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Wildcard skills is an optional rule designed for Cinematic type games. The Wildcard skill includes and replaces all skills within their area. Also referred to as Bang! skills.

Wildcard skills are designated with a ! at the end.

Cost and ComponentsEdit

Wildcard Skills are treated as Very Hard skills, but at triple the usual point cost.

Skill level Attribute-3 Attribute-2 Attribute-1 Attribute+0 Attribute+1 Extra +1
Point cost 3 6 12 24 36 +12

Wildcard Skills have three components:

  • Standard skill the wildcard replaces fully: defaults are figured on the wildcard skill
  • Specialty the wildcard replaces fully: defaults are figured only when the specialty is used.
  • Skill the wildcard replaces conditionally: Generally, this doesn’t allow defaults

Wildcard BenefitsEdit

Wildcard skills provide benefits beyond simply grouping a set of skills together.[1]

  • Penalty elimination: Generally a Wildcard Skill is immune to penalties for things like unfamiliarity and TL.
  • Hyper-Competency: Hyper-Competency is an option where for every full 12 character points spent on a wildcard skill bestow one Wildcard Point (WP) for that skill. These WP can be spent per Influencing Success Rolls[2], Player Guidance[3], or Flesh Wounds[4] if the outcome hinges directly on that wildcard. It should be noted that these WP are session based and therefor cannot be saved up like character points but conversely they renew each session.
  • Hyper-Competency variants: Accelerated Wildcard Points, Even Larger Pools (1 WP for every 6 points), Common Pool, and Universal Pool (WP can be spent on actions that do not involve the wildcard skill).

Wild CriticalsEdit

Wildcard skills allow the critical success range to keep going.

  • Open-Ended Criticals: For wildcards, the standard progression doesn’t stop. Success by 10+ is always a critical success: 3-7 at effective skill 17, 3-8 at skill 18, and so on.
  • Slow Open-Ended Criticals: Every two levels of effective wildcard skill past 16 adds one to the range: 3-6 at effective skill 16-17, 3-7 at skill 18-19, 3-8 at skill 20-21, and so on.
  • Relatively Critical: Wildcards start with a critical success range of 3-4 and add the “Half Bonus” from the Wildcard Benefits Table[5]; e.g., attribute+5 gives +3, making the range 3-7. Over-the top campaigns might use the full bonus. Either way, the roll must succeed to be a critical success. Such a scheme makes high relative skill level worthwhile.

Wildcard LimitationsEdit

With the exception of Wildcard Magery[6], a Talent does not improve skills covered by or defaulted to wildcard skill if both are allowed to exist.[7]

Basic Set examplesEdit

  • Detective! (IQ): Replaces Criminology, Detect Lies, Electronics Operation (Security and Surveillance), Forensics, Interrogation, Law, Observation, Research, Savoir-Faire (Police), Search, Shadowing, Streetwise, etc.
  • Gun! (DX): Replaces all specialties of Beam Weapons, Gunner, Guns, and Liquid Projector, as well as all related Fast-Draw skills. Make an IQ based roll for Armoury pertaining to these weapons.
  • Science! (IQ): Replaces Astronomy, Bioengineering, Biology, Chemistry, Engineer, Geology, Mathematics, Metallurgy, Meteorology, Naturalist, Paleontology, Physics, Psychology, etc.
  • Sword! (DX). Replaces Broadsword, Force Sword, Jitte/Sai, Knife, Main-Gauche, Rapier, Saber, Shortsword, Smallsword, and Two-Handed Sword, as well as related Fast-Draw skills. Use in place of such skills as Acrobatics and Jumping for physical stunts while fighting.

GURPS Power-Ups 7Edit

A consolidation and generalization of all the Wildcard skills listed in GURPS supplements up to November 2013. It also provides additional benefits to Wildcard skills and introduces the concept of Template Wildcards.

Fictional characters that likely have Wildcard skillsEdit

3e Science!Edit

Despite the name this 3e skill is not the same as the wildcard skill of that name.

In 3e, Science! required:

  • Research skill at 13+
  • A minimum of two skills (2 points in each, or 4 total) in a hard or soft science (but not from liberal arts)[8]
  • To be no higher then -2 of the lowest prerequisite science skill.[9]

More over the Compendium is totally mum on how TL penalties factor into this though logically it should effect the relative prerequisite science skill reducing this version of Science! substantially.

ReferencesEdit

  1. "What follows are ways to make wildcards more competitive by empowering them to bend, even break the rules. They’re completely optional; the GM decides which ones to use. “Everything except what the GM explicitly forbids” is recommended. All of these suggestions together aren’t half as troublesome as standard skills cranked up to extreme levels like attribute+9!" - GURPS Power-Ups 7: Wildcard Skills
  2. B347
  3. B347
  4. B417
  5. GURPS Power-Ups 7: Wildcard Skills
  6. "Wildcard Colleges", Thaumatology 75
  7. GURPS Power-Ups 7: Wildcard Skills 16, 24
  8. This included but was not limited to Agronomy, Alchemy, Anthropology, Archaeology, Astrogation (if applicable), Astronomy, Biochemistry, Botany, Chemistry, Computer Programming, Diagnosis, Ecology, Economics, Electronics, Engineer, Forensics, Genetics, Geology, Linguistics, Mathematics, Metallurgy, Meteorology, Naturalist, Nuclear Physics, Physician, Physics, Physiology, Psychology, Surgery, Veterinary, Weird Science, and Zoology
  9. "For example, if your prerequisite skills are Biochemistry-16 and Botany-14, you cannot take Science! at more than 12." (Compendium I pg 158)
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