HOW TO BUILD A GURPS CHARACTER! CREATING YOUR CHARACTER ATTRIBUTES
HOW TO BUILD A GURPS CHARACTER!
CREATING YOUR CHARACTER
Each player needs a character to take part in the story. Depending on the genre that your group wants to play, the character could
be a Viking warrior, an interstellar smuggler, a modern day assassin, or even a vampire with a heart. No matter what universe you
decide to play in, each character has the same set of attributes.
Strength (ST) - Strength measures physical power and bulk. It is crucial if you are a warrior in a primitive world, as high ST
lets you dish out and absorb more damage in hand-to-hand combat. Any
adventurer will find ST useful for lifting and throwing things, moving quickly with
a load, etc.
Dexterity (DX) - Dexterity measures a combination of agility, coordination, and
fine motor ability. It controls your basic ability at most athletic, fighting, and
Rolling the Dice
vehicle-operation skills, and at craft skills that call for a delicate touch.
When you try to do something, you (or the
Intelligence (IQ) - Intelligence broadly measures brainpower, including creativity,
GM) roll 3d against the appropriate
intuition, memory, perception, reason, sanity, and willpower. It rules your basic
attribute or skill, modified for that
ability with all “mental” skills – sciences, social interaction, magic, etc. Any
particular situation. If the number you roll
wizard, scientist, or gadgeteer needs a high IQ first of all.
is less than or equal to your modified score,
Health (HT) - Health measures energy and vitality. It represents stamina,
you succeed! If you roll a 3 or 4 you
resistance (to poison, disease, radiation, etc.), and basic “grit.” A high HT is good
critically succeed. A roll of 17 or 18 is an
for anyone – but it is vital for low-tech warriors.
After you’ve jotted each of these attributes down, you’re going to need to assign values.
Since you are a hero, you are better than average, therefore, distribute any of the
following “values” to your attributes.
Good, Average, Average, Average (+1, 0 , 0, 0 )
Good, Good, Average, Poor (+1, +1, 0, -1)
Excellent, Average, Average, Poor (+2, 0, 0, -1)
Excellent, Good, Poor, Poor (+2, +1, -1 , -1)
Consult the following table for your actual numerical score. To balance
gameplay, ST/HT yield a higher score than DX/IQ as ST/HT are used less
frequently. The cost of your attributes should total +1.
ST / HT
DX / IQ
Example Attribute Distributions
Scientist with Excellent IQ, Poor ST
ST 8, DX 10, IQ 12, HT 10
Troll Barbarian with Excellent ST, Good HT, Poor IQ, Poor DX
ST 14, DX 8, IQ 8, HT 12
Professional Baseball Player with Good DX, Good HT, Poor IQ
ST 10, DX 11, IQ 9, HT 12
Swashbuckler with Good DX
ST 10, DX 11, IQ 10, HT 10
FLESHING OUT YOUR CHARACTER
Once you have your attributes, you need to get some meat on your character’s bones. Give them a name, an occupation, and a
back-story. The more detail the better, but don’t go overboard – give room for development through storytelling.
ADVANTAGES, DISADVANTAGES, & SKILLS
There are no set lists for advantages, disadvantages, and skills because to cover every genre it would take a hell of a long time, so try
and think of something yourself and run it by your GM to make sure it’s appropriate. The following examples are grouped by
What separates you from the rest of them?
Magic Ability, Good Looks, Rapier Wit, Quickness, Spiderwalk,
Amphibious, Chameleon, Damage Resistance, Regeneration, Tough as Nails
Common Sense, Friends in High Places, Danger Sense, Lucky, Wealth
Elf, Dwarf, Robot, Vampire, Werewolf, Wookie, Undead
What is your character’s flaw? It should be comparable in scope to your advantage. If you choose a powerful advantage, you must
choose a fairly limiting disadvantage.
Magic Susceptibility, Ugly, Naïve, Slow, Honest, Klutz
Waterbound, Unhealing, Weakling, Skin and Bones, Bad Sight, Sickness, One Eye, Fat
Absent Mindedness, Bad Luck, Phobia, Charitable, Code of Honor
Goblin, Runt, Child, Elderly
Modifiers to Skill Rolls
A character may choose three skills that cover a broad area of skills. A player gains a +2
bonus when to the attribute roll when using the skills.
EXAMPLES OF SKILLS:
Swords, Axes, Bows, Pistols, Rifles, Throwing, Athletics, Acrobatics, Stealth
Science, Scholar, Priest, Knight, Soldier, Detective, Bard, Spy, Diplomat, Actor,
Observant, Extrovert, Introvert
Fire Magic*, Healing Magic*, Telekinesis*, Mind Control*, Alchemy
*Requires Magical Ability (or similar) as an advantage. Other skills may require a
Skills may be modified by difficulty of the
task as follows:
Very Easy +1 (often automatic)
Very Hard -4
Other modifiers may include:
Injured, stunned, etc. -1 to -4
Fine weapon +1
HP: 8, Thr: 1d-3, Sw: 1d-2, BL: 13
Speed: 5 , Move: 5
Will: 12, Per: 12
Bad Sight (requires glasses)
Melissa is a physicist working at Cyberware on a secret project that could revolutionize
nuclear energy. She is friendly, but won’t stand to be pushed around by others. She
shows great leadership in the most stressful situations and always tends to know the
right thing to do in an emergency. Her goals are to A) win the Nobel Prize for physics,
B) lead mankind into a better future, and C) break up with her good-for-nothing
The following skills are derived from your
Primary Attributes and may be modified by
your advantages or disadvantages.
Hit Points (HP) = ST
Fatigue Points (FP) = HT
Will = IQ
Perception = IQ
Speed = (DX+HT) / 4
Move = Speed rounded down
Thrusting Damage (Thr) = see chart B16
Swinging Damage (Sw) = see chart B16
Basic Lift (BL) = see chart B17
Small Car, Apartment with Modest Furnishings, Science Books, Laptop, Smartphone, Bank Account ($2,000)
OPTIONAL: NARRATIVE POINTS
Every character is assigned 1 narrative point at the start of every adventure. Narrative points are a tool to put the story in the
players’ hands, allowing them to spend them to change the outcome of a situation. It essentially allows the players to overwrite
what the GM has planned in the players’ favor. However, the GM can deny the use of a narrative point if she thinks it’s too
overpowered, but may provide another way of using the point.