GURPS Terramar Campaign Planning Form



Date:  17.09.09

Campaign name: TERRAMAR

Starting year: 2517

Rate game time passes:  1 TO 1

Genre: Realistic or cinematic?   REALISTIC

Are there multiple planes of existence?  YES

General theme of campaign:  SWORD AND SORCERY/SWORD AND PLANET


Campaign’s base city, nation, empire, or planet: (Suggestion: provide a map.)  THE AGORIAN EMPIRE

Society/government type: FEUDAL TECHNOCRACY

Control Rating: 2

Exceptions to general CR: Weapons and armor are generally CR 3.

Tech level: 4+1

Exceptions to general TL:  Medicine and biology are TL 6.  Weapons and armor are TL 4; devices use either clockwork and/or magic, rather than steam power.

Brief description of important neighboring powers, political/economic situation, etc.:

Humanity is the dominant intelligent mammalian life form, but he shares his world with Fishmen, Insect Men and several sorts of Reptilians including Lizard Folk, Dragonborn, Serpent Men, Yuan-Ti, Nagas, Kobolds, and Troglodytes.

Suggested or required reading for players:  Nehwon (Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser) stories by Fritz Leiber; Majipoor stories by Robert Silverberg; Bas-Lag stories by China Mieville; The Machinery of Freedom by David D. Friedman; Dying Earth stories by Jack Vance; The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe.

Information for PCs: Characters can be from Terramar, or be from other worlds, such as lost/stranded/visiting space- and/or time-travellers.

Starting point value allowed for PCs: 150

Disadvantage limit: 75 + 10 Quirks

Especially useful/useless character types:  Whatever type of character you will most enjoy roleplaying and performing their typical activities.

(Suggestion: provide character templates.)

Especially appropriate/inappropriate professions:

(Suggestion: provide job descriptions.)

PC races allowed: (Suggestion: provide racial templates.)



Insect-Man (a/k/a Insect Man, Phraint, Thri-Kreen, Myrmidon)



                    Lizard Man









                    Mountain Dwarf

                    Urban “Red” Dwarf

                    Hill Dwarf

                    Norse Dwarf

                    Celtic Dwarf

                    Forest Gnome

                    Tinker Gnome







Cave Ape (Pyramid 3.72)





















Android/Robot/A.I./Brain in a Jar





Starting wealth: $5,000


Starting Wealth levels allowed:  Any.

Starting Status levels allowed:  Any

Starting TLs allowed:  Any, but campaign base is TL 4+1.

Languages available:


Human languages:












Thieves’ Cant



Nonhuman languages:



Deep Speech/Undercommon














Cultural Familiarities available:  Imperial, Kharg Nomad, Elven, Dwarven, Insectoid, Lizard Man, other races.

Required advantages, disadvantages, and skills: n/a

Especially appropriate or inappropriate advantages, disadvantages, and skills: n/a


Appropriate Patrons (and base value): Church, Temples, Orders of Knighthood, Merchant Houses, Guilds

Appropriate Enemies (and base value):

Special Abilities Allowed for PCs

• Exotic/supernatural traits: Exotic traits require an Unusual Background cost equal to the cost of the trait.


• Cinematic skills:  Require an Unusual Background cost equal to the cost of the trait.  Weapon Master, Trained by a Master, and Heroic Archer do not require a separate Unusual Background cost; it is part of their base cost.


• Are PC mages allowed? Yes, and I also allow all the alternative official magic systems from GURPS Thaumaturgy and elsewhere.

General mana level: Normal

Do areas of higher/lower mana exist?  Yes.

Are any of the spells from Chapter 5 off limits?  No

• Are PC psis allowed? Yes

Are any of the powers from Chapter 6 off limits? No

• Are PC gadgeteers allowed? Yes, but require an Unusual Background cost equal to the cost of the Gadgeteering advantage.

Are there special limits on gadgeteering?  I recommend you not take Gadgeteering, and instead just take high skills and play a “realistic gadgeteer.”

• Unusual Background cost(s) for these abilities:

• Legal or social restrictions on these abilities:

Other Notes

Book 1 optional rules or variants (advantages, disadvantages, skills, etc.):


Book 2 optional rules or variants (success rolls, combat, injury, etc.):

Terramar is a "planetary romance" world so it includes aliens as well as more traditional fantasy races.  If you wish to play a non-human character please consult the list of "Races of Terramar" on the game forum in Roll20.  If you wish to play a race which is not on that list, please discuss it with the GM.
Technology on Terramar is TL 4+1 with the following exceptions: weapons and armor are TL 4; power is roughly equivalent to TL 5 but performed by magic rather than steam (or even clockwork).  Starting wealth is $5,000.
Characters can use items from GURPS Low-Tech including all Low-Tech supplements (such as Low-Tech Loadouts, and The Edge of Reality), and can use TL 5 items from GURPS High-Tech except weapons, armor, and steam-powered vehicles/machinery.(edited)

Terramar is a with some anomalies.

Terramar is a backwater colony planet which is significantly hotter and wetter than Earth.  About 90% of the surface is covered with water.  It has one continent, Andor, which is about the size of Australia, with an inland sea in the middle.  Andor has a lot of jungles and swamplands.

TV Tropes

Planetary Romance - TV Tropes

The Planetary Romance trope as used in popular culture. Stories, nominally Science Fiction, set on a alien world described in lush detail. The world can be …

The most prominent races on Terramar are humans, Insect Men, and Reptoids (including Lizard Folk, Dragonborn, Kobolds, Ophidians, Serpent Men, and Troglodytes).  There are also a number of other species including Dwarves/Gnomes, Felinoids, Gargoyles, Goatkin, Gormelites, Grimlocks, Kenku, Minotaurs, Mongrelmen, Myconids, Prootwaddles, Ratlings, and Tasloi.
Since this is more than 15 races, this is officially

There is the pseudo-Renaissance Agorian Empire in the center, with the Kharg nomads on the steppes to the north, and viking-style barbarians in the "Frozen North" peninsula north of that.  The Empire includes knights and samurai, and martial artists (and ninja) from the "Mysterious East."

The game is centered in the city of Westburgh, capital of the Western Marches province, with a cautious Town Watch and City Guard and a garrison of Hellknights, in a realm with Merchants’, Thieves’, and Wizards’ Guilds, all ruled over by the Dragon Emperor. There’s a Frozen North for barbarians to come from, a Forbidden East for ninja, and a Steamy South for savage guards.

To understand Terramar, imagine the perspective of the average medieval or renaissance peasant. This person has the stats of a normal human commoner, and while they might not know their stats explicitly, they know their relation to the rest of the world. Our peasant knows that he can be killed quite easily by marauding raiders, enemy soldiers, or even wild animals. He’s not mighty, he’s not organized, and he doesn’t have any special skills to bring to bear when danger strikes. He worries about drought and flood, and the welfare of his livestock. His extended family likely all lives within a mile of his birthplace. To him, a trip to a town ten miles off is an expedition into the unknown.

Imagine you are this peasant, and you meet a trio of GURPS adventurers. When you address the wizard, you are speaking to someone who could incinerate your home and slay all your livestock with a few words. The fighter has prevailed against a dozen orcish skirmishers and slain them all – and he could do the same again. The cleric is a man so holy that the gods themselves have granted him the power to cure the sick and heal the wounded. These are epic heroes.

Now consider the powers of a manticore. To the peasant, the appearance of this manticore near the village isn’t a nuisance: the beast can, and likely will slay you in seconds if you draw its attention. You, your livestock, and your entire family are in immediate danger of violent death. Even if you were well armed and gathered a large peasant militia, your village faces heavy losses and no guarantee of success. Against such a creature, adventurers may be your only hope. GURPS recognizes that heroic characters are mortal, while reframing the game’s perspective to create a context where those same characters are epic heroes.