Modern Fireteam Quick-Start Characters

The weekly GURPSDay bonanza is upon us. When you’re done reading here, I hope you’ll sally forth and devour as many of the 40+ other GURPS blogs posting today as your eyeballs can handle. Enjoy the bounty!

Today I’m moving from last week’s city streets and onto the battlefield with a four-person fireteam of modern soldiers created with the Quick-Start rules: the Team Leader, the Sniper, the Grenadier, and the Automatic Rifleman (a fireteam wouldn’t necessarily have a sniper, but game-wise they can be a lot of fun). They are again built as “Heroic” level characters (very roughly around 200 points), and should be useful as PCs and/or enemies. Note that the differences between them are less sweeping than with other Quick-Start characters… their main variations are in gear and training.

I did “cheat” a little bit… in addition to the usual six skills from Heroic Quick-Start creation (one wildcard at ATT-1, two skills at ATT+2, and three skills at ATT+1), I also gave them each a kind of ‘mini-template’ to represent their military training (“Infantry Soldier!” wildcard skill at IQ-2, First Aid at IQ, and and Guns (Pistol), Karate, Knife, and Throwing all at DX-1). They also don’t have the Luck advantage, which I give almost all PCs, so they’re a bit less cinematic. If you want them to be more “Schwarzenegger action hero,” they should have at least one level of Luck.

For much, much more detailed characters in a similar vein, check out this six-man squad from the Operation Needle one-shot — those are some 375-point beasts! Naturally, those characters are a few orders of magnitude more complex. I mean, they each have ~75 skills, not 6-10! But these characters are simple, quick, and can be easily modified and expanded as the players/GM choose.

Again, if these soldiers end up in your game, I’d love to hear how they ran, or if you have any suggestions, problems, etc. Now, lock and load people — get out there and cause some mayhem!


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  1. Thanks.
    One a subject closer to the topic. I’ve been GMing GURPS 4e WWII game at conventions where the PCs are a spec ops unit that is works for the O.S.S. and S.O.E. and operates like the S.A.S. Lots of letters here. The PCs are based on the Commando Template found in Martial Arts: Fairbairn Close Combat Systems. No wildcard skills, and built on 225 points and less.

    • Nice! I’ve only run a couple WWII adventures, but they were super fun. Military characters lend themselves perfectly to templates, where you can have the base Soldier template, and then MOS templates for the specialization… Bam, instant character 🙂

  2. The work you’re putting in here is continually appreciated.

    By chance, in the interim from now until “17 – Advanced Character”, are you going to tackle any more of the core rules that appear to be complicated (such as shotguns and grenades)? I have a feeling that you are now considering the rules on grappling 8-).

    • Hiya, Ezram… Thanks! I do appreciate the appreciation. 🙂

      I’m beginning to wonder about the “Advanced” series… specifically, what exactly I could offer that hasn’t already been discussed, but also thinking that the target demographic for rules discussion that advanced probably already know more about the subject than I do.

      Regardless of whether I continue that series, though, I definitely do want to do something with grappling. It’s on the short list of topics, but I’m having some challenges finding the time it deserves. It will definitely show up, but most of my free time will be spent prepping this con game until Gamex 2016 is past.

      • You’ve yet to really bite into the meat of cinematic-tier characters and their insane levels of competency. Just a thought!

        • Hmm, that is true… I think I feel less ‘qualified’ to write about those, since the great bulk of my games rarely go above ~300 points, but definitely food for thought. :: begins noodling ::

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