Paranoia, GURPs, or WOD?


So, with new releases of three popular non-D20 systems at this year's GenCon, which would you buy if you could choose only one? You've got a heartily quirky system that hasn't been updated for 20 years (Paranoia), something as generic and unassuming as possible (GURPs), and the uber-goth better-than-you hippie system (WOD, of course).

Or, do you even care?

That's kinda tough. I'd like an updated Paranoia but it would probably still be good for only a couple of sessions since that's what usually happens with joke games. I've never been into gurps but some comments made by Steve Jackson intrigue me; plus I think I read that David Pulver did quite a bit of the update. It might be sleeker and more exciting now. I guess I'd go with gurps even if I may never actually use it.

GURPS all the way. SJ Games just puts out better quality stuff than White Wolf, and Paranoia is just... silly.

I never got GURPS 3rd ed., but thats because I didn't know it existed until I found Munchkin about a year ago and started looking at SJG stuff. I read a fair amount of the core rule book that a friend lent me, and I actually thought about switching away from D20. Then I realized that it used one-second rounds. I found that to be not cool. If all 4th ed. did was change the combat round from 1 to at least 3 seconds (I really don't care about the exact amount) I'd get it. And from what SJ himself has said... well, I might get it anyway.

That reminds me. I've always wondered why people on Gamegrene never seemed to mention any SJG products at all. Nary a mention (to my knowledge) of GURPS or even Munchkin. I always found that odd. If I'm mistaken, someone point me to the articles!

There's have been a few GURPS articles (or, at the very least, articles that use GURPs rules), and a number of mentions in the comments. Search the site (using the box in the sidebar) to find them all, but here's some quick examples:

I've always been partial to the Interlock system used by R. Talsorian Games. We've been waiting for Cyberpunk v3 literally for years and it has yet to materialize but I will certainly snatch it up as soon as it hits the shelves.

on a related note: Firestork Ink licensed RTG's Cybergeneration and has recently release a new sourcebook entitled Researching Medicine. if anyone is interested...

I've not heard anything of a possible Cyberpunk v3 - when did this get planned?

I don't really have enough interest in any of these three games to pay money for them, however if I was going to get a free copy of one I'd choose GURPS because I've heard some really good things about the Transhuman Space setting.

What I will definitely pay money for is the next Shadowrun sourcebook which is 240 pages, covers all of Europe and should start appearing in stores this week.

Take it from someone who owns both GURPS 2nd Ed and GURPS 3rd Ed, there were NO differences at all. 3rd Ed just added abunch of material that was only found in sourcebooks, like psionics and some Supers rules, it really wasn't any different.

However 4th Ed is supposed to be revised from previous editions. I am really intruiged because I am a big fan of GURPS. I'm not sure what I want more, this or the new WoD. I'll probably get both over the course of the year but I think WoD is bigger for me.

People actually still play Paranoia enough to come out with a new edition? That's like remaking Top Secret, I don't think it will sell enough to be worth the effort.

For those keeping track, there's a new Vampire the Requiem demo at, and the recently released GURPS Dragons includes an appendix to convert the stats to Fourth Editioin rules. I /just/ barely picked up the book about ten minutes ago, so I've yet to fully digest what I'm seeing, but the earliest Fourth Edition mechanic comment is in the intro: The most notable change is the revised treatment of lifting strength, permitting very large creatures to be defined with relatively moderate ST scores. It's also the first book to be hardcovered, as all future Fourth Editions will be.

From that list, I would choose the WOD.
Paranoia isn't a long term game and I like my game to last. I can't do comedy that long.
I can't go with GURPS because every time I've looked at the system it has been horribly flawed. I've only tried to play twice, but each time, without ever having looked through the game or tried to manipulate it, my character and usually someone else's broke the system. Possibly I've just had poor people running the game, I don't know.
That only leaves me WOD as the lesser evil.

CPv3 has been planned since 2001. It got repeatedly delayed and people stopped believing in it. However I'm told they're going to have another go at it this fall.

Definitely GURPS. Although I've heard good things about Paranoia and WoD, I'm a diehard custom world designer. (Mind you, to paraphrase Rogue Githyanki: I'm 14, don't have a job, and have nothing better to do in my time as I'm blessed with a school that gives little homework.) GURPS is the only system I've found so far that supports home grown worlds. I can set it any time I want, with or without magic, with or without psionics, make it realistic or cinematic, and I don't have to make any major changes to the rule set, and I can get some ideas for things that'd work in a game from them.

I've had a look at the changes to GURPS, and I like what I see. Especially the parts about stripping the rules to their bare essentials, and clearly marking the optional stuff as optional. I'm a fan of rules light systems. And from what I've seen so far (although everything that's been announced is fantasy, and I prefer a sci fi game) there's more of an emphasis on helping GMs build their own campaigns; GURPS Fantasy, for example, is all about putting togethor a rational fantasy world, rather than a worldbook, and GURPS Magic has expanded rules for alternative magic systems and modifying the magic system.

Man, I am so looking forward to GURPS 4th ed.

I've played all three of the systems in question. Paranoia is fun, but has a high burn-out factor. WoD is...wanky. GURPS is pretty simple (despite what some people say), and can be as realistic or cartoony as you want it to be. I like that in a game system.

> Possibly I've just had poor people running the game, I
> don't know.

I think that is probable. It's too bad, because it's a great system. There is...something of a learning curve. Once you get used to it, though, it sure can be fun.

Ittd have to be paranoia im afraid. At least then id be entertained. Vampire saps my will to live these days, and Gurps is just far to static, next to zero character progresion, for it to be a campaign game (unless fourth ed changes that) So if im buying a game im not going to play, may as well be the one thats going to make me grin.


I recently picked up the new Paranoia edition, and must admit that it is highly inclined to a 'joke game' environment, but it has far more elements that allow for longer sessions and/or campaigns. These include the introduction of currency and personal equipment, as well as three different play styles: zap (or frantic), classic, and straight, each with rising levels of complexity and possibilities for your character to survive the next mission. Each style has its own classifications for damage and treason reprimands, as well as different flavour.

However, I have been a long-time fan of GURPS, and if you're looking for flexibility, then nothing can beat it.

But the most important thing is that whichever game you purchase, you're not putting more money into the d20 juggernaut, and keeping it from squashing all other systems. And in the end, isn't this the ultimate goal?

Quote from back cover of Paranoia: New non-D20 rules. PARANOIA is fun. D20 games are not fun. Play PARANOIA.

I went and picked up the new World Of Darkness and Vampire: The Requiem books and I am very impressed. I think they admirably succeeded in taking Vampire out of it's metaplot burdened world and inserted it into one that is metaplot free without loosing what makes Vampire cool. I have not had the opportunity to play the new system but it looks similar to the old one only much more streamlined.

Is this another of those "we hate everything D20" boards?

Not as such.

But there seems to be enough old-school folks who are less hip to D20 than others...

That had better not happen to Gamegrene. I would hate to see one of the most multi-perspective sites on the 'net go all stupid and narrow-minded. Kinda like my gaming group. They'll try anything... except GURPs. I'm not sure why. I even bought GURPs IOU, which they like the idea of. BUT THEY STILL WON'T TRY IT! Oy, the tribulations of being a GM...

Oh man, I had to ram GURPS down the throats of my players because they had one bad experience with it several years ago. It was before I even met them. Of course we never could get the fanboy stink out of the gameroom at B.U.B.s because of those guys.

Speaking about bad appearances with the latest article on D&D 30th - I can't /stand/ the appearance of the new GURPS books. I hate the inside, I hate how the pictures feel like scratch and sniff, and I just think it looks ugly overall. Granted, outta these three, Paranoia XP is "ugly", but it's ugly from a "no design whatsoever" sense as opposed to a "made an attempt at a design and sucked at it". Which, of course, won't stop me from buying any of these books, but still...

Amen to that.

I just wish people wouldn't criticize D20 who know little about it.

In the interest of hounding you across the forums like a netstalker... ;)

No. Most of my own efforts here have been written from the perspective of the dyed-in-the-wool D&Der that I am. But you'll notice that the tagline of the site is "for the gamer who's sick of the typical," and, well, d20 is nothing if not typical.

Partly that's because it's so easy to use. Its popularity is, for the most part, well-deserved.

I think this site's commitment to examining less-often-explored gaming systems is one of its better attributes. There are zillions of d20/D&D forums out there.

One thing more: I think most of the posters here are not of the knee-jerk anything variety. Most people who bother to read this site seem to be open-minded enough to look around the choices in the gaming world and make reasonably informed judgments. I've seen you dismember a poster for criticizing d20 from ignorance, but I assure you there are a number of posters here who know d20 D&D very well indeed.