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Supers (GURPS, 4th Edition),Newest Books

AdWrite your PDF documents - Free! Easily Convert any file to perfect PDFs. Easily Create perfect PDFs from + file types with our Software GURPS Collection opensource Language English GURPS Lite is a page distillation of the basic GURPS rules. It covers the essentials of character creation, combat, success rolls, adventuring, and game mastering for GURPS Fourth Edition. Addeddate Identifier pdf-gurps-lite-fourth-edition Identifier-ark ark://t3qwf Ocr Nearly all of this material has been incorporated into GURPS Basic Set, Fourth Edition and 26/06/ · Download GURPS For Dummies Book in PDF, Epub and Kindle. This is it—the ... read more

All rights reserved. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this material via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal, and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. CONTENTS 2 Alchemical Preparations. AMAZING FEATS. CLASHES OF TITANS. Our address is SJ Games, P. Box , Austin, TX Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope SASE any time you write us! We can also be reached by e-mail: [email protected] Resources include: Pyramid www.

Our online magazine includes new GURPS rules and articles. It also covers the d20 system, Ars Magica, BESM, Call of Cthulhu, and many more top games — and other Steve Jackson Games releases like Illuminati, Car Wars, Transhuman Space, and more. Pyramid subscribers also get opportunities to playtest new GURPS books! New supplements and adventures. For a current catalog, send us a legal-sized SASE, or just visit www. Our e-publishing division offers GURPS adventures, play aids, and support not available anywhere else! Just head over to e Everyone makes mistakes, including us — but we do our best to fix our errors. Up-to-date errata sheets for all GURPS releases, including this book, are available on our website — see below. Visit us on the World Wide Web at www. To discuss GURPS with SJ Games staff and fellow gamers, come to our forums at forums.

The GURPS Supers web page can be found at www. Rules and statistics in this book are specifically for the GURPS Basic Set, Fourth Edition. Page references that begin with B refer to that book, not this one. With its help, almost any power from the comics can be defined and balanced against other abilities. Their adventures are an entire genre, with its own themes and conventions. And there have been many comic book heroes with no powers at all. GURPS Supers is a guide to the supers genre. Building on the material in GURPS Powers, it shows how to use that book to run a campaign that feels like stories about supers.

Players who love game mechanics will find some here, especially in chapters 6 and 7. Chapter 1 of this book reviews the history of the genre and examines its key features. Chapters look at the heroes themselves; their supporting casts; and their equipment, costumes, vehicles, and bases. Chapter 5 examines the typical plots of comic book adventures and shows how to make them work in a game. Chapters 6 and 7 provide game mechanics for superhuman action. And Chapter 8 discusses the construction of supers universes as campaign settings.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR William H. Stoddard acquired an early enthusiasm for reading and the English language, partly with the help of Silver Age comic books. This eventually led him into a career as a developmental editor, specializing in scientific and scholarly materials. He discovered roleplaying games in time to play Superhero and Villains and Vigilantes when they first came out; he currently plays in two campaigns, runs three, and writes game books, including the Origins Award winning GURPS Steampunk and his most recent book, GURPS Fantasy. All this gives him more reasons for indulging in his other favorite hobby, research.

The supers genre is still one of his favorites. He lives in San Diego, California, with his girlfriend of twenty-plus years, in an apartment that holds one computer, two cats, and far too many books — despite which he still visits two libraries as often as he can. Nearly all of this material has been incorporated into GURPS Basic Set, Fourth Edition and GURPS Powers, most in substantially revised versions. So have the gadgeteering rules. All of this material was inspirational for this volume, but almost none of it was specifically incorporated into it. This is partly because the mechanical aspects have already been incorporated into the core GURPS rules, producing a more smoothly integrated system — rather than laying the same foundation, this book focuses on customizing that system to the needs of the four-color genre and a specific campaign world.

The Scarab moved cautiously, not wanting to stumble over anything. Drawing attention to himself would be a bad idea; this part of the building was off-limits to the public, even during the daytime. The devotees might be eccentric, but many of them were wealthy; the police would side with them against a masked intruder. But his questions were too urgent for him to be bound by legalities. There, up ahead, was a source of light: a single fixture mounted above an alcove. Shielding his eyes, he peered into the shadowed space below and made out a door, and a still figure — a statue? no, it was moving now — a man, standing guard. As it stepped out into the light, the air seemed to shimmer as if his vision had blurred. Then there were three figures, not one, all clad alike, and each holding two knives. They came down the corridor toward him; there must have been enough light for them to see him. He briefly considered whether it would be better to retreat — but any room guarded by a sorcerer would surely yield important information.

He raised his staff. At least in this narrow corridor it would be hard for them to get behind him. Two of them moved ahead of the third. He struck one with his staff, but felt no resistance. Were these glamours of some kind, then? But the one at his left slashed at his arm, and he felt the impact as the blade glanced off the metal bands of his armor. The three figures spoke, in unison, in a carrying whisper. You cannot defeat us. Listening carefully, he could tell that one of the three figures was breathing audibly, and he could feel the vibrations of its footfalls on the wooden floor. The other two had SOURCES no such physicality. Having found his true target he struck out, and as his staff slammed against its head the two creatures of goetia shimmered and faded away. He pressed forward against his dazed opponent, batting the knife from his left hand. One final blow and the sorcerer was unconscious.

Now to see if he could get through the door. Supers adventures, as a genre, came into being in with the first appearance of Superman in Action Comics. Every element of the story had precursors in earlier fiction, but the combination was new — and wildly successful. It was quickly imitated, as publishers rushed other titles into print. Over the following decades supers dominated American comics, and branched out into other media: film and television, novels and short stories, and roleplaying games. Most genres try to limit their wonders and marvels, tracing them all back to one fantastic premise; supers adventure usually piles them up, creating a world of open-ended possibilities.

If the GM wants to run a campaign in such a world, this book shows him how. All of them were changed in the process. Characters in such campaigns can still find inspiration in the older concepts. MASKED AVENGERS Earlier 20th-century fiction featured many heroes who fought crime or oppression in disguise and under pseudonyms. LARGER Some operated in historical settings, such as the Scarlet Pimpernel published , the Scarecrow of Romney Marsh published , Zorro published , and the Lone Ranger aired ; others were present-day adventurers, such as the Shadow published after earlier radio appearances and the Green Hornet aired In an early example of shared continuity see p.

From these heroes, comic book heroes took the idea of fighting evil under a false name and in disguise. The big change was from reliance on skills and gadgets to reliance on superhuman powers as a main theme. Others gained their powers not through deliberate processes, but through scientific accidents. A few were actually artificial beings such as the original Human Torch, an android whose chemical makeup caused him to burst into flame when exposed to oxygen. The older literary tradition portrayed many of these scientifically granted abilities as two-edged gifts or outright curses; in the comics they were portrayed more optimistically, enabling ordinary men to become heroes.

Hyde and the Invisible Man recruited by the British government as top-secret agents. The American novelist John Taine came up with the idea of artificially accelerated evolution in Seeds of Life published Probably the most influential was A. Stapledon retained it, but gave it an evolutionary rationalization — the idea of sudden biological mutations that created new species was relatively new and not fully discredited when he wrote. Comic-book supers later transformed the superman into a hero who might break the law, but still believed in, and sometimes ruthlessly enforced, conventional moral values. Comic book supermen were also more often physically than mentally gifted, fitting the actionadventure themes of their stories. In , there were significant parts of the world that no Western explorer had visited, or even seen from above: the interiors of Africa and New Guinea, the Tibetan Plateau, and almost all of Antarctica.

Islands off the shipping lanes might be unexplored or even uncharted. Over the following halfcentury, most of these areas were mapped and explored. But the idea that undiscovered tribes, civilizations, or even entire races could be found there remained plausible. Writers from Edgar Rice Burroughs to H. Lovecraft described lost cities in remote places. Similar forgotten races found their way into the comics. Heroes might visit their mysterious homelands, or even grow up there — a classic Unusual Background.

Some were born into lost tribes and came to the known world as visitors. Wonder Woman, from an island inhabited by the legendary Amazons, was the best known of these. Both the depths of the ocean and the interior of the Earth remained mysterious until even later; for the most part scientists could only guess at what was to be found there. Underwater and subterranean races appeared in the comics. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, that portrayed fantastic beings either created or transformed by science. Comic-book supers carried on this tradition, with treatments that made them grow or shrink, turned them invisible, enhanced their strength or speed, and so on. The idea that other worlds in the solar system, especially Mars and Venus, might have Earthlike life inspired sciencefiction novels into the s. One of the first Silver-Age supers see p. THAN LIFE 6 Later science-fiction writers turned to inventing planets in other solar systems and populating them with sapient races.

These might be anything from Stone-Age tribes to the rulers of vast interstellar empires. Comic-book writers have adopted this idea, commonly making their races humanoid or even human — some of them are cross-fertile with Earth humans. HISTORY The first published super, Superman, came from the ancient, dying planet Krypton. Alien races in the comics often naturally have powers; for example, most of the members of the Legion of Super-Heroes came from distant planets where everybody shared their special abilities. OF THE Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster launched the supers genre with the first Superman stories. Over the decades that followed, new generations of comics writers explored many variations on the formula, and many styles of storytelling. THE ORIGINALS Superman was the prototype for all comic-book heroes with superpowers.

He started out with fairly modest abilities: His muscular energy output was high enough to lift an automobile, outrun an express train, or long jump yards, and his skin was impenetrable to anything short of a bursting shell. Over the years his powers grew, and he added a series of new powers, such as flying and X-ray vision in the s and heat vision in the s. But Superman always remained among the most powerful heroes of the DC universe, and among the most ethical. In The Comics Code Many of the stricter heroic codes of conduct were the product of a real-world system of rules: the Comics Code. Over the course of the s, comics publishers saw that the content of their books was sometimes controversial. Some of those companies, such as DC Comics and MLJ Comics publishers of Archie , adopted restrictions on the type of stories they would publish. When comics came under congressional investigation in the early s, the industry offered to assume a system of rules that formalized those restrictions rather than having the government shut them down.

Applied in its strictest form in the s, the Comics Code required heroes to avoid any conduct that parents might consider unsuitable for their children. Its power was weakened when Marvel Comics, and shortly afterward DC Comics, published cautionary stories about drug addiction — without the Comics Code label they had been denied. LARGER GENRE many ways he carried forward the traditions of the pulps, with his focus on street crime and his skill as a detective. He had no superpowers and was shown to need none to be among the most dangerous men in the world. Between them, he and Superman defined the extremes of the spectrum of supers. THE GOLDEN AGE The late s and early s saw the flowering of the supers idea.

Publishers rushed into print with every variation on the theme their writers could dream up. Most of the workable concepts for superpowers emerged during the Golden Age. Many protagonists had no special abilities at all; they relied on skill and gimmicks, like the heroes of the pulps. Comics in this era were seen as light entertainment, suitable for children and for soldiers at the front lines who needed some escape reading. Many of these characters had startlingly silly origins, from being raised by condors and taught to fly to plunging themselves into molten steel. They often kidded around with each other and bantered with their foes. THE SILVER AGE In the mids, DC Comics began reviving heroes from the s, starting with the Flash and Green Lantern.

A few years later they revived the original superteam, the Justice Society of America, under a new name: the Justice League of America. Marvel Comics then re-entered the supers line with the Fantastic Four, a team partially inspired by the Justice League. The two publishers dominated the industry for over a decade. During this period, Marvel titles pioneered several ideas that have now become standard in comics: heroes who had personalities and inner conflicts; stories that carried on from issue to issue; personal relationships between characters that changed and developed. Supers in this era also lived by stricter moral rules. They had to; they were published under the Comics Code see left. The questioning of the Comics Code and the rise of independent publishers led to the next era in the history of the genre. THAN LIFE 7 DARKER COLORS From the late s on, supers became experimental again and so did the publishing industry.

Independent publishers like Comico, Dark Horse, and Eclipse sprang up over the next two decades, and while many of them died back, some survived to bring out innovative titles. DC and Marvel saw the emergence of a large rival firm, the creator-owned Image. Some companies granted rights to writers and artists that had formerly only been available to the few who made a go of self-publication. The first steps in this direction occurred in the s, with the appearance of more violent supers such as the Punisher and Wolverine. But it was Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns that made such characters both a popular and a critical success. Over the decade that followed, brutal heroes and moral ambiguity became common themes, and eventually new clichés of the genre.

NEW MEDIA Supers began appearing in film in the s and television as early as the s, originally in movie serials and later in broadcast shows. Radio dramas avoided the problem of special effects, and heroes such as the Shadow and the Lone Ranger made their first appearances there. Supers found a larger audience with the s television series Batman. This was an exercise in deliberate camp, humorously exaggerating the clichés of the comics rather than trying to make them plausible. A few years later, the animated series The Super Friends drew many viewers with a version of the main DC heroes aimed at younger audiences. In the s, a big budget Superman film showed that technology was now good enough to make superhuman powers look believable. By the end of the 20th century, sophisticated special effects were commonplace and any given year might see the release of several films about comic-book heroes.

Comics publishers became valuable assets to large media conglomerates, not for the profits from releasing the books but for the opportunity to turn characters and series into big-budget films. Television networks also became willing to consider serious series about such figures; Superman was the focus of two such shows, Lois and Clark and Smallville. Animated series also became more visually sophisticated; the animated Batman program was a notable example. Anime studios in Japan brought out shows in this genre as well, and that style became a major influence on American popular media.

In the early 21st century, the release of a full-length animated film, The Incredibles, called for no special explanation by the studio; the audience was ready to accept both the animation and the supers as legitimate artistic choices. George R. RETRO STYLE In the s, comics writers began to find inspiration in a different aspect of Watchmen: not the brutality and corruption of many of its players, but its invention of a new universe with its own continuity, comparable to but distinct from that of the DC and Marvel universes. This type of new continuity can provide a useful model for the creation of campaigns; see Chapter 8 for some guidelines. THE FORMULA Despite their variety, supers mostly fit a certain overall pattern. Mission Part of being a hero is having a cause to fight for. And many heroes pursue their careers as a hobby, or as volunteer work, not making a penny off them.

A long line of wealthy characters have used up much of their wealth paying for training and equipment. THAN LIFE 8 As for excitement, the readers of comics, and the players in those campaigns, certainly find them thrilling. Different heroes have different causes. Some are driven by vengeance; having lost someone they care about to crime, they want to strike back at criminals. Some are patriotic, fighting to protect their country from its enemies. Some are idealists, working for more abstract values, or for the service of humanity. Thinking out what ethical principle means the most to a specific hero can be an important part of defining his character. CODE In addition to positive values, things they strive to attain, most heroes have things they work to avoid. Often these restrictions are more stringent than the rules ordinary human beings live by.

Many never use deadly force, even against foes who are trying to kill them. Most heroes keep their promises, even to their enemies. The hero is supposed to serve his country, fight fair, and defend the weak. SECRET IDENTITY Most heroes keep their true identities secret, either operating behind the scenes or making public appearances in an assumed persona. In some cases this is just a matter of tradition: People expect them to have secret identities, so new heroes automatically have them. But comics writers have come up with a variety of more-or-less plausible motives over the years. This is a common motive for vigilantes.

This justification is a better fit for loners than for full-time team members, who can hang out with others of their own kind. This is ethically a bit odd — imagine a man who felt it was all right to have an affair if he used an assumed name! Having a secret identity exposes the hero to a new threat, of course: the danger that his secret will be revealed. The oldest style of name ends in man, woman, boy, or girl. After the s, this became less common. A few heroes take titles such as Captain suggesting a military background , Doctor favored by mages and scientific geniuses , or even Mr. or Ms. Neither the Fantastic Four nor the Legion of Super-Heroes go in for secret identities, but they all have code names. Using them is a way of indicating the character is functioning in a special role. COSTUME Traditional costumes owe their main features to the needs of comic-book publishers.

Comics have an iconography rather like that of medieval paintings of the saints, in which each had his own color scheme and carried emblems of his career or martyrdom. Early heroes, such as the Spirit, wore costumes that recalled the heroes of the pulps: ordinary clothing like suits, supplemented with masks, cowls, or cloaks. The DC character the Sandman started out with a suit and a gas mask, but then changed to a garish yellow-and-purple supersuit in later issues; the Fantastic Four went through a similar change in their first few issues. Typically these are still form-fitting and brightly colored, but a team could just as well wear jumpsuits or leather outerwear and protective helmets. Some heroes actually gain their abilities from their costumes. See Chapter 4 for more on such gear. For a GM who wants a less conventional campaign, a different style might be useful. A variety of real-world chosen or acquired names could provide models: British occultists in the late 19th and early 20th century tended to choose short Latin phrases as pseudonyms.

Supers with a mystical background might call themselves Doctor Mirabilis or Soror Mystica. Heroes who fancied themselves modern-day knights might follow the naming conventions of the Society for Creative Anachronism, adopting archaic names prefaced with knightly or aristocratic titles, with a College of Heralds to make sure only one hero called herself La Demoiselle Britomart la Severe. Some might adopt call names like those used in radio communication: Red Dog or Torchbearer. More modern characters might name themselves in the style of online communities, possibly with typographic tricks: c4pt41n sc0n, for example. Hero names might resemble the names used by American professional wrestlers Crusher Creel or Mexican luchadores La Martilla.

They might not name themselves, but have titles given to them by reporters, based for example on locations or trademarks: The Manhattan Marvel or The Golden Gladiator. In this world, many heroes might actually dislike their aliases! Corporate or government sponsors could also assign codes to heroes or teams. Or they might start naming themselves as a form of selfprotection, after acquiring a few unflattering monikers from the media — especially in a humorous campaign. Devout heroes who considered their powers gifts from God might choose religiously themed names. For example, American evangelicals might pick Bible verses, such as Genesis or Psalm They may assume a different persona as heroes, and altered body language and a few simple physical changes — putting on or taking off glasses and combing their hair differently — make them unrecognizable.

Or they may use their powers to disguise themselves: Speedsters may vibrate their faces into a blur, or illusionists may make themselves look different. Some heroes actually change into a different physical form in their heroic identities, avoiding the problem entirely, in the fashion of Dr. Most have actual abilities of the sort described in GURPS Powers. Heroes who have solo careers need the full set. This story explains the source of his powers, and usually the nature of his most important abilities. It also explains his mission and code by showing the key experiences that shaped them. They might be nearly unbeatable in a fight, but an enemy who knew their weakness could make them helpless.

This idea is older than the comics: The Greek hero Achilles, rendered invulnerable by being dipped in the River Styx as a baby save for the heel by which his mother held onto him, is a classic example. But comics writers came up with any number of ingenious variations on the formula. The concept gave rise to the idea of disadvantages in the first edition of Champions, and is now included in the rules for many roleplaying games including GURPS. Broadly speaking, they fall into three groups. Comics publishers originally created each new super with his own origin, unrelated to the origins of other supers.

When they went on to publish the first team-up stories in the s, example, hourly immersion in water or to maintain their abilities recharging a weapon once a day. They also make it easy to threaten him or take him out of action. On the other hand, running scenario after scenario where the enemy just happens to have the one thing that makes the hero helpless can get boring. GMs should use these weaknesses cautiously. and to create universes that included all their characters in the s and s, all of these separate origins coexisted in a single setting, which meant that these universes had a lot of fantastic things going on. Later stories sometimes featured teams of heroes who all had the same origin, and worked together partly because of it. VARIANTS The classic formula still appeals to many readers and many gamers will be happy with campaigns based on it, but other approaches are possible for players looking for variety.

Each is based on questioning one or more assumptions of the standard method. OTHER SETTINGS Most comic-book campaigns take place in the present; that is, the actual year and the campaign year are the same. Many are set in the country where the players live, and often in the same city. All this has the advantage of familiarity: The supers themselves are exotic, but the technology, laws, and cultural background are unchanged. But there are other options. The DC and Marvel universes include characters published as far back as the eve of World War II. More recently created universes often go back that far, to give the reader a sense of historical depth. Along the same lines, a game could follow the model of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or Planetary, with proto-supers having adventures in the late 19th or early 20th century, inspired by the heroes of popular fiction. Campaigns set in the present can also take place in other countries.

American players can take the roles of European, LARGER Japanese, or Latin-American heroes; players in other countries can do the same, or play the exotic part of heroes from California, New York, or Kansas. Such a game can explore the ways different societies can accommodate heroes: as supersoldiers in Israel or the Soviet Union of the Cold-War Era, as religious figures in Muslim lands, or as folk heroes in Mexico or Haiti, for example. Campaigns can be set in the distant past — which often also means in foreign countries, at least for American players. What if there had been people with superpowers in the French Revolution, the Middle Ages, or ancient China?

Supers in such campaigns may not regard human life as sacred. The big question for such a campaign is how the supers get away with killing their foes. The answer reveals important things about the setting. The GM should pick a reason and apply it consistently. THAN LIFE 11 Perhaps the team works for the government, as police, soldiers, or spies, and are legally permitted or even required to kill under certain conditions. The Agents in The Matrix could be the supers of a different world. This could define a dark future where law and order have broken down and the public demands protectors; it could also be true in a corrupt town along the lines of Gotham City in The Dark Knight Returns.

Perhaps the heroes have to operate in secret, pursued by the police and even the army. They may be criminals, protecting a world that fears them. This theme of the misunderstood hero can also work for characters with more traditional ideals such as Spider-Man and the X-Men. One way to run a limited powers campaign is as a period piece, set in the s or s and based on pulp novels, newspaper comic strips, and movie and radio serials. It would also be possible to run a limited-powers campaign set in the present or the near future, as a more realistic look at the supers concept.

SINGLE-SOURCE POWERS When science-fiction writer George R. Martin put together the Wild Cards shared-world anthology, he provided a single origin story — infection with an alien virus — behind all the aces and jokers of his alternate Earth. This is a more science-fictional treatment of supers, using H. LARGER This idea can be combined with limited powers in a somewhat realistic treatment of possible human modifications. They look just like anyone else — except that they have powers and a mission. Some heroes of this type are famous and recognized everywhere they go.

A classic example is the pulp hero Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze. Having a huge fortune and a good reputation helped him avoid legal harassment for his exploits; a poorer or less popular hero might find public visibility a curse. Many heroes are unknown to the general public, though they may have reputations among other heroes, criminals, and similar groups. BUT NOT SUPER HEROES Does having superhuman powers or skills force someone to devote his life to good or evil? Not necessarily. Many supers may just want to go about their lives and do their jobs. They may regard their powers as an occupational resource, a hobby, or a burden that they would rather get rid of.

Most supers universes have some characters of this type, such as the Inhumans in The Fantastic Four and the Morlocks in The X-Men. They could even be the majority of the metahuman community; comics focus on adventurers, just as action films focus on police officers, spies, and martial artists, bypassing ordinary people doing their jobs. THAN LIFE 12 Or such supers could exist in an entire world with no heroes. Most stories about such extraordinary people are classified as science fiction. Crossovers Genre crossovers go further than stories with other settings. Their settings provide not just a change of background, but a new focus in the foreground.

Well-realized crossovers need to make this fresh spotlight as interesting in itself as the supers are, often by limiting supers to one or two power sources that fit the other genre. But it has its own distinctive audience and some special types of content that appeal to those fans. Anime supers are likely to disguise their identities through magical transformation rather than masks and costumes. Storylines will emphasize personal relationships, both with teammates and adversaries. Try to think of neat visual special effects for powers, and reward players who come up with good descriptions. Anthropomorphics Cartoon animal supers go a long way back; Mighty Mouse, possibly the best known, dates to A more recent example is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Whether amusing or serious, anthropomorphic supers are animals with human attributes, including sapience, articulate speech, civilized behavior, humanoid bodies, and of course superhuman powers.

Semi-legendary figures like Robin Hood can be interpreted similarly. Such characters can provide source material for anticipatory superteams, as in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which brought together characters from five different stories set in the late Victorian or Edwardian era. The 50 Greek heroes who sailed on the Argo could be taken as an early predecessor of the superteam concept itself. LARGER Espionage Espionage crossovers practically require hidden heroes. is a classic comic-book treatment set in a world with actual supers. Steve Austin, in The Six Million Dollar Man, actually had superhuman abilities as a government-created cyborg; so did the heroes of T.

Agents, a comic of the late s. Fantasy Fantasy supers typically have divine, magical, or spirit powers. Many published examples have modern fantasy settings —worlds of hidden magic or where magic is returning , and the metahumans are one of its manifestations. Horror Horror heroes are likely to operate in secret, without code names or costumes; Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Hellboy are well-known recent examples. Their foes are mainly monsters, though evil enchanters or mad scientists are other possibilities. To maintain a sense of horror, such heroes need to face foes that are more formidable than they are, forcing them to doubt if even their powers will be enough.

Martial Arts The heroes of martial arts films often have superhuman powers — but some films add superheroic roles, from the somewhat campy Heroic Trio to the straightforwardly dramatic Iron Monkey. Many powers in this subgenre will have chi as a source, but even heroes who rely on technology will be skilled martial artists. GMs running such a campaign will find GURPS Martial Arts useful. Continued on next page. THAN LIFE 13 Crossovers Continued Near Future The present-day transhumanist movement is already speculating about gaining superhuman abilities through cybernetics, genetic modification, or nanotechnology. All of these have appeared as power sources in the comics. Eliminating other power sources as options in a campaign, and ignoring realistic limits on energy output, could produce full-blown supers, and a near-future world learning to cope with their presence. Science Fiction A lot of supers have science-fictional origins.

For a fuller treatment, send them into outer space regularly in a future where Earth is part of a community of worlds, as in the comic books Guardians of the Galaxy and Legion of Super-Heroes. Western Superpowers are hard to justify in the Old West — but one of the classic masked avengers, the Lone Ranger, operated there, and a number of treatments of Zorro place him in an American West setting. Lawless frontier settlements, vigilantism, and solitary gunslingers all work well with the supers formula. CAMPAIGNS Supers campaigns can take a number of different forms. The GM can start developing one by deciding on its genre and its mode.

GENRE Within the overall field, there are a number of subgenres. Major differences between them include the nature and abilities of the supers; the challenges they have to face; and their role in the world. Street-Level Heroes Street-level heroes usually focus on fighting crime — especially street crime, as their name suggests. Play can be grittily realistic. This is a suitable campaign style for heroes without powers like pulp characters or the champions of Watchmen. Classic Supers Classic supers are the most often portrayed in comic books, and in recent films such as X-Men and X2.

Most of their missions involve fighting villains, with the odd natural disaster or alien invasion for variety. Showing off cool powers is one of the big payoffs of this type of campaign. LARGER A classic super can usually deal single-handedly with major threats to his city, with time to spare for out-of-town adventures. A group may coordinate their efforts between cities, or take on nationwide problems such as wars. A police force may find it difficult to deal with this power level; an army can still do so. World-Shakers Some supers are even more powerful: able to take on an army and have a reasonable chance of winning. Examples of this power level include Superman, Green Lantern, the Hulk, and Dr.

The Authority portrays a team that operates on this tier. These are the heroes who impress, and sometimes frighten, ordinary four-color heroes. Instead, most of the foes will be equally powerful villains who do take on national armies, make themselves dictators of lesser countries, or aspire to conquer or destroy the world. In a setting with alien races and interstellar travel, an extraterrestrial invasion may provide such supers an army to fight against. They fit well into stories about conflict on a cosmic scale, and can be called on to defend the world against gargantuan monsters such as the ones in Japanese kaiju films. Heroes to Be A number of comics have portrayed schools where young supers are trained. High-school settings are common in anime, and this model works well in a campaign influenced by it. THAN LIFE 14 Such young supers are usually capable of becoming fourcolor heroes, but they need training and experience to become effective. Scenarios for such campaigns can include training sessions and examinations, and also social events and the daily life of the school.

The teachers will be more powerful, but should have reasons for not being out fighting crime or saving the world. Actual combat scenes can take several forms. Students may encounter ordinary criminals and decide to do something about them. They may have to deal with attacks against their school by frightened mobs, government agents, or villains. Advanced classmen may be sent out on training missions, though a major emergency may force established supers to call for help from every possible source, including half-trained students. In a world where supers are rare, the GM can simply ask the players to come up with reasons for their characters to remain hidden NPCs with strange powers can have their own rationales. As the number of supers becomes larger, all these supers remaining coincidentally secretive becomes harder to believe; GMs will need to think of some active force that stops metahumans from revealing themselves or covers up for those who do.

The PCs could even work for such an organization, either as volunteers who agree with its policies or as conscripts who reluctantly submitted to them. Concealment in such a setting may be complete, or just good enough to keep the existence of supers from being proven. Chloe Sullivan on the television series Smallville is an excellent example of a non-super character in such a setting. Supers in this case should have an Unusual Background. Weird Heroes Weird heroes are often secretive, but they have an extra aspect: the source of their abilities is some power or realm that few human beings are aware of, and that violates the normal human understanding of reality. The ability to gain superhuman might is a side effect of this general strangeness. Learning the truth may be a threat to sanity, as in H. This would explain why many people with powers turn into fanatics or megalomaniacs. The resulting powers may violate logic and the order of nature as most people understand them.

Heroes need to have awkward limits on their capabilities, inconvenient requirements for maintaining them, psychological strains and abnormalities, or tragic Destinies. Shadowpack portrays an entire team of such heroes. Playing anti-heroes requires walking a narrow line. Despite their outrageous actions, the audience in this case, the other players needs to retain some sympathy for them. Characters of this type are another temptation to power gaming, with their willingness to violate ordinary legal and moral rules. Either a comedic or a tragic approach can work for this: the cold, emotionally withdrawn loner with a secret past and the antic sadist can both be compelling figures.

Parody Heroes At the other end of the spectrum, a campaign may play heroes for laughs. There are two basic strategies for creating humorous characters. One is to exaggerate their qualities, giving them extreme and impractical moral codes, behavioral peculiarities such as pausing in combat for long soliloquies, or special benefits such as the ability to hide their identities by putting on glasses. More recent films such as Mystery Men, The Incredibles, and My Super ExGirlfriend have significant camp elements. In Mystery Men, The Spleen, whose powers manifested as flatulence, was this kind of humorous figure. THAN LIFE 15 Some anti-heroes can also be classified as humorous heroes. Being an anti-hero is one version of lacking moral qualities. Either approach leads to characters with comparatively low point costs because they have low attributes, limited powers and skills, or massive disadvantages. In a setting where humorous and nonhumorous heroes coexist, the humorous ones may be built on substantially fewer points.

The original Legion of Super-Heroes continuity, for example, included the Legion of Substitute Heroes, a team whose members had been rejected by the Legion of Super-Heroes as having powers that were useless or dangerous; a large part of their role was providing comic relief. On the other hand, humorous heroes may exist on their own in entirely comedic settings. Anthropomorphic supers see p. Most of these campaign types are designed around heroes with a specific power level, from street-level heroes not much better than highly trained normal men indeed, many of them are highly trained normal men to world-shakers built on thousands of points. But comic-book universes often include heroes at all these power levels and sometimes bring them together in the same story or on the same team. A campaign can do the same thing. This setting needs careful management by the GM. Having the powerful supers win the battles while the weaker ones cheer them on is a guarantee of frustrated players.

The stronger heroes in comics may use their powers ineffectively, leaving a role for the rest, but few players are this obliging. One way to give the weaker members a role is to require heroes to have specialized powers, and to confront them with tasks that make such powers necessary. A team should be like a pantheon where each god has his own sphere. For example, the Avengers had Captain America as a charismatic and inspiring leader; the Justice League had Batman as their investigator and problem-solver. Here are some examples. Breaking the World Most campaigns, whatever their genre, have the same basic division of labor: the GM creates the world, and the PCs have to deal with it. But the most powerful supers can change the world. But several memorable titles have set aside such restrictions, to show worlds where supers try to change things, and succeed. Among these were Watchmen, Miracleman, and The Authority.

A campaign can take such alterations as its main theme, but to do so the GM should plan for it in advance. Instead of learning the hard way what mighty and determined characters can do, he should plan to let the PCs do whatever is in their power, and to show them the consequences. Characters can be built without the ethical limits that restrain standard supers, and perhaps with other disadvantages that force them to take action — for example, a Sense of Duty to humanity or the biosphere, or a Vow. villains pursuing evil the same way. Good is exaggerated: Heroes will never risk killing anyone, let an innocent person go undefended, break their word, or take unfair advantage of their enemies. On the other hand, evil is often toned down: Villains often try to subdue or humiliate their foes rather than killing them, and many insist on playing fair with their foes.

The laws of nature may even work differently. A battle that levels several city blocks may not kill anyone. Deaths occur only for dramatic reasons, such as establishing a revenge motive or showing heroic self-sacrifice. Outside combat, heroes lead upstanding lives, following all the rules of conventional morality. Effects of powers can include anything that could be drawn, animated, or imitated with a huge special effects budget, even if it violates natural laws: transmuting elements, creating matter out of nothing, growing or shrinking, seeing when invisible, and wielding mysterious forces unknown to physics are normally fine.

Cinematic Four-Color The classic style for supers; both DC and Marvel, along with their lesser competitors, followed it all through the Silver Age. In a four-color campaign, good and evil are clearly distinguished sides, with heroes pursuing good for its own sake and LARGER One step closer to realism than four-color supers, the cinematic mode follows the conventions of recent genre films, such as Batman Begins or X-Men. Many comic books now are also written in this mode! Motives are treated somewhat more realistically, and heroic codes of behavior are less exaggerated.

In THAN LIFE 16 particular, cinematic heroes may use deadly force in emergencies, and villains seldom hesitate to do so. Important characters still die only for dramatic reasons — but large-scale battles or catastrophes may kill bystanders accidentally. The level of disregard for natural laws is similar to that in a four-color campaign. The new rules presented in this book are mainly intended for use in four-color and cinematic campaigns. Powers that seem to violate natural laws require at least a plausible scientific explanation.

This style works well in standard GURPS, without cinematic options or the special rules in this book. Gritty The gritty treatment of supers is a further step toward realism. Its most important feature is that combat is realistically lethal and ugly. The game should also emphasize the emotional stresses of a life of combat and the toughness needed to withstand them. Crime-fighters in this style are more likely to carry guns or wear body armor rather than relying solely on their powers. Other conventions of the genre can also be questioned. Noir Noir is akin to gritty, but with an emphasis on moral corruption. The setting of a noir campaign should be a city whose LARGER officials have sold out to organized crime, or given up on trying to govern effectively. Heroes themselves may have a streak of dishonesty, but should be better than most of the people around them; however brutal or cynical they are, they have a core of decency.

It works just as well for a present-day campaign of weird protagonists and mystical forces, or for upgraded heroes of a cyberpunk dystopia. Noir figures often display the ability to keep operating despite extreme fatigue, pain, or injury. Ultraviolent Ultraviolent campaigns have the power level of four-color campaigns but the grim realism of gritty or noir game. In a traditional setting, a hero strong enough to destroy a tank can knock a street thug out with one punch; in an ultraviolent campaign, he can punch through his entire body or tear his head off — and is likely to do so. Some current series like The Authority and Squadron Supreme treat violence in this style. The heroes of ultraviolent games accept deadly force as part of their role. Silly The silly campaign goes off in a different direction — not toward realism, but away from it. Heroes may be ineffective or clueless but their struggles work out for the best, or at least do no serious harm.

Ironically, one way to achieve a silly campaign is to exaggerate the violence of a gritty setting and simply assume that none of the destruction does lasting harm. THAN LIFE 17 CHAPTER TWO HEROES Heat was a tangible presence in the underground room. It struck at St. One step at a time, careful not to spill its contents on the floor, he approached the quenching tank. Clouds of vapor filled his workspace, and slowly dissipated. As they settled, he approached the surface and saw a glint of light within. He reached out once more with the tongs and moved the crystal to a second container, this one filled with simple pure water for cooling. While he waited, he fixed his mind in meditation, recalling the formulae of the Great Synthesis, seeking the clarity of intent of the true workman.

At last he thought it had cooled sufficiently, and he took it up once more with the tongs and placed it in the receptacle he had prepared for it, a band of metal with a shallow cup in its inside surface. He picked up the band, measured for his own arm, and closed it just above his left wrist. At first he felt nothing, and he thought for a moment he might have failed. But it would take time, he realized, for the chemical influence to travel through the fluid medium of his blood, to reach his heart and his brain. And then — he did not reel, for reeling is a loss of balance, and his equilibrium had never been so certain; he was not intoxicated, for intoxication causes the faculties to fail, and his faculties were strengthened.

What he felt had the intensity of staggering drunkenness, but it led not to stupor but to an uncanny clarity. He looked at his own life, and weighed its vanities and deceptions in the new balance of his mind, and found it — less than he needed it to be. Well, there would be time enough to amend that. Time to become a different man, a perfected man. He picked up the tongs and ascended the stairs. As he came into the daylight, the gripping surfaces of the tongs had the glint of gold. More than in most genres, characters are central to supers adventures. The crucial step in deciding how the campaign works is to decide what kind of supers exist in it. Chapter 1 gave a first look at the options; this chapter explores the details.

For superteams, this can be explained either by saying that the teammates all gained their powers from the same source and in the same measure, or by saying that heroes sort themselves out into power levels, with the heavy hitters joining a national or worldwide superteam while the lightweights stay in lesser groups that protect single cities, states, or small countries. To create this kind of lineup, assign players a point value in one of the following ranges: Wild Talents: points. The heroes are normal human beings with one exotic ability or a group of related minor abilities; usually this supplements rather than replaces their normal skills.

Best suited to a hidden heroes campaign see p. but Not Super Heroes, p. New heroes-in-training, who may have only one ability and no Talent, or one Talent and no manifested abilities, also work well in this power range. Low-Power: points. The heroes are better than any ordinary human being, and are well-suited to a street-level campaign or a game about advanced trainee heroes in a fourcolor setting. It can also work for a hidden or weird heroes campaign. Moderate-Power: , points. The heroes have several powers at fairly high levels; individual human beings are no threat to them, and they can perform quite impressive feats.

This is suitable for a four-color campaign; in one about darker protagonists, the existence of beings at this power level may make the world a scary place. High-Power: 1,, points. The heroes are a significant threat to governments; dealing with them may be an important political issue. Good for a world-shakers campaign, or to weird heroes who spend most of their time dealing with alien dimensions and mysterious inhuman powers. A low-power hero with points in disadvantages may be believable if designed well; a high-power figure with points in disadvantages is almost always a caricature.

GMs may instead want to set a limit of points in disadvantages, plus any that are campaign requirements like Duty, Secret Identity, or Social Stigma. GMs have the option of treating these power ranges as rough guidelines for players. Some GMs may want to consider wide-open games, where players first agree on character concepts and functional roles and then build their characters to those ideas, spending as many points as it takes to realize a given concept. This kind of campaign calls for more active management to make sure that all the players have something to do. It works best if everyone avoids overlap in their designs, with the high-powered heroes being massively capable in one or two areas rather than being able to do everything. GMs may also want to place limits, not on point value, but on combat capabilities. A convenient reference point for these is the rules for scaling damage on p.

B; these rules provide for dividing damage, HP, and DR by 10 or to avoid excessive dice-rolling. In high-powered supers campaigns, a further scale step may be needed: M- or millennium scale. These limits ensure that heroes on a given scale are not quite immune to attacks by other heroes on that scale. These are in addition to, not instead of, point value guidelines; a hero whose powers do not add to his ST, DR, or dice of damage may still be a formidable threat in ways that this scale does not capture. I-scale divide by 1 : Maximum dice of Innate Attack or basic swing damage: 15d. Maximum DR: Maximum Damage Reduction factor: Maximum level of ST with Super-Effort see p. Heroes at this level are comparable to infantry forces. D-scale divide by 10 : Maximum dice of Innate Attack or basic swing damage: d. Heroes at this level are comparable to tanks. C-scale divide by : Maximum dice of Innate Attack or basic swing damage: 1,d. Maximum DR: 5, Maximum Damage Reduction factor: 1, Heroes at this level are comparable to large warships.

M-scale divide by 1, : Maximum dice of Innate Attack or basic swing damage: 15,d. Maximum DR: 50, Maximum Damage Reduction factor: 10, Heroes at this level are more powerful than the largest military vehicles. Rather than flatly prohibiting combat abilities above the desired scale, GMs may want to follow a suggestion from GURPS Powers: charging an Unusual Background cost for them. For this purpose, treat D-scale abilities as comparable to LC1 armaments, with an Unusual Background cost of points. Treat C-scale abilities as comparable to LC0 weapons, or strategic weapons, with an Unusual Background cost of points. M-scale abilities should have an Unusual Background Cost of points. Several patterns have emerged during the evolution of the genre. SOLO HERO The original pattern was the solitary hero. This is the complete genre book on both alternative-world gaming and time travel. It offers detailed advice on the unique challenges of running this type of campaign, and on designing and playing characters who regularly cross between settings.

It also provides a wide variety of suitable threats and hazards - from evil cross-time Nazis and cosmic conspiracies to "ordinary" monsters and disasters. And it gives guidelines for building alternate worlds from the perspectives of the setting, the story, and the rules. Whether you're playing accidental travelers or the hardened troops of the Infinity Patrol, this book is your gateway to adventure. Infinite adventure. The Student's Guide to Ultimate Power GURPS! A game with infinite possibilities. Even those familiar with this award-winning system may not feel they've mastered the fundamentals. and those just starting with this game may feel lost amid the possibilities. You want help. You could use a guide. You need How to Be a GURPS GM. For the player, this supplement offers insight into how to create the perfect character to fit your vision, plus three examples of character creation and two new fantasy templates.

The chapter dedicated to customizing combat and using various options can be particularly helpful for new and veteran players in making aggressive altercations even more exciting. For the Game Master, the supplement discusses everything needed to run a campaign: how to prepare the game setting, assist the players with the creation of their heroes, create challenging and engaging encounters, and design and run the first adventure. The included overview of the Fourth Edition line, plus recommended resource lists for eight popular genres, can help the GM decide which supplements will be most helpful to craft a new campaign. This supplement also provides canonical insight from Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch, who draws on decades of experience answering questions and providing clarifications as the GURPS Line Editor.

Throughout, it follows a group of example players new to GURPS, from when their GM first opens the Basic Set through the starting session of their inaugural adventure. How to Be a GURPS GM is an invaluable aid for getting started with GURPS, bridging the previously perilous step between reading the Basic Set and participating in your first game. Half of power is knowing how to use it. With How to Be a GURPS GM, you'll be on your way to unleashing the full potential of GURPS like never before! Skip to content. Gurps Download Gurps full books in PDF, epub, and Kindle. GURPS For Dummies. Author : Adam Griffith,Bjoern-Erik Hartsfvang,Stuart J. Download GURPS For Dummies Book in PDF, Epub and Kindle. GURPS Basic Set Campaigns. Author : David L. Pulver Publsiher : Unknown Total Pages : Release : Genre : GURPS Game ISBN : OCLC GET BOOK.

Download GURPS Basic Set Campaigns Book in PDF, Epub and Kindle. GURPS Lite. Author : Sean Punch Publsiher : Unknown Total Pages : 32 Release : Genre : Fantasy games ISBN : UOM GET BOOK. Download GURPS Lite Book in PDF, Epub and Kindle. Gurps Infinite Worlds.

Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. Capture a web page as it appears now for use as a trusted citation in the future. GURPS Lite is a page distillation of the basic GURPS rules. It covers the essentials of character creation, combat, success rolls, adventuring, and game mastering for GURPS Fourth Edition. Uploaded by wikipediainfobox on October 6, Internet Archive logo A line drawing of the Internet Archive headquarters building façade. Search icon An illustration of a magnifying glass. User icon An illustration of a person's head and chest. Sign up Log in. Web icon An illustration of a computer application window Wayback Machine Texts icon An illustration of an open book.

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GURPS Collection opensource Language English GURPS Lite is a page distillation of the basic GURPS rules. It covers the essentials of character creation, combat, success rolls, adventuring, and game mastering for GURPS Fourth Edition. Addeddate Identifier pdf-gurps-lite-fourth-edition Identifier-ark ark://t3qwf Ocr 26/06/ · Download GURPS For Dummies Book in PDF, Epub and Kindle. This is it—the AdWrite your PDF documents - Free! Easily Convert any file to perfect PDFs. Easily Create perfect PDFs from + file types with our Software Nearly all of this material has been incorporated into GURPS Basic Set, Fourth Edition and ... read more

But a parallel called Centrum has also developed the technology to hop between the worlds. Hard to Kill See pp. In four-color campaigns, the applications of superstrength in combat are restricted to avoid injuries to normal human beings see p. In , there were significant parts of the world that no Western explorer had visited, or even seen from above: the interiors of Africa and New Guinea, the Tibetan Plateau, and almost all of Antarctica. But it was Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns that made such characters both a popular and a critical success. Effects of powers can include anything that could be drawn, animated, or imitated with a huge special effects budget, even if it violates natural laws: transmuting elements, creating matter out of nothing, growing or shrinking, seeing when invisible, and wielding mysterious forces unknown to physics are normally fine.

It can also work for a hidden or weird heroes campaign. The level of disregard for natural laws is similar to that in a four-color campaign. He started out with fairly modest abilities: His muscular energy output was high enough to lift an automobile, outrun an express train, or long jump yards, and his skin was impenetrable to anything short of a bursting shell. Now to see if he could get through the door. This gives you improved climbing ability p, gurps pdf free download. Wonder Woman, from an island inhabited by gurps pdf free download legendary Amazons, was the best known of these.