The GURPS Library: Rated


A Consumer's Guide By S. John Ross

I get a lot of emails from newcomers to GURPS, asking me what I think of this book or that, and there are a lot of GURPS books to have an opinion on! As a long-time GURPS player and Game Master, I have opinions to spare, but Net Wisdom teaches that if questions are Frequently Asked, they deserve a FAQ.

So, this is a FAQ of sorts: The how-S. John-rates-the-GURPS-library FAQ! Naturally, tastes differ. This list reflects my own, and nobody else's. Caveat emptor. And you get what you pay for, too.

In general, I think any GURPS hardcore fan should own all the books that score 75-80% or higher, and should own all the books that score 60% or higher in the genre(s) you personally favor. Adjust to taste (the average rating is almost exactly 70%). The books are listed alphabetically. I have also prepared a list of the best of the books, arranged by score. The meanings of the ratings are described in the table below. Unrated books are books that I don't own, or own but haven't read enough to rate fairly. Note that I do rate my own work - feel free to adjust these ratings downward by 5% or so to reflect favoritism!

Note: I've rated the books on how much fun they are to read, and how "playable" I find them, in terms of ideas and inspiration. I've left game-mechanics pretty much out of the equation, unless a book has notable mechanical problems, like Supers or Black Ops, in which case this is reflected in a slightly lower "Play" score than the book would otherwise rate.

Rating

Read

Play

0

Unrated.

Unrated.

1

Poorly written. Not a fun read. Bad GURPS book; no donut.

It gives me no ideas, and doesn't make me want to play it at all.

2

Sub-standard writing. Either awkward or (more likely) just very dull and/or disorganized.

If somebody else GM'ed it I'd be willing to play. I could run it myself, too, but it would take more work than I like to invest.

3

Competent GURPS writing. Probably a shade above the general industry standard.

I can easily imagine how I might run a game with this, or how I might use the material in another game. Par.

4

An excellent read. Even non-GURPS gamers would be sure to get a kick out of it. Suitable for recreational reading.

This is a book that fills my head with ideas, one that makes me either want to play it, or that makes me want to play something, soon. Inspiring and gameworthy.

5

Above and beyond the call of game-writing, this book is so well-written that even those who aren't gamers at all would find large chunks of it interesting, and any gamer with half an interest in the subject matter will find themselves returning to it again and again.

This book grabs me by the collar, puts dice in my hand and demands to be played, or immediately worked into my game. If I'm not running a game, it demands that I start one, even if it's just an excuse to use this book in some way! It epitomizes the game-fun inherent in its subject matter.



GURPS BOOK Read Play Score
AADA Road Atlas V1: The East Coast 4 4.5 85%
AADA Road Atlas V2: The West Coast 4 4 80%
AADA Road Atlas V3: The South 3 3.5 65%
AADA Road Atlas V4: Australia 4 3.5 75%
AADA Road Atlas V5: The Midwest 2.5 2 45%
AADA Road Atlas V6: The Free Oil States 3 4 70%
AADA Road Atlas V7: The Mountain West 3 3 60%
GURPS Aliens 3.5 3.5 70%
GURPS Alternate Earths 4.5 3.5 80%
GURPS Alternate Earths 2 0 0 0%
GURPS Arabian Nights 4 3.5 75%
GURPS Atomic Horror 3 2.5 55%
GURPS Autoduel 3 3.5 65%
GURPS Aztecs 3 3 60%
GURPS Bestiary 3.5 4.5 80%
GURPS Bili the Axe: Up Harzburk 4 1 50%
GURPS Bio-Tech 3.5 3 65%
GURPS Black Ops 4 4 80%
GURPS Blood Types 3 2.5 55%
GURPS Bunnies & Burrows 4 4.5 85%
GURPS Callahan's Crosstime Saloon 4 3.5 75%
GURPS Camelot 4.5 3.5 80%
GURPS Car Warriors 4 3.5 75%
GURPS Celtic Myth 4 3 70%
GURPS Chaos in Kansas 2.5 3.5 60%
GURPS China 2.5 3.5 60%
GURPS Cliffhangers 3 4 70%
GURPS Compendium I 3 3.5 65%
GURPS Compendium II 3 3.5 65%
GURPS Conan 4 4 80%
GURPS Conan and the Queen of the Black Coast 4 3 70%
GURPS Conan: Beyond Thunder River 3.5 3 65%
GURPS Conan: Moon of Blood 0 0 0%
GURPS Conan: The Wyrmslayer 0 0 0%
GURPS Creatures of the Night 4 3 70%
GURPS Cthulhupunk 3 3 60%
GURPS Cyberpunk 3.5 3.5 70%
GURPS Cyberpunk Adventures 4 4 80%
GURPS Cyberworld 3.5 3 65%
GURPS Deathwish 0 0 0%
GURPS Dinosaurs 3.5 2.5 60%
GURPS Discworld 4.5 3.5 80%
GURPS Egypt 3 3 60%
GURPS Espionage 2.5 3 55%
GURPS Fantasy 3 4 70%
GURPS Fantasy Adventures 3.5 3.5 70%
GURPS Fantasy Bestiary 4 3.5 75%
GURPS Fantasy Folk 3 3.5 65%
GURPS Fantasy II 4.5 2.5 70%
GURPS Flight 13 4 4 80%
GURPS For Love of Mother-Not 3.5 3 65%
GURPS Goblins 4.5 3.5 80%
GURPS Greece 3 3 60%
GURPS Grimoire 3.5 3.5 70%
GURPS Harkwood 3.5 3.5 70%
GURPS High-Tech 3.5 3.5 70%
GURPS Horror, 2nd. Ed. 3.5 4 75%
GURPS Horseclans 0 0 0%
GURPS Humanx 4 4 80%
GURPS Ice Age 4 4.5 85%
GURPS Illuminati 3.5 4 75%
GURPS Imperial Rome 3.5 3.5 70%
GURPS International Super Teams 3.5 4.5 80%
GURPS IOU 4 3.5 75%
GURPS IST Kingston 3.5 3.5 70%
GURPS Japan 4 4.5 85%
GURPS Lensman 4 4 80%
GURPS Mage: The Ascension 3.5 3 65%
GURPS Magic 3.5 4 75%
GURPS Magic Items 1 2 3 50%
GURPS Magic Items II 3 3 60%
GURPS Martial Arts Adventures 3.5 3 65%
GURPS Martial Arts, 2nd. Ed. 4 2 60%
GURPS Mecha 3.5 4 75%
GURPS Middle Ages 1 3 3 60%
GURPS Mixed Doubles 4.5 3 75%
GURPS Old West 4 4 80%
GURPS Operation Endgame 0 0 0%
GURPS Orcslayer 3 4 70%
GURPS Places Of Mystery 3.5 3 65%
GURPS Planet Krishna 4 4 80%
GURPS Prisoner 4 4.5 85%
GURPS Psionics 3 3 60%
GURPS Reign of Steel 3.5 4 75%
GURPS Religion 3 4 70%
GURPS Riverworld 3.5 4 75%
GURPS Robin Hood 4 4 80%
GURPS Robots 3.5 4 75%
GURPS Russia 4 4 80%
GURPS Scarlet Pimpernel 4 4 80%
GURPS School of Hard Knocks 0 0 0%
GURPS Space 4 5 90%
GURPS Space Adventures 3 3.5 65%
GURPS Space Atlas 3.5 4 75%
GURPS Space Atlas 2 3.5 4 75%
GURPS Space Atlas 3 3.5 4 75%
GURPS Space Atlas 4 3.5 4 75%
GURPS Space Bestiary 3 4 70%
GURPS Space: Unnight 3.5 3.5 70%
GURPS Special Ops 3.5 3 65%
GURPS Stardemon 0 0 0%
GURPS Super Scum 0 0 0%
GURPS Supers Adventures 0 0 0%
GURPS Supers, 2nd. Ed. 3.5 3 65%
GURPS Supertemps 0 0 0%
GURPS Supporting Cast 3 3.5 65%
GURPS Swashbucklers 4 5 90%
GURPS Technomancer 4 4 80%
GURPS Terradyne 3.5 4 75%
GURPS The Old Stone Fort 4 3.5 75%
GURPS Time Travel 4.5 4.5 90%
GURPS Time Travel Adventures 3.5 3.5 70%
GURPS Timeline 3.5 3.5 70%
GURPS Traveller 2.5 3 55%
GURPS Traveller: Alien Races 1 3.5 3 65%
GURPS Traveller: Alien Races 2 0 0 0%
GURPS Traveller: Behind the Claw 3 3 60%
GURPS Traveller: Far Trader 0 0 0%
GURPS Traveller: First In 0 0 0%
GURPS Traveller: Star Mercs 0 0 0%
GURPS Traveller: Starports 0 0 0%
GURPS Tredroy 4 4 80%
GURPS Ultra-Tech 3.5 4 75%
GURPS Ultra-Tech 2 3 3.5 65%
GURPS Undead 3.5 3.5 70%
GURPS Uplift 3.5 4 75%
GURPS Vampire Companion 3 2 50%
GURPS Vampire: The Masquerade 3.5 3 65%
GURPS Vehicles, 2nd. Ed. 0 0 0%
GURPS Vikings 4.5 3.5 80%
GURPS Voodoo 4 3.5 75%
GURPS War Against the Chtorr 3.5 3 65%
GURPS Warehouse 23 4.5 4 85%
GURPS Warriors 3.5 2 55%
GURPS Werewolf: The Apocalypse 3.5 3 65%
GURPS Who's Who 1 3 3 60%
GURPS Wild Cards 3.5 3 65%
GURPS Wild Cards: Aces Abroad 0 0 0%
GURPS Witch World 3.5 3.5 70%
GURPS Wizards 3.5 2 55%


Of course, the best place to read about all these fun books is the official GURPS pages for them, at the Steve Jackson Games website. See you when you get back!

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