We have a tag and a tag. We do not have a tag for other GURPS editions, e.g. a tag does not exist.

The following questions appear to be asking about subject matter which could be edition-specific, but they don't have a tag indicating which version they're from. In particular, many of them are mechanical questions, and I presume mechanics can differ between editions. In the D&D and Fate areas of the site, using some kind of version-specific tag would be insisted upon. Should some of these have a version tag?

Disclaimer: I'm not active in this site's GURPS community, and I haven't played GURPS. (I picked up the 4e manual once and almost reached the point of playing a game.)

I am asking this so those who do play GURPS can work out what to do.


Probably not. Being specific about edition is something the GURPS community itself doesn't often bother to do, and we try to keep our tag folksonomy reflecting community usage.

Mxyzplk said it well in the related question:

In GURPS, like Call of Cthulhu and many other non-D&D games, there's not a lot of change from version to version. For rules wonks, answering for D&D 1e vs 2e vs 3e vs 4e is a completely different thing. For many of these other games, it's a lot more correct to say "I have a GURPS question... It's 4e if it matters, but it's not likely it will."

GURPS, like BRP and Hero and (somewhat less) Savage Worlds and many other generic RPG systems, don't change substantially between editions. (There are about seven editions of Call of Cthulhu I believe, but we only have one tag for it, because the difference never matters.) GURPS does contain rules changes between editions, but the changes tend to be small and specific. The changes between 4e and 3e in particular are relatively small. The 3e to 4e change represents more of a traditional literary edition change—an effort by SJG to reorganise their game line, and meanwhile make a few minor corrections in the process—than an "edition" in the sense that D&D has redefined the term in RPG circles.

Furthermore, because of this continuity in the rules, very few new GURPS editions "leave people behind" the way games that change radically between editions can, so there are only a few people who have stuck with 3e, and the number of people who have stuck with any earlier edition is vanishingly small to the point that it may as well be zero. Further furthermore, the "left behind" 3e players aren't actually left behind, since they can use 4e material unchanged the vast majority of the time.

As a result, GURPS players rarely bother to specify an edition when they're looking for help, even rules help. It's almost always 4e, and when it isn't and it's relevant, people say so. (And those case are very rare, as indicated by our lack of a GURPS 3e tag.) Folksonomy-wise, the GURPS community treats edition information as being only rarely relevant to say up-front, and often it's never relevant in the problem-solving process. That's reflected in the apparently "sloppy" way the tags have been used on this site. As the related question indicates, the tag is the primary tag and most often used, while gets added when it might be conceivably relevant. Meanwhile only gets used alone when the asker does believe the edition matters.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This doesn't really help players that may be just getting into GURPS and therefore wouldn't know if specifying edition is relevant to the question or not. Perhaps the edition they're using is the only edition they've encountered. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason_c_o Mar 28 '14 at 20:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Jason_c_o I don't see how it interferes with them either. They'll read the [gurps] tag. They'll read the [gurps-4e] tag. They won't somehow avoid the no-edition [gurps] tag. We have enough people coming here and tagging with just "D&D" when they really mean D&D 4e; the default assumptions of new players actually work well with how the GURPS tags are now. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Mar 28 '14 at 20:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Truth. I suppose it will be addressed as soon as its relevant. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason_c_o Mar 28 '14 at 20:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ As a former GURPS player (all editions) and 4e playtester, I recall: the changes between GURPS 1e and 3e were pretty small (they were all basically the same system), but the 4e changes were pretty significant (and broke backwards compatibility in many cases). \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Vincent Apr 4 '17 at 23:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MattVincent Yep, and in practice now we do have a [gurps-4e] tag that gets used sometimes. Still though, people often don't bother to use it, so it's kind of “does the question asker care about the difference? Did they use the tag?” situation. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 4 '17 at 23:34

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