GURPS Basic Set, Third Edition The current version of the Basic Set is the Fourth Edition. GURPS Lite – A page distillation of the basic GURPS rules. Steve Jackson Games; /; GURPS; /; GURPS 3rd Ed. GURPS Lite Third Edition is a page distillation of the basic GURPS Third Edition rules. It covers the. From the publisher’s website: GURPS Lite Third Edition is a page distillation of the basic GURPS Third Edition rules. It covers the essentials of character.

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It usually boils down to this: GURPS is too complicated. The common answer is: Both of these statements are true.

GURPS Basic Set, Third Edition

How can we get people to try the game without getting buried under hundreds of pages of tables and umpteen zillion splatbooks? Hopefully the gurls approximate some semblance of realism more on this dreaded word later so that things work pretty much the way you expect them to, or at least consistently.

In more minimalist universal systems like FATE or FUDGE, you also have to define your system boundaries, but these are more like a basic mechanic for resolving things, and the GM must then define what things are appropriate and add them in.

You think looking stuff up on tables slows things down? Try sitting bored around a table when players and GMs argue about whether or not a freaking manriki-kusari can drag a maille armored hobelar off his horse or not, or exactly how a magical fireball works. Using the real universe as a model, it tries to provide a framework to cover all sorts of activities in a way that makes sense.

And I do mean all sorts of activities. Rules for long-distance running. Rules for how fast you can dig. Rules for maintaining the frizzens on your flintlocks. Rules for starving to death or dying of tetanus. A whole supplement about being a prehistoric humanoid trying to get food every day, measured in kcal.

The number of skills, traits, and rules on performing activities from the mundane to the outlandishly obscure are in there, or in some additional splatbook.

This is gurpps people pick up GURPS and read it like it was Pathfinder, vomit from information overload, and decry it as way too complicated. To make it actually work for you, you have to chop out gigantic swathes of irrelevant information and distill it to what you actually need. The recent update to 4th edition actually made this harder than it used to be.

More on this later. A variant of the “too complex” postulate is the “too much realism” postulate. Usually the writer means exactly the same thing, but confuses a focus on realistic mechanics with an overly-complex and burdensome system. The two have little to do with each other. In gaming, realism is a useful set of boundary conditions that ensures that things will generally work the way they are observed to work in the real universe.

Index of /gurps

People need food and water, gravity keeps you from floating away, fire hot. These things tend to be true even if your game world has dragons flapping around and elves who are not eedition prisses.

A better term for highly unrealistic games might be “consistency. Phoenix Command takes 3rf and drives it to absurd degrees. Someone shot at you? They like them because even without extra rules appropriate to their game of choice, the supplements are generally well-researched and accurate… that is, realistic.

It dragged almost all of the skills, traits, and rules into llte basic set, meaning less need for a jillion splatbooks to build what you wanted. Stat imbalance was, if not completely, largely fixed. You could actually build a superhero without breaking all semblance of balance.


It was all there in the basic set, mostly in Characters. Oh, the lkte updates were fine. But in an effort to sdition the rule system and character creation, fourth edition actually made it more difficult for new players to digest. You start making characters up and… what ediiton hell? All of the skills are in a big freaking block. Oh, and its presentation is super-dry as well.

If your eyes got glassy by trying to get through the mass of text, you could always look for a subheading that seemed like it would fit. You could always go pick up a supplement to cover other things like superheroes albeit imbalanced onesspace opera, or martial arts if you wanted to, and when you build your World War II commando campaign, you just left Magic on the shelf.

This is not an option in 4th edition.

The 3rd edition book also included two adventures for new players, which is something so important for onboarding that it boggles the mind editino they could leave it out of 4th. One was a simple solo “pick your own adventure” style romp through a house with preset encounters and skillchecks, letting you familiarize yourself with the system using prebuilt sample characters.

The second was a basic no-magic party gurrps called Caravan to Ein Arris, which was actually pretty good for a newbie GM and players.

From a personal experience standpoint, GURPS 3rd Edition, with all of its flaws, made me want to do things because it was easier to envision a character, a game world design, and doing things in that world. Only the Groggiest of Grognards. Here you find numerous arguments over historically accurate wielding of guisarme-voulges, gonzo treatises on the mathematics of technical grappling, and similar discussions that would lead a new player who is not a polymath with degrees in engineering and history as well as four black belts and a sharpshooter rating to believe that GURPS is played by crazy people who live on the fringes of simulationism, where there is nothing to do but memorize all those insane rules.

Pen and paper RPGs edution already a dwindling subset of geekdom, and everything has taken a chunk out of it. Everyone except SJG, that is. Basic Set Characters, at number Coincidentally, the first available report was inthe year 4th edition came out. Maybe you try out some casual dice games as well, or some other card games, or a board game eep.


Or maybe you try to tap into that online gaming market… hey, how long as Ultracorps been in beta? Their market strategy has certainly shifted completely toward the profitable at the moment products they make, which is pretty much Munchkin.

But why life bother putting out a product like the 4th edition when it so clearly does nothing to expand your market base? Still, things have improved. 3re contrast, my friend Randy once wrote a nifty program to track battle statistics and build character sheets, and sent an inquiry to SJG probably in the early s about distributing it for free. Needless to say, he dropped it and devoted his time to less asinine projects.

Note that they only got around to posting a sensible policy inright about the gurpw that nobody cared. However, it could happen. And since SJG seems unwilling to put new player game aids or adventures into the market at least into any market rdition anybody might find themmaybe it makes sense to publish some online. Maybe even one of those missing solo training adventures. Maybe some critters that new GMs can drop into an adventure right away.

You can also try on Roll20 or the MapTool fora. Someday, I think it may be possible for player-created material to do the job that SJG has not, and that is to make GURPS accessible enough so that players might actually want to play it instead of being frightened away by clumpy lists of skills that have nothing to do with each other and fanboys debating the difficulty modifier appropriate to isolate the Higgs Boson.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 22nd, at You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2. You can leave a responseor trackback from your own site. I linked to it with comments on my blog, with the following intro: So, while my next posts will get back to the rules and tweaks that I enjoy making, I thought his post was well worth linking to, and it inspired some of my own thoughts on how to make GURPS better.

In a reddit thread I started on the topic, I proposed a publishing-level solution that is practical and removed the burden of rules reduction from the new GM, giving him a complete ruleset that works within a genre with the seeds of flexibility. I think this makes more sense, since the reductivity of the GURPS ruleset is barrier 1 for new customers. The secret is to control the level of buy in required to get their interest. Here is what I do: Create worlds that work well with the players having imperfect understanding of the rules or what is going on.

Put lots of hooks in to make them fascinating and to give the players lots of space to create characters.

Converting 3rd Ed to 4th Ed + GURPS Lite question : gurps

Let them describe what their character does translate that into system for them. All they really need to know if during combat you can attack or defend.

Slowly phase in the combat rules first mainly the choices so they are making a conscious choice. The point is to give them some reward really early in the process.

Tweak it to fit the world not the system. Note this works much better with someone who has an open mind and it works best if you have an established group that someone is joining but I suspect I could convince a group of people to try a very basic complete GURPS game as long as I made the world fascinating with plenty of room for the player to create a character they liked. They are mostly being replaced with other forms of entertainment. MMORG, movies, skype etc. Yeah, I think Mu got the point, gurps marketing strategy, assuming they want to sell more books, is full of blunders, and he pointed them very well.

Instead of focusing on lessening the hardship of gurps learning curve, fourth edition efforts were directed almost exclusively to improve the coherence of the system. For those who already used to play the game, it was great news. But for newcomers and wannabes, it became twice as complicated getting into the game. I was introduced to GURPS back when the basic boxed set and the Fantasy book were first released, so I had a pretty friendly introduction.

It just looks too overly complex and frankly, uninspiring. I would love to see a fully developed fantasy setting supported by multiple regular GURPS book releases. Most of these chaps are fetishists on complexity and gritty bits.

As a veteran table-topper of many years, I had no objection. But they might not have the problem about voting me off the island. I think it was after the 12th failed attempt by 4 different people over the course of 3 weeks to make a spaceship that even functioned let alone functioned well enough to do what we wanted it to that ultimately drove us away.

How many kilojoules of power a battery has means nothing to me. Just tell me if I can make the damn ship go fast or not.