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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

GURPS 4e character creation in 10 minutes or less! Possible? See below.

I met again the bugbear of "slow chargen in GURPS" today. So I decided to share my method that results in at least semi-optimised GURPS characters, all in under 10 minutes.
The best part is, I developed it in order to introduce newbies to GURPS 4e and let them make their own characters. It worked.

Pick your ads and disads first. If you have an idea of what you want them to be, it's fast.
Pick all the skills you want, without levels yet.
Group them by attributes. Divide points between them roughly per the number of skills, or decide which kind of skills are more important for the character concept.
Count the skills for each attributes. If your archetype calls for more skills based on Strength, Dex or IQ, or exactly the same number, than the cost of raising it by 1 point, the choice is easier - pick all the skills at 1 point, dump the rest at the attribute. If they're less than that, but over 50% of the points to raise the attribute, take them each at 2 points. (So, if you need 8 skills based on ST, take them each on 2 points, because 1 point is mandatory, and 1 point/skill more gives you a 1-level increase). After that, only increase the attribute.
If the skills are less than that, you can take them at 4 points each, then raise the attribute.
Only if the (total number of skills)*4 is less than the cost of raising an attribute (say, only 4 skills on IQ), raise them and leave the attribute at basic!

Is that realistic? Well, guys, if you spend so much time practising skill sets that depend on a given quality, it's likely this quality is going to improve as well. A strong person is much more likely to learn to do strength-related jobs just by being shown the basics. And yes, this results in characters that are roughly at similar level in their skills, but that's what the XP during the campaign is for.
OTOH, with this method you can start playing almost immediately. Which is what some people are complaining about. So, use it!