Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-21-2012, 04:44 AM   #1
Mulsiphix's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Wylie, TX
Default Cinematic Gameplay: What GURPS Based Resources Are Out There?

I am rather new to playing GURPS and would like to run a cinematic fantasy campaign, somewhere along the lines of an Exalted / Lost World hybrid (huge beasts and diversified life vs just dinosaurs). Being new to play I am trying to find as many GURPS resources that cover cinematic play or give advice on running cinematic campaigns. My primary interest is in GURPS 3E products or Pyramid Magazine articles, Blog articles, webpages, online discussions, etc... Anything you feel compelled to mention or share from experience would be greatly appreciated!

An example from Pyramid I found online; Cinematic Points! GURPS Rules for Cinematic Play (by Chad Underkoffler). Anybody know if this was printed in the official magazine? I couldn't find it in my 4E Pyramid collection.
Be Thankful For Everything For Soon There Will Be Nothing!

Last edited by Mulsiphix; 07-21-2012 at 05:08 AM. Reason: added example to end of post
Mulsiphix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2012, 04:45 AM   #2
Mulsiphix's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Wylie, TX
Default Re: Cinematic Gameplay: What GURPS Based Resources Are Out There?

As far as official GURPS 4E books are concerned, I have been purchasing books on e23 since soon after the release of GURPS 4E and I have a pretty impressive collection. With the help of a new friend I have been able to plug most of the holes in my collection in order to create the list below.

I wanted to gauge which books might be most useful to me when it came to covering cinematic play. There was no easy way to do this so I ran a search of all of the PDF files and looked for the number of occurrences of the word "cinematic". These are my results.

Note: Most occurrences of "cinematic" merely refer to cinematic games but offer no real information that would be useful to a reader. The intent of this list is to index wherever the word "cinematic" appears in GURPS 4E literature. Classifying the relevancy of the occurrence is something I might do in the future but that would take a LOT of time. The software used to make the search was dtSearch Desktop. If a book does not occur in the list below it is because it did not contain the word "cinematic" anywhere within. The only books not to be searched were;
  1. Power-Ups 5 - Impulse Buys (SJG37-0143)
  2. Prime Directive - Dread Pirate Aldo (ADB8996)
  3. Prime Directive - Planet Aldo (ADB8995)
  4. Prime Directive - Starship Aldo (ADB8997)
GURPS 4E Product Line
  • Hits/Book/Stock Number
  1. [630] Martial Arts (SJG31-0105)
  2. [132] Gun Fu (SJG37-0133)
  3. [084] Transhuman Space - Martial Arts 2100 (SJG37-6713)
  4. [080] Powers (SJG31-0102)
  5. [061] Supers (SJG37-0302)
  6. [048] Martial Arts - Gladiators (SJG37-0131)
  7. [047] GURPS Basic Set - Campaigns (SJG31-0002)
  8. [046] Horror (SJG31-1003)
  9. [039] GURPS Basic Set - Characters (SJG31-0001)
  10. [035] Action 02 - Exploits (SJG37-0308)
  11. [034] Action 03 - Furious Fists (SJG37-0308)
  12. [028] Spaceships 4 - Fighters, Carriers, and Mecha (SJG37-0123)
  13. [024] High Tech (SJG31-0106)
  14. [023] Social Engineering (SJG37-0140)
  15. [020] Action 01 - Heroes (SJG37-0307)
  16. [019] Power-Ups 2 - Perks (SJG37-0129)
  17. [018] Reign of Steel - Will to Live (SJG37-0609)
  18. [018] Bio-Tech (SJG31-0103)
  19. [015] Low-Tech Companion 2 - Weapons and Warriors (SJG37-1662)
  20. [014] Ultra-Tech (SJG31-0104)
  21. [014] Transhuman Space - Changing Times (SJG37-6701)
  22. [013] Martial Arts - Fairbairn Close Combat Systems (SJG37-1641)
  23. [011] Tactical Shooting (SJG37-0134)
  24. [011] Psionic Powers (SJG37-0132)
  25. [011] Monster Hunters 2 - The Mission (SJG37-0318)
  26. [011] Fantasy (SJG31-1001)
  27. [009] Mysteries (SJG37-0301)
  28. [009] Dragons (SJG31-6540)
  29. [009] Crusades (SJG37-0608)
  30. [008] Space (SJG31-1002)
  31. [008] Psionic Campaigns (SJG37-0135)
  32. [008] Monster Hunters 1 - Champions (SJG37-0317)
  33. [007] Infinite Worlds (SJG31-2001)
  34. [007] Infinite Worlds - Britannica-6 (SJG37-0605)
  35. [006] Transhuman Space - Transhuman Mysteries (SJG37-6712)
  36. [006] Thaumatology (SJG31-0107)
  37. [005] Tales of the Solar Patrol (SJG37-0604)
  38. [005] Casey & Andy (SJG37-0601)
  39. [005] Power-Ups 1 - Imbuements (SJG37-0128)
  40. [004] Vorkosigan Saga (SJG31-2490)
  41. [004] Psis (SJG37-0137)
  42. [004] Loadouts - Monster Hunters (SJG37-1580)
  43. [004] Lands out of Time (SJG37-0602)
  44. [004] Thaumatology - Age of Gold (SJG37-1651)
  45. [003] Supporting Cast - Age of Sail Pirate Crew (SJG37-1540)
  46. [003] Thaumatology - Magical Style (SJG37-1652)
  47. [003] Magic (SJG31-0101)
  48. [002] Spaceships 5 - Exploration and Colony Spacecraft (SJG37-0124)
  49. [002] Power-Ups 4 - Enhancements (SJG37-0142)
  50. [002] Mass Combat (SJG37-0131)
  51. [002] Martial Arts Techniques Cheat-Sheet (SJG37-1643)
  52. [002] High Tech - Pulp Guns, Volume 1 (SJG37-1631)
  53. [002] GURPS Update (SJG30-6024)
  54. [002] Big Lizzie (SJG37-1102)
  55. [002] Power-Ups 3 - Talents (SJG37-0141)
  56. [002] Low-Tech (SJG31-0108)
  57. [002] City Stats (SJG37-0138)
  58. [001] Spaceships 7 - Divergent and Paranormal Tech (SJG37-0126)
  59. [001] Spaceships 6 - Mining and Industrial Spacecraft (SJG37-0125)
  60. [001] Spaceships 3 - Warships and Space Pirates (SJG37-0122)
  61. [001] Lair of the Fat Man (SJG37-1101)
  62. [001] Hot Spots - Renaissance Florence (SJG37-0660)
  63. [001] GURPS Skill Categories (SJG37-0201)
  64. [001] GURPS Lite (SJG31-0004)
  65. [001] GURPS GM's Screen (SJG31-0005)
  66. [001] Dungeon Fantasy 11 - Power-Ups (SJG37-0316)
  67. [001] Dungeon Fantasy 10 - Taverns (SJG37-0315)
  68. [001] Banestorm (SJG31-2002)
  69. [001] Thaumatology - Alchemical Baroque (SJG37-0607)
  70. [001] Magic - Plant Spells (SJG37-0136)
  71. [001] Creatures of the Night, Volume 5 (SJG37-1564)

Pyramid Magazine, Issues #3-01 to 3-43
  • Hits/Book/Stock Number
  1. (20) Pyramid 3-09, Space Opera [SJG37-2609]
  2. (17) Pyramid 3-33, Low-Tech [SJG37-2633]
  3. (15) Pyramid 3-14, Martial Arts [SJG37-2614]
  4. (14) Pyramid 3-40, Vehicles [SJG37-2640]
  5. (8) Pyramid 3-15, Transhuman Space [SJG37-2615]
  6. (6) Pyramid 3-30, Spaceships [SJG37-2630]
  7. (6) Pyramid 3-21, Cyberpunk [SJG37-2621]
  8. (6) Pyramid 3-11, Cinematic Locations [SJG37-2611]
  9. (4) Pyramid 3-22, Banestorm [SJG37-2622]
  10. (3) Pyramid 3-39, Steampunk [SJG37-2639]
  11. (3) Pyramid 3-34, Alternate GURPS [SJG37-2634]
  12. (3) Pyramid 3-16, Historical Exploration [SJG37-2616]
  13. (3) Pyramid 3-08, Cliffhangers [SJG37-2608]
  14. (3) Pyramid 3-05, Horror & Spies [SJG37-2605]
  15. (2) Pyramid 3-36, Dungeon Fantasy [SJG37-2636]
  16. (2) Pyramid 3-32, Fears of Days Past [SJG37-2632]
  17. (2) Pyramid 3-29, Psionics [SJG37-2629]
  18. (2) Pyramid 3-26, Underwater Adventures [SJG37-2626]
  19. (2) Pyramid 3-24, Bio-Tech [SJG37-2624]
  20. (2) Pyramid 3-17, Modern Exploration [SJG37-2617]
  21. (2) Pyramid 3-12, Tech and Toys [SJG37-2612]
  22. (1) Pyramid 3-38, The Power of Myth [SJG37-2638]
  23. (1) Pyramid 3-31, Monster Hunters [SJG37-2631]
  24. (1) Pyramid 3-27, Monsters in Space [SJG37-2627]
  25. (1) Pyramid 3-23, Action Adventures [SJG37-2623]
  26. (1) Pyramid 3-10, Crime and Grime [SJG37-2610]
  27. (1) Pyramid 3-07, Urban Fantasy [SJG37-2607]
  28. (1) Pyramid 3-04, Magic on the Battlefield [SJG37-2604]
Be Thankful For Everything For Soon There Will Be Nothing!

Last edited by Mulsiphix; 07-21-2012 at 05:06 AM. Reason: a few formatting fixes
Mulsiphix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2012, 05:44 AM   #3
Night Watchman
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Cinematic Gameplay: What GURPS Based Resources Are Out There?

It's usually best, when you're looking for how GURPS handles an idea, to start with the Basic Set. Page 488-89 introduce the concepts of cinematic GURPS, and everything else cinematic for 4e will be built on that.

That Chad Underkoffler article is from the previous incarnation of Pyramid, as a web-based magazine for GURPS 3rd Edition. It looks as if it was the first form of the "buying successes" rules that are on page 347 of the 4e basic set, and got filled out in Power-Ups 5: Impulse Buys. Lots of ideas created during the 3e period got incorporated into the 4e Basic Set.
johndallman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2012, 05:49 AM   #4
Blind Mapmaker
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Mannheim, Baden
Default Re: Cinematic Gameplay: What GURPS Based Resources Are Out There?

The example article from Chad Underkoffler was part of the second incarnation of the Pyramid magazine. It didn't get printed, because the magazine was online-only, but it's just as official as the Pyramid pdfs of today.

Cinematic options in the Basic set are already pretty good, but Power-Ups 5 should help a lot. Martial Arts and Low-Tech are mostly about realistic rules, but the cinematic options in MA are actually pretty useful for players. I would mostly disregard the rest of the books, except for Action (which is, unfortunately, kind of hard to directly transfer to a fantasy setting).

Edit: Ninja-ed.

Last edited by Blind Mapmaker; 07-21-2012 at 06:01 AM.
Blind Mapmaker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2012, 01:58 PM   #5
Steven Marsh
Steven Marsh's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Cinematic Gameplay: What GURPS Based Resources Are Out There?

Originally Posted by Blind Mapmaker View Post
The example article from Chad Underkoffler was part of the second incarnation of the Pyramid magazine. It didn't get printed, because the magazine was online-only, but it's just as official as the Pyramid pdfs of today.
At the risk of being a smidge pedantic, that's not quite the case. With the advent of the current (PDF) incarnation of Pyramid, we've worked much harder to more tightly integrate our GURPS content. In particular, all articles have been reviewed -- and often tweaked or revised -- by Jason "PK" Levine or Sean Punch for their GURPSiness.

So, yes, articles are still "unofficial," but the current Pyramid has taken great pains to be "officially unofficial." (And that doesn't even count the larger amount of material written by official GURPS gurus... Personally, I'm tempted to give the benefit of the doubt to material written by Kromm, PK, Pulver, etc.) :-)
Steven Marsh
Steve Jackson Games
Steven Marsh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2012, 06:09 PM   #6
Mailanka's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Default Re: Cinematic Gameplay: What GURPS Based Resources Are Out There?

For my cinematic games:

Martial Arts
This is probably the single most important cinematic book you can get your hands on outside of Gun Fu, which isn't appropriate to your game. The pertinent chapter isn't the martial arts styles themselves, but the chapter on combat. Obviously, you'll want to take a gander at the cinematic rules, but don't limit yourself there. Pore over all the options, find whatever good nuggets pop out, and use them.

Campaigns contains all kinds of information, not just cinematic rules, but a discussion of how to run cinematic games. Many people overlook the core books when it comes to GM advice (I myself am often guilty of this), but the stuff in here is a great place to star.

Power-Ups 5: Impulse Buys
Most of the Power-Ups series is good stuff, but this one, in particular, speaks to me on a cinematic level. To me, "cinematic" often translates as "player control of the narrative." Get a roll you don't like? Buy it off! Get yourself in trouble in a cool way that advances the storyline? Have a reward! Truly random gameplay is fun and has its place, but "cinematic" games, to me, thrive on the structure of drama, and players need the ability to put that in place, as the default GURPS rules won't do that.

Powers, Fantasy, Thaumatology
My cinematic experiences are about a lot more than just cinematic rules. I can't know what you're looking for without more specifics, but when I hear people talk about "cinematic," I often see games with an epic scope, intriguing settings, well-developed characters and dangerous villains. In many ways, setting material itself, its tone, its focus, its design, will shape the setting into something more or less cinematic. Exalted isn't just cinematic because of the rules, it's cinematic because of how the setting itself works. By the same token, GoT is gritty not just because it has realistic "rules," but because it has a realistic, gritty setting.

What I suggest you do is that you settle down, work out what sort of a game you want. How do you want combat to look? What sorts of characters will the players be? What is the core "conflict," the standard set-up, of your sessions? When you say "Cinematic," what do you mean, and what other stories are influencing your work? Once you have a solid idea of that, then it's just a matter of fussing with the rules until they resemble what you're looking for. That's how all of my cinematic games have come about. It's often not a case of just switching all the cinematic switches into "on," giving people a boat-load of points and hoping for the best, or at least I've never seen that sort of thing work. Instead, you pick a focus and go. Your cinematic will be different than my cinematic, and the cinematic for one sort of game will be different than the cinematic for another sort of game.

EDIT: Oh, honorable mention: Fantasy Tech. A lot of GURPS authors get smirky and start calling things "silly," but when they do, take that as a point of interest and investigate further. Often what they mean with "silly" is "not remotely realistic, but nonetheless fun." Legendary Katanas have become a feature of my chambara game, as have the esoteric medical techniques from the book. For a more western fantasy, I'd probably steal a few more of the cinematic items therein, like the zweihander and the english longbow.

(Really, I could go on, but I take a rather holistic approach to "cinematic." There's lots of little baubles, trinkets and treasures sprinkled all throughout the GURPS line that can help make your game work, depending on what you want).
My Blog: Mailanka's Musing. Currently Playing: Psi-Wars, a step-by-step exploration of building your own Space Opera setting, inspired by Star Wars.

Last edited by Mailanka; 07-21-2012 at 06:12 PM.
Mailanka is offline   Reply With Quote

cinematic, cinematic play, listing, reference

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:32 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.