Why GURPS owns D&D and V:tM/W:tA anytime

GURPS has always been the RPG system of the minorities. This is easily explained by the critics to which it’s a target: it doesn’t have the overpower and nonsense of D&D (there’s enough about it on that link in Yar’s signature already), nor does it have the simplicity and charm of the White Wolf games. But the real important thing has to do with numbers. It takes a nerd wannabe to play Vampire or Werewolf, and a real nerd to play D&D, but it takes a mad scientist geek and an advanced calculator to play GURPS.

There are rules to calculate the volume of earth you can dig in a given time for a given ST (the strength attribute). This is by far the most critiscized thing in the whole system - “LOL, Let’s all make a digging contest!”, they say. The table with skill modifiers for ranged attacks takes into account size, distance and speed of the target, and you still have to see aiming time, targeter position/relative height and accesories on the weapon. Even bows can take accessories. Hell, there’s even a rule to calculate how much space you need for a half-loop-like full turn if you’re flying or swimming very fast, and it takes into account not only your speed but also the local gravity and how much G-Force you can stand based on your attributes.


Recently, me and a few buddies were playing, me GM’ing (GM is for Game Master, the equivalent to D&D’s Dungeon Master). GURPS Fantasy, one of my favorite settings. We record the damage most commonly dealt by the characters in their sheets, for easy reference (even though I have the damage table memorized up to ST 40, mind you).

Well, before starting the game, I saw some damage dice that didn’t match one of the character’s ST for normal weapons, and he didn’t have any spells that would cause that damage either. It was not the case of a player twisting the rules to get an edge over his foes in combat… The recorded damage was lower than what he’d get with a proper sword. My friends always come up with the most bizarre stuff you could ever imagine, so I was not surprised when I learned what the hell that was about.

The said character was one giant of a man (ST 16 - imagine a professional weightlifter), who was using another character (with consent), a 270 lb. dwarf (when unarmored), as a projectile.

Now, it was a pathetic attack on itself. Range of 1 yeard (because I allowed then to round it up!), damage: 2D crushing (He’d do up to 2D+2 cutting with a shortsword). Also, counting their armors, the guy was going over his encumbrance limit, but I still ruled that we’d be using a (official) cinematic rule where one can lift extra weight on a turn by spending fatigue. So the attack cost one fatigue point per throw. As a last special touch to it, I ruled that whatever knockback is rolled for such an attack, one extra hex of knockback is added to it, more due to the akwardness of the act than anything else. Just to keep things real… Otherwise one could be hit by a human projectile weighting way more than 300 pounds and suffer no knockback. But all in all, it would need no special ruling by the GM if the dwarf was lighter. A human with dwarfism would do the trick.

I only let it pass because it was pretty creative and really amused me. I hadn’t had a good laugh at tossed midgets ever since that scene in LOTR where Gimli asks Aragorn to toss him. But what I meant to say with all this RPG’ese is that GURPS players may stuff their chests and say out loud: [i]“My system has rules for Midget Tossing!”[/i]. I’m not kidding. If you want to check it out, it’s on page 90 of the Basic Set (3rd edition).

How would your DM/Storyteller react if you suddenly were to throw your vertically challenged friend at an enemy? No matter what he/she did, I sincerely doubt it would be officially supported by WotC or White Wolf.

Dungeons & Dragons 3.5

Races of Stone

Page 139

Fling Ally

You can launch your comrades into the air as if they were thrown weapons.
<b>Prerequisites:</b> Str 19, Rock Hurling or racial ability to throw rocks, size Large or larger (goliaths qualify by virtue of their powerful build racial trait)
<b>Benefit:</b> You can pick up an ally at least one size category smaller than you and throw him towards a specific square up to five range increments away. It takes a move action to pick up an ally and a standard action to throw that ally. You make a ranged touch attack (against AC 5) to throw the ally to the chosen square. If the touch attack hits, the ally lands in the square you designate. If the touch attack is a miss, randomly determine in which square the ally lands, using the Missing with a Thrown Weapon diagram on page 158 of the <i>Player’s Handbook</i>. If the ally lands in a square that is occupied, she lands prone in that square. In any case, the ally doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity for this movement.
Allies one size category smaller than you have a range increment of 5 feet, while allies two size categories or more smaller than you have a range increment of 15 feet. If you have the Improved Rock Hurling feat or the racial ability to throw rocks, the range increments improve to 20 feet and 40 feet respectively.
Goliaths are treated as Large creatures for the purpose of this feat, allowing them to fling Medium allies with a range increment of 5 feet and Small or smaller allies with a range increment of 15 feet.
You must be strong enough to lift the ally over your head (the ally’s weight cannot exceed your maximum load) to throw her. See page 162 of the <i>Player’s Handbook</i> for more information on carrying capacity and maximum load.

<div align=“center”><img src=“http://www.rpgclassics.com/staff/rhaka/flingally.jpg”></div>

Just a little bit of info too, that link is for second edition D&D. We’re currently in the third edition (Well, 3.5 as there was a major rules upgrade).

As someone who has played RPGs since Basic D&D, here’s my opinion:

GURPS is indeed rules and math-heavy, but that’s because most of the people writing for it enjoy using it for REALISTIC description of events. However, one thing many people miss is that GURPS is more customizeable than most other games- GMs are encouraged to come up with their own “House rules.” I’ll bet many of them don’t bother with the heavy calculations.

More importantly, GURPS is, in my opinion, the BEST RPG for character description. The Advantages/Disadvantages system is great for customization, plus the terms are easy to read; many RPGs give all sort of strange names to their statistics, but if you look at a GURPS character Sheet, you can get easily get a grasp of the character even if you’re unfamiliar with the game system. Even the numbers are easier to read than, say, Champion’s 12 Attributes and power-combinations. (Example: if you read the GURPS sheet for Batman (there are several versions) you can see things like: Obsession (Fighting Crime), Sense of Duty (To victims of crime) and Pacifism (Cannot Kill.) That tells you a lot about the character right there.

I must also point out that GURPS has covered genres besides the realistic or nearly-realistic. GURPS SUPERS was about Comic Book superheroes, and TOONS (another game by the same company) was basically GURPS for cartoon characters. To be honest, the superhero version wasn’t very good, because it failed to help simulate many heroes, especially the ridiculously powerful ones like Pre-Crisis Superman. However that may soon change, with the release of GURPS POWERS, a book that explains how to use the (4th Edition) GURPS system to simulate all kind of superbeings, including godlike ones. (I’m still reading it, comments later.)

I also want to state that powergaming IS a valid form of gameplay. I mean, if the GM and the players all enjoy it, then what the hell, let the characters kill gods if they want! It’s a game, after all! :slight_smile:

Other Tabletop RPG comments:

The AD&D Multiverse is still the best original one created for an RPG. It taught me a LOT of my SF/Fantasy concepts (things like the Ethereal Plane; I know, lifted from other sources, but it’s the use that counts.)

BESM (Big Eyes, Small Mouth) an Anime RPG, has my favorite set of Character Stats of any system; a good balance between too much and too little information (a problem in most RPGs.) It’s still lacking a few things, but the 3rd edition (coming soon) should fix that. Also, the makers of the game (Guardians of Order) have other good products, like Sentinels of Justice, a decent Superhero game.

Palladium has some original ideas in its games, particularly in RIFTS.

I don’t care much for White Wolf’s games, but they managed to make Werewolves and Vampires sound interesting, which to me is a difficult thing.

The best superhero game ever was the original Marvel Superheroes RPG (Advanced Version). Simple, yet it covered even the cosmic characters very well!

And CHAMPIONS (4th Edition) had the absolute best collection of ORIGINAL heroes and villains of any superhero game ever (not just rip-offs of stablished characters.) Great art, too.

cough coughMunchkincough

But I’m not really complaining about it, just pointing it out.
In fact, it rocks. :stuck_out_tongue:
I have both the Player Guide and the Munchkin Master’s Guide. I just need the monster Manual and then me and my friends will kick some serious ass. :stuck_out_tongue:
(The last time we played it, with only the Player Gudie, our party was the most remarkable bunch of cross-bred misfits EVER.
We had a dwarf/orc (genreally referred to as the “dworc”) who I can’t really remember, an elf/orc with a spiky mohawk all the way down his back and a female, bald gnome covered in strange tattoos and wearing a blond toupé (bonuses both for being bald and for being blond. :P) with a total whining skill modifier of 16 at level one. ^^)

Tenchimaru: you destroyed my little realm of happiness =p But GURPS still did that years earlier.

Ruda: yeah, but a lot of logical problems still persist. I’m only giving in because of what Will said, that since powerplaying is a valid form of playing and people can have fun, then it’s ok.

Will: you keep showing more and more that you’re even nerdier than me. bows Please be my master!

Freak: thank you very much!

What the hell are you talking about. D&D is not only completely realistic, but also perfectly balanced. Hence a level twelve Kobold psion can become a god.

More balance problems than princess leia vs. count dooku, darth maul, and Soldier #3

Nothing is balanced until it is City of Brawlers! /obscure reference.

Unbalance makes things fun, and for the most part all PnP games revolve around imagination not a redundant system of rules that involves liner algebra and equations borrowed from quantum mechanics and string theories. Imagination makes it fun.

Rocks fall, this thread dies.


What the hell is an RPG

What is an RPG.

ok that is an rpg lol

Personally, I’ve grown to see the GM as a bigger factor towards the quality of a game, than the system used. I’ve had D&D games go both ways in terms of quality; the absolute worst campaign I’ve ever played, and second best, were both D&D. Likewise, Shadowrun is reputed for having a good setting, but… flawed system, yet my SR campaign is probably THE best I’ve ever played before, thanks to the GM.

Don’t get me wrong, there are definately levels of quality to systems, but that wouldn’t be the deciding factor for me as far as what campaigns I go into, most of the time at least.

(Fun fact: My GM was considering the SR campaign to be GURPS taking place in the SR world, but decided to go by core SR for varying reasons I wont go into).

I had an idea for a P&P RPG that would mimic the mechanics of a console RPG. I can see it now …

GM: Suddenly, the scenery blurs, and you find yourself someplace that looks kind of like where you were before, but lacks the essential components of any given specific part! Three Chartreuse Slimes draw near!
Player: I attack the one on the le with my sword!
GM: rolls dice a few times You find yourself rooted to the spot as you swing your sword, but Chartreuse Slime A reels back, and the number 13 appears above its head!

I am SO in if you ever set up a campaign.

So then. If unbalance makes things fun, i assume you would have no problems with using obscure books and borrowing evil things from the wizards boards.

Unbalance to a point, otherwise I’d let you but kill you off within the first 15 minutes. =)

Everything in moderation.


As only a lv. 5 noob nerd I only understood like 50% of the thread title anyway, so this is not funny :stuck_out_tongue:

Though not exactly that, I do remember a PvP online story arc wherein they made a P+P game that mimics a P+P game. Like, the players play other players. Whom in turn are playing another P+P game.

no u >:E