Thaarl Goes Lite

For many years, the repeated mantra of newcomers to GURPS (the Generic Universal Roleplaying System) has been, “This is too hard!” While you might feel this is untrue, the reality is that the perception of many gamers is that GURPS is unapproachably hard to learn and play.

Perception is reality for human beings and, for many in my circle, the journey from some kind of old-school Dungeons & Dragons game to playing with GURPS is just too big a leap. Working with GMShadow and a few of the RPR Patrons, we’ve decided to spin up a low-fantasy GURPS introductory dungeon game inspired by those early days.

We’ve started to draft a document to introduce new players to the wonders of 3D6 powered-by-GURPS dungeoneering in the legendary Dungeons of Thaarl. Yesterday was a highly productive writing day for me and we already have a working playtest of character creation underway.

GURPS has been in its Fourth Edition since 2004 and is a stable, solid framework for roleplaying in any genre. There is a free to download GURPS Lite which distills the Basic Set rules down to an accessible starting point. The problem with GURPS Lite Fourth Edition is that it does not contain magic.

We are basing our notes on GURPS Lite Third Edition, last updated in 2003, simply because it contains rules for magic and beasts which have been removed from the latest edition’s freebie download. This is free to download here: GURPS Lite (Third Edition) | Warehouse 23 by Steve Jackson Games

There are significant differences between Third and Fourth Edition GURPS, but we are going to be stripping the rules down to the bare minimum, mixing in some variant rules along the way, and generally sticking to the basics.

The core of the game doesn’t change between editions: it’s rolling 3D6 low in both editions. In time, we hope to bring players on to Fourth Edition… even though we’re rediscovering the charm of the older version along the way.

I’ve even got a prototype simple character sheet mocked up so I can roll up my own characters and test this out.

Game on!

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