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Old 02-08-2021, 04:47 PM   #21
DangerousThing
 
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Default Re: Kind of new to GURPS help!

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Originally Posted by deanjday View Post
3. Religion to be deep and complicated (Glorantha/Warhammer)
This can be a problem for some players.

I haven't played except as a GM in probably twenty years, and I like world-building. I create detailed religions. However, my players haven't liked my detailed religions.
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Old 02-10-2021, 02:22 PM   #22
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Default Re: Kind of new to GURPS help!

Thank you guys. I am now going to transfer over to a thread that will start to create the nuts and bolts of my coming fantasy campaign.

It will be called the World of Solem and I hope you can read along and comment with me as I create both mechanic stuff and world building.

thanks once again.
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Old 02-10-2021, 04:09 PM   #23
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Default Re: Kind of new to GURPS help!

1. Where do I start? I have a lot of material beyond the core books (Magic, Fantasy, Martial Arts, Powers etc).
I want the campaign to be tailored perfectly, but I must admit I am a bit overwhelmed by all the options, how do you practically narrow it all down?

Start with the Fantasy setting. It's always easier to manage GURPS well at lower point levels. Fantasy is easier to grasp and it's higher concept for your players to handle. Running Supers will require a more firm grasp of the rules and Advantages so it's going to go smoother with experience in my opinion. Define your setting. Start with an idea board, write down the things you want in your game, fill out outline detail notes about each thing and figure out how you'll represent the magic/technology/politics mechanically. GURPS Magic is a simple and relatable system for magic and probably your best bet. GURPS Low Tech has a lot of useful ideas for technology. Both are worthwhile reads.

2. How do I present this all to my players?

Start by sending your players a link to GURPS Lite and letting them know the next campaign will use the full version of the GURPS rules and let them read over the rules and come to you with any questions. For your players that struggle with patience consider doing chargen using templates to reduce the choice paralysis and learning new rules.

3. How do you run your games and prepare? Again it is probably all the options overwhelming me but how do you as refs prepare for your games and sessions?

I have a campaign bible containing all my notes for the game world, any detailed secrets about the world, my races, character templates, special equipment and any special mechanics that I may want to reference.

I have a session notebook where I detail what I want to do session by session. I write it about two sessions in advance. I have the names of every major NPC they players deal with. The details of each plot hook I throw. NPC Stats. I make notes here during game about anything the players set in place contract-wise or anything I'll have to remember in future games.

I make sure I have maps constructed and figures/tokens ready as best as I can. I have some stand-by stuff in case the players want to pick a fight with gangsters in the marketplace or if they unexpectedly find a way to chase the kidnappers that were meant to exit the scene.

I have a GM's screen. GURPS kind of sucks at indexing important tables and you could likely guess GURPS has a lot of information. Distance penalties, Crit-results, Reaction Tables, Fright Check table. I rarely get to put it away. Probably the best book you can own. If all your players are new you might want to make Combat Maneuver flash cards to help them decide what to do on their turn.

I spend a very vague 4 hours per session in prep work. Mostly mapping or preparing other physical materials. converting monsters or statting NPCs takes me a few minutes, but I've been at this for ages so I've got some instinct. I think most people could put together a good encounter in an hour.

4. Are there any practical tips you can give on getting your campaign off to a good start with your players generally?

GURPS is different than almost every other system. Be leery of any tropes you carry from other games. Especially D&D's sense of durability or Character Roles. Fights in GURPS end quickly and decisively and your best tactic is always having conflict on your terms. GURPS characters are not class-locked but beyond non-class games GURPS is especially fluid in allowing most characters to grow into roles that suit them. Encourage your players to take responsibility for a role in the game, help them build their character towards that end and gradually expand that capacity.
In my opinion GURPS's greatest strength is defining characters in negative space. Encourage your players to take disadvantages they'll enjoy playing and reward them for playing those disadvantages with fun consequences for their poverty or leching or narcolepsy that makes them want to pick disadvantages that contribute to play.
GURPS is set apart from other games by it's tactics and utility. I'd recommend any time you plan a combat that you make it unique in some way. Put it on a suspension bridge or have the characters fight on parts of a slow-moving ice-flow. You'll find it takes very little effort on your part and really makes the combat memorable for your players.
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Old 02-10-2021, 07:35 PM   #24
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Default Re: Kind of new to GURPS help!

I build GURPS characters for all my players bar one. They tell me what they want, I build it while asking for feedback about various things, especially Disadvantages, and then I run through the sheet with them once finished.

The exception is the one player who loves learning new systems and building characters. I still usually give him a template to work with though to keep him on message.

This is much quicker than teaching people how to build a character in GURPS.

I second the idea of running a short adventure in your planned world with disposable characters. This will serve as a good intro to GURPS rules, especially combat which is awesome but has a learning curve.

This forum provides excellent support for GURPS, definitely make use of it.
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Old 02-11-2021, 04:29 AM   #25
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Default Re: Kind of new to GURPS help!

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Originally Posted by Black Leviathan View Post
I have a GM's screen. GURPS kind of sucks at indexing important tables and you could likely guess GURPS has a lot of information.
Does Warehouse 23 even sell a physical GURPS 4e GM's screen anymore? I couldn't locate one.

I no longer have access to a printer, and I'm hoping to start a face-to-face game as soon as the virus becomes less bothersome.
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Old 02-11-2021, 04:30 AM   #26
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Default Re: Kind of new to GURPS help!

One thing I didnt see anyone address (or I missed it) is the point value of your setting/PCs.

You need to set the expectations of your world by establishing the base point value. This will greatly influence the PCs access to advantages. Advantages can quickly overbalance your campaign if you arent a little bit careful in the beginning. You can always correct up, but trying to dial a char back after the fact is a painful process for everyone.

To give you a very coarse idea of what I consider some of these stories you have mentioned in GURPS terms (and this isnt precise just to eyeball stuff) you have to look at the advantages more than the skills. Also remember that these stories arent written with balance in mind, so allowing a PC to become one of these char may not really give the outcome either of you expects.

Aragorn vs Lan Mandragoran

Aragorn really doesnt have too many advantages that come out in the story, though there are some that might be assumed. He's what I would call a typical adventurer in my world you could probably build him on 150pts with a little bit of fudging for skills. I dont recall anything that indicated Combat reflexes but he did seem to have quite a high skill with Sword and bow.

Extended Lifespan 2ish
Ally Elves
Ally horse
History Dunedien
Destiny
maybe some increased perception
extra languages Elf and Dunedien (if that is a separate language)
Hard to kill
Will
DX, ST, HT?

Most of the rest of what he did could be nitpicked, but I think I covered the broad strokes of his advantages. He never struck me as a "supers" char. He was just a human that was a little more than human. If you dropped Aragorn in GoT he wouldn't be out of place and other than his 'Lore' and skill advantage from long life he would be pretty much competeing on even terms IMO. He for sure had some disadvantages but this response will be long enough without that...

Lan has boat loads of small advantages though a fair chunk of them are tied to his bond/ally. He also seems to have his own and its hard to be sure where Lan stops and the Bond starts.
Attributes ST, DX, HT, Will, Perception (Im not sure about IQ vs just higher skill levels) - all at multiples of bonus (this alone pushes him well beyond Aragorn) Compared to 10/10/10/10 char, I would estimate he was ST+4, DX +2 maybe 3, HT +4, Will +2, Perception +3 or 4 (though you might stick some of this under the Bond price, he was already a weapon master before the bond)
He has a Destiny for sure
Signature gear(s) Sword and cloak for sure
Equipment bond(s) Sword
Weapon Master
Combat reflexes
Ally Horse
Languages several reading and writing
Alternate Identity (some GMs might toss this under Destiny, but I think Lan really had what amounts to an Alternate Identity advantage as a warder, or if you see it the other way his royalty was the alternate, either way it opened doors that would have been closed to a regular warder)
Ally (at least 20pts in Moraine) with all her magic she's a higher point value char than Lan
He had a lot of little abilities that I would put on the "Bond" and you would have to figure that out as well, though it wouldnt cost as much with the big disad of what happens to a Warder when his Aesedai dies.
Less sleep +4 and some kind of Modified Recovery that only applies to sleep (this is probably the Bond or its a combination of advantage and Bond)
Extended Lifespan ~1 (it was never very clear to me how long warders CAN live if they aren't taken out in battle, I was left with the impression that some of the older 'non-combat' warders were abnormally old) OR it might just be Longevity that keeps him from most of the conditions of aging or some combination of both

I would say Lan is at minimum a 250pt char, likely more around 300 but it depends on how you build out the "Bond". He doesnt seem to have a great deal of disadvantages that he cant overcome, and he buys off Loaner by the end and you might argue he also buys off No sense of Humor at some point. If you dropped Lan into GoT he would be over powered, especially if you port the Bond abilities and Moraine (who would probably be a ~350pt char).

The bigger question you need to address is where do you want the PCs to be when they start, halfway through, when they finish. This will inform most of your encounters, and much of your adventure options. Less points is more realistic but your players will have less abilities to roll against, especially if they focus on combat skills. Less inherent Advantages for the PCs means more like "real life" and less like Supers.


Oh Combat is another thing you need to look at in parallel to the Magic system, how realistic and complicated are you going to allow combat to be. I tried gaming a realistic sword and board combat and it took 3 hours and most of it was parry and feint and missing. Realistic combat is LETHAL (when someone finally gets hit) but boring to me unless there is a complete skill imbalance, but it is one of the pieces of the GURPS tool kit. My personal suggestion it to limit combat to the Basic books and keep it in the cinematic side to speed things up a little. (for sure keep GURPS Martial arts out if you want to speed combat up and not overwhelm new players with too many options).

Someone already suggested it, but it feels like you need to limit your PCs to Basic books and Low Tech, and you need to decide on your magic system which might add Magic and/or Thaumatology.

You are biting off a really BIG bite wanting to make your own world out of the gate. GURPS has a learning curve even for experienced DM/GMs, its not impossible but you might want to talk directly with some GMs to get a little more grounded in what it takes to build a world (I speak from experience here, now that I have a more experienced player joining in and asking questions, I have found a LOT of development holes in my world. Not so much that it doesnt work, but more that I had never actually documented it)

Last edited by bocephus; 02-11-2021 at 05:01 AM.
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Old 02-11-2021, 05:18 AM   #27
maximara
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Default Re: Kind of new to GURPS help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Leviathan View Post
I have a GM's screen. GURPS kind of sucks at indexing important tables and you could likely guess GURPS has a lot of information. Distance penalties, Crit-results, Reaction Tables, Fright Check table. I rarely get to put it away. Probably the best book you can own. If all your players are new you might want to make Combat Maneuver flash cards to help them decide what to do on their turn.
It is not just where the tables are but how they are set up.

IMHO the set up and information in List of Skills is far better then what is in the basic set for helping players choose skills.
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Old 02-11-2021, 05:30 AM   #28
deanjday
 
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Default Re: Kind of new to GURPS help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bocephus View Post
One thing I didnt see anyone address (or I missed it) is the point value of your setting/PCs.

You need to set the expectations of your world by establishing the base point value. This will greatly influence the PCs access to advantages. Advantages can quickly overbalance your campaign if you arent a little bit careful in the beginning. You can always correct up, but trying to dial a char back after the fact is a painful process for everyone.

To give you a very coarse idea of what I consider some of these stories you have mentioned in GURPS terms (and this isnt precise just to eyeball stuff) you have to look at the advantages more than the skills. Also remember that these stories arent written with balance in mind, so allowing a PC to become one of these char may not really give the outcome either of you expects.

Aragorn vs Lan Mandragoran

Aragorn really doesnt have too many advantages that come out in the story, though there are some that might be assumed. He's what I would call a typical adventurer in my world you could probably build him on 150pts with a little bit of fudging for skills. I dont recall anything that indicated Combat reflexes but he did seem to have quite a high skill with Sword and bow.

Extended Lifespan 2ish
Ally Elves
Ally horse
History Dunedien
Destiny
maybe some increased perception
extra languages Elf and Dunedien (if that is a separate language)
Hard to kill
Will
DX, ST, HT?

Most of the rest of what he did could be nitpicked, but I think I covered the broad strokes of his advantages. He never struck me as a "supers" char. He was just a human that was a little more than human. If you dropped Aragorn in GoT he wouldn't be out of place and other than his 'Lore' and skill advantage from long life he would be pretty much competeing on even terms IMO. He for sure had some disadvantages but this response will be long enough without that...

Lan has boat loads of small advantages though a fair chunk of them are tied to his bond/ally. He also seems to have his own and its hard to be sure where Lan stops and the Bond starts.
Attributes ST, DX, HT, Will, Perception (Im not sure about IQ vs just higher skill levels) - all at multiples of bonus (this alone pushes him well beyond Aragorn) Compared to 10/10/10/10 char, I would estimate he was ST+4, DX +2 maybe 3, HT +4, Will +2, Perception +3 or 4 (though you might stick some of this under the Bond price, he was already a weapon master before the bond)
He has a Destiny for sure
Signature gear(s) Sword and cloak for sure
Equipment bond(s) Sword
Weapon Master
Combat reflexes
Ally Horse
Languages several reading and writing
Alternate Identity (some GMs might toss this under Destiny, but I think Lan really had what amounts to an Alternate Identity advantage as a warder, or if you see it the other way his royalty was the alternate, either way it opened doors that would have been closed to a regular warder)
Ally (at least 20pts in Moraine) with all her magic she's a higher point value char than Lan
He had a lot of little abilities that I would put on the "Bond" and you would have to figure that out as well, though it wouldnt cost as much with the big disad of what happens to a Warder when his Aesedai dies.
Less sleep +4 and some kind of Modified Recovery that only applies to sleep (this is probably the Bond or its a combination of advantage and Bond)
Extended Lifespan ~1 (it was never very clear to me how long warders CAN live if they aren't taken out in battle, I was left with the impression that some of the older 'non-combat' warders were abnormally old) OR it might just be Longevity that keeps him from most of the conditions of aging or some combination of both

I would say Lan is at minimum a 250pt char, likely more around 300 but it depends on how you build out the "Bond". He doesnt seem to have a great deal of disadvantages that he cant overcome, and he buys off Loaner by the end and you might argue he also buys off No sense of Humor at some point. If you dropped Lan into GoT he would be over powered, especially if you port the Bond abilities and Moraine (who would probably be a ~350pt char).

The bigger question you need to address is where do you want the PCs to be when they start, halfway through, when they finish. This will inform most of your encounters, and much of your adventure options. Less points is more realistic but your players will have less abilities to roll against, especially if they focus on combat skills. Less inherent Advantages for the PCs means more like "real life" and less like Supers.


Oh Combat is another thing you need to look at in parallel to the Magic system, how realistic and complicated are you going to allow combat to be. I tried gaming a realistic sword and board combat and it took 3 hours and most of it was parry and feint and missing. Realistic combat is LETHAL (when someone finally gets hit) but boring to me unless there is a complete skill imbalance, but it is one of the pieces of the GURPS tool kit. My personal suggestion it to limit combat to the Basic books and keep it in the cinematic side to speed things up a little. (for sure keep GURPS Martial arts out if you want to speed combat up and not overwhelm new players with too many options).

Someone already suggested it, but it feels like you need to limit your PCs to Basic books and Low Tech, and you need to decide on your magic system which might add Magic and/or Thaumatology.

You are biting off a really BIG bite wanting to make your own world out of the gate. GURPS has a learning curve even for experienced DM/GMs, its not impossible but you might want to talk directly with some GMs to get a little more grounded in what it takes to build a world (I speak from experience here, now that I have a more experienced player joining in and asking questions, I have found a LOT of development holes in my world. Not so much that it doesnt work, but more that I had never actually documented it)
Great advice , thank you. I am only just starting to build my campaign world in very broad strokes (see the World of Solem thread) and I know I have many big decisions to make, the nice thing is I have lots of time to think it through and create stuff as I dont foresee a start of play for at least six months to a year.
So this gives me lots of space to develop as I go. I will probably concentrate on a British Isles analog at first, as I am British and it's a nice change of pace for my group (Westeros and Pendragon will be big helps to steal stuff from).
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:27 AM   #29
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Default Re: Kind of new to GURPS help!

Just my 2 cents:
1. "Custom" settings can be a real pain for your players, they don't know how they work, what their characters can (and can't do) what to expect and what to aim for. I think this is the main obstacle of many campaigns, for this reason i always go with "known" worlds and then i adjust on the fly. Personal experience form my current witcher campaign: it's already a 3 in 1 setting (books, video-games and TV show are WAY different) but in this way the players have a baseline to anchor... Nevertheless a player asked me "how to became a paladin" that don't exist in any version.

2. Don't mix setting, rules, and player options... The more obscure rules you use the more difficult is for your players to follow. Try doing the reverse: ask your players which characters they have in mind and build from there, you could be surprised on how well can match a "berserk" inspired swordman and Warhammer tinkerer.

3. Don't overthink: unless you want to write a book, the setting is a shared property with your players, it need to be detailed only as needed. Maybe you spent weeks on defining the regions and the who's who while their PC wants to go elsewhere or are interested in different kind of adventures.
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Old 02-17-2021, 11:01 AM   #30
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Default Re: Kind of new to GURPS help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Opellulo View Post
Just my 2 cents:
1. "Custom" settings can be a real pain for your players, they don't know how they work, what their characters can (and can't do) what to expect and what to aim for. I think this is the main obstacle of many campaigns, for this reason i always go with "known" worlds and then i adjust on the fly. Personal experience form my current witcher campaign: it's already a 3 in 1 setting (books, video-games and TV show are WAY different) but in this way the players have a baseline to anchor... Nevertheless a player asked me "how to became a paladin" that don't exist in any version.
This seems to be self contradictory as about any setting can be "custom" even the ones that are insanely flashed out. For example, I would hazard that more people know the lore of Azoroth than know that of Grayhawk or the Forgotten Realms. Heck, back in the early the early days we had a joke: "Forgotten Realms? Yes they are exactly that...forgotten."

Even settings that are fleshed out in GURPS be it Infinite Worlds, Merlin-1, Yrth, Star Patrol, or Roma Arcana will have details that players are unfamiliar with.

For example, Prime Directive is a variant of Star Trek (Star Fleet battles) that everyone thinks they know...until you get to the details and you realize this setting is "alien" and even the "canon" is a mess.

Even Five Earths with its variant of our Earth (Infopunk Earth) and a 4th century D&D-like world with King Arthur (Fantasy Earth) has a lot of unanswered questions.
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