Thursday, April 7, 2016

GURPS Lite Constructive Review

GURPS Lite Review by Colin

Design Goals of GURPS Lite by my guess
  • Basic Mechanics
  • Introduce a Playable Combat. Gun or Sword fight.  
  • Can be used for low tech or high tech setting 

GURPS Lite

Design Goals for GURPS Lite
  • The basic rules and mechanics
  • a very lite character creation: 
    • Narrowing it to low tech 
    • and to 4 PC roles
    • Tools for the GM to walk through the newbie players. 
    • Tips for the GM
  • A pre-Prep for a Game, 
    • a two-page spread game
    • instructions how to prep for simple 3-act adventure. 
    • some NPCs and small encounter tables.
GURPS Lite Content and my Comments
  • The Basics
    • Oversimplify the mechanics.
    • Edit the Modifiers Entry.
    • Add TDM
    • Remove Reaction Rolls 
      • In the Absence of Reaction Rolls people tend to use Influence Rolls. Rolling against a Score to see how another person reacts. You can make it that the NPC rolls an IQ or Per roll looking at the appearance of the PC and in context if he recognizes reason to be act favourably, indifferent, or negative to the PC. 
      • I'm biased against the Reaction Rolls because it goes against the Roll-Low mechanics. I believe it should be consistent when ever 3d is rolled.  
    • Character Creation
      • See Colin's Minimalist Character Creation
      • BOX text and page references to the Steps for Players. If the GM photocopies GURPS lite for each of his players. Guides and tools would be easy for GMs to walk through the newbie players.
      • If you can have a fun story telling mechanic of each character element that just adds small box texts of questions about the Character of who they are where they are from and their psychology and motivations that would be Awesome. 
    • Character Points - limit to Competent to Heroic.
    • Strength (Gripe Str table has been nerfed for good reason, maybe just give the thrust values ) 
    • Wealth and Status Options. Just mention people start as Freemen or Yeomen at Status 0. Notes on the lower status and higher status: serfs and tenants, warrior and ruling elite.
    • Advantages. 
      • Just use Talents (5 point ones) or Have no advantages. 
    • Disadvantages. 
      • have a template of disadvantages. Particularly geared toward roleplaying. Avoid the Good vs Evil. The templates can be Framed easily as either. 
        • Pragmatic Professional
        • The Righteous Guardian
        • Ambitious Opportunist
        • the Caregiver and Sympathizer 
        • Liberal Deviant
    • Skills. Enough to create 4 Roles of Characters
      • Defender. Heavy infantry, sword and board
      • Shocktrooper. Medium infantry, impact weapon and board 
      • Flanker. Light Infantry, spearman and small shield.  
      • Ranged Attacker. An archer 
      • Templates of the Specialist vs the Secondary role. 
      • Adventuring Skills.
      • Basic Problem Solving Skills. Since I would recommend about 30 skills in all. 
        • Athletic Skills
          • Running
          • Hiking
          • Riding
        • Adventuring
          • Survival
          • Navigation
          • First Aid
          • Tracking
          • Housekeeping* (the domestic all around skill). 
        • Deception
          • Acting
          • Sleight of Hand
          • Stealth
        • Cultural
          • Area Knowledge
          • * language
          • * cultural familiarity
        • Basic Education
          • Writing
          • Research
          • History
        • Social
          • Savoir Faire
          • Carousing
          • Fast Talk
          • Diplomacy
          • Intimidation 
        • Information Gathering
          • Interrogation
          • Observation
          • Search
        • Combat
          • Weapon Skill
          • Shield
          • Throwing
          • Archery
          • Brawling
        • Special Skills
          • Physician
          • Armoury
          • Merchant
          • Sailing
          • Gambling
          • Professions*
    • Starting Wealth is at TL3. 
    • Weapons
      • enough weapons for the various roles and secondary roles. 
      • Since its only TL3 no need for firearms. 
    • Equipment. there is no general equipment package. 
  • Playing the Game
    • Alot of the Physical activities can be simplified with a simple set of benchmarks. Also try to set two sets of benchmarks. What should not be rolled, and the extremes - what can
      • Example. Hiking. Characters can trek their half their move score in miles per hour modified by their encumbrance. (insert examples of penalties to hiking speed on conditions). 
      • There is a glitch in the fatigue system. Which would be easily fixed if there is a cap to the amount of FP recovered in a day. 
        • Characters can recover up to FPx2 per day in rest. When they have reached their limit, they suffer a temporary FP limit of -2FP but can recover another reduced FPx2. the character can't rest to recover FP when is temporary would brings is FP to 1/3. To recover from a -2FP temporary penalty day of rest. So a -6FP would take 3days of rest.
        • Doing the math as long as there is 10mins to rest people can recover FP, but it doesnt seem to  work that way. Especially when we look at marching personal management notes.  
      • Climbing - simplified by a simple set of guides instead of a table of modifiers. 
      • Running - simplified (and updated to have the acceleration notes, that it takes 2-3 seconds to accelerate to full move). 
        • Long Distance running - give a mph/kph and give a FP per min, and quick notes on how to resolve it per 10min or per hour. 
        • Sprinting - quick notes on resolving chases or races, and how bad terrain figures on sprinting. 
      • Throwing. a simpler but less accurate formula would be better. Like (BL/20)/lbs * ST+throwing skill modifier. If its a large object that two hands can throw it x2 strength. So a 0.5lb object can be thrown 20 yards or 16 yards ST9. A 20lb object thrown 1 yard or  0.72 yards for ST9. 
      • The throwing damage can be further simplified. Like Thr -2 for BL/8 and every doubling is improves the damage by plus 1. 
    •  Mental Feats. mostly as is. maybe remove Danger Sense (since most advantages are going to be removed; note that Danger sense is a fairly hard to arbiter Game element, so its best to remove it from the options at the level of Lite). 
      • Note that there is Influence Skills under mental feats. Lets just work with that instead of having the long complicated Reaction Rolls. 
    • Combat
      • Opt-for Abstract Combat. 
        • Not second by second but moment for moment
        • Zones for movement and placement. 
        • Conditions: engaged, ranged
        • Significant Actions - a turn is a meaningful narrative of  the player - not a Pass I can't do anything. 
        • Here are my notes on Abstract Combat (its a 3 part series, which I plan to update soon). 
      • Because many are coming from the DnD Mindset and the Death Spiral is very challenging it may be better to remove Shock and Major Wounds.
      • Injury, Illness, and Fatigue.
        • This needs to be shortened 
        • Over-Simplify Death Checks. Since they're heroes and Big-bad guys dont roll any and only die at -2xHPa
        • Mooks and minions are "out" when their HP falls below 0. 
      • Recovery
        • First Aid, simplify to TL3 or refer back to first aid in the skills. 
      • Simplify  the Weather Part. Hot weather, Cold Weather, Temperate Weather, Tools for Weather modifier. Maybe no Roll just an FP penalty (plus minus FP). 
      • Heat or Fire. oversimplify to damage on contact and pain per contact. 
      • Poison and Disease. Oversimplify to HT rolls. Roll to take damage or penalties, succeed to half the effects, and Roll to recover. Give a sample of bacterial infection and allegen toxins since these are the most common and give notes on making varieties. 
    • Two-Page Spread or Four Page Adventure for the GM easily seperated from the main GURPS Lite.  
      • The two Page Adventure could be an easy Questions and Answers adventure and tables. 
      • The GM answers adventure creation questions.
      • There are Encounter Tables and Quick Stats of NPCs  
      •  That the adventure can be run with the Notes of the GM, Dice, and the GURPS Lite photocopies and the 
Conclusions
I've basically scoped out what I need to do to prep for 1-shots for GURPS lite. This just needs to be refined about 3-5 times (rewritten with more notes and under many eyes). It would  probably take 100 hours (15-20 weeks) after the re-writes of the outline for me to make a robust alternate GURPS lite. I wish I had the time. 

I would just love to have this kind of GURPS lite in the hands of newbie GMs, run games and teach , at the end of the One-shot, how to run such games. Its awesome in a 4-6 hour session a person can learn GURPS, teach others to play and then teach them to run in an End-to-End methond: run, teach - learn, run, teach - etc...

Another is giving more people access to edit and remake this so they can customize the "Core" document to suit their needs. Someone will make a modern version, detective in the 1920s version, Cthulhu version, etc... and Run it in many different ways. A Gdrive or Dropbox Folder of GURPS Lites - Fantasy, Modern, Detective, Noir, Horror, etc.... 

This is an awesome exercise in design and strategizing how best to propagate and spread a system. I may not do it only for GURPS but I will do it for my ORPG lolz or DnD5E. 

This is a work-in-progress and I would love some constructive criticism how to make this better. Maybe one day one of us will have 200 hours spare to work on such.

update: considering making an Anki Deck of all of GURPS Lite, at least the GURPS lite following this design format. 
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