Tabletop RPG Podcast and Roleplaying Resources

Has Savage Worlds Displaced GURPS?

Has Savage Worlds replaced GURPS as the generic RPG system of choice for this decade? ICV2 columnist Scott Thorne says this:

With the release of Beasts and Barbarians, a fantasy supplement from Gramel Publishing, Savage Worlds moved one step closer towards its apparent goal of replacing GURPS as, well, a gurps.  By my count, so far, Savage Worlds has a horror supplement, a couple of fantasy supplements, a superheroic supplement, two versions of Martian high adventure,  science fiction horror, a zombie outbreak supplement and, oh yeah, let’s not forget Deadlands.  While certainly not as comprehensive as Steve Jackson Games’ GURPS (especially the Third Edition, GURPS Robin Hood anyone?), Savage Worlds is the only print RPG I have seen making use of its core system to expand into other genres, as Chaosium has its Basic Role Playing System but hasn’t expanded it much beyond Call of Cthulhu and, during the last presentation from them I caught, Steve Jackson Games didn’t even mention the fact that they publish what was at one time one of the top selling RPGs. Source

With GURPS moving to a PDF only model for more new materials and Savage Worlds being under very active development (including several recent Kickstarters) it seems that Steve Jackson games has ceded the generic RPG market to Savage Worlds, choosing instead to focus on more profitable efforts like Ogre and Munchkin.

While I have no doubt GURPS will remain entrenched for some time (note how popular it remains at Con games), I’m seeing a shift to Savage Worlds which will only continue in the near future.

What do you think?


  1. callin

    I can see this. GURPS has a huge volume of material for it, to the point of saturation. It is very difficult to release anything “new” using the GURPS system. However, SW is still relatively fresh and has a lot of room for expansion.

  2. Bradley Harvey

    I can see the Savage Worlds has the benefit of a simple character creation. Combat can even be pretty fun and fast paced. For me the GURPS “saturation” is what brings me to the system. As long as GURPS continues to publish, I will continue to purchase. I realize this is a “fanboy” approach to the argument but there are many of us still out there.

  3. Malifer

    Fourth edition GURPS has some beautiful full color hardcover books but they run 30-40 bucks when they were in print so then the reprinted them as dull black & white softcovers for 20-25 clams.

    If Steve Jackson games could get full color GURPS explorer’s edition sized books at a price range of 10-20 dollars GURPs might be in the running. Also Fourth Edition splitting the core book into 2 books was help anyone’s wallet.

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