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Old 12-01-2008, 04:17 PM   #41
DouglasCole
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Default Re: New to GURPs; not sure where to start

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xplo
The people in those debates are nitpicking. Damage in GURPS isn't 100% realistic, but it's a reasonably good simulation of real life, and much, much more realistic (and gritty) than D&D is.
As a person involved in the debate in question, I agree completely.

The net/net of all that discussion seems to be that, if anything, bow damage is flatter than the GURPS ST tables make it out, but at the ST10-14 level for a longbow, you're basically in the right place (1d-1 to 1d+2 impaling damage).
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Old 12-01-2008, 04:17 PM   #42
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Default Re: New to GURPs; not sure where to start

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Originally Posted by Johnny Angel
Fallout was based on the GURPs system from what I understand.
As I understand it, that was the original plan, but the two companies had irreconcilable differences over how the GURPS IP was being used.

The SPECIAL system that Fallout eventually got isn't really that much like GURPS, but there are some similarities.

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I would feel uncomfortable telling a dwarf pc that he's not allowed to be friends with an elf pc or that he's required to react in a negative way toward elves (for an example.) When creating a race I would be sure to have information available which discusses that race's outlook on things, but I'd prefer that the player roleplay those things willingly and not be forced to do so. If the player roleplays their character differently then I would imagine they would have a reason for thinking differently than a typical member of their race.
- Remember when you're designing a race template that nearly every member of the race will fit that template (and the ones who don't are probably freaks of nature and/or crazy, depending). This means, for instance, that you shouldn't make dwarves have Intolerance: Elves unless you really want every dwarf in the world to be some kind of racist. Instead, you could add something like "many dwarves have Intolerance: Elves" to your description, and then players could choose whether or not they want to play an Intolerant dwarf.

- Also remember that, for the most part, players choose disadvantages when designing their characters. You're not really forcing them to do anything except what they said they'd do. If they decide that they're not happy playing that disadvantage after all, then you might allow them to buy it off with earned points. Or, if they're not happy with the character at all, they might retire the character and bring in a new one. Some GMs allow players to redesign characters somewhat during their first few sessions, if they feel that the way they want to play the character is different from the way the character was originally designed.

- Also remember that you're free to forbid disadvantages or even entire characters if they're inappropriate for your game. In this case, you might have looked at the Intolerant dwarf and said "hey, wait, this isn't going to work with the elf in the party!" You could then have pointed out that PCs shouldn't consider each other scum before they've even met and you'd like him to make his character fit with the rest of the party.
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Old 12-01-2008, 04:49 PM   #43
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Default Re: New to GURPs; not sure where to start

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Originally Posted by Xplo
- Also remember that you're free to forbid disadvantages or even entire characters if they're inappropriate for your game. In this case, you might have looked at the Intolerant dwarf and said "hey, wait, this isn't going to work with the elf in the party!" You could then have pointed out that PCs shouldn't consider each other scum before they've even met and you'd like him to make his character fit with the rest of the party.
Yes, yes, a million times yes. Before anyone starts getting down and dirty spending character points and scribbling/moving electrons in character design, each player should, in public or in private, sketch out a character concept and motivation with you. If your vision of your world (for example) has Dwarves and Elves as implacable, bitter, irreconcilable enemies, then you need to know whether (a) the group you're doing is not going to work, having half dwarves and half elves, or (b) you better reconfigure your racial templates to make that party unusual, strained ("I'll be dead before I see the Ring in the hands of an Elf!"), but viable.

Also, you want to make sure that advantages, disads, and character archetypes, if any, fit with your world. If you have a society where men are second class citizens and considered valuable property or slaves, it will strain credulity to have seven "freemen" walking around the Capital. Or a mutant one-eyed cripple, who's somehow the Captain of His Majesty's Own Royal Commandos.

Some of these discussions will lead to really cool new plot points; others will head major campaign issues off at the pass. In any case, they're worth having.
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Old 12-01-2008, 04:59 PM   #44
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Default Re: New to GURPs; not sure where to start

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Originally Posted by Johnny Angel
At some point in D&D (regardless of edition) the PCs get to a power point at which they are above the rest of the world.

(...)

Aside from that, I'd like to try a more gritty game. I'd like to try something in which my fantasy is at least somewhat grounded in reality to some extent.

(...)

Conan has nearly super-human strength and battle skills, and he might be able to single handedly chop down a lot of people, but in the process he still gets hurt or injured most of the time, and no matter how strong he is, he still can't take on an entire army by himself.
Sounds like GURPS is a good system for your needs. It may take you a little while to find the right balance between "realistic" and "larger than life".

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I like the concept of "skill challenges" which is used in D&D 4E. Basically, a skill challenge sets the difficulty for a certain skill such as trying to win over the help of the king. Instead of simply making one diplomacy roll and succeeding, it may take multiple successes to plead your case. A diplomacy skill challenge might require 4 successes before 2 failures; if you fail twice you say something which causes the king not to help your or you insult him or whatever the DM decides.
Does D&D 4 still use 1d20 for skill checks? If so, there's a game design issue here you may want to consider.

When you're rolling a single die, the probability curve is flat; you're as likely to roll any particular number as you are to roll any other particular number. And if your character was a pretty good diplomat, and had to roll an 8 or better to convince the king.. well, there's still a really good chance (35%) he could fail. What the skill challenge you describe does is favor an average. If that same character makes half a dozen rolls, he'll probably make more of them than he fails, meaning that he'll probably end up convincing the king.. which is fine, because that's what we'd expect. In other words, you're making the mechanic less "wild".

Since GURPS uses 3d6 to resolve these things, the probability curve becomes a bell curve. Anyone who's good at doing something will rarely fail, except when that thing is particularly difficult. Here, if your character was a pretty good diplomat, he'd probably have a skill of at least 13.. and instead of having a 35% chance of blowing his roll, he'd only have a 16% chance. (At skill 14, it'd be about 10%.) The means are different, but the result is about the same: people usually succeed at things they should succeed at, and usually fail at things they should fail at. There's no need to make multiple rolls to smooth out the results.

Having said that: it's up to you. And there are times when GURPS recommends making multiple rolls, usually when someone is undertaking a long, continuous action (such as a car chase through San Francisco, or struggling to hold up a heavy portcullis while people run through it).
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:01 PM   #45
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Default Re: New to GURPs; not sure where to start

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Originally Posted by blacksmith
Lots of mental disads are essentially "My character is a jerk, and has problems interacting with others because of this. As this limits his actions and interactions with others he gets points for it."

It seems like in your game the best character to play would be the combat monster with Pacifism: Total non violence, and just ignore the disad as you will not enforce it in any way. This is free points.

What I was trying to say in my earlier post was that I was considering not having those "faults" available. Dwarves might not like elves, but I would expect my players to roleplay that on their own and not have the GM (me) tell them how to roleplay their character. After all, it is their character.
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:18 PM   #46
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Default Re: New to GURPs; not sure where to start

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Originally Posted by Xplo
Sounds like GURPS is a good system for your needs. It may take you a little while to find the right balance between "realistic" and "larger than life".



Does D&D 4 still use 1d20 for skill checks? If so, there's a game design issue here you may want to consider.

When you're rolling a single die, the probability curve is flat; you're as likely to roll any particular number as you are to roll any other particular number. And if your character was a pretty good diplomat, and had to roll an 8 or better to convince the king.. well, there's still a really good chance (35%) he could fail. What the skill challenge you describe does is favor an average. If that same character makes half a dozen rolls, he'll probably make more of them than he fails, meaning that he'll probably end up convincing the king.. which is fine, because that's what we'd expect. In other words, you're making the mechanic less "wild".

Since GURPS uses 3d6 to resolve these things, the probability curve becomes a bell curve. Anyone who's good at doing something will rarely fail, except when that thing is particularly difficult. Here, if your character was a pretty good diplomat, he'd probably have a skill of at least 13.. and instead of having a 35% chance of blowing his roll, he'd only have a 16% chance. (At skill 14, it'd be about 10%.) The means are different, but the result is about the same: people usually succeed at things they should succeed at, and usually fail at things they should fail at. There's no need to make multiple rolls to smooth out the results.

Having said that: it's up to you. And there are times when GURPS recommends making multiple rolls, usually when someone is undertaking a long, continuous action (such as a car chase through San Francisco, or struggling to hold up a heavy portcullis while people run through it).

Yeah, D&D still uses the d20. Basically the point behind skill challenges is more for the car chase scene that you described and similar tasks which take some time. Instead of just being one roll and done like it would have been in D&D 3E, it takes several rolls.

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To touch upon why I asked about the missile weapon thread which is elsewhere on the forums: If at some point in a fantasy campaign I were to allow people to invent guns or if guns were to become available I'd like the damage from missile weapons to be built on the same scale as the higher TL weapons.
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:58 PM   #47
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Default Re: New to GURPs; not sure where to start

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Originally Posted by Johnny Angel
If at some point in a fantasy campaign I were to allow people to invent guns or if guns were to become available I'd like the damage from missile weapons to be built on the same scale as the higher TL weapons.
I'm not certain I understand you correctly. Are you saying that you'd want guns to do about as much damage as arrows?

Generally, firearms are more powerful than arrows, and GURPS reflects this; small pistols are about as damaging (ranging between 1d and 2d), large pistols more so (3d is typical) and rifles considerably more so (4d to 7d). However, if you want to invent some sort of fantasy gun that only does as much damage as an arrow, it would be pretty easy to do.
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Old 12-01-2008, 06:08 PM   #48
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Default Re: New to GURPs; not sure where to start

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Angel
To touch upon why I asked about the missile weapon thread which is elsewhere on the forums: If at some point in a fantasy campaign I were to allow people to invent guns or if guns were to become available I'd like the damage from missile weapons to be built on the same scale as the higher TL weapons.
If your bowmen's ST is in the normal human range, rather than superhuman, this is not an issue; things scale more or less correctly in the ST10-14 range. Guns done the way GURPS does guns will be highly believable. If you allow or deal with ST25 longbows or something, then you might get some less realistic/believable results, but given the genre, I doubt it'll unbalance things or ruin the game.

Xplo was correct: we're nitpicking in the other thread.
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Old 12-01-2008, 06:18 PM   #49
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Default Re: New to GURPs; not sure where to start

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Originally Posted by Xplo
I'm not certain I understand you correctly. Are you saying that you'd want guns to do about as much damage as arrows?

Generally, firearms are more powerful than arrows, and GURPS reflects this; small pistols are about as damaging (ranging between 1d and 2d), large pistols more so (3d is typical) and rifles considerably more so (4d to 7d). However, if you want to invent some sort of fantasy gun that only does as much damage as an arrow, it would be pretty easy to do.

From what I gathered in the other thread, there was some sort of argument about guns being overall less lethal than low-tech missile weapons. I didn't quite know how to word what I was trying to say.
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Old 12-01-2008, 06:20 PM   #50
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Default Re: New to GURPs; not sure where to start

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Originally Posted by Johnny Angel
I think that after looking at the GURPs rules that I might be better of trying to start out with a modern campaign instead of a fantasy one. The reason I think that is because I feel that it might be easier to learn the rules if the things that are available in game are things which are more familiar to me (i.e. guns, ammo, cars, etc.)
Yeah, that's one advantage of a "modern" campaign (by which I mean anything set in GURPS TL4 to GURPS TL8--say about AD 1700 to AD 2020). Another advantage, which is really only important for your first campaign) is that you get to practise with a limited set of the rules: you and your character-players get to get really comfortable with the basics of character generation, task resolution, and combat without having to learn GURPS magic and powers and whacky sci-fi technology all at once. Using the real world as a setting has a similar advantage of not having to learn about the world at the same time as you are learning about the rules.

If you and you players are really only comfortably familiar with D&D I have a hint to assist a change of genre. I suggest that you borrow or hire a stack of movies or TV-show DVDs of the same genre that you are going to run. Sit down with your character players, a slab of beer and a big bowl of pretzels and watch two genre movies (or equivalent TV episodes) together before you generate characters. Then watch another movie or two between character generation and starting play. The purpose is both to whip up a bit of enthusiasm and to remind everyone of genre expectations. It is important to get it clear in everyone's minds what kinds of things characters do in, say, a Western or a Kung Fu movie or a Film Noir mystery or a James Bond flick. Unless they have an idea of genre expectations clearing in their minds role-payers tend to fall back on default habits, which in the case of D&D players is usually killing people and stealing their stuff in room-to-room fighting. Somehow James Bond 007 or Indiana Jones or Star Wars doesn't turn out right when approached that way. But unless the character-players a reminded what to do, and unless the GM keeps in mind what sorts of adventure hooks are appropriate, it is all to easy to fall into old habits.
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