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GURPS Elric / Eternal champion

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Morgan Kane
    Role master his a heavy system with many charts fight supposing a hand calculator ......
    There ARE lots of charts, but they're all in the same place and all follow exactly the same format, so reaidng them is easy.
    I usually just hand out copies of the appropriate charts to each player based on the weapon they are using.

    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.
    With the 15 years experience I have of running RM, I don't have to go about fudging rolls much.
    Openended rolls (and multiple open ended rolls ) are pretty darn rare and I don't really see it as a problem, I never really liked the idea that a weapon does up to X amount of damage etc.
    Players in my campaigns are certainly not victims of being butchered by a lethal combat system.
    When you fight, you should (as is clearly stated) some of your skill bonus into defense, rahter than fighting all out offensive as most systems seem to assume.
    I say all this from gaming experience, not from assumptions or what I may have heard from other people or read online.
    What I DO find is, if someone just charges in like a psycho and tries to take on 10 Orcs or whatever, they will almost certainly die (as anyone should really), as opposed to ther systems where you can get away with this.
    I find with RM, people have to thinka bout what they're doing in a more roleplaying way. In a sense, bacuase the different circumstances that can happen are catered for so well, it enhances the roloplaying experience , not throttling it.


    Rules are complex, sometimes obscure and contradictory on some points.
    There are lots of OPTIONAL rules to cater for different tastes, but the core rules are quite clear and it can be as straightforward or as complicated as your tastes desire.


    I enjoyed it as for me rules are secondary. The main point in role playing games is role playing !
    That's true, but a detailed descriptive combat system enhances the RP experience.
    Why settle for, I take 8 points of damage, as opposed to I got hit on the arm, the muscle is torn, I will operate at certain penalties until that is healed somehow.

    There are plenty of other examples where the descriptive nature of the skill resolutions really do open up many RP opportunities that othe systems can't cater for.

    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 )
    The GURPS system is fast to play, although character gen can (and oftern is) as complex as RM, due to the many optimisations ingrained in the system.
    RM char gen (when using automated character generators) is quick and has many options for customisation of characters and far less holes in the system.

    HOWEVER, everyone to their own as far as I'm concerned.
    If you like GURPS, then great, I cerainly didn't want this thread to come down to a debate of GURPS VS RM or whatever.
    I just wanted to clear up this misconception that RM is too deadly and to clunky. which really, it isn't.

    So, enjoy.

    Comment


    • #17
      I haven't played a proper p'n'p RPG since the late '80s so I'm woefully out of touch with current systems and things.

      I'm glad Monshanjik has confirmed how long it took to generate ICE rpg characters, because I was starting to think I'd imagined how many hours we spent on my MERP character. A great thing about 1st Ed. D&D/AD&D was how quickly you could role up a character: 8 lots of dice roles (6 for stats, 1 for Hit Points, 1 for Gold) and you were practically up and running. Of course, the downside (for some) was the combat system was very simplistic, which is something that later rpgs like RuneQuest and WFRP sought to improve. (Whether they succeeded is another matter I guess.)

      I've never played GURPS or RoleMaster so I don't know how they compare to other (older) rpgs I'm more familiar with. What do people think of the d20 or d100 game systems?
      _"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."

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by David Mosley
        I'm glad Monshanjik has confirmed how long it took to generate ICE rpg characters, because I was starting to think I'd imagined how many hours we spent on my MERP character.
        Generating RM characters IS a nightmare by hand, but then noone I know who plays RM does that anymore since about 10 years ago.
        What with pretty much everyone owning a PC, most systems have auto character generator programs or spreadsheets.

        A great thing about 1st Ed. D&D/AD&D was how quickly you could role up a character: 8 lots of dice roles (6 for stats, 1 for Hit Points, 1 for Gold) and you were practically up and running. Of course, the downside (for some) was the combat system was very simplistic, which is something that later rpgs like RuneQuest and WFRP sought to improve. (Whether they succeeded is another matter I guess.)
        When I played/ran AD&D many years ago, I thoroughly enjoyed it, but after time my expectations and tastes changed.


        I've never played GURPS or RoleMaster so I don't know how they compare to other (older) rpgs I'm more familiar with. What do people think of the d20 or d100 game systems?
        I have messed about with the D20 system (which is basically D&D 3.5).
        It's more complicated than the old D&D and AD&D and has now included skills and such.
        Special abilities are now called FEATS, which each class can do in their own way.
        I personally don't like it that much, it's too restrictive in what you can do with the characters for my tastes.
        However, it is a very popular system, in fact it is the most popular by far above all the other RPGs ATM.
        Last edited by danskmacabre; 09-14-2006, 02:42 AM.

        Comment


        • #19
          I've gotten a fair bit of use out of the d20/D&D system. It's very good for modelling heroic fantasy and there are enough decent variants out there to allow it to be used for a number of other genres (the odd thing being that most folks don't take advantage of this fact and instead you just get heaps of heroic fantasy variants, which is a bit of a shame). I like the cohesion of the system, but you have to watch out for rules-lawyers more these days than in previous editions, imho. If you can keep that under control then it does a fine job with what it was designed for.

          As for percentile systems, as I mentioned I had a lot of fun with Call of Cthulhu and also played a fair bit of Merp and Fasa's Star Trek system back in the day. D100 systems tend to be skill based (instead of class/level based like D&D) and so allow for some decent diversity in character design (although the d20 multiclassing rules have gone some way to opening up different options for D&D characters). Chaosium's Basic Roleplaying System seems to be a good base to build a variety of genres with, but I'd agree that the magic system needs addressing. I also had lots of fun as a player in a couple of Warhammer FRP campaigns - I enjoyed the gritty feel and dangerous nature of combat very much.

          So has nobody else had any experience with Torg? It's a multi-genre system that caters to dramatic or cinematic play, with the rules changing subtly depending on which genre is predominant. The core story of the game featured cross-genre adventuring (so you could have a fantasy wizard, a cyberpriest and a dinosaur-riding lizardman in the same adventure). As I mentioned, I think it would make an excellent fit for adventures set in MM's Multiverse. I'd ditch the Torg plot and use the rules to model the Eternal Champion stories instead. It'd work wonders.
          The name that can be named is not the true name.

          Comment


          • #20
            In 1982, as a direct result of my fascination with the world of Elric, I secured a set of poorly-bound xerographic facsimiles of the first run of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. This has, as I have discovered from many others of like mind, served as a benchmark for all subsequent games. The fluidity of play and the intuitive flow of events in combat -- IMHO -- has yet to be paralleled.

            In 1983, I managed to secure a copy of Chaosium's Elric! and Call of Cthulhu, which proved both a joy and a disappointment. I had not read everything by Mr. Moorcock, but what I had read of the Elric Saga did not quite seem to point in the direction of the world expressed in the game as packaged, Chaosium displayed equal infidelity to the works of H. P. Lovecraft. In 1986, I gained Chaosium's Hawkmoon and ... well ... my opinion of Chaosium and its game designers suffered for it. My disaffection for the Hawkmoon game has made me hesitant to purchase the recent Corum supplement.

            At that time, I was such a pest to them, that Sandy Petersen and Lynn Willis finally told me to stop harassing them with twenty (or more) page letters (in English of uncertain pedigree) to point out errata.

            The Chaosium role system was more responsive to the needs of developing characters that were more flexible and enjoyable. Being less bound to rigid class and level systems, our characters gained depths and colours they had lacked.

            My experience with RoleMaster occurred in 1985 or 1986, long before the commonplace ownership of PCs or the modern character-generators (char-gen); and the rules as expressed in the edition we used at that time did not expressly say when or how a skill challenge check should be applied. In my case, I had failed to add any skill points to "horse riding"; my character's death resulted from trying to ride an animal for which I had neglected to give skill points then consulting the appropriable charts for falling damage when my ride attempt failed. My rolls doomed me to a broken neck and instant death.

            Subsequent characters took an average of 7-10 hours to make and tended to have surprising, grizzly ends. In all, it was not as much fun as it should have been. The open-ended rolling system for criticals and fumbles is a good idea, but those old prefabricated charts for results were a lot uglier than they needed to be. MERP was not as bad, but tended to suffer from being based on Tolkien, an author that holds little fascination for me after discovering Mr Moorcock.

            Please keep in mind that I was only about 14 years old, my English skills were not top-notch, and the group with which I was playing these games were breaking or had broken no small number of Soviet laws in gaining and playing these games. The unfamiliarity of the complicated rules as much as the character creation methodology contributed to many mistakes by the players and the game master by too closely following the rules as we understood them.

            Rakesh Malik at RPGnet says this of the original rules: "One of the things that made RMSS hard for new players to use was extreme complexity. The layout of the three main books was somewhat chaotic and all three were necessary in order to play the game. Many of the rules were hard to understand and poorly explained." (link)

            That being stated, I still have never been able to recover from my initial distaste for the I.C.E. system.

            By contrast, the first run of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons was easy, fast, and intuitive. We were able to step into game play in relative brevity, and were able to achieve a far superior degree of effort to reward; albeit the class/level system was not a perfect fit for most of us.

            I did not discover G.U.R.P.S. until tracing the steps of Dorian Hawkmoon in crossing the Atlantic. It doesn't "suck", but it seems too confused and disorganised in the version I have. I guess Steve Jackson is brilliant or something, but he is coming from a standpoint I neither share nor comprehend in most of his games.

            As I recall, Marc Miller was instrumental in creating a game that had the unique feature of having a character die during the creation process: Traveller. Granted I have not seen the revision of Traveller recently added to the GURPS catalogue, but the addition of that sort of mind set places an onus the whole line for me.

            I guess what bothers me is this: If GURPS is really universal why the need for all the extensions of the rules and why press other games (e.g., In Nomine)?

            A new game -- I have not mentioned yet -- that I believe would be easily rigged to serve the worlds of many of the EC is Fading Suns. I have only recently discovered this game and have to say I regard it as a breath of fresh air in a market that has become fairly homogenous in its "lions, tigers, and bears." When I have actually managed time to play this game, I shall have more to say about it.

            Most people over the age of 20 have limited time to devote to RPGs, so for a RPG to qualify as "good" or "superb" it must have a balance of all things as well as be easily understood. I grant that PC char-gens do make the crafting of a character quicker - but if one is not familiar with the systems involved, resorting to a char-gen is a hopeless or miserable exercise.

            "Power gamers" tend to be fluent in the rules of numerous systems, I will remind us all, most people are not power gamers. I recently had to concede I had not the slightest idea of what I was doing in Hero System Fifth Edition -- I had played Champions, but that little prepared me for using the char-gen.

            As I have mentioned, I don't think that it really matters what game one chooses to play - so long as it is enjoyable. Most RPGs I have purchased or played seem to lack something that engages me. I guess it is what my mother said of the TV series "The Pretender" - she asked "why doesn't he pretend to be interesting?" In all, I tend to describe these games in terms of the necessary number of beers one must drink to enjoy.

            The RPG market is over-flowing with stale ideas, needless complexity, and weak story lines. There is too much reliance on the "real" for the combat systems, and too little reliance on originality in the stories. Too often it is a vapid exercise in moving the characters through one contrived situation after another. Because so few people have what it takes to be a game master, the game system and its back-story bear a preponderance of the responsibility for the game.

            Using the idea of a canvas, all RPGs are a canvas on which one applies the pigments of story-telling. Some systems have better pre-fabricated canvas, some worse. The "modules" one purchase are usually pretty trite. Go here, do this; if survive, count treasure. The very idea of a Multiversal struggle for the fate of all life will hardly fit on these canvases; and like the works of Mr. Moorcock, can only be expressed by many canvases. The necessary angle to view the epic struggle isn't in the game system - but in the story. I would hate to be responsible for crafting a game system that addresses the needs of all the various Eternal Champion books.

            Any system that one chooses to adapt to the world of Elric will immediately benefit from the interest of the readers of the saga, but also suffer defects from the differences of opinion of those readers. I was re-reading the introduction in the "Melniboné Dragon Isle and Dreaming City" supplement for Elric/Stormbringer, it made me laugh quite sardonically. I offer the section in quote here that made me laugh.

            "Close attention has been paid to continuity with the books of Michael Moorcock. The author hopes that the only in cases where Mr. Moorcock is himself contradictory will readers discover any anomaly with references as they appear in the Elric saga."
            I do not know to what degree Richard Watts has the confidence of Mr. Moorcock, nor do I know of the general opinion of the members of this forum for Mr. Watts... But I should dearly love to know how somewhat more than 100 pages of texts that is claimed to be faithful to the canon, could be so egregiously wrong in so many locations. In all, this work seems to me as faithful a depiction of the Dragon Isle and its folk, as that the Albino Prince received in his cameo in the world of Conan. (What is up with that hat?)

            I do not poo-poo anyone for trying to make any game system work for Elric; it is a massive undertaking. I feel if anyone is capable of achieving this, it will be one of the members of this forum, not some game designer who is more concerned with the pay-cheque and (momentary) fame.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Monshanjik
              In all, this work seems to me as faithful a depiction of the Dragon Isle and its folk, as that the Albino Prince received in his cameo in the world of Conan. (What is up with that hat?)
              That 'hat' has an interesting history. It was 'designed' by Jack Vaughan who painted the covers for the US editions of The Stealer of Souls and Stormbringer without consultation with Mike (who hated it incidentally).



              When Barry Windsor-Smith drew Elric for the Conan/Elric comic books, he based his design on Vaughan's, (because there were few illustrations of Elric to go on at the time?)



              When Dave Sim came to create his parody of Elric in his Cerebus the Aardvark comic book he based 'Elrod the Albino' on Smith's designs.



              Neither Smith nor Sim had any idea that Mike didn't like the hat. They both thought they were paying 'homage' to him by including it.
              _"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."

              Comment


              • #22
                That is a strange hat. I don't recall Elric ever wearing one like that.

                I picture him in his helm,sometimes a hooded cloak(I think from comics),and mostly with no cover at all.

                When he was in Young Kingdom garb, I don't think he has a hat either.

                I kinda like the hat in the Conan comic,but,just not for Elric.

                It reminds me of something I can't quite place, maybe medieval fashion. It might be a little to close to a 'Planet of the Apes' gorilla hat,haha.

                "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                - Michael Moorcock

                Comment


                • #23
                  Wow! I was unaware of the pedigree of the hat - but it does my heart good to know Mr. Moorcock hated it

                  Lemec -- perhaps you are thinking of the cresent shaped hats worn my the Buddhist monks of Tibet? That is what it reminds me of.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Monshanjik
                    Wow! I was unaware of the pedigree of the hat - but it does my heart good to know Mr. Moorcock hated it

                    Lemec -- perhaps you are thinking of the cresent shaped hats worn my the Buddhist monks of Tibet? That is what it reminds me of.

                    Monshanjik,

                    Thanks! Yeah, that's probably where I had seen the hat. I must have seen it on tv or in a movie.

                    "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                    - Michael Moorcock

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      I agree ..... Elric in the crossover Conan/Elric story is ugly....... and the hat is one of the guilties.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Monshanjik -

                        Don't let the 80's version of Hawkmoon dissuade you from Corum. They are
                        worlds apart.

                        Ian
                        Diplomacy: The ability to tell someone to
                        go to hell so that they will look forward to
                        making the trip.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          I hope that once the chaosium situation is resolved there can be Eternal Champion stuff for multiple systems, d100, d20, GURPS etc, pretty much any system that people enjoy to use.

                          If there's to be one official version, then I hope it's based on a system uniquely designed for the Multiverse. Nothing beats a game with a system specifically designed around its subject.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            A system for Bastable/Cornelius/Hawkmoon/Elric etc .........

                            If you don' t want a generic system ...... a big challenge !

                            I guess it is easier to go from something existing and working from there .....

                            Call of Chtulhu is adapted from Runequest and is a success as the adaptation gives a good idea of the world of Leovecrafty even f i don't like the game as character are condemned to death or asilium .....

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Morgan Kane
                              A system for Bastable/Cornelius/Hawkmoon/Elric etc .........

                              If you don' t want a generic system ...... a big challenge !

                              I guess it is easier to go from something existing and working from there .....

                              Call of Chtulhu is adapted from Runequest and is a success as the adaptation gives a good idea of the world of Leovecrafty even f i don't like the game as character are condemned to death or asilium .....
                              I agree - a generic system that can handle different genres already exists.
                              Chaosium's BRP, GURPS, HERO, etc. These are very plug'n'play - add in pieces
                              for futuristic settings, subtract sword'n'sorcery specific stuff. Or just put it all
                              in one bin. Things like d20 doesn't do this as well because some of the changes
                              for genre are too intertwined with the core rules. You could start with d20 modern
                              and add in features for sword'n'sorcery, but it actually takes a bit more work.
                              True20 is a little more modular.

                              But really, any system the GM is comfortable with works, since it is up to the
                              GM to provide the feel and tweaks. Some systems are just better at fading
                              into the background and letting the setting/genre/feel shine. But again, any
                              good GM can do this with their favorite system to some degree.

                              Take this for an example:

                              I have successfully run an Eternal Champion campaign using Stormbringer
                              as a basis, and adding some other BRP based rules (both published and my
                              own). The basic structure - 4 players. One is an incarnation of the EC, the
                              others are Eternal Companions. After completion of a mini campaign in one
                              setting/genre, we switched - another player created an EC character, the
                              rest made mroe Eternal Companions. This continued until all four players had
                              their own Champion. Then the final chapter took place, where all four Champions
                              joined forces against a greater evil. They also played some of their Companions
                              (similar to the Agak and Gagak story in "Sailors on the Seas of Fate").
                              This worked quite well with BRP because of my group's familiarity and preference
                              for the system, as well as the wealth of material both directly related to the
                              Eternal Champion and for different genres.

                              Ian
                              Diplomacy: The ability to tell someone to
                              go to hell so that they will look forward to
                              making the trip.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by [B
                                Monshanjik[/b]]

                                I do not poo-poo anyone for trying to make any game system work for Elric; it is a massive undertaking. I feel if anyone is capable
                                of achieving this, it will be one of the members of this forum, not some game designer who is more concerned with the pay-cheque
                                and (momentary) fame.
                                Are you proposing up a EC RPG project? ;)

                                I usually lurk in these forums and do not post much, but this discussion stimulated some interest, enough to make me post :)

                                Some time ago my brother and I, became so fed up with DnD and the D20 conventions (we ended up hating anything that used
                                levels and classes) that decided to build our own gaming system. At the beginning we were only working on the game mechanics
                                and nothing else. However, soon enough we realised that that method was not very productive. FIrst of all, the system felt real
                                empty and artificial and without a proper background there was no driving force behind and not guidance in the design process.

                                Our first approach was to use the Forgotten Realms background but that did not go down well. Basically the background was
                                such that conveting everything from one system to the other was such a pain in the ass and in the end the results were
                                pretty bad. After muc debate and failed experiments with other setting we finally decided that if we were to make a new
                                gaming system we should provide it with a fresh and new background. As someone noted already here, nothing beats a game
                                where mechanics and setting go hand in hand. Sure plug n play systems can be convenient but you can never get the
                                consistency and integrity you wan in a game unless you tie mechanics and background together.

                                Sadly, reali life commitments and responsibilities (and disagreements on the direction of the background and rules) put an
                                end to that project. He got a job, a went on to do a PhD, etc etc etc, not much type in making a game :(

                                However, I still have lots of stuff from this project, mostly notes, rough sketches and so on.

                                Basically what I am trying to say is that if there is going to be such an attempt I would be more than happy to share
                                these stuff.

                                So, Monshanjik, or anyone else here for that matter, how about starting a EC RPG system?

                                Comment

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