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GURPS is the abbreviated term referring to Generic Universal RolePlaying System – but of course you knew that, as well as the fact that it was developed by Steve Jackson Games in the 1980s as a way for the gamer to play in pretty much any imaginary setting.
The idea behind GURPS is that it allows a core set of gaming rules to be carried to any fantasy gaming environment, and with this difference to, say, Dungeons & Dragons comes a difference in the way characters are assigned abilities. Rather than the dice-based method of D&D, GURPS uses a points-based system, where each character has points to “spend" developing certain skills.
Although generic and universal, GURPS isn’t open standard – as such you will need to be careful where you search for GURPS PDF files online.
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Finding Free PDF Files Online
You need to be careful when looking for free stuff online – especially as you can end up visiting websites that are offering copyrighted material for free. These sites should be avoided at all costs, more so when you’re looking for PDFs. Illegal download sites are already untrustworthy by their very nature, but downloading PDFs from such a source could open your PC open to invasion by malware and Trojans.
Your best bet is to stick to trusted resources, and the best place to find free GURPS PDF files is the home of GURPS itself, www.sjgames.com.
Here you will find downloadable PDF files for GURPS Lite, a stripped-down version of GURPS intended for newcomers that don’t want to be bogged down by the games terminology and trivia at this stage. Visit www.sjgames.com/gurps/lite to download for free the 32 page guide.
Meanwhile experienced gamers will have some idea of the amount of paper they go through in the shape of character sheets and planning forms, control sheets and more, so a hop over to www.sjgames.com/gurps/resources will let you replenish your stock and save you from scanning that last crumpled copy of your character builder reference.
Finally, there are hundreds of fan-made games resources available online that use the GURPS gaming system. Such an example can be found at www.bazzalisk.org, while you can find many more full GURPS games in PDF form via the list at www.sjgames.com/gurps/fanpages.
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Purchasing PDF Games
You don’t have to stick to free GURPS PDFs, of course – there are plenty out there that can be purchased and downloaded. These are cheaper than the books for obvious reasons and the direct distribution that PDF offers means that these games can be downloaded and saved to an eBook reader or printed out minutes before a gaming session begins.
To begin with, don't miss GURPS Space, available from e32.sjgames.com.
In fact, a huge selection of PDFs are available from e32 – far too many to list here! I would suggest you begin by checking out the Browse page at e32.sjgames.com where you should be able to find something by genre, category, publisher or even title to suit your gaming needs!
(Images via corresponding links)