Aug 202016

Originally, I thought that this is a tough one because I would equate challenging with complicated. I tend not to like complicated, so-called “crunchy” systems generally. However, then I remembered my younger gaming days and it came to me.


It’s a very crunchy game system, full of numbers and statistics, but once you get past that, it’s actually a very good game system. We played GURPS (Generic Universal Role-Playing System) for ages and had a great time with it no matter what setting.


As you got to know the system though, there were ways of bending it and twisting it to exploit the various crunchy bits that made it what it was. At first, that was fun, as you were able to make pretty powerful characters fairly easily. But, it grew tired and eventually I moved on.

I remember GURPS fondly, but I’m not sure I’d go back. The idea of a universal role-playing system is quite common now (Savage Worlds, Apocalypse World Engine, D20, etc.), but I’m no longer as interested in a challenging system. I’d rather one that gets out of the way and lets us play, but lurks in the background ensuring our play is still a game and not just round robin story-telling.

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Justin Schmid

Justin started tabletop gaming in 1983 with Basic D&D (red box) and never looked back. He runs and plays in a wide variety of games, including Savage Worlds, Dungeon World, Trail of Cthulhu and many, many more. He also writes professionally for role-playing games, including writing and creating Night's Edge an Alternate Reality Universe for Cyberpunk 2020. He went on to write eight more adventures and sourcebooks in the Night's Edge line, adding vampires and other supernatural perils to the already dangerous world of Cyberpunk. As a freelance writer, he wrote The Bermuda Triangle for Call of Cthulhu, Shadows of the Mind, and Psi Wars for Conspiracy X and contributed to Last Unicorn's Star Trek RPG, as well as to Cybergeneration sourcebooks, and many other games. When he's not creating imaginary worlds for his daughter, he's running games for his friends and writing new adventures or designing new game systems. He currently lives in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

  2 Responses to “#RPGaDAY 20 2016 – Most Challenging but Most Rewarding Game System”

  1. Never got to play GURPS. Wonder if it’s now worth it?

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