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Old 05-30-2022, 01:52 PM   #1
Kromm
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Default GURPS News updated

I just published the GURPS News for May. Remember: It's possible to subscribe. That way, you can be the know-it-all who tells doubters, "GURPS is very much alive!"
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Old 05-30-2022, 09:19 PM   #2
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Good to see. Hopefully we can find a way to do more then just keep GURPS head above water. I want to see this system thrive, maybe not to D&D levels since sadly what makes it great also limits its audience, but there has to be a way to get things back to at lest how they were 10 years ago.
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Old 05-31-2022, 09:17 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by The_Ryujin View Post

Good to see. Hopefully we can find a way to do more then just keep GURPS head above water. I want to see this system thrive, maybe not to D&D levels since sadly what makes it great also limits its audience, but there has to be a way to get things back to at lest how they were 10 years ago.
SJ Games takes this matter seriously and looks into it regularly. The apparent answer is always the same: The company has to bring in new GURPS players, not merely cater to existing ones.

The current cadre of GURPS players is aggressively fond of "crunch." They're always on a quest to build abilities down to the tiniest tweak and/or to precisely emulate fiction. They're willing to nitpick Acc 2 vs. Acc 3 for some gun; whether a trait should cost 23 rather than 25 points; whether it "makes sense" that if a kick is at -2 and the head is at -5, a head kick should be -7 and not harder; and so on. The old guard of GURPS writers – including me – is often guilty of this, too.

That vibe doesn't go over well with the average gamer of the 2020s. Gaming on the whole has drifted away from "crunch" since the 1990s. It has taken a hard turn in the "fluff" direction in more recent times. However, if you're not part of that trend – if you're old school – you probably don't see this sea change in your home gaming group. Also, established gamers are on the whole conservative and often don't want change.

So, one of the things SJ Games has to do is take its foot off the "crunch pedal" even if that hurts relations with existing fans and creators. You might have noticed more and more stuff that leans that way of late, notably settings like Nightreign and Sriwijaya, and the shorter, less-crunchy offerings of the GURPS PDF Challenges in 2020 and 2021; you might also have noticed how much of that content was written by new authors, not the old guard who are knee-deep in "crunch." In the same vein, SJ Games has poured a lot (a lot) of energy into self-contained games that simplify GURPS – i.e., the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game and the Girl Genius Sourcebook and Roleplaying Game.

The other thing SJ Games has to do is advertise GURPS better. That needs work, no doubt about it. Guilty as charged.

As for the fandom: If you're on these forums, reading this post, and posting somewhat regularly, you're probably not "the average gamer of the 2020s." At the risk of sounding accusatory, you're more likely a small part of the problem, just like me (well, I might even be a big part of the problem).

I'd say, "One thing you can do to help is reduce the focus on stats and rules in forums discussions," but I think it's too late for that. These forums have found their level. Newcomers can see almost two decades of stats- and rules-filled posts.

Another thing you can do to help is advertise a bit. That does not mean pointing people at these forums and hoping that they swim rather than sink; in fact, the vision of these forums as a place to get help with rules is part of the problem, too, because many gamers don't want help with rules but with cutting away the rules to play a simple game. A better approach would be to run super-simplified campaigns that totally hide 95% of the system, and then to invite to the table people who've never seen GURPS.

It's hard for those of us on these forums to accept that we're part of any problem, because among our peers, we aren't. But Warehouse 23 sales let SJ Games see who buys what, and it's basically just us. So, I suppose a third thing we could all do is not only buy but also demand more "fluff" and less "crunch" – and not so much from SJ Games but from its freelancers, who are the ones who determine what actually gets written, whatever the company might prefer.

In my case, I guess the onus is on me to write that way. I've been trying, at least. That's the place a lot of my latest writing has come from – be it pure "how to" advice like Managing Expectations and Action 8: Twists, or descriptive setting/adventure material like The Carnival of Madness and Caverntown. I'm too close to say whether I've succeeded.
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Old 05-31-2022, 09:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: GURPS News updated

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
I'd say, "One thing you can do to help is reduce the focus on stats and rules in forums discussions," but I think it's too late for that. These forums have found their level. Newcomers can see almost two decades of stats- and rules-filled posts.
Also why would I post not-GURPS-specific content here rather than a not-GURPS-specific forum even if I'm eventually going to use that information for a GURPS game?
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So, I suppose a third thing we could all do is not only buy but also demand more "fluff" and less "crunch" – and not so much from SJ Games but from its freelancers, who are the ones who determine what actually gets written, whatever the company might prefer.
Yeah, more settings and stuff are always nice. GURPS isn't the only system where I feel people don't spend enough time making settings for it.

Easiest thing right now might be to collect all the settings from Pyramid into a big book.
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Old 05-31-2022, 09:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: GURPS News updated

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
In my case, I guess the onus is on me to write that way. I've been trying, at least. That's the place a lot of my latest writing has come from – be it pure "how to" advice like Managing Expectations and Action 8: Twists, or descriptive setting/adventure material like The Carnival of Madness and Caverntown. I'm too close to say whether I've succeeded.
I've been working in this vein for a bit. The last things I wrote which are to my mind crunch-heavy were DF17 and Boardroom and Curia (the DF Treasures line is borderline), and it's been mostly historicals, locations, and adventures since then. Unfortunately, because so much of the more recent stuff has been WFH rather than paid on a royalty basis, I don't actually have any visibility as to how well that's doing on the market.

(That said, I really need to finish my WIP and send that back. Can't sell it if I don't write it!)
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Old 05-31-2022, 10:10 AM   #6
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Unfortunately, because so much of the more recent stuff has been WFH rather than paid on a royalty basis, I don't actually have any visibility as to how well that's doing on the market.
I can't fix that, unfortunately – I'm not "Senior Staff" with the power to sign checks, set rates, revise contract policy, etc., but simply a glorified content expert. All I can do is empathize: My work on GURPS since 1995 has been on the clock, so I don't have any royalty records or other indications of "How am I doing?" For all I know, I've been driving a three-wheeled car around a dirt track at 10 kph for 27 years, believing I'm racing down a highway in a fancy sportscar.
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Old 05-31-2022, 10:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: GURPS News updated

I am the only one GMing GURPS in my club. I started with an episodic campaing, with pregens. I made it clear it was not necessary to play every episode but that some episodes would need two to three sessions to be finished. PCs would be recurrent if so desired.

This approach helped crossing the line to players which would not try anything too much time-demanding and it was also appealing to those who would not learn a new system for just a one-shot. I got players in their thirties and some fifty yo grognards at the same table.

So, this are my two cents: short episodic on-going adventures can help getting people into GURPS. I am talking about The Green Madonna follow ups and some more Monster Hunter Encounters stuff for a Monster of the week game.

I understand being generic means it is difficult to satisfy everyone, but some Caverntown adventures series is something which could even get Twitch / Youtube coverage. And ten-pages PDFs mean not great expenditure for newcomers, so they are very collectable.

Last edited by Juan; 05-31-2022 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 05-31-2022, 10:48 AM   #8
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You might have noticed more and more stuff that leans that way of late, notably settings like ... Sriwijaya...
I mean, rock-solid historical supplements is something Gurps is known for and great at, even if most that stuff is pretty old. I'd happily buy more books like Sriwijaya...
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Old 05-31-2022, 10:53 AM   #9
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The apparent answer is always the same: The company has to bring in new GURPS players, not merely cater to existing ones.

.
That's what I've been hearign for 25 years and it's never worked.

Durig that time the greatest success inthe industry has been WOTC launching 3.0 and recapturing a large percentage of their base that had drifted off (i.e. selling a million copies). Te relative success of 5e ahs been recapturing people they lost to 4e and power creep in late 3.5.

If Gurps could get back some large percentage of the 100,000 people who bought the 3e Basic Set they wouldn't have to be chasing strange dreams of getting younger people to switch from gaming consoles back to pencil and paper games.
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Old 05-31-2022, 11:18 AM   #10
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The current cadre of GURPS players is aggressively fond of "crunch."
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Quote:
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If Gurps could get back some large percentage of the 100,000 people who bought the 3e Basic Set they wouldn't have to be chasing strange dreams of getting younger people to switch from gaming consoles back to pencil and paper games.
Indeed. The benefit of PnP is that you can go rather off the rails, and try as they might, programmers and game designers are no match for having a decent GM who can adjust to such things on the fly. The benefits of video games are better visuals (particularly these days), being able to play (most of them) by yourself if needed (which also means you can just pick them up and play, rather than needing to make plans), etc. Also, many have rather impressive writing budgets, so you can end up with characters and stories that are much more engaging than what you'll typically find in a PnP game, unless you have the benefit of playing with people who are really good at making that sort of content.

So, yeah, competing with video games is hard.
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