GURPS Solo Rules check-in

I am writing my GURPS solo rules to work with Fourth Edition

About this time last week, I started to look at GURPS with the intention of creating a set of GURPS solo rules. I don’t know if to be disheartened or more motivated by the sad state of solo play in the GURPs community. Take a quick look at this, they all open in a new tab.

The first thing that is a bit sad is that the top links returned by Google all date back years. The first two reflect just general ignorance about solo play, that is not a reflection on GURPS, it happens for all games, an attitude that has softened somewhat during the pandemic lockdowns.

The Collaborative Gamer’s solo 6 system is extremely basic, but has some interesting ideas. There are a lot of GMs that simply love having a ton of books open at once for finding the names of inns and random NPC names. It is not a way I like to play, I like having as little between me and the story as possible.

I am pleased there are people who have been asking about solo GURPS. It means I am not entirely alone.

How Did I Miss This?

I absolutely love Champions, and there is more than a pinch of Champions in my own 3Deep system. If I had known 40 years ago that GURPS and Champions were so similar I would have bought into the system years ago. I am coming at it now looking at 4th Edition.

Scroll Down for a discount code for GURPS Solo when it is released!

I am using the Basic Set Character & Campaign books as far as rules are concerned and High Tech just for inspiration. As the first draft goes, so far you will not need High Tech to play. It is more a case of casting the setting for examples and the play testing being done in our contemporary world. I would much rather crash a ferrari than fall off a war horse during playtesting!

The state of play at the moment is that I am getting a grasp of the rules and I have a very basic first outline of what I want to do with the rules. For me, right now, it is late on Thursday afternoon. I would really like to play this over the weekend.

I am building my examples around 100pt (-50 disadvantages) characters. The reason for this is that it makes using character templates really easy. If I need a quick NPC there is a stock Investigator template (used for reporters and cops) and the Soldier of Fortune template (used for all sorts of heavies and goons). This give me access to a lot of NPCs without having to stop and make them.

If I do want to make a unique NPC, it takes less time to spend and balance a 100 pt character than a 250 pt character. Fewer points would be even faster but I would then lose access to the stock templates.

The Collaborative Gamer’s ‘Solo 6’ or the ‘Solo8’ version looked pretty basic. I liked the Joe’s idea of the plot elements but it is not the way my mind works. I also don’t want to break out a d8 when I am playing GURPS, it is 3d6 or nothing unless I am rolling damage of course.

This is easy enough to say, I just need to write it, play test it and publish it. Then I will be as good as my word!

My first rough draft covers the obvious yes-no question, more open questions, NPC reactions and combat maneuvers. It is the last one, the combat maneuvers that I am working on today. GURPS is not a hack and slash game. I want to give my NPCs are realistic sense of self preservation. Screaming “Charge!” at the first sign of combat is not the style of the game.

For today, I am using other oracles and tables from other similar games. My D&D 5e rules use a 3d6 oracle, although the finished GURPS one will not need a table, it will be more Target Number based or that is the intention. There is a standard NPC reaction in the Campaign book that is working for now but can be much improved for solo purposes.

So that is where I am right now. I know what I want to do, I have an idea of how to do it. I just need to get it down on paper and play the game using the gurps solo rules over the weekend.

GURPS Solo Rules Discount!

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3 thoughts on “GURPS Solo Rules check-in”

  1. By the Gods, YES! I’ve only just recently began my own delve into solo gaming, and have decided to pull my favorite GURPS character out of retirement! I’ve gotten quite accustomed to using the Mythic GM Emulator and have been enjoying it thusfar!

    I prefer to not know my adventure until it happens, and as such, one of the few things that Mystic doesn’t do, is randomly build monsters/encounters inside of other systems on the fly. Being rather familiar with GURPS overall, I’m fairly confident in my ability to play the system alone with little issue, but I’d -love- to know just how you plan on handling NPC/Monster generation as you play! I know that GURPS readily utilizes templates for easier character building, but even those can get quite bulky and quite complicated, rather quickly. Also, GU|RPS breaks down their source material into really small portions, so there aren’t many good large sources of creatures/challenges (especially with random generation tables!)

    One example, I’m planning on playing my 500 CP character, as I wanted to bring him to a new world after he helped save the previous one. He’s a bit “higher-leveled” than the usual range of adventure, but one cannot just compensate for that by just dumping 200 CP of ST or Extra Attacks onto a 300 CP monster, otherwise it’d lead to some bad times. So, a more careful approach would be required, and I’d absolutely LOVE to see what approach you take for handling the construction of monsters (of all sizes!) for the standard simplicity of on-the-go solo play!

    • I am really pleased you are enjoying your solo games.

      I would normally play down in the 100-150 point range, but I will give you a full answer in a blog post later today [Friday].


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