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GURPS, hate it or love it?

I backed GURPS DF and really regret that.

I was hoping they’d take the opportunity to drastically simplify the system making it sort of a stepping stone to GURPS. Instead, it’s like 98% of the way to GURPS.

I had hoped for a much cleaner game that, since DF is so template based, stripped down the char gen and ditched the points. So at most 50%.

I don’t like generate as you go.

But since DF is so heavily template based they coulda done “pick a class, make some choices, and go” like Feng Shui’s archetypes. The points coulda been hidden.

The way templates [25] are laid[50] out[5], presented[25], in a condensed [10] block of text [12] make them uninviting.

Not that I don’t have other issues with GURPS. Other things I don’t like: The 1s round, the Fast-Talk skill, skills for investigating and searching etc.

Also the illusion of the point system as having any kind of balance whatsoever. Which, it doesn’t. It’s only purpose is to create restriction and therefore make character creation a fun challenge of tradeoffs. The points do not make it more realistic nor more of a balanced combat game. They are just and only there to make the game challenging, the mathematical equiv of “can you write your backstory in limerick form while balancing on one leg?” Sure I can… “There once was this game out of Austin…”

A fun Lego-style system, sure, but lonelyfun as opposed to “playing an RPG together” fun.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy Lego, I do. I like making Lego MOCs and ASCII art and sonnets and sestinas and 40 card Magic decks and yes, 250 point GURPS characters. It’s fun.

But it’s not in service of the game. It’s an obstacle to the game. It’s a really poorly balanced game from a gamey game point of view; point value says zilch about lethality, challenge level etc.

And it’s a coarse-grained view of not only reality but of fiction. People love seeing GURPS versions of Conan or Vorkosigan or Miss Marple in the same way they like seeing Lego versions of Luke and Leia. I really have a love/hate relationship with GURPS. It was one of my first games, I get disgusted, swear it off, and get lured back in by nostalgia and the sunk cost, and the cycle repeats. I use a ton of stuff from GURPS Creatures in the Night 3e in my D&D campaign.

Thinking of GURPS makes me happy because and only because I think back to the time when I was young and reading GURPS books. It hasn’t yet produced good game experiences for me at the actual table.