We played our inaugural GURPS DF game on Sunday. We had to shake the rust off as gamers - we hadn't played as a group in a while. Last time we did, we were using 4e rules with a number of house rules carried over from our 3e days, with long-running PCs who equally had holdovers from GURPS 3e.
When we playtested the upcoming DF adventure, we found a number of problems with "I thought this workｓ like [whatever]" followed by looking up the rules.
This would not do for a fast-paced game. I noodled around with some ideas and then just said:
"Finally I have one idea I want to try - I'm going to ban all books
from the game table. No rules lookups during play. I'll make a ruling
and it'll stand. You can correct me on official break. If you want to
be sure to have some arcane rule correct, read it and write it on your
sheet. Otherwise . . . my goal is fast play, not accurate rules
We'll give it a shot and if it works for me, we'll keep doing it."
(Actual quote from my email the day or so before game)
We tried it.
It worked really well.
Don't know the rules for Slams in 4e? Screw it, we know the 3e ones. Use them until an official break, let the results stand, and we'll use the new ones after that.
Can't remember the lighting penalty for a torch (-2 or -3?)? Eh, -3 and we'll look it up later.
Can't find the cost of a flask of oil? They are out of stock.
This really kept the game rolling, and there wasn't a single complaint about it. I didn't get annoyed and disrupted by rules arguments. We did have one about what "velocity" meant for slams (whose velocity? How would this allow for rule such-and-such in that case?) but it was on official break, while I drinking a beer and we all had time to look in the books.
We're definitely keeping this one. Seriously, how important can the correct rule really be, compared to keeping the game going at a fast and fun pace? Not very. Be a bit generous in your rulings, accept help from players ("I'll tell him his slam modifiers" or "can we just say it's -3?"), and it'll work fine.
I'll try to get a rough summary of the game up soon, but for now I need to go write something for work.