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Old 06-08-2008, 12:08 PM   #51
Not another shrubbery
 
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper6
See my post #34 on why ignoring changes isn't always feasable, and see Agamemnos's post #35 for further reasons to dislike the canon changing business model.
Saw 'em. Agemegos' point about new editions (containg such changes) I can understand partially, as new editions are generally a drain on a gamer's budget. I still don't understand your objection to advancing timelines, which is always a point of interest for me in a detailed setting. Just don't buy 'em, would be my suggestion *shrug*
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:08 PM   #52
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Not another shrubbery
Saw 'em. Agemegos' point about new editions (containg such changes) I can understand partially, as new editions are generally a drain on a gamer's budget. I still don't understand your objection to advancing timelines, which is always a point of interest for me in a detailed setting. Just don't buy 'em, would be my suggestion *shrug*
Okay, I'll just repeat myself, since you didn't seem to understand what I was saying the first time.

One can not buy the new material, and as long as one stays with one's original gaming group one doesn't have too much trouble. But, in my experience, people tend to buy the new books, and when finding a new gaming group, new players often a) have the new books and want to use them and/or b) never had the old books to begin with.

The point of systems that advance timelines is to make the older material obsolete in order to generate more sales. Following that model introduces an implied value system that the older books are not as relevant, not as good...not as up to date...and should be replaced. Staying with the older material becomes increasingly difficult to do in light of the glut of newer material on the market.

For many Vampire 2nd Ed Rev players, the changes made are the only world they know...they don't necessarily know or care what happened in 2nd Ed. And being a GM wanting to play in an older system for books they don't own, when they paid for perfectly new books--it isn't easy to convince new players. And why should they play in 2e, when 2eRev is "better"/"the official way things are"/etc?

So as a GM, I can certainly not buy the new books and ignore the changes, but that also tends to mean not playing the game anymore over time as it gets harder and harder to find players who want to play in the old systems. Also, systems that tend to be splatbook heavy/timeline advancing systems tend to target players a lot more as consumers...and the players want to be able to use the stuff they bought...stuff that is marked as official and canon.

Agamemnos wasn't only talking about cost to consumer, he was also making a very strong case that continued storyline advancement builds a barrier to entry for new players by making a canon that is too big and too decentralized and patchy.

Lastly, you like to read an ongoing storyline. If I want an ongoing storyline, I'll read a book or watch television. I want my players and myself to create that ongoing storyline ourselves. And once we have, I don't want to have to deal with the storylines we create being invalidated by all the support material for the game we're playing in. I don't want to struggle with the game company regularly over agency and control of the setting.

For me, one of the most obvious things was Gehenna/Cain in 2nEd Vampire. In the 2e. Cain may or may not have existed. Some people believed in Cain, others did not. Gehenna could have been a myth or not. It was left ambiguous. There was no canon answer. Our gaming group went with Cain perhaps being real...but because he was part of a Judeo-Christian mythology, he was not the founder of all vampires. That was a myth. There was no Gehenna. All of this was completely compatible with 2nEd. 2eRevised completely invalidated that possibility not only in flavor text, but with the introduction of 13th Gen Vampires, and multiple other major setting changes. Our old group persisted. No new group after that ever accepted that old ambiguity...because it wasn't real anymore. They had the new books that told them so.

Now, if a game company did this every twenty years or so (like SJGames did with Yrth/Banestorm) I wouldn't be bugged, but many game companies do it as a normal part of their business model. It happens regularly. And I don't like it. And I don't buy or play games that follow that model.
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:10 PM   #53
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caleban
I don't have any problem with the elder races not having the same answers as humans but they don't have any answers at all!
They aren't human. They may never have seen any need to ask the questions.

No questions, no answers...
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:20 PM   #54
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper6

It would be nice to fill in Banestorm with a bunch of e23 books on each of the kingdoms of Yrth. I'd love a Caithness book, a Araterre book, etc. I'd also enjoy some adventures....though I know they don't sell well.
There are quite a few on the E23 wishlist, so if you've got an outline, they might want to see it. I'd try submitting some outlines myself, it sounds like an interesting setting, but a)I haven't got the books, and can't afford to. (I'll have limited access to the core books shortly through the magic of Interlibrary Loan), b)I haven't got the time, and c)I'm not sure my writing is up to SJgames standards anyway.
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Old 06-08-2008, 02:25 PM   #55
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

I think we've strayed a little from the original topic.

Would originals settings make GURPS more popular? Probably.

Doesn't GURPS already have original settings? Yes. Dozens of them. But virtually all of them are "unsupported." Despite a terrific set of rules and a diverse and and creative community of GMs and players on the forums ready to step up and offer advice about characters, campaigns, settings, etc., the fact is that most of these settings are published once (and sometimes only given a few hundred or a few thousand words in one section of a book or a Pyramid article) and that's the last we hear about them.

In other words, "support" for a setting means to keep fleshing the world out, giving people new places to visit, new challenges to face, new monsters and/or villains to defeat, and so on.

I'm not going to say there are only two kinds of gamers, but I think two of the many kinds are 1) the people who love to create and tinker and enjoy having a set of rules that lets them build stuff and 2) the people who love losing themselves in a favorite fictional world, year after year, and who delight in visiting it again and again, seeing new parts of it, etc. And I suspect that the second group is a lot larger than the first one.

Now, SJG has supported some great settings (WWII, etc.) over the years. But for some reason they never caught on the way, say, Greyhawk or the World of Darkness did.

So, what is the solution?

Yes, of course, I want a solution.

I want everyone reading this to shut up and start writing.

I've been reading these forums for a long time. A lot of you know how to write. You're better at it than you think. Trust me.

E23 provides a remarkable opportunity both for writers and for SJG. It is possible to publish new settings and support them, e-book after e-book, with far less risk than it would be to publish softcovers. The market will be happy to let us know which authors are onto something and which ones aren't, at which point SJG can take take things to the next level with PoD softcovers distributed to gaming stores on a national or global basis.

So, if you have ever wanted to write your own gaming supplement...do it. Take a look at the Wish List...

http://e23.sjgames.com/gurps-wish-list.html

...and see what you want to do, what makes you go "this is so cool...I wish that I could write this book," especially a fictional (or historical) world you can flesh out, e-book after e-book, year after year. And then go do it.

(And, if you know anyone you think is a good writer, let them know about e23 and the wish list, too.)

Yes, I know it isn't just whether the material is available or not. There are editing and production issues that will have to be taken into account, too. But nothing will happen if new material is not created in the first place.

And I'm not talking about any Judy Garland "Let's put on a show!" idealism here, either. This is a craft and it is a business. It is work. Satisfying work, yes, but you have to make a commitment to do it and do the very best you can for the people who will be paying you and the people who will be reading your material and to do all this as quickly and efficiently as you can.

But you can do it.

Robert Heinlein wrote some of the most important words ever written about writing: Write every day. Finish what you start. Send it out. If it comes back, send it out again.

C'mon, they publish my stuff...how hard can it be? :)

So I don't want to see you respond to this posting. Or, rather, what I really want to see, in six or eight months, is your first e-books. And then, once you get a taste for it, I want you to keep writing and never stop.

Why are you still reading this? Get to work. :)

Mark
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Old 06-08-2008, 03:18 PM   #56
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

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Originally Posted by griffin
What GURPS needs is a killer cinematic setting. Something more akin the White Wolf World of Darkness setting, what R. Talsorian Games did back in it's prime with Cyberpunk 2020, or FASA's Shadowrun.
Couldn't agree with you more. Maybe even an update of a 3e setting like Technomancer, Cabal, Black Ops, or THS (a new edition, rather than an update).
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Old 06-08-2008, 04:03 PM   #57
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

The responses to my objections about Yrth's religion strike me as a lot of hand waving. They ring to my ear like: "Never mind if the details don't stand up to close scrutiny. They are unimportant" or "It just is."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantasy 3E Religion: p5
Fantasy writers (of both books and games) often take the safe way out, providing superficial mumbo-jumbo in place of religion. Frankly, we find this unsatisfying, if not actually obnoxious.
I can not find the words to object strongly enough with this statement. The most influential fantasy setting, Middle Earth, provides an elegant and elaborate creation myth in the book The Silmarillion with a myriad of divine figures. It is that creation myth that provides internal consistency and context for every story later told in its setting. And, unlike our mundane earth where myths are just made up stories with only a passing relationship with reality; the creation myth in The Silmarillion is the real history of Middle Earth's creation. Every event that follows can in some small way draw its causality back to what happened in during that creation.

I have other objections to the Yrth setting but they all boil down to: I simply don't find Yrth to be a compelling fantasy setting because I find the lack of internal consistency to be too great to maintain my suspension of disbelief.

I'm done bashing Yrth. Back OT: Does GURPS need original-setting world books? It could probably use them, but they are unlikely.
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Old 06-08-2008, 04:06 PM   #58
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caleban
I don't have any problem with the elder races not having the same answers as humans but they don't have any answers at all!
Perhaps, like The Buddha with his lecture on "Unresolved Questions", they have learned to acknowledge ignorance with due humility, and not to confabulate answers.

Confabulation is a strange trait in humans. It wouldn't spoil my suspension of disbelief if aliens lacked it.
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Last edited by Agemegos; 06-08-2008 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 06-08-2008, 05:49 PM   #59
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Default Re: Does GURPS need original-setting world books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by griffin

Case in point - Black Ops. Vampires in the setting are mindless killers. The cool factor has been totally destroyed for vampires.
[snip]

What GURPS needs is a killer cinematic setting. Something more akin the White Wolf World of Darkness setting, what R. Talsorian Games did back in it's prime with Cyberpunk 2020, or FASA's Shadowrun.
See this is exactly why it does not work. You show why such a setting could not work in GURPS precisely there, too many people with to many views on what vampires should be.

You dismiss many of the settings that have been produced that fit that because one small element is not to your taste, demonstrateing why any such setting that you want would be rejected by most gamers like you.
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Old 06-08-2008, 05:59 PM   #60
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Default Re: My problem with Yrth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caleban
Looking at the elder races. Fantasy 3E states that the elder races don't have a religion but rather more of a philosophy of honoring the eternal. What? They never tried to answer questions like:
So you don't find deists believable?
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