Game Rules

The Template

The game takes place in Los Angeles, CA, Japan. You play as a member of the “MCU” – the Major Crimes Unit.

You begin play with the following template.

Police Rank 1 (5)
A regular police officer is rank 0, you are rank 1 – on par with a detective. You have access to tools and methods that detectives don’t – but this is not a matter of Rank, its a matter of job description and requirements. In addition, you may take over certain police investigations. Again, this is not a matter of Rank, it is a matter of jurisdiction. Your rank WILL influence inter-party relations – whoever has the highest rank will be the commander, so don’t take a higher rank if you aren’t sure you can handle the pressure or aren’t well equipped to lead!

Your rank is Legal and any security checks for which you may need access will validate, however they will only have access to your picture (or pictures in the case of multiple faces), or serial number (in the case of AI or persons with access to multiple bodies).

Legal Enforcement Powers (15)
You have national jurisdiction, the ability to arrest suspected criminals, the power to perform searches with an appropriate warrant, access to LC 2 equipment (LC1 with with approval from MCU Chief), are free to engage in covert investigations, and may kill with relative impunity (if in defense of self, squad, or public).

Patron (60)
(Powerful Organization, 15 or less, MCU)
The MCU counts as a Patron, with no special enhancements or limitations. It is classified as a “Powerful Organization” due to its high wealth and influence to high members of the political structure.

Security Clearance (15)
You have security clearance to all data that the MCU possesses, should you require it for an investigation.

Secret Identity (-30)
(Possible Death)
When joining the MCU you are given a “cover” as working at a private security firm. Your name and personal information are hidden from anybody outside the department, however should someone identify and link you to this unit, you may be targeted for death from various organized crime syndicates.

Duty (-20)
(MCU, 15 or less, extremely hazardous)
You will routinely be put in dangerous situations in your line of work, including live fire.

In addition, you must have at least some training in these skills (if your default is 12 or higher, you need not expend points)

  • Computer Operation
  • Criminology
  • CQC (any)
  • Driving
  • Forensics
  • Guns (any)
  • Interrogation
  • Law
  • Piloting (Vertol)
  • Savoir-Faire (Law Enforcement)

Squad Ranks

The ranks of your department are simple:
(Rank 8) Chief (NPC Only) – you have 1 cheif, the head of the Los Angeles department. He answers directly to the Minister of Justice and Director-General

(Rank 5) Commander (NPC only at start): While unable to contact the Chief, the Commander is in charge of the unit. This includes during covert missions where long range radio contact is not available. While the chief is often responsible for directing the unit on what to do, the Commander will usually decide how to do it.

(Rank 3) Lieutenant: Lieutenants are often assigned as leaders of smaller squads, especially when cooperating with other departments or divisions such as the SAT.

(Rank 1) Detective: A field officer of the team. May be given temporary leadership of a squad if their expertise is needed, especially when cooperating with other departments.

(Rank 0) Officer: Support staff, assigned to mundane research and repetitive tasks.

Building Your Character

Point Total: 320

Default Tech Level: TL9
Weapons & Defensive Gear: TL 8 (due to aversion to large-scale warfare)

No Time Travel

New Skills

Computer Hacking (Mental/Very Hard) Defaults to Computer Programming-4

  • This skill is used to “hack” into a computer system (see p. 63). No cyberdeck is needed — only a regular terminal with access to the system (whether directly or through a communications network.) However, the skill can be used in conjunction with a cyberdeck; see below. The skill defaults to Computer Programming-4. See B184 for more details.

Cyberdeck Operation (Mental/Very Hard) Defaults to Computer Operation-8

  • This is the ability to operate a neurally-controlled cyberdeck. It controls how well you move through the net, how many programs you can control at once, and many other variables. See below for more information. In order to manipulate the Net in ways the original programmers did not intend, you will need both this skill and Computer Hacking. When you are hacking on the Net, your effective Decking skill cannot be greater than your Hacking skill.
    • Cyberdeck Skill and Speed
      The better a netrunner is with his cyberdeck, the faster he can operate. For every five full points of Cyberdeck Operation skill a character has, he receives a 100 millisecond reduction in the length of his Command Phases. Note that a Phase can never get faster than 100 milliseconds (except for AIs). Combat Reflexes shave 100 milliseconds off of a character’s Command Phase as well.


Starting wealth is as per Tech Level 9.

At least ¥24,000 of your starting wealth will normally go to your permanent residence and civilian transportation. This expenditure buys you a wardrobe, and furnishes your home with basic furniture. If you purchase a vehicle or home on loan, you may use starting wealth to make previous payments. Remember, this is a job and you’ll likely have a life outside the job. Don’t neglect this as it may come into play in game! If you spend less than this you must take negative levels of status as a disadvantage, and explained what happened to it (gambling, frivolous expenditures, etc).

The rest of your cash is yours to spend as you’d like – be it personal life or personal equipment to use on the job.

Pay is as follows: (monthly, deposited on the 1st)
Rank 1: ¥4,000
Rank 2: ¥5,000
Rank 3: ¥7,000
Rank 4: ¥9,000
Rank 5: ¥12,000
Rank 6: ¥15,000
Rank 7: ¥18,000

You also have access to a well stocked armory and vehicles from the department, the level of which you may use at any given time may be restricted by the Chief depending on what you’ll be doing on the operation and where at, along with the level of danger involved. It should be noted that you may not take any work gear home (With the exception of one pistol and a small computer! Be sure to have anything you want available outside of work purchased on your own dime. There will be sessions that deal with your personal life (and they may or may not involve combat)!

$1 (GURPS) = ¥1 (Yen)

Cost of Living
This is the monthly price to be paid to keep up at a status level. Normally, about 40% of this will be for your home, and about 30% of this will be for your vehicle. The other 30% is food, clothing, service charges, etc.

Status TL0 Cost of Living TL9 Cost of Living
8 $600,000,000 ¥2,880,000,000
7 $60,000,000 ¥288,000,000
6 $6,000,000 ¥28,800,000
5 $600,000 ¥2,880,000
4 $60,000 ¥288,000
3 $12,000 ¥57,600
2 $3,000 ¥14400
1 $1,200 ¥5760
0 $600 ¥2800
-1 $300 ¥1400
-2 $100 ¥500

Rent and Home Ownership
The cost to rent property is listed below, separated by class. To purchase a property, multiply the rental cost by 30. Loans are available, with the most common being a 5% interest 30 year loan. You may begin play with your home already partially (or fully) purchased by spending starting wealth on previous payments. Otherwise, assume your first payment has been made when play begins.

Class A properties are luxury units. They are usually less than 10 years old and are often new, upscale apartment buildings. Average rents are high, and they are generally located in desirable geographic areas. White-collar workers live in them and are usually renters by choice.

  • Price: $10 per square ft / month

Class B properties can be 10 to 25 years old. They are generally well maintained and have a middle class tenant base of both white and blue-collar workers. Some are renters by choice, and others by necessity.

  • Price: $6 per square ft / month

Class C properties were built within the last 30 to 40 years. They generally have blue-collar and low- to moderate-income tenants, and the rents are below market. This is where you’ll find many tenants that are renters “for life.” On the other hand, some of their tenants are just starting out. And as they get better jobs, they work their way up the rental scale.

  • Price: $4 per square ft / month

Class D properties are where you’ll find many Section 8 in the US or government-subsidized housing tenants. They are generally positioned in lower socioeconomic areas.

  • Price: $2 per square ft / month

Artificial Intelligence

Non-volitional AI and Volitional AIs must be purchased as Allies, with points based on their mental traits. If their body is built from existing technologies, no points need be spent on that, however if their bodies are custom built, include physical traits of the modifications in the cost as well.


Cybernetics acquired before game start do not cost cash, only points. After the game starts, cybernetics must be paid for with cash. You may purchase cybernetics whenever you have the money, and pay the point cost of the cybernetic as well. If you cannot afford the point cost, you may enter a “point debt”, where any further gold, and red or blue (as applicable) points must be spent to reduce this debt until it is paid. Black points are unaffected.


Due to the unique training required a character must take Unusual Background (25) to learn psionics. This will help to balance the wide variety of abilities available to a psyche. Psionic powers may be taken either as advantages as presented in “Powers” or as skill based system as presented in “Psionic Powers”.

Apply the “Psionic” limitation to any powers using the “Advantages” method, and follow all rules in the “Psionic Powers” except that you do not need extensive training to take on a new psionic talent, you may take these at will. This is to accomidate the shorter time frame of this campaign.

The Optional Crippling Rules from Psionic Powers pg 7 are in effect.


There is no “Magery” advantage in this campaign setting. Magical effects are accomplished by becoming a contractor – forging a contract with a symbiot. In game terms, these are supernatural advantages. There is no power modifier as nothing has any capability to interact specifically with them. All advantages taken this way must stay thematically related. Check the Gurps “Powers” book for several ideas.

Failure to make a payment once removed from threat results in a loss of FP and eventually a loss of HP. The rate it is lost at is determined by the symbiot itself, but under normal conditions is generally 1/minute.

This restriction applies as a limitation to your power, though the value will vary individually based on the payment you must make. We will discuss this if you want to play one.


Each week you play you’ll receive rewards in several forms. First, with the passage of time, you’ll earn in game cash due to your monthly salary. This is deposited directly into your bank account, so as long as you have access to it, you have access to the new cash.

Second, out of game, you will receive Character Points that can be used to improve your character. These will come in one of four forms: Gold, Red, Blue, or Black points.

Black Points may be spent only on mundane skills and techniques.
Red Points may be spent on anything except mundane skills and techniques.
Blue Points may be spent only on attributes.
Gold Points may be spent on anything.

Note: Skills and Techniques for the operation of Psionic and Magical powers do not count as “Mundane”, however their knowledge skills do.

Prestige Points

Essentially Prestige Points are just Gold Point CP you earn from contributing to building the campaign. They can be earned in a variety of ways – from writing a Journal Entry to detailing a new NPC, location, or item in the game world. Pretty much any contribution to the campaign will earn you a Prestige Points, and they may be spent however you wish.

Legality Classes

  • LC4 – Open. The item is openly available. It is either benign or too difficult to control access to for the powers that be to bother. There may be laws about bringing it certain places, but they are generally common sense (i.e. no swords allowed at schools.) Examples: Computer; sword; commercial vehicles; knives; neural interface; prosthetic cybernetics; etc.
  • LC3 – Licensed. The item requires registration with the government. Registration might involve a fee or examination, and might be denied to criminals, minors, etc. Examples: Automobile; handgun; hunting rifle; shotgun; concealed weapon cybernetics; trans-human cybernetics.
  • LC2 – Restricted. Only military, police, or intelligence agencies may possess the item – although some licensed civilians might be permitted to keep it on their own property. Examples: Assault rifle; armored vehicles; advanced weapon modifications; reflex armor; universal RFID access.
  • LC1 – Military. The item is available only to armed forces or secret spy agencies. Examples: Anti-tank weapons; fighting vehicles; explosives; exo-suits and combat armor.
  • LC0 – Banned. The item is restricted to the armed forces of certain governments, who will go to extremes to keep it out of the hands of individuals and “have-not” governments. Examples: nuclear and biological weapons; experimental brain-hacking technology.

Control Ratings

For the most part, the world is CR4. Police bots patrol the streets, cameras monitor crime-ridden areas. Arkologies are protected by private military groups. All citizens are registered and issued electronic IDs which must be carried at all times. None of the modifications to this CR affect LC – only how strictly LC is enforced.

Cyberspace is CR 2. While governments and corporations would like to have more control to enforce the many laws they’ve created, they simply are unable to match the hackers who would break them.

LC 3 and lower items are CR 5. There is an Orwellian level of security at weapons manufacturing plants, imports and exports are closely regulated. Every effort is made to keep these things out of the hands of unliscenced citizens. Unfortunately they are not always successful.

New Rule: Luck Rolls

To account for the fact that I, as a GM, can’t account for every possibility and detail of the world I’m implementing a “Luck” roll to the game. It will operate like a skill roll, I will assign a target difficulty and you will roll. Often times, margin of success or failure will play into the roll.

For example, say you’re in a firefight and decide it would be very handy if there were a fire extinguisher behind your target to shoot and obscure his vision. I decide that, considering you’re in an office, its pretty likely that a fire extinguisher would be somewhere around and assign the roll a target of 16. Before you roll, I’d ask you to chose the most optimal placement of the extinguisher. You would make your roll. If you fail, you wouldn’t see any fire extinguisher, but if you succeed, you would see one! The closer to 3 you rolled, the closer it would be to your optimal location.

Note that I will only allow this for things that make sense – you won’t likely find a fire extinguisher while SCUBA diving!

Virtual Reality and Logging Off

If you are kicked from VR without logging off you must make an IQ check. If this succeeds you suffer no ill effects. If it fails, you make an HT check (-1 for each hour in the VR after the first). If this succeeds, you are healthy but your mind is in a stupor as if you have just awoken from a dream. If this fails, you are unconscious for a number of hours equal to the number you failed the check by. If you critical fail this check, you die.

Standard Computer Speed

A Command Phase is basically the same concept as a combat round but it is much shorter. The length of a Command Phase depends on the Complexity of the computer system or cyberdeck. Some systems will have had their processing power augmented for greater speed — doubling the base price of a computer system decreases the Phase Length by 25%. Every task you run on a computer will take 1 or more command phases.

System Complexity Phase Length (in milliseconds) Phase Length (in seconds)
1 16,000 1.6
2 8,000 .8
3 4,000 .4
4 2,000 .2
5 1,000 .1
6 500 .05
7 200 .02
8 (AI only*) 100 .01

*NPC AIs may have a Phase as low as 10 — the GM assigns it as he wishes!
Note – these speeds are assuming neural-interface, multiply times 10 if executing via a physical interface!

Changing Posture in Armor

For enhanced realism, you can let encumbrance level affect the time it takes to perform a Change Posture maneuver. At encumbrance level 0 (None) or 1 (Light), Change Posture takes one second, as usual. At level 2 (Medium), it takes two seconds to change posture – and so on. While you are partway through a posture change, you are considered to be in the old posture. This rule may slow play, but it can also give a realistic edge to lightly armored combatants.

Special Anybody can go prone in one second, regardless of encumbrance.

Dual Weapon Attacks

If you have at least two hands, you can strike with two hands at once using an Attack maneuver instead of an All-Out Attack (Double) maneuver. Each hand can attack unarmed, with a one-handed melee weapon, or with a pistol. Of course, if your ST is high enough, you can wield a two-handed weapon in one hand!

Each attack is at -4 to hit, but you can learn the Dual-Weapon Attack technique (p. 230) to reduce this penalty. You have an extra -4 (total -8) with your “off” hand, unless you have Ambidexterity (p. 39) or learn Off-Hand Weapon Training (p. 232). Roll to hit separately for each hand. You can attack one target or two – but to strike two foes with melee attacks, they must be adjacent. If you aim both attacks at a single opponent, he defends at -1 against them, as
his attention is divided!

If you already have multiple attacks – for instance, from an Extra Attack (p. 53) – you may “trade” only one of these for a Dual-Weapon Attack. All your remaining attacks must be simple, single-weapon attacks.

Special: This can only be used for ranged attacks.

Game Rules

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