Sunday, February 17, 2013

GURPS roleplaying : character points

The GM just gave you some points to play with. Here are your options. Please note that this is how we're handling experience in this campaign, and is not strictly speaking following the rules as witten. Some points are given with no strings attached. Play them as you like. Most points are given specifically to go somewhere: a skill or a technique. These have to be allocated as indicated, or alternatively toward an increase in the controlling attribute. For example, Bow is a DX-based skill. If 2 points are granted for bow, they can be allocated to either Bow itself, DX or a technique related to Bow (more on this later).

Skill levels and Character Points

You may get excited every time that a given skill hits the following number of character points: 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, 16, n+4 . Each time that a level is reached, your target score increases by 1. The exact level of a skill depend on whether it is an Easy, Average, Hard or Very Hard skill as listed in he basic book "Character". Refer to p. 170 for the table. As a rule of thumb, the points needed to have a skill as the same level as its governing attribute is 1 (Easy), 2 (Average), 4 (hard), and 8 (very hard).


Techniques are useful to customize your character an give him/her a unique character. The idea is that you may select a narrow action that is part of one of your skill, and build it up faster than the skill itself. You want to be better at disarming with your broadsword: you may create a new entry for Disarming (broadsword), and allocate points to it. You'll still do everything else involving your broadsword at the original skill level, but Disarming will be at a bonus. It usually takes 2 points to get +1, and one point therein. Allowing techniques, and setting the ceiling is completely in the hands of the GM. 


Atttributes are longer term, expensive upgrades to your characters. It costs 10 points to raise by one point ST an HT, and 20 points for IQ and DX. You do not need to have all required free points to put towards an attributes, just add them up and eventually it will increase. There is a string attached to this way of spending points: the GM may ask you how you actually train to get an attribute increase. For example: the GM grants 4 points for Running. The player decides that, instead of building up running, he places some or all of the points in HT (the governing attribute for running). All that the player needs to know is that the recent time spent running is making his/her character's cardio capacity better.

Free points, what to do?

OK, if you entertain the GM well enough, you will be getting free points. Place them in your unspent pool. The following option requires a bit of creative thinking, have fun! 

  1. You may use them on skills, technique and attributes if you provide a good enough reasons to the GM. 
  2. You can teach yourself something, or seek the help of a teacher to build a skill. There is more to this, but you only know that you can do that.
  3. You may explain to the GM how you have managed to get rid of a disadvantage, and use unspent points to pay it back. The story better be good.
  4. You may explain to the GM how you are going to acquire a new advantage. Again here, the story better be good.
  5. You can spend them on secondary attributes such as Will, Perception, HP, FP, Basic Speed, Basic Move
Finally, you can always use your points as Fate points: if you don't like a die roll, you may re-roll one die per point spent. It can be a terrible waste of experience, but sometime, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

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