Saturday, August 18, 2012

Last Night's GURPS Attempt

I wonder if I'm going through a "mid-life crisis" or something.  I'm more interested in reading about games and gaming than I am in reading a novel, or in getting work done around the house.  I'd rather sit and visit with friends than work on what used to hold my interest.  Or maybe I'm just stressed and need a break.  I don't know.

I do know that I had a good time at the game, though we didn't get much playing done (much to our GM's chagrin).  We had a lot of fun being silly, talking, digressing, and eating.  We attempted to play a version of Fallout using the GURPS Lite rules.  However, I don't really know anything about Fallout so I needed an introduction to the setting.  Three sentences in, I said "Oh, okay.  It's basically Gamma World merged with Paranoia.  Got it."  A not serious post-apocalyptic setting with the huge potential for puns, bad jokes, and mayhem.  The GM had prepped 6 PCs to save time on rolling up characters, which is good because it's some odd point buy system.  (Too complex, even for "lite" rules for my taste.)  We were a group of folks who were tasked with finding some machine parts needed to keep something else running.  This meant going "Outside" and hunting through the ruins of civilization.  We had a practice combat against 6 creatures which I kept calling orcs.  Then we went into a ruined city and had to deal with a 5' long radioactive cockroach, which exploded when his hp dropped below 0.  At that point we headed toward two buildings which looked relatively intact; a residence and a "pub ic s hool".  And we stopped there because we had gotten a late start (almost 8pm) and two folks had rough weeks (literally nodding off in combat). 

It looked like an interesting if a bit overly complex system.  I liked the setting and look forward to playing in it more.  The key part of the system is trying to roll low on 3d6, which took some getting used to.

Side note:  Before everyone arrived, we had some discussion about where we were in this game.  This is the Sky Pirates group, or the Pathfinder group, depending on how you have categorized us.  We had essentially achieved a major plot goal and now we're a little lost.  Where do we go from here?  We had talked about using the ship to attack the groups which had enslaved our townsfolk, friends, and families.  However, in real time, that is so far removed from our starting point that it doesn't motivate us anymore.  We could just become pirates of the skies, but our characters are inherently lazy.  In fact, one of the gang of 3 pointed out that the Veggie Tales' Pirates Who Don't Do Anything song could be our theme song.  And we (the players) need to find a common goal because the DM cannot force one upon us.  We're too contrary for that.

In the midst of this discussion, one of the group pointed out that all we really enjoyed doing is being handed a situation and then we break it.  We enjoy finding the paths through left field, which may or may not lead to the goal handed to us, as well as kicking any fire ant mounds on the way.  We refuse to take any game seriously because "it's just a game" and because we need to vent after our fortnight of stress since the last game.  So, we're both very easy and very difficult to GM.  We can be led with a simple "here's something to break" clue but we cannot be led with "this must occur for the story to go on".

Now that I've typed this out, I'm not sure what the answer is.  A sandbox which is dynamic is my best guess, with lots of whimsy.  Minimal  rules.  Practically any setting.  And God help the GM, because he's going to need it.
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