic set will be High-Tech. It's an excellent gear catalogue.

For really good survival and scavenging rules, get After the End 2 (AtE 1 has some character stuff and improvised weapons which might be useful, but book 2 is the really helpful one).

Detailed combat options from Martial Arts and Tactical Shooting could add even more detail, but the basic system has plenty of detail already.

Zombies has a load of stuff about zombies, although a lot of it is advice on different genres to use zombies in, alternative zombie templates, etc. which will be less helpful if you already have a strong vision of exactly what you want. It does have rules for things like managing zombie hordes with a reasonable amount of dice rolling and a slightly different improvised weapon list to AtE1 (there's a lot of overlap though; if you want even more improvised weapons, you can find them in Horror and Martial Arts).
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Old 07-29-2018, 09:59 AM   #6
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Default Re: New to GURPS, Making sense of suplements for Zombie Apocalypse.

High-Tech is a great equipment catalogue, as has been said. There are also various supplements with more esoteric gun choices, like Pulp Guns and Adventure Guns, though these concentrate on historical firearms.

After the End 2 has expanded rules on foraging, scavenging, etc.

The choice between Gun-Fu and Tactical Shooting rests upon whether you want to recreate a John Woo film or want something reasonably realistic. Since it seems that you are going for gritty, I think that the more realistic Tactical Shooting is what you want. It also has stats for several new guns listed.

Horror just may be the best GURPS supplement ever, but you probably don't really need it for a zombie setting. Most of what you need from it is covered in the Zombies book.

Underground Adventures has lots of rules for adventuring in dark, confined spaces. Not high on the list, but if you have a liberal budget it's nice.

There is an old adventure called Zombietown USA, but it's for an earlier edition and is set in the Autoduel universe. Definitely not needed, unless you want inspiration or something.

Last edited by acrosome; 07-29-2018 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 07-29-2018, 11:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: New to GURPS, Making sense of suplements for Zombie Apocalypse.

Thinking about it, as your group is new to GURPS, I'd say that is one more reason why you should get After the End 1+2.

Reasoning: GURPS is a "front loaded" system, that means a great portion of the complexity is handled before the game starts, so that many things are already clarified, values are ready etc. when it comes to certain ingame situations (to not interrupt the gaming process later).

A setting kit like After the End, Dungeon Fantasy etc. makes the character generation much easier, especially for first time players: You just select a template like 'Trooper', 'Nomad' or something like that and then go through a reduced select list belonging to that template.

E.g. let's say you are a trooper, then the selection of your character's favored weapon skill looks like that: "One of Beam Weapons (Pistol or Rifle) or Guns (Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, or SMG), both (E) DX+3 [8]-16"

That means you just have to decide between Beam Pistols, Beam Rifles*, (conventional) Pistol, Rifles, Shotgun and SMG and select and write down one for your character. Your value to hit a shot will be 16 (last number written there) which is based on the already given dexterity attribute of your selected template and the fact that these are "easy" DX skills (E). Actually that is all you "really" need to know, but for the purpose of deeper information and more customization options it also lists [8] which means 8 character points were used for that choice in the background calculations.
But, nice for beginners, you do not have to care for the calculation, because as long as you just follow the template instructions (select one ...; choose three... etc.) everything automatically will sum up correctly :)

Later then when you and your players have learned the game by playing, it would be much easier for everyone to generate custom characters (ignoring templates) with much more freedom of choice (you can change/manipulate about everything, invent new races and all!). In the beginning, though, many people are overwhelmed by the many choices if they do not use templates. For D&D players "templates" will be familiar anyway because they are similar to the concept of classes (though more flexible actually).


*: btw: As a GM it would be absolutely no problem to rule, for instance, that Beam Weapons are not existing (not a choice) in your game. Just delete the option from the template and all is fine. If it was a pre-selected (must have) option, then you would have to replace it with another option worth the same character points. In that latter case (if unsure how it works correctly) just ask anyone here... ;)

Last edited by OldSam; 07-29-2018 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 07-29-2018, 12:29 PM   #8
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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Default Re: New to GURPS, Making sense of suplements for Zombie Apocalypse.

My recommendations from most to least useful (in general):

Zombies. Let's all just presume you are getting this one.

High Tech. All the gear your guys need.

Next: After the End 1 and 2, Action 1 and 2.

AtE and Action 1 are template books, but AtE also has PKitty's Long Term Fatigue rules and 'quick' Radiation rules (if some sets up the bomb). AtE 2 has expanded rules for scavenging and surviving in post-apoc scenarios. Action 2 is simply the best book ever for it's 'made easy chase and group difficulty rules'.

Martial Arts. If you're going chop-socky happy (or someone wants to play Jesus from TWD) this is useful. Other wise... well, it's still useful for the expanded Maneuvers, new Maneuvers, and Close Combat rules (and vastly expanded melee weapons chart). Them zeds are gonna get into close combat at some point, right? (if you just want the Close Combat rules, pm me and I'll send you the quick write up, as really those are going to be handy for your game, everything else in Martial Arts is just icing on the cake, same with Underground Adventure's 'melee in tight spaces' rules)

Low-Tech. Your boyos might end up having to piece together armor or low-tech melee weapons, so this one might find some marginal use. A lot more use if you take away their guns or make ammo scarce. If it's just weapons and armor (and some very gritty-grit) then Low Tech: Weapons and Warriors will be useful.
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Old 07-29-2018, 02:09 PM   #9
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Join Date: Jun 2013
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Default Re: New to GURPS, Making sense of suplements for Zombie Apocalypse.

I've been running a Walking Dead (ZA) campaign for over a year. I run it where the zombies are always a danger but the real threat are other people and the environment. So the PCs are constantly on the move looking for supplies and weapons. It is still shortly after society collapses so there are lots of modern day supplies still available. The main books I use besides the Basic Set are:

Zombies (for obvious reasons)

High-Tech (Lots of good equipment for the PCs to find and use)

Action 2 (Probably the best supplement for modern day gaming for GURPS)

On another post I was recommended After the End 1 and 2 so I will be buying those to help with the scavenging and survival the PCs will start to face once supplies and equipment dry up.
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Old 07-29-2018, 03:51 PM   #10
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Re: New to GURPS, Making sense of suplements for Zombie Apocalypse.

One book that hasn't been mentioned yet the 3e book Ice Age, which I believe has rules for things like keeping count of how many calories your character has eaten. Sounds like it's in the area you want.
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