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GURPS Elric / Eternal champion

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  • GURPS Elric / Eternal champion

    GURPS being what it is, its surprising there's no talk of running eternal champion adventures in GURPS.

    Especially since world hopping and cross genre craziness is pretty much built in (and better supported than other major systems out there)

    Anyone given any thought to this ?

  • #2
    The problem I found with GURPS is it is too prone to people who know it really well to minimax their characters (as it was with Fantasy hero, and champions etc).

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    • #3
      I've been giving a lot of thought over the last week or so to using the Torg system for doing some EC roleplaying. Its rules represent that epic, dramatic angle that the EC novels have far better than Gurps, if you ask me. Plus the system isn't prone to abuse and allows the players to influence the course of the plot in a large way - very good for incorporating that Game of Time element that is so prevalent in the larger scope of the series.
      The name that can be named is not the true name.

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      • #4
        Being Game amster in many universes, i choose years ago to customize Gurps to my taste.....

        To prevent abuse in character creation, players do the background, i make the character and they can ask somme change ....... fluid and globally satisfying.

        Gurps Elric : much work to do to taylor the magic i guess .

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        • #5
          Abuse is caused by the players, not by the system, IMO

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          • #6
            Agreed, but minimaxing is not precisely abuse, it's just a weakness of thesystem that you can heavily optimise your characters if you know what to do to a great degree in gurps compared to say, Rolemaster or Stormbringer etc.

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            • #7
              At the end of the day it's the GM's responsibility to ensure that play proceeds according to the desires of all players (the GM included). Some systems, however, lend themselves more readily to different types of play and can be harder to keep in balance than others.
              The name that can be named is not the true name.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Kamelion
                At the end of the day it's the GM's responsibility to ensure that play proceeds according to the desires of all players (the GM included).
                That's very true, but it helps when you have a system that is more robust.

                Some systems, however, lend themselves more readily to different types of play and can be harder to keep in balance than others.
                That's the great thing about the stormbringer RPG (I only really ran the original much), characters were very unbalanced in power, but it didn't really matter, the game was so deadly, it didn't matter how pwerful you were.

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                • #9
                  too much deadly may be : result : Game masters fudge the dices .......

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by danskmacabre
                    That's very true, but it helps when you have a system that is more robust.
                    Agree completely. While any GM worth their salt should be able to keep things on track, it's always better to have a system where you don't need to. I'd much rather spend my energy on other things when running games.

                    That's the great thing about the stormbringer RPG (I only really ran the original much), characters were very unbalanced in power, but it didn't really matter, the game was so deadly, it didn't matter how pwerful you were.
                    I never played any Stormbringer or Elric, but was a player in a Call of Cthulhu game for quite a while (I understand that the games are based on the same basic system). It was very cool and the rules pretty much faded into the background. Plus I was in perpetual fear of being eaten by Vibur the rat god.
                    The name that can be named is not the true name.

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                    • #11
                      I once played a game of Middle-Earth Role-Playing (MERP) at college. I spent a couple of hours with the GM rolling up my character and calculating all the stats for the game. Then 15mins into actual play time, my guy took an arrow through the neck and died instantaneously! Having grown up with the AD&D combat system I was pretty pissed off and never played the game again.

                      Looking back it was more a problem with an inept GM rather than with the game mechanics themselves. On the principal that RPGs should be fun for both player & GM, he ought to have fudged the results so the newbie's character survived (perhaps minus a larynx) and been persuaded to play again rather than sticking rigidly to the rules.

                      Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play (the best RPG ever imo) had an equally deadly combat system but also included 'Fate Points', which meant that characters didn't die needlessly early on in their adventuring careers.
                      _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                      _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                      _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                      _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

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                      • #12
                        Agreed !

                        More the combat system is lethal, more the GM must fudge the dices.

                        I solved the problem : fights are almost never played :

                        - if the players are better/stronger than opposition, 2 or three dices allows me to adjuge the fight

                        if the players are outgunned, they know it and there is not fight

                        gurps is a good system for this sort of thing as it can be punitive without being mortal !

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by David Mosley
                          I once played a game of Middle-Earth Role-Playing (MERP) at college. I spent a couple of hours with the GM rolling up my character and calculating all the stats for the game. Then 15mins into actual play time, my guy took an arrow through the neck and died instantaneously! Having grown up with the AD&D combat system I was pretty pissed off and never played the game again.

                          Looking back it was more a problem with an inept GM rather than with the game mechanics themselves. On the principal that RPGs should be fun for both player & GM, he ought to have fudged the results so the newbie's character survived (perhaps minus a larynx) and been persuaded to play again rather than sticking rigidly to the rules.

                          Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play (the best RPG ever imo) had an equally deadly combat system but also included 'Fate Points', which meant that characters didn't die needlessly early on in their adventuring careers.
                          My dissatisfaction with all products by Iron Crown Enterprises (e.g., Rolemaster -- more aptly called Roll-master -- and M.E.R.P.S.) arises from a similar experience; 8 hours making a character, 10 minutes killing him on a failed horse riding skill check. Had I invested 30 minutes on the character I would have not been so annoyed. The flaw of the I.C.E. system is the complexity of the system.

                          The other end of the spectrum is "Nobilis: A Game of Greater Powers" - where the game mechanics are so story intensive that dice are not used at all. The terra incognita the average gamer and game master face with Nobilis is usually too much.

                          G.U.R.P.S. suffers the defect of trying to be too many things and -- as Morgan Kane mentions -- requires intense re-working of the magic system. Which results in the pre-game overhead removing a significant amount of enjoyment for all concerned.

                          Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP) - in my humble opinion - suffers the exact opposite defect of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) 3.5 Edition; where as WFRP is a meat-grinder, AD&D 3.5 is the game for the "I don't want my character to die ever" crowd.

                          As packaged, the magic system and theogeny of WFRP is loathsome, and really only suitable to portions of the Corum series in my estimation.

                          Which ever game-system really is not as important as the creativity of the game master; so long as the system is simple, easily learnt, and intuitive. The top heavy systems that require hours to make a character may appeal to the "minimaxing" sort and the elaborately detailed rules will appeal to the "rules lawyers", the meat-grinder combat systems will appeal to the "hack & slash" latent orcs out there, and the cry-baby easy survival combat rules will appeal to the whiners... They all have some merit to some group or another.

                          As Kamelion mentions, the Chaosium system as expressed in "Call of Cthulhu" is easy, intuitive, and easily slips into the background. That really is the only benefit of the Stormbringer/Elric game. The other free-formed additions seem to have come more from channelling Atlantean spirit guides than anything Mr. Moorcock had anything to do with.

                          A person with a little diligence and faith toward the established canon of the world of Elric as expressed in the books by Mr. Moorcock could easily adapt the Chaosium system by borrowing the magic system from "Call of Cthulhu" rather than the grotesque nigromancy, conjuration, and theogeny of the games as packaged. Because - really - isn't it about getting into the game quickly and having the most fun possible?

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                          • #14
                            I have heard the example of "I took X amount of hours generating a character and died falling off a horse" so many times.
                            I have to wonder on how this could happen and why it is always pretty much exactly the same set of circumstances that caused the characters untimely death.

                            Why? well, assuming you're riding a horse at a reasonable pace in reasonably safe territory, there is no mechanic to cause you to be instantly killed due to a failed horse riding check.

                            However, if you're riding a horse fast, in dangerous circmstances, then sure, you might fall off and die due to a horrendous skill failure, as it should be POSIBLE in any system.
                            For example, lets say you're being chased by bad guys on horses and you're riding down a mountain trail really fast.
                            Then you make a riding skill roll (which probably has a difficult ride modifier).
                            On a complete failure, you might fall off.
                            For me that would probably require a riding save check and if you failed that, some sort of acrobtics roll to fall without taking much damage.
                            Failing that, you might take some sort of falling damage, depending on the distance you fell and the speed you fell (as could be extrapolated in any RPG system)
                            Then , you MIGHT die, or more likely take some sort of falling damage.
                            All of this could be extrapolated in otehr systems, but in rolemaster it's all easily referenced on combat charts, as opposed to other systems, where you'd probably have to hunt about to find falling damage rules and so on.
                            That's the strength of a skill based system.


                            In the 15 odd years I have run Rolemaster, noone has died from such an act, and combat itself is pretty straight forward, Involving an attack roll, reference a combat table and possibly roll a critical, that's it.
                            There is of course modifiers and son on to the roll, as any RPG has.

                            As to 8 hours to generate a character, well certainly over the last 10 years, there has been automatic character generators (via excel spreadsheets and more recently, open office) where you can easily generate a lvl 1 characters in under 45 minutes.

                            After browsing say, D&D 3.5, I found it to be a more complex system, due to there being rules all over the place and not particularly structured that well, with all sorts of special rules for classes races etc.
                            With rolemaster, the classes have different skill costs, but pretty much every class can do what the other classes can (at a higher skill cost).

                            Also, with rolemaster, it is easy to accomodate the actions of players quite easily, which i other systems can be quite restricted to determine unusual actions.

                            I can only say (not knowing what circumstances caused you to die from a failed skill roll on riding a horse) , that the fault was with your DM, not the system.

                            After saying all that, I have run the stormbringer system and thoroughly enjoyed it.
                            It's very quick and gets the job done, even if the simplicity makes it a very deadly game.
                            Sure, you can save the game by fudging rolls as a DM (which I at times do in any system I use), most often to progress a plot I am working on or whatever. But I have found with RM, the system rarely requires resorting to that.

                            The hardest thing about Rolemaster is the character gen, which is usually the case in any RPG system.
                            However with auto character generators, it's a doddle.

                            I'm pretty sure most RPG systems have computer auto character generators, in fact many years I developed an auto character generator on a casio palmtop/calculator computer for stormbringer, which was great.
                            D&D 3.5 has a character generator as well.
                            I think the last time I generated a character manually for rolemaster was probably about 1995ish.
                            Last edited by danskmacabre; 09-13-2006, 10:33 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Role master his a heavy system with many charts fight supposing a hand calculator ......

                              The critical system of open ended dices can give any result. For me, fudging the dices is compulsory during fighting if you don' t want to butcher the player characters.

                              Rules are complex, sometimes obscure and contradictory on some points.

                              I enjoyed it as for me rules are secondary. The main point in role playing games is role playing !

                              Gurps eternal champion would be a good idea.

                              My gurps version is easy and fast to play. As i do the character, combined with the point system i have not extravagant character, minimaxised in my game ( in France we call them " gros bill " refering to a well known gamer )

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