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Old 10-19-2021, 04:10 AM   #1
PCK_Clark
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Default GURPS YouTube Content

Hi everyone,

My name is Clark and I'm currently working on creating some YouTube content to help newer players get accustom to the GURPS system and get them started on their journey. The first video has been planned and I'll be shooting the content in the next few weeks, with the goal of having it uploaded by the end of the year.

This first video will cover some of the bare essentials, using information found in the basic set, GURPS lite, these forums and the GURPS wikipedia page. I'm hoping it will be a great place to start for first timers who are trying to get their head around how the system works and provide some insight into what goes into character creation and the systems core mechanics. The second video will likely continue from there and walk through creating a character, and the third will possibly go through some basic social and combat encounters to reinforce some of the learnings from the first two videos.

My question to the forum is: What topics do you think would be helpful for new players, and are there any experiences you've had as a new player or GM that would be good to address in this series.

I've been playing GURPS with my mates for around 12 years now, and even for us it's amazing that there are always new things to learn as we venture into different settings or try different rules. I also really enjoy watching content for many other systems and have been wishing there were more videos available on YouTube for the game that we've come to love and appreciate - so I thought why not try and give it a crack myself!

I'm looking forward to collaborating with the people in this forum and becoming a part of this small but fantastic community!
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Old 10-19-2021, 07:37 AM   #2
khorboth
 
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Default Re: GURPS YouTube Content

Things that would help new players/GMs:

What to leave out of the game.

What does a 13 in a skill mean?

Why 3d6 and not 1d20?

How do I make my game more realistic or more cinematic?

Which books do I buy?

*I've seen/heard all of these questions a bunch.
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Old 10-19-2021, 11:43 AM   #3
Rolando
 
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Default Re: GURPS YouTube Content

@khorboth: I wouldn't say 3d6 vs 1d20, i would recommend saying "why 3d6" and that's it (talk about the advantages of a bell curve), otherwise you will get confrontational with the D20 folks. Samall things like that are always positive.

I also think a key feature is that you don't need all the 500+ pages of GURPS, just the basic 3 types of rolls and the will to have some awesome time. Success Rolls, Damage Rolls, Reaction rolls. Everything else is optional. Even Reaction Rolls is kind of optional to me.

Also that all those 500+ pages are there to help and not hinder your attempts to have an awesome time.
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Old 10-19-2021, 12:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: GURPS YouTube Content

A couple others occured to me:

What do all the notes on the weapon table mean? Unbalanced? Shotguns shoot *how* fast? And when can't I parry with an axe?

What's the deal with hexes? Why not squares?

Combat order: turns, and not discreet rounds.

How to cast spells: regular, area, and missile. When do they take effect?
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Old 10-19-2021, 02:59 PM   #5
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Before you get bogged down in the minutiae of rules, you should emphasize that, for players, GURPS is only as complex as players and the GM agree it should be. GURPS is a toolkit, and people only need to use the tools appropriate to the job, at hand.

Now then, I do think it would help to acknowledge, forthrightly, that GURPS exists primarily for GMs who want to build their own campaign settings, from scratch. The reason it has so many optional dials and switches is that it's supposed to help people build worlds.

So, it would be tough to set up a new campaign without a GM willing to invest some time, up front. Very few GURPS GMs can stand up a campaign in an hour or less; it usually takes a GM at least a few days of work.

Finally, all the work needed up front, combined with all the options available, means the GM and players must communicate clearly at campaign inception, to ensure the GM has created a game the players want to play.

Search the forum, here, for examples of William Stoddard's campaign prospectuses. They provide excellent worked examples that can facilitate the discussion, which should take place even before Session Zero.
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Old 10-19-2021, 03:45 PM   #6
Refplace
 
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Default Re: GURPS YouTube Content

Quote:
Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
Before you get bogged down in the minutiae of rules, you should emphasize that, for players, GURPS is only as complex as players and the GM agree it should be. GURPS is a toolkit, and people only need to use the tools appropriate to the job, at hand.
I support this approach highly.
Give examples and some simple rolls with explanations to show the mechanics.
For example, "Your driving across town with a skill of 12 and get +4 for routine task modifier. Normally you might not even roll but lets see if you get in an accident or a traffic stop today"
My blog on the GURPS Landing Page has some FAQs and other things I think useful, feel free to borrow any of that material for ideas or references.
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Old 10-19-2021, 06:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolando View Post
I also think a key feature is that you don't need all the 500+ pages of GURPS, just the basic 3 types of rolls and the will to have some awesome time.
+1

Moreover I would recommend one very important point for the GM, from chapter 10 in BS, the 'Task Difficulty'. I think it's really great to see that improvisation in GURPS is really doable, not a hard task ;) This also shows, once again, that you do not have to read or use all rules and can still come up with a practical solution, in special situations, as the GM.
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Old 10-19-2021, 06:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: GURPS YouTube Content

THANK YOU! What a great idea!

GURPS has an unfair reputation for being complicated, rules-heavy, and lacking flavor. So, it could be really helpful to emphasize how simple it can be by flipping switches at the beginning, and how, by having rules fade into the background somewhat, the flavor comes from the unfolding interactive story instead of being imposed by rules.

GURPS is malleable, able to be used effectively for lots of genres. It could be neat to compare magic systems (GURPS Magic, Path/Book, Divine Favor, RPM, Sorcery) to illustrate how the rules can be adapted to more satisfyingly support those genres.

GURPS has a reputation for slow char-gen. It could be helpful to show how templates can really speed that up.

And then how GURPS can excel at adapting a movie or book to make a game setting (Star Trek, Buffy, 007, The Witcher, whatever).

BANG! skills can also be great topic, because those can also streamline char-gen and play at the table.

Also, the 3d6 probability curve is, to my mind, one of the game's strengths, so talking a bit about how it differs from the d20 line.
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Old 10-19-2021, 10:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
GURPS has an unfair reputation for being complicated, rules-heavy, and lacking flavor.
That's the price of being "Generic" with at least some attention paid to real-world systems.

I think of GURPS as being a big, fat "formulary" which experienced players & GMs can draw on to create their own recipes. It's the equivalent of a professional chef's cookbook which starts with topics like "How to boil potatoes" or "Basic mayonnaise recipe" rather than "here's how you make a quick potato salad."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
So, it could be really helpful to emphasize how simple it can be by flipping switches at the beginning, and how, by having rules fade into the background somewhat, the flavor comes from the unfolding interactive story instead of being imposed by rules.
More recent GURPS books like the GURPS Action series do a good job with this sort of simplification.


Extra rules should only be added when both players & GM appreciate their presence. Even then the GM should be careful not to overdo the detail.

To continue to cookbook analogy, all the extra rules for GURPS are like spices in a spice cabinet. Use too many together or too much of any one and you create an inedible mess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
GURPS has a reputation for slow char-gen. It could be helpful to show how templates can really speed that up.
Don't forget the various pre-gen powers from various GURPS books, like the Power-Ups series for GURPS DF.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
And then how GURPS can excel at adapting a movie or book to make a game setting (Star Trek, Buffy, 007, The Witcher, whatever).
The key here is to not get bogged down in simulation. Instead, try to find the "core" of what makes a particular franchise "look and feel" the way it does and then loosely model it with GURPS mechanics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
Also, the 3d6 probability curve is, to my mind, one of the game's strengths, so talking a bit about how it differs from the d20 line.
The huge difference is the vastly reduced chance of critical failure for normal skill rolls. Whether you're a 1st-level peon or a 25-level archmage you've still got a 5% chance of screwing up every time that d20 rolls.

By contrast, a skill-10 schlub in GURPS only has a ~1.7% chance of failure, while an expert with skill-15+ only has a 0.5% chance.

On the other end of the bell curve, a normal person only has a 0.5% chance of a critical success, while an expert with skill-16+ a 9% chance.
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Old 10-20-2021, 12:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pursuivant View Post
a normal person only has a 0.5% chance of a critical success
Slight nitpick: ~1.7%. A 3 or 4 is always a critical success.
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