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Old 01-25-2021, 01:34 PM   #31
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: Skills - maybe this game isn't what I'm looking for

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Originally Posted by adaman14 View Post
Thank you everyone for such detailed responses. I am a trying to learn this game by reading the rules and I must admit it is really a daunting task. I suppose trying to learn any RPG by reading the rules is daunting though.

To be honest I am disappointed in GURPS so far. I am sitting here wondering why anyone would actually use a horse for anything other than mundane day to day activity so buying and documenting the skill is a waste. I see that the modifier is anywhere from -5 to +5 or more depending upon the GM interpretation of about any number of variables (and a few of the variables one should always apply are located in three different locations of the rules and one must know the DX of the horse and the training of the animal...I am frustrated). I can resolve this whole thing with original D&D as a DM just saying roll percentile and in this situation you have a 20% chance to fail. I bet it is nearly the same thing.

I really want to like GURPS but I feel that I would gut about 80% of the rules as ultimately pointless. Perhaps I should dig out my original 1986 version of GURPS and look through that.
The irony is I'm willing to bet there are all sorts of great games out there using GURPS that only uses 20% of the rules by volume!

The problem is GURPS more than most RPGS is a took kit. As such it kind of strives to cover all possible bases. And well that's pretty damn intimidating to come up against as a buy in!

I personally bounced of GURPS for years, until somehow 4rd edition clicked for me.

And even though I've been GMing GURPS for over 10 years now. I still don't have a clue on over half the advantages, disadvantages, skills and magic system. (let alone alternative magic systems, super power options and whatever else) but I don't need to to do what I want.

Or put it this way, I know what I need to know. However that's not much help in abstract because well I had to learn that to know it, and it will likely be different for everyone and every game.

You are also in a different situation from me I'm (always) the GM so I chose what goes into my games, you seem to be a player in the game you are in right now.

So what is you would like GURPS for?

EDIT: ah just read you next post (and Kromms) yep I'd suggest the DF sub forum, you will get more focused advice and help
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Last edited by Tomsdad; 01-28-2021 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 01-25-2021, 01:59 PM   #32
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Default Re: Skills - maybe this game isn't what I'm looking for

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Originally Posted by adaman14 View Post
Very GM dependent so the game I am in is a series of checks, albeit with modifiers but it is becoming tedious and a comedy of errors. Not much time to adventure.
I'm confused -- this problem would definitely apply to *any* game system, no? If your GM makes you roll for mundane actions all the time, it will be both tedious and ridiculous regardless of the system. At best (when modifiers take your skill to 18+) it will be somewhat realistic but still completely tedious.

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Originally Posted by adaman14 View Post
I am sitting here wondering why anyone would actually use a horse for anything other than mundane day to day activity so buying and documenting the skill is a waste.
You would typically use your horse-riding skill while chasing or being chased by other riders, to see if you can go faster, or if you can navigate obstacles better than them (going through a forest, jumping over rocks and fallen logs, etc). You would use the skill if you have a time limit to get from point A to point B. You would use the skill if a big monster shows up and may spook your mount, and you need to calm it down. You would use the skill to approach and mount a legendary unicorn you found in the fairies' grove. You would use the horse riding skill combined with some weapon skill during a knight's tournament. You would use the horse riding skill to march proudly in front of the Queen and look all fancy and majestic. That sort of thing.

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Old 01-25-2021, 02:05 PM   #33
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Default Re: Skills - maybe this game isn't what I'm looking for

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
The problem is GURPS more than most RPGS is a took kit. As such it kind of strives to cover all possible bases. And well that's pretty damn intimidating to come up against as a buy in!

I personally bounced of GURPS for years, until somehow 4rd edition clicked for me.

And even though I've been GMing GURPS for over 10 years now. I still don't have clue on over half the advantages, disadvantages, Skills and magic system. (let alone alternative magic systems, super power options and whatever else) but I don't need to to do what I want.

Or put it this way, I know what I need to know. However that's not much help in abstract because well I had to learn that to know it, and it will likely be different for everyone and every game.
I have used GURPS since 1e (1986) and while it clicked early on it kind of got "broken" with Supers which did a bunch of special rules which really didn't fit the original concept of "universal" so I can understand if you came in before 4e why it didn't click.

I have done a conversion sheet, D&D to GURPS, since then updating it and making it more general as time goes on but even doing that there are just parts that I have to 'leave to the GM' as my style of play is different and if I want the sheet to be useful I have to keep it as general as possible.
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Old 01-25-2021, 02:26 PM   #34
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Default Re: Skills - maybe this game isn't what I'm looking for

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Originally Posted by lordabdul View Post
I'm confused -- this problem would definitely apply to *any* game system, no? If your GM makes you roll for mundane actions all the time, it will be both tedious and ridiculous regardless of the system. At best (when modifiers take your skill to 18+) it will be somewhat realistic but still completely tedious.
Unless played for laughs. When I was a teenager we had one GM who had a few one shots called roughly translated "Everyday Unlimited 3D6" using an old Swedish RPG called EON/NeoTech. Regular activities were considered 'standard difficulty' with bad criticals.

Aside from the regular skills like Bicycle he let player characters learn amazing skills like "Eating", "Dressing yourself", "Homework". Iirc. 80% of the player characters died before their first school day was over. One character bled out catastrophically failing to dress themselves in the morning, another dropped dead from food poisoning after drinking milk past its expiration date.

It was actually a lot of fun. We had some player characters either taking crazy risks (like trying to slice bread!) or doing everything they could to avoid risks like eating dry cereal sitting on the floor in a corner of the room.

Quote:
You would typically use your horse-riding skill while chasing or being chased by other riders, to see if you can go faster, or if you can navigate obstacles better than them (going through a forest, jumping over rocks and fallen logs, etc). You would use the skill if you have a time limit to get from point A to point B. You would use the skill if a big monster shows up and may spook your mount, and you need to calm it down. You would use the skill to approach and mount a legendary unicorn you found in the fairies' grove. You would use the horse riding skill combined with some weapon skill during a knight's tournament. You would use the horse riding skill to march proudly in front of the Queen and look all fancy and majestic. That sort of thing.
Well put. I get the feeling his GM just likes playing out everyday events with dice rolls though.

For the dozens-of-skills problem spoken about in the thread I generally let people invest in skills after the fact if it makes sense that the character would know that skill. ("Oh crap, I forgot to give my Knight the Soldier and Leadership skills!")
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Old 01-25-2021, 03:02 PM   #35
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Default Re: Skills - maybe this game isn't what I'm looking for

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Originally Posted by adaman14 View Post
I am sitting here wondering why anyone would actually use a horse for anything other than mundane day to day activity so buying and documenting the skill is a waste.
Really wondering about the context this is coming from, because I can't think of a fictional character type that does anything adventurous and uses horses significantly but never combines them.

Mounted combat, a mounted chase (as pursuer or quarry), mounted hunts, 'simple' mounted travel through extreme environments...

I guess the answer might be Dungeon Fantasy characters who bought the horse exclusively to reduce travel-to-dungeon logistics time. Assuming they never get ambushed while on the horse and never try to use it for anything other than a 'off-screen' strategic mobility upgrade they don't really have any need for a point in Riding.
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Originally Posted by adaman14 View Post
one must know the DX of the horse and the training of the animal...I am frustrated).
No, you need to have one number for the animal: the level of its Mount skill. (It is a DX-based skill, but it doesn't actually matter how many points in Mount the horse would have.)

That, ST, and Move are probably the very most important and user-facing stats for a riding animal. (How well it performs, how much it can carry, and how fast it can go.)

Mind, you should have the DX and some other traits, because you very easily might end up needing them. But you don't need those to resolve this. (Campaigns has animal stat block examples you can simply copy.)
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Originally Posted by adaman14 View Post
I can resolve this whole thing with original D&D as a DM just saying roll percentile and in this situation you have a 20% chance to fail. I bet it is nearly the same thing.
You can do the same thing as a GURPS GM if you wanted to just make the numbers up out of nothing. Just arbitrarily decide that they'll roll against 13. The only problem you'll have is if the players of characters who have riding complain that they really should be failing a lot less than that.

I'd agree that if that's what you want to do I personally can't understand why you'd use GURPS. But some people do seem to.
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Old 01-25-2021, 03:11 PM   #36
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Default Re: Skills - maybe this game isn't what I'm looking for

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Originally Posted by RedMattis View Post
Well put. I get the feeling his GM just likes playing out everyday events with dice rolls though.
If Task Difficulty Modifiers were being applied it wouldn't be that much of an issue but the problem is that is kind of squirreled away in the Basic Set.

IMHO it is too many GMs not using that section (it really should have been a quick reference table) that causes people to think they must have insanely high skills.

From Skills on the GURPS wiki:
Extremely High Skill Not Needed

At first glance a mythological hero able to skewer foes while fighting from his back, with the wrong hand, while dealing with poor lighting, and injuries would seem to require a 40+ skill but there is a saner (and cheaper) way to do this.

The warrior should be a master (level 20) in their base weapon skill, have the Blind Fighting skill (which negates darkness penalties), High Pain Threshold, and the techniques Ground Fighting, Hit Location and Off-Hand Training (removing penalties for position, hit location and off-handedness respectively).

"The essential point here is that highly-skilled character concepts can be realized in GURPS through the artful use of reasonable skill levels that do not break the system." - Compendium II p. 125
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Old 01-25-2021, 04:20 PM   #37
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Default Re: Skills - maybe this game isn't what I'm looking for

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Originally Posted by RedMattis View Post
For the dozens-of-skills problem spoken about in the thread I generally let people invest in skills after the fact if it makes sense that the character would know that skill. ("Oh crap, I forgot to give my Knight the Soldier and Leadership skills!")
A useful stratagem here is to give every player 5 points that they are not allowed to spend initially, but must hold in reserve till they realize that they really needed some particular skills to make their characters viable.
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Old 01-25-2021, 04:33 PM   #38
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Default Re: Skills - maybe this game isn't what I'm looking for

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Originally Posted by maximara View Post
If Task Difficulty Modifiers were being applied it wouldn't be that much of an issue but the problem is that is kind of squirreled away in the Basic Set.

IMHO it is too many GMs not using that section (it really should have been a quick reference table) that causes people to think they must have insanely high skills.

From Skills on the GURPS wiki:
Extremely High Skill Not Needed

At first glance a mythological hero able to skewer foes while fighting from his back, with the wrong hand, while dealing with poor lighting, and injuries would seem to require a 40+ skill but there is a saner (and cheaper) way to do this.

The warrior should be a master (level 20) in their base weapon skill, have the Blind Fighting skill (which negates darkness penalties), High Pain Threshold, and the techniques Ground Fighting, Hit Location and Off-Hand Training (removing penalties for position, hit location and off-handedness respectively).

"The essential point here is that highly-skilled character concepts can be realized in GURPS through the artful use of reasonable skill levels that do not break the system." - Compendium II p. 125
Not sure how good an example that is, though. Weapon skill 40+ doesn't necessarily break the system, and it might be what you actually want to represent some ridiculously capable characters.

Ludicrous combat skill levels let you do ludicrous things, but that's only a problem if doing ludicrous things isn't the intended outcome.

The Princess Bride "I am not left handed" and "My name is Inigo Montoya" scenes would lose their point if, respectively, the characters are effectively ambidextrous and entirely unhindered by wounds.

(There might be skills where over-the-top levels do strain or break the system, but Melee Weapon doesn't seem to be one of them. And in 4th edition they don't break the pricing system either - IIRC they might have in earlier editions?)
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Old 01-25-2021, 05:10 PM   #39
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Default Re: Skills - maybe this game isn't what I'm looking for

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Not sure how good an example that is, though. Weapon skill 40+ doesn't necessarily break the system, and it might be what you actually want to represent some ridiculously capable characters.

Ludicrous combat skill levels let you do ludicrous things, but that's only a problem if doing ludicrous things isn't the intended outcome.

The Princess Bride "I am not left handed" and "My name is Inigo Montoya" scenes would lose their point if, respectively, the characters are effectively ambidextrous and entirely unhindered by wounds.
That's a easy one as the Technique already exists:
Technique (Off-Hand Weapon Training); Weapon skill-4; cap - Weapon skill
Technique (Feint): Weapon skill; cap - Weapon skill+4

This is ignoring any possible Cinematic Rules that might be in play.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
(There might be skills where over-the-top levels do strain or break the system, but Melee Weapon doesn't seem to be one of them. And in 4th edition they don't break the pricing system either - IIRC they might have in earlier editions?)
Actually it was only Easy to Hard mental skills that were cheaper. Except for the 1/2 point option the cost all DX skills and the Very Hard Mental skills cost the exact same in classic as in 4e. This makes conversion somewhat easier as you only have to worry about IQ skills and 1/2 points.
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Old 01-25-2021, 06:23 PM   #40
adaman14
 
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Default Re: Skills - maybe this game isn't what I'm looking for

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
The irony is I'm willing to bet there are all sorts of great games out there using GURPS that only uses 20% of the rules by volume!

The problem is GURPS more than most RPGS is a took kit. As such it kind of strives to cover all possible bases. And well that's pretty damn intimidating to come up against as a buy in!

I personally bounced of GURPS for years, until somehow 4rd edition clicked for me.

And even though I've been GMing GURPS for over 10 years now. I still don't have clue on over half the advantages, disadvantages, Skills and magic system. (let alone alternative magic systems, super power options and whatever else) but I don't need to to do what I want.

Or put it this way, I know what I need to know. However that's not much help in abstract because well I had to learn that to know it, and it will likely be different for everyone and every game.

You are also in different situation from me I'm (always) the GM so I chose what goes into my games, you seem to be a player in game your in right now.

So what is you would like GURPS for?

EDIT: ah just read you next post (and Kromms) yep I'd suggest the DF sub forum, you will get more focused advice and help
Thank you for this post. I am feeling better about working on my future campaign using GURPS again. I took Kromm's advice and read through the 'How to GM' PDF and the most important for me was that it mentioned the first step is to decide how much of the rules you want to use and that is where I am at. I am only playing GURPS to experience it before I GM. I plan on playing in other GURPS games as far as I can find them. This is what I meant about the community being bleak. There just isn't very many GURPS games out there. I have played D&D on and off since 1977 and I have GM'd a few decades and many thousands of hours so I know what I like and what has worked for me. What I want is a low fantasy game where the eyes and focus of the event is pointed toward the adventure and toward the world. The characters are not driving the game but rather experiencing it. I will not even have backstories for characters or in the least the backstory will be minimal. For sure the adventures are not built around the character. Disadvantages/advantages/quirks and to some extent skills and techniques seem to be pointing the lens on the character and the character sheet rather than the adventure. I am currently experiencing a game where it feels like I am trying to avoid failures rather than adventuring. It is a little bit like living in a cartoon. I will carry on and experience more of the game to get it from being a book of rules and having it become more intrinsic. Thanks to everyone posting. I am really benefiting from every post. This forum is quite good. I will use DF for sure but I am learning basic GURPS to be able to find games to play in. Also, the reason I want to use GURPS even though I might strip a lot of the rules is that I have been a huge fan of GURPS melee since I bought Man to Man back in 85.
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