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Old 07-21-2011, 06:24 PM   #1
Enoch
 
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Default My first GURPS game

Hello all,

I've been browsing this forum for quite a few years now, and have finally been given a chance to run a GURPS game a few weeks ago. I'd like to share my experience.

First a bit about myself. I've been gaming since I was young, its been about 18 years now, and I usually GM. I'm experienced in many different systems and follow the RPG industry closely. I've tried every flavor of RPG from rules-heavy to rules-light, classic games and even story games. So I'm not a complete noob when it comes to role playing.

Anyway I first got into GURPS because of Transhuman Space. I heard a lot of good things about it, and purchased the book just for the setting. Later I purchased a copy of the GURPS 3E book to better translate the templates to other systems. While the character creation looked pretty neat, I had no interest in trying a game of GURPS. Later when I heard there was a new edition coming out I was actually excited, because I believed the new edition would make the game more accessible. When my 4E books finally arrived I was actually very impressed by the rules of the game, and found the Characters book much more adequate for creating character than the 3E book (I never did purchase the compendiums).

In turns out that I was looking for a system like GURPS for a while. See I was moving away from rules-light and story games and towards things that worked better for simulation.

Unfortunately when it came around to the point where I was comfortable enough with the rules and had enough to start a campaign, D&D 4E came out. My group has been playing it since it came out up to a few weeks ago.

I will say I was nervous, not just for myself, but for the group. I was concerned it was too complicated for my group and that they might get frustrated before they got a good feel for the game. I was thankfully very wrong.

The setting was Banestorm. I'm running them through the Harkwood adventure. It's not my first choice, but I only had two weeks to prepare and needed to use some pre-packaged stuff done so I would be ready in time.

There's a few things that people on this board suggest to people who have not run it before. One, don't use all the optional rules. Two, have the GM walk the players through character creation. Challenge accepted.

I used all the rules I wanted to. Including bleeding, armor damage, all the realistic stuff from Martial Arts, and stuff from Low Tech. Did it bog down the game? Not really, if I didn't have it memorized or easily referable on my custom GM screen I would just make a ruling and look it up later. It probably helped that I have a pretty good memory for rules and have been studying GURPS for several years.

While I would have preferred to walk my players through character creation, that didn't happen. My players snatched up my books and laptop and most of them had pretty much their entire character ready for the first game.

The first session was only 4 hours longs (our sessions generally run 8 hours). If you are familiar with the Harkwood book, I ran the group through the first fight in the Clumsy Lion against the bandits and that pretty much ended the session.

The first combat I just asked what each person was doing and translated that into GURPS rules. I didn't explain much about it, instead just letting the players get used to the task resolution mechanics. It went slowly, and the combat was a bit too crowded, but the group got through the fight pretty much unscathed. There was one injury when the primitive skin changer went up against Sherritt alone. Though she did manage to get the winning blow on him with her spear. I played the bandit's realistically. The exits were being covered by some of the PCs so if they got injured (which only happened once the bandits drew steel) they pretty much gave up. Most of the bandits gave up unhurt except for Sherritt with a nasty puncture wound in the chest, and a bandit who had a shuriken sticking out both sides of his hand.

Since the first session we have played two more. Combat has gotten exponentially faster, though they can only go so quick with the 8-10 players I have at the table (which of course means a higher amount of enemies).

In the last session I only had five players at the table and the combat went quicker than any other system I have played before.

The players seem to love the game. Especially the younger players. I am very pleased with how everything has been turning out as the GM. It's been a long time since I've felt this good about a system. I think I'll be running GURPS for a long time now. I think I've found my RPG home.

-Joshua
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: My first GURPS game

Congrats and welcome to the fold.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:48 PM   #3
whswhs
 
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Default Re: My first GURPS game

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Originally Posted by Enoch View Post
Since the first session we have played two more. Combat has gotten exponentially faster, though they can only go so quick with the 8-10 players I have at the table (which of course means a higher amount of enemies).

In the last session I only had five players at the table and the combat went quicker than any other system I have played before.
May I say that I'm very impressed at your ability to run a session for 8-10 players? I can manage 6, though that size group has less time for roleplaying than I prefer; 7 is a major strain and I rarely try it. A lot of my groups are 4-5, which is comfortable for me. I can't quite imagine being able to stay focused with a group as big as you can manage.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:51 PM   #4
DouglasCole
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Default Re: My first GURPS game

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
May I say that I'm very impressed at your ability to run a session for 8-10 players? I can manage 6, though that size group has less time for roleplaying than I prefer; 7 is a major strain and I rarely try it. A lot of my groups are 4-5, which is comfortable for me. I can't quite imagine being able to stay focused with a group as big as you can manage.

Bill Stoddard
I mean this as a compliment, but with the immersive nature of the games you seem to run, Bill, I believe it. I've had 15 people around the table for a fantasy campaign in GURPS, and were it not for a high tolerance for Monty Python quips and a general lack of angst over minimal screen time, it would have likely been highly off-putting. As it was, the gathering was more important than the game. When I've done "real" roleplaying where chacterization was deep and meaningful, the groups were always smaller.
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: My first GURPS game

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Originally Posted by Enoch View Post
The players seem to love the game. Especially the younger players. I am very pleased with how everything has been turning out as the GM. It's been a long time since I've felt this good about a system. I think I'll be running GURPS for a long time now. I think I've found my RPG home.
Congratulations!
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:48 PM   #6
Crakkerjakk
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Default Re: My first GURPS game

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enoch View Post
The players seem to love the game. Especially the younger players. I am very pleased with how everything has been turning out as the GM. It's been a long time since I've felt this good about a system. I think I'll be running GURPS for a long time now. I think I've found my RPG home.

-Joshua
Sounds awesome. Glad to have you around. Feel free to post any further adventures, and any questions you or your players may have.

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Old 07-21-2011, 10:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: My first GURPS game

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enoch View Post

I used all the rules I wanted to. Including bleeding, armor damage, all the realistic stuff from Martial Arts, and stuff from Low Tech. Did it bog down the game? Not really, if I didn't have it memorized or easily referable on my custom GM screen I would just make a ruling and look it up later. It probably helped that I have a pretty good memory for rules and have been studying GURPS for several years.
I suspect that's one reason things went so well. Some people take a long time to learn what you already knew by the first session: When in doubt, play it out! Don't stop and study, just do what makes sense and keep moving.

Welcome to GURPS and to the boards. Check in anytime. We've probably got a lot to learn from each other.
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: My first GURPS game

Congratulations on both what sounds like what is a good game start and having pulled off something you were nervous about!

I think it was awesome that your players had their characters ready in advance; that speaks volumes of the level of involvement.
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:04 PM   #9
Crakkerjakk
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I think it was awesome that your players had their characters ready in advance; that speaks volumes of the level of involvement.
seriously.
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:41 AM   #10
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Default Re: My first GURPS game

Wow, a whole group going from D&D 4e to GURPS and loving it is certainly encouraging. Judging from your players taking over character creation, I think the fact that they could play without arbitrary class restrictions might have had something to do with that, but very impressive all the same. And 8 players with GURPS' slow combat resolution is even more impressive.

One question though, how come the bandits were unhurt? I always found GURPS unarmed combat pretty deadly. Did you mean unhurt by weapons?
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