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Old 04-26-2021, 09:19 AM   #21
Kromm
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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Originally Posted by Facu.C View Post

Hello. There's a typo on page 14 where it references GURPS Low-Tech Companion 2: Daily Life and Economics instead of companion 3.
Argh, sorry about that. I've submitted a correction. That should happen in the next update.
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Old 04-26-2021, 09:54 AM   #22
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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But that's probably because I'm from the late 1970s cohort of gamers . . . we made up everything and saw game supplements as ideas, not scripture.
Same here. In my early OD&D days, I rapidly decided that TSR claimed far more authority than they could justify, given how little sense so much of their advice made. I gravitated to GURPS because Occam's razor and reality checks were important tools, and that's never changed.

Managing Expectations is a fine book; I was surprised and saddened when I hit the end of it.
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Old 04-26-2021, 10:28 AM   #23
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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Managing Expectations is a fine book; I was surprised and saddened when I hit the end of it.
Thank you. As of this year, I'll have been a gamer for 42 years, a GM for 41 years of that, a GURPS GM for 35 years, and the GURPS Line Editor for 26 years. So, I may have other useful advice for further installments, if this one sells reasonably well.
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Old 04-26-2021, 10:54 AM   #24
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

Building and balancing encounters is something I find troublesome so I would welcome a book on that.
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Old 04-26-2021, 11:07 AM   #25
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How to Be a GURPS GM for Fun and Profit!
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Old 04-26-2021, 03:05 PM   #26
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

I've never had a problem with Mary Sues in GURPS. Even when there have ended up being pretty steep differences in CP there's always a piece of equipment or some easy to learn technique that makes your character a threat in the fight and also capable of being effective at your chosen role. One of my favorite aspects of GURPS is that it's power curve allows you to grow towards desired improvements steadily without outstripping threats.
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Old 04-29-2021, 08:20 PM   #27
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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This might be the single most striking thing I learned in this PDF. I never before noticed the relationship between these skill placeholders.
This is actually my favorite house rule simplification when introducing new players. Much of the skill list can be consolidated into Expert, Hobby, and Professional skills making the skills section much less intimidating without sacrificing compatibility. The resulting list comes in at around 60 skills which is a lot more digestible for more casual gamers or those just dipping their toes in to see if they like the system.
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Old 05-01-2021, 02:31 AM   #28
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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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.)

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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?

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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   #29
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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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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Old 05-01-2021, 10:59 AM   #30
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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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.
In the PDF, Kromm defines what GURPS means by "realism": plausible consequences of actions, verisimilitude, and consistency. It doesn't matter whether the rules work the way the world works so long as these elements are maintained. You can play a realistic game without simulating reality. GURPS, he points out, defaults to realistic abstraction.

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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.
That's just another way of saying that anything that if you ignore the cinematic parts of a game, you're left with the realistic parts. But that still doesn't mean you have to simulate reality, just provide the consequences, verisimilitude, and consistency.

To play in a cinematic game is to abandon plausible consequences for narratively appropriate ones, to ignore verisimilitude where it isn't wanted, and to subordinate consistency to narrative convenience. ("Are you telling me you could have gotten out of those cuffs at any time?" "No, not at any time. Only when it was funny.")

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Accordingly I would urge you and other GURPS writers to not be too blithe about dismissing the importance of simulation.
He's not blithe about it at all. He devotes nearly a full page to it in this 14-page document.
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