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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-07-2008, 01:29 PM   #31
Mgellis
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Flushing, Michigan
Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper6
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.
For the most part, this makes a great deal of sense.

To some extent, it isn't such a bad idea to advance the timeline, but I can see how it could throw a particular campaign out of whack. I like the way Traveller News Service does it...for the most part, it's "scenery." It really doesn't affect too many campaigns when the Crown Princess gets married, has a baby, etc. And even large scale political changes like the death of Duchess Delphine or the Solomani civil war (or coup or whatever one might call it) doesn't really foul up most campaigns--yes, the new Duchess gets along with Archduke Norris a lot better than her grandmother did, but you shouldn't have too much trouble inventing a Delphine clique of nobles who aren't ready to get all kissy-huggy with Norris and who carry on with the nefarious schemes the former Duchess hatched. Thus, any campaign that was built around such schemes can go forward virtually unchanged. And "scenery" like this makes you feel as if the setting is a living, changing, dynamic world. But you do want to be careful not to overdo it.

Now, if I was the one organizing this (and it's probably a good thing that I'm not), I'd start with a core book describing the overall setting and then flesh the world out, city by city, region by region, with each supplementary book providing details on a particular location, possibly with a mini-bestiary, a collection of NPCs, and at least one detailed adventure. The core book is a tool kit for building your own campaigns. Each supplementary book should provide a module that a GM can open, read through in an hour, and then be ready to start running that evening so he or she doesn't have to do all the work all the time. And updating the timeline wouldn't be something I'd be worried about until a LOT of other books had been written.

Mark
Mgellis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2008, 01:59 PM   #32
trooper6
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Medford, MA
Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

I'm okay with little tidbits and press releases, like Trav does and Transhuman Space does...but that sort of thing doesn't fill a world book. It is just nice color.

On the other hand Mark, I do like your idea of core book then deeper regional books.

It would be nice to fill in Banestorm with a bunch of e23 books on each of the kingdoms of Yrth. I'd love a Caithness book, a Araterre book, etc. I'd also enjoy some adventures....though I know they don't sell well.
trooper6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2008, 02:15 PM   #33
korbeau
 
korbeau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: St-Basile-Le-Grand, Qc
Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

I know SJG can twist thing that can please to everyone AND changing the course of the setting. They did it well in the Revelation Cycle from In Nomine where the GM have the opportunity to make Khalid fall. A major event in the setting. And if you don't agree that the king's not dead in your campaign, that's make a good Yrth-4 universe in the line of Infinite Worlds.

Or maybe in the next supplement of Yrth, why not just put somes boxes said "What happen if the King fall" where in the official setting, the King remain victorious; "The return of the Prince" or "The Invasion of Reich-5"... We still play in the core setting of Infinite World. ;)

On the other hands, you pick what you like in the setting. That's what everybody do actually but with others products from others compagny...
korbeau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2008, 05:15 PM   #34
trooper6
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Medford, MA
Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by korbeau
On the other hands, you pick what you like in the setting. That's what everybody do actually but with others products from others compagny...
It's not so easy. For example. I had a great campaign going in WoD Vampire 2nd Edition. In that campain, Gehenna was a myth...since 2nd Edition allowed for that ambiguity. When 2nd Ed revised came out, it took that ambiguity away and progressed the timeline towards Gehenna. The group I was in continued on with 2nd Ed, no problem. Then I moved. By the time I got to LA in 2001, none of the new players I found had the old edition, and they weren't all that interested in playing it. For them, "reality" was the 2ndRev Revised...with all the changes to the timeline and clans that that implied. Some of them had only played Revised.

While you can often find people who will still play AD&D 1e, it isn't always so easy to find people who want to play what are seen as outdated, retired versions of games. Players often get resentful when lots of the things that are considered canon by the rulebook they just spent good money for get tossed out by the GM. As time goes on, it gets harder and harder to get people to play old editions of things. (I think D&D 3.5, GURPS 3.0, and some Trav editions are exceptions to this)

I prefer to be given a full and rich setting...with splat books being about going into more depth on elements of the setting, or giving me more rules and options...and then letting my players and myself loose on the world. I like it when setting changing events are optional or suggestions...not when they are imposed on the setting by expansion books that come out every few months.

I do recognize that other people do like company generated meta-plot. I think I really only want that sort of thing for my MMOs though.
trooper6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2008, 07:59 PM   #35
Agemegos
 
Agemegos's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Oz
Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper6
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.
Hear! Hear!

Another thing that gradual substantial changes in the setting do, when released over the course of years in various supplements, is to produce a disorganised and inaccessible corpus, forbidding to new players and new GMs.

The original core book is well organised and indexed, and you can get across the setting by reading it. When you need to find a particular fact (which kingdom owns the city of Buslisle, or where the characters have to go to consult with the great wizard Spivak the Spectacular) you can look it up in a moment. Good.

Then come the 'supplements'. But the core material is not supplemented, it is changed. The result is that you may read the core book and get a false impression about the setting. There is a statement about the setting, in back and white, in a simple declarative sentence, in the section and chapter that deals with the relevant subject, in a book newly-bought from the official publisher: but it is wrong. This result is very forbidding to new players on either side of the table: you join a campaign, borrow or buy the core book as a place to start, design a character or an adventure—and then plunge into a bewildering world where your character doesn't fit, or your adventure ends in a TPK because the leading players tacitly relied on a change to the setting that you didn't even know about. Forewarned, you have to buy or borrow and master the entire published corpus. Pictland's conquest of Buslisle is in the "Gloaminggroats" adventure, which as a character-player you expected not to read. Spivak's relocation from Icefire Island to the Land of Doubledip is mentioned in un-indexed boxed text on page 666 of the "Mirrorgazer's Splatbook", and it takes three-quarters of an hour to find. . . .

It is a mean trick to revise your setting by issuing a completely new edition that even alters history and rules. This is especially resented by established fans, who can easily have invested eight hundred dollars and uncounted hours in half a shelf-metre of books. It is far worse to do so unannounced, unindexed, and haphazardly through a shelf-metre of supplements and adventures. Fans who got in at the ground floor may keep up with the changes, though they will suffer from the loss of an index and rational organisation of the material. But the corpus will soon become forbidding to new players.

I reckon that the best approach is to pick a point in time, or a stretch of time with an established time-line, and stick to it. The core setting book ought to amount to an introduction and summary that remains valid and adequate even as the supplements and adventures are published. Supplements ought to flesh things out, fill in detail. They ought not to change anything or add major features. And they ought to be rigorously organised, so that all the supplementary detail about the Imperial Marines is in the "Imperial Marines" chapter of the Imperial Navy sourcebook, and none of it tucked away in the 9,401 adventure or the Cockaigne planet booklet. RPG material must be organised, written, and laid out for ready, rapid, and certain reference during play.

So what about adventures that change the status quo? Every player has some desire to play the hero on that scale—at least sometimes. GMs gotta run such adventures in most settings, publishers gotta publish them. What to do, if it be accepted that an evolving status quo is a snare and a delusion? I think that the wide effects of such adventures on the setting are best declared to be unofficial or alternative, a possible future of the official setting. Where necessary, adventures must be noted as taking place after such-and-such has happened, when such-and-such is now the case. But in my opinion a line ought to rely on such developments of the status quo as little as possible. Such evolutions put setting material and previous adventures out of date, they invalidate indexes, they disturb the structure of the setting information in core and supplements, and they make the corpus inaccessible to newcomers. They are, in short, a self-defeating mistake.
__________________

Decay is inherent in all composite things.
Nod head. Get treat.

Last edited by Agemegos; 06-09-2008 at 07:51 PM.
Agemegos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2008, 09:36 PM   #36
Shrale
 
Shrale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm

The message that sends us, the creators, isn't "there's 68 pages of people who want worlds, so I guess we had better give them worlds," but, "there's 68 pages of people discussing worlds and reaching no consensus, so I guess 'generic' is the only way to keep them all happy."
< sidebar >

Just curious, how does SJG decide to pickup (or approach) a licensed property ?
Strictly sales numbers in the publishing industry ?




>
__________________
"Now you see me, now you don't, woof" -- The Invisible Vargr
.
.
There are 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary, and those who don't.
Shrale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2008, 10:31 PM   #37
trooper6
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Medford, MA
Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Agamemnos speaks great wisdom and I heartily agree with him.
trooper6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2008, 11:46 PM   #38
Figleaf23
Banned
 
Figleaf23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Excellent post Agamegos!
Figleaf23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2008, 12:40 AM   #39
Mysterious Dark Lord v3.2
 
Mysterious Dark Lord v3.2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: The deep dark haunted woods
Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

I sense our comrade Agamegos has played White Wolf games in the past and thus has many completely-justified and well-deserved gripes.

Good for you! Thumbs Up! :)

World Books should be written. But future supplements should NOT make fundamental changes! GURPS at least tries to avoid that. Orcslayer is - save for minor mechanics - compatible with Tredroy, Harkwood, and Banestorm. Good for them. If future worldbooks are written with that in mind, then no problem.

Unlike White Wolf, the SOB's, who never even heard of consistency ... sorry.
Mysterious Dark Lord v3.2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2008, 01:42 AM   #40
Apache
On Notice
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

I think 'timeline creep', if it MUST be done, should be done ala how SJG handled it in In Nomine.

Each module/supplement usually had an adventure, which could have various 'divergence points'. SJG would tell you at the end what the 'historical' result would be, but emphasize that how the adventure ended was completely up to you and your gaming group.

Just like there were different 'lens' to portray the setting.....Light, Dark, Gray, Comedic, etc.

The biggest examples of how NOT to do 'timeline creep' or 'push the reset button, Frank' is BattleTech (the Clan crap), MegaTrav/TNE, and Vampy Da Masky Raid, or whatever its called now.
__________________
If you think an Apache can't tell right from wrong....wrong him, and see what happens.
Apache is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
gurps revival

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 09:05 PM.


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