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The Generic Universal RolePlaying System, or GURPS, is a tabletop role-playing game system designed to allow for play in any imaginary setting. It was created by Steve Jackson Games and first published in 1986 at a time when most such systems were story or genre specific.

Players control their in-game characters verbally and the success of their actions are determined by the skill of their character, the difficulty of the action, and the rolling of dice. Characters earn points during play which are used to gain greater abilities. Gaming sessions are story-told and run by "Game Masters".

GURPS won the Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Rules of 1988,[1] and in 2000 it was inducted into the Origins Hall of Fame.[2] Many of its expansions have also won awards.



Prior RPG history

Prior to GURPS, roleplaying games (RPGs) of the 1970s and early 1980s were developed especially for certain gaming environments, and they were largely incompatible with one another. For example, TSR published its Dungeons & Dragons game specifically for a fantasy environment. Another game from the same company, Star Frontiers, was developed for science fiction-based role-playing. TSR produced other games for other environments, such as Gamma World (post-apocalyptic adventures), Top Secret (spies and secret agents), Gangbusters (Roaring Twenties adventures), and Boot Hill (American Old West). Each of these games was set with its own self-contained rules system, and the rules for playing each game differed greatly from one game to the next. Attempts were made in Advanced Dungeons and Dragons to allow cross-genre games using Gamma World and Boot Hill rules, but the obscure rules went largely unused.[citation needed] Though it was preceded by the lesser-known Supergame (DAG Productions, 1980), GURPS was the first commercially successful attempt to create an all-encompassing, "universal" role-playing system that allows players to role-play in any environment they please while still using the same set of "core" rules.

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