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Re: (TFT) Why not GURPS?

In a message dated 9/11/2003 8:02:06 PM Central Daylight Time, pvk@oz.net 

> Erol wrote:
> ...
>> 2. GURPS screwed up, IMO, in pricing skills vs attributes.
> I'm curious. What would you prefer?

A less-steep cost curve for skills, combined with a steeper curve for 
attributes. Or possibly a flat cost curve for both. 

> 4. The GURPS defense and (especially) feinting system is screwy.

Any particular points you'd do differently? Do you have defense house
rules for TFT?

I have a well devloped set of defense house rules for TFT. I tried to develop 
one for GURPS, too, before I gave up on the system, but never could come up 
with one that satisfied me. 

>> 5. TFT magic has a cool "2-D" quality: Spells depend on both IQ level
>> *and* St cost. GURPS loses this feature.
> I'd be curious to hear more about this too. GURPS Magic has ST costs very
> much like TFT Wizard. The main thing it doesn't have from TFT is the need
> for wizards to have good DX to cast spells successfully (unless you need
> to do something like hit the target with a fireball or touch them or
> something).

GURPS spells lack anything really equivalent to the TFT spells IQ 
requirement. The main limit on the more complex GURPS spells is the prerequisite tree, 
which doesn't give the same sort of 2-d flavor, which strikes me as a kluge, and 
which makes for an inflexible system wrt adding and deleting spells. 

>> Worse, the GURPS "prerequisite" system is
>> horribly inflexible, making it hard to modify the standard magic system.
> It is a huge spell base to work with, and can be pretty overwhelming. When
> I've used it in campaign games, I usually say most of the spells are
> unknown and only include a few per region or group. I

So what happens when an "unknown" spell is an official prerequisite for one 
of the known spells? What happens to spells that have a prerequisite of "10 
spells in the Foo college" if only 5 spells in that college are known? What 
happens if you want to unwind the "spell college" system altogether? IME the 
prerequisite system makes the spell list *hard to prune* in the manner you describe. 

The size of the spell base doesn't bother me. The interconnectedness of the 
spells (via the prerequisite system) does. 

> At one point I was meaning to try to convert Advanced Wizard to
> GURPS - you could practically just use it as the magic system with almost
> no modification, actually.

Its harder than it looks. I know: I've *tried* to do that conversion. 

> <nostalgia>Yeah, I was tuned in back then too.</nostalgia>
> What style and interpretation were you fighting?

Lots of things: I was griping about how over-fast I thought the one-second 
combat turns were, and getting beaten into submission by all the people who 
swore up down and sideways about how terribly realistic it was. I had a big long 
argument with Chris Mccubbin about racial bonuses/penalties in general, and 
racial ST in particular. I pushed for an interpretation of skill points where a 
college education was worth maybe 12-24 points, vs the Kromm/official 
intrepretation of it being worth only a bare handful (or maybe just a +1 to IQ). I was 
part of the "GURPS cinematic underground" until we finally got driven out. 

I was denied tenure at IOU. 

It reached the point where I decided that (a) the system was no longer 
simplier than HERO, (b) it would require more house-rule writing than TFT to make it 
suit me for my fantasy campaign, and (c) it would be harder to use than HERO 
for other genres. At that point I realized "I am no longer a GURPS player. 
GURPS is no longer my system of choice for any of the genres that I'm interested 
in. It still may be a good system for grotty-realistic historical or SF games, 
but I'm not interested in that. My yard-long shelf of GURPS stuff is now 
reference material only, for other game systems."

Erol K. Bayburt
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