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Old 06-16-2015, 06:41 PM   #21
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: GM Secrecy and Metagaming

I roll everything in secret. Whatever they discover they must discover in game. If they do metamathmatics to figure out some game numbers that's cool. It only works if they know all of the modifiers and I don't really care if they figure it out. If they have HT 13 and no armor and they get hit by a creature's claws and take 9 injury, they know they are in danger. That's the part I care about. The math is simple and I play with a extremely intelligent group. Luckily, they care more about the story and adventure than about the math. The mystery of not knowing and the thrill of discovery excites them.
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Old 06-16-2015, 08:39 PM   #22
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Default Re: GM Secrecy and Metagaming

Originally Posted by JMD View Post
What's your policy on keeping the statistics of monsters secret? What are the pros and cons in your opinion?
One pro is that it gives a simple mechanical benefit for those points spent on Hidden Lore and/or the effort of getting an intact monster corpse home for study.
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Old 06-16-2015, 09:55 PM   #23
Join Date: Feb 2014
Default Re: GM Secrecy and Metagaming

Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
I don't see how simple mental arithmetic can be a problem for a GM, either.
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Oh, it can. One of the best GMs I know for story and characterisation has to count on their fingers to add up some combinations of 3d6. They don't run GURPS and don't like to play it, calling it "too number-crunchy". They're happy with a fairly simple standard of D&D, or oWoD.
My BS includes a minor in mathematics, meaning I've gone through diff-eq, stats, etc. but I have what GURPS would classify as incompetence with basic arithmetic. After middle school, the math portions of my brain were filled with other things, and calculators worked better than my faulty rote memory. Thankfully, my fellow gamers can add better than me, so I sometimes just start saying the dice numbers and bonuses. :)
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Old 06-17-2015, 07:36 AM   #24
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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Default Re: GM Secrecy and Metagaming

I put what G&AInc calls a "spreadsheet" on a whiteboard visible to everyone. Each PC has a line, and there's an empty line between every PC. Each row includes Move, Speed, Perception, Observation, preferred defense, and some notes.

(In my game, Perception allows someone to see -- for instance -- the two young men hanging out on the stoop of the building across the street, the young, scantily-clad woman under the street light eyeing them, the bum with the paper bag lying in the mouth of the alley halfway down the block, and the car moving slowly down the block toward the area with the street light. In addition to surveillance, Observation allows them to note that the thugs seem to be armed and guarding the entrance to the building, the two people in the car are looking at the thugs and not at the woman, and that the woman has her hand inside a large, heavy handbag, and the bum seems to be talking into his paper bag while watching the whole situation -- including the actions of the PCs.)

Once the encounter starts, I'll note where in the turn-order the opposition acts. Some will be faster, and others slower. I roll dice openly, so the players mostly know, by the end of the first round, the speed and general capabilities of what they face.

However, that first round is pretty fraught, because they're never sure what the villains/monsters can or will do. Also, if the thing can do special things on follow-ups (poison, rakes with back claws, that sort of thing), they won't know that until it gets tried -- on them.
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Old 06-17-2015, 10:00 AM   #25
Join Date: May 2009
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Default Re: GM Secrecy and Metagaming

Im im agreement with the policy of revealing relatively mundane information, specially after a blow or two has been exchanged.

Im all for a quicker pace in combat, and due to the sheer volume of NPCs in some battles, I feel like im doing everyone a favor if I reveal some information that would otherwise be secret, such as the enemy mage skill level at a certain spell that he is spamming, specially if hes using it at the very edge of his range.
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Old 06-17-2015, 10:55 PM   #26
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Join Date: Dec 2008
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Default Re: GM Secrecy and Metagaming

I tend to be in Maptool alot. And since it calculates math for me I don't have these problems.

/rollsecret ((15 - 4) * 1.5)

I keep stuff hidden, not cuz I'm worried that players know monster stats or figure out weaknesses, etc. I just like them to rely on my description of what happens. state of things, etc. And I handwaive a lot of number to speed things along sometimes or change a few outcomes. Easier to do when players aren't totally sure where the thing is at =)
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Old 06-18-2015, 01:57 AM   #27
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Re: GM Secrecy and Metagaming

On the whole thing about human opponents making knowledge of stats unlikely I'm going to have to disagree. First of all mooks will be wearing munitions arms, so knowing how tough their armor is is probably a matter of public record. General stats of the person inside the armor, while not as likely is still highly probable
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Old 06-25-2015, 10:00 AM   #28
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: GM Secrecy and Metagaming

"What's your policy on keeping the statistics of monsters secret? What are the pros and cons in your opinion?"

I almost always keep all game statistics of things that aren't on a PC record sheet, described only in terms of what the PCs perceive about them.

I think game stats (attributes, damage, skill levels, die rolls, etc) tend to "break the third wall" and move the experience in the direction of game rules and away from the fictional situation the game is about. I want the primary source to be the game world, not the game system. The reason our group converted from The Fantasy Trip to GURPS, was because after several years playing TFT, we couldn't help relating to the game system (which we had mastered) more than the imagined situation (and the limitations in that system), which is particularly disappointing when the rules don't represent the situation well, and where they give advantage to strategies that are gamey and wouldn't really happen that way in that situation.

What I do do instead, is provide information in English descriptions and hints appropriate to the PCs' abilities (and often die rolls). For example, a decent perception roll may tell a fighter watching another what that person's skill levels seem like in comparison to their own. Similarly for what attacks seem to be doing to targets, and how injured other people are. I DO want aware characters to have a good idea what is going on, but I don't want them to relate to it in terms of numbers, let alone to have accurate information what the numbers are.

If they showed a "health bar" during the final fight in the film Rocky, it would (be hilarious and) undermine the tension and wonder about it.

However, I happen to be quite good at doing math in my head quickly, especially GURPS math, since I've done so much of it it's nearly automatic for me. I remember how it was when I was first learning the system, though. If it helps to have other players help with math, and players haven't gotten to the point where that's a threat to the third wall, I'm sure it could work ok to let that information out.

The automatic die-roller page doesn't have damage multiplier and damage resistance, but it'd be quite easy to make a simple computer tool to do damage rolls. One could even have a bunch of shortcut buttons for common cases. Maybe even break it into two buttons, so you click once on the attack and another on the armor to get the result.
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Old 06-25-2015, 10:15 AM   #29
Peter Knutsen
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Europe
Default Re: GM Secrecy and Metagaming

Originally Posted by D10 View Post
Im im agreement with the policy of revealing relatively mundane information, specially after a blow or two has been exchanged.
One specific thing I'm curious about:
Are GURPS characters entitled to know the Move stats of creatures they can see? Are they entitled to know if such creatures have some amount of Enhanced Move, and if yes are they entitled to know how much it has?

I mean, in some cases the answer for Enhanced Move is obviously "no", such as with the Dungeon Fantasy Monk with his EM with the chi Power Modifier. That's clearly meant to come as a surprise. You can't see that he has that ability before he actually uses it.

But what about other cases?

A large creature, that has a certain Move value and might have a little EM too, solely based on the shape of its body and its natural musculature?

What about a Scout or Thief PC (or NPC) who has bought many levels of Move? Can you see that he has those? If yes, when can you see it?
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Old 06-25-2015, 10:56 AM   #30
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: GM Secrecy and Metagaming

In my games, you could only see people's high Move scores when they move or dodge. Even a not very perceptive character can of course notice when someone runs faster than others, or when someone keeps successfully dodging attacks. In my games, players are only "entitled" to know what they see in terms of who moves first, how far they move on the map each turn, and any information the GM gives them in descriptions based on their characters' actions and abilities (and possibly perception rolls) to remark that someone seems so fast or slow or agile or clumsy.
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combat, damage resistance

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