In the world of role-playing games there is bound to be the argument of what system is better. Is A better than B, is B better than C, and is C better than Y? It all comes down to what you like. Do you like realistic gaming where you would roll dice to see if you can already climb on the back of a horse while arrows rain down on you from above? Do you prefer kick the door down and slay the dragon kind games? Read on and I will give my views about both of these RPG systems.
GURPS – Generic Universal Role Playing System
GURPS is a great game for role-players. This system allows you to create pretty much any character you can imagine. Do you want to play the Ectoplasmic Dancing Toaster from the first Ghostbusters movie? Well, if you did you could create it in GURPS. GURPS does exactly what it claims. You can set your game anywhere and anywhen and be able to create a character to play.
This, however, can create a real issue with new gamers though. Information overload. The main issue most new players my have is creating a character. Without some guidance from an experienced player the many options and rules for character creation can really excursion a new player to inaction. GURPS is very scalable though, you can play a game with some very basic rules or you can play a game that gets really complicate.
If you can get past the character creation complexities then you are in for a real treat. This system was designed to be pretty much THE only system you would really need to play any kind of game you may or may not be interested in. If you can think it there is a pretty good chance GURPS can do it.
GURPS is my favorite gaming system because of the possibilities of the system. It is a sandbox just filled to the brim with everything you need to create the best sandcastle you can make.
D&D – Dungeons and Dragons
D&D, this is the grand-daddy of all role-playing games. Without this game there is a fair chance that a lot of the games out there, role-playing and video, would be very different than what they are now. These games owe a lot to D&D. Being the first role-playing game with rules sets the stage for what has grown into a world wide hobby and industry for millions of people.
Although D&D is getting a little long in the tooth, the publisher has recently released D&D 4th Edition. I think this system has moved to far away from its roots in Original D&D and progressive D&D. The new system plays more like a video game. Which, I will be honest, may bring in a whole lot of new players to the hobby. But it is not the D&D of old that I grew up with.
D&D 4 is pretty straight forward, you create a character based on character classes and races and using the level based system your character advances and becomes more powerful. In D&D 3.5 there seemed to be a specific range of levels where the game was at its best. In D&D 4 I think they resolved this issue where the game can be enjoyable at all levels.
D&D 4 does relate more to the kick in the door and kill at all event is there and take is treasure. Rinse and repeat. But I also think that it has opened up the options for role-playing than D&D 2nd ed or 3.5 by removing certain skills makes the play actual role-play in social environments instead of rolling the dice to see if they managed to out talk someone. That is just one example.
So, can I pick one system over the other? Sure, but that is because I have been gaming for over 20 years, and yes I did cut my role-playing teeth on D&D. But, as I have matured and grown more interested in many more things, GURPS fits my interests and playing style better that D&D. Not to say that a fast paced, kick down the door game is not fun at times. It is just not something I want to play all the time.