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(TFT) Re: Answering my own question...sort of

From: Michael Taylor <MichaelTaylor1@compuserve.com>
> Message text written by INTERNET:tft@brainiac.com
> >Powered by GURPS titles will be 100% 
> compatible with traditional GURPS, but not necessarily generic. This
> treatment lends itself 
> best to licensed works, where adherence to setting canon is our top
> priority and where we 
> hope to sell books to an existing fanbase of non-gamers.<
> This is a great way of saying "Our generic universal system doesn't work
> with most settings!"

After converting numerous settings to GURPS, I can safely squash that bit of 
whimsy. Most settings are child's play to convert to GURPS -- just pick and 
choose from the parts supplied, give a minor setting-specific tweak or two, 
and you're done. The hardest thing to convert is magic, but that's true of 
most generic systems. Let's try converting Wheel of Time or 
Changeling/Madwand to TFT/Hero/D&D3E/anything. The fact that each 
setting has a few tweaks in it is no reason to throw the baby out with the 
bath water. No generic system can handle every setting with no tweaking.

No, the reason I have stopped developing GURPS stuff is that I've decided to 
go for Very Simple systems. Since GURPS is in the upper middle of the 
complexity range, and Simply Roleplaying and Unisystem are lower (low and 
lower middle, respectively), I have started moving in that direction. But there 
is no need to bash the most successful generic system around in an area it 
excels in.

Not that I think GURPS is perfect, far from... Advanced Combat, much of 
Supers, kill 1/2 the advantages, disadvantages and skills, etc. But it has 
also gone over 13 years without an overhaul. Some clear thinking needs to 
go into reorganizing and reengineering 13 years of subsystem add-ons. 

> For years I tried to futz with GURPS enough to make it TFT-like and
> playable and I wound up having to write so much material that I might as
> well have written a new game. And its *still* didn't play very well. 

I've had no trouble with playability, but it is not as simple and elegant as TFT. 
GURPS will never have a tactical combat system to compare with TFT. If I 
were to do generic fantasy I'd choose TFT. If I were doing just about anything 
else, unless it was something someone had created most everything I 
needed, I'd choose GURPS, because it is very easy to run a game. 
I can teach a newbie at a con how to play in 1-2 minutes, and that's what I 

> But recently I've been talking to someone who actually has re-written
> major parts of GURPS to make it a much better game. I'm bugging him to
> write all his changes down, but it's pretty interesting. He fixed the
> skill system, changed the combat system to 3 second turns, changed the way
> disadvantages and magic and psionics all work. Very cool stuff. 

I'd love to see it. Can you send me his email?

Brett Slocum  --  slocum@skypoint.com  --  ICQ #13032903
Home page: http://www.skypoint.com/~slocum/
"Chemistry is a lot like Witchcraft, only less newt." -- Willow on Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
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