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Old 09-01-2015, 07:43 AM   #21
Join Date: Oct 2011
Default Re: GURPS: Remnant: Fan-made rules for adventuring in the world of RWBY

Training and Schooling

RWBY is a series about students learning to become the next Huntsmen; naturally, rules about training will be important.

The default rules are that 200 hours of study equals one character point. A typical week at Beacon probably involves five eight-hour school days (based on nothing but its similarities to American high schools and the fact that this leads to nice round numbers); this means one character point every five weeks. This character point may be spent in any combat skill or any other skill taught at Beacon, including most academic subjects.
Remedial classes instead count as intensive training (B293), for ten hours per day; this provides one character point every other week! This is only used when absolutely necessary to help a student catch up to his peers.
Combat and missions typically count as on-the-job learning. Each four hours on missions counts as one hour of training, as per the default rules. (Students in remedial classes do not get twice as much out of missions, and instead need eight hours on missions to equal one hour of their accelerated training schedules.) Missions with teachers may be used primarily as teaching opportunities; if the GM decides this applies, instead count every two hours as an hour of training. The GM may rule that particularly difficult combats may count as one or more hours of training in addition to the above.
Occasionally, students may be taught outside of class (e.g, Uncle Qrow tutoring Ruby, or Pyrrha tutoring Jaune). These may qualify as Training Sequences (see GURPS Martial Arts, page 147), at the GM's discretion.

Points gained by any of these methods should be added to a character's point total; that is, they stack with bonus points earned other ways, such as those awarded for completing missions. Beacon training makes everyone stronger and more skilled, even if they don't go on adventures after school.


Some characters have an order of magnitude more Aura than others. Why is this? The obvious answer is "they're mooks," but this author has never been content to leave it at that.
The answer that seems to best explain why Aura varies so much is simple. Aura grows with training. Huntsmen and the elites of criminal or military organizations have the time and resources to pour into such training, but common thugs and basic infantry simply don't.

If the GM agrees with this interpretation, he may track Aura training, separately from the above. Typical Beacon schooling gives one character point to spend on Aura or Aura-related abilities[sup]1[/sup] per two points you earn in other ways. Intensive training gives two per three; the same is true of most missions. Training sequences may give Aura at this rate as well.
The GM may rule that specialized Aura-training exercises are present. If this is so, these would be incorporated into the standard Beacon curriculum; increase the rate to the two-per-three ratio. Characters may also be able to use the Training Sequence rules without a teacher or exceptional attributes, if they have access to these exercises and do not engage in activity such as classes or jobs during this time. (It is possible to perform a training sequence at -7 to fit it into a typical weekend.)

You may wish to track Aura gain by hour, rather than by point. If so, add one hour to Aura training per two hours of Beacon courses or 1.5 hours of anything which earns Aura points at a 2:3 ratio.

Any of the above options that the GM allows should allow the characters to gain points, rather than merely spending earned points.

Training and Bonus Points

At various points, the GM may decide to award the players with bonus points for good roleplaying, completing challenges, et cetera. By default, these should not require the above rules to spend.
If the GM wishes to slow advancement with the progression of school, he should allow these bonus points to be spent on a 1:1 ratio with those earned in other ways. For instance, a student with 5 bonus points who earned three from lessons and one from a mission could spend four of them (and spend the fifth on Aura, if using the Aura-training rules).


Wait, only one? Geez, this must be a short one.

1: The ability to spend these Aura points on Aura-related abilities relates to the paradox that the characters whose fighting styles rely most on Aura are the most-easily incapacitated. They could spend more points on Aura capacity, or on more Aura powers. Other characters simply put it in Aura. The GM may rule that this is silly, and force his players to put these points in raw Aura.
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:05 PM   #22
Join Date: Oct 2011
Default Re: GURPS: Remnant: Fan-made rules for adventuring in the world of RWBY

While most equipment a Huntsman will use is unique, many others do not have the same luxury and must use simpler weapons. And then there are non-combat devices...

Remnant's TL

Remnant has lasers, holograms, and robots, including prototype human-level AI. This suggests a high TL 9 society, but we see no evidence of omnipresent or powerful computers, environment suits, advanced biotechnology, or even a 19th-century understanding of physics. Remnant's TL is a rather complex one, made all the trickier by its industrial revolution being spurred by Dust and possibly applied Aura, rather than fossil fuels.

Note that the following list is almost entirely based off of opinionated interpretation of RWBY, rather than anything certain.

In general, Remnant is TL 4+4 with a retro-futuristic appearance.
Its weapons technology is TL 6+4, due in no small part to Dust allowing practical laser-like weapons. Armor technology languishes around TL 5-6, in no small part due to Aura being a more effective protection than any known mundane armor.
Computing technology appears to be comparable to TL 7, except based on Dust and likely Aura. Communications are 5+4 or 6+3, with most communications being based on Transmit Tower wireless transmission. Robots are high TL 6+3.
Biotechnology and medicine are stuck at late TL 5, again due in part to Aura rendering such developments less critical.
Overall, scientific knowledge is high TL 4 at best. Scientific methodology, on the other hand, doesn't seem to be better than low TL 4! Remnant's almost fanatical dedication to fighting the Grimm as much as possible has ironically impeded their efforts to understand their foe and any technology which might help them drive the Grimm back.

Standard starting wealth is $25,000.

Lien and $

The $ is the generic, universal unit of value across all GURPS products, generally agreed to have a value roughly approximate to the modern US dollar. The Lien appears to be the currency used on Remnant—it's certainly the only medium of exchange mentioned thus far. Unfortunately, no prices have been mentioned, meaning that the value of a single Lien is impossible to determine—some believe the Lien are actually Remnan credit cards, and there really isn't any evidence against this. Most assume that the Lien is a unit of currency with a value between that of the US dollar and the Japanese yen (currently slightly less than one US penny per yen). This author assumes that the Remnan Lien is a universal currency on Remnant, worth approximately one-tenth as much as an American dollar and ten times as much as a Japanese yen.


The value of Dust is unknown, save that it is a very valuable resource. This shouldn't be surprising; it's essentially magical oil. To determine a reasonable price for Dust, we will compare it to batteries.
A gram of Dust contains roughly 40 kilojoules of energy[sup]1[/sup]; a AA battery, which costs $0.50[sup]2[/sup] and contains 2-11 kJ of energy. Assuming 4.3 kJ/battery (similar to a nickel-cadmium AA battery), we find that Dust should be worth at least $5/gram[sup]3 4[/sup] on the basis of energy content alone. However, Dust has other uses; it powers literally everything, from cars to computers, from robots to weapons. Fire Dust is especially useful; a value of $300 per ounce[sup]5[/sup] is probably not unreasonable. Water Dust has a lower energy content and relatively few apparent uses, and is worth $200/ounce; Earth and Air dust have more energy and uses (one can only imagine the uses Earth Dust could have in construction), and should be worth $250/ounce. Refined Dust crystals cost 20% more, due to their added stability.
Little useful Dust is all one form or another. Processed Dust is usually 5-30% more expensive than the average price of its components, dependent on rarity. For instance, if Ice Dust is 75% Water Dust, 20% Air Dust, and 5% Earth Dust, the average price is (0.75*200)+(0.2*250)+(0.05*250)=$212.5 per ounce; it seems fairly uncommon, so a markup around 20% seems reasonable, for a final price of $250/ounce.

The ratio of ounces of Dust to Dust in one's weapon is usually unimportant; worrying about if your awesome Dust attack will deplete your ammunition budget doesn't really keep with the spirit of RWBY. That said, some GMs like worrying about the small stuff. $500 should be plenty to completely fill any character's Dust pool; a point-by-point model might charge $25-$100 per Dust point.


Melee weapons are common. The Basic Set and GURPS Low Tech provide a fairly comprehensive list; the presence of Dust does not alter those weapons much.

Dustarms are the dominant weapon among anyone who can afford them. The The Dust Dust is activated by a small amount of channeled Aura, which is directed by a circuit completed by pulling the trigger; there is no safety mechanism, nor is one required. (Usually.) There are two kinds: Slugthrower and Direct.
Slughthrower Dustarms, much like more mundane slug-throwing firearms, use a small amount of Dust to accelerate small chunks of metal to great velocities. The slugs and shell casings have minimal cost, compared to the Dust; the Dust is usually Air Dust, due to its low cost compared to Fire Dust. Slugthrower rounds usually cost $4 each—negligible to a Huntsman or large organization, but enough to make melee weapons preferable among common criminals.
Direct Dustarms, as the name suggests, convert the energy of the Dust directly into a destructive form of energy. Fire Dust, or Dust mixtures composed largely of it, is usually preferred for this, due to both its great energy density and its naturally destructive nature. The cost of the Dust cells for such weapons varies[sup]6[/sup], but it is almost always more expensive than firing a slugthrower. Water Dust cells cost half as much but only deal two-thirds damage (round down).



The author has hypothesized about the existence of Aurarms, guns which damage enemies entirely through the force of the wielder's Aura.[sup]7[/sup] If the GM adds Aurarms, they have the same statistics as slugthrower Dustarms; indeed, it is possible to convert a slugthrower to an Aurarm, or even make clips which let slugthrowers be used as Aurarms.
Aurarms have less armor-piercing ability than Dustarms; if it has an armor divisor, reduce it by half, and if it does not, it gains an armor divisor of (0.5). This does not apply to the intrinsic Damage Resistance possessed by Grimm. Aurarms deal penetrating damage to living targets (not counting Grimm) as if they were one piercing category smaller; that is, pi++ becomes pi+, pi+ becomes pi, etc. Formerly pi- attacks have only [i]one-quarter[i] penetrating damage. However, they deal double damage to Grimm! Aurarms do not use ammunition, instead consuming 10 Aura per shot.
Aurarms cost 25% more than the slugthrower Dustarm they are based on. A clip allowing a Dustarm to be used as an Aurarm costs half as much as the Dustarm itself.

(To be continued.)

Last edited by GreatWyrmGold; 09-08-2015 at 06:32 AM.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:36 AM   #23
Join Date: Oct 2011
Default Re: GURPS: Remnant: Fan-made rules for adventuring in the world of RWBY


Armor is rare on Remnant; many combatants feel that their Aura is sufficient protection, and that armor would slow them down more than protect them. Warriors with weaker Auras or less skill may use lighter armor, however.

Shields are more common; statistics for various types of shields can be found in the Basic Set and need no modification.



Automobiles powered by Dust exist, though they are more expensive to run and more explosive than those on Earth.
Airships of various types also exist. These are easier to create with Remnan technology than Terran because...well...I don't know and can't make up a good reason, they just are. In fact, airships seem to be the dominant mode of transportation outside of the Kingdoms.
Trains have been seen outside the Kingdoms, transporting Dust (presumably from mines to Vale).


Scrolls are terminals to central computers located at the Transmit Towers.[sup]8[/sup] They consist of two bars, connected by a collapsible rod, which produce a holographic field between them. Scrolls can be used as recording devices, displays, and even keys. They have service essentially anywhere aboveground. $1,500 for the tablet-sized version, $1,000 for the smartphone-sized version.
Remnan computers are based on Dust matrices, powered in part by Aura.[sup]9[/sup] See GURPS High-Tech for rules on computers. Dust-matrix computers have -4 to Complexity and ten times the storage of a TL 8 computer, but cost 100 times as much.
Wireless communication is relatively simple on Remnant. The Atlas-designed Transmit Towers send beams of invisible energy through the air, connecting with each other and virtually every device in the Kingdoms. The massive Cross-Continental Transmit Towers include massive supercomputers, as do some institutions and the most wealthy of families; most "computers" are terminals that simply connect to one of these and borrow some of their computing power.
Robots are a relatively new technology on Remnant, taking advantage of the Aura-based nature of Remnan computing to more easily duplicate human decision-making processes. There are rumors of truly sentient artificial intelligences capable of generating their own Aura, but these are unsubstantiated at this time.


1: Based on estimates from an earlier post.
2: GURPS High-Tech, page 13. Remember, these are GURPS $, not American dollars.
3: A bit over $140/ounce
4: This means that a single gram of Dust provides about as much energy as a Medium battery[sup]2[/sup][sup]10[/sup]
5: I prefer the metric system, but it's never been mentioned on Remnant; besides, the old Imperial system just fits Remnant better, in the author's opinion. In any case, that's a bit over $10/gram.
6: I start with the listed power cell requirement of a comparable GURPS Ultra-Tech weapon. I then assume that an A cell has power comparable to that of a Small battery (GURPS High Tech) which coincidentally means that a AA battery is comparable to a AA power cell. This means that Dust cells for these weapons cost roughly five times as much as comparable default power cells. Prices were adjusted for founding.
7: This idea was largely inspired in large part by Pyrrha's comment[sup]11[/sup] that a Huntsman's "tools and equipment are conduits for Aura.
8: It sounds good. Like, both good as in "fits in with the excellent wireless communication technology, apparently sub-par nature of Remnan computers for most tasks, and lack of space in Scrolls for their own microchips" and as in "it sounds cool".
9: I created a version that makes sense in my head and tried to apply appropriate engineerey words.
10: An ounce of Dust is off the scale—equivalent to seven very large batteries. Incidentally, those are car batteries.
11: Citation: RWBY, Season 1, Volume 1, Episode 5, "The Emerald Forest Part 1".

Last edited by GreatWyrmGold; 09-13-2015 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 09-24-2015, 08:36 PM   #24
Join Date: Oct 2011
Default Re: GURPS: Remnant: Fan-made rules for adventuring in the world of RWBY

I think another post of miscellaneous rules appropriate to making a Huntsman would be appropriate. I'll add more if I think of them.

Useful Supplements

(Many of the following books are technically titled GURPS: X, but the title has been shortened to X for simplicity.)

Powers is almost always a good book to have. While powers themselves play little role in Remnant, the various additional advantage options and rules for using superhuman abilities are useful.
Martial Arts is, surprisingly, useful. It offers a number of expanded combat mechanics, but perhaps the most useful tool it offers is custom techniques. These allow the more unique combat styles of various characters to be reflected more accurately by the rules. Some custom maneuvers cost Dust or Aura; default bonuses of +1 per point of Dust or ten points of Aura expended are recommended. That said, the fighting style rules are generally inapplicable; each Remnan fights in a different way, with a few exceptions.
Gun Fu provides cinematic rules for gunfights. While it overlaps to an extent with Martial Arts, the overlap is (unsurprisingly) minor; it would be useful to have both.
The three Action supplements offer surprisingly little to a RWBY game. Action 1—Heroes is tailored almost exclusively for mimicking the protagonists of many action films. Action 2—Exploits includes some useful rules (notable the Basic Abstract Difficulty system), but is—again—specialized for action-movie-type plots. Action 3—Furious Fists provides some combat rules, but most of it is specialized for martial-arts movies, without the flexibility of Martial Arts.
While Pyramid 3/44's "The Last Gasp" rules do not fit RWBY-style combat, "Abstract Wealth" suits the non-loot-focused nature of most campaigns set in Remnant, and "From Skills to Advantages" slightly increases the range of Semblances, weapon abilities, and such which can be built.



Accessibility: For the following modifiers, a campaign's opponents are assumed to be about 35% Grimm, 50% humans with awakened Auras, 10% robots, and no more than 5% animals or humans without awakened Auras. A campaign where the characters never fight humans should not allow a significant limitation for offensive abilities which only affect Grimm, while one focusing on White Fang grunts wouldn't allow a major price drop for abilities which can't affect them.

Abilities which only affect Grimm are not uncommon, and have a -25% Accessibility limitation. Conversely, abilities which only affect living creatures (things with Aura) have a -20% limitation. Ones which specifically do not affect Grimm have -15%.
Abilities which do not affect anything without an Aura (including both machines and Grimm) have a -20% limitation. (The GM may allow one which only affects things with awakened Auras at -25%, but creatures with unawakened Auras are rarely fought and even rarer challenging.) Abilities which affect only beings with unawakened Auras—mainly civilians and animals—would have a -40% limitation, but are unheard of.
Most Remnan robots do not run on electricity and do not have the Electrical disadvantage. However, abilities which only affect robots and other Dust-based machines and devices still have a -20% limitation. They will rarely if ever work on advanced machines from other realities—their operating principles are sufficiently different as to make attacks which work on both, but not other material objects or beings, a logical impossibility.

As always, these limitations are halved if the ability is weakened against those not meeting the requirement, rather than impotent.

Costs Aura, Minimum Aura: See here. Aura paid for such an ability causes shock and knockdown.

Costs Dust: Requires expenditure of a Dust Energy Reserve. -5% per point of Dust—doubled if each expenditure keeps the ability active for only one second!


The following abilities are (unless otherwise noted) Aura based; any of the Aura-based limitations may be added (they have not been included in the prices).

Enhanced Physique: One of the simplest "advanced" Aura abilities. Provides most of the benefits of increased Strength and Health, including melee damage, but does not improve Hit Points, Fatigue Points, or Basic Move. Per level: ST, HT +1; HP, FP -1, Basic Speed -0.25. 10 points/level. (This has probably appeared somewhere, with a better name, but I haven't seen it.)

Grimm Sense: Aura, even unawakened, gives its users a greater awareness of their surroundings. Once awakened, one's Aura-based senses can be honed to detect Aura; this is generally useless, as every living thing possesses Aura, obscuring the details for all but the most skilled users. However, Grimm—the antithesis of life—stand out to the trained eye. Detect (Grimm), 10 points.

Longevity: There are, and likely have always been, rumors of those who harness their Aura to extend their lifespans. The following are designed for use in Remnant-based campaign, with Unusual Background costs to match. Lesser Longevity: Extended Lifespan 1, Longevity, Perk (Does not visibly age), Unusual Background (Longevity); 10 points. Greater Longevity: Unaging, Unusual Background (Longevity); 40 points. This is usually a trait restricted to NPCs, if it is allowed at all.

New Techniques

The following are fairly generic techniques which could be learned by most any warrior in Remnant.

Aura Strike (Hard): Defaults: Prerequisite skill-5. Prerequisites: Aura; Any unarmed combat skill (cannot exceed prerequisite skill); Trained by a Master. This technique lets you deliver more powerful strikes to creatures of Grimm by imparting your blows with Aura, an energy anathema to the every essence of Grimm; it requires the expenditure of 20 Aura, and obviously does not work on humans. You perform a normal unarmed attack as part of using this skill; if you hit, regardless of if any damage penetrates the Grimm's Damage Resistance, you deal additional damage—one die per die of damage you would have dealt.

Destructive Aura Strike (Hard): Defaults: Aura Strike-5. Prerequisites: Aura Strike (cannot exceed prerequisite skill). This technique works like Aura Strike, except as noted. It costs 50 Aura rather than 20, and deals two additional dice of Aura-based, Damage-Resistance-penetrating damage per die of normal damage. The Grimm must make a Health roll to avoid being reduced to zero Hit Points. If the Grimm is reduced to zero or fewer Hit Points by this strike, whether by failing a Health roll or by simple damage, the body part struck explodes, killing it instantly.

Explosive Aura Strike (Hard): Default: Destructive Aura Strike-5. Prerequisites: Destructive Aura Strike (cannot exceed prerequisite skill). This technique works like Destructive Aura Strike, except as noted. It costs 70 Aura. If the Grimm is reduced to zero or fewer Hit Points, its entire body explodes, with fragments of the Grimm's armor spreading through the immediate area, harming nearby Grimm but not creatures with Aura. The explosion itself deals damage equal to the extra damage dealt by the technique, divided by thrice the distance (in yards) from the exploding Grimm. It also deals [2d] fragmentation damage to all Grimm and inanimate objects within range. See the rules for fragmentation and explosions on B414.

Impaled Shot (Hard): Defaults: Prerequisite skills -3. Prerequisites: Any melee weapon skill, any firearm skill, familiarity with a weapon which incorporates both classes of weapon, Trained by a Master or Weapon Master. This technique involves embedding a weapon into an enemy and then firing the firearm component at point-blank range. The weapon attack is made as normal; however, the firearm attack takes no penalty to hit due to location. Success with the firearm attack is not automatic, as the enemy can move itself or the weapon away from itself.

Recoil-Enhanced Strike (Hard): Defaults: Prerequisite skill-6. Prerequisites: Any melee weapon skill (cannot exceed prerequisite skill); familiarity with a weapon in said class which incorporates a firearm or similar weapon; Trained by a Master or Weapon Master. A recoil-enhanced strike is an attack which uses the firearm component of a weapon to strike harder with the melee weapon component. It requires sufficient precision and care that it can only be taken as an All-Out Attack. A recoil-enhanced strike deals +2 damage per die, and the enemy is at a -1 to block or parry it.
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:47 PM   #25
Join Date: Mar 2017
Default Re: GURPS: Remnant: Fan-made rules for adventuring in the world of RWBY

Thanks for this post, I have found it helpful in wrapping my mind around ways to replicate the various powers we see in the show (Aura and Dust in particular). I am wondering how anything may have been revised or added since we now have four volumes of content that has further fleshed out the world and powers.

Or if anyone has run across a resource that works so well for a RWBY based campaign that it is the obvious choice unless one is a masochist.

My sons and I are RWBY fans and tabletop RPGs fans, and I would like to combine the two at some point. But would find it easier to deal with disagreements on mechanics if I could point to some system that someone else made as the source.
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