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Old 03-10-2009, 08:23 PM   #1
kealist
 
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Default GURPS central asia

I am thinking about starting a campaign for a friend based in a historical period in central asia (Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, etc with other turks in the area, maybe some Mongols). I'm not totally sure which time period I will choose but it will be pre-modern, but I was curious what GURPS books may be useful for this kind of setting. Thanks for the info.

peace,
kealist
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:49 PM   #2
nik1979
 
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Default Re: GURPS central asia

What century era or important event are you planning for your game around?

IMO, its one of those few genres where the following
  1. Adventurers. Given the culture: shadowing warfare and not large scale battles make it Ideal.
  2. A Range is easier to hold, bec of horses and the bow makes a primary weapon. Battles have to be much faster (and the Powerfull Bows allow that) because of the "time limit" set by the mount's endurance.
  3. Logistics. Players go through horses and equipment pretty quickly (because mobility is very important), the logistical challenge of supplies, fresh horses, reparied/new armor, and arrows is a plus side to the GM.
  4. roleplaying It is not a main stream genre, there is good role-playing to be had with the understanding of a new culture (a big Plus for role-playing purposes).
  5. As for game dressing, it can be a very original and unique experience compared to other games. Central Asia, has the advantage of being in the middle of what's happening to the world. I find it very interesting to have the Imperial Dynasties of the East and the Warring Empires of the west indirectly affect each other.

Nomad: The Warrior (2005) would be a good visual reference.

I suggest check out Mount and Blade at least as a peek of how primarily mounted game is going to be. You can
download it and try it out for free.
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:47 PM   #3
kealist
 
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Default Re: GURPS central asia

I appreciate the ideas and the suggestions. This is my first time to make a campaign, so it might be a bit more than I can handle for the first time. I'm not sure I can do it historically or if I should pull in folktales and such from the region to add some interesting things.

I will watch that movie and check out the game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nik1979
What century era or important event are you planning for your game around?
This is the area that I am interested in studying more carefully in the future. I think I'm going to choose the Middle period during 6th or 7th century around the time of the Tang Dynasty with some of the Khanates running amuck.
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: GURPS central asia

Quote:
Originally Posted by kealist
I am thinking about starting a campaign for a friend based in a historical period in central asia (Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, etc with other turks in the area, maybe some Mongols). I'm not totally sure which time period I will choose but it will be pre-modern, but I was curious what GURPS books may be useful for this kind of setting. Thanks for the info.

peace,
kealist
This isn't a gaming book, but it came to my mind while I was reading your post and maybe you find it interesting or curious:

Beasts, Men and Gods

Quote:
"Ferdinant Ossendowski, a scientist and writer, chronicled his experiences during the Russian Revolution of the 1920's. He was caught up in the bloody overthrow by the Bolsheviks as they rampaged their way across Russia. He was a man of culture and perception, but he confesses that his scholarship and sophistication could not protect him from the solitude and dissociation from human society he was forced to endure on his flights from danger. Because of his scrupulous observations, the reader is not only able to understand the accuracy of his political assessments but the truth of his extraordinary trials. He admits that people of highly civilized status cannot give enough consideration to the situational instruction that men in primitive states find useful in the struggle for existence. Even memories of the events he faced throw him back into the fear and uncertainty he felt when he encountered them. In his expeditions he is sometimes a warrior and sometimes a doctor. To get where he is going he trades anything: horses for guns, maps for food, silken cords for bullets, rosaries for saddles. He witnesses the mutilated and half-burnt remains of military skirmishes. He documents his passages by caravan with fortune tellers, peasants, drunken soldiers, and priests. He beholds a land of sun-burnt prairies, diseased cattle and people, the pestilence of anthrax and smallpox, wild ponies, predatory birds feasting on dead bodies. This is a journey the reader will breathlessly undertake to feel the strength of personal accomplishment. Ossendowski writes, "Nature destroys the weak but helps the strong, awakening in the soul emotions which remain dormant under the urban conditions of modern life."
The epoch of this narration makes it easily suitable for a "Cliffhanger" treatment.

(I remember some other related resources, but they are only in Spanish. Only one of them is in French, but I have the Spanish translation).

Also, I think nik1979 suggestions are helpful and interesting, too.
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:08 PM   #5
whswhs
 
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Default Re: GURPS central asia

For that time period, GURPS Arabian Nights. GURPS China might be of some marginal use. When it comes out, GURPS Low-Tech will have useful information.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:28 PM   #6
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: GURPS central asia

GURPS Places of Mystery also has a nice chapter on the Silk Road which should have some useful information on Central Asian cities.
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:04 AM   #7
whswhs
 
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Default Re: GURPS central asia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen
GURPS Places of Mystery also has a nice chapter on the Silk Road which should have some useful information on Central Asian cities.
Should have thought of that. Yes, indeed.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 03-11-2009, 01:13 AM   #8
nik1979
 
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Default Re: GURPS central asia

Quote:
Originally Posted by kealist

This is the area that I am interested in studying more carefully in the future. I think I'm going to choose the Middle period during 6th or 7th century around the time of the Tang Dynasty with some of the Khanates running amuck.

Nice! If you need help simplifying the East, which can be daunting, you can use Qin: The Warring States. I would suggest ripping off the fluff and pasting it over with any details the Players may want about the east (with the easy use of find and replace to change names). That will save you hours of research for something not that integral to a Central Asian game.

Involving Imperial China will give some mighty interesting options in characters and NPCs with tech and training.

Another movie, I recommend for visual reference is wolfhound. The Day watch and Night watch movies also have a few interesting visual to add.
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Last edited by nik1979; 03-11-2009 at 01:29 AM.
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Old 03-12-2009, 11:47 AM   #9
hal
 
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Default Re: GURPS central asia

Quote:
Originally Posted by nik1979
Nice! If you need help simplifying the East, which can be daunting, you can use Qin: The Warring States. I would suggest ripping off the fluff and pasting it over with any details the Players may want about the east (with the easy use of find and replace to change names). That will save you hours of research for something not that integral to a Central Asian game.

Involving Imperial China will give some mighty interesting options in characters and NPCs with tech and training.

Another movie, I recommend for visual reference is wolfhound. The Day watch and Night watch movies also have a few interesting visual to add.

I Finally broke down and picked up Qin: The Warring States. In reading some of the material, I began to filter through the back of my mind "How to convert this to GURPS" thoughts. One thing I noted that there were a lot of "Gifts" that one could choose from for character creation that basiccally were limited forms of luck for very specific purposes. For example:

Strength of the Ox : The character has immense
physical strength. Once in every session he can immediately
redo any Test relating to an action requiring great
strength, such as lifting a harrow, carrying a boulder, tearing
a nailed-down lid from a wooden crate, or breaking
down a door, and choose between the two results.


That almost looks like a very specialized luck mechanism that only works when the player is attempting feats of Strength. While GURPS permits three rolls and the player chooses the best of the three results, it is similiar enough to the concept that it might be useful. What is perhaps interesting is that one could note that "Athletics" as given as an example, is more broad in category than that of strictly Strength related rolls, which means that in all probability, Strength of the Ox would be cheaper than Luck: Aspected (athletics). If we use the concept that you have to declare the use of your luck before the die rolling in addition to the fact the luck is aspected, the cost of such an "Advantage" could be dropped from 15 points to a mere 6 points.

All in all, the Qin: The Warring States pdf looks pretty interesting :)
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Old 03-12-2009, 11:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: GURPS central asia

Quote:
Originally Posted by kealist
I am thinking about starting a campaign for a friend based in a historical period in central asia (Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, etc with other turks in the area, maybe some Mongols). I'm not totally sure which time period I will choose but it will be pre-modern, but I was curious what GURPS books may be useful for this kind of setting. Thanks for the info.

peace,
kealist
You do not necessarily have to explicitly state a time period. Very much of the history of Central Asia never actually got written. As in most places, local princes were often to petty to be recorded as was their striving. Trade and travel along the Silk Road was timeless.

Arabian Nights and China were mentioned. Cliffhangers might also be useful.
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