Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Running GURPS like Fate, and a conundrum

So I've been running GURPS like Fate... this would tear the hair out of any GURPS GM. But then I go back to the detail of GURPS when ever it suits ME (so I carry the burden of the players trust heavily on my shoulders). Still even if it Suits ME, the players are free to use CP like they do in FATE (but GURPS has rules for such) which is to control the story and add elements by their own initiative or creativity.

The conflict is: If I can run GURPS pretty much like FATE but have the freedom and power to draw from the details of GURPS should I use FATE?

Character Creation

  • One big deal is that FATE is an easier character creation vs GURPS but...
  • ...GURPS has a level of detail that gives me TONS of things to work on or exploit to make for a complicated set of factors and conflicts.  
GURPS can be hard, its only been easy because I spent close to 500 hours making my own GURPS Medium (for my own use and not publicly distributed). Basically Taking GURPS Lite filling in the stuff that it left out of the BASIC SET BUT but cutting down the word count by up to half or less. So instead of 30 pages of rules for combat, I summarized the same rules (and every element) from a paragraph to a sentence or two. When players dont understand, they can always check Basic Set and various other source books being used for the Campaign (example I made a GURPS Lite for Sins of the Crusade, GURPS Lite for Warring States). 

Narrative vs Traditional

If you are from the Traditional school of Tabletop RPGs then the Narrative style is alien. This is very close to Improv and Story telling games more than an RPG. The Market for Fate and such a game style is smaller (see the Orr groups Industry report). In fact I have players who don't like this method of running a GURPS game. When they think GURPS, there is a very different style of GMing to be expected. I dont blame them, and honestly I am a GM who cannot give them that kind of game without burning out AND really can't because of my competing hobbies (I'm part of an airsoft team and there is a lot of fitness and various exercises that are needed).

Sunk Cost

How hard it is to rebuild everything in Fate vs Remaking everything in a more Streamlined GURPS. the Two years I've run The Ware Beneath Heaven has given me a TON of research material on balancing GURPS magic and making it easier. If you read my doctrine analysis of GURPS Magic or at least read the summaries you'll notice that I went it about the wrong way, there is a much simpler solution to all this. 

Announced I will use Fate

I have announced I will use FATE, but that is subject to change since I have not started a session and people have not signaled their intent to join the game. Still it was my contribution to the GURPS community to have a GURPS game and maybe it can still be that... except there is a serious difference in style and expectation...

The thing is if we are to be serious about GURPS claim that any rule can be thrown out, then this method is that Right being Enforced... and how one can enjoy a game that throws out rules so easily to favor stories or enforce them in such an arbitrary manner makes the recorded sessions an example of Hypocrisy or Complexity - call it what you will, I cant help but admit how arbitrary the game can be. You will have to exchange good faith with me to find out. 


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