You know what I really love about GURPS and The Call of Cthulhu and similar games?

Characters can have *texture*.

When I've played FATE and FUDGE they were more broad strokes: you got a few points, BIG ONES, to define your character. And that elegance is COOL, don't get me wrong. You want someone able to sit down at a table, see a character sheet and know what someone is about? That was damn cool.

But in GURPS or Cthulhu one skill point is almost free. You get over a hundred of the things. So you want to detail that your character spent first year as a English Lit major before moving into Theoretical Astrophysics? You can do that. Have a hobby skiiing? You can do that.

Also: I love how over the long term the skills you have show the phases of the campaign. Like when we ALL took navigation due to our ranger taking a year off.

@Canageek I'll admit that some of the fun and frustration of GURPS was in building characters. Unfortunately there was way more frustration for me. Having to figure out how many points would be the equivalent of 2nd year Latin (note: not a real example) or how to model one of the two Wonder Twins in GURPS really started moving into "how many angels can fit on this pin and are we talking Seraphim or Cherubim?


I tried modeling the ghosts from Pac Man for a joke session with my wife. I tried to model one of the ghost monsters in one of the books (don't recall, doesn't matter). In the end it didn't matter because everything took entirely too long for me to figure it out.

I still think GURPS is great for folks who love tinkering but for me it's the equivalent of using a battleship with full ships complement to commute to work. Too much, and not nearly as flexible as I would like. 😁

@craigmaloney @Canageek Long ago I ran a videogame-world game with Champions 3E, worked perfectly fine. Pac-Man had a high-value normal attack with a special effect of teleporting defeated enemies to their home.

These days I'd probably use Cartoon Action Hour instead.

@mdhughes @craigmaloney Have you tried Chaosium's Basic Roleplay system? The one that powers Call of Cthulhu? I think it does a lot of the same good points but with half the work. Now, it is much less flexible, but it does one thing and does it well, which is human or near human characters who are skill based and fragile.

I'm actually slowly (one page every few years slowly) writing my own game based on the same ideas.


@mdhughes @craigmaloney But I found out that the creators of the new edition of The Call of Cthulhu had a lot of the same ideas I did, which kinda reduced the point. Other then I can do it in like, 10 pages and give it away for free.

@Canageek @mdhughes You might want to check out GORE, which hits some of those mechanical notes, or even Chaosium's own BRP OGL (not quite the same as an actual OGL, but they're trying).

That said, I adore BRP for its simplicity and that it powers some best-in-class settings like CoC, Glorantha, and Pendragon.

@craigmaloney @mdhughes Yeah, my version is based on me running Call of Cthulhu from memory over many years, and every time I would forget something I'd insert a D&D-ism to keep the game moving rather then look it up. So it really smooths over a lot of the actual rules.

Plus, I wanted a skill-based D&D replacement, and CoC based systems don't really do that since you are ALWAYS so fragile. So I want to see if I can make a d% skill system without that issue.

@Canageek @mdhughes MIght want to look into Bare Bones Fantasy to see if that scratches that itch.

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