|Epic for the win, buddy.|
- Basic Set - Campaigns - This is basically fundamental.
- How to be a GURPS GM - A guide to composing campaigns and preparing sessions.
- GURPS Adaptations - Useful when creating a campaign based on an existing setting, usually fictional.
Questions To Ask
- How important is regular attendance? Get a feeling for this because some genres can accommodate players with volatile schedules more, but it's a thing that really needs to be built into the DNA of the campaign. It is hard to make it any way but one way or the other. A campaign that can *kinda* support someone just not showing up for an important climax is hard to design.
- How detailed are each of the mechanical elements of the game? To break that down, I think some major elements in GURPS are Combat, Negotiation, Adventuring, Survival, and long term strategizing, but there might be more. A player expecting a lot of social engineering in a combat focused game might be disappointed, likewise, a "rogue" in "GURPS: Huge Open Field Hex Crawl," with no parkour, sneaking, shadowing, etc. might potentially feel underutilized... but maybe not, ask the player.
Some Important Lessons Learned That Work For Me, But Maybe Not For You
- Have an objective in mind that is achievable and tangible. "Have a great adventure" is not specific or tangible. How can you know if you are progressing towards anything? If you have a goal, there is always a next step. Sure, for some, the journey is its own reward, but to me, the adventure being great is a side effect of doing something. "Getting strong" is a side effect of doing something. I think planning can't be finished until all players can come up with something they want to do, even if that thing might be "help that other player do the specific tangible thing they want to do." This objective needs to be something that you can loosely visualize as well and at least imagine it happening. "Winning the lottery" is pretty specific and tangible, but no amount of planning and progress can put one especially closer to that goal, so "Getting bit by the right type of radioactive spider" is, in turn, a pretty difficult player objective to work with... well, I guess if they make a character with gadgeteering, and Nuclear engineering and Bio-engineering, it might be possible... but if they give you He-Man, the master of Eternia, and come up with that objective, then it starts to look a bit difficult to layout a map.
- Make sure that all players have some disadvantage or advantage that can be used to pull strings when they are knee deep in mud and don't know what they are doing. I know, some people hate the idea of "controlling" or "railroading" PCs, and some players seem to have enough self-determination to make things happen when nothing is happening. Some don't though and if their only disadvantages are "Bad Eyesight," and "Bad Temper," there is nothing that can be done to get the machine firing on all cylinders again.
- This one is especially important for me, but I think it's important to not rely on the book to look up rules in the middle of a game...
- ...But at the same time, the rules need to have some firmness. If someone doesn't have the S.O.P. perk for always having their arrow knocked, shield at the ready, and/or sword coated with venom, it isn't so. If a player says that they pull out a piece of equipment from a bag and readyit and deploy it... and they don't have pack-rat, fast-draw, and some really good rolls besides, then it isn't so. The game is fun for me personally when the players run into challenges, and even following the rules, succeed. There are so many games that are easy to win when you break the rules (almost all of them) so what's the point? Sure, dramatic license, but let me, the GM, decide when it is dramatically appropriate for the player to pull off some unrealistic upset.