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Re: (TFT) Why not GURPS?
-- Peter von Kleinsmid <email@example.com> wrote:-----------------------
My questions for the list are:
Why do you play TFT and not GURPS?
unless just for nostalgia, compatibility, and simplicity.
To a large extent for nostalgia, compatibility and simplicity. Especially simplicity. Elegant Simplicity. TFT as you know is a fast and simple system, yet it allows for flexible character creation. It is well balanced, especially between wizards and heros (which sets it quite apart from many RPGs). And it supports combats where your decisions (strategic and tactical) matter, there is enough illusion of realism to help suspend one's disbelief, yet the combat is fast and playable.
That simple fast and playable mix is very important to me, as I run a fairly combat heavy game which meets infrequently, so we don't want each battle to last hours on end. Also I'm familiar with the rules, so I can run a satisfying 10 PC vs 15 opponent skirmish in about 45 minutes.
Then there is the teachability (also related to simplicity) of the 9 players in my game only 3 have ever played TFT before, but i was able to teach the others the basics and get characters generated in about 90 minutes total. That just does not happen with GURPS - or most other systems.
Finally nostalgia, or at least familiarity. I am so familiar with the game it is easier to run, and really easy for me to balance the challenge level of an adventure or encounter.
All that having been said, I did buy the GURPS basic book, and would be willing to try the game. I am just not willing to run a campaign in it, as it would require too much additional work on my part vs running one in TFT. Especially the NPC creation.
As to what seems different in GURPS. There is the whole "you get harder to hit if you're a better swordsman" thing. Intellectually I find that appealing, but I imagine it would really slow down combat and annoy me as a GM. It would annoy me a lot less as a player though.
Other things that I think will annoyingly slow down combat- Feints, impaling damage vs slashing damage vs crushing damage. It occurred to me as I read the book that a single sword attack could require more than 6 die rolls and 5 calculations to resolve
For example (please excuse any errors as this is from memory and I've not actually played the game)
I roll to Feint (r1)
You roll to resist falling for feint (r2)
we calculate my margin of victory(c1)
I make an all out attack, with the plus to damage, and roll to hit (r3) with my roll being adjusted by the feint effect (c2)
You choose all out defend and roll to Block with your sheild(r4)
failing that you try to parry (r5)
you fail all your defenses so I roll damage (r6)
we calculate the damage that gets through your armor (c3)
Multiply that amount by the impale/cut multiplier (c4)
and finally add in the all out attack damage modifier (c5)
to determine the effect of my attack
My head already hurts.
Also the readying an axe after each strike would have to go - realistic or not it is Too annoying for me.
What else do I find unappealing in GURPS. I hate disadvantages, the character creation is a little too long and prone to munchkinizing, many of the rules are a bit too complicated, the post character creation ability increases seem expensive to me. The prerequisites in magic bug me, and once more, I Hate disadvantages - except maybe in a comic book hero game, where they clearly belong.
So, in summary, Why TFT and not GURPS?
Of the many games I've tried or read, TFT suits my style and meets my needs the best, so I use it. GURPS has a few interesting things in it that I might enjoy exploring as a player, but does not seem to offer enough for me to invest the time up front to learn it well enough to run a game - and I am the GM in my group.
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