An Interview with Moegreeb

May 25, 2009 at 9:21 AM (GURPS, Roleplaying, RPG) (, , , , , , , )

Moegreeb, this is your first time GM-ing a game using the GURPS rule system, right?

This is my first time GM’ing at all

Oh. Well, thats certainly impressive. You’ve certainly managed to handle your players fairly well; was there anything particularly difficult about GM-ing for you?

Coming to grips with the fact that no matter how well you might have planned (not that I felt I had planned enough), nor how cool you think your story idea and scenes are going to be, you’re players will do whatever the hell they feel like doing. Even if that means running away from the story line and hoping that it catches up with them somehow.

Aside from the obvious problem players you’ve been dealing with, was there anything about the GURPS system you found particularly daunting or fustrating?

Actually no. The GURPs system seems geared towards letting you do pretty much any type of story that you would want to do. There seems to be a flexibility in the system that makes it fairly intuitive. Whenever I encounter a particular scenario that I’m not sure how the rules cover, I make it up. Rather than let yourself become overwhelmed memorizing all of the rules of a system, I feel that GURPS provides you a way of easily coming up with your own solution that is still consistent with the rest of the established guidelines.

You put a decent amount of work for this adventure; what inspired you to choose this setting? How far ahead did you feel planning was worth?

I put less work in then you might think. Or rather, I put quite a bit of thought into it and then kept completely changing the story time and time again. I’m not sure I could tell you why I chose this particular setting. I like the idea of a fantastical/horror world superimposed onto the late 19th century. It makes for an amusing playground without having to be a complete Lovecraftian rip-off.

For my planning…well, to be honest, it really doesn’t pay to have everything planned out in advance. As I already mentioned, the players don’t know what you have planned and can’t be guaranteed to follow the paths you have laid out for them. I planned out a few ‘scenes’ that I wanted to take place. These would be where I had my big moments planned and where I would see the story fleshed out. Between these scenes I was content to follow the PCs around and see what they would try to do when left to their own devices.

What makes a good player for your style of GM-ing? Do you like the erratic natured players, or do you rather methodical planners?

I think that that is an impossible question for me to answer. In my experience I’ve only GM’d erratic natured players. I tend to be erratic myself, so it makes it easy for me to see why they do what they do, though I’m not sure I would have shot my way into a church like my PC’s did. I would have liked to see what happens with methodical players. I suspect it would mean that my story would have lasted much, much longer…

Your players seemed to like using accents to denote in character and out of character; how did you find using accents in play? Was it a bonus or a hindrance?

Definitely a bonus. Accents might be too strong a word to describe though. Let us say that we all talked in silly voices. You won’t find an authentic sounding accent in any of our sessions and consistency, well, that is a term that would be hard to apply to any of the voices that I was doing. What those silly voices did though was allow everyone, myself included, to get into the spirit of things and try to create a character that was identifiably separate from the person living inside of their own heads already. Plus, whatever voice you chose for a character, be it PC or NPC, seemed to cement your understanding of who that person was. Every voice has its own personality in it and can convey much more than just plain dialogue and GM description.

Since you are new to GURPS, and new to being a GM, do you think other sourcebooks (GURPS: Mysteries, Creatures of the Night, GURPS: Horror) would have been helpful with the GURPS: Basic Set? Which would you have chosen and why?

All of the sourcebooks carry little nuggets of helpful tidbits. I did flip through the Mysteries book and pulled a few bits of helpful information from that. I would have liked to have had the Creatures of the Night and the Horror book. It is nice to have some creature stats for you to use rather than have to make all that stuff up yourself. Each of the various sourcebooks can also give some good ideas if you are stuck on a story idea. If Steve Jackson games would like to send me some complimentary books I will happily go on praising them…

Thanks Moegreeb! Before you go I have a final question. A sensible question. A question that will tax your I.Q. to its very limits and stretch the sinews of your knowledge to bursting point. One question, an important one, that others will desire to know. Do you think you can concentrate enough to answer what follows?

I’ll prep the water glass and aspirin. Ask on question man!

The question is this:
Given that God is infinite, and that the universe is also infinite…

Would you like a toasted teacake?

Um…no thanks. I’ve just had a granola bar and am full up at the moment. But thanks nonetheless.

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