GURPS Basic Set, Third Edition
Company/Publisher: Steve Jackson Games
Page count: 256
Capsule Review by Greg Jeffries on 05/09/00.
Genre tags: Generic
Ahh, GURPS. The Generic Universal Role Playing System. Definitely one of the big names in roleplaying. What exactly does the big black paperback volume contain? Let's take a look.
The book plunges you directly into character creation after a short introduction. The reader is introduced to the four basic attributes, advantages, disadvantages, and skills. There is _no_ radom element--the system is completely point based. The normal point value is 100, with only 40 points of disadvantages. Trust me, the disadvantage limit *is* neccesary. You will probably want the advantages and disadvantages in Compendium I, especially if you are trying to create races. The skills list is more adequate.
The combat system is by far the most complex part of the game. It is divided into two chapters, for the Basic and Advanced systems. I use the Basic with some rules from the Advanced. I can't imagine anyone using the complete Advanced.
The magic rules are easy to understand. Mages must pay fatigue to cast spells, which does something to discourage the standard low-ST mage, at least if Powerstones are hard to get. The spell list is token; you will need GURPS Magic to use any magic in your games.
The psionics rules are much harder to understand. I have not yet studied them in depth, but I have heard from a friend that GURPS Psionics is not as neccesary as GURPS Magic. It is still useful, of course, and you will want it for a high-psi campaign.
The game ends with some useful campaigning tips and one of those number-sequence adventures. The former is valuable, but the latter isn't. An appendix containing more advantages and disadvantages has been added to the back of the bok in this edition, but it doesn't replace Comp I.
The art is not notable. Ignore it.
You could easily start playing without a worldbook, but you may want one to see the kinds of things that go into a campaign world.
Overall, this is a good system, but the presentation could use work.
Style: 3 (Average)