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GURPS Basic Set: Characters


GURPS is the most flexible roleplaying system ever created. With just this book, you can adventure in any world you can imagine. Use all types of weapons from clubs to lasers . . . magic and martial arts . . . psionics and superpowers.

Create exactly the character you want to play . . . your favorite fictional hero, or your own invention. Choose from over 400 advantages and disadvantages, over 350 skills, spells, and techniques. Customize your character with individual perks and quirks, and you're ready to go.

No more switching game systems when you change campaigns! GURPS gives you one set of clear, comprehensive rules to cover any background. This new Fourth Edition is based on 16 years of gamer feedback from the Third Edition, and is faster and easier to play than ever before.

GURPS makes the Game Master's job easy and fun. All rules are carefully organized, indexed, and cross-referenced. Charts and tables are clear and legible. And to help you introduce new players to the system, there's a "Quick Start" section which covers the basics in a few pages.

This is Book 1 of the two-volume Basic Set. Only this book is necessary to play. Game Masters, and players wanting more detail, will find Book 2 valuable.

GURPS Characters is the companion book to GURPS Basic Set: Campaigns. The two provide everything you need to play or run a GURPS campaign.

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Reviews (1)
Discussions (6)
Customer avatar
Jonathan R October 02, 2020 8:06 am UTC
For some reason, the version of Characters here isn't the up-to-date seventh printing that SJG released earlier this year.
Customer avatar
Alexander M April 30, 2020 5:43 pm UTC
I remember impulse-buying the campaign set and finding that I liked it. Planning on joining a GURPS campaign soon so I'll eventually get a hardcopy of the Basic Set. I think anything else I go for would be PDFs. Admittedly, the prices are high, but the system and the writing are very high quality. I think they're worth it.
Customer avatar
Brett F November 18, 2017 2:20 am UTC
Why did they set the prices so high? If it wasn't for that I would buy quite a bit.
Customer avatar
Aaron W November 18, 2017 6:39 pm UTC
It's the same price it's always been, to my knowledge. I bought my copy for the same price from Warehouse 23 a few months ago.
Customer avatar
Aaron W November 18, 2017 7:23 pm UTC
EDIT: I misread your comment. I thought you asked why they increased the price.
Customer avatar
Samuel T June 01, 2018 7:07 pm UTC
Hardcover (still being sold) is $49.99 from Steve Jackson, so selling it super cheap devalues both the book and contents. Being that its a main book that you would probably get a lot of use out of it doesn't seem to be a bad price IMO.

I'd point out for new-ish books that there are costs in making the game in the first place before you even get into printing/distribution costs. Arists, writers, editors, etc. Plus DriveThru takes like 30% of the price here too, so a $30 book is $9 to DriveThru and $21 to Steve Jackson.

Honestly, for a core book? I think the price is fine, especially when you look at all the support it has overall from SJG, online forums, etc.
Customer avatar
Richard B July 10, 2018 10:26 pm UTC
Something you might want to consider regarding price. GURPS doesn't come out with new editions every few years like some other games. This is the same book with a few minor errata they published in 2004. I think games like D&D or Shadowrun have been through a couple of editions in that time. The third edition of GURPS lasted for around 20 years before they decided it had enough problems to warrant a new edition. If this edition lasts as long they'll still be putting out new supplements for it till 2024 or even longer given that their hasn't been much discussion on the SJG forums of things that need fixing for this version. I think given how long you may be using and how well written it is it's well worth the price.
Customer avatar
Aaron W November 14, 2017 12:45 pm UTC
Does anyone know if these PDF's are watermarked like other Drivethru stuff? I already have most GURPS books that are on here from e23 so the answer doesn't affect me much, but it would be nice to know if I can recommend this version to anyone looking into the system (which I won't do unless these PDF's are DRM free).
Customer avatar
Christopher B November 14, 2017 9:13 pm UTC
If the PDFs came with watermarks, the little red tag next to the price would say "Watermarked PDF" instead of just "PDF".
Customer avatar
Joshua S November 14, 2017 5:04 am UTC
Wow, Steve Jackson comes to DriveThru!
Customer avatar
Kai B November 14, 2017 7:15 am UTC
My guess is: Drivethru came to Steve Jackson ...
Customer avatar
Tomi K November 16, 2017 7:43 am UTC
If people want "living, breathing games", then they probably want GURPS. How many systems outside of D&D/Pathfinder get as much support in terms of regular, new supplements? A new supplement comes out every one or two months. Pyramid, the periodical, comes out every month. SJGames has people working full time creating stuff for the system. Not nearly all the GURPS stuff is on DriveThru (yet). Also, many of the 4th edition books are available on POD from Amazon/Createspace. Many, many people just prefer books in digital format nowadays.
Customer avatar
James M November 16, 2017 8:18 am UTC
Yes exactly. What's great about GURPS is that even though there's a wide range of stuff available for it, it's pretty easy to narrow down what you are going to want for what you are trying to do. Although it should be said that the Characters and Campaigns are by themselves pretty complete in terms of a broad and flexible system.
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File Last Updated:
November 13, 2020
This title was added to our catalog on November 13, 2017.
Steve Jackson Games
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