Ristin's Campaign Construction Center
I can see what they were going for with GURPS; but when I tried to use it I found it clunky, overshadowed by at-table mathematics, and the feel / tone of the game was unsatisfactory.
First up, the game is massively offense based. It’s down in the DNA of the game. It’s easy to get a high attack skill, it’s very difficult to get any kind of defenses.
Yes…GURPS does model the march of technology well and in a medieval game it’s not a problem at all because shields and parrying can keep a person alive and the armor matches the weapons…but pretty much from the invention of gunpowder there’s nothing but guns. Sure, it’s realistic…but it sucks for most games.
Second, GURPS is a 3d6 based game…it’s a very middle-heavy probability curve on the dice result, which means a lot of the time a character is virtually guaranteed success at a skill they invested in…and see point one about the offense bias of the game.
Third, math dominates the gameplay. It’s not smooth or streamlined at all. The attacker rolls, the defender attempts a (unlikely) roll, then you roll up to 6 dice of damage, multiply that by one number, divide the enemy armour by another number (sometimes 1), compare attack total to modified armor total, divide this by another number (also sometimes 1), and the target takes that much damage…which is almost always enough to one-shot it dead.
But every little roll involves adding 3 dice, adding and subtracting modifiers, and consulting the difficulty to determine success or failure.
In short, I don’t recommend it at all.