Paradise City:Character Creation

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The system is GURPS 4th Edition and the Tech Level is 9. Recommended character-point value for new PCs is 170.


Mandatory Advantages[edit]

The Background Advantage

The Background Advantage is a 0 point mandatory Advantage that reflects the area of Paradise City (or beyond) in which the PC grew up. They are 0 points because they balance against each other in Paradise City and are meaningless in other settings. You may only take one Background. When you select a Background, you either pick one of the areas of the city found in Urban Geographyor make up an environment from elsewhere. In Paradise City, the Downtown, Midtown, Uptown and Nirvana areas may not be chosen as Backgrounds.

Background: Good Neighborhood

You grew up on the right side of town. You must choose either Eastgate or Westgate. Gain 1 point of Computer Operation, 1 point of Savoir-Faire (Corporate), and one level of the otherwise unavailable Good Corporate Talent [Administration, Computer Operation, Law (Paradise), Research, Savoir-Faire (Corporate), and +1 to all Mental skills that have the specialization (Background Area). Mental skills with the specialization Eastgate and Westgate default to one another at -1)].

Background: Bad Neighborhood

You grew up on the wrong side of town. This background covers everywhere in the Corporate Sanctuaries, the Projects and the Warzones. You must choose one of the following areas: Church Hill, The Helltowns, The Arenas, The Asylum, The Browns, The City Dumps, The Crypts, The Eastside Playgrounds, The Firepits, The Habitats, The Southside Jungles, The Towers, The Wonderlands, The Westside Nation and West Hollywood. Gain 1 point of Area Knowledge (Area), 1 point of Brawling and 1 point of Streetwise (Area). You gain one level of the Street Talent [Streetwise, Survival (Urban), and +1 to all Mental skills that have the specialization (Background Area)].

Background: Wastelander

The Wastelanders live in the desert that lies beyond the fringes of the city. Take 1 point of non-urban Area Knowledge, 1 point of Brawling, 1 point of Savoir-Faire (Central Wastes), and one point in any non-urban Survival skill. Take one level of the otherwise unavailable Wastes Talent [(Area Knowledge (any one non-urban), Driving, Survival (all non-urban), Tracking and +1 to all mental skills with the specialization “Central Wastes)”].


For characters who are not from Paradise, decide on an appropriate background based on the examples above. Backgrounds should all reflect normal backgrounds within the context of the game and any skills or talents should reflect the abilities of normal inhabitants – the PCs are not born exceptional, they make themselves exceptional. If a new Background Talent is clearly superior to one of the Paradise Backgrounds, it needs to be toned down.

Banned Advantages[edit]

Daredevil, Luck, and all exotic and supernatural Advantages do not exist in Paradise City. Some cyberware provides Advantages that would otherwise be exotic or supernatural.

Altered Advantages[edit]

Cyberware: Cyberware may not be purchased with character points. Only money buys cyberware. Your visible cyberware says a lot about you - read “Cyberware in Paradise” before you buy any. The Cyberware catalog for Paradise City can be found here.

Points for Equipment: For a default 170 point starting character, the player may spend up to 12 points at a rate of one point per $5,000 worth of extra starting equipment. This is mostly intended for the purchase of cyberware, although the player is free to spend the money on other things. Probably, most players will spend all 12 points to be chromed to the gills – that is perfectly appropriate for the setting.

Talents: Talents confer no reaction bonus in themselves – the citizens of Paradise care more about skill than raw ability.

Wealth: Comfortable Wealth requires an IQ of 12+ or a 5 point Unusual Background. Wealth levels of greater than Comfortable are not allowed for new PCs.


Exotic and supernatural Disadvantages are banned. Disadvantages gained from cyberware do not supply points and do not count against the Disadvantage limit.


Banned Skills[edit]

Exotic and supernatural skills do not exist in Paradise City. Neither does the Detect Lies skill.

Altered Skills[edit]

Combat Skills: No more than half of all points spent on skills may be spent on combat skills. Fighting alone is not a profession in Paradise, let alone a complete way of life.

Melee Skills: Points spent on melee combat skills and techniques, including unarmed combat, are doubled. This doubling does not count against the maximum number of points that may be spent in combat skills. The bonus reflects both the frequency of violence in many neighborhoods and the evolution of increasingly deadly techniques.

Streetwise: Streetwise must be specialized by area of the city. There are 21 areas, detailed under Urban Geography: Church Hill, Downtown, Eastgate, The Helltowns, Midtown, Nirvana, The Arenas, The Asylum, The Browns, The City Dumps, The Crypts, The Eastside Playgrounds, The Firepits, The Habitats, The Southside Jungles, The Towers, The Wonderlands, The Westside Nation, Uptown, Westgate, and West Hollywood. Streetwise specialized for one area may be used in other areas at a penalty of -2 for each area “boundary” crossed. Streetwise specialized to areas of other cities may be used in Paradise, but will suffer a penalty depending on how similar the area specialized in is to the area in Paradise, with a minimum penalty of -2. Naturally, there are some things that Streetwise specialized in one city simply won’t help with when dealing with a different city – Streetwise (Manhattan) may give you some idea of how to approach a Paradise ganger, but isn’t likely to help you identify his gang by their insignia.


The TL is 9. Weapons are regulated, so read Weapons in Paradise before you buy any. The Weapons catalog for Paradise can be found here.