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SaveOrDye
2019-02-16, 03:27 AM
I'm considering planning a game (not necessarily on this forum) using one of the above systems, but I'm not sure which would be better for this sort of thing. By "relaxed", I mean that players would be encouraged to create characters with unusual powers. On one hand, GURPS offers more freedom - but M&M is made for this sort of thing and would be more welcoming to new players.

What do you think?

KOLE
2019-02-16, 03:33 AM
Speaking as someone who generally plays and runs more casual games, Ill say any mention of GURPs is a hard No from me.

Metahuman1
2019-02-16, 05:30 AM
Mutants and Masterminds.

Gm: Set a power Level. Give a premise. Cut off any particular power sources you don't want to deal with. (Say, no magic for a world with out magic for example.).



Players: Meet Defense Caps and trade offs. Buy a Movement Power. Buy at minimum 1 damage/attack power that meets too it-effect rank trade off caps in some manner. Throw minimum number of complications on it and a backstory.

Do whatever else you might want with remaining points and flavor too taste, including adding extra complications if desired.




Both: Play the game.

Jeraa
2019-02-16, 05:48 AM
I'm considering planning a game (not necessarily on this forum) using one of the above systems, but I'm not sure which would be better for this sort of thing. By "relaxed", I mean that players would be encouraged to create characters with unusual powers. On one hand, GURPS offers more freedom - but M&M is made for this sort of thing and would be more welcoming to new players.

What do you think?

Superheros is something GURPS doesn't really handle well. Its based on a more realistic scale. You can use it for supers, but it isn't the best option. Unless you give them a crap load of points (which is what the GURPS Supers book does).

Black Jester
2019-02-16, 05:50 AM
GURPS, by far. This isn't even a contest. A solid to mediocre game is never as good as a genuinely good one, even in its specific niche.
GURPS is just a generally better designed game, and I cannot think of a single aspect of a game that is not better solve in GURPS than in M&M: Character creation is faster, simpler and more engaging, the rules are cleaener, more intuitive and more streamlined, the game is actually fun and can handle a vast array of different genres and power levels...

Particle_Man
2019-02-16, 07:41 AM
Actually GURPS Supers is notorious for being badly designed. I would go with M&M here.

aaron819
2019-02-17, 11:18 AM
Normally I would jump at the opportunity to suggest GURPS, because it's one of the greatest systems ever, but supers is one of the few things it doesn't do well. Go with Mutants & Masterminds.

Son of A Lich!
2019-02-17, 03:45 PM
M&M hands down.

Mutants and Masterminds doesn't hand wave the big stuff but it never cared about the particulars. I think it is quite possibly the most versatile of any system I've ever played or run (With a possible exception to diceless systems that are only limited to imagination, like Dread or Fiasco).

I'd rather run M&M over D&D, to play D&D.

ngilop
2019-02-17, 03:50 PM
I'm considering planning a game (not necessarily on this forum) using one of the above systems, but I'm not sure which would be better for this sort of thing. By "relaxed", I mean that players would be encouraged to create characters with unusual powers. On one hand, GURPS offers more freedom - but M&M is made for this sort of thing and would be more welcoming to new players.

What do you think?

I cannot speak on M&M as I have never played that system.


But though GURPS does a lot of things well in terms of theme. Superheroes is not one of them, it is doable. But, the base assumption of GURPs is a bit too realistic and 'gritty' for effective superhero story telling.


Just my opinion. take it for what you will.

Kurald Galain
2019-02-17, 04:39 PM
Well I haven't played M&M yet...

...but GURPS is absolutely not relaxed, nor encouraging unusual powers, nor welcoming to new players; and I doubt it actually offers more freedom either, as it tries to rigidly define too much. I would certainly not recommend GURPS for the kind of game you're looking for!

Mr Beer
2019-02-17, 06:56 PM
I haven't played M&M, so I would use GURPS.

My reasons:

- Excellent system mechanics.
- Intuitive system, very easy to learn for players (roll 3d6 for nearly everything).
- Excellent, extremely broad selection of powers suitable for a superhero game.
- Room to create any setting and feel you want.
- Very helpful forum with highly experienced GMs and game designers. As in, the guys who write GURPS supplements personally provide feedback.

Caveats:

- GM needs to know GURPS. It's better thought of as a toolbox for systems rather than a system.
- GM will need to decide what to bring in and what to leave out. Setting will take some work.
- Easy for new players but GM should either provide templates or do a lot of the work to create players' vision.
- Pick the right supplements (Supers, Powers off the top of my head).

Quertus
2019-02-17, 11:10 PM
I will heartily recommend M&M. It's really easy to make most anything.

However, let's give GURPS a fair shake. So, people who know GURPS better than me, how would you (M&M answers in parenthesis)...

A) make a character tough enough to just ignore tanks? (Impervious Toughness 12ish - I misplaced my books)
B) make a character able to lift battleships? (Strength 50ish)
C) make a character who can create ice cream cones out of thin air? (Transform 1)
D) let a character fly with rocket boots (8-pt device / Fly 5)
E) have a character become incorporeal (Desolidify 5)

Now, for both camps: given those powers, suppose the super Strength character wants to make a mini earthquake or sonic boom. Or the person with rocket boots wants to use them to start a fire. Do either system allow for creative uses of the powers you've bought?

OP - to which set of questions are you more interested in the answers?

maruahm
2019-02-17, 11:54 PM
I'm not familiar with M&M, and I'm a big fan of GURPS, but I have a hard time believing that M&M wouldn't be the better option for a genre-specific supers game. Isn't M&M literally all about supers?


However, let's give GURPS a fair shake. So, people who know GURPS better than me, how would you (M&M answers in parenthesis)...

A) make a character tough enough to just ignore tanks? (Impervious Toughness 12ish - I misplaced my books)
B) make a character able to lift battleships? (Strength 50ish)
C) make a character who can create ice cream cones out of thin air? (Transform 1)
D) let a character fly with rocket boots (8-pt device / Fly 5)
E) have a character become incorporeal (Desolidify 5)

I'll answer this off the top of my head just to show that GURPS isn't so bad, but as I mentioned, why would GURPS do better than a genre-specific game in its own genre?

A: Damage Resistance [~500 pts] for a Cold War-era main battle tank. Way more for modern and future tanks. Add enhancements/limitations as necessary to get your model just right, but you can just take the advantage and forget about it if you'd like.

B: Super-ST [1,000+ pts]. Battleships are heavy, but Super-ST was made to deal with this. Again, you can add enhancements/limitations if you want more precision in just how you lift battleships, or you could just fire-and-forget.

C: Snatcher [~100 pts], and maybe some skill in Cooking (Confections) IQ+2 or Chemistry (Food Science) IQ+2. Which is... ~6 pts, not including the base IQ?

D: Acrobatics (Aerobatics) DX+6 (or more, if you have bad dex) to fly really well with rocket boots. As for acquiring rocket boots... you may well be able to find it in some GURPS supplement, but I don't have an encyclopedic knowledge of Ultra-Tech. So if you can't find it, I'd do something like Flight + Cybernetics (Electrical, Maintenance) + Can Be Stolen + whatever else defines rocket boots.

E: Incorporeal [100]. As with all other options, you can fine-tune your model with enhancements/limitations, or just fire-and-forget.


Now, for both camps: given those powers, suppose the super Strength character wants to make a mini earthquake or sonic boom. Or the person with rocket boots wants to use them to start a fire. Do either system allow for creative uses of the powers you've bought?

Yes and yes for GURPS, though I concede this requires some expertise on the DM's part. The mini-quake or sonic boom can be modeled with Innate Attack and I'm pretty sure there's a supplement with a limitation which deals damage (you can fine-tune as fire damage, with lingering or spreading effects) on an ability's activation. Attach it to the Cybernetic Can-Be-Stolen Flight and you're golden.

Knaight
2019-02-18, 12:54 AM
I genuinely like GURPS (for all that I tend to like something else more for basically every use case and thus not actually use it much), but you're aiming at one of its biggest weaknesses*. M&M is probably the better of the two options.

That said, have you considered Wild Talents?

*Though it still handles supers better than it does full pulp.

The_Snark
2019-02-18, 01:10 AM
For a relaxed game, I'd go with M&M. I haven't played GURPS much, but every time I've tried I found the amount of options and rules it threw at a new player sort of overwhelming. If your players are experienced with GURPS, then sure, go for it - if they're not familiar with either system, go with M&M.


Yes and yes for GURPS, though I concede this requires some expertise on the DM's part. The mini-quake or sonic boom can be modeled with Innate Attack and I'm pretty sure there's a supplement with a limitation which deals damage (you can fine-tune as fire damage, with lingering or spreading effects) on an ability's activation. Attach it to the Cybernetic Can-Be-Stolen Flight and you're golden.

Will it let players do this on the fly, though? That is to say: your player has super-strength, but neglected to buy a special sonic boom or mini-quake power, because they either didn't think of it when making the character or didn't think it would be worthwhile. M&M has a mechanic to let players temporarily get access to new powers, provided they can explain it away as some spin on an ability they already have; I think this is an important rule for the sort of game the OP plans to run.

Does GURPS have anything similar? I don't recall anything like in the base rules, but a) I don't know GURPS very well, and b) there might be a variant rule for it somewhere.

Particle_Man
2019-02-18, 01:15 AM
Oh, if we are allowed to suggest other games, I would suggest BASH! (the ultimate edition is the one I have). Basic Action Super Heroes basically does about 90% of what the more complicated games do with about 10% of the work.

maruahm
2019-02-18, 02:51 AM
Will it let players do this on the fly, though? That is to say: your player has super-strength, but neglected to buy a special sonic boom or mini-quake power, because they either didn't think of it when making the character or didn't think it would be worthwhile. M&M has a mechanic to let players temporarily get access to new powers, provided they can explain it away as some spin on an ability they already have; I think this is an important rule for the sort of game the OP plans to run.

I'd say no.

GURPS 4e does give GMs a lot of leeway in adjudication on-the-fly, for instance, Supers lets me put Striking ST (Super-Effort) in my Power bundle, and the GM can determine the Talent roll needed to cause a quake by comparing the strike damage to similar area effects. Players also get a lot of ways to create relevant effects on-demand, such as using Modular Abilities (Cosmic; Physical) to create the appropriate Innate Attack (Crushing; Area Effect) quake ability.

But I think that while these methods are functional in a gameplay sense, they're cop-outs because they're not mechanically elegant ways of generating mini-quakes with super-strength. Which is why I'd recommend players and DMs pick more-elegant genre-specific systems before they go to GURPS, such as M&M in the case of supers. Because while I love GURPS, there are problems inherent in its generic and finely tuned simulationist approach.

Willie the Duck
2019-02-18, 08:38 AM
I haven't learned GURPS 4e, so my knowledge there is out of date. My impression is not so much that GURPS would be bad for supers, so much as a lot of the good parts of GURPS would be wasted. That said, Champions is a game that basically has the same basic setup as GURPS, but with more optimization towards superhero games.

Neither, however, is really relaxed.

Razade
2019-02-18, 08:39 AM
I'd suggest using Masks. It's a really easy system to learn and you can tons of relaxed stuff with it.

Knaight
2019-02-18, 02:55 PM
I'd suggest using Masks. It's a really easy system to learn and you can tons of relaxed stuff with it.

It's a good system, but it only really works with teenage superheroes. That might be an issue here.

RazorChain
2019-02-18, 07:31 PM
I have little experience with M&M played a mini campaign in 2005 but I have extensive experience with Gurps as it's probably the system I've played the most since I discovered it in '93.


Gurps has problems with high power supers because of a broad spectrum of powers and powerlevels. That said Gurps can do Batman and X-men just fine and is actually excellent for low powered gritty supers campaign like Batman or Daredevil.

Rhedyn
2019-02-19, 12:53 PM
GURPS 4e seems to be "fine-enough" for superpowers. If you are a good GURPS GM, then use GURPS. If both systems are new to you, then M&M may work out better. (GURPS is a tool-kit and the quality of a campaign can vary wildly based on how you set up the skill lists and templates and point total).

I've also heard good things about the ICONS rpg and I am personally in a Savage Worlds supers game that works just fine for your "relaxed" idea.

Ts_
2019-02-19, 06:15 PM
Will it let players do this on the fly, though? That is to say: your player has super-strength, but neglected to buy a special sonic boom or mini-quake power, because they either didn't think of it when making the character or didn't think it would be worthwhile.

Yes, Gurps Powers introduces "Power stunts", which include the most stunty type of stunt "Using abilities at default" where you turn your existing (not Modular Abilities) power into some Ability that it could reasonably do and which costs less (guesstimated) character points. You pay for it with a lot of fatigue and with a difficult skill check to pull the stunt off. And it's subject to the DM's approval.

Turning Super-ST into an area-wide attack or affliction (a mini earth quake might just make you fall down or lose dexterity) seems reasonable as a stunt.

Using rocket boots for fire ... It depends. It could be trivial (because they are an item that burns, so why shouldn't that work), or it could be a power stunt as well.

I can definitely see the problem of forgetting to buy some smaller ability to do more common things in Gurps supers. Modular Abilities, even "a few" (in super terms) points worth of them can help there, or some of the more generic powers like Control or Create, though they don't fit all characters.

On the other hand, I think there's a deliberate decision in Gurps to make your abilities specific: There's a difference between a fire attack that will always do deadly damage and a fire attack that can do exactly the same damage or less if desired: The latter has the Variable enhancement. (It's totally okay to temporarily add this enhancement for a stunt, of course.) If a player forgot to add that enhancement and actually wants to have a Variable power, I'd also be fine with either retconning the character sheet or making an in-game point out of them learning to control the ability by spending gained character points on it.

If all heroes are meant to use their powers really creatively all the time, then in Gurps terms they simply have a lot more points invested in Modular Abilities than one might have thought by just looking at the price of a big Innate Attack (Fire bolt). This should be pointed out and handled during chargen. If you want a "relaxed" Gurps game with versatile Supers, then maybe 1000pts in some form of Modular Abilities (plus more in other things, like wild card skills) might just get you there. It would still be a good idea to spec out these Modular Abilities and come up with some example abilities that fit in their budget so that everyone understands what and what not they can do ... but in play, I'd mostly guesstimate costs of abilities.

Note: I've run only 2 street-level Supers one-shots in Gurps, where the chars were either premade by me or designed in a long session together. And while Gurps worked, it was also easy to make mistakes in character creation and when playing. I can totally see other systems being much faster with less paperwork.

Regards,
Ts

Milo v3
2019-02-24, 11:42 PM
A: Damage Resistance [~500 pts] for a Cold War-era main battle tank. Way more for modern and future tanks. Add enhancements/limitations as necessary to get your model just right, but you can just take the advantage and forget about it if you'd like.

B: Super-ST [1,000+ pts]. Battleships are heavy, but Super-ST was made to deal with this. Again, you can add enhancements/limitations if you want more precision in just how you lift battleships, or you could just fire-and-forget.

C: Snatcher [~100 pts], and maybe some skill in Cooking (Confections) IQ+2 or Chemistry (Food Science) IQ+2. Which is... ~6 pts, not including the base IQ?

D: Acrobatics (Aerobatics) DX+6 (or more, if you have bad dex) to fly really well with rocket boots. As for acquiring rocket boots... you may well be able to find it in some GURPS supplement, but I don't have an encyclopedic knowledge of Ultra-Tech. So if you can't find it, I'd do something like Flight + Cybernetics (Electrical, Maintenance) + Can Be Stolen + whatever else defines rocket boots.

E: Incorporeal [100]. As with all other options, you can fine-tune your model with enhancements/limitations, or just fire-and-forget.

Those point counts are so massively high @_@
Why would anyone use such a system to try and represent superheroes if you need to give your players thousands of points for the system to handle it?

Mr Beer
2019-02-25, 12:05 AM
Those point counts are so massively high @_@
Why would anyone use such a system to try and represent superheroes if you need to give your players thousands of points for the system to handle it?

Why is it a problem? A (very) rough equivalent of a D&D 1st or 2nd level might be 125 points in GURPS. A superhero might be 2,000 points, which is 16 times as many. Like a D&D character can be 16th level or 16x as many 'points'.

Grod_The_Giant
2019-02-25, 07:40 AM
Mutants and Masterminds by a longshot. Not only is it just...generally an amazing game, it's particularly good at letting you have parties full of really weird, out-there characters, which sounds like something you're after.

Scots Dragon
2019-02-25, 09:24 AM
Mutants & Masterminds is my favourite role-playing game ever, so I'd say go with that.

GURPS is what I'd run for a lower-level fantasy or contemporary or science fiction affair. Superheroes? All M&M.

Jeraa
2019-02-25, 09:33 AM
Those point counts are so massively high @_@
Why would anyone use such a system to try and represent superheroes if you need to give your players thousands of points for the system to handle it?

Well, yeah. GURPS is really for more realistic and gritty games. It can do over the top stuff like superheros, but requires a large number of points to do so. On the other hand, as it does have support for low-point character, you can model both powerful superheros, street level heroes, and common people all in the same game. Just in case you wanted to work out how many normal people it takes to overwhelm a superhero, or something.

Tanarii
2019-02-25, 10:36 AM
Neither. Both are oriented to heavy optimization, not filthy casuals. Which is unsurprising given they're point buy character building systems. Go buy a 2nd hand version of Palladium's Heroes Unlimited (2e) on Amazon. It'll be more balanced, and that's saying a lot. :smallamused:

Algeh
2019-02-25, 11:42 PM
GURPS is my favorite system by far for most things, but I wouldn't try to run a supers game in it unless my players were already pretty used to GURPS. New players can get really overwhelmed with the upfront work in character generation, so I like to have a much lower power level and limited set of options for the first few characters they create.

Enough points to do supers "right" in GURPS gives way too many different choices for someone to make good choices before they're used to the system and the tradeoffs a little more. Deciding how many points to put in attributes versus "normal" advantages versus skills versus powers could take a while for even an experienced player in a high point value game, and a newer player wouldn't really have a good sense of how useful various things will feel in play. I'd expect someone to show up with The Character With One Point In Every Skill and another to have The Character With The Highest Possible ___ And No Thought Given To Anything Else if not given a lot of guidance. Both of those are pretty annoying to live with as your PC in actual play.

JoeJ
2019-02-25, 11:45 PM
I'd use MM, and to make it even more relaxed (as well as friendlier to new players), I'd just have the players describe their characters and create the stats myself.

Milo v3
2019-02-26, 03:32 AM
Why is it a problem? A (very) rough equivalent of a D&D 1st or 2nd level might be 125 points in GURPS. A superhero might be 2,000 points, which is 16 times as many. Like a D&D character can be 16th level or 16x as many 'points'.

It's a problem because it's a massive amount of number inflation for no apparent benefit. If you need to have an insane number of points to cover something in a point-buy game then it raises the question of why you're even bothering to give them points rather than just saying you have x abilities. You're trying to shove a system to do things it's obviously poor at (something it sounds like the developers of the game themselves didn't realize).

Why would you trying to shove a square peg in a round hole, rather than just using a round peg that doesn't require bending over backwards to accomplish x, unless the square peg is the only system you are familiar with?

Rhedyn
2019-02-26, 08:00 AM
GURPS is my favorite system by far for most things, but I wouldn't try to run a supers game in it unless my players were already pretty used to GURPS. New players can get really overwhelmed with the upfront work in character generation, so I like to have a much lower power level and limited set of options for the first few characters they create.

Enough points to do supers "right" in GURPS gives way too many different choices for someone to make good choices before they're used to the system and the tradeoffs a little more. Deciding how many points to put in attributes versus "normal" advantages versus skills versus powers could take a while for even an experienced player in a high point value game, and a newer player wouldn't really have a good sense of how useful various things will feel in play. I'd expect someone to show up with The Character With One Point In Every Skill and another to have The Character With The Highest Possible ___ And No Thought Given To Anything Else if not given a lot of guidance. Both of those are pretty annoying to live with as your PC in actual play.

It's a mistake to assume GURPS (4e) is a "ready-to-play" system. The GM is basically required to make templates for players so that such problems don't happen. A really experienced group could go free-form well, but the GM should still be paring down the skill list to something appropriate for their campaign.

Thrudd
2019-02-26, 02:00 PM
It's a mistake to assume GURPS (4e) is a "ready-to-play" system. The GM is basically required to make templates for players so that such problems don't happen. A really experienced group could go free-form well, but the GM should still be paring down the skill list to something appropriate for their campaign.

That's exactly right. On top of a curated list of skills, which is absolutely necessary for any GURPS game, the GM could even specify a number of points that ought to go to attributes vs those allocated for skills, as well as suggesting reasonable maximums and minimums for attributes, and a range to shoot for on their intended "go-to" skills to give players a better guideline for building the characters. It's easy to avoid the problems of min-maxing with proper GM preparation- and GURPS is definitely a system that requires more prep and guidance from the GM than "here's how many points you get, and here's ten sourcebooks you can look through to pick your skills".

Ts_
2019-02-26, 02:03 PM
It's a problem because it's a massive amount of number inflation for no apparent benefit. If you need to have an insane number of points to cover something in a point-buy game then it raises the question of why you're even bothering to give them points rather than just saying you have x abilities. You're trying to shove a system to do things it's obviously poor at (something it sounds like the developers of the game themselves didn't realize).

The benefit is there, at lower point scales. I would guess 1 to 5 points is a common range for points gained as XP per session.

l also think the Gurps designers did realize that not all gamers benefit from picking every single point themselves, which is why there are templates, a small book devoted to the creation of templates, wild card skills, published alternative rules for Gurps without character points (!), and probably more.

And, just so you know, there is nothing wrong with saying "pick 3 abilities, don't bother to calculate points", in Gurps. (I guess that's the Gurps without points rule, in a nutshell, but I don't know.)

Best regards,
Ts

Mr Beer
2019-02-26, 06:52 PM
It's a problem because it's a massive amount of number inflation for no apparent benefit. If you need to have an insane number of points to cover something in a point-buy game then it raises the question of why you're even bothering to give them points rather than just saying you have x abilities. You're trying to shove a system to do things it's obviously poor at (something it sounds like the developers of the game themselves didn't realize).

Why would you trying to shove a square peg in a round hole, rather than just using a round peg that doesn't require bending over backwards to accomplish x, unless the square peg is the only system you are familiar with?

I find this objection baffling. Conceptually, GURPS is a points-buy system intended to cover the broadest possible range of settings ('universal'). Consequently, one uses few points to build a character in the 'human normal' range and many points to build a character in the 'superhero' range.

Nothing about that is 'obviously poor' or 'round peg in a square hole'. Nothing about the number 1000 is inherently 'massive' or 'insane'. Is the notion of currency inherently flawed because a pack of gum costs $1 and an automobile costs $20,000?

Of course, if using numbers leaves you aghast, you may of course go ahead and pick abilities if you like and work out the costs afterwards. Or not work out the costs at all. That's well within the capabilities of the system and an approach some GMs use.

Milo v3
2019-02-26, 07:11 PM
The benefit is there, at lower point scales. I would guess 1 to 5 points is a common range for points gained as XP per session.

l also think the Gurps designers did realize that not all gamers benefit from picking every single point themselves, which is why there are templates, a small book devoted to the creation of templates, wild card skills, published alternative rules for Gurps without character points (!), and probably more.

And, just so you know, there is nothing wrong with saying "pick 3 abilities, don't bother to calculate points", in Gurps. (I guess that's the Gurps without points rule, in a nutshell, but I don't know.)

Best regards,
Ts
That is all (except for the without points) considerably larger amounts of effort to expend for a campaign that is for people who making unusual powers (so they likely wouldn't be covered by existing example templates) and are more causal new players.


I find this objection baffling. Conceptually, GURPS is a points-buy system intended to cover the broadest possible range of settings ('universal'). Consequently, one uses few points to build a character in the 'human normal' range and many points to build a character in the 'superhero' range.

Nothing about that is 'obviously poor' or 'round peg in a square hole'. Nothing about the number 1000 is inherently 'massive' or 'insane'. Is the notion of currency inherently flawed because a pack of gum costs $1 and an automobile costs $20,000?

Of course, if using numbers leaves you aghast, you may of course go ahead and pick abilities if you like and work out the costs afterwards. Or not work out the costs at all. That's well within the capabilities of the system and an approach some GMs use.

I have no issue with "using numbers". It's more using a mass of $1 coins to buy a car worth $20,000 rather than handling it through digital currency or at the very least currency of higher denomination, that I find ridiculous. :smalltongue:

And yes, I am aware GURPS tries to be a universal system and tries to cover as much as it possible can in high depth. The issue is that trying to account for near infinite different scales of power in a high crunch system means that while it is manageable and theoretically handle different things, the further you go from the numbers the game was designed to function most efficiently at and the more things end up being just big numbers because "oh wow, this is insanely strong compared to human scale stuff". When I look at my copy of GURPS 4e, it even talks about 200 points and above being considered "High Powered" when gms should really be taking note of several different issues that can easily arise from players being powerful in it's system.

GURPS is a system that can try to mimic nearly everything, and in a way, it "Can". Assuming you use the right areas of the rules. But even it knows that things can get more difficult to run without higher levels of care and planning when the system gets to a certain degree of power.

Mr Beer
2019-02-26, 07:18 PM
I have no issue with "using numbers". It's more using a mass of $1 coins to buy a car worth $20,000 rather than handling it through digital currency or at the very least currency of high denomination, that I find ridiculous. :smalltongue:

Well, since points are conceptual rather than physical units of currency, they are effectively digital. Neither the GM or players are handling a suitcase full of poker chips representing points.


And yes, I am aware GURPS tries to be a universal system and tries to cover as much as it possible can in high depth. The issue is that trying to account for near infinite different scales of power in a high crunch system means that while it is manageable and theoretically handle different things, the further you go from the numbers the game was designed to function most efficiently at and the more things end up being just big numbers because "oh wow, this is insanely strong compared to human scale stuff".

Superhumans are insanely strong compared to human scale stuff.


When I look at my copy of GURPS 4e, it even talks about 200 points and above being considered "High Powered" when gms should really be taking note of several different issues that can easily arise from players being powerful in it's system.

GURPS is more of a toolkit than a system, so yeah it requires GM management to develop a setting. Higher power settings do require more management. I think that's inherent in a point buy system because you're going to need to work harder at balancing things.


GURPS is a system that can try to mimic nearly everything, and in a way, it "Can". Assuming you use the right areas of the rules. But even it knows that things can get more difficult to run without higher levels of care and planning when the system gets to a certain degree of power.

This is both true and different from your initial criticism.

Milo v3
2019-02-27, 12:43 AM
Well, since points are conceptual rather than physical units of currency, they are effectively digital. Neither the GM or players are handling a suitcase full of poker chips representing points.
Unless you have a different entity handling the point spending, then you're still managing it point-by-point.


Superhumans are insanely strong compared to human scale stuff.
Which is why the system requires you to spend a stupid amount of points to do anything superheroic.


GURPS is more of a toolkit than a system, so yeah it requires GM management to develop a setting. Higher power settings do require more management. I think that's inherent in a point buy system because you're going to need to work harder at balancing things.
Which makes it bad at what this thread is trying to accomplish. Square-Peg-Round-Hole.


This is both true and different from your initial criticism.
I was more starting it as the logic behind my initial criticism, rather than feeling I needed to restat the initial argument. I could have been clearer.

Rhedyn
2019-02-27, 08:32 AM
If you want Supers with smaller point buys, the Savage Worlds Superpowers companion at least delivers on that. 80 point buy characters could probably go toe-to-toe with any animated version of Superman.

Willie the Duck
2019-02-27, 12:38 PM
If you want Supers with smaller point buys, the Savage Worlds Superpowers companion at least delivers on that. 80 point buy characters could probably go toe-to-toe with any animated version of Superman.

That changes the granularity of the point-buy, but does SW handle the upper end of the scale better than GURPS (I've never played a high power SW campaign)?

Rhedyn
2019-02-27, 12:53 PM
That changes the granularity of the point-buy, but does SW handle the upper end of the scale better than GURPS (I've never played a high power SW campaign)?Well, I can say it handles super strength better since the lift weights table in the SPC scale exponentially rather than linearly like in GURPS 4e (though you could combo increased strength with the increased lift capacity powers).

But I can also say with confidence that High supers is easier and faster to run than GURPS is for me (I am currently in a 55 point campaign in Savage Worlds).

That being said, it's not Savage Worlds at its most elegant. Point buy supers is almost a different game and can easily lead to irrelevant builds costing the same as much stronger builds (Super body stats hero vs a shapechanging duplicator with extra action) and GURPS puts more thought into certain powers like shapechange or duplication than Superpowers companion Savage Worlds. And some Savage Worlds fans would complain that the crunch gets heavier, which is true for any high power Savage Worlds campaign (more complicated combat is more complicated. Who knew?).

Willie the Duck
2019-02-27, 02:34 PM
Okay, I guess I was thinking more of the overall dice mechanics and the such. GURPS* does really well when success rolls are in the 8-14 range, and the bonuses and penalties are relatively constant and in the small numbers. In the case of exceedingly high-point campaigns (or something like modern rifle combat), it can bog down into a case of 'okay, so because you sunk 200 points into your gun skill, the base chance of success is 25 or lower on 3d6, so automatic success (barring crit. fail), but there's a -15 penalty for range, +12 bonus for your scopes, -10 for relative velocity, +8 for super-X, -7 for extreme-Y, oh, and it's raining, so...'
*experience from GURPS 3e, may be outdated

Point being, some of the numbers in games like that can get so high, that they have greater influence than the 3D6 bell curve, and then the game becomes kind of a different game than GURPS fantasy or cliffhanger, where getting your skill from 13- to 14- feels like a real game-changer. I was just wondering if that happened with SW.

Rhedyn
2019-02-27, 02:46 PM
Okay, I guess I was thinking more of the overall dice mechanics and the such. GURPS* does really well when success rolls are in the 8-14 range, and the bonuses and penalties are relatively constant and in the small numbers. In the case of exceedingly high-point campaigns (or something like modern rifle combat), it can bog down into a case of 'okay, so because you sunk 200 points into your gun skill, the base chance of success is 25 or lower on 3d6, so automatic success (barring crit. fail), but there's a -15 penalty for range, +12 bonus for your scopes, -10 for relative velocity, +8 for super-X, -7 for extreme-Y, oh, and it's raining, so...'
*experience from GURPS 3e, may be outdated

Point being, some of the numbers in games like that can get so high, that they have greater influence than the 3D6 bell curve, and then the game becomes kind of a different game than GURPS fantasy or cliffhanger, where getting your skill from 13- to 14- feels like a real game-changer. I was just wondering if that happened with SW.

I had that happen in a SW Sci-fi/magic campaign where everyone had unlimited money/gear/magic items (fantasy companion). Yeah the average roll of the party was a d12+2 and my big bad was rolling a d12+6 for things he was bad at.

Superpowers does not get like that until point buys much higher than ours. But the downside to Superpowers is foes should have super powers as well. I was able to challenge the unlimited money party with "d12+2" extras (rather than the normal "d6" extras). This is a downside for Savage Worlds because normally a GM does not need to prep mook fights to have them feel dangerous and fun.

Mr Beer
2019-02-27, 05:42 PM
Unless you have a different entity handling the point spending, then you're still managing it point-by-point.

Not really. Say you buy 100 DR, you don't go "OK that's 1 DR, that costs 5 points. Now I will have another 1 DR, that's another 5 points. Now another one, that's 5 points..." and so on. You buy 100 DR for 500 points and then move on. You stated your concern that you don't use larger increments but of course you do use larger increments because you buy more expensive items.


Which is why the system requires you to spend a stupid amount of points to do anything superheroic.

You have yet to demonstrate anything 'stupid' about the number 1000.


Which makes it bad at what this thread is trying to accomplish. Square-Peg-Round-Hole.

GURPS requires significant GM work to make a superhero game or indeed most games. This is a feature not a bug. It can certainly be used for the purpose though. It's not bad at doing it.

Milo v3
2019-02-28, 11:52 PM
Not really. Say you buy 100 DR, you don't go "OK that's 1 DR, that costs 5 points. Now I will have another 1 DR, that's another 5 points. Now another one, that's 5 points..." and so on. You buy 100 DR for 500 points and then move on. You stated your concern that you don't use larger increments but of course you do use larger increments because you buy more expensive items.
There are still going to be many things that are going to cost 1 point, or require modifying things to figureout how many points each part of the ability will cost because of being modified since the abilities that are likely in the game as described are weird unique powers that might not be innately covered by unmodified powers.


You have yet to demonstrate anything 'stupid' about the number 1000.
It's stupid because it's number inflation without a benefit for the campaign. It's going to be just "well, you have your x high enough so you auto-succeed everything because the challenge was balanced below your characters superheroic level because the rest of the group exists" or "Only x character has any chance of interacting with the situation because it was balanced to be challenging enough to be a situation in which the character best at x would still need to roll, and the gap between the best person and everyone else at x is hundreds of points difference."

High numbers aren't innately bad. High numbers for no real benefit from aside from "can be used with the rest of the universal system so you can mix and match to build your own thing" on the other hand.... I'm iffy on.


GURPS requires significant GM work to make a superhero game or indeed most games. This is a feature not a bug. It can certainly be used for the purpose though. It's not bad at doing it.
Which doesn't really sound like the casual relaxed game that the OP was describing. It can be a feature in the right circumstances. For a relaxed supers game, it sounds very "round-peg, square-hole" to have that many points that will just make everything much harder to deal with rather than making the game run smoothly.

AceOfFools
2019-03-01, 12:38 AM
You have yet to demonstrate anything 'stupid' about the number 1000.


With 1000 points, the number of choices you have to make during character creation is insane, and you will need to use a spreadsheet to reasonably track all of them. Even just in the "walking invincible chick" bucket, if you decide 500 points for DR is enough, you now need to calculate how much for stamina, HP, you want, plus what skills you want, and how much you want to invest in each.

Decisions get harder the more choices you have to make (analysis paralysis), the more points you have, the more decisions there is, and the greater the opertunity to **** things up is. Say you really don't want to deal with the spreadsheets to build a GURPS character and just dump all 1000 points into DR. You're character is now useless in every situation where DR isn't the only feature you need, such as every combat you want to defeat any enemy in. (And any options that can bypass DR become stupidly unfair).


GURPS requires significant GM work to make a superhero game or indeed most games. This is a feature not a bug. It can certainly be used for the purpose though. It's not bad at doing it.

It is, in fact, a bug.

The more the system demands of my time as a GM, the less value I'm getting out of the money I spent on the books. Why should I use GURPS, if I could get good results with M&M, Masks, or a Savage Worlds system that doesn't require me take the role of game designer? And if I'm willing to be a game designer, why should I spend my time adapting the attempting-to-be-ultra-realistic GURPS engine to fit a realism-is-actively-detrimental genre, like superheroes?

Mr Beer
2019-03-01, 12:45 AM
There are still going to be many things that are going to cost 1 point, or require modifying things to figureout how many points each part of the ability will cost because of being modified since the abilities that are likely in the game as described are weird unique powers that might not be innately covered by unmodified powers.

Things can cost one point and abilities will need to be calculated. This is not a crazy idea in a point buy system.


It's stupid because it's number inflation without a benefit for the campaign.

No, it's a bigger number because a bigger point character gets more points.


It's going to be just "well, you have your x high enough so you auto-succeed everything because the challenge was balanced below your characters superheroic level because the rest of the group exists" or "Only x character has any chance of interacting with the situation because it was balanced to be challenging enough to be a situation in which the character best at x would still need to roll, and the gap between the best person and everyone else at x is hundreds of points difference."

You're saying the GM should make things balanced? Yep agree. That's how GURPS works.


High numbers aren't innately bad. High numbers for no real benefit from aside from "can be used with the rest of the universal system so you can mix and match to build your own thing" on the other hand.... I'm iffy on.

Powerful characters in a points buy system that goes from zero to hero, will need a lot of points. This is a feature, not a bug.


Which doesn't really sound like the casual relaxed game that the OP was describing. It can be a feature in the right circumstances. For a relaxed supers game, it sounds very "round-peg, square-hole" to have that many points that will just make everything much harder to deal with rather than making the game run smoothly.

No, it will work fine...if the GM does the work first. So, they will need to make a bunch of decisions about which rules to use, and which not to use. For this kind of thing, I'd narrow down to using as few a skill modifiers as possible and switch on some cinematic options. I'd decide on max damage/max DR to apply to the game.

Then I'd either make character templates (or pull them from a book) or discuss the characters with the PCs and do the work in building them. Then run through what they can do until everyone is happy.

There's stuff to do there. At the other end, the players can jump in and start doing stuff. There can be very low crunch requirement for them and zero maths.

Son of A Lich!
2019-03-01, 01:45 AM
Mr. Beer...

I can make any character from My Hero Academia at PL 10 with 150pp in under an hour (hell, likely in under 10 minutes for most characters like Rock dude and Sugar rush guy) with Mutants and Masterminds that all play completely differently from one another and are fairly balanced with each other.

Can you honestly say the same for GURPS super? Can you honestly tell me you could Stat up All Might with a thousand points in under an hour? Mt. Lady? Eraser Head? Bakugou? Because I think I could stat up all four of them in the time it takes you to finish one.

Rhedyn
2019-03-01, 07:39 AM
Mr. Beer...

I can make any character from My Hero Academia at PL 10 with 150pp in under an hour (hell, likely in under 10 minutes for most characters like Rock dude and Sugar rush guy) with Mutants and Masterminds that all play completely differently from one another and are fairly balanced with each other.

Can you honestly say the same for GURPS super? Can you honestly tell me you could Stat up All Might with a thousand points in under an hour? Mt. Lady? Eraser Head? Bakugou? Because I think I could stat up all four of them in the time it takes you to finish one.GURPS isn't for people who only want to do an hour prep work, GMs and players alike.

JoeJ
2019-03-01, 12:54 PM
GURPS isn't for people who only want to do an hour prep work, GMs and players alike.

I would expect that something that uses Fate Core or Fate Accelerated would require less prep than either GURPS or M&M. Does anybody here know if Wearing the Cape is any good? Or, failing that, some other Fate-based supers game?

Rhedyn
2019-03-01, 02:33 PM
I would expect that something that uses Fate Core or Fate Accelerated would require less prep than either GURPS or M&M. Does anybody here know if Wearing the Cape is any good? Or, failing that, some other Fate-based supers game?

I've heard good things about ICONS which is Fudge based, which is basically the same thing as Fate-based.

Mr Beer
2019-03-02, 03:19 PM
Mr. Beer...

I can make any character from My Hero Academia at PL 10 with 150pp in under an hour (hell, likely in under 10 minutes for most characters like Rock dude and Sugar rush guy) with Mutants and Masterminds that all play completely differently from one another and are fairly balanced with each other.

Can you honestly say the same for GURPS super? Can you honestly tell me you could Stat up All Might with a thousand points in under an hour? Mt. Lady? Eraser Head? Bakugou? Because I think I could stat up all four of them in the time it takes you to finish one.

You're tackling a claim that I never made. I don't know any of those characters so I can't say how long it would take to stat them out but sure, if you want to win that hypothetical contest, go ahead, it's yours.

To reiterate: you can definitely use GURPS to run a superhero game. You can definitely use GURPS to run a relaxed superhero game which is easy for the players. It will take time and effort for the GM though, which I've repeatedly said.

Son of A Lich!
2019-03-02, 04:44 PM
You're tackling a claim that I never made. I don't know any of those characters so I can't say how long it would take to stat them out but sure, if you want to win that hypothetical contest, go ahead, it's yours.

To reiterate: you can definitely use GURPS to run a superhero game. You can definitely use GURPS to run a relaxed superhero game which is easy for the players. It will take time and effort for the GM though, which I've repeatedly said.

No, no... I'm giving a metric for crunch vs. results - The amount of time and effort a GM to run a game with an example from the genre.

You could easily replace MHA with Avengers or Justice League and the end result is that M&M is just easier to construct characters with on the fly for super hero games. I don't need templates for Superman's Impervious Toughness, because there is already a power for Impervious Toughness. As for his weakness to Kryptonite and Magic, there is already a complication to hand just that.

I'm assuming that a GM running a relaxed, rules light, game would be more inclined to a system that is specifically designed to make the process easy.

Why fret over how much more powerful Goku is compared to a guy at the gym when they are never going to be faced against one another? If you and I both agree that Goku is X higher then a standard strong dude, why not simplify everything to working within that metric?

Or, as Milo was saying, why work with pennies when Hundred dollar bills are available.

The accounting of point buy is perfectly fine and acceptable at a normal GURPS level, but you are using the wrong system if you have to overload the point buy to properly maintain the narrative theme, not to mention that it becomes exceedingly easier and easier to break the game when you start throwing out Points like candy.

The GM is a player too, and asking the GM to put their heart and soul into, essentially, homebrewing a gaming system based off of GURPS when M&Ms is an option that does the job better and has balance as a core feature is a pretty hard sell to me.

I agree that GURPS has more minutia of detail, especially at lower levels, but this is directly antithetical to the goal of the thread. Less Crunch, more Beer and Pretzels, m'thinks.

Mr Beer
2019-03-02, 05:12 PM
Sure, if you want to plug and play, GURPS isn't the right system. I'm just saying, it can in fact be used for the stated purpose, with the caveat that the GM is going to be doing some work. I'd use it myself for this, rather than buy and learn MM, but I enjoy tinkering with crunch.

Beleriphon
2019-03-03, 10:18 AM
The GM is a player too, and asking the GM to put their heart and soul into, essentially, homebrewing a gaming system based off of GURPS when M&Ms is an option that does the job better and has balance as a core feature is a pretty hard sell to me.

I agree that GURPS has more minutia of detail, especially at lower levels, but this is directly antithetical to the goal of the thread. Less Crunch, more Beer and Pretzels, m'thinks.

M&M is ultimately better for superheroes, in no small part because superheroes as a genre convention don't run on minutia of detail. Nobody cares exactly how much Superman can lift, only that it is enough to emulate the comics, the exact value isn't relevant per se. Much the same nobody is worried if Cyclops' optic blasts are more powerful than tank 88mm canon but less than a 120mm artillery gun.