Sunday, April 11, 2010

I Wish I Liked GURPS

The system's never clicked for me, but man, they've had some of the best sourcebooks of all time. It'd be nice to be able to use the stats therein instead of having to convert things, but it isn't to be.


Lisandro Gaertner said...

I always liked GURPS. It is a very easy and elegant system. 3d6 vs. skill or atribute (plus or minus modification) and that is it. You should give it a try. GURPS Lite is there for this kind of things. Enjoy GURPS, it will really grow on you.

Ryan said...

I liked GURPS very much when I was a teenager... for some reason, when I got to college, I lost all interest in the system. I think it might have been when I was working with GURPS robots and I was told to calculate the surface area of a humanoid creature.

I wouldn't be opposed to peeking at the new edition, but I'm just not willing to pay the buy in for most systems anymore.

seaofstarsrpg said...

Agreed on almost all points. I have played GURPS, but never GMed it, and it strikes me as very good for gritty, realistic (and historical) games. But the system is pretty direct so converting from it never seemed like that much work.

Barking Alien said...

Love the sourcebooks but also never liked the game. Too complex and number crunchy without the personality of HERO.

Christian said...

You no like the GURPS? BLAS-PHEE-MER!!!!

4e is pretty nice. Many things have been cleaned up, it's still internally consistent and as long as you grok the core mechanic, you can add rules as you see fit.

But I totally get that the denseness of it all can be a bit much, especially if you try to use all of the rules. Automatic weapons fire the migraine, please.

The sourcebooks are so great. I miss they hey day of 3rd edition. so many purty books!!!

Zachary The First said...

I really think they hit their stride on sourcebooks with 3e. I purchased both 3e and 4e, but even with just taking the parts I needed (sort of like Rolemaster), I never really clicked with it.

jaerdaph said...

I have dozens of GURPS sourcebooks - they are excellent resources for a wide variety of gaming genres - but I have never played a game using the GURPS rules in my life.

The other day, I was browsing through a used bookstore and found an old copy of GURPS Basic Set 3e for $3.50 so I picked it up. It looks like a late 80s softcover printing. It's an interesting and detailed rules system, but I'm still not sure I'd ever want to run or play it - I find myself preferring rules lite more and more as I get older.

Rob Conley said...

Get on Skype and a VTT and I will show you how GURPS is done. ;)

So what doesn't click with you?

BlUsKrEEm said...

I don't play GURPS much anymore,which is a shame because I love 4th ed, and have had many good adventures with 2nd ed (the Technomaneer setting specifically.) For some reason I didn't care for 3rd much.

I still pick up source books at the e23 store from time to time however, as they make great material for other games. Most of the source books are "fluff" heavy and rules light. My fiance likes to call G.U.R.P.S Generic Universal Role Playing Supplements,

Doug Wall said...

GURPS is definitely my favorite system and the standard by which generic systems should be judged.

Norman Harman said...

I always suspected and the comments here seem to support that, like me, many people are buying GURPS sourcebooks but never play GURPS.

To me GURPS is too "consistent" all mathed out, precise, logical, universal. In other words soulless and suffering from sameness and the mediocrity of Lowest Common Denominator.

When I play a wild west game I want the mechanics to some how involve a poker deck and chips. When I play horror or fantastical settings I want it all abstract and illogical. If I ever had inkling to play hard sci-fi I might go for GURPS but instead would use Traveller or SpaceMaster cause they, as the Rap Stars say, have flava.

In prepping for any of those I'd for sure read through the relevant GURPS Sourcebooks.

[btw GURPS fans, people are different. My dislike of GURPS doesn't mean it sucks or you're "wrong". You don't need to defend it esp not against some random opinion on the Internet. Let it go...]

Zachary The First said...

@Rob: Hey, that sounds fun!

Honestly Rob, I can cut it 12 ways, and it still feels like too much game. It's just a little much mechanically for me, no matter how mechanically simple that base might be. It's like I'm trying to sweeten my iced tea, and I always either get it too sweet or not sweet enough.

@Norman: Exactly. I've known too many amazing GURPS fans to slag on GURPS--it just doesn't sing my song, I guess.

Of course, I'll bet with a good GURPS GM, I could *play* GURPS forever. Big difference between running and playing.

Rob Conley said...

@Zach I will see what I can do. I got an adventure to put out first ;)

As for GURPS in general my big criticism has been that GURPS is virtually unapproachable for the novice GM and player. It is a great engine and well designed rule system but the wealth of options is overwhelming. In short it is not ready to run out of the box.

My suggestion has been for GURPS to come out with ready to run versions of the major genres namely Fantasy, Space, and Horror. Each book should cover same topics what the major competitors do. D&D, Traveller, and Call of Cthulu.

This means for the Fantasy book, how to make characters, a magic system, a monster bestiary, and so on. The same for Space and Horror.

This way you can pick up one book and have every you need to run a GURPS Fantasy, Space, or Horror campaign.

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy is kinda of doing this for fantasy but fall shorts. First it starts character off at a very high point level, requires the GURPS Basic books AND GURPS Magic, and it's bestiary is way to small.

mxyzplk said...

I agree, the GURPS sourcebooks are great. Taking something and putting it into a game-friendly format is quite a challenge- it's one thing to read the Conan stories, and another to determine how much a camel costs in Zamora.

I collected sourcebooks but never played it, then I played in a GURPS 4e campaign. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't all that great either; the skills are so fine grained that it can be very frustrating. I haven't felt driven to go back and play it again.

Tim Shorts said...

GURPS is a system our group played for a long time. Now we are into the more old school stuff. GURPS does have some of the best books. The problem is and this has already been stated, but the lack of adventures and easy intro stuff.

If you get a chance to have Rob GM you GURPS he may convert you so beware.

clash bowley said...

I'm in exactly the same situation as you, Zachary! GURPS never clicked with me, but I love their supplements!