Grade the GURPS System

How do you feel about GURPS?

  • I love it.

    Votes: 21 14.2%
  • It's pretty good.

    Votes: 36 24.3%
  • It's alright I guess.

    Votes: 41 27.7%
  • It's pretty bad.

    Votes: 16 10.8%
  • I hate it.

    Votes: 7 4.7%
  • I've never played it.

    Votes: 27 18.2%
  • I've never even heard of it.

    Votes: 0 0.0%


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giant.robot

Adventurer
GURPS Camelot, maybe. Years ago, on the GURPS forum, a guy said he included it in the bibliography for a paper he wrote. The prof asked "what's a gurps?". He read it, then next year added it to "other reading" for his class.

There stuff has amazing research. I showed Ice Age to my Anthropology prof and she was impressed. Multiple times, people on the forums have said they can't stand the system but have an entire shelf of books. Their historical and genre books are without peer, IMO. Rome, Greece, Middle Ages, Fantasy, Space, etc.
I have definitely used my GURPS library for more non-GURPS games than actual GURPS games. It's why I still have a shelf of 3E books. They're great references for all kinds of games.
 

Skytheen

Explorer
I’ve played and GMed GURPS for about 30 years, and it was my favourite system for a good chunk of that time. I still like it, but the system has certain features which mean that it is no longer my favourite, and so I voted ‘pretty good’.

There are two or three key features which made me cool to it.

The first is the way it models competence, which is predominantly through high levels of skill giving the ability to absorb penalties from doing cool stuff, like called shots or acrobatic manoeuvres etc. The implication of this is that when the chips are down your best route to success is through doing the most basic actions available to you, absorbing things like damage or shock penalties rather than manoeuvre penalties. That feels a bit anti-climactic to me, and doesn’t promote the more ‘pulp action’ feel that I prefer for my gaming.

Second, the one second combat round is counter productive in my opinion. It is confusing to people with experience of other games; most games allow a number of significant actions to be taken in a round but with a one second allowance actions in GURPS are quite tightly constrained. It has side effects like an archer only being able to fire every two or three (or more) rounds due to drawing an arrow, nocking it, aiming, then firing.

Finally, the system is tightly engineered which means that making changes in one area can have significant and unexpected side effects in another area. This makes home brewing more difficult in my experience.

It’s still a good game, however, and I would pick it for games where having a very extensive list of detailed skills would be useful. The system is truly encyclopaedic.

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What game system replaced it for you now?
 


dbm

Savage!
What game system replaced it for you now?
Savage Worlds is my system-of-choice now. It feels like the good aspects of GURPS 3e without the heavy weight of GURPS 4e, built on a pulp-action baseline. Pulp-action is my default for all the games I like to play or run, so that is a better fit for me.

Ultimately, there is a level of granularity in all these genre-flexible systems. GURPS is more granular than Savage Worlds, so you can get more nuance out of it if you want to. But for our group we don’t find that the extra level of nuance improves the play experience so it is an increased ‘cost’ without a commensurate increase in benefit. Savage Worlds is flexible and nuanced enough to give us the right balance or cost / benefit for our games. Other people will have different sweet spots, naturally.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Savage Worlds is my system-of-choice now. It feels like the good aspects of GURPS 3e without the heavy weight of GURPS 4e, built on a pulp-action baseline. Pulp-action is my default for all the games I like to play or run, so that is a better fit for me.

Amusingly enough I'd guessed this might be your answer. Though not particularly mechanically similar, and with (as you reference) a narrower tonal pallete and less simulationist approach, the two games have, in some ways, a similar ethos.

Ultimately, there is a level of granularity in all these genre-flexible systems. GURPS is more granular than Savage Worlds, so you can get more nuance out of it if you want to. But for our group we don’t find that the extra level of nuance improves the play experience so it is an increased ‘cost’ without a commensurate increase in benefit. Savage Worlds is flexible and nuanced enough to give us the right balance or cost / benefit for our games. Other people will have different sweet spots, naturally.

And this is pretty dead on. Its why I explain to some people in the superheroic sphere why the Hero System brings things that is absolutely what some people want and for other people has more overhead while giving them more than they need.
 


dbm

Savage!
If there are folks in this thread who have not played GURPS and are GURPS-curious, like me, Bundle of Holding is doing a Dungeon Fantasy bundle through Wednesday 3 January.
That is a great bundle. It’s a stand-alone implementation of GURPS tuned to combat-spelunking, nothing else required to play.

The rules are 99.9% identical to regular GURPS, with dials pre-set to appropriate options and some small quality of life changes.
 

If there are folks in this thread who have not played GURPS and are GURPS-curious, like me, Bundle of Holding is doing a Dungeon Fantasy bundle through Wednesday 3 January.
This Bundle of Holding is for the Powered by GURPS Dungeon Fantasy RPG (DFRPG), which is subtly different from, but wholly compatible with, the core GURPS Dungeon Fantasy line. The best part is the DFRPG doesn't require the GURPS Core Characters or Campaigns books. It is wholly self-contained and at $39.00 a terrific bargain and entry point into GURPS.
 


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