Note: Wild Card skills are the special skills of a character out of the Wild Cards Setting and are totally unrelated despite the similar name.

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

Wildcard skills are designated with a ! at the end.

Cost and Components[edit | edit source]

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 Benefits[edit | edit source]

Wildcard skills provide benefits beyond simply grouping a set of skills together.[note 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[1], Player Guidance[2], or Flesh Wounds[3] 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).
  • Skill-specific perks: These benefit all included skills that would reasonably benefit from them.[4]
  • Techniques only cover related skills in the Wildcard: For example, Work by Touch might cover only Explosives, Lockpicking, and Traps.[5]

Wildcard Criticals[edit | edit source]

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[6]; 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.

Classic Note[edit | edit source]

The closest thing to this in Classic was the faster combat option (which actually is inferior to the methods above):[7]

Modified Skill Level Critical Success
20-24 7
25-29 8
30-34 9
35+ 10

It will be noted that both Open-Ended Critical options are far more generous.

Wildcard Limitations[edit | edit source]

With the exception of Wildcard Magery[8], a Talent does not improve skills covered by or defaulted to wildcard skill if both are allowed to exist.[9]

Regular Skills[edit | edit source]

Unless all standard skills have been eliminated[10] "individual standard skills – even those included in wildcards – can be bought at their usual point cost."[11]

  • Improving a standard skill the wildcard replaces fully: The difference for the level is treated as normal (it mush be at least a point). For example, improving Chemistry (IQ/Hard) in a Science! at IQ+4 level only costs 4 points not the 16 improving the entire Wildcard skill would require.
  • Improving a standard skill that defaults to one the wildcard replaces fully but does not include: "Apply the default penalty between the standard skills and then follow the rules above."
  • Improving the general form of a conditional standard skill: Works similar to the previous rule but "default penalty is always -2 and the improved general skill level replaces the wildcard level for special- purpose use only if higher."

Basic Set examples[edit | edit source]

  • 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.

Power-Ups 7: Wildcard Skills[edit | edit source]

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 concepts of Template Wildcards as well as Wildcard Techniques, Advantages, Languages, and Powers.

Fictional characters that likely have Wildcard skills[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  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!" - Power-Ups 7: Wildcard Skills

References[edit | edit source]

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