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Old 11-17-2011, 03:38 PM   #1
Darth Cloaked Guy
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Default New Player Having Trouble-- Help Wanted

Hi all. I recognize that GURPS stands among the most challenging of RPGs, and thus those veterans of it no doubt feel a very justified feeling of elitism, so I am nervous to post here, for fear of both embarassment or simply being ignored.

I am a new player to GURPS, and as I can find no suitable games nearby or online, I have unfortunately found myself forced into the uncomfortable position of "newbie GM".

As a newcomer to GMing with GURPS, I find my adventures to be highly stressful for myself and greatly trying of my PCs' collective patience. The primary reasons are one, the lack of an HTML collection of core rules such as D&D has on d20srd.org (and a link to the GURPS equivalent would be immensely helpful), and two, it is difficult to stat out encounters on the fly.

Does anyone know good techniques to quick-stat monsters? Maybe just the basics, such as attributes, HP, FP, and some basic skills like Stealth?

I freely admit to having no idea what I am doing, so a little help would be great.

Last edited by Darth Cloaked Guy; 11-17-2011 at 03:48 PM. Reason: Added more information.
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Old 11-17-2011, 03:48 PM   #2
Jeffr0
 
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Default Re: New Player Having Trouble-- Help Wanted

Quick stats for monsters:

Step 1:

Is this a "mook" or a "boss"? Mooks are knocked unconscious with *any* hit by a player. Bosses are rarer and play more like player characters-- they can go negative on hitpoints, roll to remain conscious, etc. Also... they are liable to just run away and fight another day if they can.

Step 2:

Pick stats for the basic attributes, ST DX IQ and HT. These should be pretty obvious. As an exercise, choose these stats for each of a goblin, kobold, orc, hobgoblin, ogre, minotaur and cyclops. [If you need help beyond this suggestion, just say. Keep in mind that Basic level DM's can run a game with just these dudes for a long time.]

Step 3:

Pick a competency level. Use relevant attribute plus this level to determine skill targets for anything that you feel this monster should be able to do.

Step 3.5:

(You might want to figure up move scores and defense scores. Also a default weapon... and a DR level for armor.)

Step 4:

If you care, maybe pick one advantage for additional color. This is not necessary, though.

Step 5:

After running the monster in a session, review what happened and what you think should be different next time to do it better. Make a note of this in your referee notebook o' monstery goodness.
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Last edited by Jeffr0; 11-17-2011 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 11-17-2011, 03:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: New Player Having Trouble-- Help Wanted

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffr0 View Post
Quick stats for monsters:
Something important. There was no mention of a point budget. Because you don't need one. Fully detailed character sheets for most opponents, especially mooks, are a waste of effort. Not doing them, and just picking appropriate statistics, is the way to GM.
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Old 11-17-2011, 03:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: New Player Having Trouble-- Help Wanted

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Cloaked Guy View Post
Hi all.
Hey.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Cloaked Guy View Post
I recognize that GURPS stands among the most challenging of RPGs, and thus those veterans of it no doubt feel a very justified feeling of elitism, so I am nervous to post here, for fear of both embarassment or simply being ignored.
Good - It is right and proper to stand in awe and fear of us, for we are the mighty... Geek Oracle!

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Originally Posted by Darth Cloaked Guy View Post
it is difficult to stat out encounters on the fly.
Yeah, don't do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Cloaked Guy View Post
Does anyone know good techniques to quick-stat monsters? Maybe just the basics, such as attributes, HP, FP, and some basic skills like Stealth?
You might really, really enjoy this thread.
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: New Player Having Trouble-- Help Wanted

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Originally Posted by Jeffr0 View Post
Is this a "mook" or a "boss"? Mooks are knocked unconscious with *any* hit by a player. Bosses are rarer and play more like player characters-- they can go negative on hitpoints, roll to remain conscious, etc. Also... they are liable to just run away and fight another day if they can.
Um... what if the player hits them, but nothing gets past their DR? Or if only 1 point gets past their DR? What if they're fanatics and willing to fight to the death for their leader/cause/whatever? Why would an enraged five-hundred-pound gorilla go down with a hit from a BB gun? I don't mean to argue, but I would like to understand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffr0 View Post
Pick stats for the basic attributes, ST DX IQ and HT. These should be pretty obvious. As an exercise, choose these stats for each of a goblin, kobold, orc, hobgoblin, ogre, minotaur and cyclops. [If you need help beyond this suggestion, just say. Keep in mind that Basic level DM's can run a game with just these dudes for a long time.]
Working on it, will edit this post or post again when done.

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Pick a competency level. Use relevant attribute plus this level to determine skill targets for anything that you feel this monster should be able to do.
I don't understand what a "competency level" is, or how it can be used to determine this. How does this affect how hard it is to spot an Ogre sleeping on the other side of a thicket (for example).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffr0 View Post
(You might want to figure up move scores and defense scores. Also a default weapon... and a DR level for armor.)
That part isn't too hard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffr0 View Post
If you care, maybe pick one advantage for additional color. This is not necessary, though.
So iron golems could only have natural DR or a breath weapon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffr0 View Post
After running the monster in a session, review what happened and what you think should be different next time to do it better. Make a note of this in your referee notebook o' monstery goodness.
Will do.

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Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
You might really, really enjoy this thread.
Yes... yes I might.
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:05 PM   #6
Refplace
 
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Default Re: New Player Having Trouble-- Help Wanted

Yep. pretty simple to stat up a monster really. Just eyeball it and do it and do not worry about point totals.
Most of the time you can pick stats easy just by what sounds good, ST tends to be something that requires a little more work but there are examples to compare to and formula that help if you dont want to eyeball it.

Add in whatever advantages and disadvantages or skills you think it needs and your usually done. If its a recurring NPC you may find it needs more refinement so do that as needed.

As for your HTML question, why?
Assuming the answer is so you have handy references for your players.
here are free PDF files you can download and use.
GURPS Lite has the core rules and such.
GURPS Skill Categories lists the skills from Basic in various ways and is handy when building a character or deciding what skill is needed for a situation.
GURPS Update Probably less useful to you the way it talks about things is still inspirational and can help out. Also it mentions how to convert ST from 3E to 4E and some of those are useful regardless. Easy place to find a lot of crunch.
GURPS Martial Arts Techniques Cheat-Sheet handy to reduce flipping through your books for martial arts options. There is a similar one for spells.
And finally to help combat play along faster and smoother print these combat cards and hand them to your players.
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:14 PM   #7
Darth Cloaked Guy
 
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Default Re: New Player Having Trouble-- Help Wanted

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Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
Yep. pretty simple to stat up a monster really. Just eyeball it and do it and do not worry about point totals.
Most of the time you can pick stats easy just by what sounds good, ST tends to be something that requires a little more work but there are examples to compare to and formula that help if you dont want to eyeball it.

Add in whatever advantages and disadvantages or skills you think it needs and your usually done. If its a recurring NPC you may find it needs more refinement so do that as needed.

As for your HTML question, why?
Assuming the answer is so you have handy references for your players.
here are free PDF files you can download and use...
Hyperlinks. Hyperlinks is why. Look at d20srd.org. See how things are organized? Every time a skill, feat, class, monster, is referenced, there is a hyperlink RIGHT THERE. Given the amount of cross-referencing required in GURPS, this would be immensely helpful for the GM.
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: New Player Having Trouble-- Help Wanted

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Originally Posted by Darth Cloaked Guy View Post
Um... what if the player hits them, but nothing gets past their DR? Or if only 1 point gets past their DR? What if they're fanatics and willing to fight to the death for their leader/cause/whatever? Why would an enraged five-hundred-pound gorilla go down with a hit from a BB gun? I don't mean to argue, but I would like to understand.
I don't recall if the mook concept allows for DR, but if it does presumably it's one point of penetrating damage.

Sturdy fanatics, enraged gorillas, and the like probably shouldn't be treated as mooks. Give them the proper rules treatment.. Mook rules are a method of easily supporting certain sorts of action fiction realism where unimportant bad guys drop like flies. Think any movie extra who would get put down by one bullet and the audience not even blink. Think storm troopers in the star wars movies.
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I don't understand what a "competency level" is, or how it can be used to determine this. How does this affect how hard it is to spot an Ogre sleeping on the other side of a thicket (for example).
Competency level isn't a code term, it's just 'how competent is this thing?' Answer in abstract terms, and from there you can work out the appropriate numbers.

Spotting an Ogre sleeping behind a bush would typically be an unopposed Perception or Observation roll by the spotter with penalties for distance and cover and a bonus for size. Unless the Ogre is sleeping in a prepared camouflaged position behind the thicket, in which case it would be opposed by the camouflage skill used.
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So iron golems could only have natural DR or a breath weapon?
...I would have thought they only needed one... But I've got to agree that "one advantage for additional color" seems specific to extremely basic human-like monsters, and unfit for more exotic ones. Orks, you probably don't need multiple advantages, though you could use them. Owlbears, you do (beak and claws, at minimum).
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: New Player Having Trouble-- Help Wanted

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Originally Posted by Darth Cloaked Guy View Post
Hyperlinks. Hyperlinks is why. Look at d20srd.org. See how things are organized? Every time a skill, feat, class, monster, is referenced, there is a hyperlink RIGHT THERE. Given the amount of cross-referencing required in GURPS, this would be immensely helpful for the GM.
If you've got the PDFs, search functionality can help. In-text cross references usually have page numbers included.

There's no public SRD because GURPS isn't an open system, I presume.

What kind of cross-referencing issues are you thinking of?
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:18 PM   #10
Refplace
 
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Default Re: New Player Having Trouble-- Help Wanted

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Cloaked Guy View Post
Um... what if the player hits them, but nothing gets past their DR? Or if only 1 point gets past their DR? What if they're fanatics and willing to fight to the death for their leader/cause/whatever? Why would an enraged five-hundred-pound gorilla go down with a hit from a BB gun? I don't mean to argue, but I would like to understand.
The gorrila isnt a mook :)
You do not even have to have mooks in your game. The idea though is the tons of extras in a fight. Ever seen To Kill Bill? The Crazy 8 she kills on the restaurant floor and such are mostly mooks.
Then there is the schoolgirl with the mace on a chain and shes a more built NPC, though as GM I would just build her combat stuff and not stat out her skills that wont matter for the fight. Unless she gets used again then I might add more for flavor. I also could reuse the charecter sheet after filing off the serial numbers and maybe changing a few things. So next time shes a he and uses a broadsword but the rest is the same. Boom new NPC minimum fuss.

OK if you havent seen that movie.... red Shirts in original Star Trek are kind of mooks. The hired thugs batman and Robin fought are mooks with the villain that hired them being the boss npc.

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I don't understand what a "competency level" is, or how it can be used to determine this. How does this affect how hard it is to spot an Ogre sleeping on the other side of a thicket (for example).


So iron golems could only have natural DR or a breath weapon?
Competency level is again eyeballed. Look at the % on 3d6, or the rest of the meaning of skills section on B171 and 172

So average guy could just have a 12, better is the guy with the 14, etc
Dont worry about how many points they spent on the skill to get there just assign the level you want to them.

As for the Iron Golem bit he meant pick one or don't not you only have to pick 1
So give your guys what you think fits.
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