Fantasy Party of Pre-Gens

Happy GURPSDay to all and sundry! I hope you have been enjoying some wonderful GURPS gamin’ out there!

Some time ago, a friend at work asked if I could run a first-time ever RPG for him and his family, an opportunity I gleefully pounced on. That should happen in the next few weeks. It will be just a couple of hours long (his daughters are 9 and 11), but it should be a good time.

The “adventure” exists only in my head still, but the pre-gens are available if anyone’s curious. This is literally about the simplest I could go with GURPS and have it still be GURPS!

The party consists of an unarmed fighter, an Elven ranger, a swashbuckler, a Dwarven warrior, and a wizard.

Fantasy Party Pre-Gens | Downloads: 603 | Size: 244.1 KB

I used the rules tweaks mentioned previously (reposted here) along with a few more tweaks I’ll note.

Active Defenses have all been folded into a single Defend score (with a -1/turn cumulative penalty), as noted on the sheet. This is simply the highest of the character’s Dodge, Parry, and Block.

Attributes work as always, but since a new player has no context for what a numerical score “means,” they have been paired with adjectives (a la Fudge and Fate). Note that this doesn’t actually change how attribute scores work, only how that information is presented to the player. Also, the same levels can function for skills, if you want to just go nuts.

9 or less     Poor  (mostly because “Mediocre” takes up too much room)
10-11           Fair
12-13          Good
14-15          Great
16-17          Super
18+             Epic

In terms of character creation guidelines, I used the same basic framework across all PCs:

  • 11 points in attributes (above 10, i.e., a score of 13 is 3 points, 15 is 5 points, etc.), except the Unarmed Fighter who got 12 (generic advantage, “Conditioned: +1 attribute point”).
  • Generous Defend scores (two 10s, two 11s, and a 12).
  • Armor: DR 1 for Loose Clothing (Unarmed Fighter), DR 2 for Layered Robes (Wizard), DR 4 for Light Armor (Ranger, leather), DR 6 for Medium Armor (Swashbuckler, mail), DR 8 for Heavy Armor (Warrior, plate). We’re not really using Hit Locations, so note that these PCs are using a slight variation of the sheet with only a single, unified DR score.
  • Tight grouping of Hit Points: 10 for the Wizard, 11 for the Ranger and Unarmed Fighter, 13 for the Swashbuckler, and 15 for the Warrior.
  • Everyone has three Attacks – one main attack that does 3d damage with a skill of 14-17, one secondary with a skill of 12-14, and one backup with a skill of 10-12.
  • In terms of Skills, everyone has one Wildcard skill at a 12 based on their identity, two or three main non-combat skills at 12 or 14, one or two socials skills at 12 or 13 (Diplomacy, Fast-Talk, or Intimidation), and 10 points spread out among five “these are almost certain to come up at some point” skills: Climbing, First Aid, Search, Stealth, and Tracking.
  • Everyone has two Healing Potions that restore 2d each (the Wizard has four). Check boxes provided for tracking.


The goal here was a simple, fun implementation of GURPS and easy-to-read character sheet that even complete non-gamers can follow along with. I just want to get in, have a great team, and get out. If they dig it and get bitten by the RPG bug, that’s when we start unpacking character creation and designing brand-new custom PCs. But for the first taste, it’s all about giving them a fun ride and seeing if it’s something they enjoy.

Hope to have the adventure in a printable form and downloadable in the near future, and of course I will post after the game to let you all know how it went.

What do you think of these?


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  1. Great ideas! Here are a few I’m putting together for my games.

    All Out Attack is the default maneuver because All Out Attack doesn’t allow for a defense roll. My reasoning, most beast don’t have the intelligence and most humanoids don’t have the training to do something other than All out Attack.

    You don’t say what Hit Location you are trying to hit. After determining degrees of success, then say what you hit.
    Instead of rolling for damage, take the average (before modifiers) rounded up. These two together make damage more consistent I think. I hate hitting the head, then rolling minimum damage, or aiming for the chest but could have hit the head!

    The player’s attack roll counts for both their chance to hit, as well as their opponent’s chance to hit (if capable). This is done by inverting the players roll (without modifiers) for their opponent’s roll.
    Player’s 3 = Opponent’s 18
    Player’s 4 = Opponent’s 17
    Player’s 5 = Opponent’s 16
    Player’s 6 = Opponent’s 15
    Player’s 7 = Opponent’s 14
    Player’s 8 = Opponent’s 13
    Player’s 9 = Opponent’s 12
    Player’s 10 = Opponent’s 11
    Player’s 11 = Opponent’s 10
    Player’s 12 = Opponent’s 9
    Player’s 13 = Opponent’s 8
    Player’s 14 = Opponent’s 7
    Player’s 15 = Opponent’s 6
    Player’s 16 = Opponent’s 5
    Player’s 17 = Opponent’s 4
    Player’s 18 = Opponent’s 3

  2. Love your blog! Looking forward to more in 2020.
    Just a couple of questions:
    Do you use any modified/streamlined system for magic? How long does it take for the wizard or cleric to cast a spell?

      • Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it!
        I have seen that article and it’s great too, but I was thinking more as it relates to the pre-gen characters created in this article. Do you use any specific rules for the types of spells you gave them and how they are cast, or do you use the magic rules from the basic set? Thanks again for your time

        • Hiya! I left the Wizard’s spells pretty open-ended regarding description and only noted the mechanics. Casting time is effectively “zero,” same as a fighter swinging a sword or a ranger firing an arrow. Range penalties for thrown spells are the same as for missile combat. She has 10 Magic Points (MP) with which to power her spells (which can be changed of course to make her less/more powerful)

          Looking at the Wizard’s spells:

          Elemental Attack
          This is her main “3d” attack (same as the Ranger’s Longbow, the Swashbuckler’s Saber, etc). MP cost is 1 per 1d of damage (maximum of 3d). If she spends two MP, she can throw a 2d fireball/lightning bolt/rock spear/whatever at a target and roll against a 15 to hit.

          Give a target the ability to fly. Total cost is 1 MP per target, per 10 second interval. So, she could spend 4 MP to make only herself fly for 30 seconds (1 target + 3 10-second intervals = 4); or spend 10 MP to make 4 targets fly for 60 seconds (4 targets + 6 10-second intervals = 10).

          Gives a target +1 Armor (i.e., DR) for each MP spent, maximum of 3. So if she spends 2 MP, she can give a target +2 Armor.

          This is kind of a “wildcard spell,” and is pretty freeform, but I wanted to be sure the player could use magic to do things other than the few I’d considered. It has not set cost other than a minimum of 5 MP. Basically, the player says “This is the kind of spell I want to cast,” the GM says “That will cost X MP,” then the player gets a roughly 50/50 chance of the spell actually working (rolls against a skill of 10).

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