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Old 04-23-2021, 08:21 AM   #1
Kromm
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Default How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

I will just sit here
While Mary Sue and her friends
Have all of the fun
— Gamer on a train
There are a lot of expectations at the gaming table: The GM's promise to entertain the players, the players' obligations to respect the GM's efforts and play nicely with one another, and the game designer's responsibility to deliver playable rules. The single biggest expectation, though? That everyone will have fun!

This is often easier said than done, because no two gamers – players, GMs, designers – see things exactly the same way. How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations is a collection of short-but-pithy essays on getting everybody on the same page regarding such matters as realism, power level, dice vs. drama, and rules vs. roles. Like its parent, How to Be a GURPS GM, it puts GURPS first but its advice is nigh-universal.

Play nice!


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Old 04-23-2021, 08:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

This is a great idea!

I don't recall seeing something like this from any other company.
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Old 04-23-2021, 08:52 AM   #3
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

An instant purchase. Like the introduction. Expect to enjoy the rest too!

edit: Read about 70% of the book which interested me the most. All good stuff. Well worth the price.
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Old 04-23-2021, 08:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

"This Is Not a Reality Simulator"

I love it.
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Old 04-23-2021, 01:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

I also like how you keep referencing sections of the Basic Set that have been there all along, but which lots of people maybe haven't really paid enough attention to.
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Old 04-23-2021, 01:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg 1 View Post

This is a great idea!
Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg 1 View Post

I don't recall seeing something like this from any other company.
Well, GMing guides are a thing. I wouldn't overlook Robin's Laws of Good Game Mastering, for example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by finn View Post

Read about 70% of the book which interested me the most. All good stuff. Well worth the price.
Thank you. I've been a GM for 42 years and a GURPS GM for 35 years, but this is the first time I've given advice longer than a 'zine article, so it's good to hear that it's of some value!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post

"This Is Not a Reality Simulator"
I expect to get grumped at for that assertion, but it's my sincere belief. ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post

I also like how you keep referencing sections of the Basic Set that have been there all along, but which lots of people maybe haven't really paid enough attention to.
The Basic Set has surprisingly solid advice for GMs. The biggest problem is finding it in almost 600 pages of content.
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Old 04-23-2021, 03:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

Quote:
Originally Posted by How to Be a GURPS GM, Managing Expectations, pg.3
"This Is Not a Reality Simulator"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
I expect to get grumped at for that assertion, but it's my sincere belief. ;)
What? GURPS is not a Reality Simulator?! I thought the book was used by physicists and scholars around the world, as a guide to better understand the universe! What about the "Art imitates life and life imitates GURPS" thing?! My life is a lie!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! [Dramatic Face xD]


Jokes aside, I bought without thinking twice. Enjoying reading so far.
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Old 04-24-2021, 08:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post

I expect to get grumped at for that assertion, but it's my sincere belief. ;)

Only because you expect this.


GRUMP GRUMP GRUMP grump grum gru gr g...


;)

Last edited by hal; 04-24-2021 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 05-01-2021, 02:31 AM   #9
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
The Basic Set has surprisingly solid advice for GMs. The biggest problem is finding it in almost 600 pages of content.
True. Basic Set has a lot of good content on game fundamentals and "how to GM" advice that "experienced" readers gloss over, because "yeah, I know that, get to the good stuff"... but I keep finding things in BS that I never noticed all these years. It's amazing what reading more closely will turn up. (I'm forgetting right now what it was, but about three days ago I ran across some "Wow, that's good advice, I never knew that was there" item in the book.)

Quote:
Well, GMing guides are a thing. I wouldn't overlook Robin's Laws of Good Game Mastering, for example.
Robin's book is good, but many years have passed since. When might we see your system-agnostic guidebook for gamers of all stripes?

Quote:
Second, despite their names, they differ meaningfully in only one respect: Hobby, Professional, and Expert skills are Easy, Average, and Hard placeholders, respectively.
Over here, I opine that the Power-Ups series could offer a book on these three skills, cataloging published examples and advising on their use.
Yep, they're three versions of the same thing; the way I see it, their names are descriptive of typical instances of the skills, but any given instance might be the base for a hobby, or a profession, or a field of expertise, or all of these, depending on its specifics.

Incidentally, that section ("Read Rules, Not TItles") is a nice surprise, and my favorite part of Managing Expectations. It's a great one-stop shop for clearing up a lot of questions, misunderstandings, and wrong assumptions.
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Last edited by tbone; 05-01-2021 at 02:32 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-01-2021, 10:19 AM   #10
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

Quote:
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I expect to get grumped at for that assertion ["This is not a reality simulator."], but it's my sincere belief. ;)
I'll oblige you. Of course a game system cannot be a complete reality simulator. But still, I would point out that to be useable for Generic and Universal roleplaying it is fundamental for the rules to be able to be a 'good enough' reality simulator.

First, many gamers want to play realistic games.

Second, even cinematic and fantastical games rely on a backbone of realism to cover matters that are not specifically altered by the fantabulism of the setting.

Accordingly I would urge you and other GURPS writers to not be too blithe about dismissing the importance of simulation.
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