Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Future of GURPS?

I read this post of Sean Punch's with great interest, especially this bit:

"If you like or ever liked GURPS, and you want to see it go on to do new and interesting things, please support this campaign! It is a litmus of sorts:

△ If it funds, that will send us the message that we should support the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game and consider future campaigns for big, interesting GURPS books (in the traditional printed sense) and/or GURPS-based products (such as this one).

△ If it doesn't fund, we'll have to ponder whether there's enough interest in GURPS to keep it around as anything other than a series of PDFs once or twice a month.

So, not much on the line with the Monsters 2 Kickstarter except the possible future of GURPS.

For me, I could live with GURPS running on life support for a while. But eventually it would get hard - we'd be surviving on limited support materials, lack of resources for errata and updates, and fewer and fewer of my own ideas would hit print. It wouldn't be as fun as a living, thriving game. That's where DFRPG came from, and DF before that.

It's far better to have a living, breathing game line in my opinion. It's no small thing, this $40K ask for a Kickstarter. It's asking, how much support does GURPS have? Right now less than 1000 people are in on it. Even that few would be enough to fund it . . . but it feels like such a small number who need to turn up. I hope it will get there. GURPS has been too good to be relegated even further back on the stove of SJG products. I hope you agree and get the book. Plus, Sean makes great monsters.


  1. The problem I have with that that post is the idea there only two possibilities for the future of GURPS.

    1. I suspect, but do not know, that based upon Sean Punch’s post, that’s how SJ Games (or perhaps SJ) sees the future of GURPS, or the DFRPG. It appears that they somehow took a loss on the DFRPG Boxed Set, and aren’t interested in supporting it unless there’s guaranteed profit. Maybe I’m reading it wrong, but that’s what it seems. Inexplicably, the player base is far smaller than I thought it would be. Not a huge problem for me per se, and with existing GURPS books I have no doubt we can continue to play DFRPG until we choose not to, but I’d love more adventures and more resources. So I’m definitely in on this Kickstarter and really hope this funds.

    2. My understanding (and I give my standard disclaimer that I have no inside information) is that DFRPG went over time, was priced a little to low and while it sold out in the warehouse wasn’t a run away success at retail to justify another x thousand copies.

      Probably shipping didn’t work out well either. Shipping to Australia seemed like a problem from my end at least.

      Personally I feel like there is another path out. It’s Doug Cole. Proven sales of ‘nice’ GURPS books. I just wish he did books of monsters items and traps.

    3. Rob, I'm interested in knowing what you see as the other choices that SJG might reasonably be expected to take. You're a publisher and a long-time game business participant so it would be interested to read your thoughts on other options they might pursue.

    4. FWIW, there was a bit of clarification about the rather alarming tone coming out from SJ Games over on the forum. This is about the future of GURPS *as physical product*, not necessarily the existence of GURPS as a whole. I'm further reading into that it's about *physical product published by SJ Games.* It sounds like GURPS in PDF form is likely to carry on for the foreseeable future no matter what happens with Monsters 2, and they appear to be happy to let responsible licensees like Doug take the risks to publish their own.

    5. Unachimba, the reason that you're seeing a lot of setting material and follow-on from me is that I have a huge base of information on the world of Hall of Judgment, and this let me break in two new writers (Kyle Norton and Merlin Avery) while leveraging the fact that I very much know my own material.

      As for monsters, there were 30 monsters in HoJ, and will be . . . fewer . . . in Citadel. More in Dragons of Rosgarth and Forest's End. And at the end of the year, you can be *darn sure* I'll compile them into a stand-alone Nordlond Bestiary.

      For items and traps, I'd happily be willing to publish such things if a solid writer came to me with a proposal. I'm not that good, and don't enjoy, coming up with such things . . . but I'll gladly produce them!

    6. Doug, you can only publish what you can publish.

      I just say what I want more of.


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