GURPS QuickStarts!

So you have heard about GURPS and are wondering how to get started?

Some things you have heard are likely true, while others may be misleading. See my FAQ for some info on that. But the first and most important thing to know is that GURPS is modular and you can add or drop the rules you do not like or do not fit your campaign.

As a generic system GURPS was designed from the ground up to offer something for every genre out there. it does this better than any other system I have tried, from the realistic to the over the top cinematic, though admittedly it is better at some things than others. The main problem with this though is you can get choice paralysis and a bit part of this blog is to try and help with that.

GURPS Basic is very comprehensive and all the GM really needs to run virtually anything, but can be a heavy read and hard to remember everything. Do not worry, GURPS is famous for being well indexed, cross referenced, and a good table of Contents to help you quickly find the rules or items you are looking for!


GURPS Lite: Free short rules. Its really good to hand to a new player. Its available in several languages.
This is a very streamlined version of the rules, no magic system but with it you could play many different types of characters or run various campaigns to get a feel for GURPS and see if it is your cup of tea.

Powered By GURPS

The Powered By GURPS product line is also useful. Each is based on a genre or setting and cuts out the material that is not relevant. They are consistent with the core GURPS rules so you can learn the system and later buy and use new material without having to learn completely new rules. Everything fits together like a big puzzle.

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game

This is a fancy high quality boxed set that lets you quickly jump into a classic genre. It is fully compatible with the GURPS rules and you can add supplements, especially the Dungeon Fantasy line to flesh things out once your comfortable or want to grow. But you do not need to! Everything you need to play in a hack and slash dungeon crawl is in this pretty box.
And if you want to save some money (or a tree) you can just buy the PDF for about half the price of the box. The Viking themed setting of Nordland was built for this and the Delvers to Grow products are a great help in getting your game started quickly!

Discworld Roleplaying Game

Like Terry Pratchett's series? Well he liked GURPS enough that he let Steve Jackson Games write two supplements for GURPS Third Edition, and enjoyed the collaboration and respect the author, editors, and artists enough that he let them do it again for GURPS Fourth Edition.
The Discworld RPG is everything you need to play in his Discworld setting. The author even made a custom magic system that better fit the authors setting than the different GURPS magic systems already available.

Girl Genius Sourcebook and Roleplaying Game

This setting, based on a web comic by long time RPG artist and authors Phil and Kaja Foglio is a fun humour romp through a Victorian influenced setting with weird gadgets and other odd things. I really do not even know how to do it justice with a short description.

GURPS Prime Directive

Love Star Trek?  Written for GURPS by Amarillo Design Bureau first for GURPS Third Edition and updated to Fourth Edition with GURPS Prime Directive 4e Revised Volume 1 and 2 which can also be purchased separately as Volume 1: Creating a Character and Volume 2:Playing the Game
This is not the movie or TV Star Trek, it is a limited license originally for the Star Fleet Battles boardgame that reflects Star Trek the Original Series and the Animated TV show. It has a wealth of material, supplements, deck plans, adventures, and more that can be used and it is not hard to adapt material from other Star Trek franchises if you desire. Regretfully they cant officially do that as paramount would like charge them millions of dollars and then who could afford the game? However the fan community can help you there too.
By the way if you like Star Wars a fan conversion or more properly adaptation that aims for the feel of that setting rather than the specific content can be found online at Mailanka's Musings, Psi Wars

Vorkosigan Saga Sourcebook and Roleplaying Game

Another science fiction franchise, this is a popular series of books that have been licensed to GURPS and is a standalone product you can use to play in that setting. The Vorkosigan setting is a spacefaring campaign dealing with political intrigue, honor, betrayal, and of course space battles!

There were also several Third Edition Powered By GURPS offerings and they can be converted to modern Fourth Edition with minimal effort. However these are not quick starts and require a GM more familiar with GURPS to do the updating. I reference them in the genre and setting pages on this blog.

Also GURPS Character Assistant is a nice software package that tracks all the math for you and is now compatible (meaning you can export directly to) the Foundry VTT

Other QuickStart Resources and Advice

Learn the Generic Universal Roleplaying Game (GURPS) is an hour tutorial by the Campbell Public Library. Kinda cool they did this :)
GURPS Lite: Free short rules. Its really good to hand to a new player. Its available in several languages.
GURPS Combat Cards: The standard combat maneuvers in easy to reference cards. Print and hand these out to your players, or buy the printed card packs.
GURPS Skill Categories: A listing of the skills by category.  So Social, Combat, etc.

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