DF Khoramandu Sea - Off-Template Training

Peter over at Dungeon Fantastic just posted about DF Felltower Allowable Off-Template Advantages for his campaign. By some strange synchronicity, I had been thinking about the same thing today. I messaged my players directly, but I am posting here for completeness.

This is originally written with my players in mind, most of whom did not have prior GURPS experience (
TL; DR: Professional Lenses).
See also my previous post on general campaign training costs house rules.

 I have been considering off-template training, as I know that a few of my players have been eyeing up traits that are not on their professional templates. So that they know their options, here are my thoughts.

 The templates exist to serve as niche-protection. Certain traits are restricted to some professions for that reason, and to prevent cherry-picking.

 A distinction needs to be made between traits which were omitted specifically from a particular profession, but might otherwise be commonly-available (many ordinary skills fall into that category). These may well be available, provided that you can find a teacher, but may be at double training cost (GM's call). If it's a common skill, then trainer availability in a large town should be straightforward.

 The second type of off-template training is for those traits that are exclusive to certain templates. These are not normally available, being restricted to that character type. This also applies to those common traits which have higher maxima for particular professions, but a lower maxima for everyone else (e.g. only Knights and Barbarians can raise HP to the ST/2 level; everyone else is capped at ST/3).

 In order to facilitate options, while maintaining professional distinctions, I have decided to implement a form of multi-classing, through using what GURPS calls Lenses. A Lens normally costs 50 character points, takes 10 weeks game-time, and costs 10 gc ($4000). In order to access this, you must find a trainer and convince them to take you on through roleplay; it will not be automatic/handwaved. At the end of the 10 weeks, the PC will have a combination of attributes, advantages, skills (and possibly disadvantages) totalling 50 pts, which befits their basic training in the new profession. From that point, the PC has access to learn any of the traits on their new professional template, in addition to those on their original profession.


  1. One of my players had some questions, which I will post here along with my answers.

    Can PCs serve as trainers, if anyone wanted to learn magic off Davin or Swashbucklery off Miao?
    Yes, but only for skills and spells. As per the Teaching skill description. So, no learning Magery or Combat Reflexes from another PC. Find an NPC trainer (and get a lens first, if necessary). It is also worth reiterating that PC to PC teaching may be cheaper, but it is less efficient. This is by design. It takes 1 week for a PC to impart 1 point of skill or spell to another, during which time neither PC can do anything else. By comparison, both PCs could be learning 5 skills or spells from NPCs during that same week.

    How are we going to handle the ten-week training time?
    Play an alternate character in the meantime?

    I would expect the rest of the party (those not taking a lens) would have training or other tasks to perform during that time. We can have some training montages, and jump ahead 10 weeks.

    Will this cost money for 10 weeks of upkeep on top of the training cost per cp?
    As stated previously, I charge Cost of Living once (1 week) per downtime. This is for metagame reasons. A returning PC is assumed to be subsisting during their player's absence; they aren't resuming play with a massive debt for OOC reasons.

    If the lens includes something you have already brought up from your base template (e.g. +1 DX) can you count that and lower the cost of the lens?


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