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Old 07-05-2008, 09:38 PM   #151
happylrac
 
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

I'm a relatively new GURPS player. I've played a lot of other systems and all of them came with a world or some such. The Palladium system is as close to GURPS as any as the others have been, primarily because the system can handle multiple generic settings as well. But Palladium has a couple of settings that are fairly popular, the greatest being Rifts of course.

After getting the 3 core books I went out looking for the settings. I found Transhuman, Traveller, Infinite Worlds and Banestorm. Nothing was very appealing and none were inspiring. Besides being too pulpy, they seemed to lack enough material support on the world itself and where the players could send their characters off to.

The wish list has a horrible selection. I would not buy one book on that list. After I read that list I knew where GURPS was going. It is and will be all about tools. But to be honestly I don't need any more tools even though I might love them. The GURPS core books are comprehensive enough! I'd like to buy a good setting book that had enough information to inspire but not enough to bore, enough flexibility so the players have fun but not so much they don't feel constrained. Nothing in GURPS line now and nothing in the wish list will have that.

GURPS needs a good core Fantasy setting. It also needs a good core SCIFI setting. It does not need a smattering of DF, Banestorm, Magic, and Fantasy. It does not need a glob of Traveller, Ultra-tech, Space, and Transhuman. It's ok to have those books but as a new GURPS GM I need to have a foundation setting in order to pull away from whatever lowly system my players and I are using right now. If there is no Forgotten Realms or World of Darkness it is going to be hellish making the transition. GM's love systems but players love settings. And that is probably my whole point. After the foundation is laid then all the other books are actually worth something. The GM would be able to weave it all in.

Sorry about the rant but the lack of a setting is one thing that I see harming GURPS. And remember, this is coming from a new GURPS GM trying to convince his players to make the move for good. If/When they do, that's when my group will drop the cash for what they need. Hands down, they'd buy the Characters book and the settings Book just to be able to create characters.
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:01 PM   #152
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

I somewhat agree, but thats why I like the GURPS system: it is a toolkit that has itself put together quite well. I can drop any setting into it (like Rifts or Forgotten Realms) and run with it. Matter fact, I am putting together a Dungeon Fantasy game with my group and using the Undermountain from Forgotten Realms. I find myself more and more buying game supplements that have a great story (like more Forgotten Realms books, mainly because they are getting cheaper since 4E came out hehe) rather than buying the core books since I already have a good solid core system. With each different game, I can modify certain things so they mesh well, but thats most of the fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by happylrac
I'm a relatively new GURPS player. I've played a lot of other systems and all of them came with a world or some such. The Palladium system is as close to GURPS as any as the others have been, primarily because the system can handle multiple generic settings as well. But Palladium has a couple of settings that are fairly popular, the greatest being Rifts of course.

After getting the 3 core books I went out looking for the settings. I found Transhuman, Traveller, Infinite Worlds and Banestorm. Nothing was very appealing and none were inspiring. Besides being too pulpy, they seemed to lack enough material support on the world itself and where the players could send their characters off to.

The wish list has a horrible selection. I would not buy one book on that list. After I read that list I knew where GURPS was going. It is and will be all about tools. But to be honestly I don't need any more tools even though I might love them. The GURPS core books are comprehensive enough! I'd like to buy a good setting book that had enough information to inspire but not enough to bore, enough flexibility so the players have fun but not so much they don't feel constrained. Nothing in GURPS line now and nothing in the wish list will have that.

GURPS needs a good core Fantasy setting. It also needs a good core SCIFI setting. It does not need a smattering of DF, Banestorm, Magic, and Fantasy. It does not need a glob of Traveller, Ultra-tech, Space, and Transhuman. It's ok to have those books but as a new GURPS GM I need to have a foundation setting in order to pull away from whatever lowly system my players and I are using right now. If there is no Forgotten Realms or World of Darkness it is going to be hellish making the transition. GM's love systems but players love settings. And that is probably my whole point. After the foundation is laid then all the other books are actually worth something. The GM would be able to weave it all in.

Sorry about the rant but the lack of a setting is one thing that I see harming GURPS. And remember, this is coming from a new GURPS GM trying to convince his players to make the move for good. If/When they do, that's when my group will drop the cash for what they need. Hands down, they'd buy the Characters book and the settings Book just to be able to create characters.
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:38 PM   #153
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

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Originally Posted by Gamer_Zer0
Maybe one of the issues with a original setting word book would be GURPS's greateast strength,along iwth its current target group which appears to be those who think very hard about the setting and how everything fits together,some of D&D settings take alot of "hand waving",which I garther a majority of GURPS players don't like. So you would have to upset on gorup while marketing to another one.
D&D really only has had five major settings: Greyhawk (1975), Dragonlance (1984), Forgotten Realms (1985), Spelljammer (1989) and Dark Sun (1990).
One problem that still remains is D&D economics was and still is a total train wreck so anything in your fantasy world to do with money needs more handwaving than you get from a centipede with a case for poison ivy.
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:11 PM   #154
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

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Originally Posted by maximara
D&D really only has had five major settings: Greyhawk (1975), Dragonlance (1984), Forgotten Realms (1985), Spelljammer (1989) and Dark Sun (1990).
Planescape doesn't count as major? ^_^
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:35 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by maximara
D&D really only has had five major settings: Greyhawk (1975), Dragonlance (1984), Forgotten Realms (1985), Spelljammer (1989) and Dark Sun (1990).
One problem that still remains is D&D economics was and still is a total train wreck so anything in your fantasy world to do with money needs more handwaving than you get from a centipede with a case for poison ivy.
and Ebberon, and this is my point,if you don't care that much about the fine workings of the setting,which like i said before 99% of GURPS players do then making a setting book owuld be easy to do,but since we as GURPS players do care its gonna be a very hard challenge....
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Old 07-06-2008, 12:05 AM   #156
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

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Originally Posted by tantric
Fantasy II was awesome! All hail the new weird! Unfortunately, it wasn't very playable - I could never convince a group of people to play paleolithic tribespersons.

Frankly, I would never pay for yet-another-pseudomedieval-Disney-fantasy setting. Spare me. I want *originality*, not cliche. Darksun, maybe.
That's one of the basic problems. The more "original" one goes, the smaller the audience because it departs from expectations. Dark Sun is not as popular as Forgotten Realms, because the Realms matches expectations as to what
a classic Tolkien/D&D heroic fantasy setting is supposed to be.

So, why doesn't GURPS have more original fantasy or science fiction settings that are original enough to be interesting, but not so original as to be alienating? Well, GURPS is somewhat freelancer driven, but freelancers have to sell their work to management. And it's a hard sell to say "I will do a VERY GOOD classic fantasy (or science fiction) setting."

I know: I've tried to interest SJ Games (since c. 1990) in space opera settings. However, generally the feeling has been "setting doesn't sell, and we have Traveller (or Terradyne, or THS, or whatever). The thing is, I'm not sure if GURPS has ever made an attempt at a more 'mainstream' fantasy or SF setting. (No, Yrth is not "mainstream" - with its alternate Earth setting, lack of fantasy gods, etc., nor is the Rome setting in GURPS Fantasy.)

For my own selfish reasons, I've wanted to have a space setting that would use Ultra-Tech and Spaceships and Bio-Tech "out of the box" [i.e., without special expections and conversion rules for the setting]. And yeah, that means galactic empires and struggling Earth federation and nanotechnology and AIs and fleets of starships and dozens of alien races and blasters and force screens and the whole shebang. The goal isn't to copy someone else's genre (though we'd be in the mainstream of the New Space Opera): the goal is to take what GURPS does well - and that's lots of cool stuff - and build a setting that showcases that GURPS goodness, and is also a more playable and somewhat open sandbox to adventure in then either THS or, to some extent Traveller.
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Old 07-06-2008, 12:44 AM   #157
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

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Originally Posted by William

Quote:
Originally Posted by maximara
D&D really only has had five major settings: Greyhawk (1975), Dragonlance (1984), Forgotten Realms (1985), Spelljammer (1989) and Dark Sun (1990).
Planescape doesn't count as major? ^_^
I kind of forgot about it as at 1994 Planescape was published near the end of TSR's let's makes crap loads of small buckets period (1986-1996). I mean we are talking about only two years before TSR "stopped publishing completely." (Bill Slaviscek), and it was among the three settings (Spelljammer and Dark Sun being the other two) that WotC basically gave to their fan base to do new material. (Before you cite Manual of the Planes that is basically the primer book for the whole D&D plane system rather than the Planescape setting).
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:20 AM   #158
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

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Originally Posted by David L Pulver
That's one of the basic problems. The more "original" one goes, the smaller the audience because it departs from expectations.
Unless, of course, your innovation grabs people's imaginations and you get a runaway success. Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Neuromancer, Snowcrash &c. departed from expectations. So did Georgette Heyer's first Regency romance. So did the first "hard-boiled" detective. So did Vampire, the Masquerade. So did Warhammer.

Originality produces small audiences, except when it produces really big ones. Imitativeness reliably produces mediocrity.
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:24 AM   #159
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

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I'm not sure that that's right. I'd trust David Pulver to do his original setting right: not what people think they want when you ask them, but what makes them go "wow!" when they see it. But SJG is too timid (or it doesn't have the resources to take risks like that): it will only greenlight proposals that it already knows buyers want. Which is to say things that the buyers already know they want. Which is to say, nothing original.
I think its more of that than anything else
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:52 AM   #160
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
I'm not sure that that's right. I'd trust David Pulver to do his original setting right: not what people think they want when you ask them, but what makes them go "wow!" when they see it. But SJG is too timid (or it doesn't have the resources to take risks like that): it will only greenlight proposals that it already knows buyers want. Which is to say things that the buyers already know they want. Which is to say, nothing original.
SJ Games have happily green lit "original" proposals in the past; I've had no trouble with that, and in fact have an original fantasy/horror/military setting book I'm working on (at a rather slow pace) now. My point was that trying to sell them on something seemingly LESS original has proven tricky!

Resources: this is always an issue, but given some of the stuff that pops into e23 these days, not as much of one. With e23 a setting can "Test the Waters" with a 32-page book, and if popular can be expanded indefinitely.
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