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Thread: GURPS flaws?

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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default GURPS flaws?

    Okay, cool kids, hit me with the GURPS flaws.

    Let me start by saying I'm using GURPS Lite and that's it. I'll write the rest of the rules for a high-fantasy system myself. I looked at how much work I was putting into modding D&D and finally decided I wanted a more flexible system that would allow a custom, non-Vancian magic system (among other things).

    So what do you hate about the core GURPS system?

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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    Hate?
    I know exactly one person who hates GURPS, and it's clearly one of those bad-memory-association things like that one food you threw up once when you had the stomach flu and now you can't eat (he had a power gamer who broke the magic system, relative to the other players, I think is the story).

    As to Flaws, well (and some of these are stretching the term flaw quite a bit here)--

    1. hopefully you know that GURPS has the capacity to be highly crunchy (yes, even GURPS Lite), that could certainly be seen as a flaw, depending on your individual preferences.

    2. Deadly Combat. Again, this is really a preference. However, for a game with so much pagecount dedicated to combat rules (and a rather intensive character creation workload), the general advice for combat is, "avoid it! You won't live, and then you have to spend all that time making a new character!"

    3. The system is certainly gameable. such as:
    • Two abilities have a reasonable cost in isolation but have remarkable synergy.
    • Various disadvantages overlap in what they restrict, yet each still give the same bonus points as if they were taken in isolation. V
    • arious disadvantages (particularly roleplay-ones such as Sense of Duty or Fanaticism) often reward your character for what you were going to do with them anyways.
    • Other disadvantages like terminally ill or some extreme vulnerability to X (or vital dependence on Y) fit the category of 'gun aimed at you that the GM can't fire' (because then you are straight up dead and making a new character, wheee!).


    4. Advancement does not have the same feeling as a levelling or other kind of game. Being a 100 point character and getting 5 cp in adventure reward and spending it... makes you exactly the same as if you had created a 105 point character. Like most of these, it's pretty subjective, but I know a lot of people have said that they just don't find that it feels as much of an accomplishment.

    5. "Illusory Realism" -- GURPS is supposed to be the 'realistic' simulationist point-buy game (while HERO System is more the 'adhering to genre-convention' simulationist point-buy game). I've found that, oftentimes, it's only the illusion of realism. and example: Character in 20th century adventure game tries to throw the adventure macguffin from one moving train to another going the opposite direction on parallel tracks. Once you reduce someones 'ability to throw something' into a 3-18 number... and factor in a +/- for distance.. and add a +/- for relative velocity... and add a size-based bonus penalty (either for the object or the target)… and factor in wind +/-... and rain +/-... and visibility +/-... and realizing that the GM is probably deciding the light level or weather only after you all realize that it will be pertinent... And if no one brought up the visibility table, they may well have not bothered to think about that one..You will end up with number. A solid, real number, probably between 8 and 14, which is the number that you have to best on a 3d6 roll to succeed at this endeavor. It is concrete, solid, theoretically reproducible in the next similar situation and thus perhaps next time you could slightly gauge whether you wanted to attempt such an action. But did it end up being either particularly realistic or all that meaningful? That's a lot harder to say.

    That's about all I can think of. Like I said, it's mostly preference-level stuff. I played the heck out of it in the 90s, but I probably won't again (in no small part because, if I want a fairly crunchy game, I have more friends who like Hero 6E), but that's not because there are specific flaws in it.

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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    Hate?
    I know exactly one person who hates GURPS, and it's clearly one of those bad-memory-association things like that one food you threw up once when you had the stomach flu and now you can't eat (he had a power gamer who broke the magic system, relative to the other players, I think is the story).

    As to Flaws, well (and some of these are stretching the term flaw quite a bit here)--

    1. hopefully you know that GURPS has the capacity to be highly crunchy (yes, even GURPS Lite), that could certainly be seen as a flaw, depending on your individual preferences.
    I *think* I can mitigate this, to an acceptable degree, by being a good GM. But I find a little bit of crunch is good IF it's enabling the players.

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    2. Deadly Combat. Again, this is really a preference. However, for a game with so much pagecount dedicated to combat rules (and a rather intensive character creation workload), the general advice for combat is, "avoid it! You won't live, and then you have to spend all that time making a new character!"
    Again, I *think* I can mitigate some of this. I have some ideas. But I'm pretty okay with deadly combat and death spirals. I am worried about pacing and player enjoyment. D&D has always been very combat-oriented and most fantasy RPGs have followed this lead. Deadly combat does detract from some player preconceptions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    3. The system is certainly gameable. such as:
    • Two abilities have a reasonable cost in isolation but have remarkable synergy.
    • Various disadvantages overlap in what they restrict, yet each still give the same bonus points as if they were taken in isolation.
    • Various disadvantages (particularly roleplay-ones such as Sense of Duty or Fanaticism) often reward your character for what you were going to do with them anyways.
    • Other disadvantages like terminally ill or some extreme vulnerability to X (or vital dependence on Y) fit the category of 'gun aimed at you that the GM can't fire' (because then you are straight up dead and making a new character, wheee!).
    I'd like to say that starting from the Lite I can fix this. The truth is I'll just make my own mistakes and have to fix them as I go. The people I play with are more interested in making interesting characters than in making optimum builds, though. So I've got that going for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    4. Advancement does not have the same feeling as a levelling or other kind of game. Being a 100 point character and getting 5 cp in adventure reward and spending it... makes you exactly the same as if you had created a 105 point character. Like most of these, it's pretty subjective, but I know a lot of people have said that they just don't find that it feels as much of an accomplishment.
    Yeah, that's a really good point because it's a big deal for player enjoyment. I'm hoping that pacing the game so that players finish discrete arcs will help with that. But only time will tell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    5. "Illusory Realism" -- GURPS is supposed to be the 'realistic' simulationist point-buy game (while HERO System is more the 'adhering to genre-convention' simulationist point-buy game). I've found that, oftentimes, it's only the illusion of realism. and example: Character in 20th century adventure game tries to throw the adventure macguffin from one moving train to another going the opposite direction on parallel tracks. Once you reduce someones 'ability to throw something' into a 3-18 number... and factor in a +/- for distance.. and add a +/- for relative velocity... and add a size-based bonus penalty (either for the object or the target)… and factor in wind +/-... and rain +/-... and visibility +/-... and realizing that the GM is probably deciding the light level or weather only after you all realize that it will be pertinent... And if no one brought up the visibility table, they may well have not bothered to think about that one..You will end up with number. A solid, real number, probably between 8 and 14, which is the number that you have to best on a 3d6 roll to succeed at this endeavor. It is concrete, solid, theoretically reproducible in the next similar situation and thus perhaps next time you could slightly gauge whether you wanted to attempt such an action. But did it end up being either particularly realistic or all that meaningful? That's a lot harder to say.
    That's another good point. I tend to be less concerned with realism than I am with consistency and logic. I'd probably handle that situation by determining how hard the task is, asking the player what bonuses they are applying, factoring in that the player characters are the heroes of the story, and make a roll. It's not perfect but it wouldn't be perfect even if we spent twenty minutes precisely factoring everything in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    That's about all I can think of. Like I said, it's mostly preference-level stuff. I played the heck out of it in the 90s, but I probably won't again (in no small part because, if I want a fairly crunchy game, I have more friends who like Hero 6E), but that's not because there are specific flaws in it.
    Thanks, I appreciate the response.

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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    Not so much for GURPS Lite but for GURPS itself, one issue (not a flaw, per se) is that there are so. many. advantages/disadvantages/skills. This requires the GM to go over them (and if there are more than the base books allowed, to go over the ones in those books too) to decide which advantages/disadvantages/skills will be allowed in *this* campaign and which will not. Then the GM has to tell the players in a clear manner. The GM should also tell the players which advantages/skills a character *must* have (if any) or even give those to the players for free. This requires some work by the GM.

    The alternative is *anything goes*. That can lead to synergistic abuse, noted above. It can also lead to analysis paralysis, as there are just so many options. Finally, it can lead to that "did I leave anything out?" feeling like forgetting that a soldier should likely consider combat reflexes and/or high pain threshold as advantages, or that to cast spells you need the Magery advantage, or that a certain skill (or set of skills) is appropriate to have for the character you chose. Templates can help a lot here.

    The more you as GM prune, the less likely those problems will occur, but they can still be issues even with medium to heavy pruning, depending on your players. And of course if you prune heavily enough, you might ruin possible fun character concepts your players have and want to try out.

    Oh, and some players just need to have their characters take the "common sense" advantage. These are usually the players that don't think that they need it. It is best to just give it to all your players for free to mitigate the problem and potential accusations of favouritism.

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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    GURPS isn't actually an RPG system. It's an RPG toolkit.

    That extra layer of work puts most GMs off, which kills the game.

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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhedyn View Post
    GURPS isn't actually an RPG system. It's an RPG toolkit.

    That extra layer of work puts most GMs off, which kills the game.
    I have run GURPS for 1 adventure, over 3 sessions, and this is very true. But it also requires a higher level of player buy-in too. If they don't want to use the same tools as the GM, the game is not going to work out. Everyone has to want to fit within the same genre and style. If one player makes a no combat monk, and another makes a pure combat knight for a medieval political game, the game is going to have difficulties. This occurs with other games, but it seems more noticable in GURPS.
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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    Start small: Craft your Bonsai instead of letting the 'kinder' (players) play freely (kreigspeil) in the 'garten' (adv/disadv/skills options left ON). Trust me, have a very tight leash on what's allowed! If in doubt, the answer is "NO." Good luck!
    Last edited by opaopajr; 2019-08-16 at 02:47 AM.

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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Particle_Man View Post
    Not so much for GURPS Lite but for GURPS itself, one issue (not a flaw, per se) is that there are so. many. advantages/disadvantages/skills. This requires the GM to go over them (and if there are more than the base books allowed, to go over the ones in those books too) to decide which advantages/disadvantages/skills will be allowed in *this* campaign and which will not. Then the GM has to tell the players in a clear manner. The GM should also tell the players which advantages/skills a character *must* have (if any) or even give those to the players for free. This requires some work by the GM.

    The alternative is *anything goes*. That can lead to synergistic abuse, noted above. It can also lead to analysis paralysis, as there are just so many options. Finally, it can lead to that "did I leave anything out?" feeling like forgetting that a soldier should likely consider combat reflexes and/or high pain threshold as advantages, or that to cast spells you need the Magery advantage, or that a certain skill (or set of skills) is appropriate to have for the character you chose. Templates can help a lot here.
    Hopefully building out from Lite rather than paring down from published sourcebooks will help with the bloat and duplication issues. I think templates are great and have some ideas along these lines I'm going to try to articulate.

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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhedyn View Post
    GURPS isn't actually an RPG system. It's an RPG toolkit.

    That extra layer of work puts most GMs off, which kills the game.
    See, I always saw D&D in that fashion as well and then I kept encountering players who were annoyed that my undead were sprinters (it was the 80's, I was ahead of my time) or some other setting specific change I'd made. I like being able to use my own fluff/lore rather than being locked into someone else's. So I recognize this and embrace it.

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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    Quote Originally Posted by jjordan View Post
    See, I always saw D&D in that fashion as well and then I kept encountering players who were annoyed that my undead were sprinters (it was the 80's, I was ahead of my time) or some other setting specific change I'd made. I like being able to use my own fluff/lore rather than being locked into someone else's. So I recognize this and embrace it.
    Well if GURPS proves too much, you can give Savage Worlds or Fudge a try. (Though Savage Worlds is a system not a tool kit. But what you describe is part of the "Trappings" mechanic)

    There all good generics, it depends on what crunch level you want. (Also Fudge die >>> Fate die)
    Last edited by Rhedyn; 2019-08-16 at 09:46 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjordan View Post
    Okay, cool kids, hit me with the GURPS flaws.

    Let me start by saying I'm using GURPS Lite and that's it. I'll write the rest of the rules for a high-fantasy system myself. I looked at how much work I was putting into modding D&D and finally decided I wanted a more flexible system that would allow a custom, non-Vancian magic system (among other things).

    So what do you hate about the core GURPS system?
    It's a bit difficult to provide a meaningful discussion about the merits and flaws about GRUPS if you are only using like less then 5% of the system.

    I expect that many criticisms of GURPS lite can be countered with "well, normal GURPS adresses this".

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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    There is also a very active GURPS forum at forums.sgjames.com.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode View Post
    It's a bit difficult to provide a meaningful discussion about the merits and flaws about GRUPS if you are only using like less then 5% of the system.

    I expect that many criticisms of GURPS lite can be countered with "well, normal GURPS adresses this".
    That's very true. I guess I was looking more at criticisms of mechanics in general.

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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    I haven't been active on these forums for over a year and only happened to log into this account right now to post a request for help evaluating the custom magic system I'm working on for GURPS.

    Massive coincidence, I know, but that should really tell you about how building a magic system in GURPS works. I hate the 3rd Edition vanilla magic system, personally. It's a research tree kind of thing; you can't learn the paralysis spell until you learn the spasm spell, you can't learn the spasm spell until you learn the twitch spell, etc. etc.

    I'll probably put a link to my post about making a magic system if I follow through on composing it, it's mostly finished in theory but I'm down to the part where I have to assign point values to stuff and I'm getting gunshy, the math involved is getting overly complicated and clunky.


    As for general system critiques, just make sure you understand that GURPS is a very different feel than D&D.A high level fighter in D&D can absolutely wipe the floor with six level one idiots holding knives, but I (as the GM) have lost fairly easily what I thought was a hard boss fight just because the two highly talented high-point-value well equipped fighters were outnumbered by the three player characters and their four man NPC entourage. One guy's leg got disabled early on, and the other simply got overrun because the two warriors were designed to mutually support one another.

    Basically what I'm saying is that unless you really, truly give them the points and options to become actual superheroes, they are still just people, and they need to think smart and pick their battles because they aren't the gods of war D&D makes its player characters.

    Also, this is from 3rd edition, I know 4th edition is a little different but still nearly the same. Learn the combat in and out, enough to make recommendations to the players because it's A LOT, and knowing the right maneuvers to use, the right skills to take, and how things work.
    Last edited by Milodiah; 2019-08-18 at 11:29 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhedyn View Post
    GURPS isn't actually an RPG system. It's an RPG toolkit.

    That extra layer of work puts most GMs off, which kills the game.
    This. Perfectly put.

    Also, the 1-second "world of statues" combat is boring as hell to me. This sucked all my group's interest in delving deeper into combat maneuvers and such, and we ended up simplifying it as much as possible.

    That said, we still had a couple very good campaigns in GURPS.

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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    Most of my observations are character building oriented:

    1) DX and IQ are very powerful. Min-maxers instincts will be to dump all their points
    2) It has Magery add onto IQ. Magery is as powerful as HT or ST by itself and I recommend simply using it as a stat all its own.
    3) One of the big things that forumites on the GURPS forum prefer is to cap the stats at 14-16 (I can't recall which). This keeps you from being able to access nearly every skill possible at professional competence
    4) Skills are priced based on their IRL difficulty and in no way based off their usefulness to characters. That's... fine, but it discourages a lot of interesting choices. You might want to lay aside some points for "civilian" skills so that characters don't feel like they worked as Murderhobos forever.
    5) Social Status and Wealth are priced the way they'd be priced in Real Life. You, the Game Master, must be careful to reward them for being chosen.
    6) High payout disadvantages are crippling.
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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    Although the cursed disadvantage is hilarious if you want to play a Wile E. Coyote type.

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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhedyn View Post
    GURPS isn't actually an RPG system. It's an RPG toolkit.

    That extra layer of work puts most GMs off, which kills the game.
    Eh, it's really one level above RPG toolkit, it's more of an RPG lego set. You can do a lot of things with it, but you will find yourself restricted by the fact you're using blocks.

    I mean, it's not like Eclipse Phase where everything's geared towards one setting, or Dungeons & Dragons where everything's geared towards one genre, but compared to Fudge you're going to find yourself limited by the inbuilt system and assumptions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhedyn View Post
    Well if GURPS proves too much, you can give Savage Worlds or Fudge a try. (Though Savage Worlds is a system not a tool kit. But what you describe is part of the "Trappings" mechanic)

    There all good generics, it depends on what crunch level you want. (Also Fudge die >>> Fate die)
    Ironically I got into GURPS because I didn't find Savage Worlds versatile enough. Also GURPS really plays into the kind of games I prefer and never knew I did until I played it. I like detail, I like gritty, and I like the sense of verisimilitude GURPS has to offer.


    Also, as a side note, GURPS is not actually as deadly as the memes like to point out. Sure, it's deadly, but outside of modern day settings armour can soak a good amount of damage (if you're not wearing reflec when the gauss weapons come out) and it takes twenty points of damage to start threatening death to a bulk standard human. While it can be 'one hit with a good weapon and you're dead' it doesn't have to be, you can survive a sword hit if you're not unlucky.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    but compared to Fudge you're going to find yourself limited by the inbuilt system and assumptions.
    Fudge is more of a "meta toolkit". It helps you make the toolkit you need to make the system you want.


    Fudge and GURPS share a lot of philosophy. Except Fudge expects you to add the rules your table needs as time goes on. GURPS requires that you figure that out ahead of time. A good GM of both will have similarly complex games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by White Blade View Post
    Most of my observations are character building oriented:

    1) DX and IQ are very powerful. Min-maxers instincts will be to dump all their points
    2) It has Magery add onto IQ. Magery is as powerful as HT or ST by itself and I recommend simply using it as a stat all its own.
    3) One of the big things that forumites on the GURPS forum prefer is to cap the stats at 14-16 (I can't recall which). This keeps you from being able to access nearly every skill possible at professional competence
    4) Skills are priced based on their IRL difficulty and in no way based off their usefulness to characters. That's... fine, but it discourages a lot of interesting choices. You might want to lay aside some points for "civilian" skills so that characters don't feel like they worked as Murderhobos forever.
    5) Social Status and Wealth are priced the way they'd be priced in Real Life. You, the Game Master, must be careful to reward them for being chosen.
    6) High payout disadvantages are crippling.
    Thanks, that's exactly the sort of commentary/warnings I was looking for. I figure I'll try to deal with 1 and 3 and 4 and 6 via a character creation process. I could try to deal with min-maxing with a bunch of rules, but I figure I'll leave that to the DM and players establishing what sort of game they want to play. Most of the people I played with were more interested in making interesting characters than making archetype RPG characters (Tank, Healer, etc...)

    I'm still thinking magery over.

    Quote Originally Posted by Milodiah
    Massive coincidence, I know, but that should really tell you about how building a magic system in GURPS works. I hate the 3rd Edition vanilla magic system, personally. It's a research tree kind of thing; you can't learn the paralysis spell until you learn the spasm spell, you can't learn the spasm spell until you learn the twitch spell, etc. etc.
    I kind of like the research tree, myself. But I've got a system where magic scales and diversifies. So you've got a basic flame spell that a lot of people can do. But then you've got the upscaled version of it that produces fireballs and only a few people can do that (because of the power requirements, and the control, and the knowledge required).

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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    Yeah, I'm going to agree with a lot of what has been said.

    I don't hate GURPS - I actually love it, I think point-buy systems are much more fluid than fixed-leveling systems and that GURPS in particular really lets you build just about anything you want in a character. But that said, it does suffer from some pretty big flaws.

    First, it is setting-agnostic. That both is and isn't a problem. Like, when you think D&D, you have an image - monsters, magic, epic adventures. When you think Vampire: The Masquerade, you think drama, angst, and character arcs. When you think Five Rings, you think flavor out the wazoo. And that's the point - those systems have setting and flavor baked in. GURPS does not, which means that it can adapt to any setting, but also that the mechanics are, on their surface, dull and lifeless. They're raw numbers, in a vacuum.

    Which leads right into the second problem, which has been mentioned - it is super crunchy. Like, ridiculously crunchy. I mean, yeah, most rolls can be resolved by 3d6, that's great, but figuring out what to roll is frequently nightmarish. And having the requisite abilities to be able to do whatever it is you need that 3d6 for, that can be complicated too. While the system can do just about anything, developing the system mastery to figure out how to do that requires a software suite and experience comparable to a graduate degree.

    Seriously, that software thing is no joke. If you find a comprehensive GURPS chargen suite with multiple books in it, hold onto that puppy like it's the Holy Grail.

    And then there's the third, related problem - front-loading. GURPS at any level is absurdly front-loaded. As opposed to a system like D&D, where character growth is evenly distributed across the game in the form of leveling, GURPS dumps most of it on Session Zero, and has fairly light progress thereafter. The plus side is that it's very easy to build the character that can do the things you want right out of the gate, and spend the rest of the game getting comfortable with their abilities. The minus side is that upgrades will be infrequent if ever, which renders it pretty unforgiving to new players - you, as DM, basically have to walk them all through chargen, or they are likely to end up with useless husks that don't really contribute. There are no level-ups to let you retrain into a more suitable class, and the level of crunch upfront means that even making a starting character is a daunting task.

    Ultimately, GURPS will put a ton of burden on you, the GM. You are responsible for your players' good time, you are responsible for their effective chargen. It can be done - I still remember an odious mute brawler I had, who took a set of advantages that resulted in him being mostly unkillable and his damage being measured in mooks per round. He was on a team with a masked antihero with an infinite supply of liquid C4. It was glorious and insane and required several hours to build the characters before we even started.
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  22. - Top - End - #22
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel View Post
    First, it is setting-agnostic. That both is and isn't a problem. Like, when you think D&D, you have an image - monsters, magic, epic adventures. When you think Vampire: The Masquerade, you think drama, angst, and character arcs. When you think Five Rings, you think flavor out the wazoo. And that's the point - those systems have setting and flavor baked in. GURPS does not, which means that it can adapt to any setting, but also that the mechanics are, on their surface, dull and lifeless. They're raw numbers, in a vacuum.
    I *think* I can deal with this by starting with Lite and building into a setting. It will lack the instant 'Oh, I know what we're doing' recognition you get by saying "D&D" but that's an advantage as well as a disadvantage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel View Post
    Which leads right into the second problem, which has been mentioned - it is super crunchy. Like, ridiculously crunchy. I mean, yeah, most rolls can be resolved by 3d6, that's great, but figuring out what to roll is frequently nightmarish. And having the requisite abilities to be able to do whatever it is you need that 3d6 for, that can be complicated too. While the system can do just about anything, developing the system mastery to figure out how to do that requires a software suite and experience comparable to a graduate degree.
    I hope that process and management of expectations can deal with this. Specifically, when faced with this situation I (as the GM) will make a quick determination of difficulty. I'll ask the player for bonuses they are applying (leaving it up to them to rapidly come up with those). And then we'll roll and move on. Did we miss some modifiers that might have applied? Probably. But we got close enough for game purposes. And I'll make sure to be upfront about this because I don't want to end up annoying a grognard/GURPS-die-hard with my comfort with imprecision.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel View Post
    And then there's the third, related problem - front-loading. GURPS at any level is absurdly front-loaded. As opposed to a system like D&D, where character growth is evenly distributed across the game in the form of leveling, GURPS dumps most of it on Session Zero, and has fairly light progress thereafter. The plus side is that it's very easy to build the character that can do the things you want right out of the gate, and spend the rest of the game getting comfortable with their abilities. The minus side is that upgrades will be infrequent if ever, which renders it pretty unforgiving to new players - you, as DM, basically have to walk them all through chargen, or they are likely to end up with useless husks that don't really contribute. There are no level-ups to let you retrain into a more suitable class, and the level of crunch upfront means that even making a starting character is a daunting task.
    That's a tough one to address. I feel like my games present opportunities to grow in existing skills and acquire new ones and that should address some of the player satisfaction with character growth. I am actually more concerned that relatively stable growth will be less well received than the gift-box level up of D&D.

  23. - Top - End - #23
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    One solution is to allow a reallocation of points later in the game to players if they feel they spent them improperly at chargen.

    Light the lamp not the rat LIGHT THE LAMP NOT THE RAT!!!

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    The "front-loaded characters" problem is only a problem if you let it be.

    - Using character templates/packages (e.g. for Race or Class/Profession) is a small amount of work for you as GM and saves a ton of work for players who can pick from small stable of packages and fine-tune to suit. This works very well for players new to the system, but not RPG's in general; the sort of player who might balk at being handed a pre-gen character, but also isn't familiar with the mechanics of GURPS.

    - Start small. Nothing says starting characters have to be hundreds of points. A 75pt character is easily capable of one or two things decently well and is much easier to build than some 250pt monstrosity. As for small-gains...just hand out more CP; either in bigger chunks or more frequently. That feeling of improvement only feels small because GM's in GURPS have a tendency towards frugality when it comes to handing out the XP (so to speak), at least in my experience. Don't be afraid to give players CP for good roleplaying or at the end of every session. Encourage players to spend those CP outside of game time, too, so you don't slow the game down with "leveling sessions" of poring over the books to decide where to spend that last couple of CP.


    The single biggest flaw in GURPS, in my opinion, is that there are so many rules that you can really...and I mean this quite literally...just forget. Pretty much every. single. rule. in the game for whatever specific scenario it is you're playing (whether it be combat, jumping, digging a ditch, falling from space, flying a pan-dimensional phone booth through the currents of time, or whatever) all comes down to that one table in the Campaigns book with that -10 to +10 of modifiers with the example of firing a bazooka during a car chase while driving with your knees in a blizzard.
    - Want to swing off a chandelier for extra damage? Sure, that sounds pretty hard, let's call that a -4 modifier for 1d extra damage.
    - Want to attack twice in one turn? Ehhh, I'm pretty sure there's a rule for it, but let's just call it a -6 to both rolls and call it a day.
    - Digging a ditch, huh? Sounds like a HT roll. Rock in this area is, hmmm, pretty sparse I'd say. +2 on that roll. Fail and you lose some FP.

    In all honesty. 95% of GURPS is knowing what the various advantages/disadvantages/skills/spells do. The rest is simply knowing how much a static modifier will affect a 3d6 bell curve. Why they decided to have an individual rule for every damn possibility, I don't know. The best skill you can learn as a GURPS GM is how to ignore the rules and eyeball what rolls and modifiers to use. Ask players if they think they have a relevant skill or ability; don't try and memorise every damn thing, because half the time your player won't have it and you're recalling/asking for useless or redundant information.
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

  25. - Top - End - #25
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    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    In all honesty. 95% of GURPS is knowing what the various advantages/disadvantages/skills/spells do. The rest is simply knowing how much a static modifier will affect a 3d6 bell curve. Why they decided to have an individual rule for every damn possibility, I don't know. The best skill you can learn as a GURPS GM is how to ignore the rules and eyeball what rolls and modifiers to use. Ask players if they think they have a relevant skill or ability; don't try and memorise every damn thing, because half the time your player won't have it and you're recalling/asking for useless or redundant information.
    If you want almost all of this information in one place, you can buy the GURPS GM screen pdf for 5 bucks. Or go through the books and collect the information yourself and print it out for personal use. Which might actually be the better option as you are starting with Lite. No need to copy stuff you aren't going to use. This also has the side effect of having you read that section again, so you are more likely to remember it anyways. Got to love it when those study tips become relevant again.
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  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Goblin

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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga
    The best skill you can learn as a GURPS GM is how to ignore the rules and eyeball what rolls and modifiers to use. Ask players if they think they have a relevant skill or ability; don't try and memorise every damn thing, because half the time your player won't have it and you're recalling/asking for useless or redundant information.
    Quote Originally Posted by lightningcat View Post
    If you want almost all of this information in one place, you can buy the GURPS GM screen pdf for 5 bucks. Or go through the books and collect the information yourself and print it out for personal use. Which might actually be the better option as you are starting with Lite. No need to copy stuff you aren't going to use. This also has the side effect of having you read that section again, so you are more likely to remember it anyways. Got to love it when those study tips become relevant again.
    I'm hoping to keep it fairly light. Hoping. :)

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    The biggest flaw for me is a lot of the 1-second combat stuff. It sucks to be a ranged weapon user and have to spend multiple *turns* reloading and doing the almost-mandatory one second of aiming.

    The only bright side is that your options in a given turn are limited enough that it prevents the kind of multi-minute analysis you tend to see in D&D3+.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Also, as a side note, GURPS is not actually as deadly as the memes like to point out. Sure, it's deadly, but outside of modern day settings armour can soak a good amount of damage (if you're not wearing reflec when the gauss weapons come out) and it takes twenty points of damage to start threatening death to a bulk standard human. While it can be 'one hit with a good weapon and you're dead' it doesn't have to be, you can survive a sword hit if you're not unlucky.
    It's deadly in the sense that "you can easily get knocked out quickly." Actually dying is a bit tougher, especially if your entire side doesn't die. Hits are subject, based on location, to a maximum amount of damage that they can do, generally.

    The caveat to this is that head shots really, really, really suck.
    "Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking)"

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Goblin

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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    The biggest flaw for me is a lot of the 1-second combat stuff. It sucks to be a ranged weapon user and have to spend multiple *turns* reloading and doing the almost-mandatory one second of aiming.
    I kind of stumbled onto this issue while brainstorming my magic system where it can take a lot of turns to cast a spell while martial types get to take multiple actions. Do you think the ability to engage at a distance where you can't be hit makes the time trade off worthwhile? Does the amount of damage you can inflict when you can engage make the time trade off worthwhile?

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    The only bright side is that your options in a given turn are limited enough that it prevents the kind of multi-minute analysis you tend to see in D&D3+.

    It's deadly in the sense that "you can easily get knocked out quickly." Actually dying is a bit tougher, especially if your entire side doesn't die. Hits are subject, based on location, to a maximum amount of damage that they can do, generally.

    The caveat to this is that head shots really, really, really suck.
    Since I'm starting with GURPS Lite I was thinking about not strictly using the hit locations unless someone is trying to target a specific area or it really matters where the hit was. That keeps it simple in most cases and I only need to use the hit locations sometimes.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    The biggest flaw for me is a lot of the 1-second combat stuff. It sucks to be a ranged weapon user and have to spend multiple *turns* reloading and doing the almost-mandatory one second of aiming.

    The only bright side is that your options in a given turn are limited enough that it prevents the kind of multi-minute analysis you tend to see in D&D3+.
    I remember playing it with homebrewed turn rules. Everybody had equal access to guns and in a straight-up fight they dealt so much damage that if you didn't use them you were an idiot, and so each round was between three and ten seconds long (exact length was vague, it could occasionally get to twenty seconds per round) and when using a ranged weapon you got a free aim as long as you were only firing a single shot with a drawn weapon. I can't remember if we tracked seconds for reloading or simply ruled you could reload instead of your aim or attack.

    It's deadly in the sense that "you can easily get knocked out quickly." Actually dying is a bit tougher, especially if your entire side doesn't die. Hits are subject, based on location, to a maximum amount of damage that they can do, generally.

    The caveat to this is that head shots really, really, really suck.
    Oh sure, it's quick to go down, and if you use the shock rules even small wounds can hurt. But one of the things I've seen said about GURPS is 'it's easy to die and have to make a new character', despite the rules being specifically set up to prevent that.
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  30. - Top - End - #30
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: GURPS flaws?

    Does GURPS lite have the feint maneuver ? Because that can make combat deadly. You feint and then go for the head/eye shot. But if you avoid hit locations, that won’t come up so much.
    Last edited by Particle_Man; 2019-08-23 at 10:32 AM.

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