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GURPS Structural and Non-Structural (Dis)Advantages

In discussion with Alistair Windsor on GURPSnet, I came up with the following classification of (dis)advantages:


Advantages that cannot be added and disadvantages that cannot be removed except via surgery or other high-tech/magical medicine (including chip implants). Lost points in this category generally come through injury or disease.
Typical examples:
Dwarfism, Double-Jointed, Eidetic Memory.


Advantages that can be instilled and disadvantages that can be removed by intense effort. Lost points in this category generally come through fright checks.
Typical Examples:
Combat Reflexes, Phobias, Addictions, Odious Personal Habits.


(Dis)Advantages that arise from a person's position in life. These can only be bought/bought off by changing the situation and paying the points. Lost points in this category generally come through roleplaying.
Typical Examples:
Status, Wealth, Enemies, Social Stigma.


(Dis)Advantages that arise from a person's beliefs. Similar in effect to Situational, but the character's outlook on life must change rather than the "external" situation.
Typical Examples:
Code of Honor, Pacifism, Vow.

Here's how I'd group the (dis)advantages from the Basic Set. When I've put things like "Most Mental Disads" it means "all Mental Disads not specifically mentioned elsewhere". I've put a query by choices I think are contentious.

Most Advantages Allies/Ally groups
Most Physical Disads Alternate Identity
Amnesia Any Rank
Appearance Clerical Investment
Blessed? Contacts
Danger Sense? Cursed?
Dark Vision Dependents
Dyslexia Duty
Extra Fatigue Enemies
Extra Hit Points Favors
Hard to Kill Legal Enforcement Powers
Healing Legal Immunity
High Pain Threshold? Patrons
Infravision Reputation
Jinxed Secret
Luck/Unluckiness? Status
Magical Aptitude/Resistance? Wealth/Poverty/Multimillionaire
Perfect Balance Zeroed
Psionic Resistance?
Psionic Powers?Personal:
Terminally Ill Code of Honor
Toughness? Honesty
Weirdness Magnet Pacifism
Sense of Duty
Behavioural: Vow
Most Mental Disads
Combat ReflexesSpecial:
Fearlessness Age/Youth/Destiny:
(Il)Literacy  "do their stuff" whatever.
Odious Personal Habits Unusual Background:
Primitive?  only available at start whatever.

Attributes are a particularly troublesome case; I'd put them somewhere between Structural and Behavioural, and charge double cost but allow them to be increased through training.

Incidentally, none of my players have ever done anything except increase skills, and usually the skills I suggested based on what they did in the session. But then we don't play very often and I'm not particularly generous with points...

This page originally found at
Last updated: 14 March 2002

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