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.
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While this website is devoted to GURPS, I'm a fan of countless other games, both from Steve Jackson Games and from other publishers, including several card and board games. This page collects the resources that I've created or collected for various other games, in order of creation date.
1. Nobilis: When Mondays Really CAN Be Out To Get You
By far the largest offering in this section, this is my fan site for the Nobilis RPG. It has resources for players and GMs alike. If you're unfamiliar with Nobilis I strongly recommend perusing the page. I tried to capture as much of the flavor and scope of the game as I could, as this is one of the most amazing RPGs I have ever encountered. It's well worth a look or two.
This fan site is for Nobilis Third Edition (the latest one), but I left my old Second Edition resource page up as well in case you haven't switched over yet. (You should! The new edition is great.)
2. Frag: Improved Record Sheet (PDF)
This is a custom-made record sheet for Steve Jackson Games' Frag® board game. This PDF prints two record sheets to a page and has fields for the attributes as well as other important values. (Update: This record sheet is now available from the Fan-Created Material page on the official Frag site.)
3. Deluxe Illuminati: Goal Cards (PDF)
This is a set of nine cards, one for each Illuminati®, with that Illuminati's goal clearly listed. I created these for two reasons. First, it makes it easier for new players to remember the goals. Second, it makes it much easier and faster for the UFOs to select a goal. (I recommend you print out two sets if you want to get both benefits.)
Note that this set includes a house rule. Weird has always been a very common alignment, and the Y2K expansion made it the most common alignment (by far), forcing us to change Discordia's goal to six Weird groups instead of five. Trust me, it's a good change -- use it.
4. King's Blood: One-Page Solitaire Rules (PDF)
While they were promised in the instruction sheet, the solitaire rules for King's BloodTM took a while to get approved by SNE (the designers and copyright holders of the game.) I've converted those rules into this PDF which conveniently prints on a single page. Keep a copy in your tuck box for those times when you're the only gamer around.
5. SPANC: FAQ and Optional Rules
I've collected the questions and resultant wisdom about SPANCTM into a full-fledged FAQ. This page also includes a few optional rules to help gamers better tweak the way the game works.
6. Cowpoker: Record Sheet (PDF)
CowpokerTM is a pretty straightforward game, but at the end of each round, it can be nice to have a reminder of what bonuses need to be accounted for. This sheet has enough room for four full rounds with provisions for carrying over across multiple sheets, for those late night Cowpoker marathons. (Update: This record sheet can now be downloaded from the official Cowpoker web page.)
7. Lord of the Rings: Friends and Foes Reference (PDF)
Reiner Knizia's cooperative Lord of the Rings board game includes a complete reference guide. But while the Friends and Foes Expansion adds a wonderful level of depth and strategy to the game (which I highly recommend), it can be a bit tricky keeping up on exactly how the Foes work and when you can skip certain scenario boards.
This two-page reference merges the rules from both instruction books. The first page covers turn flow and free actions, while the second has rules for bypassing scenarios and winning/losing the game. It includes the Black Gate rule, an official erratum which fixes how easy it was to achieve a Military Victory. I recommend printing this as one double-sided sheet and keeping it handy during games.
8. Munchkin: Sammlerbox Translation Sheet (PDF)
Munchkin is very popular in Germany. So much so that there are some exclusive goodies that one can only find there (or on amazon.de), such as the Sammlerbox. A wooden box for storing Munchkin cards, it comes with its own special rules and several unique cards... all in German. Fortunately, BIGsheep and T. Dorst posted translations of everything on the forums, which I've edited and formatted into this PDF.
9. My Mutants and Masterminds Games
A collection of information, house rules, and other details for my Mutants and Masterminds (Third Edition) games. Right now it's primarily a few house rules and clarifications, but I expect it to grow as I run more supers games with it.
10. Burn Notice in the Fate Core RPG
Rules for using the Fate Core RPG to run a game based on the TV show Burn Notice. Primarily focused on new skills and stunts, along with ways to keep the show's themes in focus.
11. Resources for The Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine RPG
I don't have a full Chuubo web page, as I've chosen to instead add what I can to the Chuubo wiki. This includes my Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine character sheet and my intentionally vague map of Town.
This website is administered by Reverend Pee Kitty [About Me]. All original content is ©Copyright 2005-2017 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.