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Old 12-01-2008, 06:43 PM   #51
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Default Re: New to GURPs; not sure where to start

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Originally Posted by DouglasCole
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.
Seconded.

One way to look at the character representation system in an RPG is as a standardised language for precisely describing characters. As is the case with most languages, in GURPS it is possible to talk nonsense, or to say things that are inappropriate. The big reason that D&D is so rigid and limiting is that it tries to make the grammar of its character description language so strict that all nonsense is ungrammatical, and that inappropriate characters cannot be described. Since appropriateness is dependent on context, D&D thus limits itself to a narrow sub-genre of fantasy.

GURPS tries to be appropriate to any genre, so its character description language has to be capable of describing, say, James Bond, Sam Gamgee, and Worsel the Valentian (a twenty-foot, winged, telepathic snake with high technological skills). That doesn't mean that James Bond would be an appropriate character in Lord of the Rings, nor that Worsel the Valentian would make sense in Thunderball. Just because a given sentence is grammatical English does not guarantee that it belongs in a given story.

The fact that a GURPS character is rules-legal tells you nothing about whether you are allowed to play it in a given campaign. The rules don't even try to do that. It is the GM's job. (And by "job" I mean "responsibility, duty, obligation".)
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:14 PM   #52
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Default Re: New to GURPs; not sure where to start

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Originally Posted by Johnny Angel
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.
Yes, it is, but if they put a mental disadvantage down on their character sheet, it's not YOU telling them how to roleplay; it's THEM telling you that they intend to roleplay a certain way. If they don't actually want to roleplay the trait, it's their responsibility not to take it.

Certainly, it's possible to take a mental disadvantage with a (15), which means the character will nearly always resist it, or a (12), which means they'll resist it the majority of the time. But on the other hand, if the player is constantly saying, "I don't want to have my character go out looking for a party!" they really shouldn't have taken Compulsive Carousing in the first place. At the very least, they ought to roleplay being tempted and struggling with their own desires.

Players don't always realize this; a certain type of player mentality looks at Bloodlust and thinks "That could get me an extra 20 points to spend on weapons skills!" and doesn't think about being required to go for killing blows all the time, or cut the throats of the fallen, or whatever. And then they either don't use deadly force, or use it and expect there to be no consequences. It's your job as GM to make it clear to them that they will be expected to roleplay whatever they put on their character sheets . . . so they had better make sure that's what they want to roleplay.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:47 PM   #53
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Default Re: New to GURPs; not sure where to start

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Originally Posted by whswhs
Yes, it is, but if they put a mental disadvantage down on their character sheet, it's not YOU telling them how to roleplay; it's THEM telling you that they intend to roleplay a certain way. If they don't actually want to roleplay the trait, it's their responsibility not to take it.

Certainly, it's possible to take a mental disadvantage with a (15), which means the character will nearly always resist it, or a (12), which means they'll resist it the majority of the time. But on the other hand, if the player is constantly saying, "I don't want to have my character go out looking for a party!" they really shouldn't have taken Compulsive Carousing in the first place. At the very least, they ought to roleplay being tempted and struggling with their own desires.

Players don't always realize this; a certain type of player mentality looks at Bloodlust and thinks "That could get me an extra 20 points to spend on weapons skills!" and doesn't think about being required to go for killing blows all the time, or cut the throats of the fallen, or whatever. And then they either don't use deadly force, or use it and expect there to be no consequences. It's your job as GM to make it clear to them that they will be expected to roleplay whatever they put on their character sheets . . . so they had better make sure that's what they want to roleplay.

Bill Stoddard

If I gave points for it and it was on their sheet, then, yeah, I would enforce it since they are getting a benefit from it.

What I was saying earlier was that in general I'd rather have my players roleplay minor quirks willingly rather than have mechanics attached to them. In the case of things such as a fear of heights, bloodlust, extreme greed, and things of that nature I would strongly enforce those because those seem like stronger mental compulsions to me. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I wouldn't want to be a total character-nazi about minor quirks...especially when trying to introduce new people to the system. That's not to say I would be a push over; I would enforce things if people were gaining a benefit from it, but I generally prefer that minor quirks be roleplayed willingly.





I've been talking to some more of the regular group, and they seem even more open to trying something new than I imagined. They especially seem receptive to the idea of doing a modern campaign. I think it will be refreshing for the group to step away from the fantasy genre for a night or two. We all enjoy it, but we've been playing pretty much the same type of game for a few years, so it will be nice to try something different.
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:50 PM   #54
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Default Re: New to GURPs; not sure where to start

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Originally Posted by Johnny Angel
I've been talking to some more of the regular group, and they seem even more open to trying something new than I imagined. They especially seem receptive to the idea of doing a modern campaign. I think it will be refreshing for the group to step away from the fantasy genre for a night or two. We all enjoy it, but we've been playing pretty much the same type of game for a few years, so it will be nice to try something different.
Notes for modern campaigns. Guns are deadly. So your players need some body armor.

Do some practice battles on your own.
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:10 PM   #55
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Default Re: New to GURPs; not sure where to start

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Originally Posted by Johnny Angel
What I was saying earlier was that in general I'd rather have my players roleplay minor quirks willingly rather than have mechanics attached to them.
And that's totally cool. However, if they're getting points for it as a disadvantage, it's not, ipso facto, a minor quirk. It's a significant part of their psychological makeup, so much so that it cause them inconvenience. If they're intolerant but not so intolerant that they can't overlook it when it's convenient, then it's not really a disadvantage, is it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Angel
I've been talking to some more of the regular group, and they seem even more open to trying something new than I imagined. They especially seem receptive to the idea of doing a modern campaign.
Huzzah! Go to e23 and buy GURPS Action 1 and 2.
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:15 PM   #56
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Default Re: New to GURPs; not sure where to start

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Originally Posted by Johnny Angel
What I was saying earlier was that in general I'd rather have my players roleplay minor quirks willingly rather than have mechanics attached to them. In the case of things such as a fear of heights, bloodlust, extreme greed, and things of that nature I would strongly enforce those because those seem like stronger mental compulsions to me. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I wouldn't want to be a total character-nazi about minor quirks...especially when trying to introduce new people to the system. That's not to say I would be a push over; I would enforce things if people were gaining a benefit from it, but I generally prefer that minor quirks be roleplayed willingly.
GURPS has you covered. If it's a minor thing that they're expected to roleplay but can ignore when it would be really harmful, it's a Quirk and they get 1 point for it. My characters tend to have Quirk versions of full-blown Disadvantages a lot, and I often don't come anywhere near the campaign Disadvantage limit because I like my free will.
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:46 PM   #57
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Default Re: New to GURPs; not sure where to start

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Originally Posted by Johnny Angel
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.
Actually, it was the other way. Bows at reasonably heroic but not unrealistic ST values (say, a ST14 Composite Bow with Strongbow Perk and Special exercises for a total of +4 to allowable Bow ST) does thr+3 impale off a base thrust of 1d+2. This is 1d+5 imp (8.5pts average) which is more damage than a .40 caliber pistol (2d+1 pi+) in both penetration (8.5 vs 8pts) and wounding (17pts vs 12pts). That's pushing it, both in terms of what kinds of armor a person armed with such a bow can expect to penetrate, as well as what even larger stuff can do.
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:59 PM   #58
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Default Re: New to GURPs; not sure where to start

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Originally Posted by DouglasCole
Actually, it was the other way. Bows at reasonably heroic but not unrealistic ST values (say, a ST14 Composite Bow with Strongbow Perk and Special exercises for a total of +4 to allowable Bow ST) does thr+3 impale off a base thrust of 1d+2. This is 1d+5 imp (8.5pts average) which is more damage than a .40 caliber pistol (2d+1 pi+) in both penetration (8.5 vs 8pts) and wounding (17pts vs 12pts). That's pushing it, both in terms of what kinds of armor a person armed with such a bow can expect to penetrate, as well as what even larger stuff can do.

So the damage for bows and other low tech missile weapons is determined using the same formula that weapon damages from other TLs and genres use, or no?

There seemed to be some sort of debate about longbows and other such weapons being given more heroic damage values in comparison to firearms. Dead on realism isn't important, but it's a topic which garnered some interest from me.
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:01 PM   #59
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Default Re: New to GURPs; not sure where to start

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Originally Posted by trooper6
Notes for modern campaigns. Guns are deadly. So your players need some body armor.

Do some practice battles on your own.
Another big, big thing about characters with skills in the 12-15 range with firearms is that the range penalties and hit location penalties (which you may want to do without at first; just call all shots to the torso for a few sessions) are HUGE.

The penalty to hit someone in "the torso," which is a no-penalty location, from 20 yards is -6. At 100yds it's -10. So Joe Soldier with Guns(Rifle)-12 with a rifle firing without aiming at a target 100yds away cant' even take the shot (his modified skill is less than 3) and roll the dice. In order to make it count, he must spend one or more seconds taking the Aim action (adds the weapon's Acc rating for rifles +3 to +6), possibly with All-out-Attack(Determined) for another +1, and Bracing for another +1. Even with all that, the net skill for this shot with Skill-12 is (12 - 10 + 4 +1 +1) 8-, which is about a 1 in 4 chance to hit.

This is utterly realistic, but will throw many gamers for a loop, being used to rather higher hit chances.

The OP mentioned he'd been in the millitary; range and qualification shooting is done on a known course with no one shooting back at you; GMs would usually assign a large BONUS to rolls, on the order of +3 to +7, for stationary targets in conditions where your life is not at stake, which all of a sudden makes Joe Soldier with Guns-12 shooting at 300yds (-13) but at a large bonus for being in known and not life threatening conditions (+7) with all that Aim and AoA and Braced stuff with an M16 (Acc 5 +1 AoA +1 Braced = +7) have a net skill of 12 + 7 + 7 -13 = 13, or 5 in 6 shots hitting the target.

The point is that the gunfire rules actually do fairly well against real targets in combat conditions; if the shooter wants to act like it's NOT combat...well, an assault rifle hit to the torso averages 17.5pts of damage. One hit and you're visiting KO land. :-{
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:16 PM   #60
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Default Re: New to GURPs; not sure where to start

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Originally Posted by Johnny Angel
So the damage for bows and other low tech missile weapons is determined using the same formula that weapon damages from other TLs and genres use, or no?
No. The damage is based on an adder to the thrust damage, which is based on strength. This scales up - in the human range - based on each additional point of ST being equal to one point of swing damage or half a point of thrust. This means that for ST values above 14, it's quite possible for GURPS to tell you you're hitting harder than a modern TL8 handgun. With a bow.

The issue is somewhat one of two separate systems, the firearms system and the hand-weapons system, coexisting but not rationalized consistently with each other (in fact, having tried to do so, it's damn hard, so forgiveness reigns here). The firearms system is based on very, very fixed understanding of what "damage" means. For firearms, "Damage" = "penetration of homogeneous steel armor at a ratio of 20d = DR70 = penetrates one inch of RHA steel 50% of the time. This puts all projectile weapons that penetrate armor by virtue of kinetic energy dump on a common scale.

Momentum based weapons, such as swords, maces, fists, and feet, are based on the ST scale established arbitrarily way back when, probably roughly dating from The Fantasy Trip or Man-to-Man or GURPS 1e...which certainly from Gurps 3e and on was that - in normal human range from ST6 to about ST twenty-something - one extra point of ST was meaningful to the character in that it gave you an extra point of swing damage on the average. Thrusting was more or less half this in terms of extra damage per point of ST.

Bows and other muscle or semi-mechanical powered ranged weapons (crossbows, slings, thrown spears) are sort of bastard children here, with characteristics similar to firearms, but measured and quantified in terms of ST.

These two don't coexist well. It's quite possible for a strong character to do enough damage with a FIST that, by strict interpretation of the rules (and a good roll), he can punch through a DR6 steel breastplate.

These two scales have not been reconciled with each other; I'm not sure you can even DO so without really, really mucking things up. So we just accept that hand weapons (and hands, for that matter) are advantaged compared to armor and stuff for good storytelling reasons, and we do a lot of hand-waving to explain why a strong guy can kick for as much damage and penetration, on the average, as being shot with a .38 snubnose revolver.
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