Thursday, November 6, 2014

Revisiting GURPS

I was thinking about my ups and downs with fantasy gaming lately, and suspect that I may be more than a little burned out on the genre. Not 100%....I think my Magic World campaign has proved that I am not entirely burned out....but maybe it's a general haze about "D&D-likes." It's also not 5E....if not for 5E I think I'd be doing eveything I could to not play anything that feels D&Dish right now.'s something more insidious. Burnout.....

Anyway, I was thinking of possible cures. The recent Savage Worlds SF campaign was kick-ass, and getting back to more Savage Worlds is tantalizing. I used to go for meatier systems, however, and I don't think that interest has subsided....just my willingness to embrace them. GURPS used to be my go-to system for all things not-D&D at one point, and served me well for many years. My last GURPS campaign was a delightful post-apocalyptic romp I ran around 2007ish.

To that end, I think it's time to break GURPS 4th edition out again and give it a thorough read-through. Not just re-familiarize myself with it, but to really look at the system with fresh eyes, and to think about whether I can make it work for me, with the sort of needs and expectations I have today.

More on this soon....GURPS at its core is a very easy game to run, mechanically. It's all the bells & whistles, when turned on, that make the game feel more complex or elaborate to people. Unlike some other systems with a "simple core, complex frame" (i.e. D20) you can mess around with GURPs a lot without breaking it, and the game has a lot of built in "complexity sliders" to customize to taste. I may also take a look at the recent "How to be a GURPS GM" sourcebook that's eating up the charts at Warehouse 23. I mean....I have collectively run GURPS through all four editions and would place it as my #2 most run game behind D&D and ahead of Call of Cthulhu; and in fact I've used GURPS for more Cthulhu games than I have CoC!

This also gives me a chance to finally look long and hard at how I can take full advantage of GURPS Horror and GURPS Zombies, the last two actual print volumes for GURPS that Steve Jackson Games has released. I'm sorta hoping that their recent strategy of re-releasing old classics like Car Wars (got it, it's great) and OGRE will bleed over into GURPS for some more print products, but somehow I doubt it.

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