[Blue Room GURPS: The Craig Roth Collection]Variant Rules for Lycanthropy in GURPS

By S. John Ross

These rules are meant to replace some of the rules in GURPS Bestiary for were-creatures. In general, Bestiary's Advantages, Disadvantages, skills and such are still used. However, these rules treat lycanthropy as (usually) an advantage or (rarely) a disadvantage, not a case of the Multiple Forms rules.

This means that the point value of (for instance) a werewolf is calculated by the GM and then doesn't change. There are no ``shared points'' and no limits on the value of the form.

Advantage or Disadvantage?

If the player is responsible for playing the were-form, regardless of the nature of The Change, lycanthropy is an advantage. This is true even if the were-form is a highly dangerous Split Personality, or is Morally Opposed to the ``real character.''

If the character has complete control over when he changes, lycanthropy is an advantage, even if the GM plays the were-form.

Only if the were-form is entirely under the control of the GM, AND the change is not completely under the character's conscious control, does lycanthropy have the potential to be a disadvantage.

In either case, the advantage or disadvantage is taken only by the real character.

Step One: Base Advantage Price: Begin by calculating the price of the were-form in Bestiary/Fantasy Folk terms. When you are done, add 10 points (or 5 points for changes with limited or variable control, as per Bestiary). This is the Base Cost.

Step Two: Special Disadvantages: If the were-form carries with it any special disads, add these in. If the change is Uncontrolled, calculate the value of that disadvantage normally, and add THAT in. If the were-form is assumed to be a Split Personality, add the value of that disad, as well. If added disads bring the total cost below 10 points, raise the base to 10 points before the next step, unless the form meets one of the criteria above for being a disad (GM control of form, AND partial or complete lack of control of change). If those criteria are met, leave the value where it is.

If the total is zero or less, skip step three.

Step Three: Percentile Modifiers and Necessary Minimums: Once the total cost of the advantage is calculated as a package, then percentile modifiers such as Item-Based Weredom can be added. The minimum total cost is 25% of the positive total of Advantages, Disadvantages, and Skills that the were-form has, regardless of what the real character has, or 10 points, whichever is more.

Step Four: Flip-Flop: If the were is a Split Personality with the were's personality being controlled by another player or by the GM, AND the point value is currently above 0, add a minus sign. In other words, if the total is currently 25 points, it becomes a -25 point disadvantage.

Step Five: Now You're Done: This is the price of the advantage, or value of the disadvantage. It will be the same regardless of which character takes it; it's price has nothing to do with the attributes or skills of the ``real'' character.

Optional: Relative Hit Points and Strength: If the GM likes, the stats of the basic form can be expressed as-is (``The Giant Wombat form has ST 30'') or as a relative term (``The Giant Wombat form has triple the ST of the real form''), basing multiples and changes on attributes of 10. This has no effect on point cost, and is a matter of taste. Generally, such ``relative'' attributes should only apply to ST and Hit Points.

Multiple Forms: If a character can turn into a wolf AND a wolf-man, he must buy both of those advantages; their price is calculated as above. If the GM wishes, ``packages'' of multiple forms can be built, and bought as one big advantage.

Example: Yrth Werewolves

Step One: Look at page 113 of GURPS Bestiary. The Wolf Template there consists of 153 positive points and 95 negative points, for a net cost of 58 points. Since the change is quasi-controlled (the character can change when he wants, but must change on the night of a full moon) 5 points are added, for a total of 63 points.

Step Two: The social disads have already been factored in, and the change is not Unpredictable and the were retains his personality. No changes in this step.

Step Three: No wierd percentile modifiers. This isn't an item and has no strange conditions from Supers tossed in. Since the positive points in the template were 153 points, this advantage must cost at least 39 points (25% of the positives). It's already over that, so there's no change.

Step Four: Nothing here. It's not a disad by any stretch of the imagination. Turning into wolves is cool.

Step Five: All done. A Yrth werewolf is a 63-point advantage. Any character who takes this advantage can turn into a wolf with the stats listed.

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