Sunday, March 26, 2023

Privilege, an Alternate GURPS Advantage

I really like GURPS, but no system is perfect and there are some things people would like to change if they could. This series of posts would be things I would like changed in a hypothetical GURPS 5th Edition. This is purely an exercise and I have no word on if or when such an edition is being worked on, nor am I likely to be specifically asked for recommendations.

However, as a fan we all have our pet things (often contradictory, meaning a new edition cannot please everyone) I will just list some of mine.

GURPS has several social advantages that I think can be combined. Combining things can result in a less intimidating ruleset IF the consolidated material really works well together and is not too complicated.

Claim to Hospitality is tied to an organization or social construct. Diplomatic Immunity grants some protections. Legal Enforcement Powers lets you enforce the law and grants some protections. Security Clearance grants access to information. Tenure prevents you from being fired. I think these can be easily combined into a single advantage.


You have been granted access and authority beyond what other people typically have. This may be granted by a government or private entity and is only recognized where appropriate. These privilege's can be suspended or removed at any time and are typically linked to a specific job. What is available is limited to the scope and jurisdiction of the organization, though allied organizations may extend similar "courtesy" privilege's.. Halve the cost (rounded down) for minor organizations of limited ability or importance in the campaign. The GM may build certain packages for the campaign to ease character building.
Sum the various items below and list it on the character sheet as Privilege (Organization; traits) [cost].
Clearance: Your organization provides you the information and material (weapons, computers, labs, etc.) you need to do your job, but sometimes that information or equipment has uses outside work or beyond others in the same role. Narrow range of information or equipment on a "Need to Know" or use basis [1]. Either free access to a narrow range or broad job access to relevant material. [5]. Free access to a broad range of material. [10]. Need to know requires it be strictly needed for your job as defined by your superiors. Free access has much more latitude and usually only requires signing for it.
Enforcement: Local jurisdiction, the ability to arrest suspected criminals, perform authorized searches, and possibly carry a concealed weapon. [5]. One or more of  national or international jurisdiction, or ignore civil rights, or engage in covert investigations, or kill with relative impunity. [+5 each].
Exemption: You are exempt from certain aspects of ordinary law enforcement. This often comes with another organization that applies its own rules to you. Replace ordinary laws with similar rules that are just as strict [5]. Less strict [10]. You can do nearly anything you please provided you don't injure the organization that granted you the immunity. [15]. Diplomatic Pouch [5].
Hospitality: Your organization is encouraged to assist its members, including unofficially having other members help out. Reciprocity is expected and others can call on your aid as well. You can request food, shelter, and basic aid.  A single friend in another city is worth 1 point; a small family, 2 points; a society of merchants along an important trade route, 5 points; vast alliance of wealthy figures, 10 points. Members are friendly towards each other (+3 reactions) and may provide advice, introductions, and small loans, if asked.
Investment: Your invested with basic administrative authority. This automatically includes Rank 0 and gives you the ability act as an "Official" of the organization. You could for example preside as chairperson over meetings, handle the books as a licensed accountant, preside over weddings or other religious rituals, speak on behalf of the organization, residency at a hospital, etc. 
Tenure: You can't be fired through less than extraordinary means. This may be a reward of excellence and being to hard to replace, seniority, political clout and influence, nepotism, or even blackmail. [5].

Special Modifiers

Cosmic, Brotherhood, +50%
    Normally you have to show some form of ID or uniform to exercise your privileges but with this enhancement the appropriate people automatically know you're a member in good standing. Buy this with Selectivity (p. B108) if you need to conceal your nature. This modifier suits some supernatural organizations or exotic groups like the Lensmen of Doc Smiths series.


This combines  Claim to Hospitability, Clerical Investment, Legal Enforcement Powers, Legal Immunity, Security Clearance, and Tenure with a bit of Patron thrown in. If I were writing it for a supplement, Pyramid article, or that hypothetical Fifth Edition I would expand this a bit for clarity and add some examples but it still saves a decent amount of space and page flipping. It also adds a few bits of utility, such as with the Investment section.

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