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Old 06-07-2008, 07:12 AM   #21
griffin
 
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caleban
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.
...
Why doesn't GURPS have original-setting world books?
It's hard to get good writers work cheaply and to commit to writing a setting which Steve Jackson Games would own and control. The setting would need to have a great concept which is compelling and differentiated from the rest of the market. It would also need to be FUN and escape Steve Jackson Games compulsion to suck the fun out of the setting by by deciding it needs an injection of realism, or if not realistic than it needs lots of humor.

Case in point - Black Ops. Vampires in the setting are mindless killers. The cool factor has been totally destroyed for vampires. Technomancer - billed as "Shadowrun for adults" - but saddled with killer penguins. Early iterations of Banestorm setting (Yrth/Ytarria) and to a leser extent the current setting has Sahud as it's achillies heel with the silly interpretation of Sahud asian culture. This is excessively pointed out in the adventure "Sahudese Fire Drill".

What GURPS needs is a killer cinematic setting. Something more akin the White Wolf World of Darkness setting, what R. Talsorian Games did back in it's prime with Cyberpunk 2020, or FASA's Shadowrun.

Steve Jackson Games has a stated goal of getting their games done as video/computer games. That will not happen with GURPS based on the rules set. What needs to be done is to come up with a compelling setting. Only then will a company want to expend the major investment need to publish an electronic version of a GURPS powered setting. For electronic gaming, the rules set takes a back seat to compelling setting.

The key is to tie into popular culture, make the game fun, and cool. Resist the temptation to be silly or overly realistic.
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Old 06-07-2008, 07:27 AM   #22
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

SJG gives us a lots of settings inside the Infinite: Azoth-7, Nergal, Lucifer-5... We have an official supplement at e23 with Britannica-6 (and I hope more supplements will come soon).

I agree with Mgellis: having a pyramid article every month for (exemple) Yrth (Timeline stop at 2005... we are in 2008 right now... I'll like to know what officially happen in the setting story) with e23 supplements. We could have a pyramid section for released setting (right now, Yrth and Britannica-6) and updating them.

For my part, what I like about "the other system" was the evolution of the timeline. I take Ravenloft for example: In this supplement, we learn that Azalin disappear, two months later, the story evolve with another supplement and we know what happen.. etc.

SJG tell us they want to release the "Core" books first. Now the Core is build, what we expect? Supplement for Munckins? PDF from the 3e?? :/
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Old 06-07-2008, 07:31 AM   #23
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by griffin
What GURPS needs is a killer cinematic setting. Something more akin the White Wolf World of Darkness setting, what R. Talsorian Games did back in it's prime with Cyberpunk 2020, or FASA's Shadowrun.
QFT
I think this setting also needs to be something that's not already been done - and we already had high-powered cinematic horror (oWoD), Cyberpunk with or without paranormal (SR, 2020), or SF (Star Wars, WH40k, Riddick, etc.).
So what should be done?
Cinematic bloody cool post-apocalyptic gaming with lots of KEWL POWRZ for mutants!
Reign of Steel + Fallout + Bioshock + Wild Cards + Y2K + AFMBE + Hiero's Journey!!!
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Old 06-07-2008, 08:11 AM   #24
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

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Originally Posted by The Cardinal
QFT
I think this setting also needs to be something that's not already been done - and we already had high-powered cinematic horror (oWoD), Cyberpunk with or without paranormal (SR, 2020), or SF (Star Wars, WH40k, Riddick, etc.).
So what should be done?
Cinematic bloody cool post-apocalyptic gaming with lots of KEWL POWRZ for mutants!
Reign of Steel + Fallout + Bioshock + Wild Cards + Y2K + AFMBE + Hiero's Journey!!!
I just don't think the post-apocalyptic thing has enough wide-spread appeal. I'd think Transhuman Space would have a better chance of hitting the big time. Unfortunately, there's still lots of 3e material in print and the setting is hard to get a handle on. I think Changing Times helped somewhat, but I think a new edition (based on GURPS 4e) which incorporated GM advice from Changing Times would go a long way to boost this setting. Also it really needs to have good support with adventures, locations, and such.

Also a focus on action would help - as with some of the vignettes.
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Old 06-07-2008, 08:16 AM   #25
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by korbeau
SJG gives us a lots of settings inside the Infinite: Azoth-7, Nergal, Lucifer-5... We have an official supplement at e23 with Britannica-6 (and I hope more supplements will come soon).

I agree with Mgellis: having a pyramid article every month for (exemple) Yrth (Timeline stop at 2005... we are in 2008 right now... I'll like to know what officially happen in the setting story) with e23 supplements. We could have a pyramid section for released setting (right now, Yrth and Britannica-6) and updating them.

For my part, what I like about "the other system" was the evolution of the timeline. I take Ravenloft for example: In this supplement, we learn that Azalin disappear, two months later, the story evolve with another supplement and we know what happen.. etc.

SJG tell us they want to release the "Core" books first. Now the Core is build, what we expect? Supplement for Munckins? PDF from the 3e?? :/
Exactly. What I'm talking about--although I admit I have no idea if this is feasible--is to dedicate, in advance, the time and resources to make certain those articles and those e-books get published. That would mean actively recruiting writers, building a backlog of material so if there were delays of one kind or another (writers get sick, etc.) the schedule of publication would not be interrupted, etc.

I suggested it would be about 20%-25% of what gets published for the GURPS line. But I may have underestimated that. By itself, the market research (to make sure that you're backing the right horse--i.e., setting), planning, negotiations with writers, etc. would probably take months. The project could easily consume 40%-50% of the GURPS line, in terms of the time and energy needed. So it's a huge investment, not only of cash, but resources, time, etc.; we might actually see fewer hardcovers if SJG went with a project like this. Frankly, the whole thing is a big risk, although the payoff could be big, too. So, again, I just don't know if it is feasible.

Of course, other companies seem to manage it. The question is...how?

Mark
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Old 06-07-2008, 08:16 AM   #26
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cardinal
Cinematic bloody cool post-apocalyptic gaming with lots of KEWL POWRZ for mutants!
Reign of Steel + Fallout + Bioshock + Wild Cards + Y2K + AFMBE + Hiero's Journey!!!
<de-lurk>GURPS Thundarr the Barbarian, anyone?</de-lurk>
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Old 06-07-2008, 08:17 AM   #27
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

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Originally Posted by Kromm
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 . . .
I definitely would be interested in your Primorial Powers(?) (PP) setting which doesn't appear on the net anymore as far as I can tell. All references I websearch for seem to go to a dead link.

I'd love to see a 4e Pyramid article on the PP setting. If it got great response, which I'm sure it would, perhaps it could lead to an e23 book, and if all goes well a real hardcover.

BTW, I realize it's a hard sell to management to have Kromm writing Pyramid articles, but I think if it aligns easily with products you are going to develop anyway which can later incorporate into books that will sell, this would work wonders in boosting Pyramid subscriber base.
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Old 06-07-2008, 08:33 AM   #28
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

I just think a setting just needs to be compelling, detailed and internally consistent. Pick a cosmology that informs the history, politics, and philosophy of the worlds NPC's. Give a bulleted overview of the worlds history with short narratives of improtant people places and events.

Of these considerations I think that the cosmology/metaphysics is probably the most improtant. For example in the Silent Hill video game series the underlying metaphysics is a type of gestalt-subjective idealism: reality is what the mind perceives.
  • If you believe you are being attacked by a monster then you are.
  • Other peoples perceptions of reality will effect your perception of reality depending on how powerful their psyche is. If they have a weak psyche they might just seem crazy but if they have a powerful psyche you might be pulled into their perception of reality
  • Places hold onto psychic imprints that will effect peoples perceptions of reality.
  • Suffering causes the most powerful local psychic imprints.
  • Consensus of what is reality is the combination of your personal perception, other peoples perceptions and the psychic imprint of past happenings.

It is by committing to the idea that the underlying cosmology/metaphysics is real and then detailing with people places and things that compelling settings are made. The problem I see with most of GURPS settings to date is that the underlying cosmology is always the same (Einstein Universe) with minor tweaks to allow for fantastic powers.

Last edited by Caleban; 06-07-2008 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 06-07-2008, 11:36 AM   #29
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

I'm one of those GURPS fans that definitely loves genre books (Fantasy 4th ed. is a masterpiece IMO). On the other hand, I have to say that the many, many settings of Savage Worlds, has me quite compelled.
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Old 06-07-2008, 12:00 PM   #30
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by korbeau
I agree with Mgellis: having a pyramid article every month for (exemple) Yrth (Timeline stop at 2005... we are in 2008 right now... I'll like to know what officially happen in the setting story) with e23 supplements. We could have a pyramid section for released setting (right now, Yrth and Britannica-6) and updating them.

For my part, what I like about "the other system" was the evolution of the timeline. I take Ravenloft for example: In this supplement, we learn that Azalin disappear, two months later, the story evolve with another supplement and we know what happen.. etc.
Ugh! Please no. If there is one thing I hate, hate, hate...it is when game companies advance timelines regularly through supplements. Those timeline changes often screw me and my campaign over as a GM. When I'm running a game, my players are deeply connected to the world in it. They influence it and make changes in it. The setting progresses in the game as we play it. Have official supplements come out that progress the timeline deprotagonizes my players and disempowers me as a GM. It was one of the things I really disliked about WoD.

Give me the setting core book. Give me supplements (like people, places, and things). Give me adventures. But please don't make your setting basically a novel that we GMs and Players get to peek in on every once in a while, but never effect.
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