Showing posts from April, 2014

Blocking Rituals for RPM

Astral BlinkSpell Effects: Lesser Transform Body + Lesser Transform Spirit. Innate Modifiers: None. Greater Effects: None (x1). This spell temporarily transforms part of the wearer’s body into an astral spirit form just at the instant of a damaging attack. This counts as a blocking spell. It is typically cast as a conditional spell and triggered by a combination of a brief gesture and a magical word. Typical Casting: Lesser Transform Body (8) + Lesser Transform Spirit (8) + Lesser Control Magic (5) + Subject Weight, 300 lbs. (3). 24 energy (24x1).
HesitationSpell Effects: Lesser Control Mind. Inherent Modifiers: Altered Traits, Pacifism. Greater Effects: 0 (x1).
This spell is typically cast as a blocking spell. It causes the subject to hesitate when attacking the caster. This has the momentary effects of Pacifism (Reluctant Killer) (p. B148) but no long-term effects.

Typical Casting: Lesser Control Mind (5) + Altered Traits, Pacifism (Reluctant Killer) (1). 6 energy (6x1).

Neverland Faerie Racial Template

Several years ago, I ran a GURPS Illuminati University campaign. My wife played a faerie from Neverland who was majoring in Food college spells. This was the racial template I worked up for her.
Neverland Faerie 0 points Attributes: ST -5 [-50]. Secondary Characteristics: SM -6 [0]; HP-3 [-6]. Advantages: Affliction 1 (HT; Beneficial; Advantage, Flight, +360%; Melee, Reach C, Cannot Parry, -35%, Magical, -10%) [42]; Appearance (Beautiful) [12]; Flight (Magical, -10%) [36].
Perk: Penetrating Voice [1]. Disadvantages: Dependency (Mana, very common, constantly) [-25]; Disturbing Voice [-10].

New Spells: Life and Death

Note: These spells are not my original creations. They are the products of Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch, GURPS Line Editor, from this post on the official Steve Jackson Games forums. I found them in a file on my hard drive (as I've found all of my posts so far), simply called "New Spells" with no attribution. I assumed I'd written them at some point. Thanks to +Peter V. Dell'Orto for pointing out my mistake.
ComaRegular; Resisted by HT The subject immediately falls into a coma; see p. B429 for effects. This will kill him if he fails to revive, meaning that Coma is likely to be seen as a "death spell" in many settings. Awaken can revive the victim, but is cast at the usual -3 for an unconscious subject. Elixirs of Awakening and conventional medicine work normally.Duration: Permanent, unless reversed by Awaken.
Cost: 10.
Time to Cast: 3 seconds.
Prerequisites: Magery 2 and Sleep.Heart AttackRegular; Resisted by HT The subject immediately suffers a heart a…

Aether Frigate

Note: This ship was designed for the Reality Cyrano setting, found in GURPS Infinite Worlds: Lost Worlds.

The aether frigate forms the core of the French Royal Space Navy. Its Pascal Drive propels it through space and generates a bubble of breathable atmosphere around the ship. Meanwhile, a Necessary Grace Plant draws psychic energy from duty psis, powering the ship's telekinetic lift, lightning cannons, and psychomagnetic deck guns. The frigate's armor plating is a complex lattice of Martian ceramic and Venusian carbon-steel, and the forward hull is reinforced to serve as a ram in close combat.
The frigate carries a complement of just over 400 souls, berthed in tight quarters. All ship's functions are manual, from stoking the furnaces to operating the deck guns to plotting courses.
Front Hull System [1] Armor, Advanced Metallic Laminate (dDR 20) [2] Control Room (comm/sensor 8, 10 control stations) [3-4] Habitat (95 bunkrooms, 15 cabins, 10-bed sickbay) [5!*] Weapons, Medi…

St. George-class Slayer Mecha

The St. George-class Slayer Mecha is designed to hunt Space Drakes in groups of 2-6. The Slayers maneuver to stay out of reach of the Drakes' powerful teeth and tails while harrying it with their laser rifles. If a Slayer sustains too much damage, the pilot is drilled to switch to his assault rifle and increase power to the force screen. One Slayer will attempt to jam radio transmissions with his tactical array to keep the Drake from calling to more of its kind for aid.
Front Hull System [1] Armor, Diamondoid (dDR 5) [2] Tactical Comm/Sensor Array (comm/sensor 6) [3-4] Robot Arm [5-6] Cargo Hold (1 ton) [core] Control Room (C7, comm/sensor 4, one control station)
Central Hull System [1] Armor, Diamondoid (dDR 5) [2!] Weapons, Major Battery (3MJ handheld improved plasma) [3-4] Fuel Tanks (90 mps) [5!] Heavy Force Screen (dDR 15) [6] Contragravity Lifter [core] Power Plant, Super Fusion (provides 4 Power Points)
Rear Hull System [1] Armor, Diamondoid (dDR 5) [2] Fuel Tank (45 mps) [3-…


One of the defining features of near-future games is the ubiquity of computers. Many adventures center around so-called "net runs," intrusions into secure computer networks by talented hackers with cutting-edge equipment. Biotech computers can take the place of traditional electronics, and may make elements of cyberpunk worlds more feasible.
The first step to biocomputing is the inclusion of vatbrain computers (GURPS Biotech, p. 28). Bigger and more power-hungry than traditional computers, vatbrain computers have the benefit of mimicking the human brain, running sapient software more efficiently. This leads to more prevalent AI, with human-level volitional intelligences running on expensive microframes at TL9 and portables by TL10. At TL10, sponge computers become feasible, eliminating the bulky life-support equipment of vatbrains. By TL11, sponge computers can be ingested and grown inside the human body, replacing computer implants and puppet implants.
Below are some sample …


750 pointsAge 18; Genetically Superior Human; 6'1"; 250 lbs.; A dark-haired male with blue eyes and tan skin.
ST 22 [120]; DX 12 [40]; IQ 12 [40]; HT 12 [20]. Damage 2d/4d; BL 97 lbs.; HP 24 [4]; Will 12 [0]; Per 13 [5]; FP 17 [15]. Basic Speed 7 [20]; Basic Move 7 [0]; Block 0; Dodge 11; Parry 10 (Karate). Social BackgroundTL: 8 [0].CF: Western (Native) [0].Languages: English (Native) [0]. Advantages Ally Group (Gangbusters; Three individuals built on 50% of starting points; 9 or less) [6]; Enhanced Time Sense [45]; Extended Lifespan (x4) [4]; Extra Attack 1 [25]; Hard to Kill 5 [10]; Hard to Subdue 5 [10]; High Pain Threshold [10]; Immunity to Disease [10]; IST [132]; Less Sleep 4 [8]; Radiation Tolerance (PF 5) [10]; Recovery [10]; Reduced Consumption 2 [4]; Regeneration (Slow: 1HP/12Hr; Radiation Only, -60%) [4]; Very Fit [15]. Psionic AbilitiesMind Control (Telepathic, -10%) [45]; Mind Probe (Sensory, +20%; Invasive, +75%; Telepathic, -10%) [37]; Mind Reading (Telecommunicat…

Black Tom

750 pointsMeeran; 5'11"; 200 lbs.; A muscular black Meeran with stunning gold eyes. Carries himself like a jungle god.
ST 12 [20]; DX 13 [60]; IQ 13 [60]; HT 11 [10]. Damage 3d+1/6d-1; BL 29 lbs.; HP 15 [6]; Will 13 [0]; Per 13 [0]; FP 11 [0]. Basic Speed 6 [0]; Basic Move 6 [0]; Dodge 10; Parry 13 (Karate). Social BackgroundTL: 9 [5].CF: Meeronar (Native) [0].Languages: English (Native) [6]; Myeerrrarr (Native) [0]. Advantages Acute Hearing 3 [6]; Acute Taste and Smell 3 [6]; Claws (Sharp Claws) [5]; Combat Reflexes [15]; Damage Resistance 1 (Tough Skin, -40%) [3]; Damage Resistance 10 (Force Field, +10%; Psychokinetic, -10%) [55]; Extra Attack 1 (Single Skill, Karate, -20%; Multi-Strike, +20%) [25]; IST [132]; Temperature Tolerance 1 [1]. Psionic AbilitiesAffliction 3 (Will-2; Area Effect, 4 yards, +100%; Based On Will, +20%; Emanation, -20%; Selective Area, +20%; Sense-Based, Hearing, +150%; Telepathic, -10%) [108]; Charisma 3 (Telepathic, -10%) [14]; Mind Reading (Telecommuni…


750 pointsAge 35 years; Human; 6'2"; 8,000 lbs.; a rugged, well-built man made entirely of metal. Somewhat slow-moving but methodical.
ST 40 [300]; DX 10 [0]; IQ 12 [40]; HT 12 [20]. Damage 4d+1/7d-1; BL 320 lbs.; HP 40 [0]; Will 12 [0]; Per 12 [0]; FP 12 [0]. Basic Speed 5.5 [0]; Basic Move 4 [-5]; Block 0; Dodge 8; Parry 10 (Karate). Social BackgroundTL: 8 [0].CF: Western (Native) [0].Languages: Dutch (Native) [0]; English (Native) [4]; French (Native) [4]; Japanese (Native) [4]; Korean (Accented) [2]; Myeerrrarrr (Accented) [2]; Russian (Native) [4]; Spanish (Accented) [2].AdvantagesBody of Metal* [130]; Claws (Blunt Claws) [3]; Damage Resistance 40 (Can't Wear Armor, -40%) [120]; IST [132]; Language Talent [10]; Military Rank 6 [10]. DisadvantagesCode of Honor (Soldier's) [-10]; Colorblindness [-10]; Compulsive Generosity (6) [-10]; Ham-Fisted -2 [-10]; Honesty (6) [-20]; Pacifism (Cannot Harm Innocents) [-10]; Sense of Duty (City of Pittsburgh) [-10]; Truthfulness (6…

Technique: Spell-Dazzle Strike

I created this technique for a character my wife wanted to play in a GURPS Banestorm game that never got off the ground. She was going to be an elf gladiator who fought with wooden sticks enchanted with Essential Wood and Staff.
Spell-Dazzle StrikeAverage Default: prerequisite skill-5. Prerequisite: Any unarmed combat or Melee Weapon skill; the ability to cast one or more Melee spells; cannot exceed prerequisite skill. The turn after you successfully hit a target with a Melee spell, you may attempt a Spell-Dazzle Strike. You attack quickly while the effects of the spell still disorient your target, making it harder for them to defend against your strike. Your target is at -2 to Parry or Block or -1 to Dodge. You can also use this technique as part of a Rapid Strike following a held Melee spell. If you do, this technique takes an additional -1 penalty.

The Power of Sorcery: Air

In Pyramid #3/63, Jason "PK" Levine presented The Power of Sorcery, a system of magic which allows for magical improvisation as well as known spells in the form of advantages. In that article, PK gave a selection of Fire spells converted from GURPS Magic as worked examples.

I've been converting more spells from Magic into sorcerous advantages. Here's 15 spells from the Air college.
Air JetBasic Cost: 6 points. Casting Roll: None (Innate Attack (Beam) to aim). Duration: Instantaneous.
You shoot a thin jet of air at the target. This jet does 3d cr with double knockback. The jet can cause blunt trauma, but it does not cause actual wounding. The jet has Max 10 and no 1/2D.
Statistics: Crushing Attack 3d (Costs Fatigue, 1 FP, -5%; Double Knockback, +20%; Increased Range, 1/2D x10, +15%; Magic, -10%; No Wounding, -50%; Reduced Range, /10, -30%) [6]. Air VisionBasic Cost: 11 points/level. Casting Roll: None. Duration: Indefinite.
You can see clearly through smoke, fog, dust, sand, e…

Space Drake

The space drake is a giant dragon-like creature nearly 60 feet long. The drake is comfortable both on the ground, in space, and in atmosphere. It walks on the ground on four powerful legs and can fly swiftly on vast wings that sprout from its back. Its mouth is filled with razor sharp teeth as long as a man, and its tail can swat helicopters from the sky. Its most dangerous weapon, though, is its breath: the space drake can spit devastating lightning from its maw.
The average space drake is sapient but not very intelligent (IQ 7) with average agility (DX 10). It is aggressive in a fight, maneuvering to face its enemies so it can use its breath weapon. The armored scales are also thinner on its hind quarters, leading the drake to protect its rear.
Front Hull System [1-2] Armor, Organic (dDR 4) [3] Maw (31d-1 cut) [4!] Digestive System (2d+2 corrosive dDamage) [5!] Weapon, Major Battery (Hidden fixed-mounted 30MJ lightning cannon) [6] Reactionless Engine, Standard Reactionless (0.5G) [c…

Pyramid Magazine #3/66: The Laws of Magic

The latest issue of Pyramid Magazine is out, and it includes my article, "Thoroughly Modern Magic." In this article, I updated the Industrial Enchantment rules from GURPS Technomancer and GURPS Magic Items 3 for Fourth Edition. It features the complete rules, including a table that works out all the math for each tech level, a magical style in the format of GURPS Thaumatology: Magical Styles, a template for creating enchantment line mage characters, and a sample NPC built using that template.

I wrote the first version of this article in 2007, back when Pyramid was still a weekly HTML zine, and it's gone through a few versions since then. I'm really happy to finally see it in print.

Skill Pills

The biotech equivalent of skill chips, skill pills are ultra-tech drugs that grant a bonus to a single skill. Using a combination of targeted neurotransmitters and coded RNA, the drug temporarily reprograms the character's brain to perform better at specific tasks. Skill pills are not available for skills that rely on learned information, including scientific skills, Expert Skills, etc.

Skill pills are available in the form of pills (naturally), contact agents (patches), and injections. Pills require 30 minutes to take effect, patches take 5 minutes, and injections are effectively instant. The character must fail a HT-3 roll for the drug to take effect. Pills and patches last for (25 - HT)/4 hours, while injections last for (25 - HT) minutes. Multiple doses extend the duration; i.e., three injections would grant you a skill bonus for (25 - HT)¥3 minutes. 
Skill pills can grant a bonus of +1 to +3. Skill pills do not grant the skill itself; if the character taking the drug does not k…

Gem Sword: A Modular Gadget

This idea first appeared in the 50-point Abilities thread on the GURPS forums.
Gem Sword (75 points)Impaling Attack 3 pts (Gadget, Gem Sword, -60%; Link, +20%; Melee, Reach 1,2, ST-based, +80%; Nuisance Effect, requires two free hands, -5%) [9]
Impaling Attack 2 pts (Gadget, Gem Sword, -60%; Link, +20%; Melee, Reach 1, ST-based, +75%) [2]
Cutting Attack 2 pts (Gadget, Gem Sword, -60%; Link, +20%; Melee, Reach 1,2, ST-based, +80%; Nuisance Effect, requires two free hands, -5%) [1]
Cutting Attack 1 pt (Gadget, Gem Sword, -60%; Link, +20%; Melee, Reach 1, ST-based, +75%) [1]
Modular Abilities (Gem Slots; short list; costly and slow; Gadget, Gem Sword, -60%; Physical and Mental, +100%; Requires IQ roll, -10%; Trait Limited, Alternate attacks or attacks linked to Innate Attacks only, -30%) 3 (5,5,5) [57]
One 5-point gem permanently mounted [5]
Gadget Limitation: The Gem Sword is SM -1, has DR 7, and can be stolen with a Quick Contest of ST. -60%

This thrusting broadsword is mounted with…

Area Control in GURPS Ritual Path Magic

Here are a pair of rituals for Ritual Path Magic that allow the caster to control an area. One makes it nearly impossible to leave a room, while the other is a traditional fairy tail barrier.
Room LockSpell Effects: Lesser Control Crossroads. Inherent Modifiers: none. Greater Effects: 0 (x1).
This ritual causes a doorway or other portal to lead back into itself. Someone walking through the doorway will find himself entering the same room he just left.
Many casters include a Lesser Control Magic effect to define a password that allows one to breach the Room Lock effect.
Typical Casting: Lesser Control Crossroads (5) + Duration, 1 hour (3). Wall of ThornsSpell Effects: Greater Create Body. Inherent Modifiers: Area of Effect + Damage, . Greater Effects: 1 (x3).
This spell summons a wall of thick, thorny brambles up to 4 yards high, 1 yard thick, and 15 yards long, in whatever shape you desire. The wall blocks movement, but it can be chopped down. Each one-yard section of wall has DR 3 and 1 H…