[Flag] Issue 2: August 1999
Rising Sun
"For the next Age of Magnamund..."

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GURPS Lone Wolf Notes
by Patrick O'Shea.
edited by Jonathan Blake.
Copyright © 1999. All rights reserved.

For a basic understanding of GURPS (Copyright © Steve Jackson Games, Inc.), download GURPS Lite.

The Lone Wolf gamebook series presents a very gameable fantasy world complete with monsters, magic and a lot of plot hooks. This post will give some guidelines for players and GMs to create their own Kai Lords and Vakeros. You'll need GURPS Psionics, Supers, and Magic for some of the more advanced abilities.

Kai Lords

Attributes and stats

A Kai Lord should be built on at least 100 to 125 charater points; this will give the player enough to build a reasonably skilled Initiate (five disciplines), and have a fighting chance in the world of Magnamund. All stats should be at least average (10+).

As they are essentially fighters, there are few allowable physical disadvantages that can be used for starting characters; Hemophilia and Low Pain Threshold would be almost unheard of, although some like Lame or Blind could be used for the "scarred veteran" character. Sense of Duty is common, as would be Overconfidence and Impulsiveness (especially among the lower ranks). Advantages can include almost anything, excepting Wealth.

As a Patron, the Kai Monastary would be a very powerful organization (30 points); Kai Lords (of all levels) appear to live on the monastary grounds and would effectively always be "on call" (-15 points).

The Basics

In a way, the Kai Lords can be compared to the Shaolin monks: a basic code of helping others which is backed up by a rigorous and comprehensive education in both physical and mental abilities.

In gamebook 8, Jungle of Horrors, it is mentioned that Lone Wolf was "...tutored... in the ancient histories of Magnamund, and [Lone Wolf] received lessons in lore that [he] would have learned from the Kai Masters if only they had survived the attack...."(p. 13). We can assume that a Kai lord trained at a monastary will have the following basic skills:

  • Be able to read and write (Literacy)
  • History (Magnamund) at 12 or better
  • Area Knowledge (Magnamund) at 12 or better

A Note on abilities:

Some of the more advanced abilities, especially in the Magnakai section, are bought as either psionic abilities or magical knacks.

For psionic disciplines, all abilities should be bought as "single skill". Psi powers that don't have a listed single skill cost, like Mental Stab, the cost is equal to 1/2 of the full "group" cost, rounded up. So, Mental stab, a Telepathic skill, would cost 3 points per power level ( half of 5 is 2.5, rounded up to 3).

Magical knacks are from an optional rule found in GURPS Magic, which allow the PC to use a spell as an innate ability (like Alter Visage). The cost and time to cast remain the same, but the user only has to take a concentrate maneuver, and does not have to verbally cast the "spell" or wave his hands. The effective skill level of a knack is 15.

The Disciplines

The abilities of the Kai Lords are split between ten different areas, or disciplines, and have three general levels (Kai, Magnakai, and Grandmaster). The basic Kai abilities, and their GURPS equivalents, are:

DisciplineGURPS equivalent
CamoflageStealth and Camoflage, both at 12+
HuntingSurvival (at least two terrain types) and Running
Sixth SenseLevels in Precognition
TrackingTracking at 14+
HealingHealing (GURPS Psionics), about level 5
WeaponskillSkill 14+ in any one weapon
MindshieldMindshield about power 8, skill 12
MindblastOptional: you can either buy it as Mental Blow (about power 6-10), or as Drain Attribute, power 4-8.
Animal KinshipSpeak with Animals (GURPS Supers), 15 pts
Mind Over MatterTelekinesis, power 8-12, skill 12+

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