Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Angry Rant: How to advertise a GURPS (really any) game.

It's rant time. Copious superfluous swearing and extremely rude hyperbolic language ahead.

Seriously, I mean it. Go reread the last sentence of the line above. Decide if you've got the necessary mental DR to proceed before proceeding.

There's a handful of times that I've used various resources to try and entice new online players to my virtual table. I've managed to cobble together groups a few times now, enough that I can usually just copy/paste my former attempts and smash them with a hammer until they fit the new game I want to put together.

It absolutely grinds my gears when I see people trying to attract new players and their pitch is:

"So uh, me and my pals are starting a new GURPS game and we're looking for new players, we can teach you and everything."

That pitch is fucking lazy. The only right decision in that entire sentence was making it clear that newbies are welcome.

If I had a chance to anonymously respond to this guy (oh hey, how fucking lucky that I have my own soapbox with which I can offensively yell at the internet), it would look a lot like the bullet points below:
  1. Setting/genre, motherfucker. Are you running a noir-inspired Cthulhu mythos game where everybody fucking dies or goes insane? Are the players fucking rabbits that know Kung-Fu? Is this some bullshit pony world fueled by fucking friendship? GURPS can cover a lot more bases than being that lazy dick advertising a generic D&D game.
  2. Bitch, I have a job and obligations that demand my presence in real life, during which I can't rollplay. If I don't know when your lazy ass (and by extension, your lazy ass-group) are getting together, how the fuck am I supposed to know what I could be doing instead of your generic fantasy dren?
  3. Details, asshole. Not only do I not know if this is homebrew spelljammer, dungeon fantasy, or a setting involving anus shades, I don't fucking know if I should be expecting hack and slash, overly fucking contrived attempts to be edgy and diceless (assuming a non-gurps game/howbrew bullshit), or political intrigue and unmessy assassinations.
  4. Are all of your players twelve year old dipshits who just discovered the internet, or what? Since you thus far haven't been able to write more than two sentences to advertise your group and your prowess at running games, I'm forced to assume you're a few idiots shy of a village. Give me a sense of who the fuck I'll be playing with, asswipe.
  5. I know this will come as news to you, but some players have shit for brains and don't belong in your game. Tolerances differ. Some groups handle the resident neckbeard with poor personal hygiene. Others are okay with rule lawyer fucktards bogging down play because they enjoy arguing with others more than killing shit and looting their shit. Some groups will even deal with that gamer (girl/boy)friend playing some mary/gary fucking sue dipshit ditz bitch character that the GM only allows because said partner gives good oral. Better speak up about who you want at your table, idiot.
  6. Is your game one of those slow-ass molasses games happening through PBEM? Fuck PBEM, I'm glad to have the fucking privilege of skype and video conferencing where I don't have to wait an eternity for fucking responses while I fail to find love, linger at my job long after it provides me with meaningful avenues of advancement and self-improvement, grow old, and FUCKING DIE.
And here's what you do:
  1. Be VERBOSE, motherfucker. Give me enough of the fucking details about your game that I might consider sinking hours of my life into your sandbox.
  2. Be clear about what the hell it is you want for the game, from your players, and how you want everybody to interact and play.
  3. Have an interesting pitch that's not just generic and/or lame. PIMP YOUR GAME OUT MAN, SOME BORING ASS HO WON'T DRAW JOHNS. (One of my players who is a fucking smug-face bastard had this to add: Corollary: The players a boring ass game description draws are usually shit.)
  4. Communicate times, methods of communications, and all that boring logistics crap that kills more games than anything else. If your entire group is on IRC (you glorious luddite fucks), FUCKING SAY SO. If your group is meeting when it's fucking 4AM in my time zone, FUCK OFF. Do your players need crazy-dice for your game, like 37-sided dice? TELL US. Do you prefer character sheets done in Excel? FUCKING TELL US.
  5. Put some FUCKING effort into it, you starfish five-knuckle shuffling twat. If you can't make your advertisement worth the PAPER I WIPE MY ASS WITH, your game is probably just as shitty as my offerings to the porcelain gods.
Rant done. 


  1. I run a lot of one-shots as a MIB, which gives me a paragraph or so of space to attract people to the game. At the very least, it needs to let you fill in the blanks in the statement "We are X doing Y". We are modern intelligence agents investigating a wrecked Russian submarine; we are Second World War soldiers hiding with the Dutch Resistance; we are occult investigators tracking down rogue magicians for the government.

    When I start a new campaign for the face-to-face group I now do the same thing, laying out any ideas I have about the feel of the campaign. I want to run it because I think it'll be fun, so I need to communicate what about it will be the fun stuff.

    1. Players who don't know what they're in for have a much higher chance of accidentally making characters entirely unsuited to the game- which is perfectly fine if you want everybody unprepared for an alien invasion or zombie apocalypse, not so cool if you bring a social worker to a covert op!