Help Me Understand the GURPS Design Perspective

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I’m pointing out comics are RIFE with inconsistencies...
I am not sure why you are doing so... given that this point has been in... pretty much every post of mine in the thread? I mean, like, you didn't think I was aware of this, or something?

RPGs based on comic, though, ARE rulebooks. Games that rely on/permit too much plot armor & handwavium lose internal coherence. And a loss of consistency in a game/campaign can kill it.
Again... (I think we are getting repetitive here, perhaps circular) if you are treating your rules as a physics engine, yes - you'll lose coherent physics. Because, as we both clearly agree, the comics do not have consistent and coherent physics to begin with.

But, physics models are not the only way to get coherent game play and resulting stories. If you stop worrying about exactly how much the Big Strong Guy can lift, and just remember that he's a Big Strong Guy, what you get out can be quite consistent.

Now, that may not be a system you particularly want to play. But, again... the genre is what it is - we can't fix that for you. Not all genres can be satisfactorily modeled with all system types - to get a satisfactory game play, you have to pick the right system for the job.

Otherwise, you end up complaining that you can't eat soup with a fork.
 

pemerton

Legend
I enjoy the HELL out of superheroic comics, fiction like Wildcards and (to this day) playing the games. None of which stops me from noticing the inconsistencies.

To me, they’re no more a barrier to my enjoyment of THAT fiction than 10klb flying fire-breathing reptilians are for fantasy or galaxy spanning empires for Sci-Fi.
RPGs based on comic, though, ARE rulebooks. Games that rely on/permit too much plot armor & handwavium lose internal coherence. And a loss of consistency in a game/campaign can kill it.
Given the first quoted passage here, I don't get the second.

As @Umbran has said, It's easy to have rules that are consistent qua rules but have no trouble coping with superheor fiction. Examples have been given in this thread multiple times by multiple posters: Marvel Heroic RP; HeroQuest revised; and I would expect Fate, though others are better qualified than me to judge that.

For instance, in MHRP it costs a plot point to perform a power-related stunt and add a d8 to the dice pool. Whether that stunt is Electro using electricity control to interfere with Spidey's climbing, or Magneto controlling iron in someone's blood, or Superman making a superfast punch, the system can handle it.

I'm not getting what the issue is.
 

Johnny3D3D

Adventurer
Maybe I'm in the minority, but I find that have some semblance of "realness" adds to the fantasy of the game rather than getting in the way of it. There are plenty of rules I ignore because they do not fit what I am trying to do with a game, but -even when doing some handwaving of the system- I have found that GURPS creates something which is more within the general ballpark of what I want from storytelling and narrative conflict resolution than many other games.
 
I think that everyone finds that some semblance of realness adds to the fantasy. What they also find is that time spent interacting with the mechanics takes away from the fantasy - and that realness is setting-dependent.
 

innerdude

Adventurer
-even when doing some handwaving of the system- I have found that GURPS creates something which is more within the general ballpark of what I want from storytelling and narrative conflict resolution than many other games.
Whereas my experience has been the 180-degree polar opposite.

No matter what genre or setting, GURPS to me always feels overly mechanical, stilted, and sterile. I'm sure the GMs I've had have played a role in this eventuality as well, but GURPS certainly hasn't been part of the solution either.
 

Johnny3D3D

Adventurer
Whereas my experience has been the 180-degree polar opposite.

No matter what genre or setting, GURPS to me always feels overly mechanical, stilted, and sterile. I'm sure the GMs I've had have played a role in this eventuality as well, but GURPS certainly hasn't been part of the solution either.
just different preferences...

If it matters, I'm most familiar with GURPS 4th Edition.

For me, GURPS addressed the gripes I had with the d20 games I had been playing at the time. The rules less often got in the way of the vision I had for stories I wanted to tell and worlds I wanted to build. Ironically, I think, in the end, it was the things I liked about those other games which had more influence in pushing me toward GURPS more so than the things I disliked about them.

I also found GURPS rules to be more intuitive to me. A lot of people criticize the game for being complicated, but I don't find remembering GURPS rules to be any more complicated than the various feats, class abilities, spells, and etc of D&D. In many ways, I find it less complicated.

It's not perfect. There are styles of play which I feel aren't served by the system very well.
 

Johnny3D3D

Adventurer
.

Otherwise, you end up complaining that you can't eat soup with a fork.

I think all of that is possibly ignoring the possibility of the soup being the problem, not the fork. With better and more robust ingredients, the soup can become a nice hearty stew -a stew which can be eaten by both the person using a spoon and the person using a fork.
 

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