Tl;dr: I made a website to automate GURPS gameplay.
I’ve been working with Jeff Hays to create a new format for his Soundbooth Theater show. He wants to have different LitRPG authors play a tabletop version of a game and then he narrates the results. If you’ve seen Harmon Quest, you have some idea what this would look like, except more structured.
I volunteered to be a GM for the game, because I have no real association with the LitRPG community. So if anyone is angry at the results, there won’t be any feuding wars. The issue that I wanted to solve is the Harmon Quest problem. There’s two ways to play a TableTop RPG.
The first way we could call “by the rules.” Every decision makes reference to the official manual, and the stats are all correctly calculated for every single event. And trust me, if you read a RPG manual, they do have extreme calculations, i.e. how fast could a character with 16 strength and 14 agility sprint across 20 yards while carrying 100 lbs.?
The upside to this is that the decisions are all fair. They are being decided by a book that everyone has access to. The downside to this style of gameplay is that unless the players and the GM understand the book inside and out, each player’s move can take an obscenely long amount of time. It becomes like a game of baseball where you have to wait an hour for each time you get up to the plate to bat.
The other style is the Harmon Quest style of gameplay, where the GM essentially makes everything up as the game goes along. The upside to this is that the game moves at a fast pace. The downside is that there are no real rules in the game, it’s just the GMs whim.
To get around that, I wanted to use a system that allows programmatic entries. I.e. I tell it what the roll value is and I just push a button to perform the roll. That way, it’s by the book, but the game still moves fast and fluid.
The downside is that there when I looked for good automatic character builders, which will be the core of the gameplay, the results were appalling. So I built a website that would allow people to create a character with dropdowns and tooltips that explain what everything does, and most important, automatically updates stats and prevents players from having invalid combinations.
The result of all that is https://gurps-lite.herokuapp.com/ For those of you new to programming, heroku is a place where you demo apps, but it doesn’t really have the power to run a full-fledged app, unless you pay them. The more you pay them, the better it performs. Since this is just an internal app, it’s on the free/very slow version. But it does work. Check it out, and make sure you are using a modern browser. (By that I mean use Chrome.) Submit a bug report if something isn’t working correctly, instructions are on the app page.