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Old 10-17-2011, 08:17 AM   #21
Jürgen Hubert
 
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Default Re: New here and new to GURPS

Creating characters is important, but so is NPCs and monsters for the PCs to oppose.

First of all, character points are an accounting device for PCs only. Thus, it is totally pointless to worry about character point totals unless it's for a PC or an NPC that falls under their "Ally", "Enemy", or similar advantages and disadvantages. Remembering this will save you huge amounts of work. Just note down whatever traits you think are appropriate, and leave it at that.

As for combat enemies, I always suggest the following guidelines for generic "nameless" enemies that the PCs are expected to defeat (these are most appropriate for fantasy and other low-tech settings - guns change the dynamics significantly):

- Don't give them high Active Defense values, as it will frustrate the PCs if the enemies always get out of the way. Anything above 12 is excessive, and in many cases 10 will do just fine.
- Don't give them high DR, as it may take the PCs a long time to take such foes down - and they might even repeatedly do no damage at all, which can also be frustrating.
- Don't give them high HT, as this will only drag out the fight because the enemy just won't go down even after being severely wounded.

If you want to increase the danger such foes represent, either increase their number - which will force the PC to position themselves carefully to avoid getting surrounded - or increase their damage dealing potential while keeping their attack skill values low. This way they won't hit often... but the PCs will still be careful around them because when they do hit it will hurt a lot.

You can build foes that violate all of these, of course, but this is better reserved for "boss monsters", leaders, and other unique foes.

As an example, in last week's GURPS Dark Sun session, the PCs faced a mul bandit leader, who was an experienced fighter, a half-giant with a big club who didn't hit often but was very strong and tough, and a dozen bandits which didn't pose much of a threat individually and generally went down after a single hit...
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:35 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Jürgen Hubert View Post
First of all, character points are an accounting device for PCs only. Thus, it is totally pointless to worry about character point totals unless it's for a PC or an NPC that falls under their "Ally", "Enemy", or similar advantages and disadvantages. Remembering this will save you huge amounts of work. Just note down whatever traits you think are appropriate, and leave it at that.
Many people say that, but I don't find it true. When I design NPCs, I do a full point-based build on major NPCs; for example, in one recent campaign, several pirate leaders, and the queen of a magical island realm and the sleeping mortal king she was guarding, among others. It helps me to think through what I want the NPCs to be like. I would encourage a new GM to try out doing a point build on a major NPC or two, and see if it enhances their creativity or hinders it. There are people who work both ways. And the build process will also provide the new GM with invaluable experience in character creation than can then be offered to players new to the system.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:03 PM   #23
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Many people say that, but I don't find it true. When I design NPCs, I do a full point-based build on major NPCs; for example, in one recent campaign, several pirate leaders, and the queen of a magical island realm and the sleeping mortal king she was guarding, among others. It helps me to think through what I want the NPCs to be like. I would encourage a new GM to try out doing a point build on a major NPC or two, and see if it enhances their creativity or hinders it. There are people who work both ways. And the build process will also provide the new GM with invaluable experience in character creation than can then be offered to players new to the system.

Bill Stoddard
I did that when I started GMing, but once I find out that I could simply create the character in my mind, without needing stats written.
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:12 PM   #24
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Default Re: New here and new to GURPS

You might want to look at the section about things one should consider when beginning to use GURPS. Or even revive the discussion, since the impressions of new-to-GURPS people should play a role in how we/I write such starter-explanations.
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:01 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by gilbertocarlos View Post
I did that when I started GMing, but once I find out that I could simply create the character in my mind, without needing stats written.
I hear that there are people who can do that. I can't; seeing the points is a huge boost to my creativity. So I recommend that new GMs should try it both ways and see if the points help them or not.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:04 PM   #26
roguebfl
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Many people say that, but I don't find it true. When I design NPCs, I do a full point-based build on major NPCs;
Add but that not disagreeing with what we are saying, a Major NPC has potential to become an Ally or an Enemy. it's the minor NPCs who you don't need all that information that don't to be fully built which were are advising against So that the GM don't get over burned in their work load.
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:54 PM   #27
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Add but that not disagreeing with what we are saying, a Major NPC has potential to become an Ally or an Enemy. it's the minor NPCs who you don't need all that information that don't to be fully built which were are advising against So that the GM don't get over burned in their work load.
Yeah, if I'm making a Town Guardsman I'm just going to give him spear and shield at 12, Observation at 13 and stick all of his stats at 10. An Orc is going to have Axe 12, Dodge 9 and ST 14. A peasant is going to have Spear 10 and not much else combat wise.

I generally just go with Amateur = 10, Professional = 12, Elite = 14 and they get +1 for Easy skills, -1 for Hard skills.
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:10 PM   #28
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Default Re: New here and new to GURPS

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Originally Posted by Novembermike View Post
Yeah, if I'm making a Town Guardsman I'm just going to give him spear and shield at 12, Observation at 13 and stick all of his stats at 10. An Orc is going to have Axe 12, Dodge 9 and ST 14. A peasant is going to have Spear 10 and not much else combat wise.

I generally just go with Amateur = 10, Professional = 12, Elite = 14 and they get +1 for Easy skills, -1 for Hard skills.
I also do a rough draft approach to minor NPC's...that being said I do a "rough" outline of Stats Skills and an Advantage or Two and a Disad or Two...plus a handful of free points for "Its logical for him to have X but I forgot it...skills."

Basically about a 3"x5" Index Card worth...have about 40-50 Pregened minor NPCs in the box...if I start GMing again I will be adding to the box again...

Organized Roughly By Type (Sailor, Soldier, Tinker, Spy, etc) and Point Total (25pts to 80 pts or so)...anything much more than 100 pts or so I will tend to do a fuller writeup...

Of course if it is totally on the fly...I might wing it entirely and make some notes as I go...if the party seems likely to come back around to the NPC again...I might flesh out a write up.

I like to have a good bit in the can...because I know I will be winging a fair bit.

On the note of Setting for the OP...I tend to do some creation...but more often I am busy filing the serial numbers off everything I can think of...

Old (1e) DnD modules...(my original B2 Keep on the Borderlands I have used in Gurps at least 3 different times/ways I can remember), Iron Crown Middle Earth Supplements...(I once ran a party through a mission as scouts working for a Dwarven Expitition working to "recover" a lost dwarven cavern/city...pretty sure I never said Mines of Moria once...), Old Runequest stuff...Gamma world Modules with science out and magic in...

I did some 100% "original" content...but even then often it was a reflection of a movie, or a book, or a mostly dark historical event...

Good Luck but I would advise getting a good "world/continent" map and then loot and plunder adventure kernels with a vengence!!!
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:46 PM   #29
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I throw together some NPCs and fully writeup others, same with monsters.
And some NPCs intended to be one shots later got a full writeup and much more use.
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:45 PM   #30
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If you don't want to buy GURPS Character Assistant yet or don't run Windows grab GURPS Character Sheet, not quite as nice as the official one but runs on Macs and Linux as well as Windows and is free. Makes generating characters a lot faster. And you can ask your players to use it without it costing them anything.
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