GURPS101: Variation of Racial Memory

The following is a variation of Racial Memory meant for immortals and long-lived beings. It represents the fact that they’ve lived exceedingly long lives and may have learned, mastered, and forgotten skills in that time.


Racial Memory

see p. B78

Racial Memory (Long-Lived): You’ve been around for a while. Whenever you encounter a situation, go to a specific place, hear a language spoken, and so on the GM may roll your IQ secretly to see if it triggers a helpful memory from the past. For example, you might have read the original Inferno by Dante Alighieri and while perusing a modern copy might notice a vital clue in your current investigation. You may also use this ability actively, but roll at IQ-5. In either case, add any bonus due to Eidetic or Photographic Memory, from special talents, and any other general recall modifier. Success gives you useful information; critical success gives you a vivid replay worth a +1 to rolls related to it. Critical failure means you’ve blocked that memory out – for whatever reason. It also works as a general “catch all” for any skill the GM and player agree the character could have learned in his past. This gives the character a bonus to his default rolls depending on his margin of success: 1 – 3, gives a +1 to rolls; 4 – 6, gives a +2; while success by 7 or more, gives a +3. Critical success lets you roll as if you had it at attribute +0. In any case, if a skill has an unusually generous default, you can’t raise it to the level that actual points in the skill would buy.

For example, an immortal warrior cursed to live forever may have settled down at some point and become a farmer. If the GM agrees, then he may roll his IQ-5 to gain a bonus to Farming/TL3. 20 points.

Picking Over the Bones

I call it the “highlander flashback” because that particular franchise really popularized the whole “Oh, I can do this. I did this for 20 years in 1690!” At least for me. I’m sure there are other ways this could be done. The Jack of All Trades talent is one way to represent the omnicompetent. Having a Wildcard skill might represent another way. Either way, 20 points is probably fair for having this sort of utility.

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