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The Fantasy Trip outsells GURPS in 2019?

GURPS at least gets regular support, a new thing a month and Pyramid now going 100% GURPS is getting a kickstarter. Now my very favorite system Unisystem (Buffy/Angel and All Flesh Must Be Eaten) which is set to have anew core book Beyond Human is still stuck in design hell where it has been for years. I also ran a decent GURPS game in 2018 and several before that so its getting players.
Yeah, well, almost every game ever written (OK there are a few exceptions) can find someone to play it. I'm sure there's someone out there running an original Metamorphosis Alpha game, for example, to name one rather obscure and long 'dead' RPG.

And yeah, I'm sure GURPS is a bunch more alive than that. I know SJ has provided some stuff in the last 10 years, but its not exactly an evolving and upward trending game these days. It has its fans, though TBH I personally would opt for more modern game engines. For example I used D6 Space (the genericized version of the old d6 Star Wars system) when I wanted to run a little Space Opera. Frankly, GURPS takes a lot of reading and digging up out of print material to really use, plus I'd rather have more player-focused narrative mechanics vs a really old-school 'DM generates all the fiction' sort of experience. That is just me though.
 

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MGibster

Legend
GURPS at least gets regular support, a new thing a month and Pyramid now going 100% GURPS is getting a kickstarter. Now my very favorite system Unisystem (Buffy/Angel and All Flesh Must Be Eaten) which is set to have anew core book Beyond Human is still stuck in design hell where it has been for years. I also ran a decent GURPS game in 2018 and several before that so its getting players.
I think we've been hearing about Beyond Human for way more than a decade now. It's the Duke Nuke'em of of table top RPGs.
 

darjr

I crit!
Metamorphosis Alpha is quite alive and well. New material, some from the original creator came out just last year. There was a huge Kickstarter for a collectors book and new advent for such.
However I get your point.
 

Metamorphosis Alpha is quite alive and well. New material, some from the original creator came out just last year. There was a huge Kickstarter for a collectors book and new advent for such.
However I get your point.
Yeah, and I'm sure someone will eventually do a 'Reboot Hill' too, lol. There were a lot of good ideas in these games, but notice they rarely reuse any of the old mechanics.
 


corwyn77

Explorer
GURPS at least gets regular support, a new thing a month and Pyramid now going 100% GURPS is getting a kickstarter. Now my very favorite system Unisystem (Buffy/Angel and All Flesh Must Be Eaten) which is set to have anew core book Beyond Human is still stuck in design hell where it has been for years. I also ran a decent GURPS game in 2018 and several before that so its getting players.
Also, in early 2020, I was running two GURPS games, and played in two more with about 15 players in total. It's only as dead as players let it be.
 

chuckdee

Explorer
And yeah, I'm sure GURPS is a bunch more alive than that. I know SJ has provided some stuff in the last 10 years, but its not exactly an evolving and upward trending game these days.

They release (and have been releasing) product regularly on Warehouse 13- PDF material only, but there is definitely a cost associated with producing this material, so if there was not a pretty sizeable return on the release, I wouldn't think that they'd do it.
 



The whole thread is about the original version of TFT?
No. The Legacy Edition changes several mechanics profoundly - the most important of which is advancement.
SJG was borderline deceptive on the KS. It also moves to English Traditional Measure, while the original was metric. Many talents have important wording changes. IQ no longer sets the limit on number of known talents, too. (ITL p.45) Note that the XP per attribute point table is pretty similar, but buying new talents direct instead of increasing IQ becomes useful once the sum of stats hits 37... as a new point of IQ is then 600, while the skill is 500 per slot.

LE isn't a reprint, it's a new major edition change. It's still much lighter than GURPS.
 

Sir Brennen

Adventurer
No. The Legacy Edition changes several mechanics profoundly - the most important of which is advancement.
SJG was borderline deceptive on the KS. It also moves to English Traditional Measure, while the original was metric. Many talents have important wording changes. IQ no longer sets the limit on number of known talents, too. (ITL p.45) Note that the XP per attribute point table is pretty similar, but buying new talents direct instead of increasing IQ becomes useful once the sum of stats hits 37... as a new point of IQ is then 600, while the skill is 500 per slot.

LE isn't a reprint, it's a new major edition change. It's still much lighter than GURPS.
It's all a matter of perspective, of course, but as player of the original TFT (and even just the Melee and Wizard microgames before it came out) and KS backer for the Legacy edition, I find these all minor changes. TFT v1.1, if you will.

I think the only changes that noticeably affect how the game plays are the new Staff spells.
 

uzirath

Adventurer
Also, in early 2020, I was running two GURPS games, and played in two more with about 15 players in total. It's only as dead as players let it be.

Yeah, I find that GURPS seems dead from the perspective of most retail shelves, but the fact that I can choose from nearly a dozen new books each year (not to mention the bunch that came out as part of a KS bundle last summer), keeps me happy. Editorial standards remain very high, and I love the fact that they sometimes tackled super-niche material. (I was just part of a playtest of a product intended to provide support for gaming in Indonesia during the Srivijaya period!) Design standards are less laudable, though they do finally seem to be spending a bit more money on new art. Gaming Ballistic is a licensed third-party publisher of DFRPG and TFT material, and their stuff looks good.

The system does still have at least some appeal to new gamers, based on what I've seen at local schools here in Minnesota. The middle school that I teach at owns a bunch of Dungeon Fantasy RPG boxed sets and has a popular gaming club that uses them. I know that a bunch of high school students took up GURPS after that. My elementary school kids haven't had any trouble recruiting players from their classmates. Indeed, my son started a DFRPG club at school last year just before COVID hit. He's hoping to get it running again once in-person school resumes.

I've got all the new TFT stuff but haven't tried playing it yet. I thought I might introduce it post-COVID at my school's gaming club.
 

It's all a matter of perspective, of course, but as player of the original TFT (and even just the Melee and Wizard microgames before it came out) and KS backer for the Legacy edition, I find these all minor changes. TFT v1.1, if you will.

I think the only changes that noticeably affect how the game plays are the new Staff spells.
I have run campaigns of the original, and the change to allowing non-stat talent slots is a HUGE change. the slower advancement (double costs) also is significant. The change to UC also is significant for some players
The change from metric to ETM is a truly boneheaded decision of SJ's.
 


lordabdul

Explorer
GURPS is very much alive as far as I'm concerned (I play it, I know others who play it, and there has been new stuff being released for it every month for years), but it definitely is a "niche" thing. Market share is different from being moribund or not.

That said, I'm not surprised TFT outsold GURPS in 2019. GURPS material are generally small PDFs that cost a few bucks, whereas TFT was a big boxed set that cost more than a hundred bucks. What would surprise me was if TFT also outsold GURPS in 2020.
 

Jaeger

That someone better.
I don't find that particularly surprising given that GURPS isn't nearly as popular as it once was. I wish it were, I like the system, but my players have threatened to hang my by my heels if I ever imposed it on them again.

GURPS like all of its fellow 'toolkit' rpg's, seems to be phasing out of general use in the hobby.


Nostalgia will do that. The KS was very successful. Did not participate.

I played a few games of Melee and Wizards when it originally came out. A fun arena combat system hexes. We looked at the Fantasy Trip RPG but were turned off by the use of hexes for buildings and dungeons. Played D&D Basic instead.

Hexes are one of those things that look really good on paper, but squares have won the war for general play with minis at the table for RPG's. TFT should have went with squares.


GURPS is very much alive as far as I'm concerned (I play it, I know others who play it, and there has been new stuff being released for it every month for years), but it definitely is a "niche" thing. Market share is different from being moribund or not.

That said, I'm not surprised TFT outsold GURPS in 2019. GURPS material are generally small PDFs that cost a few bucks, whereas TFT was a big boxed set that cost more than a hundred bucks. What would surprise me was if TFT also outsold GURPS in 2020.

IMHO, systems like GURPS and HERO have lost out ever since 3e and the OGL/SRD.

TFT is the direction SJGames should have gone in when the D&D OGL came out. (Naturally, very easy to say with 20 years of hindsight of the direction of the hobby...)

Why waste time wading through some "tool Kit" rpg when you can play a complete game with much less upfront work?

Games with an OGL/SRD are the new "gurps/hero" systems.

Except that they are better.

IMHO, they are better in that you have access to several complete RPG's that use the same system often done in different genre's.

So you can play complete games with no upfront work, and see how a given system is adapted to various settings and genre's.

Then for those who are more DiY minded, they can take the OGL/SRD and make the game system their own. And they have plenty of examples to cull from to adapt to their home game.

Powered by system "xyZ"... Is not going away anytime soon.

And certainly not when the DiY types can take a relatively popular system they already like and fine tune it for their table.

.
 

Sir Brennen

Adventurer
GURPS like all of its fellow 'toolkit' rpg's, seems to be phasing out of general use in the hobby.
The behemoth-style rulebooks of rules may be, but I think Savage Worlds also falls into that category, and is doing very well in the hobby currently.

IMHO, systems like GURPS and HERO have lost out ever since 3e and the OGL/SRD.

TFT is the direction SJGames should have gone in when the D&D OGL came out. (Naturally, very easy to say with 20 years of hindsight of the direction of the hobby...)
That wouldn't have been possible, as Steve Jackson only got the license for TFT back a couple years ago.

Why waste time wading through some "tool Kit" rpg when you can play a complete game with much less upfront work?

Games with an OGL/SRD are the new "gurps/hero" systems.

Except that they are better.

IMHO, they are better in that you have access to several complete RPG's that use the same system often done in different genre's. So you can play complete games with no upfront work, and see how a given system is adapted to various settings and genre's.
You're discounting the large volume of setting books which are available for such systems. GURPS has plenty of books where the work has been done for you, including Traveler, Transhuman Space, Banestorm, and even a take on Star Trek. Their Dungeon Fantasy "GURPS stripped down to just fantasy" series also seems to be doing well for them. The previous edition of the game has even more material, everything from Conan to a complete line for WWII gaming, that's not difficult to adapt to the current edition.

Powered by system "xyZ"... Is not going away anytime soon.
Powered by GURPS is a thing, which made many more self-contained books, which included a version of GURPS-lite instead of requiring the large core rulebooks.
 

Jaeger

That someone better.
The behemoth-style rulebooks of rules may be, but I think Savage Worlds also falls into that category, and is doing very well in the hobby currently.

Savage worlds is very 3pp friendly, it has cultivated several complete games, and several that use it's relatively thin core book.

Thin "core book" being the key.


That wouldn't have been possible, as Steve Jackson only got the license for TFT back a couple years ago.

Spirit not letter - they could have done TFT under a different name/serial numbers filed off.

But total 20-20 hindsight. No way to know how the OGL would have worked out at the time.


You're discounting the large volume of setting books which are available for such systems. GURPS has plenty of books where the work has been done for you, including Traveler, Transhuman Space, Banestorm, and even a take on Star Trek. Their Dungeon Fantasy "GURPS stripped down to just fantasy" series also seems to be doing well for them. The previous edition of the game has even more material, everything from Conan to a complete line for WWII gaming, that's not difficult to adapt to the current edition.

Transhuman Space, Banestorm: IP that never took off - that is the risk one takes.

Either way it is moot. GURPS has an established reputation of being a complex ruleset.

SW and similar OSR games do not.

GURPS needs to have a game that shakes that reputation if they want to be more than they currently are.

TFT has possibilities, but a retail of near 100usd is not likely to get people to try out the system on a whim.

But SJG may be just fine with what they currently are, without having to change a thing. So from their point of view I recognize that they might not see the ROI in making a riskier moves.


Powered by GURPS is a thing, which made many more self-contained books, which included a version of GURPS-lite instead of requiring the large core rulebooks.

But IMHO even GURPS lite, is not so lite.

It still has lots of fiddly things like variable skill and attribute costs, some combat calculations etc.

It could do with a ground up streamlining.

But that is just my opinion.

SJG knows their core audience, caters to it, and does relatively well in the scheme of things. They may see no need but to just keep doing what they are doing.
.
 

chuckdee

Explorer
SJG knows their core audience, caters to it, and does relatively well in the scheme of things. They may see no need but to just keep doing what they are doing.

Considering that they're running another GURPS Kickstarter soon (after the successful Kickstarter they just held for GURPS material), it seems that they have an audience that is still quite interested in the product.
 

Jaeger

That someone better.
Considering that they're running another GURPS Kickstarter soon (after the successful Kickstarter they just held for GURPS material), it seems that they have an audience that is still quite interested in the product.

Yes, they do well giving their audience what they want.

You'll get no disagreement about that from me.
 

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