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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Friv View Post
    *snip*
    i was attempting to avoid bringing up fatal's terribad design decisions in terms of detailed mechanics, and stick only to the fact that it is the game is more detailed, complex, and random then gurps ever would be


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    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    i was attempting to avoid bringing up fatal's terribad design decisions in terms of detailed mechanics, and stick only to the fact that it is the game is more detailed, complex, and random then gurps ever would be
    Yes, and I was countering that FATAL is so terribad that comparing it to - well, really to anything - is not a particularly useful thing to do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    i was attempting to avoid bringing up fatal's terribad design decisions in terms of detailed mechanics, and stick only to the fact that it is the game is more detailed, complex, and random then gurps ever would be
    The problem with FATAL's randomness is that it isn't good randomness. It's like Hall knew just enough statistics when he wrote it to understand that things should follow normal curves, but not enough to grasp that things like max speech rate and average speech rate should be correlated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    The problem with FATAL's randomness is that it isn't good randomness. It's like Hall knew just enough statistics when he wrote it to understand that things should follow normal curves, but not enough to grasp that things like max speech rate and average speech rate should be correlated.
    It's more like Hall spent years reading bad fantasy, looking through pornography, skimming mythology, and accidentally coming upon a picture of a normal curve once on Wikipedia. Then, through the magic of the Dunning Kruger effect, he produced FATAL while convinced he was a genius with a broad set of skills.
    Last edited by Knaight; 2012-11-13 at 12:30 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fusilier View Post
    Alright, I've got to admit that I've come across this more lately, and it bugs me. "No, you can't take megalomania! Not only does it specifically say that it's intended for evil NPC's, and you're supposed to be a body guard, how can I expect your character to fit in with the group?!"
    Were you there in my Serenity games? I've seriously had longwinded arguments with players about the Sadist defect in that game. Not singular Player, plural players. Three of them... in two games.

    The problem with what this leads to, of restricting specific defects or combinations of defects is that you can't stop the players from seeing that shiny defect and incorporating it into their concept on contact. Then, to enforce your GM restrictions, or to create new ones when the final character isn't appropriate anymore due to unforseen defects, you have to argue with your players over their character concept. You have to tell your player you have veto power over the one thing he undoubtedly should have absolute control over.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reaper_Monkey View Post
    I can see your argument, as I've heard it many times before. Ultimately what it comes down to is your answers to two questions: 1) Should negative physical or personality traits provide mechanical compensation? and 2) Should there be mechanical rules which help structure your characters behaviour, or is that solely the domain of how players choose to RP?
    I think this pretty much explains my attitude... my answer is no-no and I practically ignore Alignment in D&D.

    Personally, if I WERE to want to represent the idea of characters who are remarkably expert in spite of their character flaws or physical drawbacks they would either be directly related, like the character Monk's OCD directly contributing to his thorough examination of the details of a crime scene, in which case it'd be a complicated enough mechanical package that it'd need to be worked out and constructed all at once... or it'd be a case where someone learns more because they were challenged more by the same set of circumstances, in which case they might earn more xp or cp or whatever.

    I do not like to see a conceptual psychic become more powerful when he lost his conceptual legs, or a conceptual wizard getting a spell to fly thanks to the points he picked up for being a racist.
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    Default Re: Why I Strongly Dislike GURPS

    There are options other than giving building points for flaws. It usually boils down to giving points for players that choose to put themselves in those conditions. That's how most modern systems do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    There are options other than giving building points for flaws. It usually boils down to giving points for players that choose to put themselves in those conditions. That's how most modern systems do it.
    I'd also note (for third parties) that this outright encourages taking flaws that come up, then actually having them come up. It's generally a better mechanic in every way than disadvantage points.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    I'd also note (for third parties) that this outright encourages taking flaws that come up, then actually having them come up. It's generally a better mechanic in every way than disadvantage points.
    Agreed completely.
    Marvel Heroic Roleplaying uses it to encourage specific behavior, using 'triggers'. They are not necessarily bad things to do, just things you expect the character to do. Do those things, you get points. For example, Captain America has disbanding the Avengers or starting a new group of Avengers as one of his triggers. The Runaways have distrusting adults as one of their triggers. And so on so forth. It's a very cool system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    Agreed completely.
    Marvel Heroic Roleplaying uses it to encourage specific behavior, using 'triggers'. They are not necessarily bad things to do, just things you expect the character to do. Do those things, you get points. For example, Captain America has disbanding the Avengers or starting a new group of Avengers as one of his triggers. The Runaways have distrusting adults as one of their triggers. And so on so forth. It's a very cool system.
    The Shadow of Yesterday is similar, though the mechanic is called Keys there. Then there's always Aspects, which are pretty much the flagship implementation of this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    For example, Captain America has disbanding the Avengers or starting a new group of Avengers as one of his triggers.
    I remember waaaay back when I was a little one, my school computers had this zoo tycoon knockoff game (it might actually have been part of the series but I doubt it) with an amusing bug: You only pay your employees at a certain time every day, but hiring new employees is instant and they go to work right away. If you wait until immediately before the pay time, fire your entire staff, then quickly hire them back, you can get the same productivity without having to actually pay them anything.

    I wonder... does Avengers membership work by the same mechanics?
    Last edited by Craft (Cheese); 2012-11-13 at 11:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    I wonder... does Avengers membership work by the same mechanics?
    Well, there is nothing stopping you from doing it over and over. I guess heroes would simply stop joining the Avengers if that was the case, though.
    Since this is Cap's 10 XP trigger, though, it can only be triggered once per story. So while you can do it how many times you want, you only get points for doing it once per story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    The Shadow of Yesterday is similar, though the mechanic is called Keys there. Then there's always Aspects, which are pretty much the flagship implementation of this.
    Hm, I'm not familiar with Shadows of Yesterday. Does it have a free version somewhere?
    EDIT: It sounds awfully familiar to Lady Blackbird, btw.
    Last edited by ThiagoMartell; 2012-11-13 at 11:36 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    Hm, I'm not familiar with Shadows of Yesterday. Does it have a free version somewhere?
    There's this.
    The .pdf version does cost money though, which basically comes down to convenience.
    Last edited by Knaight; 2012-11-13 at 11:39 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    There's this.
    The .pdf version does cost money though, which basically comes down to convenience.
    Wow, it looks exactly like Lady Blackbird. Which probably means Lady Blackbird is a hack of Shadow of Yesterday. Thanks for the link, man.

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    I don't much care for GURPS either, but I sort of disagree with your reasoning. If you play it out of the box, what you say is true. But it isn't meant to be played out of the box. GURPS is a framework for creating a game. The way a good GM runs it is not to use all the rules, but to choose a subset of the rules that represent the game he wants to run.
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    Quote Originally Posted by valadil View Post
    The way a good GM runs it is not to use all the rules, but to choose a subset of the rules that represent the game he wants to run.
    I think its actually impossible to use all of the rules at the same time - even if you accept several alternative means of producing the same affects, there are a number of rules that are mutually exclusive. Your assessment is correct though, in that the core basic rules are not intended to suit every genre and game - its universal quality comes from choosing which rules (and material) to use.
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    Default Re: Why I Strongly Dislike GURPS

    This thread has continued a surprisingly long time without flames, even despite the early mention of FATAL. Nice.

    Also, I'm now inspired to rewrite my homebrew system to replace the one-time character point bonus for taking a disadvantage, with a mechanic to give something of value when a trait is disadvantageous during play.

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    Also, I'm now inspired to rewrite my homebrew system to replace the one-time character point bonus for taking a disadvantage, with a mechanic to give something of value when a trait is disadvantageous during play.
    Well, depending on how generous you are about giving out character points after adventures, you could change it so that each disadvantage that came up and materially affected the game during the last adventure is worth additional CP at the end base on how severe the disadvantage is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    I'd also note (for third parties) that this outright encourages taking flaws that come up, then actually having them come up. It's generally a better mechanic in every way than disadvantage points.
    While I do agree it is a better mechanic, I also think that formalizing it will lead to power imbalances based on how often you manage to bring up your 'thing', and that potential power imbalance will cause a game to be a contest toward exposing the characters' flaws to air as often as possible.

    It's like, if Oracle doesn't get bonus XP for any mission where her watchtower isn't invaded and her paraplegia doesn't put her at risk, then she'll have less interest in watchtower security, since she's rewarded when it's bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    Agreed completely.
    Marvel Heroic Roleplaying uses it to encourage specific behavior, using 'triggers'. They are not necessarily bad things to do, just things you expect the character to do. Do those things, you get points. For example, Captain America has disbanding the Avengers or starting a new group of Avengers as one of his triggers. The Runaways have distrusting adults as one of their triggers. And so on so forth. It's a very cool system.
    I just feel like this sort of skinner box rewards system will cause people to perform in really predictable ways. "Oh, it's the start of the story? Captain America reforms the Avengers, Spider-Man's crypt keeper aunt has another heart attack, Wolverine gets on a motorcycle and rides away like a badass loner (on his way to the six other teams he's on) and Hank Pym beats his wife." and any story where they miss a trigger will feel like lost opportunity.

    It seems like the reward for behaving like a character you like is, well, behaving like the character you like.

    Personally, I liked Mutants and Masterminds' Defects system best of any I've read, since the rewards for being penalized by your shortcomings and character are non-permanent tokens that could be cashed in for stuff like rerolls, not for advancement. Most importantly, it didn't have a long list of defined and detailed defects with the implication you should take a double handful. It gives one or two examples appropriate to the genre and says, 'ya know, if you want...'
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    I wonder... does Avengers membership work by the same mechanics?
    That's up to the GM to enforce. As GM, I would recognize that constantly assembling and disassembling the Avengers isn't just a simple binary switch. That's gonna have major consequences (like, you know, characters seeing Cap as utterly wishy-washy and lots of people getting miffed)...and I'd also have to see something far more than Cap just saying "You're assembled"/"You're disbanded" to hand out the XP. That, and the per-rules limitation that you're only supposed to trigger the 10XP point once per Act.

    Now, back to the original topic. I feel like GURPS' particular style is constraining for me. That there's lots of dramatic story dynamics that I want to watch play out, but the rules just tend to get in the way, as in "we have to resolve this, and then we can get there".

    To slant quote from The Matrix... "Stop trying to play the game and play the game!" (At least for me.)

    Burning Wheel's skill list is pretty much the upper limit of crunch detail I'm okay with, and that game only pulls it off (for me) by abstracting difficulties into a dramatic scale instead of a quasi-realistic scale.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    It's more like Hall spent years reading bad fantasy, looking through pornography, skimming mythology, and accidentally coming upon a picture of a normal curve once on Wikipedia. Then, through the magic of the Dunning Kruger effect, he produced FATAL while convinced he was a genius with a broad set of skills.
    That is also plausible. Although since he essentially used multiple iterations of the central limit theorem to generate character attributes, I'm fairly sure he actually has had some contact with normal distributions.

    As I said, the majorly stupid part of FATAL character generation isn't that it uses insane dice rolling to approximate a normal curve, it's that all the sub-attributes are independent. It's like building a person by sampling a height, then independently sampling a weight, intelligence, etc, from the general population.

    Another stupid thing is that although these things are probably approximately normal in distribution, they won't all have the same mean and variance, which IIRC the generation method he uses does. Or rather they can, but you'd have to use insane troll units to scale them right.

    (edit: assuming I'm remembering how FATAL works correctly, you either roll against your oh-so-carefully normalized stats or get a bonus based on how large that role was, right? In which case your probability of success or probability of getting a bonus isn't normally distributed anyway. Your probability of rolling under your attribute (or any other numbers) is P(X <= x), so your probability of 'success' is Bernoulli(P(X <= x)). Thanks to the Probability Integral Transform P(X <= x) is approximately distributed as a random number between 0 and 1. You can approximate this pretty well by rolling d100 or d1000 and dividing by 100 or 1000, respectively. So all that work to get normally distributed abilities makes squat difference in terms of actually playing the game.)

    tl:dr. Hall never did a 400 level probability course.
    Last edited by warty goblin; 2012-11-14 at 02:00 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerthanis View Post
    I just feel like this sort of skinner box rewards system will cause people to perform in really predictable ways. "Oh, it's the start of the story? Captain America reforms the Avengers, Spider-Man's crypt keeper aunt has another heart attack, Wolverine gets on a motorcycle and rides away like a badass loner (on his way to the six other teams he's on) and Hank Pym beats his wife." and any story where they miss a trigger will feel like lost opportunity.
    That doesn't really apply to Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, since you're not supposed to stick to a character and advancement is all but optional.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerthanis View Post
    Personally, I liked Mutants and Masterminds' Defects system best of any I've read, since the rewards for being penalized by your shortcomings and character are non-permanent tokens that could be cashed in for stuff like rerolls, not for advancement.
    Which is the same system MHR uses.
    Also, there are alternate rules to use hero points for advancement. I thought it was the default on 3rd edition, but I could be wrong,.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerthanis View Post
    Most importantly, it didn't have a long list of defined and detailed defects with the implication you should take a double handful. It gives one or two examples appropriate to the genre and says, 'ya know, if you want...'
    Which is also what MHR does (and also Shadow of Yesterday), except it gives you more options if you don't want to invent something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    *Snip*
    I realize my mistake: I said FATAL gave a "rewarding" experence when i didnt mean too.

    What i meant really was, if you can L2Play FATAL, it might be fun, only problem is, it is a system that makes GURPS look simple and straight forward


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    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    Which is the same system MHR uses.
    Also, there are alternate rules to use hero points for advancement. I thought it was the default on 3rd edition, but I could be wrong,.
    That's not what you really described, though.

    Captain America gains points for assembling the Avengers, not for having no idea what texting is (although he might get points for that too. But that's not what you said he gets points for).

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    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    What i meant really was, if you can L2Play FATAL, it might be fun, only problem is, it is a system that makes GURPS look simple and straight forward
    Suprisingly for most people GURPS is simple and straight forward to play. Running it on the other hand is a lot of work, and most of it doesn't actually get seen (but does impact the game).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jade Dragon View Post
    That's not what you really described, though.
    I apologize for not conveying the point clearly, then.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jade Dragon View Post
    Captain America gains points for assembling the Avengers, not for having no idea what texting is (although he might get points for that too. But that's not what you said he gets points for).
    I don't understand the point you're trying to make here, sorry.

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    I personally think GURPS is brilliant. There is so much there that it opens the game to a whole world of crazy possibilities that are fun to play with. I also love how complex of a character you can make. They have so much layer to them, it just makes the whole experiences of getting into their head and actually playing THEM so much more rewarding. And the roleplaying of personality in GURPS is enforced, which is good as a GM to stop players from attempting something not on their character sheet. However, it is a game you need to know the rules to play, so all players should at least be versed in the basics of combat before playing. Also players should acquaint themselves with their character traits before any playing begins.

    Personally, I have a computer based GURPS character generator. It has all content and it allows for the building of the characters to be very quick. However, descriptions of each and every advantage and disadvantage still have to be looked up. It mostly just keeps track of advantage points and does a lot of the simple math for you. Helps to make the stat crunching less arduous and character building shorter.

    Quote Originally Posted by jindra34 View Post
    Surprisingly for most people GURPS is simple and straight forward to play. Running it on the other hand is a lot of work, and most of it doesn't actually get seen (but does impact the game).
    Agreements. While I will admit that a lot of planning, number crunching, and time that goes into the start of a GURPS campaign, playing the game is incredibly simple. Being a player is almost effortless. Being a GM however can be a nightmare sometimes, because you really have to pay attention to the details of each character and are the one who really has to kept the number strait in your head. You really have to KNOW the rules.

    Personally, I tend to make up opponent's stats off the top of my head instead of plan them. I know the ball park stats for what counts as incompetent, competent, or skilled in everything, so I can just make things up from there. But like I said, I KNOW the rules.
    Last edited by BootStrapTommy; 2012-11-15 at 04:22 AM.
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    I had two problems with Gurps maybe even three,

    1) Was told by the dm to design a 100pt character with 40pt disadvantages and up to 5 quirks... okay asked was told I couldn't select martial artist advantage and then turned up for the game with everyone else to discover the dm had designed a 200pt character for one of the players to run that totally ignored everything he said making it virtually impossible for any of us to demonstrate what we could do, we even had a Sherlock Holmes style character in a fantasy game with the same restrictions as I thought we all had and the dm did everything to hinder the fact he was messing up the game because we weren't interested in what he wanted to run.

    2) I created a Zhodani psion with dwarfism and made use of the secret disadvantage along with eidetic memory so he really wasn't any use in a firefight but was great as an engineer in retrospect I really wish i hadn't bothered with the psionics as they really weren't worth the trouble!

    3) I ran a game using the 4th edition version and tried a game loosely based on an episode of Sol Bianca, my mistake was to try and creat the characters myself as the players really didn't like that I tried to insure they had the skills to cover two or so roles which didn't necessarily needed them to have high skill levels as I prefer to run fun games over railroads but no chance and I admit i should have just let them design their own characters but their chief complaint was that these were 100pt characters in a Gurps Traveller game whose core setting book mentioned about them being 150pts, however if Gurps was really the universal game it claimed to be that shouldn't be a problem.

    As you can tell I'm not a fan of having to have higher point characters simply because they can't see it really isn't necessary, I won't go into how some of the Gurps games I played in often involved dmpc's of much higher points than the rest of the others playing altogether because the dm wanted to show how great his campaign idea was ignoring that this was supposed to be a game everybody could enjoy.

    And whilst I have been guilty at least with that Traveller game I tried to run, I've run games where I've rewarded them for surprising me or coming up with good ideas and thats not something I've seen in the Gurps games I've played in!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopeless View Post
    I had two problems with Gurps maybe even three
    Okay, I understand you've had trouble with this game in the past, but none of these are limited or even encouraged by GURPS - and entirely the fault of poor GMing. Here, let me illustrate with D&D:

    1) Was told by the dm to design a 5th level character with up to one flaw... I was told I couldn't select any ToB classes. I then turned up for the game with everyone else to discover the dm had designed a 10th level character for one of the players to run that totally ignored everything he said (it was a swordsage) making it virtually impossible for any of us to demonstrate what we could do, we even had a Sherlock Holmes style character in a fantasy game with the same restrictions as I thought we all had and the dm did everything to hinder the fact he was messing up the game because we weren't interested in what he wanted to run - basically he was railroading at the expense of my entire character concept.

    2) I created a Zhodani psion with dwarfism he really wasn't any use in a firefight but was great as an engineer, in retrospect I really wish i hadn't bothered with the psionics as they really weren't worth the trouble! The whole Power Point Reserve system just doesn't work well imo.

    3) I ran a game using the 4th edition version and tried a game loosely based on an episode of Sol Bianca, my mistake was to try and create the characters myself as the players really didn't like that I tried to ensure they had the skills to cover two or so roles by having all of them multi-classed. I should have just let them design their own characters but their chief complaint was that these were 5th level characters in a setting that mentioned them normally starting at 9th level, however as D&D allows 5th level that shouldn't have been a problem.

    None of these complaints are system dependant, I'd say all of them are rooted in DM vs Player discord, other than the psionics (but in gurps there are so many different systems you could use - its not hard to just ask the DM to use a different one, which I guess does make it fall back into a DM vs Player communication issue).
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  29. - Top - End - #59
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    Default Re: Why I Strongly Dislike GURPS

    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    That doesn't really apply to Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, since you're not supposed to stick to a character and advancement is all but optional.
    I haven't played Marvel Heroic, but you described it as a "10 xp trigger". Excuse me for assuming 10 xp had anything to do with advancement, I must have been crazy.

    Anyway, it wasn't so much a criticism of a game I've never played in a 'why I snoodle doodle GURPS' thread, I was just trying to show what bothered me about GURPS in terms of Superheroes, which was what people were talking about most recently.

    It was just an illustration of what I believe will be the behaviour of players humans when presented with a rewards system; a rewards system which builds up points towards big rewards, combining conditioned responses with variable rewards. People will compulsively activate because they almost cannot help but build up towards that shiny reward and delight in taking steps toward it. This is why I don't like the alternative disadvantage system of having bonus xp based on the interval of inconvenience these defects provide.

    This is why I think defects are fundamentally not salvageable as a part of a basic ruleset. Just cut it out, it's a tumor.
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    Default Re: Why I Strongly Dislike GURPS

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerthanis View Post
    I haven't played Marvel Heroic, but you described it as a "10 xp trigger". Excuse me for assuming 10 xp had anything to do with advancement, I must have been crazy.

    Anyway, it wasn't so much a criticism of a game I've never played in a 'why I snoodle doodle GURPS' thread, I was just trying to show what bothered me about GURPS in terms of Superheroes, which was what people were talking about most recently.

    It was just an illustration of what I believe will be the behaviour of players humans when presented with a rewards system; a rewards system which builds up points towards big rewards, combining conditioned responses with variable rewards. People will compulsively activate because they almost cannot help but build up towards that shiny reward and delight in taking steps toward it. This is why I don't like the alternative disadvantage system of having bonus xp based on the interval of inconvenience these defects provide.

    This is why I think defects are fundamentally not salvageable as a part of a basic ruleset. Just cut it out, it's a tumor.
    Yeah, and we should totally cut out xp and skill advancement, because just being with your friends and roleplaying should be its own reward and putting the goal of character gain just causes nothing but trouble!

    Seriously though, if you take that idea to its logical conclusion, that's where you end up.

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