Designer’s Notes: GURPS Monster Hunters: Power-Ups 1

Ahhh, where to begin? This was my first solo work. I’d previously written GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 19: Incantation Magic with Antoni Ten Monrós and Dungeon Fantasy Traps with Jason “PK” Levine. Of course, one could say my numerous Pyramid articles were “solo” as well – but there is a difference of length that really makes them two different beasts. I originally conceived, proposed, outlined and  for two books. One covering the non-powered templates (commando, techie, sage, sleuth, and warrior) and the other covering the powered templates (crusader, experiment, inhuman, psi, and witch). I felt covering the first was best because they are the underdogs of Monster Hunters – it also gave me the chance to give techies a severely needed boost in my tech-invention system.

I started writing on September 4th 2017 and finished on October 19th, 2017. Revisions took from October 26th 2017 to January 8th 2018. I sent in the first draft February 4th, 2018 after doing my final checks. Sean was fast on his comments and had them back to me on February 26th, 2018. I instituted all changes and sent back the revised draft on March 27th, 2019. Then at my request I was moved down the playtest queue (I had a lot going on in my personal life at the time and I just didn’t have the headspace for a playtest where I was the author). March 1st was the start of the playtest and the book saw the rounds (it was a fairly lively playtest). In May 17th, 2019 Nikki sent me back the first preview PDF and I sent multiple comments back to her (along with her questions) through three iterations until finally it was ready on July 16th, 2019. Finally, it was published on July 17th, 2019 and has so far sold over 100 copies.

All in all it took me about 200 hours to write, 300 hours to edit, 15 hours worth of research (double checking everything was a pain, but required), and 400 hours of revision. I spent a further 20 hours looking over the preliminary PDF for any issues and revising.

You can (and should!) buy it here.

Some notes on specific abilities/sections:

Duck and Cover!: Being able to acrobatically stand on your feet was so minor I included it as a 0-point part of the power-up.

Archery! and Fist!: Including these from previous sources was a must in my mind if only to expand options for warriors.

Push-Ups Make You Bulletproof: Arguably something that may not have been useful in a game about hunting monsters until you realize vampires and other humanoids can use guns too . . . (And if you as a GM aren’t doing that consider why not. Tools are tools and nothing is scarier than a master vampire dual-wielding assault weapons at close range.)

Run and Gun: I love power-ups where you can move and attack at once. It’s so cinematically awesome. I needed to have this in and it was in my outline it was so inspirational to what I felt the book needed.

Slayer’s Strike: This complex build was the only way to mimic how sometimes the defenses of monsters just don’t seem to matter in fiction or film. I’m rather proud of how this turned out because of the synergy of “Costs Character Points” and a special pool of Destiny Points whose job was to power the ability.

Tough Guy: From my house rules, we’ve needed an ability like level 4 and 5 for a while now. Happy to see it in print.

Archetype: Is a sneaky trait that imagines what you might do with a wildcard meta-trait/lens/template.

Enhanced Critical: Is just a really sneaky version of Rules Exemption. Nothing more.

I Got That!: This came from my Chronicles of Ceteri urban fantasy campaign and was put together by Kevin Smyth (aka Harald387) and myself for his outcast angel character.

Ready Steady: This one came from the forums via a Kromm post; I just got it shined up some.

Sage Perks: Most of these came from Kevin and I was thrilled to have them.

Deductive Mastery: aka Sherlockian Scan. Nuff said. 🙂

I Have A Friend: Started off life as “I know a Guy”, but Nikki and I decided it would be better if it were a little more gender neutral. This one was directly inspired by a post that Anders Starmark made. I’d been using it in my house rules collection for some time.

Remarkably Unremarkable: Another one of my favorite powers – stems from my love of Arcane from Mage: The Ascension.

I Don’t Need a Manual: Came directly from my Aeon campaign setting from one of C.’s character “Technomancer.”

Blurred Attack: Was something I’d been using in my campaigns for a while. I’m happy to see it in print.

Quicksilver Strike: Like Run and Gun – but for melee attacks. Again, I love movement + action attacks. Sometimes Move maneuvers feel like a combat tax levied by the GM and I’m not a big fan at times.

Blade Fencer: Because fencing weapons are awesome. Again, warriors needed some more love than they got and this was a way to give it to them.

Esoteric Material Bond: One of the biggest problems for warriors was having to use multiple weapons to affect multiple monsters. Where is the guy with that one sword who can take anything on? I had to fix that.

One With Your Weapon: Originally conceived as four levels of modified Striking ST it was suggested to change it to just one level with a high-level Cosmic. I like how it turned out. My math was basically “Every four levels gives +2 to thrust and every +2 to damage is basically +1/die.”

Weapon Specialist: Another way to boost warriors – this time using Blessed as a sort of god-given talent. The under-the-hood here “Skill +1 [4] + Enhanced Parry 1 [5]  + Enhanced Critical 1 [1].”

Techie Inventions: Originally conceived for a pyramid article this set fallow in my Vault for a while until After the End 2: The New World came out. The way it handled tech parts crystallized the system perfectly. The new inventions section is essentially a scaled down Metatronic Generators from Pyramid #3/46: Weird Science.

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  1. I would love to see under the hood on blurred attack. It seems like we have the standard -2 for deceptive attack, and we’re somehow getting an additional -2 per “level” in that technique. If it had fixed penalties for technique benefits it seems like it would revert to 2 points per additional -1 to defense after the initial buyoff; am I correct in assuming that the penalties are just being doubled to account for the ability to buy them off?

    • It uses the technique creation system from GURPS Martial Arts to add -1 to Parry, Block, and Dodge for -4 to skill. Nothing snazzy about it. I could have gone with buying off the penalty for Deceptive Attack itself but that seemed to cheesy to me. So I went with Martial Arts. I thought it was pretty obvious which is why I didn’t have an under the hood section.

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