Alright… radio silence is broken. Figured I’d play around with some of my weapon cards and develop some for 4E. So, here are some weapons cards that I developed. If you want to download them in *.doc format, the links are below.
Let me know what you think; and if you develop any of your own, I’d love to add them to the collection!
If you decide to go beyond just the GURPS 4E Basic Set and use the Power-Ups series of books, I’ve gone through and identified certain things that are applicable to Spec Ops templates. Some of these may lean away from the hard-core realistic and venture more into the cinematic or fantastical, but I wanted to include them as options. Each GM should decide whether or not to allow them in his/her campaign.
For the purposes of simplicity, all upcoming 4E Special Ops templates will be designed only using the Basic Set, with no built-in Perks or Talents. I will, however, try to include options for each template that are suitable to that specific template.
Armorer’s Gift (Power-Ups: Perks p. 5), Weapon Bond (Power-Ups: Perks p. 9), Eye for Distance (Power-Ups: Perks p. 13), Patience of Job (Power-Ups: Perks p. 13); Penetrating Voice† (Power-Ups: Perks p. 14), Dabbler (Power-Ups: Perks p. 16).
† Especially useful for officers and NCOs.
Any Appearance Perk (Power-Ups: Perks p. 4), Equipment Bond (Power-Ups: Perks p. 9), Accent (Power-Ups: Perks p. 12), Good with (Animal) (Power-Ups: Perks p. 13), Deep Sleeper (Power-Ups: Perks p. 13), Cross-Trained (Power-Ups: Perks p. 16), Efficient (Power-Ups: Perks p. 16); Naval Training (Power-Ups: Perks p. 6), Off-Hand Training (Power-Ups: Perks p. 16).
Born Soldier (Power-Ups: Talents p. 12), or Born Tactician† (Power-Ups: Talents p. 12), or Born War-Leader† (Power-Ups: Talents p. 12); Outdoorsman (Power-Ups: Talents p. 14), Stalker (Power-Ups: Talents p. 15), Survivor (Power-Ups: Talents p. 16).
† More suited for senior NCOs and officers.
Animal Friend (Power-Ups: Talents p. 6), Born Sailor (Power-Ups: Talents p. X), Craftiness (Power-Ups: Talents p. 9), Cultural Chameleon (Power-Ups: Talents p. 9), Talker (Power-Ups: Talents p. 16), Tough Guy (Power-Ups: Talents p. 16).
GURPS Power-Ups: Quirks provides some examples and additional guidance on quirks to use – however, be cautious, those that are the same as the prohibited disadvantages should also be considered prohibited in most cases.
For a realistic to semi-realistic Special Ops campaign, I would not consider Wildcard Skills as being allowable. However, for a cinematic Special Ops campaign, consider the following Wildcard Skills as desirable/appropriate:
Assassin! (Power-Ups: Wildcard Skills p. 27), Boat! (Power-Ups: Wildcard Skills p. 28), Demolition Man! (Power-Ups: Wildcard Skills p. 29), Drive! (Power-Ups: Wildcard Skills p. 29), Fake! (Power-Ups: Wildcard Skills p. 30), Fist! (Power-Ups: Wildcard Skills p. 30), Gun! (Power-Ups: Wildcard Skills p. 30), Medic! (Power-Ups: Wildcard Skills p. 33), Pilot! (Power-Ups: Wildcard Skills p. 34), Scout! (Power-Ups: Wildcard Skills p. 35), Security! (Power-Ups: Wildcard Skills p. 35), Shooter! (Power-Ups: Wildcard Skills p. 35), Ten-Hut! (Power-Ups: Wildcard Skills p. 36), Wheel Man! (Power-Ups: Wildcard Skills p. 37).
As discussed in my previous post, I’ll be converting many of the Special Ops templates found in GURPS Special Ops 3rd Edition, various Pyramid articles, and my previous posts (such as SARC, Combat Weatherman, ARAS, and SWCC).
As discussed at length in the GURPS Update, the cost for Dexterity and Intelligence have doubled, which will significantly increase the overall costs for these character templates as compared to GURPS 3e.
Add points in Fatigue Points (p. B16), Hit Points (p. B16), Perception (p. B16), Will (p. B16)
Fit (see p. B55), Security Clearance 
All of the upcoming 4E templates include both.
Absolute Direction (p. B34), Absolute Timing (p. B35), Acute Senses (p. B35), Ambidexterity (p. B39), Breath Holding (p. B41), Charisma* (p. B41), Combat Reflexes (p. B43), Common Sense (p. B43), Damage Resistance (Tough Skin, -40%) (p. B46), Danger Sense (p. B47), Fearlessness (p. B55), Flexibility [5 or 15] (p. B56), Hard to Kill (p. 58), High Manual Dexterity (p. B59), High Pain Threshold (p. B59), Intuition (p. B63), Language Talent (p. B65), Less Sleep (p. B65), Luck (p. B66), Night Vision (p. B71), Peripheral Vision (p. B74), Reputation*† (p. B26), Resistant to Poison (+3) (p. B80), Temperature Tolerance (p. B93), or Voice (p. B97)*; one of Resistant to Disease (+3) (p. B80), Resistant to Disease (+8) (p. B80), or Immunity to Disease (p. B80); one of Rapid Healing (p. B79) or Very Rapid Healing (p. B79).
* Especially useful for officers and NCOs. A positive reaction makes command easier!
† Some decorations give an instantly recognized Reputation.
Duty (Specific Service, 15 or less; Extremely Hazardous) (p. B133)
All of the upcoming 4E templates include Extremely Hazardous Duty.
Code of Honor (p. B127); Fanaticism (p. B136); Honesty (p. B138); Sense of Duty (p. B153) (Comrades in arms or Unit) [-5] or (Service or Country) [-10]; Truthfulness (p. B159); Workaholic (p. B162).
Disclaimer – I will make updates to this as I need to, so don’t be surprised when you see something has changed. If you’re interested in this series, don’t be afraid to come back to this post to see the most up-to-date version!
My mock-up of what should be – GURPS Special Ops for 4th Edition
First… Steve Jackson – please don’t kill me for making a mock up of a GURPS 4e book cover… It’s purely in fun!
Second, the reason I went and made a cover for a book that will likely never happen is that I have been giving it a lot of thought on what direction I wanted my site to go. And I have decided that I will begin converting all the Special Ops templates over to 4th Edition. I think that my desire to stick with what I know… mainly GURPS 3e, which is now 14 years out-of-date, has restricted this site’s usefulness. And honestly, I have been reading my 4E books, and have decided it’s time to really make the full leap to that edition.
So, consider 2019 the year of GURPS Special Ops 4th Edition!
By the way, the artwork used on the cover are all done by one artist – Stuart Brown. Please feel free to check out his site that features all his artwork, and if you’re really into it, you can purchase prints of his work.
As a follow on from the template for the Air Force Special Operations Combat Controllers (SO64), I’ve decided to complete the third of the Air Force roles in US Special Operations, the other being the Pararescuemen (featured in this Pyramid article).
Ok, so you may be thinking, there are special operations weather dudes? Yep… and they actually fill a critical role in Spec Ops mission planning and execution, and they don’t just operate from back at the base. Special Operations Weather Team (SOWT) specialists are tactical observer/forecasters with ground combat capabilities and fall within the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC). The mission of a Special Operations Weather Team Specialist is to deploy by the most feasible means available into combat and non-permissive environments to collect and interpret meteorological data and provide air and ground forces commanders with timely, accurate intelligence. They collect data, assist mission planning, generate accurate and mission-tailored target and route forecasts in support of global special operations, conduct special weather reconnaissance and train foreign national forces. SOWTs provide vital intelligence and deploy with joint air and ground forces in support of direct action, counter-terrorism, foreign internal defense, humanitarian assistance, special reconnaissance, austere airfield, and combat search and rescue.
They gather, assess, and interpret weather and environmental intelligence from forward deployed locations, working primarily with Air Force and Army Special Operations Forces. SOWTs can also be attached to Marine MARSOC and Navy SEAL teams. They collect weather, ocean, river, snow and terrain intelligence, assist mission planning, generate accurate mission-tailored target and route forecasts in support of global special operations and train joint force members and coalition partners to take and communicate limited weather observations.
They operate on 2-3 man Environmental Reconnaissance Teams (ERT). ERT’s are attached to 8-9 man Special Tactics Teams (STT) alongside Combat Control (CCT) and Pararescue (PJ) personnel. Together they provide SOCOM a unique capability to establish and control austere airfields in permissive and non-permissive environments. Additionally, Special Operations Weathermen conduct special reconnaissance, fly small unmanned aerial systems (SUAS), collect upper air data, organize, establish and maintain weather data reporting networks, determine host nation meteorological capabilities and train foreign national forces.
Special Operations Weather Selection Course, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas (2 weeks): This course focuses on sports physiology, nutrition, basic exercises, special operations weather history and fundamentals.
Special Operations Weather Initial Skills Course, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi (30 weeks): This course prepares special operations weather apprentices. Training includes basic, intermediate, and advanced meteorology, report writing and computer usage. Other topics include satellite meteorology, weather chart analysis, weather radar, weather products, tropical meteorology, synoptic level analytical meteorology, weather prognosis techniques, forecasting weather elements to include severe weather, synoptic lab, forecasting lab, and a unit on the weather career field and weather equipment. Additionally, this time is also used to train students physically and mentally for the rigors of the rest of their pipeline. Students train alongside combat controllers to develop the team mindset they will use during their career.
Army Airborne School, Fort Benning, Georgia (3 weeks): Trainees learn the basic parachuting skills required to infiltrate an objective area by static line airdrop.
Air Force Basic Survival School, Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington (2.5 weeks): This course teaches basic survival techniques for remote areas. Instruction includes principles, procedures, equipment and techniques, which enable individuals to survive, regardless of climatic conditions or unfriendly environments and return home.
Air Force Water Survival Training, Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington (two days): This two-day course teaches principles, procedures, techniques, and equipment that enhance the ability to survive in a water environment and return to friendly control.
Air Force Underwater Egress Training, Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington (one day): This course teaches the principles, procedures, and techniques necessary to successfully egress from a sinking aircraft. Experiencing water entry and performing underwater egress is part of the training.
Special Operations Weather Apprentice Course (Combat Control School), Pope Field, North Carolina (13 weeks): This 13-week course provides final special operations weather qualifications. Training includes physical training, austere weather operations, tactical weather observations, small unit tactics, land navigation, communications, demolitions, and field operations including parachuting. Upon completing the course graduates are awarded a 3-skill level (apprentice), gray beret and SOWT crest.
Special Tactics Training Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida (12–15 months): This four phase course, formal training, core tasks, employment readiness training, and operational readiness training, produces operators ready for deployment as special operations weathermen
The following is a list of schools which are available to certain SOWT candidates based upon the needs of their unit and the Air Force: Riverine Assessment, Avalanche Forecast, Military Freefall (HALO/HAHO), SCUBA, Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS), Pathfinder, Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leaders Course (RSLC), and numerous ground combat specialty courses
AF Spec Ops Weather Technician 109 Points
The Basic Skills for U.S. Air Force Special Ops Weather Technician appear below. NCOs, warrant officers or commissioned officers, and characters who have foreign language or advanced training, will have the appropriate Special Skills package(s) as well, which will increase template cost.
Foreign Language (+2, 4 or 6 points): Add Language (any) (M/A) IQ -14 (Basic), IQ+1 -15 (Intermediate) or IQ+2 -16 (Advanced).
HALO School (+6 pts): Increase Parachuting to 15 .
Combat Diver School (+1/2 pt): add Scuba (M/A) IQ-2 [1/2]-12
SUAV School (+2 pts): Add Piloting (UAV) (P/A) DX -12.
** Military Rank [5/level] is required: Rank 1-2 for NCOs, Rank 3 for warrant officers, and Rank 3+ for commissioned officers.
Customization Notes: Spend your remaining points (41 points, in a 150-point campaign) to customize your character. Another -10 points in Acceptable Disadvantages (p. 56) and five quirks can be taken to get a further 15 points.
So, one of my interests is making maps for games, but with no artistic ability, I have been limited in what I can do. And so, bring forth the projector! In an attempt to make a map for an adventure/campaign I have rumbling around in my head, I decided to use the projector and some online maps to be able to customize a topographic map of a town.
For those interested, the base of the town is Halfway, Oregon. A town of only about 300, I have need of increasing it to about 8-10 times that. I chose Halfway, because it sits nicely in a valley, that is easily cutoff (via road) in all directions. I’m not going to give away what the campaign idea is quite yet, but it will be associated with GURPS and Special Ops characters.
I used the maps available from ArcGIS to get the cartographic layout – that’s what you see over at the bottom left of my map. I’ve added in the topographic lines showing changes in elevation. The map is, of course, a work in progress.
My plans to work on this further are:
add more buildings/roads to increase the footprint of the town. As mentioned previously, the town has a population of 300, but I’m looking for it to support a population of about 3000.
add in more vegetation/woods. Most of the area is pretty flat, consisting of farms but few trees.
add in some points of interest to the campaign. So, essentially I’ll have a “player’s map” and a GM’s map.
Note: For those making modern-day maps, ArcGIS has some incredible free tools, that are probably worthy of a post by itself. For example, if you’re team were to infiltrate and extract a political prisoner from the Badosh Prison outside Mosul, Iraq, you could use this as a GM to help visualize and layout the potential defenses, and you could provide this to the player’s as their satellite intel.
I certainly can’t take credit for the following vehicle write-up, but I wanted to share for those who may not have seen this over at the sjgames.com GURPS forum. Originally written by Phaelen Bleux, I added a bit more information. By the way – his website has some great 3E modern vehicles that I plan on using!
International MaxxPro Dash MRAP
As U.S. troops continued to fight a battle against guerrilla tactics in Iraq, it was rapidly discovered that the HMMWV was severely susceptible to mines, improvised explosives, and sneak attacks. While attempts were made to improve the protection offered by a HMMWV, the U.S.M.C. began pursuing the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle program. The key to the vehicle is a V-shaped armored crew compartment mounted on a high-clearance chassis. The APC’s height from the ground reduces the force of the blast from a mine or IED, while the V-shape to the hull defects the blast and fragmentation away from the crew inside the vehicle. One criticism of this design is that the chassis is not as well protected, potentially trapping the crew in a hostile zone with no way to escape. The compartment is armored on the sides and top from ballistic fire as well, and additional armor packages can be added as desired based on mission parameters.
The MaxxPro has a crew of two and can carry 4 passengers plus a gunner (if a gun mount is installed). It can be armed with a 7.62mm (M240B – see p. HT120) or 12.7mm (M2 Browning – see p. HT119) machine gun, or with a Mk19 Automatic Grenade Launcher (see p. HT121). It burns 9.8 gallons of diesel per hour of routine usage. A full tank of fuel costs $102.
The MaxxPro Dash is a smaller version of the original Category 1 vehicle. Its decreased size allows it to be lighter, smaller and more mobile that its larger versions, as well as less prone to roll-over incidents.
Subassemblies: Body +4, full rotation Open Mount -1, 4 off-road wheels +2. Powertrain: 280-kW improved all-wheeled drivetrain with 280-kW improved diesel engine, 8,000-kWs lead acid batteries. Fuel: 85 gallons diesel in standard tank (Fire 9). Occupancy: 2 RCS, 6 RPS. Cargo: 85 cf.
Body: 6/130 U *
All Else: 4/65
*Passenger compartment only – engine compartment is rated at 4/65.
Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS) Short-range radio with scrambler (4 miles);
military GPS (either the older AN/PSN-11 PLGR or Precision Lightweight GPS Receiver, or the newer AN/PSN-13 DAGR or Defense Advanced GPS Reciever);
10-man NBC kit;
16,000-lb. winch with 800-yard cable;
First Aid Kit (good for three uses, provides +1 to First Aid skill).
Also, soldiers tend to stow various stuff in their vehicles (from tools to rations and everything in between). It would not be surprising to find various items that the occupants have scrounged and squirreled away in their vehicle.
Body is 780 cf; wheels are 156 cf. Structure is Heavy, Standard. It has improved suspension, improved brakes and run-flat tires (DR 3). Sealed. Armor is standard metal with 90-degree slope on the bottom. Mechanical controls. Design curb weight is 34,937; this matches the historical curb weight of 34,000 lbs. nicely. Calculated gSpeed was 61 mph. Design loaded weight was raised 7%; the cargo space is treated as heavy (100 lbs./cf.). Unit cost in 2009 was $716,000.
The MaxxPro (MRAP Category 1) is a slightly larger version.
The MaxxPro Plus features a larger engine and payload.
By the way, I am working on some write-ups of current US and foreign military UAVs – primarily those used directly by small combat groups.