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rorikdude12
2012-09-04, 08:10 PM
I read through GURPS 4e, and am trying to find folk to play it with. However, especially on these forums, people seem to dislike it. Why?

Jack of Spades
2012-09-04, 08:20 PM
Opinion seems pretty mixed as far as I've seen, but I'll try:

GURPS is faced with the challenge of attempting to be both general, and universal (also a role playing game :smallwink:). Thus, it is required to have a pretty universal system (a plus) with a huge amount of raw rulesyness to work with the more specific cases. That is what drives people away: in order to find the stuff that works for your game, you have to dig through all the other stuff. That creates the illusion of complexity where in reality there's pretty much a point-buy d6 dice pool system.

Then again, as someone who's mostly ambivalent toward GURPS, I'm not the best source.

Hiro Protagonest
2012-09-04, 08:23 PM
...Rules are complicated? It's always second best? Aren't willing to shell out the money for the required splatbooks for whatever game they want?

Ultimately, though, it's not particularly disliked. But look at Finding Players. 3.5 dominates the section. Couple Pathfinder games. Maybe a Total War. Possibly a freeform god game. Couple White Wolf games. Occasionally a D&D 4e. Some obscure RPG I've never even heard of is probably on there, with a half-dozen replies. Barely ever see a FATE game except for a Dresden Files or two. GURPS might show up (looking at it now, a game has shown up, and you made the most recent post).

Inglenook
2012-09-04, 09:07 PM
Hi, my name is Stories and I'm a GURPSaholic. :smallfrown:

GURPS seems like it handles "real-world/grittier" games better than high fantasy (which is probably the most popular genre of tabletop game). Add in a steep learning curve, a massive and modular ruleset (thus the splatbooks), and the relative lethality of combat and it's not surprising that there aren't many GURPS games on here.

navar100
2012-09-04, 09:19 PM
I like leveling. I enjoy my character getting better at what he does and being able to do cool new things as the campaign develops. GURPS doesn't have that. You get diddlysquat character points upon adventure completion that maybe allow you to improve one skill from a 14 or less success to a 15 or less success. You can never get more advantages. You can never increase your ability scores. A spellcaster is lucky to get a new spell by half a point. Your character does the same things over and over for adventure after adventure never significantly improving. It gets boring.

Inglenook
2012-09-04, 09:42 PM
I'd say that's more of an issue with the low amount of points given (and the fact that they're given at the end of an adventure instead of throughout), rather than the way you can apply them to your character. To which I sort of agree—if I ever GM a game of GURPS, I'd probably make it so that monsters are worth XP, and whenever you accrue, say, 500 XP, you gain an ability point.

Skills can be raised by using them, though, not just through spending AP on them. And advantages/disadvantages can be earned through gameplay and roleplaying at the GM's discretion.

And I always thought that ability scores could be raised? Although I imagine it would be godawfully expensive to do so.

1337 b4k4
2012-09-04, 10:38 PM
Haven't had a chance to look through the 4e books, but GURPS 3 was my first system (minus the dragon strike board game that I never really got a chance to play) so I can tell you what turned me off as a new player when I was trying to learn the system.

1st, the book is full of rules. Lots and lots of rules that you may never actually use. As a new player that was particularly daunting, especially since its not made clear (and as a new player you don't yet know) that 90% of those rules are perfectly optional, and you can keep or ignore as you see fit and you really won't break anything.

2nd, the default magic system is (at least in 3e) somewhat confusing and doesn't well support the sort of high fantasy swords and sorcery stuff that most players think of when they think of TTRPGs

3rd, it only uses d6. That's no fun if you're looking to use some funky dice.

That said, I think it's a pret decent system and it certainly accomplishes the goal it sets out to, have generating a generic and universal system for multiple genres and types, you just might need to invest in a few other books as well to get exactly what you're looking for. Having gone from that, to VtM, to a home brew system, to 4e, to OSR, I've come to more appreciate how flexible the rules system can be, and looking back on it now, I can see what I might have thought were flaws back then are more the result of my lack of experience with RPGs in general.

Hylas
2012-09-04, 11:08 PM
I like leveling. I enjoy my character getting better at what he does and being able to do cool new things as the campaign develops. GURPS doesn't have that. You get diddlysquat character points upon adventure completion that maybe allow you to improve one skill from a 14 or less success to a 15 or less success. You can never get more advantages. You can never increase your ability scores. A spellcaster is lucky to get a new spell by half a point. Your character does the same things over and over for adventure after adventure never significantly improving. It gets boring.

Man, I just finished a d20 game and I was level 2 when we started but at the end of the session I WAS STILL LEVEL 2! I didn't improve at all! My sorcerer couldn't even create another plane at that level either. I couldn't get all of the feats I wanted at first level and my abilities aren't improving at all. On top of all this I didn't learn any new spells, and my class skills are chosen for me, so toss out any option of customization. It's pretty lame if you ask me. </sarcasm>

Anyways, in my experience what you can and can't get after character creation is really up to do the DM. In any system a DM can award more or less exp than another DM for the same adventure. Technically you can allow anyone to put points into anything they want to improve about their character, including advantages, spells, and ability points, but this can change depending on the settings. Maybe your mage can learn spells all on their own or maybe they need someone to instruct them or they need to read a book for 2 sessions to learn a new spell. Maybe the DM requires that a skill get used before you can improve it or maybe not. For the big advantages you'll generally need to save up over multiple sessions. I know one person who saved up 150 points once because he couldn't decide what to do with them, but the DM allowed anything to be purchased.

As for why the GURPS hate, it can be pretty involved as far as the rules go. You have rules for playing as cavemen, you have rules for playing a 1950s spy, you have rules for sci-fi space marine, so you have to know what to filter out which is very hard for someone new to the rules. That chapter and those books on firearms? Well maybe your medieval setting doesn't require you to know them inside and out. My first character involved me talking about a concept and the more experienced players picking out my stats, advantages, disadvantages, and skills. I got to pick out a few things that I liked for myself or that looked interesting, but they did all of the crunch.

Knaight
2012-09-04, 11:38 PM
I'm pretty ambivalent towards GURPS, and do like it as a player - that said, it isn't my favorite generic system by any stretch of the imagination. This largely comes down to a few issues:

Attributes: I don't particularly like the GURPS attributes. Essentially, there are the games which have attributes that work for them (e.g. Qin) that are better at what they do, then there is my preferred generic system that has the attributes I want, as it doesn't have a set list.

Lists of Stuff: GURPS is very list based, you pick skills off a list, advantages off a list, disadvantages off a list, etc. Added to that is that these are very long lists, and it generally makes character creation involve too much searching for my taste. I also prefer systems I can memorize, and GURPS is in no danger of being one of them.

Skill Breadth: GURPS skills are too narrow for my taste. I use a range of skill breadth's, depending on the game, but I never get as narrow as GURPS does. Do you really need a different skill for every slightly different variety of sword, or to pilot every slightly different variety of ship, or whatever else?

Disadvantages: GURPS gives points up front for disadvantages that come into play later. This creates an incentive to pick disadvantages that have little effect, or that overlap significantly to gain points. A system where disadvantages got you points as they were used would incentivizes playing a flawed character who's flaws are relevant to the story, and there are a lot of systems that do this and as such handle Disadvantages better.

Sheer Data: GURPS characters have a lot of statistics that even basic NPCs need to have known, GURPS is full of tables you have to reference to finish making a character (e.g. the strength table for damage), GURPS has a skill system that involves a bunch of skill defaults that you need to track, etc. It's really kind of obnoxious as a GM, and is the primary reason I don't GM GURPS.

Killer Angel
2012-09-05, 02:42 AM
There are few wrong things in GURPS, it's a good and balanced system, and (as a player) I like it.
I've never been a gurps' DM

rorikdude12
2012-09-05, 04:55 AM
...Rules are complicated? It's always second best? Aren't willing to shell out the money for the required splatbooks for whatever game they want?

Have you read the 4th ed rules? They're mostly quite simple. Apply modifiers to your skill, try to roll under.

Second, there are no "required" splatbooks. The core rulebook has an extensive amount of optional rules on it's own if you want to use them


... GURPS might show up (looking at it now, a game has shown up, and you made the most recent post).

yep. still not that much, unfortunately. It's only a single PbP game, compared to many PbPs and large amounts of Skype games that 3.5 and Pathfinder draw.


I like leveling. I enjoy my character getting better at what he does and being able to do cool new things as the campaign develops. GURPS doesn't have that. You get diddlysquat character points upon adventure completion that maybe allow you to improve one skill from a 14 or less success to a 15 or less success. You can never get more advantages. You can never increase your ability scores. A spellcaster is lucky to get a new spell by half a point. Your character does the same things over and over for adventure after adventure never significantly improving. It gets boring.

Hylas beat me to this. There are rules IN THE CORE RULEBOOK about training skills through the game without expending character points. Instead, it revolves around spending in-game time. Also, spells count as skills, so those can be improved without spending character points. In addition, the core rulebook talks about gaining advantages and disadvantages through play: If you lose an arm, you gain the One Arm disadvantage. If you get a good reputation with the merchant crowd, you get the reputation advantage. If you get a submachine gun implanted into a prosthetic arm you had, you get Innate Attack with a bunch of modifiers.

@Knaight

Thank you for your post. Though I disagree on some cases, your statements are understandable.

DigoDragon
2012-09-05, 07:35 AM
GURPS can seem complicated at first, but with some experience its not any more difficult than a d20 system. The newest member in my gaming group is now using GURPS for the first time and he's picking up on it pretty quickly.

Morty
2012-09-05, 07:43 AM
I've never got the impression that GURPS is disliked here. Sure, it's overshadowed by D&D of all stripes in discussion and PbP games but so is everything else. It's not disliked any more than any other system. For the record, I quite like it.

Ashtagon
2012-09-05, 08:08 AM
This site is a forum supporting The OotS comic, which is to a large extent dependent on in-jokes about D&D.

GURPS isn't D&D. That's why GURPS isn't so popular here.

Imagine going to the SJG forums and asking about D&D. You'll get an equal and opposite reaction.

Origomar
2012-09-05, 08:25 AM
This site is a forum supporting The OotS comic, which is to a large extent dependent on in-jokes about D&D.

GURPS isn't D&D. That's why GURPS isn't so popular here.

Imagine going to the SJG forums and asking about D&D. You'll get an equal and opposite reaction.

The old Newtons third law of forum posting.

Hiro Protagonest
2012-09-05, 10:00 AM
yep. still not that much, unfortunately. It's only a single PbP game, compared to many PbPs and large amounts of Skype games that 3.5 and Pathfinder draw.

Do you know how many Spirit of the Century games I've seen since I heard of FATE? One.

I've probably seen three or four Dresden Files RPG games.

There are a bunch of new 3.5 threads every week. Because this is a forum that attracts D&D players.

mcv
2012-09-05, 10:50 AM
GURPS has many, many redeeming features. It's main problem is that it's a very heavy weight system (though 3.5 and Pathfinder are pretty heavy weight too). In its attempt to simulate absolutely everything, it has an enormous number of rules, modifiers, etc for all sorts of things, and there's still always something missing. Of course every system has that problem, but most systems take a holistic approach and pretend that the stuff it can't do isn't that important, is kinda covered by something else, can be fudged, or it simply ignores it. GURPS pretends to do anything, and therefore it has tons of stuff and still falls short just like any other game.

It's main feature that can be either a strength or a limitation is that it's mainly aimed at gritty realism (though if you go far enough, it still falls short there). There are optional rules for cinematic and/or D&D-style play, but those will always feel bolted-on instead of baked into the core of the system.

Its main strength is obviously the flexible character creation. Classes are straightjackets, and if you want something unusual, you can never quite get what you want without getting lots of stuff you don't want and still missing something important. Not so in GURPS. If you have enough points (obviously), you can make whatever you want. Realistic characters are the easiest, but if you break open all the weird powers, there is truly no limit.

Here's another thing that's both an advantage and a disadvantage: while GURPS is a comprehensive system that covers everything, D&D classes are ad-hoc collections of abilities that need to be balanced by hand. That means you can't just make your own D&D class out of thin air and expect it to be balanced, but with sufficient creativity and testing, game designers can make absolutely anything with their own set of subsystems and have it work. This makes D&D very much a patchwork with countless subsystems, whereas in GURPS, you have to work really hard within the system to figure out how to make it do what you need, and when you're done, you do get a point cost for it, but by that time there's no guarantee anymore that it represents a fair and balanced point cost. And at that point, what is really the benefit of that complicated system?

In the end, though, it's all about playstyle. Every single system has its own niche where it shines. D&D is simply designed for dungeoncrawls and straight up fantasy combat. It can do more, but this is the core. GURPS shines in realistic tactical situations covering a wide variety of subjects.

Savage Worlds strikes me as a system that's somewhere in between these two: you can create any kind of character you want, like in GURPS, it has some very class-like Edges that put you in a classic D&D class, but you can combine or ignore those. And it shines at pulpy, fast paced, slightly cinematic action, ranging from massive combats (dungeon or not) to car chases, without getting into too much detail.

Other systems are more aimed improvising all sorts of effect, various story-driven mechanics, relationships, interactions, goals, whatever. Each system has its niche where it's awesome, and other areas where it sucks. GURPS's niche was pretty popular in the 90s, but maybe not so much nowadays.

valadil
2012-09-05, 11:57 AM
I've played a bit of GURPS. I've had fun with it, but it's hardly my favorite system. I don't like bashing it, but as long as you asked.

I too like leveling. I think it's more dramatic to get your bonuses all at once than piecemeal. I've only recently realized that I like leveling because it lets my specialist advance at his specialty. In GURPS, if I play a sniper I'll max out is weapon skill at game start. I might gain a point or two, but nothing dramatic. Meanwhile, my team mates catch up with me. By the end of the campaign, my sniping is actually less impressive than it was at the beginning, relative to the rest of the players. Point buy is great for generalists, but it's hard to shine as a specialist.

GURPS is a framework rather than a game. It's up the to GM to select a good subset of rules to represent the game he wants to run. I don't think this is an inherent problem, except that GMs aren't always aware of it. GURPS just has too many options for all of them to make sense in the same game.

Too much math during character creation. I'm of the opinion that RPG math should stop at fractions. Any time you see players whipping out their calculators, the math has gone too far. GURPS is pretty good about this during play time, but it can get awful during character creation, especially if powers are involved. In particular I get annoyed by powers with limitations. If my power comes out to 3.4 points, I might as well tack on other abilities or restrictions to try to get it down to 3.0 or up to 4.0 so as to not waste the point.

Too many rules. I say this not because I feel bogged down by rules, but because it makes GMs afraid to improvise. There are just so many exceptions and one off conditions that we spend more time looking through books than actually playing. I'm glad to have a GM who has a pretty good mental index of what rules are available, but this completely puts me off from GMing.

Balance is poor. Especially with magic. Some options are just straight up better than others. It's not unplayable, but don't pretend that it's balanced.

Too many exceptions. I can't remember the specifics, but there's something about certain weapons breaking others during a parry or some weapons causing knockback. The rules kind of made sense for some weapons, but when a shield blocks a battering ram with no chance of breakage, you've killed my suspension of disbelief.

Dimers
2012-09-05, 01:10 PM
Other people have talked about mechanics. I'm fine with those, because my brain likes to make up mechanics and has no problem fitting concepts into GURPS. The reason I've drifted away from GURPS is the feel. For a game that actually makes use of character flaws for practical purposes, for a game in which you can build any character you imagine*, it leaves me feeling awfully out-of-character. It feels dry ... sanitized ... cut into little pieces, none of which has any of the character's essence in it.

When I play GURPS, I have to start with a very firm character concept and try to fit many little pieces of rules around it. I can't say "hey the party needs a healer", dive in, and somehow end up with a character. The books don't really inspire ideas in me.


*exaggeration, of course, but I do think GURPS is better for it than a lot of others

Cybren
2012-09-05, 01:49 PM
The only real problem with GURPS is a shrinking marketspace

mcv
2012-09-05, 02:17 PM
Other people have talked about mechanics. I'm fine with those, because my brain likes to make up mechanics and has no problem fitting concepts into GURPS. The reason I've drifted away from GURPS is the feel. For a game that actually makes use of character flaws for practical purposes, for a game in which you can build any character you imagine*, it leaves me feeling awfully out-of-character.
Speaking of character flaws, one of the main problems with GURPS is that Disadvantages rarely really matter in game. The burden of making the advantages relevant during play lies entirely with the GM. The approach in games like Serenity/Cortex where you get plot points for making your flaws relevant is much better.


It feels dry ... sanitized ... cut into little pieces, none of which has any of the character's essence in it.

When I play GURPS, I have to start with a very firm character concept and try to fit many little pieces of rules around it. I can't say "hey the party needs a healer", dive in, and somehow end up with a character. The books don't really inspire ideas in me.
I must have made about a hundred stand-alone characters for GURPS over the years. In a way, GURPS does encourage more self-sufficient, well-rounded, stand-alone characters more than a specialist-oriented game like D&D. All of my characters really did have character. Some on my best characters ever were GURPS characters, despite never really having done a big GURPS campaign (well, one by email).

Nevertheless, I've left GURPS behind. I probably have more GURPS books than all my other RPG books put together (well over a hundred, I think), but I've discovered I want something different from a game. I don't care about all the intricate detail. I want something quick and light and fast and with tons and tons of atmosphere, and those were never GURPS's strong points.

It's great that the system can differentiate between a hundred different types of assault rifle, but during play, I just want a gun that looks cool and kills people. That, in a nutshell, is the problem with GURPS.

Cybren
2012-09-05, 03:08 PM
It's great that the system can differentiate between a hundred different types of assault rifle, but during play, I just want a gun that looks cool and kills people. That, in a nutshell, is the problem with GURPS.

Out of curiosity have you seen the lines Action and Dungeon Fantasy and etc?

rorikdude12
2012-09-05, 03:28 PM
Thanks guys. When I made the thread, I was a bit crazy since I had just found GURPS. I like the idea of systems where you have a lot of differences, and a spear is different than a gun with comparable damage. I also like games where it's a bit of a mishmash, where you can smack genres together and make it work. (The Wizard assualts the orcish fortress with air support from the starfighter pilot)

You guys have given many good reasons. Though this is the only PbP board I have really used, and the first PbP forum I played on, I'll consider branching out.

Thank you for your civil and useful information.

mcv
2012-09-05, 03:30 PM
Out of curiosity have you seen the lines Action and Dungeon Fantasy and etc?

I have seen Dungeon Fantasy, but have never played it. It seemed to me like a cumbersome way to emulate a D&D playing style, though I've heard good stuff about it since then.

navar100
2012-09-05, 07:32 PM
Hylas beat me to this. There are rules IN THE CORE RULEBOOK about training skills through the game without expending character points. Instead, it revolves around spending in-game time. Also, spells count as skills, so those can be improved without spending character points. In addition, the core rulebook talks about gaining advantages and disadvantages through play: If you lose an arm, you gain the One Arm disadvantage. If you get a good reputation with the merchant crowd, you get the reputation advantage. If you get a submachine gun implanted into a prosthetic arm you had, you get Innate Attack with a bunch of modifiers.



News to me. (not sarcasm) I guess GURPS actually learned something since I last played it . . . over 15 years ago. :smallredface:

Jerthanis
2012-09-05, 07:37 PM
Disadvantages: GURPS gives points up front for disadvantages that come into play later. This creates an incentive to pick disadvantages that have little effect, or that overlap significantly to gain points. A system where disadvantages got you points as they were used would incentivizes playing a flawed character who's flaws are relevant to the story, and there are a lot of systems that do this and as such handle Disadvantages better.


This is the big one for me... I actually was once a big GURPS hater almost entirely for the extensive Disadvantages section. I had vitriol fueled rants about all the reasons I hated Disadvantages and the way GURPS does them.

I actually have considered running after someone suggested to my stupid face the idea of running without allowing disadvantages.

Inglenook
2012-09-05, 08:04 PM
Disadvantages do often amount to free points, yeah. Of course, it suddenly turns quite nasty when the GM works the story so that your disadvantages are brought into frequent use. I took "Thalassophobia" on a lark, and much of the next session involved traveling by boat to a lost continent. My character spent most of the journey having a mental breakdown in the hold, and the ordeal aged him several years.

Hiro Protagonest
2012-09-05, 08:08 PM
Disadvantages do often amount to free points, yeah. Of course, it suddenly turns quite nasty when the GM works the story so that your disadvantages are brought into frequent use. I took "Thalassophobia" on a lark, and much of the next session involved traveling by boat to a lost continent. My character spent most of the journey having a mental breakdown in the hold, and the ordeal essentially aged him several years.

I remember once, someone posted that as a joke, one of his D&D characters had a custom flaw. I forget what the name was, but it meant "the fear of being chased by wolves around a coffee table while wearing socks", IIRC.

Mikeavelli
2012-09-05, 08:31 PM
I remember once, someone posted that as a joke, one of his D&D characters had a custom flaw. I forget what the name was, but it meant "the fear of being chased by wolves around a coffee table while wearing socks", IIRC.

You mean this one? (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Luposlipaphobia_(3.5e_Flaw))

Luposlipaphobia. The mechanics for it are pretty great too.

TheOOB
2012-09-05, 08:42 PM
For me, I like game systems where the mechanics and the setting work together. GURPS is trying to be everything for everyone, but it doesn't actually do any one thing as well as it could. If I want to play a high seas pirate game, I'll play 7th Sea, heroic high fantasy, D&D, post apocalyptic zany fun, Paranoia.

Think of it like a tool. A crescent wrench is a useful and versatile tool, and it can do a lot of jobs good enough, but in almost all cases having a fixed wrench the proper size for the task is better than using an adjustable wrench if it's available. And since there are hundreds of RPG's out there, the better tool is usually available.

Cybren
2012-09-05, 10:49 PM
I have seen Dungeon Fantasy, but have never played it. It seemed to me like a cumbersome way to emulate a D&D playing style, though I've heard good stuff about it since then.

I've never used it either, from what i understand though it and the similar lines are intended to expedite a specific style of campaign

Killer Angel
2012-09-06, 02:13 AM
GURPS is trying to be everything for everyone, but it doesn't actually do any one thing as well as it could. If I want to play a high seas pirate game, I'll play 7th Sea, heroic high fantasy, D&D, post apocalyptic zany fun, Paranoia.

This is true, but for some peoples it's an advantage.
Ohhh, I wanna play pirates; I've heard that 7th sea is great, but I don't wanna learn a new system 'coz I work and I don't have much time, while I know perfectly GURPS.



2nd, the default magic system is (at least in 3e) somewhat confusing and doesn't well support the sort of high fantasy swords and sorcery stuff that most players think of when they think of TTRPGs


True.
The good thing is that, if you're looking for balance, between magic and mundane there's not the gap you can experience in D&D.


It's main problem is that it's a very heavy weight system (though 3.5 and Pathfinder are pretty heavy weight too). In its attempt to simulate absolutely everything, it has an enormous number of rules, modifiers, etc for all sorts of things, and there's still always something missing.

Also this is true, but look at the other side: With GURPS, basically, you need only the Core manual and (eventually) a single splatbook for the setting.
In D&D, you sure can play Core only, but basically you can have a dozen books (all the completes, ToB, and so on), plus the ones specific for the setting (Eberron, Faerun...), that often can be used regardeless. The final amount of material is huge.

TheOOB
2012-09-06, 02:16 AM
This is true, but for some peoples it's an advantage.
Ohhh, I wanna play pirates; I've heard that 7th sea is great, but I don't wanna learn a new system 'coz I work and I don't have much time, while I know perfectly GURPS.



True.
The good thing is that, if you're looking for balance, between magic and mundane there's not the gap you can experience in D&D.

It's a balance. I personally enjoy collecting and reading RPG books, so it's not much of a problem for me personally, and good RPG systems should be simple to learn.

Winter_Wolf
2012-09-06, 02:21 AM
I looked through the basic rules, and came to the conclusion, "ah hell naw!" It was really hard to keep trying to slog through it, even skipping a few pages here and there to try and find more to keep me interested.

I wanted to like it, so much. I still want to like it. But it's just not happening. I think my problem is that it tries to cover all the bases, so in order to find the parts that I want, I have to sort through all the stuff that I don't want.

mcv
2012-09-06, 03:58 AM
News to me. (not sarcasm) I guess GURPS actually learned something since I last played it . . . over 15 years ago. :smallredface:

GURPS 3rd edition also had rules about gaining skills through training instead of points. And I'm reasonably sure it also discussed gaining advantages and disadvantages through play.

The thing is, these are not rules that everybody actually uses. Lots of people find it easier to just stick to points and ignore the rules for training over time, but those rules have always existed. Well, in 3rd edition at least (which is over 20 years old, so likely what you were using).



For me, I like game systems where the mechanics and the setting work together. GURPS is trying to be everything for everyone, but it doesn't actually do any one thing as well as it could. If I want to play a high seas pirate game, I'll play 7th Sea, heroic high fantasy, D&D, post apocalyptic zany fun, Paranoia.
True, but there are a few areas where GURPS does shine. Not in the high-anythings, but in the gritty realistic stuff, and in the stuff that crosses genre boundaries. In GURPS you can have a pirate and a wizard and a post-apocalyptic clone together in the same adventure, and have it work.


Think of it like a tool. A crescent wrench is a useful and versatile tool, and it can do a lot of jobs good enough, but in almost all cases having a fixed wrench the proper size for the task is better than using an adjustable wrench if it's available. And since there are hundreds of RPG's out there, the better tool is usually available.
True. As someone else pointed out, GURPS is usually second choice for pretty much anything. Still, if you want to switch genres a lot, that still makes it a valuable system to know.

Ashtagon
2012-09-06, 06:35 AM
At least in my campaign I'm playing in currently, you need to spend the points and spend campaign downtime to improve your skills. To be fair, the GM schedules regular downtime into the campaign story arc. It'd be possible to buy advantages and attributes too, subject to GM approval (but he's stingy on that point). He also won't let us buy up a skill unless there is a way we could improve that skill during that period of downtime.

some guy
2012-09-06, 08:39 AM
You mean this one? (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Luposlipaphobia_(3.5e_Flaw))

Luposlipaphobia. The mechanics for it are pretty great too.

And here's the origin for that one:
http://i34.tinypic.com/2iu8iub.jpg
Gotta love Gary Larson.

Autolykos
2012-09-06, 09:29 AM
I don't think GURPS is actually hated that much. It might appear that way because a lot of people looking for a system to do X,Y or Z will explicitly exclude GURPS. Mainly because otherwise it's going to be the first five answers, then the first page will be filled with what GURPS splatbooks should be used, and the rest of the thread will devolve into a discussion about how to implement the idea in GURPS rules. But if they'd actually want to use GURPS without considering the alternatives, they'd have done so right away and not started the thread. It's too universal for it's own good.

Calimehter
2012-09-06, 09:36 AM
I must have made about a hundred stand-alone characters for GURPS over the years. In a way, GURPS does encourage more self-sufficient, well-rounded, stand-alone characters more than a specialist-oriented game like D&D. All of my characters really did have character. Some on my best characters ever were GURPS characters, despite never really having done a big GURPS campaign (well, one by email).


I do have to say that some of my favorite characters (not just mine, but the group's as a whole) came from our one and only long-running GURPS campaign, probably because all the character building had to come from scratch and you did not have some decisions 'auto-made' for you by choosing a class at the start. It also worked great for our campaign concept (Cthulupunk postmodern with magic worked in) because it mixed genres so well.

That learning curve, though . . . ouch. Once we fell out of GURPS for a few years to do other things, no one wanted to slog through the effort it would take to get back to relearning the system, or at least relearning it to the point that we weren't looking stuff up for half the game. Once families and such started, it was tough to find the free time for something like GURPS.

The Cat Goddess
2012-09-06, 01:23 PM
Hi, my name is Stories and I'm a GURPSaholic. :smallfrown:

GURPS seems like it handles "real-world/grittier" games better than high fantasy (which is probably the most popular genre of tabletop game). Add in a steep learning curve, a massive and modular ruleset (thus the splatbooks), and the relative lethality of combat and it's not surprising that there aren't many GURPS games on here.

This.

Once you get out of the "rut" of high fantasy, GURPS lets you explore any genre, in setting. Some things don't work as well, but others work very well. As for a "steep learning curve", there's a download-able version of the rules that gives all you really need as a player. The "splatbooks" are completely optional... only needed if you want ideas, want to see how someone adapted a specific settings, or want more detailed rules for a genre (like superheroes or magic).
Lastly, on lethality... there are optional rules for that as well. Plus, I've found that if the game is lethal, the players tend to play more intelligently... they're more likely to try non-combat solutions and more interested in looking for clues, meeting people and exploring the setting... rather than just finding the next monster to kill.


I like leveling. I enjoy my character getting better at what he does and being able to do cool new things as the campaign develops. GURPS doesn't have that. You get diddlysquat character points upon adventure completion that maybe allow you to improve one skill from a 14 or less success to a 15 or less success. You can never get more advantages. You can never increase your ability scores. A spellcaster is lucky to get a new spell by half a point. Your character does the same things over and over for adventure after adventure never significantly improving. It gets boring.

The GURPS game I play in runs once a week. Instead of giving XP at the end of the entire story (not recommened, even by the game itself), we get 3-5 points at the end of each session. Within 4 weeks I could raise a stat, get new skills, improve old skills, get a new advantage (if justified... getting High Pain Threshold when your character's never been hurt isn't valid) or even buy off old disadvantages.

Again, if you're not getting XP after every session, your GM is doing it wrong.


2nd, the default magic system is (at least in 3e) somewhat confusing and doesn't well support the sort of high fantasy swords and sorcery stuff that most players think of when they think of TTRPGs.

You never played higher-point games, eh? Start with 200 character points... buy Wealth and start out with Power Stones...

My biggest complaint is with the 3e Psionics system... some abilities are world-beaters out-of-the-box, others start weak only to suddenly skyrocket while still others make you think 'why bother?'


I'm pretty ambivalent towards GURPS, and do like it as a player - that said, it isn't my favorite generic system by any stretch of the imagination. This largely comes down to a few issues:

Attributes: I don't particularly like the GURPS attributes. Essentially, there are the games which have attributes that work for them (e.g. Qin) that are better at what they do, then there is my preferred generic system that has the attributes I want, as it doesn't have a set list.

Lists of Stuff: GURPS is very list based, you pick skills off a list, advantages off a list, disadvantages off a list, etc. Added to that is that these are very long lists, and it generally makes character creation involve too much searching for my taste. I also prefer systems I can memorize, and GURPS is in no danger of being one of them.

Skill Breadth: GURPS skills are too narrow for my taste. I use a range of skill breadth's, depending on the game, but I never get as narrow as GURPS does. Do you really need a different skill for every slightly different variety of sword, or to pilot every slightly different variety of ship, or whatever else?

Disadvantages: GURPS gives points up front for disadvantages that come into play later. This creates an incentive to pick disadvantages that have little effect, or that overlap significantly to gain points. A system where disadvantages got you points as they were used would incentivizes playing a flawed character who's flaws are relevant to the story, and there are a lot of systems that do this and as such handle Disadvantages better.

Sheer Data: GURPS characters have a lot of statistics that even basic NPCs need to have known, GURPS is full of tables you have to reference to finish making a character (e.g. the strength table for damage), GURPS has a skill system that involves a bunch of skill defaults that you need to track, etc. It's really kind of obnoxious as a GM, and is the primary reason I don't GM GURPS.

1) The Attribute system of GURPS is a bit plain... but the Advantages system really makes up for it. Especially when you start breaking it down to things like fine manipulation, eidetic memory & charisma.

2) AD&D has "lists of stuff" (don't know about 4e or the upcoming 5e). Lists of spells, lists of advantages, lists of skills... and more spells & advantages in every book. You want "basic", use the system from Vampire: The Masquerade.

3) If your disads overlap too much, then your GM should tell you "no, you can't do that". If you try getting "Thassalaphobia" (fear of oceans) in a desert game, the GM should say "that's a quirk at best in this setting". If you get Berserk, Bloodlust and Intollerance of Everyone Not the Same Race as You... then the GM should either say "that won't work in this setting" or make you suffer the effects of your disadvantages by making you kill the elf maid who just insulted your character.

4) 4e really cuts down on NPC requirements (at least for fighting). Most semi-important NPCs can be reduced to generic templates (the guards have DX 13, ST 12, HT 12 and 14 broadsword skill... nothing else of note). The quick-reference sheet gives you all the important notes (ST damage table, hit location table, etc.). Skill defaults are only important for skills you're worried about defaulting. Who cares if the NPC has "Desert Survival-12" because he has "Naturalist-15"?

GURPS (especially 4e) is designed to be as detailed or coarse-grained as you want. There's even rules in 4e for "generic skills", where "guns" covers lasers, rifles, shotguns, pistols, etc... and so-on.


I looked through the basic rules, and came to the conclusion, "ah hell naw!" It was really hard to keep trying to slog through it, even skipping a few pages here and there to try and find more to keep me interested.

I wanted to like it, so much. I still want to like it. But it's just not happening. I think my problem is that it tries to cover all the bases, so in order to find the parts that I want, I have to sort through all the stuff that I don't want.

There's a "primer" set of rules for players. I recommend starting there.

Knaight
2012-09-06, 01:39 PM
1) The Attribute system of GURPS is a bit plain... but the Advantages system really makes up for it. Especially when you start breaking it down to things like fine manipulation, eidetic memory & charisma.

2) AD&D has "lists of stuff" (don't know about 4e or the upcoming 5e). Lists of spells, lists of advantages, lists of skills... and more spells & advantages in every book. You want "basic", use the system from Vampire: The Masquerade.

3) If your disads overlap too much, then your GM should tell you "no, you can't do that". If you try getting "Thassalaphobia" (fear of oceans) in a desert game, the GM should say "that's a quirk at best in this setting". If you get Berserk, Bloodlust and Intollerance of Everyone Not the Same Race as You... then the GM should either say "that won't work in this setting" or make you suffer the effects of your disadvantages by making you kill the elf maid who just insulted your character.

4) 4e really cuts down on NPC requirements (at least for fighting). Most semi-important NPCs can be reduced to generic templates (the guards have DX 13, ST 12, HT 12 and 14 broadsword skill... nothing else of note). The quick-reference sheet gives you all the important notes (ST damage table, hit location table, etc.). Skill defaults are only important for skills you're worried about defaulting. Who cares if the NPC has "Desert Survival-12" because he has "Naturalist-15"?
1. I disagree. I've seen advantage systems that are just as good elsewhere, attached to much better attribute systems. The advantage system doesn't make up for anything, and better attribute systems can come from generic games, particularly those which don't have a defined set of attributes. Being able to set the attributes to something GURPS like for modern humans and "Traction, Memory, Computation Speed, Battery Life, Sensor Systems" for a robot campaign counts for a lot.

2. Clearly you haven't seen my voice my opinion on D&D before. Suffice to say: I'm ambivalent about GURPS, I consider D&D a mess that is holding the
industry back.

3. Basically, the GM has an incentive to see that the disadvantages are larger, and the players that they are smaller. This creates conflicts over this point, whereas disadvantages that give you something in use creates the same incentive for both GMs and players, where they are both interesting and relevant. Even your phrasing

4. That guard is also going to need statistics for chasing, statistics for senses, and a few other things just in the basic role. Added to that, I've found that the defaults come up with some frequency - you might not anticipate needing Desert Survival, but that doesn't mean it won't show up.

Mark Hall
2012-09-06, 01:57 PM
I read through GURPS 4e, and am trying to find folk to play it with. However, especially on these forums, people seem to dislike it. Why?

My personal issues with GURPS stem from character creation; in point-based systems, I am very likely to turn into a point whore, selling bits of character ideas for slightly more efficient point spreads.

If someone else makes my character? AWESOME. I played in a game of Technomancer (where we were all playing dragons in the Marine Aviation units based out of Khe-San in the Vietnam War... Zippo Flight! SEMPER FIRE!) that was rollicking fun, full of lunacy and near-death experiences fighting the Vietcong. It wasn't the system's problem at all... but making a character is beyond me.

TheEmerged
2012-09-06, 06:04 PM
GURPS has a soft spot in my heart as being one of the few systems I actually got the chance to *play* in as oppossed to being the perpetual GM\DC. It is not my favorite system, and like some other posters my experience with it is in the earlier, splatbook-heavy edition.

I did want to mention the "disadvantages that don't matter" criticism however. Speaking as someone who generally prefers and has mostly played in point-based systems, don't blame the system for that. It's a fair knock that this puts work on the GM to make those disadvantages play. But as GM, it's part of my job. That's like an olympic swimmer complaining about having to wear swimsuits, really.

Both times that I GM'd GURPS (superheroic and fantasy/martial arts), I advised players that they had no reason to expect to get full points for disadvantages that were less likely to matter in the campaign. I have to say that cut into that issue quite well.

In a similar vein, I'm used to point-based character creation so some of the other criticisms (like not being able to build a character in under 5 min) wouldn't apply to me.

-----------------------------------------

Now, again, this comes with the disclaimer that my experience is in the earlier edition. That said, here's what I didn't like \ felt didn't measure up about GURPS.

#1 and biggest for me -- for a generic system, it wasn't well balanced between the sources. A 200-pt martial artist, a 200-pt wizard, a 200-pt psion, a 200-pt alien, and a 200-pt superhero were all at different stages of power.

#2 is a nitpick: the vehicle rules are overcomplicated, and it was difficult at times to determine just how powerful the vehicle you just spent hours of spreadsheet development was.

#3 is specific to the superheroic rules: invulnerability is too cheap.

Knaight
2012-09-06, 06:11 PM
#2 is a nitpick: the vehicle rules are overcomplicated, and it was difficult at times to determine just how powerful the vehicle you just spent hours of spreadsheet development was.

4e fixed this, thankfully.

Winter_Wolf
2012-09-07, 04:22 AM
There's a "primer" set of rules for players. I recommend starting there.

This "primer" you speak of, is it on the SJG website? More importantly, is it a free download? Also, in the event that I get together a group of 4-6 people and we do decide to play, does that mean that someone will eventually have to slog through all those rules? 'Cause based on who I know, that someone would be me. :smallfrown:

Ashtagon
2012-09-07, 04:36 AM
This "primer" you speak of, is it on the SJG website? More importantly, is it a free download? Also, in the event that I get together a group of 4-6 people and we do decide to play, does that mean that someone will eventually have to slog through all those rules? 'Cause based on who I know, that someone would be me. :smallfrown:

The primer is officially called GURPS Lite, and is indeed a free download.

mcv
2012-09-07, 04:45 AM
I did want to mention the "disadvantages that don't matter" criticism however. Speaking as someone who generally prefers and has mostly played in point-based systems, don't blame the system for that. It's a fair knock that this puts work on the GM to make those disadvantages play. But as GM, it's part of my job. That's like an olympic swimmer complaining about having to wear swimsuits, really.
I think it's more like Olympic runners being required to run in wooden shoes. It's an extra job for the GM on top of everything else he has to keep track of. Many GMs forget, and that often means a free disadvantage.

I really prefer systems that encourage players to make their disadvantages count.



This "primer" you speak of, is it on the SJG website? More importantly, is it a free download?
I assue we're talking about GURPS Lite here? Yes, it's a free download, no doubt available through the SJG website. And it's all you really need to play.


Also, in the event that I get together a group of 4-6 people and we do decide to play, does that mean that someone will eventually have to slog through all those rules? 'Cause based on who I know, that someone would be me. :smallfrown:
Everything is optional. If your group doesn't want to bother with all the extra options and more detail, you can stick with GURPS Lite. If you want to use more, then yes, someone will actually have to read it before you can use it.

DigoDragon
2012-09-07, 06:59 AM
I did want to mention the "disadvantages that don't matter" criticism however. Speaking as someone who generally prefers and has mostly played in point-based systems, don't blame the system for that. It's a fair knock that this puts work on the GM to make those disadvantages play. But as GM, it's part of my job.

*Golf Clap*

Yeah, it is a GM responsibility to ensure those disadvantages come into play once in a while to justify the "free points". Really, I always advise GMs to be involved with each of their players during character creation to ensure everything can be worked in.
I even give bonus points for people coming up with backgrounds that incorporate those disadvantages.


Something else I like to do is make Willpower a separate stat, thus those self control rolls are just as hard for smart characters as they are for the more... salt-of-the-earth folk. :smallbiggrin:

Ashtagon
2012-09-07, 08:38 AM
I'm firmly of the opinion that a GURPS GM should always have veto rights over every aspect of character creation in his campaign. The complete flexibility that point buy allows equally allows for ridiculous levels of optimisation if there is no oversight.

Hylas
2012-09-07, 12:54 PM
I'm firmly of the opinion that a GURPS GM should always have veto rights over every aspect of character creation in his campaign. The complete flexibility that point buy allows equally allows for ridiculous levels of optimisation if there is no oversight.

GMs should have veto rights over any aspect of character creation in any game until the super ultra perfect RPG system without any imbalances or loopholes is created.

As for disadvantages:

1) With GURPS I get a feeling of "this will be a long running campaign" rather than a one-shot that D&D might have, but that could just be my experiences. With that in mind I think that DMs should work along side players to help make a character that will fit in the campaign. Indeed, my current Pathfinder game started the first session with everyone making characters together, deciding what kind of a campaign we will run and the DM even let us make decisions about some minor aspects of races if we were playing one. This always helps make a more cohesive group compared to the countless "I'm running a D&D game! Everyone bring a character!" without any oversight anywhere that usually falls apart after 3 sessions. With GURPS it's especially important that everyone be on the same page.

2) In the rules (4e) it does say that disadvantages that give the same effect shouldn't be taken together. Your character can't have "Wealth: Dead Broke" and "Vow: Poverty". No double-dipping. This is something I see new players trying to do constantly.

3) If you're taking disadvantages and the GM forgets that something comes into play and you don't bother to mention it ever then you're just taking advantage of human forgetfulness. RPGs aren't "players vs the GM" and should be a bunch of friends playing together to have fun. Have a fear of rivers and then a river shows up but the GM doesn't remember it? If you stay quiet about that then it's basically cheating. You're cheating both the game and yourself for losing out on a roleplaying opportunity.

The Cat Goddess
2012-09-07, 02:27 PM
1. I disagree. I've seen advantage systems that are just as good elsewhere, attached to much better attribute systems. The advantage system doesn't make up for anything, and better attribute systems can come from generic games, particularly those which don't have a defined set of attributes. Being able to set the attributes to something GURPS like for modern humans and "Traction, Memory, Computation Speed, Battery Life, Sensor Systems" for a robot campaign counts for a lot.

2. Clearly you haven't seen my voice my opinion on D&D before. Suffice to say: I'm ambivalent about GURPS, I consider D&D a mess that is holding the
industry back.

3. Basically, the GM has an incentive to see that the disadvantages are larger, and the players that they are smaller. This creates conflicts over this point, whereas disadvantages that give you something in use creates the same incentive for both GMs and players, where they are both interesting and relevant. Even your phrasing

4. That guard is also going to need statistics for chasing, statistics for senses, and a few other things just in the basic role. Added to that, I've found that the defaults come up with some frequency - you might not anticipate needing Desert Survival, but that doesn't mean it won't show up.

1) "Traction", really? Every thing else you mention is included in GURPS Robots (3e anyway). GURPS can be as fine-grained and detail-oriented as you prefer.

2) AD&D is good for what it is... "let's go kill monsters!" Another 4e system I never got into.

3) When you get away from min-maxers (and GURPS 3e has tons of ways to min-max), you find that disadvantages help define the character just as much (if not more) than advantages & skills. Why does your character have a Bad Temper? What made your character a Kleptomaniac? In fact, most of my group see Disadvantages as "role-playing rewards"... "You mean I get points for playing up the idea that my character upholds the law? Awesome!"

4) Move = (DX+HT)/4. Perception rolls = Int. If you want them to use shields, you get them the shield skill. If you discover you've forgotten something Ad-Lib it! The more you get bogged down in the numbers, the less fun your group is going to have.


*Golf Clap*

Yeah, it is a GM responsibility to ensure those disadvantages come into play once in a while to justify the "free points". Really, I always advise GMs to be involved with each of their players during character creation to ensure everything can be worked in.
I even give bonus points for people coming up with backgrounds that incorporate those disadvantages.

Something else I like to do is make Willpower a separate stat, thus those self control rolls are just as hard for smart characters as they are for the more... salt-of-the-earth folk. :smallbiggrin:

GURPS (3e) has the Weak Will disadvantage and the Strong Will advantage... it also has the "Rule of 14", in that no matter how high your Will Roll is, at 15+ always fails if you're trying to resist a disadvantage.

jindra34
2012-09-07, 02:59 PM
Something else I like to do is make Willpower a separate stat, thus those self control rolls are just as hard for smart characters as they are for the more... salt-of-the-earth folk. :smallbiggrin:

4e fixed this problem by making the self-control number a part of the disadvantage, the number altering the points given for this.

DigoDragon
2012-09-10, 06:52 AM
4e fixed this problem by making the self-control number a part of the disadvantage, the number altering the points given for this.

GURPS (3e) has the Weak Will disadvantage and the Strong Will advantage... it also has the "Rule of 14", in that no matter how high your Will Roll is, at 15+ always fails if you're trying to resist a disadvantage.

You are both correct. However I know my players well and they always leave the target numbers nice and easy unless I prod them a bit to build a "Good disadvantage". :smallbiggrin:

Set
2012-09-10, 10:01 AM
I've been playing GURPS since 1st edition, and am quite fond of it.

My favorite thing about GURPS is that you can design what you want, when you want (points willing). If I want to design a kickass pyromancer, I can have all of the fire spells, and a couple at a high level of proficiency, right out of the box, and continue improving them slowly over time. If I try that in D&D/PF, I have burning hands at 1st level, and I might be stuck with that for a half-dozen to dozen sessions, before moving up to scorching ray.

I want to make zombies? I can take the zombie spell with my 100 CP 'starting' character. I don't have to wait for 3rd level cleric spells or 4th level wizard spells. I can make a really good super-hero at 250 CP, or a competent fighter or mage at 100 CP (IMO, the creep to 150 CP as a 'generic' starting value is a bit overgenerous).

I want to make a mostly-fighter with a couple of spells? Easy enough. And there are several routes I can take. Single-college Magery can save some points. Taking a single spell as a knack could make the character good at a single trick, and skip Magery entirely.

I want to have some rogue-ish talents without being forever a weak fighter? Not an issue, buy the skills. I want a charismatic character? Charisma is relatively cheap, and won't overly restrict my characters strength or dexterity or intelligence. A few spells, some rogue skills *and* competent fighting? Do-able. You won't be a world-shaking mage, and you might have to go with a decent fencing weapon, or the quarterstaff (which is a good defensive weapon in GURPS!), but not someone that needs to hide in the back of the party and wait for combat to end to leech his share of XP.

With 100 CP, I made a dude with a spear, leather armor and a shield, who could cast Invisibility at skill 25 (enough that he could maintain it all day, for free) and had a few other utility spells (like Major Healing). All day long, permanantly invisible, able to all-out attack (meaning that he had no defense rolls at all, in exchange for a single attack at +4 or an extra attack) willy-nilly. Definitely a one-trick pony, but *fun.* Similar one-trick ponies included someone who was in intangible Body of Air form all day long, and used Wind Jet to blow people around with knockback attacks. He was unable to do physical damage, just toss people to the ground for his allies to finish off! Death Touch and Iron Arm where a classic 'mage-fighter' combination (sharing some prerequisites, meaning that if you have one, you might as well get the other), although Flame Jet and Winged Knife were also favorites.

I love the combat system. All sorts of targeted shots and different armor qualities, and damage multipliers for cutting and impaling weapons, and fun critical hit and miss options. Crossbows kick butt. A single hit from a sword can kill someone. A critical hit on a targetted shot to the vitals or the leg or the arm or the eyes can pretty much end any fight.

Some spells are a bit problematic. Iron Arm and other blocking spells can be 'too good' at times. Tanglefoot (a spell that trips an enemy) is pretty much an 'I win' button, at times. I'm not a fan of missile spells at all, but that's personal preference. Magic ranges are, for the most part, *tiny,* and make spell combat very intimate, compared to D&D/PF magic ranges. Your mage will almost always be far too close to the guys with the pointy bits, if he wants to affect people with magic in combat. That's pretty neat, and a nice balancing factor.

Defense rolls can creep up to the point where battles can take ages to resolve, as they are reduced to parry, parry, block, dodge-and-retreat, each side waiting for that un-blockable critical hit (or the other guy to critically fail a defense roll). GURPS 4e removed PD adding to all defense rolls, IIRC, which helped, but then added in a blanket +3 to all defense rolls, which kind of moved the goalposts around, without so much fixing the problem (attempting to address another problem, perhaps, that modern characters, who had no armor or shields, or weapons to parry with, generally couldn't make a defense roll to save their lives, and dropped like flies, which suited the GURPS Horror sub-genre, but not others).

Different sub-systems tend to use wildly different rules, and attempting to run a Supers game where one person is using GURPS Supers rules (balanced for 250 to 500 CP characters) and another is using GURPS Psionics rules (which can fly wildly out of control after 150 CP) and another is using stuff from GURPS Ultra-Tech (where the damage numbers can increase exponentially) and the last is using GURPS Magic rules (which can also produce freakish results at 250+ CP), and the whole notion of character points as a measurement of character power goes out the window.

Strapping on some sort of artificial limits, similar to those used by Mutants and Masterminds, could help even this up a bit (hardcapping someone to 1 die of damage and 5 pts of DR / 'level' with each 'level' being 25 CP or 50 CP or whatever, for instance, could help ensure that all of characters at 250 CP would do no more than X dice of damage and have no more than Xx5 DR). But, at lower point levels, and using just the fantasy setting and GURPS Magic, that's not really much of an issue.

The one thing about GURPS that has always felt off to me is the rules are great, but the setting(s) have always failed to have the spark that brings places like Greyhawk or Al-Qadim or the Scarred Lands to life (for me, anyway). The books can come across as a bit soulless and mechanical, at times, like the fantasy role-playing version of Star Fleet Battles, all about whiz-bang rules mechanics, and lacking the fun fiction bits that work so well in various White Wolf products. (There are exceptions, of course. I found lots of cool little snippets of flavor text in the 3e GURPS Bio-Tech, for instance, and kind of wish there was more of that in 3e GURPS Magic or GURPS Psionics or the core rulebooks.) There's also few published adventures, and, IMO, some of them suffer from the lack of a strong setting.

(Again, there are exceptions. The GURPS I.S.T. setting, for Supers, is awesome, and GURPS Old Stone Fort is a great '20s era horror/investigator sort of adventure.)

My favorite GURPS book was probably GURPS Timeline, chock full of 'weird history' that you can pillage for plot seeds or for long-lived characters (I used it extensively for my vampire characters, tying them into interesting and / or mysterious events in past decades or centuries). Totally system-adjacent, so it was as easy for me to use for Vampire the Masquerade characters as it would be for a Call of Cthulhu GM with a game set in the Roaring '20s, or a D&D/PF GM just looking for an intriguing plot relevant to his fantasy world's equivalent to Rome or China or wherever.

Enoan
2015-09-24, 07:53 AM
I actually learned GURPS before any other system, and I can say that it's biggest strength is cross genre settings. One of my favorite examples of this is a fantasy pirates, where magic replaces the use of any gunpowder weaponry. I can refer to both GURPS swashbucklers and GURPS fantasy, and the books merge nearly seamlessly. GURPS also takes pains to keep itself more grounded in reality than D&D or most other RPG systems, at least as long as you excuse magic. Really, I think the biggest flaw is that character creation takes so long, although once a character is made, playing is just as smooth as most other systems.

nedz
2015-09-24, 08:04 AM
Which GURPS splat book handles thread necromancy then ?