So, there’s thing that a lot of people will be doing in which we all play the same setting and the same hook, but where we go from there changes dramatically, ranging from what systems we use to what characters we make to what engines we do. As much as I wanted to play, I have no idea what system I could use.
Man, if only there was a generic, universal roleplaying system…
Thus, today’s the day I get to play GURPS. I’ve been thinking of playing this for a while, and with this shared sci-fi idea, I think I can pretty much just do the game. Granted, I have to skim the rules and figure out how to play the game before diving right in. Luckily, the scenario at hand can get my feet wet while I take up a Template.
See, GURPS has a lot of books for different genres and settings. Sci-Fi being just one of them. So, I decided to play out the game as the first Template I can pick and stat her up.
My character’s Astrid the Astronaut, sworn to her honest duties as a pilot for the Earth Alliance’s Terraformation Sect. Basically, her job is to explore different, uninhabitable planets and make them habitable. I went with giving her 150 points worth of character development and thus I got a pretty skilled pilot.
Right, the game begins proper with Astrid flying an entertainment ship across to settle on a planet that she recently terraformed. Suddenly, the alarm goes off. The ship has been hijacked by anarchists who wish to be free from the grasps of the Earth Alliance. The first scene is Astrid realizing that the anarchists have also set a trap inside the cockpit of the ship. A bomb.
Astrid has to dodge out of the way of the explosion.
[Dodge Roll: 6, which is lower than 9]
Thus, Astrid succeeds and dodges out of the way of the explosion. The Engine I’ll use will be CRGE Kai, as always.
[Q: Is the explosion going to make a hole in the space ship? Purpose: To Conflict. A: 63, Surge Counter is at 1]
Yes. It is. So Astrid’s gonna try to get out of there. She switches on the Zero Gravity system in the ship and moves through it, ensuring that she locks her way out. The question is if she succeeds.
[Zero-Gravity Aerobatics Roll: 10, which is lower than 13]
She succeeds, closing off the explosion with the blast door moments before it could reach her. Scene ends with her hovering out into the rest of the ship. Chaos Factor’s gone up because this is definitely not in our control.
[Scene Roll: 5]
[What gets altered?: A knife]
As Astrid gets into the fray, she sees several Anarchists holding civilians at knifepoint. Combat has clearly begin for our intrepid hero.
[Roll To Hit: 9 vs. 12]
[Damage: 11 Burning Damage]
She manages to shoot one in the head with her laser pistol, killing them instantly. Desperately, the other Anarchist tries to cut the civilian’s throat, but he’s so timid that he ends up just nicking it. Astrid fires one last shot at the dude… but misses! The Anarchist tries again, and does some good damage. Astrid can’t handle it anymore and flies in to do a kick. She succeeds, but does minimal damage. The Anarchist tries to stab Astrid, but Astrid blocks the attack.
As it turns out, he rolled a 16 on his stat level of 10, which means it’s a pretty marginal fail, entitling Astrid to knock the knife out of his hands and knock him out. The civilian is pretty injured. Luckily, Astrid knows First Aid.
[First Aid: 15 vs. 12]
Though that just makes the wound worse. Astrid has the saved hostage escort the bleeding to medbay while she tries to get to the bottom of the hijacking, ending the scene and increasing the tension.
[Scene Roll: 5]
[Q: What gets altered? A book.]
So I guess I’ll encounter a wizard. Yes, in this sci-fi world, there’s at least someone who practices ancient thaumatology. Perhaps he’s the ringleader of the Anarchists. It’s at this point that I realize the NPC generator I was using was for 3rd Edition and I’m using 4th, as the spells he uses are not found in those books.
So I’ll improvise. Or not. I rolled to hit, got a 9, and then rolled literally double the Wizard’s damage, taking him out. So yeah, Astrid just pulls out a laser gun and shoots down the leader of the Anarchists. So Astrid will look at the body.
[Q: Does she find anything of interest? Purpose: To Endings. Odds Increase By 10. A: 88. Odds makes it 98, Surge makes it 100.]
So tying off. Alright, so I can safely create an epilogue for this brief adventure.
Astrid fended off the small contingency of Anarchists, including taking out their leader. The Anarchists might be licking their wounds for a while. In the meantime, the ship is heavily damaged from the bomb and will need to be put into repairs.
[Q: Have the Earth Alliance known about the Anarchists? Purpose: To Endings. A: 24]
I figured as such. No, they don’t know, and especially with their leader toating around something that isn’t the kind of magic they’re familiar with. I’m gonna go ahead and say that stuff like Psi is common magic knowledge and while the Ghost Field isn’t as well known, is more known than Ancient Thaumatology. So the next session will involve Astrid going to repair the ship to continue the journey.
What are my thoughts on using GURPS? It’s pretty nice to use, but pretty heavy duty. I really like every nook and cranny they put into the game, especially with the Space expansion, which is less a setting book and more like guidelines to how you can make your own Sci-Fi universe.
Character Creation is pretty fun and inventive, but the problem I find is that you have to do that for a lot of NPCs, including the faceless mooks who would otherwise be of no consequence. So I basically just took some sheets from some other side and used that, only to find that they’re probably from the wrong edition.
Overall though, GURPS is a very creative game to play solo, but you really need to take the time to carefully play it. Bon Voyage, Gamers!