02/17/14

GURPS Both Realistic and Deadly

There are many roleplaying games available that offer varying degrees of fun and complexity. Some players and GM’s judge roleplaying games using those metrics. GURPS is a game that is both fun and can be complex. The caveat is that the game does not have to be complex. There are rules that can be used at the most basic level to have fun. Combat is a section with the Basic Set that can be simplistic. As a GM add more of the advanced rules as you see fit. At any level combat is dangerous for characters. It is important to understand the rules to make smart decisions for your characters. The video should be able to help you understand combat. Your life may depend on it!

The rules in the video are part of the GURPS Basic Set : Campaigns.

01/29/14

GURPS Fantasy (Review)

This is the review of GURPS Fantasy. This is not the original edition of GURPS Fantasy. That information has been moved into GURPS Banestorm. This edition goes over everything fantasy in many TL’s and settings. An adventure seed goldmine for your players itching for the fantastic.

As always more information about Steve Jackson Games and GURPS can be found below.

GURPS

01/25/14

GURPS Middle Ages I (Review)

This is a video reviewing the GURPS book Middle Ages I. It is the Second Edition and written by Graeme Davis.

The book covers Medieval England. The time spans from the Dark Ages, Norman Period and High Middle Ages.

To give a bit of perspective, that is when Rome left England through Richard III – who died at the Battle of Bosworth field. The last battle in the War of the Roses.

As always more information about Steve Jackson Games and GURPS can be found below.

GURPS

11/21/13

Inkworld – Source of Magic Part II

Over a year ago I posted about a place called Inkworld. The world is an ancient one filled with many beings. This world’s creation is a mystery and the knowledge has been lost since beginning of recorded time. Inkworld, while in its infancy was populated by many deities, each had their own views about who should rule the world. Many years passed as they fought and schemed to be the sole ruler. In a great battle that lasted for many days they all perished. It is not known how they left the world. What is known is that their “blood” is part of this world. It is called Ink. It is the source of mana and possibly more. From the Ink, man propagated and magic grew. It created all manner of man and woman. Centuries passed as they continued to populate the world. Some of them were able to see the nature of Ink and it’s power. At first there were a few that could understand the Ink. Those that could not, saw this as an aberration and were fearful. Many more years passed and others learned how to use and master Ink. The world is still afraid of what a Ink user can do. Anyone that has Ink on their body is stigmatized. In some places they are confined or even killed. Magic and Ink are rare in Inkworld.

I have based the Advantage of being a mage to the GURPS ruleset. Because magic use in this world is rare, the PC’s should take Unusual Background. The points that it would cost should be up to the GM. For my group it is a 10 point Advantage and the background for the character should reflect that.

I have begun to flesh out this world. There is something to be said for playing in a world where magic is rare and its use can have dire consequences. Magic in some adventures can tip the scale in combat or other situations. It would be no different here but if it is used, beware of the result. Of course as with any GURPS adventure the character creation for in Inkworld is limitless. I will share more of Inkworld at a later time.

11/7/13

Danger, Danger!

In GURPS there are a few Advantages and Disadvantages that as a player you have to let the GM determine the outcome. The Danger Sense advantage is one of those. There are a few things to consider before putting points into this. One is the trust you have with your GM. The advantage costs 15 points, which is nothing to scoff at. The mechanic involves the GM rolling against your Perception to see if you, according to the Basic Set, can sense an impending ambush, disaster or similar danger. If the GM rolls a 3 or 4 you get some detail as to the danger, otherwise you just have a feeling something bad is going to happen. The mechanic itself is dead simple. So, what’s the problem with Danger Sense, or is there one?

I spoke to trust of your GM and that is valid. We have all been part of games where the GM has some sort of adversarial complex towards players and their characters. It seems that sometimes they want to win the game and fulfill some need to keep their story alive. In this case spend your points elsewhere. You as a player need to believe that the GM will let you know about an ambush that he spent the whole day at work planning for the group, (the GM and trust topic is one for another day). I know that this may seem an odd reason to not take an advantage but it is one that should be mentioned. For most players this shouldn’t be an issue.

Let’s assume that you want to take Danger Sense and bask in all its glory. Well good for you. It can be a life saver throughout your character’s career. I once made a cowardly, pacifist that had a danger sense. Every time he sensed danger he ran away screaming. He didn’t go far because he didn’t want to be left alone. This made for some interesting encounters. The GM in that situation did a very good job at letting me use Danger Sense. The other players loved it, even if it was a bit loud. The advantage is most certainly worth the poultry 15 points. It can give you some options in deadly situations.

If you decide against taking the advantage ask yourself why. If it because of the trust issue, bring it up away from the game with your GM and players. Never keep that bottled up, (again another topic later). If you haven’t taken it before give a go. Try to incorporate it into your roleplaying. Brag about your danger sense. Hell you may even want to make some money. “Take me with your party. I am able to sense danger at every corner. That will be 2 gold pieces a day, thank you very much!” Danger Sense can be a fun advantage to play, even if the GM controls the roll.

07/30/13

Adventure Seed: Protect The Prisoner

This is an adventure that has been seen in many a western film. The bad guy has killed someone and been thrown in jail. He is awaiting the marshals or judge to arrive. There is almost always an old jailer who cannot handle the murderer and his gang. The good guy is usually someone who has wanted to be left alone and is somehow convinced to help the jailer. The story progresses by having the gang come and attempt a breakout after some harsh words and threats were made earlier. The bad guy sometimes is broken out of jail and a posse is formed to catch him and the gang. It ends with one of the good guys dying and all of the bad guys losing their lives in a grand shootout. Sometimes there is a love interest in there to showcase a pretty girl. The story can be told better by you.

How do you make the story better? As a GM preparing the adventure I would say that the best way is to take away the predictability of the story. Make sure that the outcome is not always having the bad guys die. If you can craft the adventure to give the bad guys a way to escape their fate or come up with some other ingenious resolution that’s the way to go. Keep the PC’s guessing about the outcome.

The adventure will probably have about 3-5 players that you have to deal with. Try and include them in the protection detail. As the GM you will have to be creative. If a player makes some type of support character, like a merchant, doctor, blacksmith or something similar, find a way to showcase their skills. You can have the bad guy be badly wounded and the doctor needs to keep him alive or the gang is going to lay waste to the town. Maybe the blacksmith is there to repair the old dilapidated jail cell. While he repairs the cell the others have to keep watch 24 hours a day. Try to keep the players involved.

A twist to this story is that the PC’s have to prepare the townsfolk for an “invasion” from the gang. The gang could consist of about 30-40 ruffians. Have the players find ways to defend the town and protect the prisoner. This can be interesting because the players will have to roleplay their interactions with the townsfolk and use their skills to provide security. The players will have to plan their defense. Most other adventures players have played in consist of travelling and a proactive combat attack. This will make the players focus on defense.

As the town and players prepare for the inevitable attack, try and test the defenses as they go up. Maybe there is a couple of the gang that try to sneak in a attack the jail. There could even be the back and forth dialog and threats on the town street. Again play to the PC’s Skills and Disadvantages.

With most adventures it is always a good idea to keep the flow moving and the players active. In this type of adventure it can get boring real quick. Pace and interesting plots will keep the game going. This would be a great one-shot adventure in any genre. You could do the western genre if your group has been stuck in a specific genre for a while. But it can be set in any genre. I ran this in a space genre once and the tech was over the top. The damage rolls were huge and the players were all about doing 10d6 imp damage. Remember the adventure doesn’t have to be about combat. There can be a lot of roleplaying as well. Make it fun.

07/22/13

How Do You Start an Adventure?

We have all watched the opening to a James Bond movie. It starts so quietly and then all hell breaks loose. Bond is chasing or being chased, there are explosions and gun fire. As the viewer you are immediately on the edge of your seat. You know he is going to come out on top but it sure looks dire. Then he finishes off the bad guy and the music plays. I have always found this to be a great way to begin a movie. It brings the viewer right into the story from the get go. There is no time to get comfortable. The story is going to start whether you’re paying attention or not. Welcome to how I start most of my adventures.

When I started to GM. I struggled with trying to get the players to stop talking, joking around, fidgeting or staring into space. I used music as an intro once. That didn’t go over very well. The song choice just made everyone laugh and give me some stick. It took me an hour to get the game going after that. I even tried to tell the players, “hey we are going to start in 2 minutes, calm down.” That didn’t work either. After a few sessions I just accepted that games just started that way for everyone.

During the planning of one of my adventures I thought about starting the PC’s in a battle. Just a few words of description and then combat starts. I knew everyone’s Basic Speed so the order was set. I just said “you” are first. What do you do? There was an oh crap moment and the players quickly settled down. Later they told me that adventure start was the best one I had done.

You have already figured out a few of the reasons for staring an adventure like this. Aside from those I also wanted to hurt the PC’s. If I can find a way to shave a few HT or Fatigue from the PC’s in the beginning I will. I don’t kill them in the first couple of minutes but I do put them in a situation where the rest of the adventure requires attention to their PC’s. If you can get your players engaged right at the beginning of the adventure it enables you to control the tone of the story. The players are along for the ride. What they do next is up to them. The adventure has started and they know it.

04/14/13

What A GM Needs To Start A GURPS Adventure

I created this video a while back in response to a few topic suggestions. There were some new GM’s that wanted to run a GURPS game with their respective groups. I thought the best way to handle the topic was to explain what I do as a GM to prepare and most is covered in the video. As I point out the process can be used for any RPG, however when I talk about mechanics it is specific to GURPS.

I had fun making the video and hope you like it. Please note that this is not the only way to prepare but it is the one I use.

As always more information about Steve Jackson Games and GURPS can be found below.

GURPS

03/2/13

GURPS Adventure: The Slave Mind (Session 1)

Streamed live on Feb 16, 2013

This is the first session of a GURPS adventure with John (aka GandalfThePlaid), AJ (aka Houndin) and Ryan (aka worldseye).

Fantasy Adventure set in the world of Yrth. We started in the Northwest of Cardiel. The three adventures met in a tavern and had not seen each other in years. Each started with their own paths and in this adventure they are brought together. The reason? They have no idea.

GURPS Adventure: The Slave Mind (Session 1)