Thursday, March 5, 2015

GURPS Houserules: No more double pay, Households, Relationships

Houserules I had to make to organize my game better and keep with the setting and immersion.

No Double Pay

In the GURPS FAQ there is a question about "Should I pay for Advantages Gained during Play?" Note that the wording is "up to the GM", but GMs still follow this rule for fear of power creep (see below). This leads to a whole can of worms being opened. This is because GURPS has quantified everything to points, relationships and stuff have a point value.

So if the PC gained a household as a reward he may need to pay for the status and wealth for it? The safe choice which doesn't look at the situation carefully: Yes. But to make an informed choice we look at Power Creep.

This rule also really breaks immersion and is problematic when you consider that a Gain is never a gain if you have to pay for it. It just doubles the cost and worse is that when the PC/Player has to lose it because he doesnt have the points. Not really good game design.

As with this system, Nothing is really permanent - you can gain and lose. Like HP just track it the same way. Some days you have a lot, some you have little. Early on the GM can establish that abilities and skills can be lost - failure to practice, injuries, and what occupies our attention slowly wears away on our abilities and the things we cannot take care off.

Change Wealth Rules: Collecting Households 

I had to dismantle the GURPS wealth rules and break it up. I now just focus on Sources of Wealth. Ive limited it to Filthy Rich for character start up and after such I wont put any points behind it. I dont want to put a Point Cost to Trebizoid, Constantinople, Izmir etc.. Because these are made up of smaller households and other parts that can be broken up and redistributed. Its simpler to just count in "households". So much simpler and easy to keep track of, which makes you realize why economists and how ancient administrators always simplify to households.

So basically I award or take away households. I'm shifting the entire Mass Combat System to be viewed in Households (the smallest and basic household). levels of efficiency changes and is rolled for.

Collecting Households/Holdings/ Fiefs is apples to oranges aka Incomaperables (power creep 3:51). They are different from CP and they have limits to what they can do for the PC.  In GURPS wealth is exponentially gained every level, which is not how it works at a certain wealth point in the setting. Malik Shah and Alexius are not the "Same" or not in the same "wealth bracket" that the system sees them as equal. Its better to just simplify them in by their "Holdings"/Principalities/Fiefs (parenthesis the number of households they are equivalent).

When Alexius lost Anatolia, he lost households and its weirder to impose some strange abstraction on his wealth. Its just simpler to add or subtract households.

Any Game System. You can take the Households = Revenues rule to any game system. It was a rule of thumb of ancient administrators, no one owns it feel free to use it. Feel free to design around it. Just make the assumptions of how much the mode average household generates after its own expenses it contributes to its  overlord. Wealthier households have some more efficiency and other households working under it.

Relationships: Allies are those with Loyalty 15. 

it should have been discussed in Allies and Contact rules, but I'll clear it up. The loyalty rules can make up for relationship scores. If the PC has created a relationship that lasts then they've gained an ally. Simply introducing them or giving them a relationship where they can talk and meet and arrange deals makes them a Contact. These are things the PC does not need to pay for and the GM should reward because these are also Incomparables - they have some maintenance cost and impose its own diminishing returns and complexities - relationships change with every other relationship and people can only juggle so much.

Relationships Scores are OLD and in many games. It should be emphasized a bit more since it brings relationships to light and focuses on managing them (Yeah sounds like a manager or a leadership seminar topic). You can use it on any game system, and simply using the systems scoring standard would be good enough.

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