Following on from the enjoyment I’ve been experiencing re-visiting Old-School games, alongside the frustrations I feel around clunkiness in those games, I found myself doing something rather interesting this afternoon: I converted my two Basic Fantasy characters to GURPS Third Edition.
Why would I do that? Firstly, because GURPS gives me a unified mechanism for resolving any required die roll that the dungeon game throws up: roll 3d6 under or equal to the attribute or skill. Secondly, because GURPS is suitably simple and fast to play with. Lastly, because Third Edition really does feel a little more Old-School.
The task took about a half-hour from deciding to convert the characters to having two completed sheets, including all the decision-making about how to do it. In short, I decided to keep the characteristic rolls from the Basic Fantasy sheet (well, the four I needed) and then invoke the Random Character Creation rules from GURPS Third Edition to spend 50 points on each character.
This means Elias – who has very strong attributes – worked out at 175 points while Goriel came in at 135 points. Not having any rules for a Halfling, I made Goriel a Human with Dwarfism instead… which is not exactly right but worked just fine. Equipment was ported over and listed. From there, the pair are ready to pick up where we left off in The Olde Island Fortress.
In doing this, however, I realised that it is ridiculously trivial to run an Old-School dungeon using the Classic GURPS rules – especially if you are not using magic – and that it runs very smoothly. While I know the Fourth Edition better, there is something about the spirit of the older version that feels right.
Not sure if this will gain any traction but I enjoyed mucking about with it today.
If they brought back old school GURPS I’d be tempted to start a campaign. 4E leaves me kind of cold, it comes off as sterile and “too much.” 3E was focused.
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You can still buy Third Edition GURPS, in print via Amazon or .PDF in both Warehouse 23 and DriveThruRPG. I think it’s trivial to grab those old books and play.
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