Friday, August 3, 2012


I miss GURPS.

I was looking over some old Hekinoe material and some old GURPS books and found myself really missing the game. Say what you want about it, but it is hands down my favorite RPG to date. There is just so much to it. So much customization and tweaking that it blows my mind and fills me with joy. It lacks a certain shinyness and glitteryness found in other games, but makes up for it in sheer comprehensive glory. The books are wall to wall compendiums of abilities and statistics and rules. The core content of the two main books is enough to run pretty much any type of game from high fantasy to futuristic. You'd need a space supplement to cover a lot of starship type stuff, but you could likely cobble something together from the main stuff if you tried.

Look, I love Pathfinder. But GURPS, man, I could write love sonnets about that game.

I look at the old Inconsistencies Continued stuff here on the blog and the Reich-5 campaign ideas Eric and I tossed around, the old Hekinoe stuff from back when I swore we would play Hekinoe with GURPS when we finished the Rebellion Arc, and some of the Nel stuff I played with in GURPS, and I miss it. I wonder what might have been.

Would the game be worse? Would Hekinoe be enriched by the ability to apply a point value to every single facet of the world and its contents? Would my players have risen up against me for trying to lay their bloody heads upon the altar of Steve Jackson? Is there an analogue for D'alton's shadow walking and Donovan's reconstitution of his crystalline flesh?

The problem is that I have lots of questions like that. These questions lead to curiosity. This curiosity leads me to delving into my GURPS books to explore and see what I can see. This exploration inevitably leads to yearning. When I yearn, I start to seriously devote time and energy to conversions. It is a short step from that yearning to full conversion and switching game systems mid campaign, and I really don't want to do that again. 

I am pleased as punch with Pathfinder. As a system, I love it. It is my favorite class based gaming system (GURPS being a skill based one). Of the game systems I am knowledgeable about (granted, this does not necessarily mean I've played them), I think Pathfinder offers the best combination of player enjoyment/comprehension and GM world view achievement. What that means is that I think my players like it and understand it and it represents my vision of Hekinoe well. I don't necessarily think GURPS would end up the same way. 

GURPS has a rather steep learning curve. You can do a lot with it, but even I feel sometimes out of my depth looking through the books and toying with powers and advantages. It demands a lot from players and GMs if they want to get their vision of their character out of it. Whereas with Pathfinder, all your powers and abilities are laid out for you in the family friendly pre-designed feats and classes. With GURPS, you have to construct each of those feats and abilities and even your race from a 249 page collection of powers, stats, disadvantages, spells, and psi powers. This is just the selection from the main rulebook. If you start creeping around into one of the many supplemental books, the number of options starts to scale up rather quickly. I suppose that is a good thing for a system that touts itself as the Generic Universal Role Playing System. GURPS does have some faults though, the steep learning curve is one. Additionally, it is possible that it is too realistic. Firearms combat is savage and deadly, and you usually die. The power gain is very sluggish as well, your capabilities as a player inch forward with a few character points every scenario or so after character creation, whereas with Pathfinder and other class based systems, every few levels you gain a serious boost in power level, whether it is finally being able to pump out that lightning bolt, or raise the dead, or summon your shadow to drain the life and vitality out of your enemies. 

I don't really have a point here, just spitballin about nostalgia. Probably post some nonsense about GURPS Hekinoe conversions in the near future here, just to see if some of the more unique aspects of Hekinoe work in GURPS. 

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