Roleplayer
Roleplayer #6, August 1987

Cops in GURPS

From a medieval city guardsman to a 23rd century Star Ranger, law enforcement agents have certain things in common the power to arrest civilians, the use of departmental weapons and equipment, a reputation as the arm of the law. The newly released Car Warriors and GURPS Horror both deal with policemen; Car Warriors presents several troopers from Autoduel America, while Horror introduces a new advantage, "Legal Enforcement Powers." Here we bring that information together for lawmen in every game-world.

The basic requirement for a policeman, regardless of his world, is the advantage Legal Enforcement Powers. This advantage costs 5 or 10 points, depending on the rights and privileges of the law enforcement agency concerned. A cop with local jurisdiction, the ability to arrest suspected criminals, and the right to perform searches with a warrant has 5 points worth of Enforcement Powers. A character having national or international jurisdiction, or freedom to ignore the rights of civilians, or the power to pass immediate sentence, pays 10 points for his powers.

In addition to Legal Enforcement Powers, most cops will have a Patron (a law enforcement agency), a Duty (to uphold the law), a Reputation (as a lawman), and Pro Skill: Law Enforcement (gained in an academy or on the job). But not every policeman will have each of these – it's up to the GM to decide what each type of cop needs. A few typical cops:

Medieval City Guardsman. Legal Enforcement Powers (not restricted by civil rights), 10 points; Patron (city guard – appears on 6-), 10 points; Reputation (-3 to local criminals), -5 points.

1880s Sheriff. Legal Enforcement Powers (not restricted by civil rights, free to kill with relative impunity), 10 points; Reputation (+1 to law-abiding citizens, -4 to outlaws), -5 points; Duty (to uphold the law – occurs on 10-), -10 points.

1920's G-Man. Legal Enforcement Powers (national jurisdiction), 10 points; Patron (F.B.I. – very powerful, appears on 9-), 20 points; Reputation (+2 to law-abiding citizens, -4 to mobsters), 0 points; Duty (to fight organized crime – occurs on 10-), -10 points; Enemy (the mob – large group, appears on 9-), -30 points; Pro Skill: Law Enforcement (at IQ+3), 8 points.

Star Ranger. Legal Enforcement Powers (galactic jurisdiction), 10 points; Patron (Star Rangers – very powerful, appears on 6-), 10 points; Reputation (+4 to law-abiding colonists, -4 to space pirates), 10 points; Duty (to protect colonists – occurs on 15-), -15 points; Enemy (space pirates – large group, appears on 9-), -30 points; Pro Skill: Law Enforcement (at IQ+1), 4 points.

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