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Author Topic: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder  (Read 4361 times)

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Offline 1MidnightdreamTopic starter

GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« on: July 21, 2012, 01:06:07 PM »
Hi everyone!
  • If you don't mind, what game system do you prefer between GURPS and DND 3.5/Pathfinder for online play and why?
I'm asking because I am in the process of creating my own adult game world to run roleplay games in, and I'm not sure which of these systems I should use/adapt for the basic rules. Here are my thoughts on both systems as far as online play goes:


DND 3.5/Pathfinder has a wealth of extra material that can easily be used, including erotic classes, feats, spells, rules etc. The fact that it is a class based game also mean I can create my own classes that fit with my setting. But this system is one of high heroic fantasy. Hit Points can get very high so it can slow down combats (I have had combats in real life last anywhere from ten minutes to multiple hours) and I'm not sure that would be ideal in an online roleplay. It would kind of suck having to spend one month rolling die to kill a dragon just so you can free the princess. Or maybe not, but rules do seem to get in the way of the game more often for an online game. Also, this is a less realistic system, with everyone and everything taking dozens of good sword hits to down. It could get in the way of the drama or not, depending. Also, it is a system heavily dependent on armor for defense, so playing an unarmored character can be close to suicidal.

GURPS Is a classless system, so I would have a harder time fitting my archetypes in here without creating a bunch of templates. But it gives the player more freedom in creating the character he wants to play. The combat system is more realistic in that hit points are more limited and do not raise each level so fights would take less time to run. This is a system that also allow you to target people in any part of their body, so it is perfectly taken into account that you could for example, hit someone in the groin etc. It is also a system based on dodges, parries and blocks, so you could in theory be wearing only some sexy clothes and still be useful. The downside is I think that less people are familiar with this system.

Personally I think I would go with GURPS. I'm not too happy about losing all the adult material already in DND because it would mean more work for me at first, but it may give me a chance to be more creative in setting up my own material. I really love Pathfinder, and I love that D20 is basically open source so I could point people to the system references online. But I am afraid that we'll end up with level 6 guys with 150 hit points and we'll get slowed down by fights. I want combat to be occasional and speedy. Not something that last too long.

So how about you everyone? Any fan of either of these systems? Feel free to comment on your experience in running them online. I can't wait to show you guys my setting, I just need to get this sorted out first.
Thanks!  ;D


Offline SinXAzgard21

Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2012, 01:41:13 PM »
Pathfinder seems to be the big one most people play, I've not seen many GURPS games online....  In fact even though I have the character book for it, Fallout is the only time I've ever played with a GURPS system.

Offline 1MidnightdreamTopic starter

Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2012, 01:46:36 PM »
Pathfinder seems to be the big one most people play, I've not seen many GURPS games online....  In fact even though I have the character book for it, Fallout is the only time I've ever played with a GURPS system.

Thank you.  :-)

What did you think of GURPS? Did you have fun with it and if you had the opportunity would you want to try it online?

Offline SinXAzgard21

Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2012, 01:53:59 PM »
Nope, I'll stick with Pathfinder.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2012, 05:53:44 PM »
Wait, hold on, Pathfinder/3.x on-line?  That's...  That's seriously impressive.  That game is hella complicated (3.x is very involved, no matter what you play.)

I've looked at GURPS, never played it though.

Offline 1MidnightdreamTopic starter

Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2012, 06:22:17 PM »
Wait, hold on, Pathfinder/3.x on-line?  That's...  That's seriously impressive.  That game is hella complicated (3.x is very involved, no matter what you play.)

That's my impression. I LOVE Pathfinder in real life. But online it seem hard to handle. I've seen it used in solo roleplay, but for a group roleplay it seem really hard. GURPS is a little lighter. I think I could simplify it so that the players didn't really need to know the rules. I could handle the rest so long as they know what actions they can use in a fight.

Well anyway I'm working on rules for both GURPS and Pathfinder right now, but I'll have to make a final choice eventually. I've created the GURPS templates for the races, and for Pathfinder I'm almost done creating my first class. What's taking longer is that I'm setting it up in pdf with a full layout and I'm learning the program as I go.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2012, 06:50:26 PM »
Truthfully, I hate PFRPG.  But that's because I'm STILL burnt out on 3.x.  However, that's just me, and I played it since launch in '99.  So I've seen just about all it has to offer.  And because I've seen it, I can tell you, it's pretty complicated through out it's life.

It's not like Anima, which is obscenely front loaded during character creation, but everything after that is basically two charts.  Or older editions of D&D (namely Mages) where it's simple at first, and then adds layer after layer of extra stuff to keep track of.  No, 3.x is pretty steady in it's complexity, which IS a good thing, in as much as it doesn't completely overwhelm you by leaving you unprepared for the glut of incoming stuff.

Which is why anyone who can make it work on an on-line environment has my genuine respect.

Offline Casimir

Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2012, 08:36:54 AM »
In Pathfinder, there are so many "alternative builds" on each class, that the standard problem of DnD (shoving your idea into the boundaries of class stereotypes), isn't there any more. Using the free online wiki, you have access to all of the material from all of the books.

I would also suggest using the Variant Rules. They give you Defense and DR/Armor, instead of AC, and as a result, battles are quicker (most attacks in a standard situation hit, as you level up). Different Crit System. They supplement HP with Vigor and Wounds, making things way more logical and dramatically appropriate. Last but not least, you get your Called Shots (along with the AC and HP adjustment, that makes called shots a good idea for any character with decent BAB).

 It's not as complicated as it sounds I'd say.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2012, 07:18:50 PM »
No, Casimir, that is not the standard problem of D&D, but the fact of the matter is, if you like it and can make it work?  More power to you.

Offline Shjade

Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2012, 09:32:56 PM »
No, Casimir, that is not the standard problem of D&D

It's one of the problems I've always had with it. People try to get me to play D&D, I look at how restrictive the skill setup looks when I just want to play a character concept I like, I lose interest.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2012, 10:42:16 PM »
It's one of the problems I've always had with it. People try to get me to play D&D, I look at how restrictive the skill setup looks when I just want to play a character concept I like, I lose interest.

It's A problem, but it's not THE problem.  And I'll leave it at that.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2012, 10:17:18 AM »
In my opinion, G.U.R.P.S. is superior in every way.

You could still use all of the fluff from Pathfinder so you do not have to throw all of that away.  Why do you need to create a bunch of templates?  Why force your players into straight jackets when the system is built around not forcing straight jackets?  It would be even less work.  If you create a new Class you have to test it for play balance.  G.U.R.P.S. puts the burden of character concept on the players, which, in my opinion, where it belongs.

The only problem I see with G.U.R.P.S. is that you will not have the more unusual monsters stated out.  Most of the common ones will be in the Bestiary or Fantasy (are you considering 3rd or 4th edition?).

Offline mayovagn

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Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2012, 02:44:32 PM »
I have a lot of GURPS stuff. I have no pathfinder or DnD stuff, so yeah, not exactly an unbiased opinion.

Gurps can be as complex or as uncomplicated as you want it to be within certain bounds, it has the breadth of skills that I love, you can take the characters from their comfort zone and drop them anywhere and still have a system that is more or less suited.

Yeah, its not perfect, its generic and that will lead to some compromises. Yet the books, especially the world books, are of such high quality with such attention to detail and imagination that they are worth considering even if you are only looking to either adapt them to another system.

I love that combat rounds are a second in GURPS. Couple that with a little houserule damage location fun and you wind up with something that can be too realistic at times. Which I really love about it. I like that even with my preferred locational damage GURPS is bloody and visceral. It forces the players to really consider their actions, to think before they act. You absolutely cannot throw yourself boldly and bodily into a fight in most GURPS games and expect to come out without some kind of major injury unless you plan very well and throw in a good measure of luck.

As for DnD, it always felt far to limiting and stilted to me. You are forced down certain paths and cannot deviate from them easily if at all. Its hard for me to build the character I would like to play without the freedom that a system like GURPS allows me. Not to min/max or munchkin my way to the perfect build (something else I can't stand and DnD seems deeply guilty of) but to create a character that makes sense to me and fits the shape, the idea, I have in my head.

I think that's enough waffling from me.

M.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2012, 02:46:09 PM by mayovagn »

Offline BetaBonk

Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2012, 04:25:16 PM »
Couldn't resist throwing my 2 pennies in here...

I've always loved the ambiance of D&D, and it was my first experience in GMing.  But as I discovered other game systems, I quickly discovered the one unavoidable flaw in D&D... it is not a system.  There are too many special cases and disconnected little rules that make it difficult to GM effectively.  The newer 3.5x stuff is an improvement over old-school, but it still isn't properly systematized.

GURPS has the great advantage of being a true system, plus it is classless, level-less, and skills-based.  This makes it far better for ROLE playing as opposed to ROLL playing  :-)

GURPS is also well-suited to internet play, partly because of it's relatively clean system, and the availability of PDFs for all the rules books.  It is also more easily house-ruled than  D&D, and since it is inherently modular, you can make it as simple or complex as you like.

One thing I've noticed that may or  may not make it better than D&D for you -- it seems to me that D&D requires more knowledge and preparation from the player, but also has a gentle learning curve for the GM.  GURPS, on the other hand, has a much steeper learning curve for the GM, but requires very little rules knowledge from the players (this is of course assuming the GM actively assists in character generation... never hand a newbie the Characters book and tell them to create a character; that's the best way to breed a GURPS-hater  XD ).

Offline WildCat

Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2012, 05:04:51 PM »
I love the _idea_ of GURPS. In practice... I don't know. It escapes from a lot of the traps & straightjackets of pre-packaged D&D rules. But if you're going to break free of the rules, may as well break free completely. If you're going to restrict yourself with rules, may as well let them be the more solid rules that D&D provides.

Assuming you're going for a D&D setting. If not, why is there even a question?

For avoiding rule-straightjackets I've found a lot to like about Theatrix or the newest iteration of Doctor Who RPG. If one feels the need to restrict oneself to a ruleset at all.

Offline LunarSage

Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2012, 05:14:35 PM »
GURPS will forever be colored in my eyes by the ridiculous players who introduced it to me.  Apparently GURPS is the most easily abusable (or one of at the very least) systems out there, because every single character shown to me in that game was overpowered to heights of ridiculousness that I can't even begin to convey.  Needless to say, it left a bad taste in my mouth and it's the reason why I will never touch that system again.

Pathfinder I like.  I like it a -lot-.  I can't stand 4th ed (and yes, I've played 4th ed quite a bit) and 3.5, so PF is the natural alternative for me.  As for whether it's suitable for online play, I don't know if any system game is really suitable in that way.  Play by post lends itself really well to freeform or semi-freeform, just as tabletop lends itself well to systems.

Offline vin26m

Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2012, 05:47:42 PM »
I only recently got into Pathfinder and I like it a lot.  I'm running a group game on Elliquiy using Pathfinder. 

Pathfinder is basically D&D 3.75.  The paizo people (who published the D&D magazine until Wizards of the Coast dumped them) did lots of playtesting, fixed a bunch of problems, and have everything is online.  They are constantly putting out new material, too, ever expanding the game world and available rules.

Publisher website with message boards, including play-by-post foums/threads - http://paizo.com/
Rules online - http://www.d20pfsrd.com/ and http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/
Game world online - http://www.pathfinderwiki.com/wiki/Pathfinder_Wiki

I have little experience with GURPS, but it seems like a good, simple, flexible system.  I have a bunch of books I farm for ideas.


Offline BetaBonk

Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2012, 06:07:41 PM »
Apparently GURPS is the most easily abusable (or one of at the very least) systems out there,

If it is not the most easily abused... well, it's not the designers' fault  :-)

In the basic rules books, they actually mention that the system is designed to be flexible, rather than ironclad or bulletproof.  And they repeatedly mention that a firm hand by the GM is an absolute requirement of the GURPS system, even stating that what the GM considers common sense overrules the rules.  That is one of the reasons I said it has a high learning curve for the GM, and why some folk call it a games-assembly kit rather than a ruleset.

Online Thufir Hawat

Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2012, 07:09:02 PM »
In the interest of full disclosure, I usually avoid d20 games 8-).

That said, about the only reason I can see for going with PF would be how many people are playing it.
Of course, neither of them is really that good for online play, although GURPS win by a slight margin there. But GURPS also has the Sex-appeal and Erotic Art skills, a bunch of advantages and disadvantages for beauty/ugliness, and the possibilty to customize your own magical systems. I'm pretty sure you can make them based on sex if you want >:)!
So yeah, take all the fluff you want from wherever you want, and GURPS can handle it, that's the main goal of the system ;D!

Offline LunarSage

Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2012, 07:55:03 PM »
*Owns the Book of Erotic Fantasy, which can easily have most of it's good stuff applied to PF*  >.>


Online Thufir Hawat

Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2012, 08:26:43 PM »
The Book of Erotic Fantasy, from what I remember, mostly had sex as a power-up for combat abilities. Which is missing the point in more ways than one, IMO :P!
Also, much of it is generally considered unbalanced by the d20 experts, which is weird, since Lunar Sage was complaining about overpowered characters.
Doesn't matter either way, if you want any of the flavour in it, you can adapt it to GURPS easily 8-).

And now I present to you GURPS: Sex!!!

Yes, that's exactly what it seems like >:)!

Offline Eri Oni

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Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2012, 08:41:12 PM »
*Owns the Book of Erotic Fantasy, which can easily have most of it's good stuff applied to PF*  >.>



I just got this book as well and its rather funny because we are applying it to our (my) Friday Night 3.5 game. Its rather funny to be honest.

But as far as GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder.....it really depends on my mood and how many people I'm writing with.

Offline LunarSage

Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2012, 08:47:12 PM »
The Book of Erotic Fantasy, from what I remember, mostly had sex as a power-up for combat abilities. Which is missing the point in more ways than one, IMO :P!
Also, much of it is generally considered unbalanced by the d20 experts, which is weird, since Lunar Sage was complaining about overpowered characters.

I don't use the combat stuff.  I use the breeding/pregnancy tables, new races and some of the spells, as well as their interesting takes on the applications of sex in a fantasy RPG.

Offline TentacleFan

Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2012, 10:17:18 PM »
I don't play Pathfinder. I do have the beginners box they released but haven't played it with either of my gaming groups as of yet.

I really like GURPS and have quite a few books for it. The only issue is most people seem to have moved on to fourth edition and I'm still stuck back in third. Mainly because that's when I got most of my books for it. GURPS is nice because even if you don't use the books to play it they make really great sourcebooks that can be used for just about any rpg with all the ideas and material they include. I particularly enjoy GURPS Cyberpunk, GURPS Lowtech, and GURPS Martial Arts.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: GURPS vs. DND 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2012, 08:02:32 AM »
GURPS is nice because even if you don't use the books to play it they make really great sourcebooks that can be used for just about any rpg with all the ideas and material they include.

GURPS Swashbucklers is the first book I grab when I run a pirate campaign regardless of what system I am using.