Gearing Up: Finally Starting a Campaign

It’s been a long time coming, but I feel like things are steady enough that I can apply myself properly to a campaign.

It’ll be modern, probably monster-hunter-ish. It will start with templates and characters from Action 1, Action 3, or Monster Hunters 4: Sidekicks. I’m not going to be slavish about that, though.

It will be modern, TL8. For now. Mwa ha ha.


The rules for character generation are in flux, but will likely revolve around:

  1. All characters have to show that they’ve kept their head in a crisis in the past. This need not be “I was in the military,” but it could be.
  2. All characters must either belong or have belonged to an organization that sends you to potentially dangerous places around the globe. Oil exploration, private security company, military all might qualify
  3. The first 4-6 adventures will be somewhat introductory, giving the team a chance to gel as a team, while also killing monsters. It will set up the future plotline. 
  4. The first adventures, then, may well have some finagling and social stuff – and see below for campaign options.
  5. The characters shall be mundane. No sorcerers, psions, robots, or werewolves.

Notes on the notes

I’m playing in two DF campaigns, or will be. I have a great outlet for sorcery, magic, and divine stuff. I want to run a modern-day campaign that lets me play with stuff I’ve written and enjoy. +Jeromy French ran a one-session GURPS Sci Fi campaign that started to scratch that itch, and resulted in quite a few fun posts about the futility of dodging lasers. And two articles, one published, one not.
I’m not sure how valuable social skills will be, or if the campaign will morph into something more resembling Night’s Black Agents, which still works with the theme.
Some of this will be decided by my core player group. I’m chatting with some not-surprising people, and will be morphing the overall game and theme to fit what we all want to play. Once that’s settled, other players will be invited.

It’ll be online, will be video-based, and will use a Virtual Table Top. My personal experience is with Roll20 as a GM, with MapTool as a player. Since I’m interviewing lots of VTT guys this month, if I see something that’s more user-friendly and GURPS-compatible than either of those, I’m in. 
We’ll be using GCA to make characters, and I’ll want to be emailed copies of the file so I can upload it. Not sure if campaign management and tracking will be a big deal or not. +Nathan Joy‘s game uses a Wiki (successfully), while others try to use Obsidian Portal (less successfully for me). I’ve seen some other game aids out there that might be fun to try, but “come join my game, and spend $500 to do it!” isn’t a goal here.
The video thing is a must for me. I play games to be social, and I find it easier to be social if I can see people’s faces. It’s also a lot faster, I find, and I’ve gotten more done in a two hour session with video than in four-hour sessions with chat-based only. And since I get to GM, it’s my call to make, and I”m making it that way.
I may wind up using Snaggit to grab video of the sessions, in case there are fun things that happen or as tutorials for in-play stuff, because . . . 

House Rules

I’ve written a lot of stuff. Some published, some pending. Some of these rules would make good additions to any game, and some will make particularly good additions to this style. Stuff for consideration:
  • The Last Gasp – long term fatigue and action points
  • Technical Grappling – in one form or another is almost guaranteed
  • Dodge This! – I wrote it do deal with oddities involving guns and beams
  • Delayed Gratification – might not matter in a game mostly involving projectile weapons, but ditching Feint might be a good thing
  • The Deadly Spring – I rather suspect no one will be carrying a bow or crossbow. Might be wrong.
  • Rescaling Melee Damage – maybe, maybe not. If you dare to get up in a monster’s face, doing more damage than a .45 ACP is your reward
  • A couple articles I can’t talk about yet – sorry. FNORD. 
  • Armor as Dice – almost certainly, but can be talked out of it
  • Tactical Shooting – lots of stuff from here, though most of that is gear rather than rules; some rules, though, like requiring AoA(Determined) for sighted shooting and aimed fire. MoA rule. Maybe even bullet travel, but maybe not.
  • Partial wound channel modifiers – this will depend on whether the VTT we use can handle it. If I can say Injury is 3d+2 x 1.2 and just drop fractions, then this is attractive. If we have to do the math ourselves, it’s not.
Thing is, too many of these and the game might be unplayable. So my prospective players will get a heavy vote in what’s going on.
Parting Shot

It’s been a long time since I’ve GMed anything, so this will be a re-learning experience for me. It will also be the first time I’ve sat in the GM’s seat as a driver of the VTT technology I’ll be leveraging to run the game, so the first sessions will likely be shorter in included content due to my own issues with the medium. 
But with some trepidation, I’m looking forward to starting something here.

11 thoughts on “Gearing Up: Finally Starting a Campaign

  1. I'm especially glad you went over your proposed house rules. Between a hundred supplements, Pyramid articles, PKs really great list of rules modifications and my own take on things, I'm always afraid of scaring away potential players who "just wanted to play GURPS."

    1. And the house rules are sill in flux. The list above are the ones I'm currently pondering, with my thoughts, but there may be stuff people don't want to deal with, or that they insist on doing.

    2. No worries, a lot of that stuff will be on the equipment lists, figured one time in play. MoA, for example, is 22+2*Acc. Fractional wound channel would be based on a number that would be edited into the equipment list. 5d pi might thus be 5d {1.2}, but that might well be voted down as "please don't do that."

  2. I really wish Steve Jackson Games would have decided differently about what was allowed to be shared for virtual table-tops. So much of this stuff could be easily handled in the background by the more powerful VTTs (Maptool and Fantasy Ground for example).

    Of course you can write your own for your own game, but not everyone has the ability or the time to do it.

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