"Enough choices? GURPS knows no such phrase!"
— G. M. Littmann
GURPS: Edward Bellamy — the campaign begins as neat-o science fiction, but the only thing the NPCs will discuss is economic theory.
GURPS: John Steinbeck — every few hours, the GM interrupts gameplay to talk about a turtle crossing the road.
GURPS: James Joyce — characters forge the uncreated conscience of their race in the smith of their souls, but no one understands it.
GURPS: Hemingway — Characters play. In the campaign.
GURPS: Samuel Coleridge — dull campaign, unless the GM has used inebriants prior to gameplay, in which case it is highly imaginative. But just as the game is getting really good, the GM is interrupted by a salesman, and forgets the rest of the adventure.
GURPS: Anthony Robbins — characters spend all their starting cash trying to unleash the 14th Level Fighter within.
GURPS: John Palmer — "That wasn't my dice roll! It's a FORGERY! I'm outta here and this campaign is toast."
GURPS: Dave Rhodes — characters do battle with legions of offended strangers whom they've propositioned for a pyramid scheme.
GURPS: L. Ron Hubbard — characters quest for increasingly large sums of cash in order to acquire superhuman (but never demonstrated) powers.
GURPS: Lao Tzu — The rules that can be known are not the rules that can be written.
GURPS: Sartre — no GM required! The characters wander around wondering if they're just characters in someone else's game.
GURPS: Salvador Dali — The characters blue paperclip Easter ham Mercury greasy Volkswagen.
GURPS: Karl Marx — character write long tracts espousing revolutionary ideals, yet never leave the British Public Museum.
GURPS: Freud — you never stop character creation, you just keep refining your character's early memories.
GURPS: Rush Limbaugh — characters talk endlessly and smoke cigars, blaming their lack of character advancement on the liberalmainstreampress.
GURPS: William F. Buckley — characters engage in unrequited sophistry, employing an antidisestablishmentarian methodology.
GURPS: Catherine MacKinnon — all PCs are female, all NPCs are male.
GURPS: Objectivism — characters ignore completely what the GM has prepared because it is their rational choice to do so.
GURPS: Fermat — no rules, just a sidebar apologizing for lack of space.
GURPS Old West GothicCthulhuSpacePunk IOU 1889 Psionic Martial Arts
A vampiric Elder God with a Victorian spaceship in Dodge City teaching in the College of Zen Studies, CZS 231: Self Defense Through Offensive Existence.
And since it's IOU, you can start doing some genre crossovers!
GURPS Robots/Voodoo: "Come, my ancestors. Come, 6502. Come, Amiga. Come, P6."
GURPS Ice Age/Atomic Horror: fire, the wheel, writing, and other things man was not meant to know.
GURPS Viking Illuminati: Fjord.
GURPS Ultra-Tech Bestiary: Wild, man-eating computers!
GURPS Prisoner Uplift: I am not a number, I am an Ape!
GURPS Vampire Aliens: Klaatu Carotid Nicked You
GURPS Atomic Horror Crosstime Saloon: Can you keep the giant ants out of the beer nuts?
GURPS Martial Arts Fantasy Folk: Hobbit ninjas!
GURPS Arabian Espionage Nights: Camel drivers by day, Oasis Shock Troops by night.
GURPS Creatures of the Night Religion: There are but twenty gods, and the boogeyman is their prophet.
GURPS Old West Vehicles: 156 pages on horse drawn carriages!
GURPS Psionic Swashbucklers: Rapier wit.
GURPS China/The Prisoner:
— My name is Shi (to be).
— No, your name is Shi (number ten).
— I am not a numeric logogram! I am a... syllabic ideogram?
GURPS: Toon would be sort of like shooting a live-action version of a Warner Brothers cartoon — with Latin subtitles.
GURPS James Joyces' Ulysses: No one ever finishes the game, but claims it as the best ever played. And sessions go on for days at a time without a break.
GURPS Dickens: Stereotypes abound, evil loses and the sickly fair-haired child conquers all. (Variant — Evil reforms after fantastic visions.)
GURPS Ancient Rome/Bestiary: Take animal form to seduce women.
GURPS Wraith: the Oblivion/In Nomine: Hell freezes over.
GURPS Jane Austen: No combat system, but the rules on social status take up eighty pages.
GURPS Jane Austen Companion: For the action-hungry. Contains rules for bumping your head and catching cold by standing out in the rain.
GURPS Delta Gretna Green: A crossover adventure for Jane Austen and Black Ops. Wickham has eloped with Lydia, and Mr. Darcy must find them before Lydia is sacrificed to Shub-Niggurath.
GURPS Vampire Chronicles: The setting's OK, but XP awards are inexplicably linked to the Appearance advantage.
GURPS Piers Anthony: The setting's OK, but XP awards are based solely on puns made during the adventure.
GURPS Gilbert & Sullivan: Requires equal numbers of male and female characters, so they can all be married off at the end. Currently stalled, as the co-authors couldn't agree on what colour the cover should be.
GURPS Spammers: for those who thought 15 points was the limit on Odious Personal Habits.
GURPS: Ice Age/Cyberpunk — "Thag's modular hand implant come with digging stick, axe and fire stone! Give you cranial implant for free, buster!" Though the netrunning rules would be pretty short.
("Og net-run good. Og pick up net, put left foot for-ward, put right foot for-ward, put left foot for-ward, put right foot for-ward...")
GURPS Godel, Escher, Bach: The players roll up characters. At the start of the game, their characters roll up characters and start a game. The characters' characters then roll up characters. Every so often, the GM says something so profound that no one can understand it. Lots of people buy this game, but no one ever actually reads it.
GURPS Equus: Do not, under any circumstances, decide to play a horse.
GURPS Wyld Stallyns: Excellent!
GURPS Hell: Bogus.
GURPS Clerks: The GM calls all the players to come to his house at six in the morning, despite whatever they actually had planned. The game consists of the players trying not to play the game, while the GM keeps throwing bizarre NPCs at them to keep them interested.
GURPS Job: The GM makes the characters' lives a living hell. The last one to curse God's name wins.
GURPS Election 2000: The GM passes out identical character sheets. The players have to make the GM believe that all the characters are actually different.
GURPS Episode I: The Phantom Menace: 100 XP for offing Jar-Jar in the first reel.
GURPS Ice Age/Reign Of Steel: The PCs fight against the tyranny of the evil stone axes....
GURPS P.G. Wodehouse: Omniscient butlers control the lives of scatter-brained aristocracy in 1920's England.
GURPS Hornblower: Moody English sea captains battle Napoleon. (O'Brian Supplement: Adds phlegmatic doctors who are also spies!)
GURPS Flashman: Historical accuracy is required, and the referee must do a lot of research. But the players are only there for the sex.
GURPS Odd Girl Out: Play either a 50's butch lesbian or a 50's femme lesbian. The butches get beaten by the cops and must eventually commit suicide; the femmes see the error of their ways after extensive electroshock therapy and go back to their high school sweetheart.
GURPS Fin de Siecle Vienna: Lots of intrigue. Lots of opera. Lots of surpressed desires and masquerade parties with lots of sex. Lots of Freud. Lots of Klimt.
GURPS Silent Film Stars: Have lots of money, drink lots of alcohol, do lots of coke. Avoid having Louella Parsons the gossip columnist finding out about any such carousing.
GURPS College Student: Try to keep your GPA up while engaging in many sports, clubs, government and drinking.
GURPS Pinter: Players sit around saying lots of non-sequiturs. Then the GM brings in an NPC who kills someone for no apparent reason.
GURPS Dada/Surrealism: The book's covers are inside quality paper, which have the word "wombat" printed in 5 point type. Inside is a series of cover pages, each completely blank except for the nose prints of SJG employees. The binding is designed to fall apart after two uses. This is a commentary on the true transitory nature of all art, and the absurdity of venerating old pieces simply due to age. Or maybe not. Newts Are Green. Paradimythalaminobenzalidhyde. Pass Go, but the previous player robbed the place. Fnord.
GURPS Secret Service: I'd review it, but a bunch of guys in suits seized it, claiming it was a manual for being clueless twits with radios and MP-5s.
GURPS Eukaryotes: Life without a nucleus.
GURPS Prokaryotes: Like GURPS Eukaryotes, but having a nucleus is a 50-point advantage at least. Extra flagella: 10 points/level.
GURPS Middle Earth/Call of Cthulhu: Things Frodo was not meant to know.
GURPS Bunnies & Burrows/Old West: Day of the Jackalope.
GURPS People that Conan Killed. Collect the whole 6 volume set!
GURPS Ingmar Bergman: During character creation, the players will be bored to death.
GURPS Love Boat/Prisoner:
"Where am I?"
"Aboard the Love Boat."
"Who are you?"
"You are in cabin number six."
"I won't fall in love."
"By hook or by crook, you will."
Sam Beckett was incredibly talented, but his time travel method wasn't overly munchkinizable. I once joked that to create him as a GURPS character, all you'd need is Amnesia and the -20 point delusion "I'm a time traveler from the future and an invisible Italian admiral named Al tells me what to do."
— Elisabeth Riba, rec.games.frp.gurps, 9/23/01
Although I've occasionally, when I'm really annoyed, thought of running a Madlands/Reign of Steel/Ogre/Bunnies and Burrows campaign.
"Okay, you're all rabbits. A bunch of gods, world-spanning computers, and giant cybernetic tanks are all out to kill you. Ooops. Make up new characters."
— Xiphias Gladius, rec.games.frp.gurps, 10/26/02
"Hear good, 001. This am wheel. We just invent wheel in A Branch. Try bring wheel back still round. Not treat like pointed stick."
"What this, A?"
"That fire, 001. Let alone!"
"You expect Bog use language?"
"No, Bog. Me expect you fall off rock."
I dunno. The vampire games are doing well. People seem to enjoy playing monsters. "Okay. The six-foot-three capitalist rapes you. Roll versus Will-2 to avoid falling in love with him."
— Discussion board response to the idea of GURPS Atlas Shrugged
"I attempt to hegemonize hir epistemological discourse!"
"Make an Obfuscation roll at minus 3."
"Put this under erasure, Derrida-boy!"
And when we see GURPS Weebles ("I got a 4 on my Wobble skill roll. That means I don't fall down"), we'll know the Apocalypse has come and gone, and we've been left behind!