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Old 07-07-2008, 08:07 PM   #191
cmdicely
 
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

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Originally Posted by robertsconley
What GURPS needs is everything that other Fantasy RPG have. The same for Horror, and Space.
It would be an interesting project to try to put together a highly-tuned subset of GURPS that worked very much like D&D in terms of character generation and advancement on the surface but was standard GURPS underneath (and standard GURPS with a particular option set selected in play), and then do the whole D&D treatment (core set, settings, adventures) for it. But the risk with just the core would be extreme, because it would be a lot of work to go head to head with the entrenched market leader. You'd have a product line for people who didn't need or want the toolkit approach, but you'd still have the toolkit of GURPS that any gaming group who wanted to could turn to to extend it to fit their needs. I've often thought you could do a better D&D than D&D with GURPS, but its a big task.
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Old 07-07-2008, 08:15 PM   #192
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

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Originally Posted by David L Pulver
I know: I've tried to interest SJ Games (since c. 1990) in space opera settings. However, generally the feeling has been "setting doesn't sell, and we have Traveller (or Terradyne, or THS, or whatever). The thing is, I'm not sure if GURPS has ever made an attempt at a more 'mainstream' fantasy or SF setting. (No, Yrth is not "mainstream" - with its alternate Earth setting, lack of fantasy gods, etc., nor is the Rome setting in GURPS Fantasy.)

For my own selfish reasons, I've wanted to have a space setting that would use Ultra-Tech and Spaceships and Bio-Tech "out of the box" [i.e., without special expections and conversion rules for the setting]. And yeah, that means galactic empires and struggling Earth federation and nanotechnology and AIs and fleets of starships and dozens of alien races and blasters and force screens and the whole shebang. The goal isn't to copy someone else's genre (though we'd be in the mainstream of the New Space Opera): the goal is to take what GURPS does well - and that's lots of cool stuff - and build a setting that showcases that GURPS goodness, and is also a more playable and somewhat open sandbox to adventure in then either THS or, to some extent Traveller.
Hey, if it's the Space Altas IV combined with the setting with the Galactic Operations Directorate's Imperial Secret Service outlined in the vignettes in Ultra-Tech, I'm all in. However, please resist the urge to "jump the shark" with cutsie stuff like the Killer Penguins from Technomancer. I'd love to see a new space opera setting with some cinematic action where you can use most of the toys from Ultra-Tech. I certainly like chrome so some company names and details on the generic weapons would be nice. The GenTech Snap Dragon II is the finest Gauss Machine Pistol manufactured in Imperial Space is a nice detail, even if you only point to the stats given in UT for the GMP.
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Old 07-07-2008, 08:30 PM   #193
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

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Originally Posted by robertsconley
Internet resources affect only a small fraction of the market. It helps but doesn't close the gap.

The task is not trivial for novice GMs and sinks GURPS in comparison to it's competitors. For players coming from D&D the GURPS Core System is not ready to run.
GURPS doesn't hold your hand as much as D&D does, but it is ready to run. I'd almost say it's easier to run. Simply because I do not need to write up pages and pages of monster and treasure data. I can focus on the story that I want to tell.

GURPS does require a smarter GM. The GM has to moderate character creation to make sure that players don't take abilities for their character that are inappropriate or overpowering. The GM has to eyeball combat encounters himself instead of trusting that the 5th level party can take on a CR 5 encounter.

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The point of a classic fantasy setting is not to compete with Forgotten Realms or any number of myriad of other settings but rather to provide a base platform that players of the world most popular RPG can build from.
Banestorm can actually do that fairly well. It's designed to accommodate a wide variety of fantasy sub-genres. Plug in your favorite D&D module and it should work fine. You'll have to balance the combat encounters against your group, but the story elements can be included with minimal effort.

And also, GURPS players and D&D players are fairly different beasts. Most of the people I've seen on the forums who have moved from D&D to GURPS have commented that they can finally make a character interesting instead of simply badass. Or build a character to concept without having to wait 10 levels and take a lot of things they don't want along the way. Or build the character they want at all, because TPTB in D20land haven't put out that feat/class/p-class.

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They need to add a monster manual and a magic system. Dungeon Fantasy as it stands now is not ready to run. Also what is needed is a rulebook with a focus on the fantasy genre.
There is a magic system provided in the core books and expanded upon in GURPS Magic. GURPS Thaumatology has even more goodies, I'm told.

GURPS Fantasy covers the fantasy genre fairly well. If you're thinking of a revised GURPS Basic Set along the lines of the D&D core trinity, with that same level of handholding, don't hold your breath.

I'd say a bestiary book of some sort is a good thing. I particularly liked the old GURPS Fantasy Bestiary. The monsters featured there were based on actual folklore, myths and legends. When a co-worker was reading an Anne Rice novel, they asked me (the resident nerd) what a lamia was. The D&D Monster Manual has a lamia, but it's a lion-centaur thing. GURPS Fantasy Bestiary had the original lamia, which was based on the same sources that Anne Rice used.

However, I get the sneaking suspicion that you're thinking of something much more D&D like, with challenge ratings, treasure tables and whatnot. I wouldn't buy something like that.
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Old 07-07-2008, 09:55 PM   #194
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

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Banestorm can actually do that fairly well. It's designed to accommodate a wide variety of fantasy sub-genres. Plug in your favorite D&D module and it should work fine. You'll have to balance the combat encounters against your group, but the story elements can be included with minimal effort.
Actually, no. Banestorm isn't fantasy - it's alternate history. For many people, it's utterly useless as an escapist experience. The last thing I want to experience in a fantasy world is Christian/Muslim conflict.

So, why can't we just start a new thread and throw out some ideas? "Do not try, DO. There is no try!"
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Old 07-07-2008, 10:06 PM   #195
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

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Originally Posted by tantric
Actually, no. Banestorm isn't fantasy - it's alternate history. For many people, it's utterly useless as an escapist experience. The last thing I want to experience in a fantasy world is Christian/Muslim conflict.
Or decadent imperialists versus vulgar liberals.
Established cultures versus waves of immigrants.
Sunni vs. Sufi
etc.
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Old 07-07-2008, 10:12 PM   #196
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Started a new thread.
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Old 07-07-2008, 10:29 PM   #197
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

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Originally Posted by knarf
GURPS does require a smarter GM.
More importantly, it often requires more GM time commitment, because SJG hasn't done detailed world and adventure design for you, and tightly crafted the rules to very specific genre and playstyle assumptions. Now, that gives you more freedom because you can customize much more to your groups desires, but its more GM work to get to the equivalent of what you'd get with the D&D core rules and the module of your choice, if the genre and playstyle assumptions of D&D are close to what you want.

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I'd say a bestiary book of some sort is a good thing. I particularly liked the old GURPS Fantasy Bestiary. The monsters featured there were based on actual folklore, myths and legends.
Well, some were, more or less (those with origin "ML"), and some weren't (those with origin "F"). The same is, in fact, true of the D&D Monster Manual (any edition). The difference is (1) FB makes a clear distinction between the two cases, and (2) FB didn't tend to steal names from myth and legend for its entirely unrelated inventions the way D&D has.

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When a co-worker was reading an Anne Rice novel, they asked me (the resident nerd) what a lamia was. The D&D Monster Manual has a lamia, but it's a lion-centaur thing.
Well, prior to fourth edition, yeah. In 4e its something completely unrelated to what it was in previous editions, as well as to the various mythical entities of the same name.

Quote:
GURPS Fantasy Bestiary had the original lamia, which was based on the same sources that Anne Rice used.
More acurately, FB has something with a closer connection to the mythical class of beasts derived later from pluralization of the original Lamia, who was a unique mythical entity.
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Old 07-08-2008, 12:05 AM   #198
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

So, at risk of being argued down, I'm going to attempt an RPG as OS analogy. Let me acknowledge in advance that RPGs are not OSes, they are not always like OSes, and there are probably numerous ways in which my analogy doesn't make sense or isn't necessarily accurate.

GURPS is like Linux.

Several years ago, when Linux was new enough to be hot and buzzwordy, its proponents said it would be the next big OS. It was ready to take on Windows in every major market, they said. The feature set and software library were a little different, maybe, but equivalent (if not better) in every way that really mattered. Your grandma could use it.

And, if you were the sort of computer nerd who enjoyed spending hours getting your computer to work at all, and then tweaking it so that it worked right, and you weren't intimidated by CLIs or the prospect of having to learn how to use a PC all over again - or, perhaps, already knew how to use a Unix-like OS, so Linux was about as alien as a new pair of shoes - it was probably true.

Anyone who was a non-computer person, though, or wanted to USE the computer more than fiddle with settings, proved to be resistant, and while there are a number of grandmas out there running Linux, it has not so far unseated Windows, despite the release of numerous Linux variants that have tried (with some success) to be "user friendly" "out of the box".

GURPS is a game for mechanics-heads and homebrewers who don't mind fiddling with a million preferences and are perfectly willing to "compile" their games from a million disparate sources on web sites, forums, official books from two editions and other books from everywhere, or for that matter to "code" their games from scratch. If you're not one of these people, of course, you can still play (and like) it.. but setting up games isn't exactly like sticking in a CD, clicking a button, and getting a splash screen for Word or Halo. You have to do a lot of the work yourself.

I'm done with that analogy now.

So, with that said, I don't see what SJG can really do differently.

D&D was free to define its setting through its "core" sourcebooks, because it basically had one kind of setting with one kind of gameplay to develop, and it only had to answer to a market that was by definition willing to accept that (because if it didn't, they'd play something else, right?). The expectations were already set. So if you opened a Monster Manual, and found stats for a troll, those stats were authoritative; maybe this wasn't the kind of troll you were used to, or not the kind of troll you've read about in folklore, but by the gods, this was a D&D troll, and you were playing D&D, so there. And in any D&D game you play in, when you met a troll, it was almost certainly one of those guys.

GURPS can't do that, because it caters to a potentially infinite number of settings and a broad range of gameplay. Suppose SJG did put out a "monster manual" with a troll in it. What kind of troll would it be? A D&D troll? A troll from one of a number of varying folkloric sources, some of which describe them as enormous? How about the cave troll from the LOTR movies? Or from the books? Should trolls turn to stone in sunlight, or not? Shadowrun trolls? Tiny goblinoid trolls with crazy hair that sticks up? And what kind of information should they provide us with about troll, having somehow decided which one to present as an official GURPS troll? Basic stats, sure, but what else? Extended "using this creature as a PC" stats? Rules for dissecting them for valuable or magical body parts? Descriptions of how they fight? How they live from day to day? How they mate? How they behave in groups? How they behave at teatime? What religion they follow?

There's just no way they could do all that. The best they could do is to publish a troll for Yrth, or some kind of generic DF troll, and say "here's our troll; if you don't like 'im, make your own." And that's precisely what they are doing, except that they haven't actually put out monster manuals for Yrth or DF, because of the small buckets problem, and because SJG doesn't have the kind of resources it would need to give multiple settings the level of supplementation that D&D gets.
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Old 07-08-2008, 12:11 AM   #199
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

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Originally Posted by Xplo
GURPS is a game for mechanics-heads and homebrewers who don't mind fiddling with a million preferences and are perfectly willing to "compile" their games from a million disparate sources on web sites, forums, official books from two editions and other books from everywhere, or for that matter to "code" their games from scratch. If you're not one of these people, of course, you can still play (and like) it.. but setting up games isn't exactly like sticking in a CD, clicking a button, and getting a splash screen for Word or Halo. You have to do a lot of the work yourself.
And thats its blessing and curse all in one
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Old 07-08-2008, 12:55 AM   #200
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

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Originally Posted by Gamer_Zer0
And thats its blessing and curse all in one
It's a blessing if you want something different from everyone else, and a curse it you want the same.
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