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Old 01-16-2013, 07:56 AM   #1
Ulthar88's Avatar
Join Date: May 2011
Location: high desert plains
Default FURPS... FreeformGURPS?

Free-Gurps? FfURPS?

Anyhow... Having gained some more experience in internet gaming, mostly Play-by-Post, it occurs to me that it is a form of game-communication which does not lend itself well to dice-heavy or rules-laden gaming. Freeform, especially in social situations, seems a perfect fit, but I do believe that a system of some kind is indispensable, especially for handling the stickier bits. And I like GURPS as the system because it can provide an answer for almost any darn thing.

Freeform also makes it easier to run a wider variety of game settings -- especially tech-heavy bits like Star Trek or Star Wars -- without a ton of supplemental rules and conversions.

So I thought about gene-splicing the strengths of both approaches. What if I could run a PbP game with a Freeform style but still have the GURPS crunchy bits under the hood for when they're needed? The players would still have a fully developed GURPS character sheet that would provide them with a definition of capacities (and incapacities), but the exact numbers would only be referenced when things are at their trickiest.

I was wondering if anyone had any experience with that sort of thing, or a better idea even.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:55 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kyv, Ukraine
Default Re: FURPS... FreeformGURPS?

My current campaign tends towards freeform GURPS-based. Rolls are rare, and traits are primarily characterisation tools.
Vicky 'Molokh', GURPS FAQ and uFAQ Keeper
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:22 AM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Neverland
Default Re: FURPS... FreeformGURPS?

Well, I bet that everyone use Gurps as a free-form game, baring the system to only the rules that appeal to them and ignoring the rest. In my campaing, depending on the case, background and flow of the game in the day, we get down to the crushing bits (You want to convince the land lord that you need the horses? Roll against Savoir Faire [Nobility] to see if you know how to behave yourself in front of him, against Fast Talk to pass through his "secretary" and, finally, against Diplomacy to actually talk to him, or, sometimes, we don't let dice get in the way (you really want to bride the cop by throwing a hundred bucks on his table, and your Streetwise and Fast-Talk are both at 16? Yes, he get the money while looking suspicious, but quickly allow you to pass by.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:47 PM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Virginia, US
Default Re: FURPS... FreeformGURPS?

As someone that uses GURPS for online play, and because of the influence that Amber DRPG had on me back in the day, my personal preference is to drape FUDGE's adjective ladder over GURPS. This has a number of advantages, at least in my mind if no-one else:
  • It translates attribute and skill levels into words that are easily understood by new players regardless of the power level. This is incredibly useful with concept-based character generation since you can readily quiz the player, e.g., "So how good do you think the character would be with the sword?" "Oh, I think that he should be Superb."
  • In game, players--again, especially new players--are more readily able to translate the character sheet into actions. (Sounds odd, but it was just what I found.)
  • When running the game, for the most part I don't have to bother with dice rolls, or even keep track of things like "combat rounds" very much. "Oh, the character has Superb swordsmanship, so the Average City Guard isn't going to really stand a chance..." or "Oh, the character has Superb swordsmanship, and that cat burglar as Good, but also is a sneaky little bar-steward so will be using underhanded techniques." If it ever comes down to a decision that I'm not comfortable with making (to forward the shared narrative, as a setting decision or whatever) then I've always got the dice to fall back on. Quick Contest of Skills figure frequently in those circumstances.

One the character generation/characterisation front, I've also found it interesting to describe the overall character with FATE-like Aspects that are ultimately translated back into advantages/disadvantages.

Again, though, YMMV--what works for me might not work for you.
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freeform, pbp

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