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Old 01-15-2011, 09:32 AM   #11
Comedian
 
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Default Re: Dragged kicking and screaming from the candy-store

What did you do?
I ran a couple of of one-off scenarios in various 19th century-ish genres. Wild West, Victorian Sci Fi etc.
What setting and genre did you use to tempt them across?
A wild west game I ran seems to have done it.
What worked, what didn't work, what would have worked better?
The big thing for most people was the bell curve which, if you come from 1st ed D&D like many of my group did, cures the 5% chance of completely whiffing every strike. Characters are competent right out of the box, rather than 10 levels into the game. Also I think most liked that disadvantages were actually a mechanical part of the character, rather then just something the player could choose to rp or not.
How did it go?
Every game I've run with GURPS has gone reasonably well.
Are they all keen now?
I've run one particular wild west game enough times that I've had to reprint the character sheets a few times because they've gotten so marked up. The last time I ran a game in GURPS over a dozen people turned up to play it (our average group size on any given weekend is between 5 and 7 people). So I can only assume that they enjoy the system.
Are they using GURPS for their own games, or promoting it otherwise?
Aside from me, only one other person in our group has run a game in GURPS. While multiple people in our group want to play a GURPS campaign, they are either too unreliable or too douschy to make me do the leg work to run one.
Clamouring for GURPS, complaining about other games?
My players request it occasionally, and speak highly of the games I've run. As to the second part of that, we complain about every system we play.
How long did it take to win the players over?
One game.
What helped?
The system is relatively easy to explain, and once players realize what skills correspond to a particular action, the turns fly.
What hindered?
Some, particularly less bright players, simply can't stand the fact that GURPS is more literal than abstract. A rather large argument erupted when one player said that being melee should mean being grappled, and simply couldn't come to grips with the fact that his grapple attempt had been parried.
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:55 AM   #12
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Default Re: Dragged kicking and screaming from the candy-store

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Originally Posted by Brett View Post
Who here has induced a reluctant or sceptical gaming group to switch substantially from some other game (eg. That Other Game) to GURPS?

What did you do? What setting and genre did you use to tempt them across? What worked, what didn't work, what would have worked better?

How did it go? Are they all keen now? Are they using GURPS for their own games, or promoting it otherwise? Clamouring for GURPS, complaining about other games?

How long did it take to win the players over? What helped? What hindered?
I don't have much time to answer, so I might stop back later and respond.

Why do I not have much time? Well, because I am on my way to run a game for a group which switched.


-How did it go?

quite well; a few speed bumps because I was still learning the rules myself during the first game, but I think it went well

-Are they all keen now?

They all seem to enjoy GURPS. A few still have a few things they like about That Other Game a little better, but, overall, they seem to enjoy GURPS very highly. I was actually really surprised when my recent game was prompted by one of the players who was most anti-GURPS saying he wanted to play.

-Are they using GURPS for their own games?

Yes; the game other than mine which is currently running is based around professional wrestling.

-How long did it take?

varied amounts of time; some were quick; others took longer... overall, I'd say around a month for the whole group

-What helped?

Again, this varied. One of the biggest things was the ability to play multiple genres. With one player, it helped to mention that GURPS helped to inspire Fallout. (Yes, I know that Fallout eventually decided to use their own system, but -IMO- it still shows a very heavy GURPS influence.) The ability to have non-combat skills and actions matter on the same level as fighting was a plus... a lot of the players love hacking and slashing, but it's nice to get more out of being a lord of a castle than a situational +2 bonus to a skill. I could keep going on the reasons, but I'm trying to type this quickly so I can get out the door.

-What hindered?

Unfortunately, the laptop I had some of my GM notes saved on decided to suddenly die without any sort of explanation. (Even the guy I took it to for repairs couldn't figure it out.) Aside from that, a lot of people come into GURPS assuming it is based around the same mentality as That Other Game; to be quite blunt, tactics (I used the term loosely here) which work very well in That Other Game often lead to death in a game where combat is even remotely realistic. (In no way is that meant to bash The Other Game; just a statement.) Strangely, I've found that it seems easier to teach GURPS to someone who has never played rpgs before than it is to teach the game to people who have spent most of their rpg time with certain other games.
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:01 AM   #13
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Strangely, I've found that it seems easier to teach GURPS to someone who has never played rpgs before than it is to teach the game to people who have spent most of their rpg time with certain other games.
I've had good luck with several players who had never roleplayed, or had just started out, or had roleplayed years before (in a more D&D-like culture) and given it up as not very interesting.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:05 PM   #14
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I started GMing in that "Other system" and ran that for years. Then actually switched to Gurps and had problems with some of the mechanics because I didn't really understand them. So I switched to Hero and had problems with some of the mechanics there. Then I gave Gurps a try again and never looked back. My gaming group has stayed essentially the same for that entire, roughly 20 year spread. (with players coming and going because of real life, but most of my players have been with me for the entire time).

I've introduced several players to Gurps and most love it. More than anything else, it's the realism and mechanics that can focus on role-playing that gets them.
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:26 PM   #15
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Default Re: Dragged kicking and screaming from the candy-store

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Weird this thread didn't get moving earlier; it's a great question.
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I begin to suspect that few of us have shared your success in converting gamers to the GURPS side.
Either that or I am on a lot more "Ignore" lists than you are.
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:45 PM   #16
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Default Re: Dragged kicking and screaming from the candy-store

The players in my group have never really been married to a particular game system. There was some negative GURPS reputation in group, but it was pretty trivial to overcome: "I'm starting a GURPS game in the Banestorm setting, I'm on the playtest list I figure I should run it. I have this old Harkwood minimodule, so we're doing that." Everyone: "OK".

We rotate out GMs pretty regularly so randomly starting something new and bored players showing up to it is how we roll ;)

One experience with it seems to have been enough to shatter the vague negative preconceptions and as a result I've got one enthusiastic GURPS fan in the group, another GM who runs GURPS games occasionally when it suits his concept, and everyone else, who are mostly neutral on the subject of specific game systems - game settings is a different subject ;)
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:53 PM   #17
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We rotate out GMs pretty regularly so randomly starting something new and bored players showing up to it is how we roll
Woah. If I were told that I could start a new campaign, but I couldn't count on more than two or three sessions because people might get bored . . . I don't think I'd ever do the kind of work I put into startup now. It would be like, oh, spending three hours building a GURPS character and having them die in the second session.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:00 PM   #18
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Woah. If I were told that I could start a new campaign, but I couldn't count on more than two or three sessions because people might get bored . . . I don't think I'd ever do the kind of work I put into startup now. It would be like, oh, spending three hours building a GURPS character and having them die in the second session.
Ah, I may have mis-represented the situation - players are bored because there's a hole in the schedule with no game in it, which the GM has chosen to fill. For the most part we have pretty homogeneous tastes in gaming, but while folks do choose to opt out of a campaign here and there after a couple of sessions, having discovered it "wasn't really as much fun as they thought it might be", we haven't had a game fizzle because too many players did that.
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:59 PM   #19
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I begin to suspect that few of us have shared your success in converting gamers to the GURPS side.
I usually find that people will play whatever it is I'm running, after they've played in one of my games. So very often I recruit new gamers by offering to run something in the system d'jour, impress them with my awesomeness, and then run the game I want next. I don't have much problems getting people to play GURPS, I do have some problem keeping GURPS games running though compared to other systems.
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Old 01-15-2011, 03:07 PM   #20
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Default Re: Dragged kicking and screaming from the candy-store

What did you do?
I left for two years. When I came back, I told my players I was running GURPS. They really liked the games I ran in That Other System, so they were willing to try it. Some wanted me to go back to That Other System. I said that no, I had this one particular world percolating in my head for about two years now, and I couldn't represent it in That Other System. If you have that much prep time behind a setting, people are a lot more willing to go with your inertia then if you just say "Hey, I want to try something new!:

What setting and genre did you use to tempt them across?
Fantasy, but I specifically set out to tell them it would be a different "feel" to it.

In Some Other Systems, power increases incredibly quickly, and the difference between a level 1 and a level 5 is significant enough to put them on entirely different playing fields, to say nothing of a level 20! Wealth also increases exponentially with level. All of this makes it difficult to make a coherent world. The rules support balanced combats, not realistic worlds. I told them that instead of feeling like they were the stars of a videogame, they would be more like the stars in an epic fantasy novel trillogy, such as Robert Jordan or Brandon Sanderson. Those characters grow in power, but they do so in a far more realistic manner than the classic "Oh, wow! I suddenly know how to cast meteor swarm!"

What worked, what didn't work, what would have worked better?

Really helping the players understand the world I had built. The more they saw what was going on in the world, the more they realized that it just wouldn't have worked in That Other System. Oppressed commoners don't rise up and take control of their government if the king keep as 18th level fighter on hand, for example, because the 18th level fighter could kill thousands of people while unarmed. Prices make more sense. The world becomes a more real place to them.

How did it go?

Very well. I have two groups, both seem to love it.

Are they all keen now?

Yeah.

Are they using GURPS for their own games, or promoting it otherwise?

Yep.

Clamouring for GURPS, complaining about other games?

Nope. Just quietly switching systems in their own games.

How long did it take to win the players over?

A session.

I'd say to try to make something new. Trying to duplicate That Other System with GURPS won't win anybody over. It does what it does well. Do something else, something cooler, and they'll understand.
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