Everything is better on Mars

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GURPS 4e homebrew setting. The PCs are police officers newly appointed to the corporate-run colony on Mars.

Marcity-1 is at TL9. Many items may be older than that, because most non-mining and transportation technology is first developed on Earth, and makes its way to Mars over time.

Marcity-1 is CR4.


Welcome recruits!

Congratulations on completing your basic training on Earth, as well as being genetically robust enough to survive the extensive biomodifications that were performed on your brain. Give yourselves a round of applause!

As you are hearing this, your cryogenically-hibernating bodies are being loaded onto a Transtellar™ shuttle bound for Mars’ famous Marcity-1™, the first permanent human colony on another planet. There you will assume the role you were created for: to serve and protect the corporate interests and maintain the peace among the population of Marcity-1™ as MarSec™ agents.

Marcity-1™ is located entirely below what the surface of Mars used to be, in a roughly cone-shaped excavation directly into the Martian surface. Various corporations have signed exclusive contracts with the founders of the city to provide services to the various operations on the planet, including your employers MarSec™ security (a subsidiary of PaxTerra™). These corporations employ nearly all of the 40,000 people residing in the city.

Due to the extreme costs of transporting material to Earth, it has been determined that local manufacture and oversight produce the best return on investment for the investment in the colony, so the city is a thriving and diversified industrial economy in its own right.

A detailed outlining of your assigned equipment will follow. Following that, your final training exercise will commence. This will be a fully immersive simulation of a real-world crime-fighting situation (brought to you by next-generation Sensovision™ technology) that will allow you to familiarize yourselves with your equipment and teammates without risk to your highly-valuable persons.

Thank you for listening, and have a wonderful flight.


Books available for use in this game are:

  • [01-0001/2] GURPS Basic Set
  • [01-0104] Ultra Tech
  • [37-0132] Psionic Powers
  • [01-0105] Martial Arts
  • [37-0134] Tactical Shooting


These are the corporations that are present on Mars

Character Creation

Characters are 150 points, with a -50 limit on the total of disadvantages, stat buy-downs, and quirks (but not including the disadvantages in the template, as the entire package has an overall positive cost).

Use of this file may help: Character Sheet v1.3

Marsec Security Agent template

Everyone must take the following template. These are the baseline items that you must have. The traits are unchangeable (with the exception of Fit which can be changed to Very Fit for the difference in cost), the skills may be bought UP as normal, but not bought down.

Skills are rated as a function of the base stat, so if you have DX+1 in Guns and your DX is 12, your Guns skill will be 13, and it will cost 2 points to buy it up to 14, and an additional 4 points for every level after that.

Marsec Security Agent
Traits: Fit 5
Legal Enforcement Powers (Lvl 2) 10
Rank: 0 0
Duty (Marsec, Almost all the time) -15
Patron (Marsec, ≤9, Reluctant) 8
Skills: Beam Weapons (Pistol) DX+0 1
Guns (Pistol) DX+1 2
Judo DX-2 1
Law (Martian Police) IQ-2 1
Total: 13

Psionic templates

You must then choose one of the following six Psionics packages. Like the training package, these are the basics; any powers or skills can be added to, but not bought down. Psionic POWERS are in bold and rated by level, the associated psionic skills are plain text and rated by relation to your base stat.

New powers may be purchased, but must be cleared with me first. They should be in keeping with your previous power set.

Powers marked with an (*) have explanatory notes below, and may be houseruled.

Retrocognition* L3 20
- Retrocognition IQ+0 4
Seekersense L3 18
- Seekersense Per+0 4
Total: 46

Retrocognition has an effective -5 on all skill checks for the purposes of determining how far back can be seen. Its price has been significantly reduced to reflect this.

Aura Reading L2 7
- Aura Reading IQ-2 1
Cure Injury* L1 12
- Cure Injury IQ+0 4
Sleep L2 28
- Sleep Wil+0 4
Total: 56

It costs a flat 6 points to buy Cure Injury up to 'Cure,' which affects disease and afflictions as well as violent injuries at the same level.

Clairvoyance L2 18
- Clairvoyance IQ+2 12
Photorefraction* L4 16
- Photorefraction IQ+0 4
Total: 50

Photorefraction in this universe uses the 'blocking' alternate listed with the power, which means the visual penalties work both ways.

TK Control* L3 24
- TK Control IQ+1 12
Forcefield L3 12
- Forcefield IQ+0 4
Total: 52

This campaign will use the generalized Telekinetic Control power, rather than the individual specific powers. Buying it up to L6 or higher will allow limited flight.

Borrow Skill* L2 10
Instill Fear L4 27
- Instill Fear Wil+0 4
Aspect L2 8
- Aspect Wil+0 4
Total: 53

Borrow Skill is capped at L4, but can be taken multiple times.

Autoteleport* L3 40
- Autoteleport IQ+2 12
Total: 52

Buy Combat Teleport for 15 points to avoid the -5 skill modifier when attempting to use Autoteleport to avoid an attack.

Recommended Skill List

  • Administration - one way to boost chances of requisitioning equipment
  • Beam Weapons (Pistol) - for standard issue electrolasers
  • Beam Weapons (Projector) - for sonic nauseators
  • Shield - for riot shields
  • Shortsword - for stun batons
  • Environment Suit (Vacc suit) - for excursions outside of the city
  • Electronics Operation (Comm) - for tricks with communicators
  • Observation - for stakeouts
  • Shadowing - for unobserved pursuits
  • Stealth - for hiding in ambush
  • Forced Entry - for Avon sales pitches
  • Throwing - for grenades
  • Psionic Talent - A useful way to increase your power with ALL your powers.

There are others that are not on this list, but I thought these deserved highlights. Remember that most skills can be used at default under non-life-threatening situations without a roll.

If you want a weapon that is not covered by one of these skills, it may be unavailable to you through official channels, and therefore training with it would be difficult but not necessarily impossible. Let me know if you're interested in something that you don't think will be covered.


Equipment will be handled through a requisition process. Your starting equipment will be based on the following package, with additions based on your skills (if you take points in shield and shortsword, you will be issued a personal baton and shield, if you take Observation you may get some advanced scanners). Social skills and Administration can be used to expedite the process if you need something during play.

NOTE: Marcity-1 is rated at CR (Control Rating) 4. This means that access to anything with LC (Legality Class) 2 or lower is restricted to the military. It may be possible to requisition these items for a specific mission within a limited time-frame, but never as standard equipment.

General Issue equipment (everything is from Ultra-Tech):

  • Sidearm: 10mm Heavy Pistol with underbarrel Electro-laser pistol - Can only be fired in one mode at a time, standard Smartgun package
  • Armour: Reflex Bodysuit - Covers limbs and body, but not hands, feet, neck, or head.
  • Armoured Shades - Protects eyes, provides HUD for weapon
  • Communications rig: Micro laser communicator, Tiny radio communicator
  • Crowd-control: At least one sonic nausea carbine distributed to each squad

Cyberware is available as per the rules in Ultra-Tech, and limited to $6,000 worth at start (don't count the cost for the procedures, just the hardware). All cyberware is subject to random GM fiat (I've already noticed that the Boosted Reflexes' has a typo and should be only +1 Basic Speed), but talk to me if there's something that you're interested in having whether it's in the book or not, and I will try to stat it out for you.