Tabletop Game: GURPS Supers

GURPS Supers is the Generic Universal Role Playing System's superhero expansion. Two editions were published in the 1980s as supplements for GURPS 3rd Edition; a completely new edition was much more recently published, actually a completely new book designed as a supplement for GURPS 4th Edition rules and linked to the recent GURPS Powers rules expansion.

The first edition was criticized because it arranged superpowers in sets called "Power Groups" which players felt limited their character creation choices. This was fixed in the second edition, so that powers could be bought individually. (Power Groups were retained as an optional system.) The 21st century edition handles powers and abilities completely differently again, in line with the significant changes in the core GURPS rules.

Another criticism of the original books was that you couldn't emulate the most powerful heroes from the comics (such as Superman or Green Lantern) because either they would be too expensive to adapt (costing thousands of character points) or their powers were too expansive and there were no exact equivalents for them (though these were problems faced by most superhero RPGs of the time.) On the other hand, GURPS Supers could handle the less absurd superheroes, and it produced many interesting original characters of its own. With the 4th Edition version, even cosmic-level heroes can now be reproduced, though most of the work for that was done in GURPS Powers.

Another problem the books had was the artwork; it was crude and uncolored, except on the covers. Again, the latest version has mostly better art, though still uncolored.

There were several Sourcebooks put out for the game, the most famous being an adaptation of the Wild Cards superhero novels. The 1980s editions had their own original setting, detailed in Gurps IST (International Super Teams) which featured an Alternate Reality where the United Nations effectively rules the world and uses superhero teams to keep the peace. The IST world was recently incorporated into the GURPS Infinite Worlds meta-setting. All of these can now be purchased in PDF form from Steve Jackson Games' website.

Related tropes: