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Old 02-28-2023, 01:55 PM   #1
Filaristil
 
Join Date: Nov 2022
Default Are 3e books still useful for 4e campaigns?

Hi, I'm just wondering if books designed for 3rd edition are still useful for 4th edition campaigns. I've never played 3rd edition (And I'm not sure I want to), but some of the books sound like they could contain information helpful for a few campaigns I want to run. I know that a ton of people pick up GURPS books to use with other systems just for the information inside, but I'm wondering how useful the more mechanical stuff like templates would be for 4e campaigns. I know the rules aren't the exact same, but could I convert the templates to 4e using GURPS Update? I have GURPS Dragons, so would Update do for other 3e books what Dragons' 4e appendix does?

Sorry there are a lot of questions in one post, I'm just wondering if I need to learn 3e to use 3e books.

Also, just to clarify, I'm not talking about the more crunch-heavy books like Vehicles. I know those won't work at all. I'm thinking of specifically the creature-focused books like Faerie, Shapeshifters, and Blood Types; as well as the historical books like Middle Ages, China, Japan, Aztecs, Greece, etc.
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Old 02-28-2023, 02:14 PM   #2
johndallman
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Are 3e books still useful for 4e campaigns?

3e books are definitely useful in 4e games. The best GURPS 4e campaigns I've played or run have been based on 3e material (GURPS WWII, and GURPS Cabal).

You'll want to review stats in 3e books before using them, and the GURPS Update PDF, which is free, will help with that. If you get stuck, this forum can often help.
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Old 02-28-2023, 02:55 PM   #3
Stormcrow
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ronkonkoma, NY
Default Re: Are 3e books still useful for 4e campaigns?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filaristil View Post
I'm wondering how useful the more mechanical stuff like templates would be for 4e campaigns. I know the rules aren't the exact same, but could I convert the templates to 4e using GURPS Update?
The purpose of GURPS Update is not to be a complete rules-conversion between the third and fourth editions. Instead, it is designed to be used by people who already have third-edition player characters in third-edition games and want to switch to a fourth-edition game. GURPS Update will give you a brute-force conversion: not optimzed, not doing things in the fourth-edition way.

For instance, a lot of things that used to be done in the third edition by raising basic attributes are now done by taking advantages that raise only that component of a basic attribute that is relevant. Secondary characteristics in the third edition were invariant, so you had to take an advantage, disadvantage, or skill to change it, and these won't always be obvious. As an example, Running skill used to be the skill you used to increase your Move score via Basic Speed. Now you can just improve your Basic Move independently, and Running has become the skill of avoiding fatigue while running. GURPS Update might mention some of these things, but it won't help much: was the template designer intending that the template give a higher Move or just thought it was suitable to the character?

My advice as far as templates go is to use the published templates as a guide to what the author was trying to do, then either use them merely as inspriation for characters rather than actually plugging in the numbers, or else rewrite them. You can use them almost as they are, but you'll get some weird results.

You may also find monster stats to be a little wonky if used as published. An interesting study: compare the animal stats in the third-edition Basic Set with the same animals in the fourth-edition Basic Set. They're quite different. Again, it might be simpler to just rethink any published animal stats rather than try to "convert" them.
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Old 02-28-2023, 06:20 PM   #4
ericbsmith
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Binghamton, NY, USA. Near the river Styx in the 5th Circle.
Default Re: Are 3e books still useful for 4e campaigns?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filaristil View Post
Also, just to clarify, I'm not talking about the more crunch-heavy books like Vehicles. I know those won't work at all. I'm thinking of specifically the creature-focused books like Faerie, Shapeshifters, and Blood Types; as well as the historical books like Middle Ages, China, Japan, Aztecs, Greece, etc.
In general, yes. Especially for Historical Sourcebooks (Aztecs, Greece, etc), Licensed Settings (e.g. Uplift, Lensman, New Sun), and Worldbooks (Fantasy/Banestorm, Cabal, Autoduel). Somewhat less useful are some of the Genre Sourcebooks - Supers, Faerie, Shapeshifters - because these rely heavily on new rules/powers or templates which must be reworked for 4th Edition. However, all of the Genre advice in those books is still quite useful. And some of them, like any of the first three editions of GURPS Space, stand up very well all on their own.

Of course, many of these books contain a bit of crunch that you'll need to rework. Templates, Equipment, and some rules structures in books like Transhuman Space, WWII, Traveller, etc will need to be evaluated and reworked. But, again, the worldbuilding in these books stands on its own quite well.

The GURPS Ludography does a pretty good job of listing the books which are most useful if used with Fourth Edition.
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Old 02-28-2023, 09:21 PM   #5
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Are 3e books still useful for 4e campaigns?

GURPS 3E books port to GURPS 4E roughly as follows:

Setting background info, general character design: 100% compatible.

Non-weapon Equipment, Armor & Melee Weapons, Spells, Quirks: ~90% compatible.

Most Character Templates, Advantages & Disadvantages, Techniques, Guns & other ranged weapons: ~80% compatible.

Vehicles: 60-80% compatible if you strip out all the extra detail from GURPS 3E.

Many GURPS 3E weapons & gadgets got ported over to GURPS 4E in the Biotech, High Tech, Low Tech, & Ultratech books.

Most GURPS 3E armor & low tech weapons got ported over to GURPS 4E in Martial Arts & the Low Tech series.

Specific volumes of Pyramid provided GURPS 4E conversions for some 3E worldbooks. There are also GURPS 4E conversion books for the Reign of Steel & Transhuman Space settings. GURPS Banestorm is an update, rework, & expansion of GURPS 3E Fantasy. The GURPS 4E Steampunk series updates most of the GURPS 3E Steampunk material. GURPS 4E Horror updates & expands GURPS 3E Horror & some other material.

There are plenty of threads on this forum for converting weapons. There are also some fan-made 3E to 4E conversions of specific items of gear on the web.
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Old 03-01-2023, 07:16 PM   #6
mburr0003
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Default Re: Are 3e books still useful for 4e campaigns?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filaristil View Post
Hi, I'm just wondering if books designed for 3rd edition are still useful for 4th edition campaigns.
Yes, basically anything that hasn't been redone for 4e. But mostly the Historic Setting books, they are usable with virtually no updating needed. The more "setting" or 'creature' source books will take more updating, Like Cabal needs some working on the magic system and Shapeshifters need heavier updating with modern Advantage and Power pricing.

Most older NPCs can be ported straight over (if you're willing to ignore character point total changes), just mind the change in defenses and possibly think about the swap in HP-FP.
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