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Anthony Lee
Anthony Lee

GURPS Villains (GURPS: Generic Universal Role Playing System)


The Generic Universal RolePlaying System, or GURPS, is a tabletop role-playing game system designed to allow for play in any game setting. It was created by Steve Jackson Games and first published in 1986 at a time when most such systems were story- or genre-specific.




GURPS Villains (GURPS: Generic Universal Role Playing System)


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Role-playing games of the 1970s and 1980s, such as Dungeons & Dragons, generally used random numbers generated by dice rolls to assign statistics to player characters. In 1978, Steve Jackson designed a new character generation system for the microgames Melee and Wizard that used a point-buy system: players are given a fixed number of points with which to buy abilities.[4] (The Hero System first used by the Champions role-playing game published two years later also used a point-buy system.)[5]


A player can select numerous Advantages and Disadvantages to differentiate the character; the system supports both mundane traits (such as above-average or below-average Wealth, Status and Reputation) as well as more exotic special abilities and weaknesses. These are categorized as physical, mental or social, and as exotic, supernatural, or mundane. Advantages benefit the character and cost points to purchase. Selecting Disadvantages returns character points and allows players to limit their characters in one way in exchange for being more powerful or gifted in other areas. Disadvantages include such positive attributes as honesty and truthfulness which limit the way a character is played. There are also many Perks and Quirks to choose from which give a character some personality. Perks (minor Advantages) and Quirks (minor Disadvantages) benefit or hinder the character a bit, but they mostly add role-playing flavor.


The Generic Universal RolePlaying System, commonly known as GURPS, is a role-playing game system designed to adapt to any imaginary gaming environment. It was created by Steve Jackson Games in 1986. GURPS won the Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Rules of 1988,[1] and in 2000 it was inducted into the Origins Hall of Fame.[2] Many of its expansions have also won awards. There is a monthly update on Steve Jackson Game's page.


Prior to GURPS, role-playing games (RPGs) of the 1970s and early 1980s were developed especially for certain gaming environments, and they were largely incompatible with one another. For example, TSR published its Dungeons & Dragons game specifically for a fantasy environment. Another game from the same company, Star Frontiers, was developed for science fiction-based role-playing. TSR produced other games for other environments, such as Gamma World (post-apocalyptic adventures), Top Secret (spies and secret agents), Gangbusters (Roaring Twenties adventures), and Boot Hill (American Old West). Each of these games was set with its own self-contained rules system, and the rules for playing each game differed greatly from one game to the next. Attempts were made in Advanced Dungeons and Dragons to allow cross-genre games using Gamma World and Boot Hill rules, but the obscure rules went largely unused. Though it was preceded by the lesser-known Supergame (DAG Productions, 1980), GURPS was the first commercially successful attempt to create an all-encompassing, "universal" role-playing system that allows players to role-play in any environment they please while still using the same set of "core" rules.


The computer game publisher Interplay licensed GURPS as the basis for a post-nuclear war computer role-playing game in 1995. Late in development and after disagreements between the two companies, the GURPS character-building system was replaced with the SPECIAL System, the GURPS name was dropped, and the game was released under the name Fallout.


GURPS (Generic Universal RolePlaying System) is a tabletop roleplaying game system designed to allow for play in any game setting. It was created by Steve Jackson Games and first published in 1986 at a time when most such systems were story- or genre-specific. Players control their in-game characters verbally and the success of their actions are determined by the skill of their character, the difficulty of the action, and the rolling of dice. Characters earn points during play which are used to gain greater abilities. Gaming sessions are story-told and run by Game Masters.


GURPS was part of the first wave of role-playing games that eschewed random generation of characters in favor of a point-based system. GURPS was not the first role-playing system to present a "universal" set of rules for different gaming environments.


The computer game publisher Interplay Productions licensed GURPS as the basis for a post-nuclear war role-playing computer game in 1995. Late in development and after disagreements between the two companies, the GURPS character-building system was replaced with the SPECIAL System, the GURPS name was dropped, and the game was released under the name Fallout.


Combat in GURPS works on an attack-defend-damage sequence. After the basic combat maneuvers are outlined further sections develop on the specifics of attacking, defending and damage calculation. Attacking is simple, the acting character simply rolls vs. their skill to score a successful hit, if the hit is a critical one the opponent gets no defense. For defense the opponent tried to dodge, block or parry the blow. If the hit is not successfully defended damage occurs. GURPS handles damage from different forms of attacks in different ways (something sadly missing from many roleplaying systems) this system can seem a little daunting at first to new players. Armor reduces the damage from successful hits. For those familiar with third edition, Passive Defense (PD) has been removed, however some protective items provide a Defense Bonus which adds to active defenses (parrying and dodging), in essence working in the same manner, however these items are now much more rare. Damage from Critical hits and misses are calculated by use of a Critical Hit/Miss Tables and effects range from extra damage to instant death. The combat chapter is well planned, actions most likely to occur in combat are found at the beginning of the chapter and more rare circumstances are found near the end.


Chapter thirteen is a toy box of optional combat rules for standard and tactical combat to deal with all manner of special circumstances and unusual maneuvers that your players may encounter. Rules for different types of surprise attacks, visibility conditions, hit locations and attacking from above are all given. This is just the tip of the iceberg when dealing with the content of this chapter. On the first page of this chapter it is made clear that all rules contained herein are optional, the gamemaster can use as many or few of them as they like. Veterans to roleplaying will understand that this statement is unnecessary, all rules in any system can be treated as optional. Some rules in this chapter are indispensable to a gamemaster running a modern or futuristic campaign as the Special Ranged Combat Rules cover a variety of firearms information. The final section in this chapter covers modifications to the rules that can be made to give your combat a more cinematic feel. This chapter is very useful, although most people running realistic pre-modern campaigns can skip it if they wish.


At this point in the book, Campaigns divulges from systems and gives Gamemasters a series of powerful tools for use in creating their own game worlds. This first chapter gives guidelines on creating templates for Occupations and Races. While these tools may seem unnecessary for some, they can be extremely helpful in expediting the process of character creation. They are also a great aid in transitioning players from class-based roleplaying systems to GURPS (For more on Templates see my write-up on Chapter Seven).


Adventure in any world you can think of, with GURPS, the Generic Universal RolePlaying System - the most flexible roleplaying system you can use. If you haven't yet upgraded to the Fourth Edition . . . you're a completist . . . or you're looking for a dose of nostalgia, here's the previous edition! It's easy to learn - you can jump right in with quick-start rules, pre-designed characters, and an easy-to-play solo adventure. The Basic Set is designed to be "Game Master-friendly," with Table of Contents, Glossary, Appendix, and Index, as well as lots of examples.


The Generic Universal RolePlaying System, or GURPS, is a role-playing game system created by Steve Jackson Games. It emphasizes a set of rules that can be used in any time or world. Characters are created using a point-based system. There have been four releases of the GURPS core rules and dozens of game supplements that extend the core rules with genre or setting-specific information.


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