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Old 10-27-2009, 08:03 PM   #201
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Default Re: GURPS Does It The Hard Way!

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Originally Posted by opposedToGravity View Post
maybe they didnt sell because their basic idea was unappealing to a larger audience.
Maybe. But Steve Jackson has bet big before on things that he thought would appeal to large audiences: Yrth, Infinite Worlds, the Traveller 3I reboot.... So if you're right the problem is that his taste sucks. And your advice boils down to "have better ideas!"

Easier said than done.
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:19 PM   #202
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Default Re: GURPS Does It The Hard Way!

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Originally Posted by opposedToGravity View Post
if your players like to play three legged half-dragon time travelling orcs containing the souls of fallen gods being adopted by the emperor of Giants in their infancy but being falsely accused of murdering the holy prophet of the apocalypse and now seeking asylum in the nearby country of the pixie queen, then.. indeed.. a tough challenge.
I think you're missing the point.

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ok, now for real. every adventure makes certain assumptions that do not fit every imaginable party.
And here is where you're missing the point.

If you are going to write adventures, you need to make certain assumptions about the characters those adventures are for. If the players aren't making the same assumptions, they either won't buy your adventure, or will buy it and complain that it didn't meet their needs.

In D&D, those assumptions are largely readymade for you. The game mechanics defines a limited set of options for characters, suited to a particular genre. The adventures that are published for D&D are suited to that genre. Indeed, they're suited to a particular specialized subgenre . . . because dungeon fantasy is not the same as "fantasy."

But GURPS does not have a particular genre that it's tailored to fit. So you don't get readymade assumptions. The nature of the characters depends on the genre you choose, on the setting you design for it, and on the prototype adventure you plan for that setting. And none of those is prespecified. If you want to have them for GURPS, you have to write a book that provide them: that says, for example, "Okay, we're going to be playing a campaign of hidden superbeings working for MI7, the British intelligence agency that deals with paranormal threats, in the year 1920, in a world filled with pulp and steampunk archetypes, and your mission is to save the King, the Empire, and humanity, in that order." And with that framework you can maybe get people to sign onto the same set of assumptions and buy the same series of adventures.

You seem to be responding to every adventure makes certain assumptions that do not fit every imaginable party by dismissing the people who make those assumptions as too weird to bother with. And the reason you're running into problems is precisely that a nontrivial fraction of the market for GURPS is precisely the people you consider weird.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:38 PM   #203
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Default Re: GURPS Does It The Hard Way!

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maybe. but there are also the gurps fans who prefer prefab material. and some of them said so in this thread.
Yes, but they all want different pieces of prefab material.They want prefab material for singular unusual campaigns. No more than about 500 of them will buy any given adventure. And selling fewer than 500 copies of an adventure gives the writer neither cash nor kudos.

Lord Carnifex offered to write an adventure if ten people in this thread gave similar answers to the question "what genre". Three have answered: Gigerman wants contemporary horror, mikeejimbo wants fantasy, I want sci-fi.

Last edited by Agemegos; 10-27-2009 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:42 PM   #204
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Default Re: GURPS Does It The Hard Way!

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Maybe, but the poor sales only strictly imply that the people who want any particular published adventure are in a minority. And I think that is the problem that is reflected in the contrast between the strong demand for adventures that we see expressed in threads like this and the feeble actual supply of adventures.
The demand seems stronger than it actually is because it's so LOUD that the answer can't be heard, no matter how many times it's repeated.

I'm sure SJ gets tired of people telling him how to run his business, who, judging by the quality and presentation of the advice, haven't been alive as long as he's been running his business.
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:48 PM   #205
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Default Re: GURPS Does It The Hard Way!

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The demand seems stronger than it actually is because it's so LOUD that the answer can't be heard, no matter how many times it's repeated.
The answer being "If someone would write adventures, the company would be glad to publish them".

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I'm sure SJ gets tired of people telling him how to run his business, who, judging by the quality and presentation of the advice, haven't been alive as long as he's been running his business.
I don't think he listens any more.

That being said, the problem is the age of the advice, not the youth of the advisors.

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Old 10-27-2009, 09:07 PM   #206
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Lord Carnifex offered to write an adventure if ten people in this thread gave similar answers to the question "what genre". Three have answered: Gigerman wants contemporary horror, mikeejimbo wants fantasy, I want sci-fi.
Yeah, this kind of illustrates very quickly why writing adventures is tough, doesn't it? That said, I like all three genres to an extent, so I think whichever Lord Carnifex prefers should be the one he writes.
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:18 PM   #207
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Default Re: GURPS Does It The Hard Way!

Being a writer, I agree with Brett's business sensibilities about all this (and Mailanka's, too, now that I think of it). Otherwise, I think a lot of people are just making things harder than it has to be.

At least for publically-accessible fan content. I know a lot of folks here are on about the professional publications made by however-poorly-paid writers. And that warms my heart to know folks are concerned about my dinner table. My last check arrived in time to pay for groceries, after all. And as my stomach warms with food, so heats my self esteem with even the slightest positive comment about my stuff.

Fan stuff, on the otherhand, can't be sold. Obviously due to IP rights. But implicitly or explicitly, it can be freely distributed so long as you don't plaster your adventure with SJG and GURPS logos without permission (and as it is, sjgames.com offers a variety of banners and logos to plaster your website with, so long as its not in proximity to porn, dead puppies, or Neo-nazi used car salesmen).

Regardless of pro or fan made material, it is not that hard to design a GURPS adventure so long as the author has a grasp of storytelling, writing and roleplaying.

I wrote a sequel to "Caravan to Ein Arris" on ten sheets of notebook paper with a felt-tip marker in between homework assignments. It took me only a week. I ran an entire cyberpunk campaign off a few story vignettes that I dashed off on a typewriter. A lot of the time, maps and map notes will do a lot of the storytelling for you.

Authors do not have to worry about every esoteric character the player might try to bring to your adventure. Nor do they have to consider the myraid of House Rules and alternate interpretations that a GM imposes. We write something that is targeted to a general class, that gives a good story, and leaves plenty of room for mutant characters and rules.

A good adventure for public consumption follows very simple limitations--it is either a hard science world, a cinematic world, or a supernatural/powers world. It follows the primary default rules of the GURPS system, and trusts the intelligent GM to work out the rest. The story has conflict of some sort, with a beginning, a middle, a climax, and a resolution.

From there, players know generally what sort of character to bring to the table, and GMs have a framework for flexibility. Everybody knows where the story stands, so they just go on and play...

People want to make GURPS adventures out to be some mysterious formula that has to be precisely calculated According to Hoyle and Almighty Scripture. And that isn't so. There is nothing to it but to do it.

But as long as you fret about every hyper-specific character or GM style out there that you must consider with specific rules and storylines, you are sunk. This sort of hair-splitting will kill a writing career as surely as the failure to target an audience.

There are very few people out there in my experience who only like one type of character or one type of story for very long. Most of the people I know who play GURPS will hop genres, cosmologies, and lenses.

What is a challenge then, is finding those able writers in the first place. Being one of the things Brett drives home. If an author isn't inspired, or they have a head cold, or the bills require a day job, then it is hard to write an adventure. A lot of tech writers out there could dash off a campaign in a weekend--unless they don't know the system or principles of fiction.

I've been writing for years, but I only recently discovered that I could publish material for GURPS users, either professionally or fan-made. Simply because I wasn't paying attention previously. It never crossed my mind to check the e23 or Pyramid opportunities until my brother--who knew I was struggling to push big projects out the door--said, "Hey! Write stuff for game companies so you can boost your resume and fill the fridge!"

Once aware, the prospect of shelling out bucks and cramming sourcebooks wasn't appealing. But when a writer's got to eat, they dust off the beloved old 3e books, download the free GURPS Update and Lite, borrow Ultra-Tech 4e. That's how I wrote "Paper Cells".
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Last edited by BMR; 10-27-2009 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:21 PM   #208
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Default Re: GURPS Does It The Hard Way!

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Originally Posted by opposedToGravity View Post
sigh.. ok.
if your players like to play three legged half-dragon time travelling orcs containing the souls of fallen gods being adopted by the emperor of Giants in their infancy but being falsely accused of murdering the holy prophet of the apocalypse and now seeking asylum in the nearby country of the pixie queen, then.. indeed.. a tough challenge.

ok, now for real. every adventure makes certain assumptions that do not fit every imaginable party.
I think you're only beginning to grasp the difficulty of all this. I have run:

GURPS WoD (Werewolves, Vampires, Mages, oh my). 300 point characters
GURPS "Dark Souls," a wonky super-hero/horror crossover where the players have been imbued with the dark power of alien things and struggle to survive as gods attempt to wipe them out. 500 point characters
GURPS Military Space Opera, set on a specific planet 200 point characters.
GURPS Black Ops. 750 point characters.
GURPS Horror, a fairly generic game with madness-magic and undead horrors. 50 point characters.

I'm sure my friends could remind me of more.

I would like to run:
GURPS Dark Space, a wildly overpowered gothic space opera inspired by Warhammer 40k. 750 points.
GURPS Resplendent Star Empire, a Space Opera Wuxia crossover with lots of light-sabers and anime action. 500 point characters.
GURPS Supers of some kind, 1000 points
GURPS Dungeon Fantasy, 250 point characters.
GURPS Infinite Earths where we go everywhere and do everything.

As you can see, my interests are all over the board. How would you write adventures for me much less the entire GURPS community. You get diminishing returns: All GURPS fans by GURPS, but only GURPS Fantasy fans by GURPS Fantasy and Magic, and only GURPS DF Fans by all those and DF, and only GURPS Fantasy DF Fans who like pre-written adventures in your pre-established setting will buy your GURPS DF Adventure.

There's no cohesion in this community. Everybody's running around doing their own thing with GURPS, because GURPS is a game where you can do your own thing. The adventures don't sell for crap.

If you really want to establish a base that will accept your adventures, you need to first establish a baseline, like Dungeon Fantasy or Action. At least when someone says they are playing GURPS Dungeon Fantasy, you know what sorts of characters, what power levels, and rules assumptions they are using. You can tentatively go forth from there and create some adventures that might work. If it is your quest to encourage that sort of thing, encourage more "genre" books. I certainly think there's room for them.

But you probably won't ever see a major market for GURPS Adventures, even with something like DF, because the slice of the pie is just too small. If we had D&D levels of readership, DF would be a big, hard-bound book, the various supplements would be soft-cover right out of the gate, and something as minor as an Adventure would be PDF only. Instead, we get DF as a soft cover, supplements in PDF, and no adventures at all :(
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:37 PM   #209
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Default Re: GURPS Does It The Hard Way!

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But you probably won't ever see a major market for GURPS Adventures, even with something like DF, because the slice of the pie is just too small.
The aim would be to grow the pie. PrinceYrkoon and opposedToGravity suggest that if GURPS had appealing, ready-to-run adventures on the shelves in book shops then people would buy those and get into GURPS who are not getting into GURPS now.

Unlike last time.
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:46 PM   #210
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Default Re: GURPS Does It The Hard Way!

There seems to be a bit of complaining about a lack of adventures/support...Well, instead of complaining, why not sit down and fire off a queary letter to SJGames? The worst they can do is say no...If they like it, it'll get published, most likely as an e23 pdf...If their customers like it, it'll sell, and if the customers like it enough, it might even see POD one day.
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