I am gearing up to run a small GURPS campaign. Technologically, the game is set in the near future. I would like a book detailing weapons, medicine, transportation, etc.

It's certainly possible to extrapolate from the present, but I was hoping that a book would provide me with inspiration and address areas I hadn't yet considered.

I have been looking at supplements, but Ultra Tech looks like it is set too far in the future, and I am worried that High Tech won't go far enough. There might be light space travel in the campaign, but not much of it, so Space is probably not the ideal choice.

Are there any (4e) GURPS supplements addressing the immediate near future?


4 Answers 4


In 4th Edition, High Tech goes up to TL8, and Ultra Tech starts at TL9. (See the comments section.)

For Third Edition

Modern technology is Tech Level 7; near-future would be TL8 technology. If you want a very-near-future campaign, you might mix TL7 technology with elements from TL8 (organ transplant, bionic replacement). You can pick a tech level for each category of gear individually.

In the 3e version, if you look through the contents of Ultra-Tech and Ultra-Tech 2, every piece of equipment in the book has a listed tech level. Each chapter includes TL8 items, as well as more advanced gear for higher tech levels. If you use only the TL8 gear, Ultra-Tech and Ultra-Tech 2 would be suitable for your campaign, and they cover all of the categories that you listed (weapons, medicine, transportation, and others).

Between the two books, I would say that Ultra-Tech 2 has a better variety of more realistic TL7/near-TL8 gear, like slug-throwers, conventional weapons, and high-tech computer systems.

High-Tech (3e version) only goes up to TL7.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Good answer, but a small correction. High Tech goes up to TL8 and Ultra Tech starts at TL9. \$\endgroup\$
    – user1637
    Jul 15, 2011 at 12:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ I assume you're talking about the 4e version, and that it differs from the 3e version. I looked it up in the 3e versions before making this post. Updated my answer to reflect this. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$
    – RMorrisey
    Jul 16, 2011 at 0:44
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ According to GURPS 4th Basic Set Campaigns p.511 TL8 is the Digital Age starting ~1980 (to ~2025 -> Mircotech Age) \$\endgroup\$
    – Yolgie
    Mar 26, 2012 at 8:35
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The TL boundaries and some of the definitions of the TLs changed at GURPS 4e. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 28, 2016 at 17:02
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Better, thank you for responding with that edit! I made a tweak to turn the "note" into a heading, which it amost was anyway. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 31, 2016 at 20:50

You may want to check out the Transhuman Space books. Very different feel from the Ultra-Tech / Space. Although some of the pieces of technology are high-tech, it feels a lot more realistic than the Space / Ultra-tech options. As far as I know, Transhuman Space is 3e.

  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for Transhuman Space. Also, Blue Planet gives off a similar vibe and is set roughly along the same tech level, give or take 50 years. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 15, 2011 at 7:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are some 4e books for transhuman space, but not a base rule book for transhuman space that is still 3e. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 8, 2013 at 15:03

Another options is the GURPS: Cyberpunk book. I don't remember if there is one in print for 4th edition yet, but the 3rd edition one has a large set of technology (some of it much more commonplace now than it was when the book was written).

Also, some of this depends on how near future we are talking - are we talking 10 years? 50? 100? What type of feel are you going for? You mention there will probably not be much space travel - is it more of a cyberpunk style game, technomancer style game, or something else? That might help narrow down some of the choices, as the technology available will be radically different based on what the feel of the campaign is.


You also might want to check out the Traveller Interstellar Wars book. It's rooted in the Traveller universe, but discusses present day through to the Interstellar Wars. It's also GURPS 4E, so conversion should be a snap, and uses the information in Ultra Tech.

  • \$\begingroup\$ There's also GURPS Traveller. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dronz
    Jan 11, 2015 at 3:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Traveller Interstellar Wars is closer to our timeframe than the rest of GURPS Traveller. Not sure of the specific timeline offhand but it's more "immediate" than Traveller proper. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – user1147
    Jan 14, 2015 at 14:46

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