RogerBW's Blog

GURPS Powers: Enhanced Senses, William H. Stoddard 21 March 2015

This specialised GURPS supplement deals with unusual sensory powers, from the reasonable to the cinematic.

Disclaimer: I received playtest credit in this book and therefore did not pay for it.

The book is split into three parts: the first, Sensory Powers, deals with overall concepts, such as various means by which senses might be boosted, the range of a sense, and just what information one can get from it. (Hearing doesn't let you know where someone is well enough to hit them with a sword, for example, while a vibration sense generally does.) Some existing advantages such as Infravision are extended with this new framework, and there's a comprehensive chart of which senses can enhance which skills (e.g. being able to see ultra-violet light gives +2 to Naturalist and Prospecting, among others).

The second part, Sensory Abilities, consists largely of a series of worked examples: if you want a rattlesnake-style low-resolution thermal sense, imaging touch like a star-nosed mole, or super balance, they're all statted out here with point costs.

The final part, Sensory Applications, gives more specific examples, such as Archer's Trance (track a target, determine its speed and range, and hit it more accurately, at the cost of not seeing anything else while you're doing it), Visual Profiling (memorise and recognise patterns such as faces, maps, works of art, etc.), and Stop Motion (you can perceive things with a very high time resolution, though you can't act on them very fast).

This is a shopping list more than a book to use in play: it's good for statting up monsters, and for players who have strange ideas for their characters. Even without the superheroic stuff, which I'm unlikely ever to use, there are plenty of good ideas here, many of them derived from animals in the real world.

Powers: Enhanced Senses is available from Warehouse 23.

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