Welcome to MyGURPS, a page full of resources and information for the GURPS® Fourth Edition roleplaying game from Steve Jackson Games.
Herein you'll find some of the house rules that I use (and heartily recommend) for the newest edition of GURPS, various resources and articles that you might find useful, new data files for the GURPS Character Assistant software, and some of the GURPS books (and other Steve Jackson Games products) that I've reviewed on RPGnet. You'll also find resources for other games near the bottom of the page. And if you'd like to know more about me, click here!
To remove or redisplay this introductory text, click on the MyGURPS logo at the very top of the page. To view or hide the content in a given section, just click on its header. Enjoy the site!
Fourth Edition not only streamlined GURPS, it fixed a lot of rules and exceptions that were unbalanced or otherwise broken. Of course, even an unashamed fanatic like myself has to admit that a few things can still use some tweaking. All of my house rules here have been extensively playtested and have had a positive effect on the system. Click on the rule if you want to know the details, or the rationale behind it.
Many of these house rules are available in the GCA Files section below if you want to incorporate them into your own game.
1. Perception and Will are separate from IQ.
Both Per and Will are their own attributes. They start at 10, and can be raised or lowered for 5 points/level. IQ is unchanged, at 20 points/level.
2. Reducing the value of "flavor" traits.
The values of all age-related traits (Extended Lifespan, Longevity, Self-Destruct, Short Lifespan) are halved, except for Unaging, which costs 5 points. Terminally Ill no longer exists, except when granted via an Affliction.
3. Arm DX, Arm ST, and Regrowth are cheaper.
Arm DX costs 9 or 12 points for one or two arms. Arm ST costs 3, 4, or 6 points for one, two, or three arms. Regrowth costs 10 points.
4. Control can be used normally to provide DR.
Each level of Control can be used to give people in your area of effect DR 1 versus appropriate attacks. A successful, IQ-Based Power Block will double any defensive use of Control for one attack.
5. Costs Fatigue is worth -10%/level.
Costs Fatigue is worth -10% per level, to a maximum of -40%. If you have an advantage that would normally remain on indefinitely, you can take "Costs 1 FP per 10 seconds" for -20% or "Costs 1 FP per second" for -40%.
6. Armor Divisor (100) is available.
Armor Divisor (100) is available as a +300% enhancement. This is a fair price in comparison to Cosmic (Irresistable Attack), which is more effective but is also stopped by Cosmic DR. Hardened DR reduces both enhancements normally.
7. Various new modifiers for traits.
While building characters and helping others to do so, I've come up with several new "special modifiers" for various advantages, as well as a new advantage (Indefatigable). Unlike the other house rules, this will load as a separate page -- it's too long to do inline.
8. Enthrallment skills require an Unusual Background.
For balance purposes, an Unusual Background is required to learn and use the four Enthrallment skills. This costs 5 points, plus 5 points for each level of Charisma (maximum 30 points.)
9. Temporary Enchantment fixed.
When using the Temporary Enchantment spell (from GURPS Fantasy and Magic), multiply the energy cost of the enchantment by (Uses)/(Uses+6), rounding up. So a wand that can cast Fireball 30 times costs (30/36), or 84% of the normal energy cost to enchant.
10. Slams use ST when possible.
Replace "HP" with "ST" for living beings in the formula for calculating the damage from slams. Use HP for inanimate objects and all other collisions or falls. If the type of Strength matters, use Striking ST.
11. (Psi) Static comes in two levels.
Resistible is no longer a limitation. Instead, it is the first level of Static, with a cost of 15 points. The normal advantage, as written, is the second level.
12. Changes to Trading Points for Money and Signature Gear.
The starting cash you get by trading in points now scales up (using a similar progression to Wealth) and is based on your starting wealth, not the campaigns. This makes it a fair deal for wealthy characters while reducing abuse from poor ones. Signature Gear no longer provides funds; it simply adds plot protection to gear that you've already purchased. Because there's a table involved, this house rule is located on its own page.
13. Streamlined Languages for Modern Games.
In games set on modern Earth, 99% of the people will speak one of the following languages: Arabic, Bantu (Southern African), Berber (Northern African), Cantonese/Wu (Chinese), Dutch/Afrikaans, English, Farsi/Kurdish (Iranian), Finnish/Hungarian, French, Gaelic/Welsh, German/Yiddish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi-Urdu (Indian/Pakistani), Indonesian/Malay, Italian/Romanian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Mandarin (Chinese), Navajo, Norwegian/Swedish/Danish, Polish/Czech, Russian/Ukranian, Spanish/Portugese, Thai/Burmese, Turkish/Mongol, or Vietnamese/Cambodian. A slash means that the languages are closely enough related that, for simplified game purposes, they count as a single language.
14. Combat, Combat Art, and Combat Sport Skills Are Techniques.
When you learn a Combat skill, Combat Art skill, or Combat Sport skill (see p. B184 for details), you may buy up the other two versions as an Average technique defaulting to your skill-3. For example, if you know Karate Art at DX+2, you know Karate at DX-1 and can buy it up to DX+2 level for 3 points.
15. Cheap Firearms.
Cheap guns are -60% to Cost (-0.6 CF). They have -1 Acc, -1 HT, and -1 Malf. If you aren't using Malfunctions (p. B407), treat this as "16 is always a failure, and 17 is always a critical failure."
Alternatively, if you don't mind extra detail, the firearm's HT is unchanged. However, whenever it would normally get a bonus to a HT roll -- like the HT+4 roll to resist Slime, Sand, and Equipment Failure (p. B485) -- it rolls against straight HT, no bonus.
Note for My Players: I also have a minor house rule about Dependents and Enemies. They may be only taken with a Frequency of "6 or less" or "9 or less" without special GM permission.
Retired House Rules
Several of my house rules have been retired due either to them being incorporated as official rules or to new rules which solve the same problem in an acceptable way. I'm glad that this section exists! It means that the system is being constantly improved as it grows. Retired house rules include those for Gunslinger, Magery 0, and Off-Hand Weapon Training.
This section is for resources for GURPS GMs or players that I've created or helped with. It's also where you'll find various worked examples of what can be done in GURPS, from sample characters to writeups of super-powers or other abilities.
1. Historical Folks Conversion for GURPS Fourth Edition.
A few years back, Brian C. Smithson released Historical Folks as a free (unofficial) supplement for GURPS Third Edition. MyGURPS is proud to host the Fourth Edition Conversion of this incredibly useful e-book.
2. Revised GM Control Sheet (MS Word).
I've always liked the overall layout of the official GM Control Sheet, but find that it could use space better. This version gives each character two lines of info, keeps all of the attributes together, has a spot to track both HP and FP, gives you two lines each for reaction bonuses and DR, and even has room left over for notes. The lower half of the sheet is basically unchanged. It's all done with tables, so you can fill it in on the computer and print it out. Click here for a snapshot of what the sheet looks like, or click on the title to download the MS Word file.
Update: The GM Control Sheet is now available in PDF format, thanks to Eduardo Alvarez. He has created two different versions -- a standard PDF and one with editable fields so you can still fill it in on the computer if you don't have MS Word.
3. Creating a "Super Archer".
Archers like Green Arrow and Hawkeye have been a part of the supers genre for some time. Using Alternative Attacks, it's remarkably simple to create all of their trick arrows and then some.
4. Diabetes as a Disadvantage.
A brief summary of the effects of Type I and Type II diabetes, followed by how to build each one in GURPS using existing disadvantages. Find out why Dependency (Insulin) is the wrong way to approach this condition.
5. Using "Either/Or" Limitations.
Have you ever needed to build a power that was affected by either one limitation or a different one, but not both at the same time (e.g., an attack that doesn't have its full range except in direct sunlight)? Though it isn't immediately obvious, the rules do officially support such a thing, and it's surprisingly easy to do.
6. Super-Effort for Striking ST.
GURPS Powers added a new Super-Effort enhancement so that bricks and telekinetics could make amazing lifts in high-powered games. Here's a similar enhancement for Striking ST that makes it a more reasonable purchase in games offering Innate Attacks.
7. Cosmic Power for "Super Gadgeteers".
A set of ground rules and a modifier for characters who use their Modular Abilities to build "super gadgets" (like "Density Nullification Rays" and "Teleportation Belts"). Boils everything down to one modifier, one roll, and a few simple rules.
8. Upgrading the Magic System.
A few simple adjustments and optional rules that I've added to the GURPS magic system. Balancing Ritual Magic is a minor tweak to prevent the point-crock abuse that seems to invariably occur when the ritual magic rules are used in a game. Modifying Spells is an easy answer to the question, "How can I make my fireball homing?" Long-Ranged Magic is a worked example of modifying spells, to allow for a world in which mages aren't limited to just a few yards of range.
9. Heavier Weapons for Stronger Characters.
Since every melee weapon has a minimum ST (and thus a maximum ST) rating, it can be useful to know how to raise this value for very strong characters. Here are some simple and fast guidelines. (Also includes a tangent on quickly calculating armor weights and such for humanoids with non-zero Size Modifiers.)
10. Infinity's Table of Organization for Infinite Worlds (PDF).
Infinite Worlds is easily one of my favorite settings, though trying to keep track of how all of the departments interact can be tricky, especially when it comes to remembering exactly where the United Nations fit in. So I've drafted up an "org chart" for Infinity Unlimited, including page references for every group listed. The second page is a brief summary of each group, intended to be printed on the back side -- this makes for an excellent player handout.
11. Absorption Revised.
The current rules for Damage Resistance (Absorption) produce some odd results, such as paying 4 character points for the privilege of being able to temporarily add 1 character point to a single ability when attacked. I've taken it apart and rebuilt it -- though not quite "from the ground up."
12. "Upon Death" Abilities.
I present some guidelines for building abilities which are linked to the death of the user, whether that means, "I can use it, but at the cost of my own life," or, "It triggers automatically when I die." There are a variety of approaches which can be taken, depending on exactly what the effect is, though fortunately they're all pretty straightforward.
13. New Techniques.
A repository of new techniques that I've created, both ex nihilo and using the system in GURPS Martial Arts. A bit sparse at the moment, but I will be adding to it every time I come up with something I feel is universally useful.
14. Veterans of the Weird West.
My conversion guide for playing Deadlands using GURPS Fourth Edition. This is based on a loose combination of original Deadlands, the newer Savage Worlds take on it, and some of my favorite things about how GURPS does things.
15. Beetle - A Sample Wastelander
In our first game of GURPS After the End, I was a player, not the GM. And my PC was "Beetle," a 200-point experienced scavenger "ghost." Check out his character sheet for an idea of the kind of adventurers you can build with GURPS After the End 1: Wastelanders.
16. Splitting IQ from Per/Will in GURPS After the End.
If you plan on using my house rules for divorcing IQ from Per and Will in a GURPS After the End game, use these simple rules to do so.
Here is where my thoughts, ramblings, and pontifications on GURPS end up. Many are of a rules-related nature, but don't really count as house rules, either because they're only guidelines or they focus on examining a rule rather than changing it. Others are just opinions or experiences that I felt were worth sharing. In all cases, I hope you find them useful.
1. Yes, Virginia, You CAN Afflict Yourself.
In an attempt to put an end to the confusion about using Affliction to give yourself an advantage, I got to the bottom of how it's really supposed to work. Read why you can zap yourself with your own shrink ray, but why you may not want to.
2. Innate Attacks, Wuxia, and You.
My thoughts on Martial Arts and allowing Innate Attacks in a cinematic wuxia game, along with some guidelines and limits that work well for preventing such things from harming the flavor of the campaign.
3. Just Say No to Mass Combat Systems.
Mass combat systems have their place -- specifically, when the PCs initiate a huge battle with another sizeable force. But not when the PCs are just soldiers in a larger war. Read on to see why the question of "who wins" is a meaningless one -- and why the battle itself should never take center stage.
4. Nipping Problem Allies in the Bud.
While few people actively set out to abuse the Ally advantage, certain designs can prove quite problematic if the GM isn't prepared for it ahead of time. After sparking a discussion about this with several veteran gamers, I've tried to condense the key issues (and solutions) down to a single article.
5. Preserving the Polarity of Weirdness Magnet.
One of my pet peeves is the persistent meme that Weirdness Magnet is hardly a disadvantage. Both players and GMs often seem to treat it like anything from a minor inconvenience to an actual advantage. For those gamers, this part-rant, part-article attempts to present Weirdness Magnet in a new light.
6. Gun! Versus Pistol.
A short article, based on a playtest email, which addresses the utility of Wildcard skills. Some gamers see each Wildcard skill as restricted to a fixed list, instead of as a cinematic "uber-skill." This is especially prevalent with the Gun! skill, which I address specifically here.
The good Dr. Kromm created the Dungeon Fantasy series to show that GURPS can truly handle any genre -- even the classic dungeon crawl. The combination of a new-school system with old-school gaming worked surprisingly well. I'm honored to have contributed to the series officially, and I'd like to continue contributing in this small section of MyGURPS.
Much of the following is now available in a handy PDF format, along with other rulings and additions posted to the forums. Basically, this is the file that I print out for my own games. Each section is labeled with the Dungeon Fantasy book for which it acts as an addendum.
1. Splitting IQ from Per/Will in Dungeon Fantasy.
One of my most popular house rules (above) is the one separating Will and Per from IQ. It's rather self-explanatory, except when you're trying to use premade templates . . . which is what Dungeon Fantasy is all about. So here are some guidelines for tweaking the templates to preserve point balance while fixing the IQ issue.
2. Alchemy (and Alchemists) in Dungeon Fantasy.
Here I expand the rules for alchemy in Dungeon Fantasy, creating a middle road between "NPCs make real elixirs in town" and "PCs use Gizmo for a potion that must be used immediately." In doing so, it makes a new character type possible: The Alchemist (a lens for the Artificer template).
3. New Template: Seventh Son.
You are the seventh son of a seventh son (or daughter -- the "son" part is just tradition), a blessed wanderer, or a peasant adventurer. You don't have the specialized training that any of the other templates have, but you're quick and clever and the fates are definitely watching out for you. This template is good for those looking to play an "underdog" without actually sacrificing survivability.
This template was created by aesir23, not me. I offered suggestions and feedback and made a few tweaks.
4. Splitting IQ from Per/Will in Action.
Okay, this doesn't exactly belong here, but I know that gamers associate the Action line with the Dungeon Fantasy line closely, due to the very similar design and approach of the two. So here is the Action breakdown of how to split Per and Will from IQ for each template.
These are the house rules and articles which were written specifically for GURPS Traveller. Traveller is the epitome of a "classic sci-fi" setting, with a rich history and a universe clearly tailored to gaming. It also happens to mesh perfectly with GURPS -- an example of a great system supporting a great setting.
1. Building Jump Drives with Warp.
Just a mental exercise that occupied me one night; I thought it might be of interest to others. Making Warp work like a Traveller-style Jump Drive is actually easy; the tricky part is ensuring that the jump distance makes a difference in play. (Also includes a tangent on easy rules for calculating move relative to the speed of light with Enhanced Move (Space).)
2. Updated Traveller Racial Templates
I was disappointed that GURPS Traveller: Interstellar Wars didn't feature the templates for any major race except the Droyne (and they were oversimplified.) So I took it upon myself to convert them -- not just converting over each trait, but rebuilding them with the tools of the new edition to (hopefully) truly capture their essence.
3. Psionics in Traveller
This is a breakdown of the power groups (and the abilities which they comprise) which are available to psis (and anti-psis) in my Traveller games. It includes suggested limits on power levels and rules for Unusual Backgrounds and developing psi. There are also notes on Droyne psi and Zhodani characters.
4. Using GURPS Spaceships in Traveller
The simple GURPS Spaceships rules are a natural fit for Traveller games, as they give the ship just enough detail to be useful, but not so much that flying the ship turns into a wargame. With the rules tweaks and judgment calls on this page, I think it's pretty close to a perfect fit. Update: Also includes my rules for the Ship Owner advantage in Traveller.
This website is administered by Reverend Pee Kitty [About Me]. All original content is ©Copyright 2005-2019 Reverend Pee Kitty.
The material presented here is my original creation, intended for use with the GURPS system from Steve Jackson Games. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games. GURPS is a registered trademark of Steve Jackson Games, and the art here is copyrighted by Steve Jackson Games. All rights are reserved by Steve Jackson Games. This material is used here in accordance with the SJGames online policy.