Roleplayer #6, August 1987

Results from the Roleplayer 4 Questionnaire

Now we've got answers!

The results of the questionnaire from Roleplayer 4 are in, and we thought you might like to see them. Thanks to all of you who took the time to fill out the questionnaire – now you can compare your opinions to those of your fellow roleplayers.

In most cases, we asked you to rate various items on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the most favorable response, and 5 the least favorable.


You think new skills, advantages, disadvantages, equipment and genre-specific rules are vital to a worldbook; more than 85% gave each of these a 1 or 2 rating. Adventures are less popular – only 46% want a complete game-mastered adventure, and just 25% want a complete solo. Brief adventure ideas or outlines fare better, with 61% expressing an interest in them. NPCs – described briefly or in detail – don't do much for you; short text descriptions of NPCs seem most interesting, but even they rate a 1 or 2 with only 28%.

A detailed index rates a 1 with more of you – 67% – than any other single item, while a detailed table of contents pulled a similar rating from 51%. Background information is very popular; 74% like general info, and 55% enjoy histories and timelines. You also want large-scale maps – 55% give them a 1 or 2 – but less than half are interested in color maps or battle maps. You appreciate suggestions aimed at GMs – 81% find these useful. And we'll keep crediting playtesters, since better than 50% of you like to know who was involved in each product.


Most of you want each world book to be complete in itself (aided by GURPS Basic, of course). 69% told us we should repeat already-published rules in order to accomplish this. Another 21% gave us the go-ahead to repeat all we want – it helps you find things. Only 7% said that we should repeat only when absolutely neces-sary, and a mere 1% requested that we never repeat anything.


A quarter of you think the 80-96 page, $9.95 worldbook is just right, but nearly everyone else says they'd pay more for a bigger book. 33% would go for a 112-120 page, $11.95 worldbook, 21% would pay $14.95 for a 160 page book, and 17% want to see what we could do with a cover price above $15. Just 3% think $9.95 is too much.

If we box GURPS products, 56% of you would like a separate book of charts and tables. Just under half of you asked for separate "GMs only" books – adventures or secret information – and about the same number would like a full-color world map. About 40% are interested in color maps and Cardboard Heroes, and 30% want extra character sheets. Only 26% want solo adventures, and just 23% have any interest in "cute clues or artifacts." And 28% told us to forget boxes and stick to booklets for GURPS products.


"Generic" fantasy material – suitable for play in any world – rates higher with most of you than any other category of fantasy material – 66% gave it a 1 or 2. Just over half of you want to see material set in Yrth (described in GURPS Fantasy) or licensed from classic fantasy fiction. 45% gave a 1 or 2 to supplements specifically set in worlds other than Yrth or classic fantasy fiction. Material based on mythology receives the most even distribution of responses – it pulls each rating (1-5) from about 20% of you.

69% of you give "Other" a 1 rating, but "Other" means something different to each of you. Your own worlds, 15th to 18th century Earth, time travel, Vikings, and alternate magic systems are all common responses. Several of you specify fiction you'd like to see adapted to GURPS, and a few of you would rather see space and high-tech material.

Just 10% want all GURPS fantasy material to be set in the same world. 37% would like most of our fantasy supplements to be set in one world, with occasional side trips. The rest – 52% – want material for a wide variety of worlds and backgrounds.


The question, "How do you get your friends to play GURPS?" elicits a number of amusing responses. 31% of you have friends who beg to play because you have so much fun with the system, and a similar number are such wonderful GMs their friends beg to join their campaigns. 52% have to nag their friends to get them to play, but 34% are able to tell their friends to play GURPS. Only a handful of you have to blackmail, bribe, or present your friends a copy to get them to play. [Why this adds up to about 150%, I'm not sure . . . –JDG]

When asked why you fill out all these snoopy questionnaires, 85% say they like having input on what we publish, and 75% of you like to get the newsletter. The third most common response is that the Illuminati commanded you to fill out the questionnaires, but we're not at liberty to say how many of you were so directed . . .

57% of you do not attend game conventions, and most of the rest attend only 1 or 2 a year. You first heard about GURPS in a variety of ways. 29% found out about it in Space Gamer magazine. 18% heard about GURPS from a friend, and another 18% just ran across it in a store. 14% first noticed GURPS in a magazine ad, and the remaining 20% saw the game in the SJ Games catalog, Roleplayer, or at a convention.

Asked why you bought GURPS, 52% say you were dissatisfied with other RPGs, and 46% were impressed by Man to Man. 37% checked "other," most explaining, "I liked TFT." A few bought it because Steve designed it, to play GURPS Autoduel, or simply because you had money burning a hole in your pocket. 36% bought it because you believed our advertising, and another 19% simply buy everything we publish.


We asked you to grade the products we've released so far, and the report card looks pretty good. 51% of you give the GURPS Basic Set a 1, and another 39% give it a 2. Roleplayer did even better – 52% give it a 1, and 41% give it a 2. GURPS Fantasy receives a 1 from 45% of you, and a 2 from another 42%. GURPS Autoduel rates a 1 with 36% of you, a 2 with 38%, and a 3 with 18%. Man to Man pulls a 1 from only 15%, but 46% of you give it a 2, and another 29% give it a 3. Orcslayer rated a 1 with only 10% of you, a 2 with 28%, and a 3 with 38%. Overall, you seem to like what we're doing and want more.

We'll keep running questionnaires from time to time, to hear what you have to say about GURPS. We need your input, so that we can keep producing the kind of material you want.

(Back to Roleplayer #6 Table of Contents)

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