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Old 04-24-2021, 02:33 AM   #11
DaosusLeghki
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

I liked the booklet. It was a nice and pleasant read, and summarized a lot of the feelings I have about the GURPS system. That is, that the Basic Set is remarkably complete and it helps a lot to just read. the. book. The system-neutral advice was decent and accurate. I've read most of it in other books, but there's nothing esoteric about talking to your players to prevent problems. I suspect most people will know most stuff in the book, but it is good to have it presented in front of you in a concise manner.

Overall, I thought it was worth the purchase. If this were published by anyone else, it would have been 50 pages and would have said less with more words.
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Old 04-24-2021, 03:03 AM   #12
WingedKagouti
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Pretty much this. I see my job as writer and designer as not, "Here's another brick in the wall of total rules coverage," but rather, "Here, let me inspire you and give you more random ideas to riff on."
For me the rules in a book are there to back up whatever setting and ideas are present in the rest of the book. They're a tool to help describe characters, places, events and so on as well as how things might interact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
I sigh and roll my eyes whenever people want a hermetic rules solution. 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.
I believe the "rules as scripture" mindset in part stems from people wanting to compare their characters and adventures, which can end up in a lot of "but that's not how the rules work".

I have certainly done my share of "that's not RAW" in discussions on this forum, but I use it mostly as a "there's no guarantee a GM will let you do this". Granted, just about everything needs GM approval (even RAW stuff), but as long as you aren't obnoxious about it (and it doesn't break the story) a GM is generally much more likely to allow RAW stuff than non-RAW stuff in my experience.
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Old 04-24-2021, 07:02 AM   #13
Randyman
 
Join Date: May 2009
Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
"This Is Not a Reality Simulator"

I love it.
My signature states my position quite clearly.
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"Despite (GURPS) reputation for realism and popularity with simulationists, the numbers are and always have been assessed in the service of drama." - Kromm
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Old 04-24-2021, 08:10 AM   #14
Stormcrow
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ronkonkoma, NY
Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

Quote:
Second, despite their names, they differ meaningfully in only one respect: Hobby, Professional, and Expert skills are Easy, Average, and Hard placeholders, respectively.
This might be the single most striking thing I learned in this PDF. I never before noticed the relationship between these skill placeholders.
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Old 04-24-2021, 08:47 AM   #15
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
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 04-24-2021, 08:59 AM   #16
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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Originally Posted by WingedKagouti View Post

I believe the "rules as scripture" mindset in part stems from people wanting to compare their characters and adventures, which can end up in a lot of "but that's not how the rules work".

I have certainly done my share of "that's not RAW" in discussions on this forum, but I use it mostly as a "there's no guarantee a GM will let you do this". Granted, just about everything needs GM approval (even RAW stuff), but as long as you aren't obnoxious about it (and it doesn't break the story) a GM is generally much more likely to allow RAW stuff than non-RAW stuff in my experience.
For what it is worth - and I've said this privately elsewhere. The only time RAW matters, is when...

Discussing RAW.

I could easily discuss what the house rules are for my campaigns, but that would be tantamount to reciting my own poetry without anyone really being interested.

I could for example, make available a spreadsheet that I developed for use with GURPS mages who want to cast a spell ceremoniously. It should not be formulaic with mathematical precision - but sitting there and actually rolling reaction dice for 100 NPC's is a royal pain in the buttocks. I could make available my "time use" spreadsheets so that people can handle down time by having their players actively fill it out for the specified time that passes. But again - that's not something that TOO many people want or even need.

In the end? Forums are places for people to exchange ideas, ask for clarifications of the rules they're unsure about, or ask "if I make this change, what are the ramifications?". I will often times pick up a product (GURPS or not) just to see what inspiration I can draw from it for use with my games. I've been known to pick up WARGAMES for ideas for face to face gaming.

Before TOO long, after I get my Black Seas 1/700 scale minatures for Napoleonic era tabletop gaming - I will use those miniatures for my GURPS SWASHBUCKLER campaign. The three of us who still game these days together, are all Former Fencers (one is still an active fencer actually) and we STILL quote lines from THE PRINCESS BRIDE or THE THREE MUSKETEERS from time to time.

RUN OUT THE GUNS, along with PIRATES! (Also by Iron Crown) plus a slew of materials set in the age of piracy in the Caribbean will draw us yet again SOMEDAY.

Rules as Written? What's that? We've loved trying to make GURPS instinctive and play the characters as if they were living breathing individuals. That is the "Role" part of the playing. For us, we're watching a improvisational play being put on and LOVING the story. God help me when I get put into a nursing home.

;)

On that note - rules help build structures, and structures help support things. That is what GURPS is for me - it SUPPORTS role playing.
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Old 04-24-2021, 01:06 PM   #17
Anders
 
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
I sigh and roll my eyes whenever people want a hermetic rules solution. 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. I think we spent more time spitballing crazy ideas than reading, but the reading gave us more crazy ideas.
It's nice to know I'm not the only one. We did this in the 80's as well.

Never let the rules interfere with your fun.
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Old 04-25-2021, 05:10 AM   #18
bocephus
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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Originally Posted by pestigor View Post
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 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.
This has always been the difficulty of answering questions for new people. Because there are often two answers.

Here is your answer RAW based on X, Y, and Z.

Here is the answer based on how I absorb X, Y, Z and sort of do this because its good enough and game play keeps moving and players can stay involved.

I find that telling new GMs or maybe less experienced GMs that its ok to set the rules aside, as long as you communicate clearly to your players this will be the case. This is where I see most conversations go wrong. The GM hasn't considered it, or "trusted" the system to make the conversation something they dont have to deal with "What do the rules say?" .... this leads to the problems.

Its why I always set concrete boundaries for what supplements are allowed for a Game/Setting and why you will never ever ever see me reference Gun-fu or anything gun related for anything but a damage stat (its also why I don't run games with guns/gun powder). Guns are too much math, physics options and stats to deal with for Fun IMO, which may not be your opinion but it is mine.

I like GURPS because its well thought out and they really have tried to lend some legitimacy to the overall system. Similar to the metric system being largely based on water, GURPS has a balance that I find simple and elegant. When it doesn't "work" its usually pretty obvious why not and simple to deal with, but you have to be willing to make that decision and carry it forward consistently.

I think having a more comprehensive and centralized Bestiary would be more valuable to bringing new players/GMs to GURPS than another book on how to GM, but again this is my opinion and worth exactly as much as any other opinion (current rate seems to be about 16cents USD).
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Old 04-25-2021, 08:33 AM   #19
arcanus
 
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Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

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Originally Posted by bocephus View Post
This has always been the difficulty of answering questions for new people. Because there are often two answers.

Here is your answer RAW based on X, Y, and Z.

Here is the answer based on how I absorb X, Y, Z and sort of do this because its good enough and game play keeps moving and players can stay involved.
I agree with the sentiment its not a Reality Simulator and it being a toolkit, my friends and I were the next generation of 80s kids who cut our teeth on the old dragon then wanted our freedom, we wrote our own games one based on the Inner Space movie, the simplest of rules and had fun.

We discovered Gurps created a Streampunk supers game and my crazy players searched for Atlantis, tales of legend still talked about 30 years later.

Proscriptive tightly wound metaplots and written in stone rules can steer the GM and players away from letting loose with their story, my personnel opinion is that 'Canon' is too frequently quoted as a reason why you can't.

I guess the missing element in my mind for Gurps is Campaign Seeds around the existing settings, more seeds to start the creative process in new to game or long in the tooth players.

I love the toolbox approach I think maybe alongside the crunch its more seeds we need to strike the creative balance between a truly flexible utility belt of options and those gentle nudges that a wide eyed new GM might find helpful.

Pyramid was great for this, seeds and gems to take the templates that the core settings present and then build upon, however I understand the business behind the game, prioritising of effort and focusing on best returns, so hat doffed to Kromm and the other writers.

I'd love to see and would pay for Campaign seeds, something like Ken Hites different horror modes but for Action, IW, Cabal, MH, Space. etc, take your pick, mix and match, take the inspirational nugget and season to taste personnally I think that would help to cross the gap from a toolkit of rules to an evolving set of settings whilst avoiding the hardcore metaplot.

Thats why I log into this forum daily I'm ever curious to see how other GMs and players have taken the core settings and evolved them.
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Old 04-25-2021, 06:53 PM   #20
Facu.C
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Default Re: How to Be a GURPS GM: Managing Expectations

Hello. There's a typo on page 14 where it references GURPS Low-Tech Companion 2: Daily Life and Economics instead of companion 3.
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