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Old 06-06-2008, 05:00 PM   #1
Caleban
 
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Default Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

I understand that the first word in the GURPS acronym is Generic and therefore its supplements are broad overviews of any given topic or genera but I have always felt that GURPS suffered from a lack of identity in the market due to not having any iconic original-setting type world books.

D20 has Ansalon, Eberon, and Grey Hawk, and if you want to go back a couple of editions there was Dark Sun, Planescape, and Spell Jammer.

There are 68+ pages of Licensed properties I would like to see. Licensed properties can be tricky legally and/or expensive but there is a clear market for setting type world books. Why doesn't GURPS have original-setting world books?
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Banestorm, Infinite Worlds, Transhuman Space. GURPS has its original world books.
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Um . . ..

GURPS has Infinite Worlds as it's "core" world. I can't get to the actual SJGames site (it's blocked from my work, but I can still get to the fora) to give you a link. But, it does have one.
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caleban
Why doesn't GURPS have original-setting world books?
Apart from Banestorm, Infinite Worlds, Transhuman Space, and (arguably) Interstellar Wars, you mean?

I can't answer that.
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Is IOU original too ?

I think GURPS is most strong in adaptations, see something, convert it. There's also several licensed properties that it handles, such as Discworld, Lensman and others ( Ogre ? )

I think they've got all the bases covered. The other games are just that, games that focus on one area, although d20 has taken steps to explore other genres like Modern, Future and Space and such, but only after D&D popularity made it feasible.
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrale
Is IOU original too ?
I'd say so... And if we're including Third Edition books, there's a slew of original settings: Warehouse 23, Autoduel (Car Wars, but it was an adaptation of a SJGames title, not a licenced world), Cabal, Black Ops, Madlands, Cyberworld, In Nomine (another adaptation of a SJGames title), IST, Technomancer ... and that isn't counting the historical settings or the sourcebooks with "sample setting" chapters (such as Psionics and Mecha).
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

The thing I like about Forgotten Realms, Eberon, and Planescape is despite sharing a system (D20) they each feel like unique places with detailed histories and NPC's.

I love GURPS supplements, but except for the historical ones I don't feel like I ever get to know the place described in them. They feel more like a genera overview then unique detailed worlds. Also the sections on "Using this setting with N supplement" tend to dilute the settings uniqueness making it more generic.

Again I realize that GURPS is generic by definition, but a thread with 68+ pages of "I'd like to play in that world" seems to suggest that there is a market for original-unique settings. I am coming from GURPS 3E. I haven't gotten around to updating to 4E.

Last edited by Caleban; 06-06-2008 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 06-06-2008, 06:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caleban

Again I realize that GURPS is generic by definition, but a thread with 68+ pages of "I'd like to play in that world" seems to suggest that there is a market for original-unique settings.
Sure, but within those 68 pages, there's little agreement on genre, genre treatment (mode and voice), plotting level (freeform sandbox vs. meta-plot), realism level, power level, setting scope and scale, technology level, and character types (nonhuman races and exotic abilities). Those posts propose hundreds of unrelated worlds, and no more than a few people like each one. The message that sends us, the creators, isn't "there's 68 pages of people who want worlds, so I guess we had better give them worlds," but, "there's 68 pages of people discussing worlds and reaching no consensus, so I guess 'generic' is the only way to keep them all happy."

For years, I've mostly run high-powered campaigns with only the thinnest veneer of realism necessary to let the players identify with their characters, always gamed sandbox-style in settings of vast scale, typically with heavy doses of horror and moral relativism regardless of genre, and with tech and characters pulled in from all over the place. The nominal genre fluctuates, but has been fantasy more than any other (probably 80% of the time). Frankly, if I thought that 80%+ of GURPS customers would dig it, I'd just switch the game over to that kind of gaming. Hey, I could produce endless supplements and it would simplify all kinds of headaches. But I doubt that even 10% of customers would want the "SPRUG" (Sean Punch Roleplaying Universe Game"), so . . .
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Old 06-06-2008, 06:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caleban
Again I realize that GURPS is generic by definition, but a thread with 68+ pages of "I'd like to play in that world" seems to suggest that there is a market for original-unique settings.
I wish it were the case, because I'd like to see my fantasy setting Gehennum, my SF setting Flat Black, and my answer to Indiana Jones and Miskatonic University (Walpurgis University) in print as GURPS books, or at least as PDFs on e23.

Unfortunately, the unslaked thirst for licensed GURPS settings which is manifest on the thread you cite doesn't translate into a demand for obscure original settings. All longed-for licences have something which Flat Black &c., or even new settings from a respected RPG author such as David Pulver or Bill Stoddard, lack: they have hundreds of thousands or even millions of fans who have read rich-detailed stores and comics, or watched TV shows and movies with gorgeous actresses and convincing visuals. They have an established fan base.

The only way to make Flat Black sell would be to write half a dozen novels set there, and have them either a notable commercial success or made into a successful movie. But If I could write popular SF or fantasy novels it would be more commercially and artistically rewarding for my to do so rather than write a GURPS world-book.
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

GURPS has lots if you count 3e. Personally I'd love to see a good urban/contemporary fantasy book like Cabal, expanded - a GURPS answer to World of Darkness in the same way (i.e., very loosely speaking) that Banestorm is GURPS' answer to the generic D&D setting. And licensed adaptations never excited me like the original settings have.

Even though I'm personally a compulsive worldbuilder, I think that having only one book worth of material per setting (except Traveller, Transhuman Space, and the Prime Directive stuff) is a problem that might be keeping some people away from the system. A few pages on this element or that, maybe a dozen "races" at most... it's enough to fire the imagination, but probably too little for GMs used to the support of the D&D settings and unwilling or unable to flesh the skeletons out themselves to consider enough to start a campaign in.

Edit: Heh, well Kromm answered that one. Sad, but not unexpected.
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