Important Modifiers

Modifiers are crucial to GURPS. Here are a few of the ones that people should keep in mind in case one or more should be applicable for a character.


Extra Attack

  • Multi-Strike, +20%, Martial Arts pg 44:
    You can strike more than once with the same weapon or body part. This lets you launch more attacks than you have limbs, natural weapons, and attack abilities. You can use your best attack multiple times.
  • Single Skill, -20%, Martial Arts pg 44:
    Your Extra Attacks apply only to a particular combat skill. For instance, Extra Attack 2 (Single Skill, Karate) lets you attack three times – but at least two of the attacks must be with the Karate skill. To attack more than once using a weapon skill, you need either one weapon per attack or the Multi-Strike enhancement.

Magery 0 & Magery

  • Stable Casting, +40%, Thaumatology pg 28:
    Whenever you roll a critical failure with a spell, you can try to “stabilize” the magic by making an immediate second roll against the spell skill, without range penalties but with all other applicable modifiers. Success turns the result into a normal failure. Note that this enhancement may make powerful mages excessively flamboyant about their magic.


General equipment

  • _Free, *0, NA:
    This modifier is primarily to reflect equipment that doesn’t cost the character. An example would be something obtained from a fallen foe or used from the armory in the training tower.
  • Cheap (Clunky), x0.5, Low-Tech pg 14:
    Cheap items use inexpensive materials. Weight is x.5. Not available for weapons or armor.
  • Cheap (Fragile), x0.5, Low-Tech pg 14:
    Cheap items use inexpensive materials. -2 to HT and halve DR. Not available for weapons or armor.
  • Expensive, x1.5, Low-Tech pg 14:
    Expensive gadgets are made of lighter, stronger materials. Weight is x2/3. Not available for weapons or armor.
  • Disguised, x2 / x5, Low-Tech pg 14:
    A gadget or a weapon may be disguised as something of similar shape; e.g., a knife built into a belt buckle. Finding the hidden item requires the Search skill. x2 for a mass-produced item, x5 for a custom-built one.
  • Quality (Good), x5, Campaigns pg 345 & Low-Tech pg 14:
    +1 to skills that use the equipment.
  • Quality (Fine), x20, Campaigns pg 345 & Low-Tech pg 14:
    +2 to skills that use the equipment.
  • Rugged, x2, Low-Tech pg 14:
    A “ruggedized” gadget is built to withstand abuse, harsh weather, and damage. It has a shockproof and/or waterproof case, heavy-duty framework or fasteners, etc. This gives +2 to HT and doubles normal DR. Weight is x1.2. This option isn’t available for clothing, weapons, or
    armor, except as specifically noted.
  • Styling, x2/x3…/x10, Low-Tech pg 14:
    Any gear can have a more fashionable appearance: inlaid jewels, hand-tooled leather, embroidery, brocade work, silver or gold plate, etc. This is common for presentation-grade weapons. Styling grants a bonus to reaction rolls from collectors and potential buyers, and to Merchant skill rolls made as Influence rolls (p. B359) on such people: +1 per level.


  • Leather of Quality, +4 CF, Low-Tech pg 105:
    Kangaroo leather has a very high tensile strength, three times that of cowhide. Sharkskin is extremely tough, and more resistant to abrasion than any other leather. Giraffe hide is sought after in Africa because it’s both lightweight and extremely tough. Certain sections of horse hide also provide excellent leather. In addition, some advanced tanning methods may improve leather’s quality. Treat superior hides as fine leather armor with +1 DR. Weight is unchanged.
  • Reinforced, +0.25 CF, Low-Tech pg 105:
    Textile or leather armor may be reinforced with metal, horn, wood, or shell pieces for additional protection. This option isn’t available for metallic armor. Reinforcing grants +1 DR vs. cutting (only), but adds 25% to weight. Recalculate armor HP based on the new weight.
  • Expert Tailoring, +5 CF, Low-Tech pg 110:
    Low-Tech assumes that all but cheap-quality armor is custom-fitted to the owner. An experienced armorer can improve the fit even further. This adds -1 to penalties to target chinks in armor (pp. 101-102).; reduce weight by 15%.
  • Masterful Tailoring, +29 CF, Low-Tech pg 110:
    This is very fine armor, made by one of the world’s best armorers. As Expert Tailoring, but reduce weight by 30%.
  • Fluting, +4 CF, Low-Tech pg 110:
    All plate armor (pp. 108-109) is specifically shaped to cause blows to glance off harmlessly, but adding flutes, ribs, and bosses in key areas allows a weight reduction with no loss of strength. Scale and lamellar armor (pp. 106-107) can likewise be strengthened with a boss or vertical medial rib raised on each scale. Not available for other armor. Reduce weight by 10%.

Still to come

CF Explained
CF simply stands for Cost Factor. This is a change late in version 4 of the rules, to compensate for ridiculously compounding prices where the multipliers resulted in overly inflated results. To figure out the final cost of something, add all of the CF’s together, add 1, then multiply the items base cost by this result. GCA will handle this for you, but the conceptual formula is here to help you understand should you want to.

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Important Modifiers

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