Monday, March 23, 2020

Building a GURPS Setting 1: Fantasy

My favorite thing about GURPS is its flexibility and one of the parts of that is its not tied to any specific setting. However,for some people thats a drawback because they are used to integrated settings and many GM's do not have the time to design their own setting. I have previously put some of this information on the following pages of this blog

Official Settings

There were a LOT of Third Edition licensed settings, unfortunately most of the licences have expired and those books are no longer in distribution, hence not included in this list.
  • Banestorm is the update to the Third Edition Ysgarth setting. Basically its a fantasy world with several transplanted cities from earth and elsewhere. Several books make it one of the most supported GURPS fantasy settings.
  • Conan A licensed Third Edition supplement that is easy to convert to Fourth Edition if you want to play in the Age of Hyboria!
  • Nordland Reviewed by me here this is basically a fantasy vikings setting.  Its pretty cool, produced by Gaming Ballistic under a Third Party licence and offers several books with a steady supply coming. High quality art and content, if I wanted to run a setting without making one up this is a very strong candidate. Its written for GURPS and d20 so pay attention to what book your buying
  • Historical's: GURPS Third Edition had a number of historical books published and while stats will need to be converted they provide great information, focused on a gamer's point of view.

Mix it up settings

This are partial settings, rich in detail but not a fully developed or mapped world. As such they can be dropped into many fantasy settings.

Making Your Own Setting

This is really my favorite part of running or playing in GURPS, the toolkit approach lets a GM create whatever world they have in mind without being restricted by system mechanics.
GURPS Fantasy is the starting book. If you already know what you want and are experienced at world design much of this material will be less useful to you. However there is a lot of material here and even experienced world builders are likely to get something out of it.
GURPS Religion is a Classic or Third Edition book discussing various religions and how to design your own. This book is very light on stats so using it in Fourth Edition requires no extra effort.
  • GURPS Monster Hunters 6: Holy Hunters was not built for this genre but the chapter on real world religions is about the best your going to find anywhere. It is therefore a great book for using those religions, especially if your running a pseudo-historical setting. It also has some nifty abilities for religious types.
  • GURPS Spirits is also useful.Its Third Edition so stats will need to be converted and the magic system in it was updated and published in GURPS Thaumatology. However it has some good information and ideas for spirits.
  • GURPS Totem and Nature Spirits by yours truly deals specifically with Totem type spirits and local nature spirits. Its mostly a Powers book aimed at playing a type of spirit based character but has some material to add flavor to a shamanic setting.
GURPS Low-Tech and its expansions help develop the science side of your world and provide details for how long it takes to build things, whats available, etc. Like with everything but the Core Rules you do not truly need these books to play but, wow they sure can add depth and detail to your world!

GURPS Adaptations provides guidelines for converting books or movies to your own GURPS setting.
GURPS Template Toolkit 2: Races gives guidance and tools for building your own races.


With GURPS you have most historical periods already covered, a few unique fantasy settings, and rich tools to design your own fantasy worlds from scratch or based on your favorite book!

No comments:

Post a Comment