An Interview with CptCylde

July 16, 2009 at 2:13 PM (GURPS, Roleplaying, RPG) (, , , , )

CyptClyde, you’ve game mastered for how long?

The first game I ran would probably have been about 15 years ago (old school D&D Rule Encyclopedia), but overall I have played much more then GMed in the past.

That’s a pretty long history in the gaming scene. Which do you rather, GM’ing or playing?

Hard to choose. Would probably say it just depends on my mood at the time sadly enough. I enjoy the more demanding creativity and improvisational part of being a GM and always get a kick out of watching how PCs deal with situations I dream up. But on the other hand I am a sucker for a good action/team-work oriented adventure as a player.

Do you have a preference for a particular system; if so, Why?

Frik’n GURPS man!

Lets face it, my roleplaying interests change like the wind, one month I’m all about Sci-fi, next month it’s Medieval Fantasy, then onto Super Heroes. GURPS is the only system that can keep up!

And if that isn’t enough, I have also found GURPS rule set to be extremely solid and (if need be) realistic in any and all these settings equally well. The system has proven to be so consistent in fact, that we have made up rulings on the fly, to later find an official rule for that situation exists and that our ‘guess’ was darn near perfect.

The GURPS system just plain rocks.

You certainly seem like a GURPS fanboy; there must be something about GURPS which fustrates you. Spill!

I do sometimes miss the old days of simplistic “Hey lets make up some characters for TMNT/Heroes Unlimited/Shadowrun/D&D and play some hack-n-slash!”.

Sometimes it is nice to just be dropped into an already thought out setting and just role with it. I also was always a big fan of the random character creation element of the “TMNT and Other Strangeness” game. I just loved cranking out mutant characters for fun.

These days I’m a little too lazy to draw up random animal charts and templates for a GURPS mutants game…… but at least the capability is there if I ever suddenly find myself ambitious.

This adventure you had pretty explictly defined characers, what with the templates. How did you feel that templates expanded (or restricted) play from your point of view?

This adventure was a perfect example of me being in the mood for a certain setting/genera and using GURPS to make it happen (and luckily the players were game to follow me into my strange little D&D rip-off world).

The templates allowed me to communicate a basis for character creation. The players knew right away just by browsing through the templates that this was going to be a classic fantasy setting with Dwarves, elves etc. and that it would have an old time D&D feel to it with the class templates.

The templates helped keep the characters inline with my vision of the world, helped speed up char-gen and later proved useful for providing consistency for my NPCs as well.

All in all, the templates worked better then expected, and though it took more time than I originally wanted to invest, I am glad I did them. Hopefully we will be able to reuse them in the future too.

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

Tough to say. I would think that my “perfect group” would have 75% methodical players, 25% erratic/comedic types.

In my experiences the methodical players are often the ones who are a little more into the game (and the entirety of it’s setting) since they are taking the time to immerse themselves in the scenario, and constructively work towards a goal. It is cool to see a player getting into your story like that and for me this is what makes GMing worth while.

Inversely, erratic, joke cracking, prank pulling, ridiculously disadvantaged PC is often there for non-gaming reasons (socialize, nothing else to do, likes to be funny, likes attention etc.) and can sometimes ruin a GMs overly thought out plans.

On the upside these players will usually be the one to add the comedy and get everyone laughing and talking about the adventure for years…. Which again makes GMing worth while!

Good question.

Unlike Moegreeb, your gaming party was slightly larger. Do you rather smaller or larger groups, and why?

I am still too unskilled as a GM to properly run a game for more than 4 players with any confidence I’m afraid. So I currently enjoy running 3 character games the most.

You’ve both played and mastered games for Critical Failure; do you have any lessons learned from our gaming sessions?

Don’t over-prepare!

It is impossible to define exactly where to draw the line here, but I find it always best to leave the story sequence out of the adventure writing and simply plan out who the main NPCs are and their motivations. Then list out all the events that WILL happen. Add in some interesting items/treasure/encounters for spice a go from there.

Then you know what the bad guys are trying to do (events) and how they will react/adapt to the PCs actions.

No sense in pre-planning how the story will unfold or what plot points will be reached when, that’s what PCs are for after all: to make it a story.

You are an old hand are GURPS now; any sourcebook newbs should go out and buy?

For me it is GURPS Magic, the spell list is massive and saves me a lot of time inventing them otherwise since there isn’t really all that many to choose from in the Basic set.

GURPS Space just plain rocks for reference material. It is a huge source of ideas for me during the creative stages of adventure construction and is so frik’n scientific sometimes it’s like reading high school physics textbooks sometimes (without the looming exams) ……. I love it.

And my third “must have sourcebook” would be GURPS Ultra-Tech. Though it is awesome for its equipment list, I admitadly have used it more for ideas to date. For example, the Chameleon fabric described in Ultra-Tech once became the focal point of an entire adventure when I decided it would be an experimental technology saught after by multiple cloak-and-dagger organizations in a Supers game set in modern day times.

I should give honourable mention to GURPS Vehicles as well. Love it, but have never gotten to use it much for play. I Have spent numerous hours building custom vehicles just for fun…. Nerrrrrrrd, but it isn’t for everyone.

Good stuff in ‘dem books though I says.

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