Gurps Tables Document Notes

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Document History

  • The Uplift Universe is the creation of David Brin.
  • These charts based on those found in GURPS Uplift 1/e by Stefan Jones.
  • They were modified by some unknown author(s) before I recieved them.
  • I modified them further. Or, in not a few cases, back, reversing the often silly changes of the unknown author(s).
  • See Gurps Tables/Original for the version I recieved.
  • My own updated and revised version: Gurps Tables

I recently managed to get a copy of the 2/e GURPS Uplift which has some good modifications itself. But I support Brin, Jones, and Jackson, so I think I'll only work with out of print material here. For now at least. If I do another major revision I might incorporate some of the new stuff, in the interest of making the best possible charts.

I also believe that these charts are a minor part of the (excellent) GURPS Uplift publications and if you are interested in the material covered by these books, you should strongly consider buying them for yourself, and hope my publication of these charts does not result in any loss of sale, but rather is potential advertising for the books in question.

Changes I have made

  • change "race" to "species". "Races" is a bad habit of the gamer/fantasist.
  • standardize various references to "GM" and "creator" to just "Creator"
  • change adjective form of neoteny from "neotenic" to "neotenous". Both are correct, but I strongly prefer "neotenous"
  • Change probabilities for diet. Mostly, to increase probability of omnivore slightly
  • Gathering: possibility of Curiousity=+1
  • Change Pair-Bond characteristics: possible Chauvinism+1 instead of Empathy-1
  • Number of sexes: add modifiers, redistribute probabilities
  • Rework Method of Delivery table. It was almost impossible to roll a bird. Decided on splitting into two tables because two different sets of modifiers come into play for different types of options.
  • Reproduction special features: (If Solitary, only one in 100 females is fertile) is ridiculous. Changed to (If Solitary or Pair-Bonding, stop rolling)
  • Cut Forest/Jungle modifier for Posture
  • Walking Paws does not equal digitigrade. Humans (one of the examples given) are plantigrade.
  • Brachiator/Glider -1 to eye placement (favor binocular vision)
  • Aquatic +2 to size and open up larger and smaller sizes
  • Swimmer/Aquatic/Amphibious +1 for number of digits roll
  • Rework modifiers to Activity Cycle, and redistribute probabilities, add Crepuscular option
  • Re-ordered Teeth/Claws and Special Weapons tables.
  • Winged Flight bonus to Voice (winged flight is likely to bring breathing under conscious control)
  • Added more modifiers to vision sharpness, restructured probabilities, and allowed Blind to be rolled
  • Parallel changes to Hearing
  • Add modifiers to Tactile, Motion, Taste, and Smell Sense tables
  • Increase likelihood of Other Sense, but increase chance of Magnetic Sense to half of all Other Sense
  • Downshifted the entire Intelligence table. From what I remember, I'm pretty sure our unknown added alot of possibility of higher intelligence. To me, these charts are supposed to be for non- and pre-sentients. As it was, it was likely that, say, your basic garbage eating fungus had human intelligence, and impossible to any less intelligent than a particularily bright horse. Um, yeah. I left it still less constrained than is probably realistic, though, for interest value.
  • Split out pre-sentient attribute to separate table.
  • Removed hangover-related abilities from the Special Mental Abilities Table.
  • Imagination +3: "As for +1, but..." -> "As for +2, but..."
  • Removed Section for Sentients only regarding Tech, Government, etc. These were added out of whole cloth by the unknown author(s) and were not up to standard, nor connected well with the other tables, nor what I think these tables are meant for. See Gurps_Tables/Original if you want to use it
  • a few minor clarifications or copy-edits not worth mentioning individually

Changes I might make in the future

  • Put warning marks on interesting but highly unlikely possibilities. I will probably leave unmarked, or mark differently, traits that are obviously dependent on Creator choices about the larger setting, such as Psionics
  • Re-wording re: "neoteny" and r-type, K-type
  • Re-word activity cycle description re: "sleep" (-> "rest")
  • Re-word descriptions under "Combining Traits", which currently seem to be oriented at describing individuals, rather than species. Huh, why?
  • Change weight/heights to metric. Maybe make some fixes on numbers, but I mostly just ignore their numbers and work out my own based on intuition and comparison.
  • Move # of Sexes before society type, and have it effect. (For example, what do you do if you roll Pair-Bond, and then Parthenogenetic?)
  • Communication: level paradigm for voice vs. other channels. Cut reference to traits which are determined after communication.
  • Mental Special Abilities / Special Disabilities levels chances and/or increase chance of one if other
  • Forest/Jungle options have been poorly modified from original. Not enough possibility of ground-dwellers, plus removal of Arboreal trait, even though Arboreal is referenced by later tables. Need to fix, plus make sure all "Brachiator" and "Arboreal" modifiers are correctly assigned. Brachiators swing under branches, like apes. Arboreal, in the lack of more specific traits, such as Brachiator, Clinging, etc., walk on top of branches, like monkeys and squirrels.
  • Probably re-distribute probabilities for Posture for Radial Symmetry. Figure out exactly what they mean by Invertebrate, and clarify that.
  • Perhaps re-work body covering. Perhaps not.

In one or two cases, I had no idea what was being said. In such cases, I left it unmodified. Maybe someone else understands what they were saying. If you don't, feel free to ignore it or make something up, as seems appropriate. In fact, feel free to do that if you do understand, too.

On the other hand, I've made some counter-intuitive choices/modifications, but they are for good reasons based in my understanding of evolutionary biology, so just because something seems weird, don't reject it out of hand. Truth and fiction, you know.

Also, note these tables are designed largely for fairly complex beings. Thus certain attributes are skewed away from the real distribution, most notably including size and intelligence.

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