Player-Created Skills

3D render illustration of construction site, including cranes and lifting machine, where the word Skills is being built.

Howdy, Folks!

Had a quick thought on character creation to throw out there, after reading a thread at the forums about paring down the GURPS skill list. I’m trying to not always be the hippie-GURPS GM, but I’m wondering if an alternative couldn’t be that, rather than trying to cut down the skill list into more manageable chunks for the players to choose from, they can instead simply define things that their character is good at. The GM then maps those things to whatever GURPS skills they actually are for consistency.

Spending the actual CPs is, naturally, still up to the player, but at least they will already have an empty set of skills that just need to be pumped up with points. Five or six, maybe ten, will probably work better for this than scores of skills. (This would work for advantages/disadvantages as well.)

GM: “Okay, so you bought your attributes, figured your secondaries, and are moving on to skills. What are a few things Jack Stonejaw the P.I. is really good at? The best things?”

PLAYER: “He’s a crack-shot with a pistol… One hell of a bar fighter… And really good at charming the ladies for info.”

GM: “Cool. Write those down as Guns (Pistol), Brawling, and Sex Appeal, if those sound about right. What else?”

PLAYER: “Uh, he’s a great driver, even when being chased… Tough to surprise… and knows how to patch himself up.”

GM: “Driving (Auto) would cover the driving, and First-Aid — those are both skills. But ‘Tough to surprise’ sounds more like an advantage to me. That would be Combat Reflexes under Advantages instead of Skills on the character sheet.”

Continue for as long as it’s interesting, whatever matches the groups’ play style, and then the player can assign points as normal to the skills he’s already picked.

This may not complete the character, they may need to lose or gain a few more skills to come in at the same budget as the other PCs, but it should give a solid base to work from.

(This character creation questionnaire from a while back explores the same type of stuff.)

Mook out! There is a bed calling my name.

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