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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?

I thought that Transhuman Space was a licensed property. Transhuman feels like a unique place to me but I always felt that Banestorm and Infinite Worlds felt more like alternate histories than original settings. They just don't feel all that different from each other (to me anyway).

Edited to add: I'm thinking of Traveler as a licensed property. I'm not sure if Transhuman is original or not.
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:41 PM   #7
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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, 05:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caleban
I thought that Transhuman Space was a licensed property.
No, it is original: David Pulver designed it as a GURPS 3e setting.
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

As others have said, GURPS has tons of original settings (and yes, Transhuman Space is original -- it was designed and published for SJ Games). What it lacks is setting support, which is why those settings are so often overlooked. The reasons for this are twofold. First, once you filter down from "all gamers" to "all GURPS players" to "GURPS players who like this one genre" to "GURPS players who like this setting" to "GURPS players who like this setting enough to buy support materials," the three people you end up with aren't numerous enough to justify the expense. Second, writers like to create their own stuff; it's hard to find writers who want to ride on coattails for the tiny trickle of royalties that my first point almost assures. Maybe if we had built our business model for GURPS around a setting or were the top RPG, we could make it work. But we built our model around a rules set, and we're basically a niche over here.

Another way to look at it is like this: we have so few resources, both on the creation end and the sales end, that we can't focus on a setting without depriving the rest of the line. Since the line is built around generic rules, not a setting, that would be bad, so we refuse to do it.
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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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