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Old 05-06-2021, 08:51 PM   #91
kenclary
 
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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Originally Posted by Purple Snit View Post
I'm not sure that arguing for products that customers want, while simultaneously saying you've supported the kickstarters (which must therefore contain products you want) really makes a point to why SJG should overhaul GURPS. Neither does arguing it's too complex while advocating a fifth edition that divides the game into genres. The original issue here is this; new players are scared off because they perceive that GURPS is more complicated than it is. The players on the forums feed that by arguing matters of bean-counting and hair-splitting, and so intimidate newcomers even more. The issue isn't "shouldn't SJG make a new game out of this to encourage new players", but rather "why can't current players be more welcoming to newbies and more encouraging of play without all the frills"!
Ding. That right there.

That's the bootstrapping GURPS needs. None of the debating, arguing, or armchair publishing will improve anything (possibly ever; definitely not without way more players and GMs first).
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Old 05-06-2021, 09:11 PM   #92
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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... The original issue here is this; new players are scared off because they perceive that GURPS is more complicated than it is. The players on the forums feed that by arguing matters of bean-counting and hair-splitting, and so intimidate newcomers even more. The issue isn't "shouldn't SJG make a new game out of this to encourage new players", but rather "why can't current players be more welcoming to newbies and more encouraging of play without all the frills"!
The "complicated" complaint is a bad rap. It's "complicated" because it offers massive flexibility. It's got a whole book on 20-21st century technology, another one on old time tech, another for ultra tech, another for bio tech, FOUR magic systems, ... etc. But it can be accessed for simple play using an 'ultra-lite rule summary of just a handful of pages.

I also think it's a bad rap to blame deep-knowledge fans for exploring detailed interpretation among themselves. Why shouldn't we? It's hardly unique among hobbyists.

As for welcoming new players, at least on this forum we are very welcoming. Newbies get prompt and friendly advice on whatever they ask. If they ask what books they really need for a given purpose they get straight answers most of the time (with the exception of the occasional direction to dig up obscure Pyramid articles).

But frankly, I don't think it should be on fans to make the system accessible. We've invested our time and thought into using it as it is. Having done so, it's not our responsibility to adjust it, speculatively, for an audience we (evidently) were not part of when we took on the system for ourselves.

The publisher has the power to adjust and the function of finding out what needs to adjust to. Existing fans have neither the wherewithal, the knowledge, nor the obligation to do what the publisher should do.
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Old 05-07-2021, 06:04 AM   #93
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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2) Differentiate -- stop chasing D&D's table scraps, find the second, third or fourth etc. most popular genres and OWN them.
I dont think they are chasing D&Ds table scraps. Frankly I think GURPS does fantasy better in terms of mechanics. The biggest issue is that D&D has phenomenal depth in many facets of the genre because its only one genre.

If your worried about why D&D is more popular you have to really look at why, and a lot of it is not the Rule Set. At the end of the day, no matter how you slice it GURPS is still the superior rule set. Its just getting it in front of players and showing them it IS a better rule set. Sadly with no real VTT support, no Con's during Corona, no Twitch stream and several extremely popular, well spoken, and really polished Youtube channels for D&D but really very very little for GURPS (I know I look all the time), GURPS is just going to lag. If you do a search for GURPS on Youtube with a blank browser/VM/VPN so there is no previous data for the algorithm to use, you get a a bunch of GURPS reviews (honest but not all favorable to GURPS), and 2 actual "game play" channels before it starts pushing you to D&D. Thats a problem.

Which does bring up why doesn't GURPS have a decent "How to be a GM / How to use GURPS" channel that uses GURPS as the example ruleset. Matt Coleville is a really good example, the vast majority of his "how to GM" are 95% spot on applicable to any ruleset, but he uses D&D so that's what his examples come from and that's the system many of his watchers use... because he does. Why doesn't GURPS have such a spokesperson (I promise you I'm not that guy, my voice is not suited for video [probably boarders on a -1 reaction]). Why hasnt SJG noticed that there is a desert here just waiting for some decent content, since there hasnt been a Fan to step forward, SJG needs to.

Critical Role was a very unique phenomenon that could probably never be "duplicated" organically. Yes its unscripted, but its a collection of adult voice actors that share an ability to submerge into their character and tell a story without worrying about the camera and its also a showcase for their talets, its a very unique collection of people that would be very hard to duplicate without making it a "Job". Again the ruleset of choice was D&D, and thus a large portion of their fans will use D&D.

I do need to give HUGE Kudos to the few people and groups that HAVE done GURPS youtube videos (Nolinquisitor, Kobold Cafe, easyGURPS na (solo play), and a few sort of one off guest stuff with Mook and various RPG groups "trying GURPS for a video or three"). I have watched everyone one of them, and no matter how "low end the production value is" I have enjoyed every one. Even the ones I haven't found again recently, but for them its a lot of work for little return for them. They are truly just groups of players that are videoing their game play for the most part and Nolinquisitor does it in English as a second language HUGE RESPECT for just putting it out there!

I think SJG really needs to invest in finding a person or a couple of people that can make the consistent once a week 10-15min video content taking people through using pieces of the game. At least when someone searches for GURPS they will get some sort of content that is useful, up to date and not a review of a product but how to run the system. Focus on Basics first. That will kill more than a year, then branch out into adding other books but always tying it back to Basic. This is where you start getting people interested in trying it. Show GMs how easy it can be and then start showing how to add things to really start making it cool and a little more complex. Show various Genres, make a combat in Medfan for sword and board plus one that adds magic and archery, make a combat in 1700s for pirates and cannons, make a one in western for black powder vs bullets, a horror in modern, a scifi... that's probably 12 videos right, there 4-5 to get through the basics of how char creation affects combat and then a video showcasing each genre. How magic works and how to build spells in basic how they factor in combat. Potions, Alchemy, Technology, how they factor in, what page number. Sci-fi has its own sets of categories, show how a medpac is similar to a healing potion mechanically.

Keep char creation to simple, limited, one sided, Stereotypes (Fighter, thief, mage, healer, gunslinger, pirate, beat cop, nurse, mechanic, pilot, hacker) and lower numbers like 125-150 to focus on specific abilities, 250+ is too much for people starting out, its like dropping a little kid in a food court and telling them they can have anything they want ... you'll be there all day, there will be tears and there may be vomiting, anything else is the exception not the rule.


SJG has missed a big chance to control the narrative with Youtube. If fans aren't going to do it for free (I have jobs already) then SJG needs to invest in it. You already have a lot of really smart people that do this kind of thing for a living. If you can do it at a Con you can do it for some "how to run a GURPS game" but you do need to tick the right boxes for audio/video and not everyone does.
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Old 05-07-2021, 07:37 AM   #94
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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Which does bring up why doesn't GURPS have a decent "How to be a GM / How to use GURPS" channel that uses GURPS as the example ruleset. [...] Why hasnt SJG noticed that there is a desert here just waiting for some decent content, since there hasnt been a Fan to step forward, SJG needs to.
No, the fans need to. SJG don't have the manpower and money to produce such things. They've tried in the past but couldn't sustain it (e.g., Fnordcast).

You need an intersection between "plays GURPS," "makes YouTube videos," and "is looking for something new to make YouTube videos about." That's a pretty small field.
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Old 05-07-2021, 07:53 AM   #95
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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No, the fans need to. SJG don't have the manpower and money to produce such things. They've tried in the past but couldn't sustain it (e.g., Fnordcast).

You need an intersection between "plays GURPS," "makes YouTube videos," and "is looking for something new to make YouTube videos about." That's a pretty small field.
They should find the best most photogenic/charismatic GM they can and beg/incentivise him or her to post a weekly VTT game session on youtube with overt GURPS branding. And they should market the hell out of it with viral methods. And they should make it possible for some viewers to join in playing.
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:41 AM   #96
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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No, the fans need to. SJG don't have the manpower and money to produce such things. They've tried in the past but couldn't sustain it (e.g., Fnordcast).
The problem is that was in 2008 when SJG production of things GURPS had really fallen off. The GURPSwiki has a Years Published category.

While it isn't complete you will see that year for year Classic GURPS book production was far above what came out for 4e. The period of 3.5e (1996-2004) seems to be the most prolific. The books for 3.x got updates while the rest didn't either because the license had run out or the book simply didn't sale.
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Old 06-21-2021, 02:42 PM   #97
Tuk the Weekah
 
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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Well put! This is something that I have struggled to convey to others over the years. Saying GURPS is realistic makes people think that the game is a complex simulation. I switched to saying GURPS is believable or GURPS "makes sense", but those still don't quite get the point across.
Rant alert:

GURPS fans are amazing at completely mis-marketing the game. I don't know what it is, but we actually sell the game to its weaknesses and completely ignore its core selling point:

GURPS is the easiest RPG to learn on the flipping planet.

Learning GURPS is kinda like learning the guitar in that it can take years to master but anyone can learn the basics quite easily. Heck, it's easier to learn how to play than Yahtzee. Want to do something? Roll 3 dice, see what happens.
  • Want to hit someone? Roll 3 dice; see what happens
  • Want to cast a spell? Roll 3 dice, see what happens
  • Want to disarm a bomb? Roll 3 dice, see what happens
  • Want to pilot your way through an asteroid belt? Roll 3 dice, see what happens
  • Want to seduce a super-spy? Roll 3 dice, see what happens

GURPS isn't complicated. It's dead simple--everything runs off the exact same mechanic. You can literally teach someone how to play the game in five minutes. In fact, that could be the core concept of a YouTube channel--watch us teach Player X how to play GURPS in five minutes. It could be people who don't play RPGs at all, people who run D20-based games, people who only play computer games, celebs and pseudo-celebs, whatever; the only condition is that only the channel host has played GURPS before. You have a pre-set overview of the basics, give each player a premade character based on a different genre, and then show the game in play as the players learn the game in real time on the fly.

People don't go to a restaurant (when we could go to a restaurant, back in the pre-plague days) to listen to someone cooking a steak. They go there to eat.

Stop selling the sizzle, start selling the steak.

GURPS is easy.
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Old 06-21-2021, 06:24 PM   #98
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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GURPS is easy.
Only if someone generates a character for you.

And even then, I think you are sweeping considerable complexity under the rugs with

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Originally Posted by Tuk the Weekah View Post
Heck, it's easier to learn how to play than Yahtzee. Want to do something? Roll 3 dice, see what happens.
  • Want to hit someone? Roll 3 dice; see what happens
because seeing what happens when someone hits someone in GURPS is often an involved procedure. It may involve blocks, dodges. margin of success, hit location, damage type, split armour type, hardened armour, DR reduction, a damage roll, flexible armour, hit location and damage type again, major wounds, crippling wounds, mortal wounds, shock, stunning, knockdown, knockback, having 1/3 or fewer of your hit points left, rolling to avoid unconsciousness, and rolling death checks. Just what's involved there depends on a lot of situational and conditional checks.
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Old 06-21-2021, 07:04 PM   #99
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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I think this has set back Gurps the most over the last 20 years. The most visible people talking about Gurps publicly seem to be the ones clinging to the idea that Gurps is a simulator and that has turned off a lot of people.

I think this product can do a lot to help Gurps' misunderstood reputation. I try to point out Gurps is a toolkit and just "use the options you want" on other forums. I also believe there has been a change in "climate" on these forums recently (the place I still believe people curious about Gurps get their first real look at it) has been in a very positive direction.
I can't agree with this more. I definitely get a lot of people think that way.

For me at least, when I realized just how much of a toolkit GURPS was that really hooked me. I love to build worlds but now I can really build worlds in the same way a novelist can invent a world. A unique magic system, a distinct flavor, it's all possible and well done.

I also want to say that the more I've studied 4e the more I can see what a fantastic upgrade it was overall. I think the toolkit aspect is far more pronounced in 4e than in 3e. I think you as a company should perhaps lead with that idea more. I realize that it's not for every group but where the GMs go especially the good ones a lot of players will follow. And a lot of good GMs want that flexibility.

I've bought the basic set, and six more books in the last month. I've got two more on order. This I think will sate me for a bit. Either that or I need to get a second job. Hey people are hiring right now. ;-). I've picked up some of the smaller pdfs too.

I think the whole business plan of a flagship book on amazon in print and then a bunch of specialized smaller (and cheaper) books for greater focus is a really great idea for how to distribute content. There is a reason you eat a whole bag of potato chips. One more is just not that much.
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Old 06-21-2021, 07:04 PM   #100
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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They should find the best most photogenic/charismatic GM they can and beg/incentivise him or her to post a weekly VTT game session on youtube with overt GURPS branding. And they should market the hell out of it with viral methods. And they should make it possible for some viewers to join in playing.
I agree. Just pay someone if you have to!
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