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Re: (TFT) Why not GURPS?

At 09:39 AM 9/15/03 -0400, Stan wrote:
You are correct on both of those points. (And I agree 100% with your assessment of DMG's super-fencer). The problem, if there is one, is that while GURPS does say "the GM should do this" and the "the GM will decide that", and does give some guidelines as to what reasonable stats are, it's all more-or-less from the player's point of view. It doesn't bear down hard enough on the importance of these points from the GM's point of view, to make it really clear that these are mandatory things the GM must Must MUST do and why.

Yes. The attempt to be generic and universal is difficult to cater to everyone. In theory you'd need to consider every rule section in the light of "this could be a super-hero game" as well as "this could be a super-grit game" ad infinitum. In practice though, I think it could use more words of wisdom aimed at some sort of middle ground, and then later sections or world books could explain divergences from that middle ground. Actually I think the real difficulty comes in when not only do you have a huge range of power levels, settings, and styles, but also a wide range of knowledge of the rules, and ways of applying, misinterpreting, and changing those rules. In sum, GURPS can be very good if you have a very strong and experienced GM who has a style you like. However it can also be very bad if your GM isn't very strong and experienced, and/or plays with a style you don't like. That's true of almost any RPG system, but probably a lot more with GURPS, since it allows so much, and has so many rules spread out all over the main book.

GURPS needs a 'campaign sheet' that the GM fills out before anyone does anything with character generation. The Hero system has this. It spells out maximum stat levels and the like that a PC can have without getting specific GM permission. This would change the whole state of affairs from "well the GM can set a limit" to "okay, GM, what's the limit?" Of course if someone had a good reason to do so the limits could be exceeded.

Yeah, a good GM doesn't need this, but it would help people get the hang of running GURPS.

Unless the GM is doing the verbal equivalent of such an introduction to the world, and working with each player as they create their characters, I'd say even a good GM probably should have such a sheet - or even a booklet, if they are introducing their own game world.

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