GURPS101: Deconstructing Enhanced Time Sense

(Well, I’ve done quite a few of these posts now and I guess I can quit with the cutesy names at this point and add a proper tag.) Today I’m talking about Enhanced Time Sense and yes, I know that I haven’t talked about Combat Reflexes yet since this trait relies on that one so much, but I’ll get to that at some point and link back here.

So how does Enhanced Time Sense break down?

Enhanced Time Sense as Pieces Parts
So exactly what does this trait do and how does it do it? (Note: I’m drawing this directly from Kromm as posted here.)

  • All the benefits of Combat Reflexes (+1 to active defenses and Fast-Draw, +2 to Fright Checks, immunity to freezing when surprised, and +6 to recover from lesser surprise).
  • Always act first in the combat sequence against those without Enhanced Timese Sense.
  • Always draw first in a standoff with unready weapons.
  • Always go first in a Wait situation/standoff with ready weapons, even unarmed vs. a gun.
  • Dodge snipers’ bullets fired from “surprise” if you can see a flash, hear a report, or have Danger sense.
  • Ignore penalties to attack around fast-moving obstacles.
  • Invoke the Bullet Time rule, if used.
  • Parry bullets with the Parry Missile Weapons skill, or shoot them down effectively with the Area Defense perk.
  • You can perceive things that happen too fast for the human eye to see. This works much akin to viewing reality as “frames” of a film.
  • Request extra time on the real-world clock to make combat decisions, even if the GM has everybody else on a turn timer. Thus you cannot be penalized for for being mentally “rushed” – basically, you have all the time in the world to figure out a problem. The exception to this is events that happen to fast to even perceive in the first place. GURPS Monster Hunters 5: Applied Xenology and GURPS Powers: Enhanced Senses clarifies this as essentially any Per-based task gaining a +5 to rolls due to this.

Canon Enhanced Time Sense Special Modifiers

There a are no special modifiers for Enhanced Time Sense other than the one listed below and really only one RAW example application of Aspected in GURPS Powers: Enhanced Senses (p. 30).

  • Combat Sense (Limitation; GURPS Martial Arts, p. 44): Your advantage only applies when you are in combat.


New Modifiers for Enhanced Time Sense

Some new modifiers I’ve posted on the forums or use in my own game:

  • Combat Perceptions: You halve (round up) any penalties you have in combat for acting or perceiving others act quickly. This effectively halves the penalties for Rapid Strikes, multiple parries, etc. (+50%).
  • Imperceptible Perceptions: You are not limited by your human perception of events when it comes to your ability to process information. Your brain simply picks things up and turns it into stimuli you can process. This removes the limitation of being able to perceive an event to react to it. This requires no roll! It just happens. Thus if a sniper shot at you and you couldn’t notice it, you’d still get a Dodge. This is similiar to Precognition – but different and includes the benefits of Danger Sense for other situations. (+75%).
  • Universal Perceptions: Your bonus to Perception-based tasks extends to any task. This gives you a +5 to any roll where you could conceivably benefit from taking more time. (+450%).


Buying Enhanced Time Senses as Discrete Parts

Normally, I’d do a post giving you an example build of the power, but Enhanced Time Sense is one of those traits you either have or don’t and is rarely modified (as noted by the absence of traits in the various GURPS books). Instead, I’ll just break it down into parts as shown below (note: this has been proposed by folks before me, notably +Patrick Burroughs and +Wavefunction).

  • Combat Reflexes [15]
  • “Perceptual Speed” Talent 5 [25] (This covers any task or skill that’s Perception-based)
  • Blinding Strike 5 [5] (A perk that increases your place in the order of initiative, thus you gain a +5 to your Basic Speed for the purposes of determining who goes first in combat)

If one wanted to you could easily create a leveled version of Enhanced Time Sense with Combat Reflexes being the first level and then each level thereafter costing 6 points and giving a +1 on Per-based tasks and +1 to your Basic Speed for your order in the initiative.


Picking Over the Bones

Enhanced Time Sense is one of those traits that’s been picked apart, dissected, and revamped since the beginning of fourth edition GURPS. It’s one of my favorite things to give to speedsters or those who have supernatural reaction speeds like vampires or demons. Overall, it’s something that I should ponder more and see how I can further modify it.
Posted in GURPS 101 and tagged , , .


  1. There is another use of Enhanced Time Sense that is awesome. From Gun Fu P.14 under “Dodging Bullets.”

    If someone has Danger Sense, they always gets a dodge roll, even against an attack from behind.

  2. Pingback: GURPSDay Summary May 18, 2018 – May 24, 2018 - Gaming Ballistic

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