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Old 09-06-2009, 12:43 AM   #1
Kazamir
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: In Killeen Texas, with my best friend.
Default Only 1 player help please

Ok so at this moment I have only just recently been introduced to the actual rules of GURPS, and up until that time I had ran "D&D" games but all i actually did was wing it from start to finish. I've been told i have ran some good and very entertaining games, but i never took it too seriously i just sorta tossed everything their way but gave them pretty big challenges. Now i live with my best friend and he has been looking for a way to play a rpg such as D&D or GURPS for a while... but never found anyone, so he's looking to me, and i LOVE the idea of running a game for him. I just want to take it seriously.... and I'm struggling a little bit with a few things, like... how many "monsters" should i send his way at a time or something like that because it's ONLY him and he insists on being a fighter, but being more of defensive (using a sword and board)
and on top of the not knowing how many "monsters", i also don't know how much money to let him end up getting or .. just a few other problems haha... man... any advice you could give, i would GREATLY appreciate.
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Old 09-06-2009, 01:08 AM   #2
Buzzardo
 
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Default Re: Only 1 player help please

My best friend and I did a lot of this when we were in college (shared a dorm room). I GM'd a long-running thief/spy campaign for him. It included both city action and dungeon delving (usually into temples or wizard lairs to acquire something on commission).

A fighter as the sole character is going to be tougher, but perhaps he can be a freelance bodyguard.

As for advice:
  • Pitch the encounters to be lethal only if he acts stupidly or has a series of awful rolls (just one critical failure shouldn't get him killed). edit: Of course, they should be tough enough to be interesting
  • Keep him poor. Money can unbalance a campaign in a hurry, as I've learned the hard way. Taxes, repair costs, meals, transportation, and supplies (especially expendable magic, such as potions and arrows) can eat up profit in a hurry, and it's your job as GM to see that they do.
  • Restrict access to magic, especially permanent magical items. Each one should be a hard-won, cherished treasure, not something that he can replace tomorrow at the magic shoppe across the street. One of the finest items I ever gave my friend was a cursed magic dagger that he got as a reward from a lich for whom he procured something (he had no choice in his employer, by the way). He was forever worried about that curse, but he had no other magic weapon. :D

edit: come to think of it, that's pretty fair advice for any campaign, one player or many. IMO, of course.

Last edited by Buzzardo; 09-06-2009 at 01:11 AM.
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Old 09-06-2009, 01:18 AM   #3
Kazamir
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Default Re: Only 1 player help please

Ok Well that is great advice i'll give you that lol, but one thing for example (the main problem i'm having). Monsters, so far i have written up a few bandits for him to kill because they are humans and human stats are easy to roll up... but as for other types of monsters i have no clue... i know very little about what types of monsters to send, how strong to make them, and most of all... how many at once, especially since it's only him lol.
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Old 09-06-2009, 03:42 AM   #4
tg_ambro
 
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Default Re: Only 1 player help please

Hey welcome to the wonderful world of GURPS, it's a grand ride.

Now for advice part.

1) I recommend picking up Dungeon Fantasy 1 & 2, it's pretty much GURPS DnD but waaaay better. DF 1 has advice on how much money to give players at char gen, really great templates, items to buy. DF 2 has a section on making skills useful in play etc. I too had some problems with creature stats, DF 2 has a few pre-made monsters that should be entertaining for a little while, but the really helpful thing is the creature template it has.

2) Don't worry about using character points when it comes to making ANY NPC. Character points exist to balance player characters at creation. If you're familiar with DnD you'll know about CR(Challeng Rating), character points ARE NOT a form of CR, so just stat what you think is challenging and fun (DF 2 is a good help with this).

3) Pick up a copy of Robin's Laws of Good Game Mastering. This is a handy resource when it comes to writing adventures and offers understanding of different adventure styles.

4) Pick up some graph paper or buy a computer mapping tool. Having a map of the dungeons you make is extemely valuable when GMing.

That's pretty much it, sorry my advice consisted of little more then a shopping list, but I cut my teeth as a GM with the aid of these books (I ran some **** poor Dnd campaigns prior to finding GURPS though).

One last bit of advice is to relax, have fun and have faith that you're doing a fine job as GM
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Old 09-06-2009, 07:27 AM   #5
trooper6
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Default Re: Only 1 player help please

You keep asking how many monsters to send up against your guy. Well, there is not one answer for that.

It depends on what kind of monster, and what kind of player, and what kind of character, and what kind of rules you are using.

Let's say you are using GURPS.
Are you using cinematic Mook rules where 1 hit kills the Mook monsters? Or are you using optional rules where the PC can buy successes with character points? Or is the PC very cinematic with extra attacks and all that? Then you could have more monsters than if you didn't have those rules.

But even if you work out on paper how many monsters you think would work...you don't know how your player is actually going to play.

So, as a GM I always have a copy of a player's character sheet. And I'll just run some practice combats by myself using the PC and some monsters/bandits/guards/etc. and see what it is like.

And lastly, throw small numbers that you think are easy at first. If the player wipes the floor with those monsters, you can always send in a few more of the same strength for the next encounter...are the same number, but stronger.

It is all a matter of trial and error, of adjusting. You are going to have to adjust anyway, because your player is going to get better at combat the more practice he gets...as will you.

Think of the game as a living thing where you are always reacting and adjusting.

And gosh is monster vague. Kobold? Dragon? Ogre?
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:19 AM   #6
copeab
 
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Default Re: Only 1 player help please

The Conan stories (especially the REH ones) should be a good inspiration here for adventures for a lone fighter (with NPC help), although Conan might be a higher point character than what you want. Also, despite commonly depicted as running around in only a loincloth, Conan used armor and shield whenever he could get it.
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:38 AM   #7
Groslon
 
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Default Re: Only 1 player help please

Err, we it looks like everyone is thinking "Fantasy" fighters, is that a correct assumption? Because guns are a great force multiplier. One PC soldier with an automatic weapon and a sack full of rounds can bring the pain.

As a GURPS GM I have often found that one of the best ways to transition players from DnD to GURPS is to run a scenario that DnD couldn't pull off in a million years. I've used the zombie apocalypse, MIB investigations, and low powered supers played out in short story arcs, to get new players comfortable with the system.

You might try one of these options to make his first foray into GURPS a little more memorable than another fantasy fighter.

Personally, I'd make him a Rwandan child soldier, who's village was wiped out by a tribal militia. Maybe he can rescue some captives, maybe he just works his way up the ranks until he takes out a bush general. Either way, it'd be one heck of a ride, and a very memorable story arc. Just stack the odds in his favor by letting him set up ambushes, and face very low skill opponents. It would also be a good idea to never have them aim, it's realistic and your PC doesn't get shot up. Make sure he's got some Luck.

If Fantasy is you thing, then it depends a lot on his point budgets as a fighter, and what campaign conventions you are going with. Since you mentioned DnD, I will assumed it will be fairly cinematic, with him getting extra attack, and probably Weapon Master, and some Enhanced Parry. All of these are good for taking on lots of low skill opponents. Try to keep the skills on the mooks 4 to 6 points below your PC and they will have to resort to telegraphic or all out attacks to threaten him, and he can take advantage of that. Defenses are going to be very important, and make sure he's got a shield so some archer doesn't pick him off.

If you can get his active defenses up above 12-14 he will be very survivable in a street fight, and stand a pretty good chance in longer, higher powered confrontations. Weapon Master will let him make more parries with a higher chance of success.
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Old 09-06-2009, 10:28 AM   #8
copeab
 
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Default Re: Only 1 player help please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzardo View Post
  • Restrict access to magic, especially permanent magical items. Each one should be a hard-won, cherished treasure, not something that he can replace tomorrow at the magic shoppe across the street. One of the finest items I ever gave my friend was a cursed magic dagger that he got as a reward from a lich for whom he procured something (he had no choice in his employer, by the way). He was forever worried about that curse, but he had no other magic weapon. :D
I have to strongly disagree with this. A solo PC, if anything, needs more magic items than if he were part of a regular party. The bulk of them can be potions, though.
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Old 09-07-2009, 12:01 AM   #9
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Default Re: Only 1 player help please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzardo View Post
As for advice:
  • Pitch the encounters to be lethal only if he acts stupidly or has a series of awful rolls (just one critical failure shouldn't get him killed). edit: Of course, they should be tough enough to be interesting

.
A good normal hit to the viatls can render a character unconscious even if fully healed when hit. And unconscious can equal death in a lot of situations.

Powers offers Hero points as an option to let a pc get out of situations. offer a bunch for starting characters and make it clear the number will be redcued, poosi bly to zero once they get the hang of the system.
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Old 09-07-2009, 02:20 AM   #10
Kazamir
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: In Killeen Texas, with my best friend.
Default Re: Only 1 player help please

Well so far I'm loving the advice, and yes I strongly agree that not everything involves a fight... BUT as for when he does fight, because he is a brilliant guy and loves puzzles and such.. but he also longs for combat as well. So I was more of looking for what to do about combat. When I said that I was recently introduced to the rules of GURPS... I meant it more of just introduced to rules of any RPG honestly.. when I said I winged it I really did from start to finish wing it not using any stats or anything, combat was always sketchy but it worked in a weird way. Now that i have read the full Basic Set book (part 1 and 2) for 4th ed. and also now have a bunch of other books such as dungeon fantasy books I'm learning more and more but most examples I've seen are for a party where as I only have 1 party member. Since this was the 1st game I planned on using stats and rules with I wanted to fully transfer to GURPS because it seems so much better than what I was doing lol. He was asking if he could pick up a healing spell or something like that, or a hireling that could possibly heal, but very weak so he would have to protect said hireling. Part of me wants to say sure why not because you might need it, but the rest of me says no because I'm not sure if that is ok or not, well anyways thanks for the advice on everything so far, I really love hearing from experienced GMs and would love to hear more, so keep it coming.. I appreciate all of it :D
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