Not sure GURPS is any less tightly designed then other systems I play. Maybe WoD or Exalted are less so, but then I may be looking at it wrong. Or from a different prospective. I tend to do that. >_>
It's possible we aren't using the same definitions.
GURPS is less tightly designed in the sense that there are elements you can switch on and off in different combinations, and editing them wouldn't impact the game to such an extent. Case in point, you can drop modern weapons in a TL3 setting with cinematic damage rules and expect a lighter game of time-travellers where modern technologies rule the day.
Now, try removing a couple of the conditions in D&D4e, and the daily-encounter-at will structure of powers, and you risk the system getting wildly unbalanced. That's an example of what I mean with tighter design. It's also much harder to edit.
WoD is also easy to fiddle with. With Exalted, you risk making something like the infamous Creation-slaying Oblivion kick combo possible, if you're not careful with your houserules, so I'd rank it as more tightly designed than GURPS. Mind you, "tight design" isn't always a compliment!
Maybe you just mean something else with "tight design" here? Happens all the time on Internet
As for my campaigns. I usually take anywhere from an hour to six hours to make a campaign. It really depends on how much setting work and preparation I need to write up. If it's something from a setting I already have made up, and a campaign that I already have suitable antagonists and challenges from a previously designed campaign then it only takes 30 minutes to an hour. It only takes that long because I try and develop believable plot implements, and make the antagonists and challenges really fit.
I was assuming a setting you know or have quick reference material handy, yes.
Now, if I am making a setting from scratch and need to actually build it all.... That is harder to judge, since it changes depending on relative power level and epicness. I'd range it at about four hours, though I'm a very experienced GM and only need minimal time to create a whole campaign's worth of sessions in just a few hours.
Thank you, although that wasn't what I meant.
There is a caveat to this though; and that's that I only make up what I am for sure gonna use based on the system, and any for sure story implements. Minor story only gets a footnote, and if it's just flavor with no system mechanics then I'll just remember it. No need to actually flesh it out on paper. Though I have a fairly good memory too.
Same thing here, although I make more notes for PbP campaigns. They just last a lot longer.
How long would you say it takes you, and how much of this do you use on the system?
My approach mirrors yours to a significant extent, so the end results are similar, too. Maybe 30 minutes to jumpstart a campaign, given knowledge of the setting, and that's when I'm in the mood for preparing. Some of my rather successful sessions were ran after we picked a setting before the game by voting, so I had literally nothing pre-planned. Scribbled some notes for 5 minutes and off we went.
If I don't know the setting, I might need to double that time. More than 1 hour of preparation to start a campaign is something I just don't do.
Basically, I use maybe 20% of this time on the system, often less, although that doesn't include the time to read the system! The caveat is that opponents aren't suitable for the characters, they are just what makes sense to me, given the situation. Of course, the players might not have full access to the same information, especially if they didn't bother to gather intelligence
On the time topic: Most of my GMing plan is world building and for lack of a better word flow charts. I tend to make sandboxes with plot hooks and derive my entire story from what the PCs did in previous sessions. Each plot hook also advances along at it's own rate and may come back. It tends to be a lot of pre-start of game planning, but only an hour of thought after each session.
That's almost me, except for the pre-planning
I also wanted to know if anyone else had played the new Warhammer Fantasy system. The campaign I was a part of lasted half way through the characters' second career and in that short a time this one has entered into my top 3 systems over all.
You mean the one with the special dice? Sorry, never tried it.
I mean, it has a rather significant buy-in, and I'm still to get an example of anything the special dice do that I couldn't replicate with some rather cheaper systems. I guess there is, but I refuse to invest until I've got a confirmation