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. 😁
@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.
@Canageek @craigmaloney I love BRP, and more importantly Stormbringer 1st Ed, and even the later Magic World. But Moon Design dba "Chaosium" is a shitty lawyer-driven company and I'll never give them a penny again, hope they eat gravel.
There's nice non-Chaosium d100 games like OpenQuest, Legend, and Mythras, though, and WHFRP and RM-replacements like Zweihänder.
Great games for doing gritty, detailed, human-scale games. But *terrible* for doing videogamey or high-fantasy worlds.
@mdhughes @craigmaloney I've not heard anything bad about them since Moondesign took over? The reverse in fact, hiring writers of colour to fix a lot of the older, racist stuff, updating a lot of old adventures to make more sense and be easier for newer players?
Given some of the stuff I heard about Chasosium wasting money on their kickstarters (and I was a bit annoyed when they sent to writers over to Europe without even a clear research plan, even before the rest came out)
@Canageek @craigmaloney Moon Design killed the OpenCthulhu project, and have made a lot of legal threats at everyone else using the public domain works of H.P. Lovecraft, and even Arthuriana which is 500-1200 years out of copyright.
Their "OGL" is literally just a legal contract with no benefit, to keep you from competing with any product they make.
@mdhughes @Canageek They've clarified that you're free to do Cthulhu or Pendragon, just not with their rules. I was on the BRP boards arguing at length with them about this, and while their BRP OGL is pretty terrible for creating derivative works the company has been good about putting things back into print and undoing a lot of damage that previous Chaosium iterations incurred.
That they are working to open things up is different than previous iterations of Chaosium, even if it's tone-deaf.
I know I'm not going to change your mind about this, and I know that emotions run hot about this, but they've done the work to keep Chaosium from being absorbed into something far less benevolent. They're fans of their products. I'd rather have fans at the helm that give a shit rather than folks who just see some licenses to exploit.
@mdhughes @craigmaloney I disagree based on some of the amazing things I've heard about the writing they are putting out: Chris Spivey's Dead Man Stomp update is supposed to be astoundingly good for example.
And I mean, I play D&D. Systems change. The Call of Cthulhu system was *never* good, the spot rules system was a disaster. It needed so much work, and so much of it was obvious.
But thanks to every other d100 game, I don't need them anymore. Design Mechanism's Lyonesse is so very lovely, something old or new Chaosium'd never be able to make.
@mdhughes @Canageek And that's the beauty of the journey that RuneQuest had. Were it not for Mongoose then The Design Mechanism wouldn't exist. Had Greg Stafford not signed off on the OGL (which is still under debate) then we couldn't have nice things from multiple folks. Through pain and destruction we get creation. As it ever was.
My last game was super-variant D20. I'm currently working on a non-D20-based game that'll either be CC or OGL, and a "this is how I interpret original D&D" game using OGL. WotC doesn't care at all as long as we follow very generous license terms, and they just made all the money in the industry on 5E (not at all to my taste, but eh).
@craigmaloney @Canageek Sure, 4E was an atrocity all around. 3E was run by one of the uber-dicks of the industry, Dancey, to be a weapon against indie game devs, which backfired badly. But even at worst, they didn't get close to suing over PD material. One supplement a buddy made had to put a sticker over the "D20™" logo, which they shoulda known better.
WotC still have their dumb "DM Guild" thing but you can just blow that off and never interact with them.
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