GURPS
Godzilla

Roleplaying in the Toho Universe
Created by Jonathan Woodward


Godzilla Roaring Godzilla Flaming Godzilla Staring

Contents

Introduction- Earth and Beyond- Characters- Science and Technology- Monsters- Campaigns
Glossary- Bibliography- Notes- Acknowledgments


Introduction

Filmography: The Godzilla Canon

In the following list, a GG notation indicates the movie is (more or less) part of GURPS Godzilla continuity. An IN indicates it provided inspiration. Other movies are not in-continuity. Godzilla movies frequently have three or four different titles; I've tried to pick the most descriptive compromise. Note that the later movies "take place" in the year after their release year.

The Original:

  • Gojira aka Godzilla aka Godzilla, King of the Monsters, 1954 GG

First Wave of Godzilla Movies:

  • Godzilla Raids Again, 1955 IN
  • King Kong vs. Godzilla, 1962
  • Mothra vs. Godzilla, 1964
  • Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, 1964
  • Invasion of Astro-Monster, 1965 IN
  • Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, 1966
  • Son of Godzilla, 1967
  • Destroy all Monsters, 1968 IN
  • All Monsters Attack, 1969
  • Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster, 1971
  • Godzilla vs. Gigan, 1972
  • Godzilla vs. Megalon, 1973 IN
  • Godzilla vs. the Cosmic Monster, 1974
  • Terror of Mechagodzilla, 1975

Second Wave of Godzilla Movies:

  • Gojira 1984 aka Godzilla 1985, 1984 GG
  • Godzilla vs. Biollante, 1989 GG
  • Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, 1991 GG
  • Godzilla vs. Mothra, 1992 GG
  • Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, 1993 GG
  • Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, 1994 GG
  • Godzilla vs. Destroyer, 1995 GG
  • Godzilla 2000: Millenium, 2000 GG

Non-Toho Godzilla Movies:

  • Bambi Meets Godzilla, 1969
  • Godzilla aka Godzilla 1998 aka "the American Godzilla movie", 1998 IN

Non-Godzilla Toho Movies:

  • Rodan, 1956 IN
  • The Mysterians, 1957 GG
  • Varan the Unbelievable, 1958
  • Battle in Outer Space, 1959 IN
  • Mothra, 1962 IN
  • Atragon, 1964 IN
  • Super Atragon, 1995 GG
  • Super Atragon 2, 1996 GG
  • Mothra aka Mothra 1996, 1996 GG
  • Mothra 2, 1997 GG
  • Mothra 3, 1998 GG
  • And many others...

Why GURPS Godzilla Makes Any Kind of Sense

When most people consider "GURPS Godzilla", they picture playing a very flat, scorched character. I'll admit, that doesn't sound like much fun. However, in the course of nearly three dozen films starring Godzilla and his antagonists, Toho Studios has created an exciting universe, full of things to do that don't involve 300 foot monsters stepping on your character's head. This document is an attempt to explore that universe and suggest ideas to the imaginative GM.

Continuity and Consistency

All the Godzilla movies, taken as a body of work, are inconsistent with each other, with basic science, and sometimes with basic logic. I have thus ruthlessly pared, snipped, extrapolated, and fleshed out to create a usable roleplaying universe. (See my Notes, below.) The resulting world is mostly the same as the current Toho Godzilla-verse (including Godzilla1954 and the second wave Godzilla movies (see sidebar)). It also includes whatever other Toho movies I thought were interesting (and justifiable). E.g., the 1964 movie Atragon, about an advanced submarine, has the monster Manda in it, who is also in Destroy All Monsters with Godzilla. The recent animated Super Atragon movies are a "remake" of sorts of Atragon, and are quite interesting, so I included them in GURPS Godzilla continuity. I've also (again, for example) included the evil Planet X aliens from Invasion of Astro-Monster, though the actual events of that film did not take place.


Earth and Beyond

There is a battle raging across the galaxy. For hundreds of millions of years, hostile life-forms (collectively called the Skyllans) have descended on life-bearing worlds, and drained them dry. A humanoid species was rendered homeless eons before life existed on Earth, and spread its members across the stars in an attempt to preserve itself against extinction. Their mission on each world was to populate it with lifeforms similar to their lost home, and to find a way to fight the monsters that always, eventually, came. This species was called the Cosmos, and it populated at least four worlds in our solar system, including Earth, Mars, the lost fifth planet known as the Mysteroid, and Planet X, beyond Jupiter. Sometimes, the Cosmos-descended races forgot their original mission. Sometimes they were wiped out. And, all too frequently, they turned xenophobic and hostile.

Humanity remains almost completely unaware of this history. Godzilla's occasional rampages are, from this eons-long perspective, just a side-effect of a side-effect, and the thousands of dead are completely irrelevant to the forces that destroy planets.

History

100,000,000BC: The Cosmos race is dispersed across the galaxy. Entire spiral arms are colonized, then wiped out by Skyllans such as Death Ghidorah.

65,000,000BC: The Cosmos race comes to Earth, and establishes civilizations both underground and on the surface. The underground world comes to be called Mu, the aboveground one, Elias.

Evil scientists in the Elias civilization build 12 machines to absorb the Earth's "life force". The underground world creates a giant "Earth-protector" in the image of their god, Megalon, to stop them. It is called Battra, and proves uncontrollable. The Elias government creates a race of giant moths to subdue it. During the battles, the Elias weather-control machines are destroyed. Eventually Battra is stopped, and forced to sleep until it will be needed to protect Earth from a giant meteor due in 65 megayears. The Mothra race continues to exist as defender of the Earth. A race of genetically perfect 1 foot twins are created to serve as avatars for Mothra.

Death Ghidorah descends upon Mars, and wipes out almost all life there.

Death Ghidorah comes to Earth, and causes mass plant and animal extinctions. It is eventually imprisoned by Mothra. The few dinosaur specimens that survive are all radiovores, and include examples of godzillasaurus, pteranodon rodan, and ankylosaurus.

Due to the loss of weather control, and the aftermath of Death Ghidorah, Elias falls into barbarism. Mu and Elias lose contact with each other. The Mu culture begins the process of becoming stagnant, rigid, and emotionless.

100,000BC: The fifth planet, called the Mysteroid, is destroyed by nuclear war, forming the asteroid belt. Some Mysterians survive, and colonize the ruins they discover on Mars. Their genetic heritage is ravaged by radiation-induced mutation.

1000BC: Another Ghidorah-type Skyllan comes to Mars, and nearly destroys the Mysterian colony before being defeated. In the aftermath, some Mysterians emigrate to Earth, and land in the Himalayas, where they eventually become the royal family in the country of Selgina.

1930: The Mu civilization begins to worry that the surface-dwellers will destroy the planet. They send agents to the surface to investigate humanity. Agent Annette, in Japan, decides that humanity is basically good. Avatar, in the USA, decides the human race should be wiped out.

1932: The Mu civilization decides to test the surface-dwellers. Two large cylinders composed of a previously-unknown metal, and containing a new energy source, are crashed into the surface in Manchuria and Montana. Avatar leaks plans for a type of undersea battleship to the USA and Japan, hoping a clear demonstration of humanity's warlike nature will cause the Mu leaders to destroy them.

1932-1944: The Ra and the Liberty are constructed in secret.

1944: In the original timeline, a godzillasaurus is encountered by Japanese and American troops on Lagos Island in the Pacific. It is badly wounded by American naval cannon, but survives. In the revised timeline, travelers from the 23rd Century then teleport the beast to the other side of the island, and release three "dorats" (created from Death Ghidorah DNA) onto the island.

1945: Annette breaks her cover and urges the Japanese captain of the Ra not to launch. She is not heeded, but is permitted to be on board the ship for its shakedown cruise. The Ra is three days out when Hiroshima is bombed. The Ra is then confronted by the Liberty, with Avatar on board. Annette and Avatar fight a psychic duel, and both are left in a decades-long coma. The Ra and the Liberty ram each other, and sink. With no feedback from their agents, the Mu leaders postpone deciding humanity's fate.

Early 1950s: Dr. Daisuke Serizawa develops the so-called "oxygen destroyer", a biochemical process that forces oxygen in organic compounds to bind with hydrogen, causing the rapid liquefaction of organic tissue.

1954: Atomic testing on Bikini Atoll (near Lagos) transforms the godzillasaurus into Godzilla I (and, in the revised timeline, begins the process of changing the dorats into King Ghidorah).

Godzilla I destroys much of Tokyo. The oxygen destroyer is used to (apparently) kill him.

1957: The Mysterians attempt to invade Earth and steal human women, but are driven off through internal sabotage, and the use of the newly-developed electron cannon and markelite gun. The Mysterians' giant tunneling robot is recovered, but only some of its technology proves decipherable.

1975: The Ra is salvaged, and reconstructed in secret.

1984: Godzilla I reappears, awoken by volcanic eruptions. The Super-X main sky battle tank (based in part on Mysterian tech) is used against him, but is only somewhat successful, and is destroyed. Much of Tokyo is again leveled before Godzilla is lured into a volcano and trapped.

During the clean-up procedures, Godzilla cells are stolen from Japanese scientists by agents of an American bio-tech firm, the Bio-Major Corporation, and then again stolen from those agents by a Saradian spy. Saradian scientists begin attempting to create immortal wheat by extracting the regenerative abilities of the Godzilla cells.

Meanwhile, Japanese scientists create anti-nuclear energy bacteria from their supply of Godzilla cells.

1989: A cross between rose, Godzilla, and human DNA escapes the laboratory and grows to 300 feet in a nearby inlet. It is named Biollante. Godzilla is freed from the volcano by Bio-Major agents, and battles Biollante. The fight is a draw, and Godzilla returns to the sea, while Biollante goes to the stars. (The Super-X II is also destroyed in the conflict.)

1990: Annette awakens, and goes undercover in the UN to monitor for signs of Mu activity. Avatar awakens, and delivers her report. The Mu leaders start planning humanity's destruction. Avatar has the Liberty salvaged, and refitted to be her mobile command post.

1992: Princess Selina Sulna, of the Selginan Royal Family, appears in Tokyo disguised as a vagabond. She begins to prophesize about a destructive monster appearing on Earth.

Travelers from the 23rd Century appear, and ask for Japanese aid in going back to 1944 and stopping Godzilla from ever coming into existence. Their actual plot is to create a second monster to further devastate Japan, and prevent it from becoming a world power in the 23rd Century.

The travelers, accompanied by several natives of 1992, go back to 1944.

King Ghidorah emerges, and begins destroying cities under the remaining travelers' control. Godzilla also appears from the sea.

The travelers return, and reveal their true colors. One of them (a 23rd Century Japanese) betrays them, and destroys their computer. Without their control, King Ghidorah is defeated by Godzilla.

Godzilla travels to Tokyo, and is destroying the just-completed city hall when Cyber-Ghidorah arrives from the future. Cyber-Ghidorah defeats Godzilla, but is itself destroyed in the process.

The UNGCC is founded. It salvages Cyber-Ghidorah, and Japanese technology receives another boost through analysis of the 23rd Century technology.

1993: A medium-sized meteor strikes Earth, and Battra and Godzilla awake. Simultaneously, a Mothra egg is discovered. Mothra and Battra fight, then team up to defeat Godzilla. Battra is killed, and Mothra travels into space to divert another, larger meteor.

Anticipating the possibility of battling Mothra, the UNGCC creates Garuda, a highly-maneuverable aerial heavy-assault vehicle. It proves unnecessary.

Godzilla cells, apparently carried into space by Mothra or Biollante, encounter a crystalline Skyllan, which restructures itself based on the Godzilla DNA. The resultant "SpaceGodzilla" begins its journey toward Earth.

1994: Based largely on 23rd Century tech, Mechagodzilla is created by the UNGCC. It is defeated in its first battle with Godzilla.

An unhatched godzillasaurus egg, and a recently-hatched Rodan egg, are discovered. The godzillasaurus emerges while under human care, and proves to be peaceful.

A technique is discovered for combining Mechagodzilla and Garuda, improving the versatility of the UNGCC's anti-Godzilla options.

In battle between Godzilla, Rodan, and "Super"-Mechagodzilla, Godzilla is nearly defeated, until Rodan sacrifices itself to provide Godzilla with enough radiation to regenerate its damaged secondary brain. Godzilla defeats the UNGCC forces, then returns to the sea with "Baby Godzilla".

The UNGCC begins work on MOGERA, a new anti-Godzilla weapon.

The Psi-Force brance of the UNGCC is formed.

1995: SpaceGodzilla comes to Earth, and is only defeated by the combined force of Godzilla and MOGERA.

1996: The Antarctic icecap begins to melt. It is discovered that the Mu people are placing huge microwave generators in orbit in preparation for sterilizing the Earth's surface. Several UN fleets are wiped out by Mu forces, followed by a number of major cities. The Ra confronts Avatar and the Liberty, and defeats them. Tentative peace talks between the UN and the Mu civilization begin.

Godzilla attacks Hong Kong, and the first signs are noticed that his radiovorous biology is out of control. It is feared that a world-devastating nuclear explosion may ensue.

The secret of the oxygen destroyer is rediscovered. Certain microscopic organisms are exposed to it, and begin to grow into large destructive beasts.

Baby Godzilla reappears, considerably larger. He is lured to where the Destroyer is rampaging, and nearly killed. Godzilla engages the Destroyer, and defeats it. He then experiences meltdown and dies. The radiation is absorbed by Baby Godzilla, who grows to full stature and becomes Godzilla II.

In the wake of Godzilla's meltdown, world opinion turns against the use of nuclear power, and the existence of nuclear weapons. The slow process of world disarmament begins.

1997: Death Ghidorah is freed by a human construction team. Mothra attempts to subdue it, and is defeated in battle. Mothra's child becomes the new Mothra, and re-imprisons Death Ghidorah.

1998: Mothra defeats a mysterious monster. First appearance of Aquamothra.

Godzilla makes a brief foray into New York City.

1999: Mothra battles a Ghidorah-type Skyllan.

21st Century: Despite the occasional rampages of Godzilla, Japan grows in economic and political power

2000-2025: The world becomes largely nuclear-free.

2000: Godzilla battles a bizarre, bullet-headed foe.

2050: Japanese scientists develop holographic technology indistinguishable from reality.

22nd Century: Japan's overseas holdings increase rapidly. Entire countries in South America and Africa become Japanese territory. Japan becomes the most powerful nation in the world.

2175: The Equal Environmentalists of Earth (E3), an organization dedicated to equalizing the power of the Earth's nations, comes into being. It is largely anti-Japanese in policy.

2192: Time travel is developed in Japan.

2195: E3 breaches Death Ghidorah's prison, and obtains several cell samples.

2202: The dorats are created from gengineered Death Ghidorah cells.

2203: E3 steals several time machines from Japanese authorities.

2204: E3 sends a mission back to the 20th Century, with the ostensible mission of removing Godzilla from the timeline. The actual mission is the addition of King Ghidorah to history, thus weakening Japan.

One member of the mission returns, having betrayed the others. She recovers King Ghidorah's body from the ocean floor, and rebuilds him into Cyber-Ghidorah. She takes him back to 1992 to defeat Godzilla.

The Solar System

The Moon: Luna has been an advance base for several attempted alien invasions of Earth. A fair amount of interesting technology can be found abandoned there.

Mars: Mars is home to the rapidly-degenerating Mysterian culture. As of the late 20th Century, they number less than 1,000,000, and are more than 80% male.

The Asteroid Belt: These scattered rocks used to be the Mysteroid, original home to the Mysterians. An expedition could, conceivably, find remnants of their civilization there.

Planet X: A "rogue planet" orbiting beyond Jupiter, it is home to a hostile alien race. Planet X is dark and distant, but its surface temperature is comfortable, the air pressure is half an Earth atmosphere, and the gravity is 2/3rds of a gee. The natives currently live underground due to frequent attacks by a Skyllan.. They are considering several plots to conquer Earth.

Countries, Locations, and Organizations

Japan's Policy on Nuclear Weapons

  1. Japan will never possess nuclear weapons.
  2. Japan will never allow another country to bring nuclear weapons into its territory.
  3. Japan will never ask other countries to use nuclear weapons on its behalf.

Japan: Japan is the country most frequently attacked by Godzilla, and it has had to rebuild several major cities over the last five decades. Its scientists have also been successful at scavenging advanced technology from various alien invaders and time travelers. The hardware available to Japan's Self-Defense Agency is mature TL8 at a minimum, with the various Super-X main sky battle tanks being borderline TL9. These technological boosts will lead to Japan's dominance over the rest of the Earth through the next 200 years.

Rolisika: Comprising the Bismarck Archipelago in the Pacific, Rolisika is similar in history, demographics, and culture to New Zealand. It was occupied briefly by the Japanese during World War II, and diplomatic relations between the two countries remain tense at best. Rolisika became a nuclear power in the 1950s. The Rolisikan External Affairs department (REA) is their subdued but effective spy agency. (In the real world, the Bismarck Archipelago is part of Papua New Guinea.)

Republic of Saradia: A small Middle-Eastern country, noted for its oil reserves, bio-technology, and lack of arable farmland. It is also on the borderline of becoming a "terrorist" nation. Organizations within Saradia include the Saradia Institute of Bio-technology (capable of mature TL8 bio-tech), and the Saradia Oil Corporation, which is partly a front for their spy network. (In the real world, Saradia is the Al Ahsa region of Saudi Arabia.)

Selgina: This mountain-locked country is located high in the Himalayas, and rigorously defends its borders against unwanted intrusion. The royal family (called the Sulna) are descended from Mysterian colonists. (In the real world, Selgina is the Indian province of Sikkim.)

UN

The United Nations: In the face of repeated global threats such as alien invasions, the UN has grown in power. As of the end of the 20th Century, it is not yet a world government, but its power is much greater than in the real world. The WSA, the WAF, and the UNGCC are under the aegis of the UN.

World Space Authority: This organization has organized several expeditions to the moon, and coordinates international space exploration efforts. A mission to Planet X is being contemplated.

World Air Force: The high-tech planes of the WAF have the mission of defending Earth's airspace. Three of its experimental vessels were instrumental in repelling the Mysterian invasion.

UNGCC

United Nations Godzilla Countermeasures Center: The UN founded this organization in the early 1990s to deal with the threat posed to the world by Godzilla. It has since expanded its mandate to include all kaiju, and other "special circumstances" such as alien invasions. It is a large, well-funded organization, headquartered in Japan.

G-Force: The armed branch of the UNGCC. In addition to conventional weaponry, electron cannon tanks, and maser artillery, G-Force constructs and uses such borderline TL9 super-weapons as Mechagodzilla and MOGERA.

Psychic Center: The psionics branch of the UNGCC. This division works closely with the Psionics Research Institute in the nurturing of psi-active individuals capable of aiding in the fight against Godzilla.

G-Force Special Detachments: Small groups of four to eight UNGCC specialists are sometimes organized into special teams for a particular short-term or long-term project. They are designated with a Greek letter. The current G-Force Alpha is assigned to the constant monitoring and study of Godzilla.

Interpol

Interpol: The real Interpol's mission is to facilitate the sharing of information among the law-enforcement organizations of the world. In the universe of Godzilla, it also investigates criminal activity "which constitutes a threat to the world as a whole, or significant portion thereof". Not infrequently, they are among the first to discover otherworldly conspiracies. Its trans-national powers were granted in the wake of the failed Mysterian invasion, but only apply in the 178 member states (Saradia and Selgina, for example, are not members).

Islands: Several islands in the Pacific have been home to monsters at one time or another. Lagos was the original home of the godzillasaurus that became Godzilla. Infant Island was where Mothra's egg was discovered. Other islands of note include Adona, Burse, Birth, and Monster Island (some of which may be the same island with different names).

Psionics Research Institute: The most noteworthy center for psi research in the world, headquartered outside Tokyo. (Referred to by various names in the movies.)

Miyajima Laboratory of Geology and Metallurgy: A medium-sized research lab.

Tsukuba Laboratory of Bio-technology: A major Japanese bio-tech firm, which developed the anti-nuclear energy bacteria.

Ocean Exploration Institute: A non-profit organization dedicated to charting the next-to-final frontier.

Defcon: Godzilla

The Special Disaster Research Council has set up a graduated scale of alarms to quantify response to a possible threat by Godzilla.

First Alarm System
In case any chemical, geological, meteorological, or psychic (other than physical) sign of G's action is confirmed.
Second Alarm System
In case any physical sign of G's action (such as voice or motion) is confirmed.
Third Alarm System
In case G appears.
Fourth Alarm System
In case G's landing on any specific coast of Japan is positive.

Japanese National Land Bureau, Special Disaster Research Council, Godzilla Unit: As of 1989, this was the only Godzilla-response organization in the world. It was underfunded and understaffed, but quickly proved its worth when Godzilla was freed during the Biollante affair. It is today a major component of the SDRC, and works closely with the UNGCC.

The Teiyo Group: (Pronounced "T O".) One of the largest mega-corporations in Japan, with interests ranging from military submarines to dinosaur-oriented theme parks. It was founded by the commander of the Japanese troops who encountered the proto-Godzilla on Lagos island, Major Yasuaki Shindo. Japan's resurgence after WW2 is partly credited to his financial genius. In the future, this company will grow in power as Japan does, and will be the largest corporation in the world by 2204.

Bio-Major Corporation: A large, amoral American bio-tech company, responsible for a great deal of industrial espionage, and indirectly at fault for the release of Godzilla during the Biollante affair.

Mu, The Super Mystery Magazine: A sensationalist magazine devoted to the weird and unexplained in the modern world. A couple steps better than the Weekly World News, but below Omni. Its logo is based on the all-seeing pyramid.

Equal Environmentalists of Earth (E3): An organization in the late 22nd and early 23rd Centuries dedicated to the equality of power among nations. Different factions range from being rabidly anti-Japanese terrorists, to internationally-respected research institutes.


Characters

Starting Character Points

Ordinary People in an Un-Ordinary World (100 points)

Characters at this point level form the bulk of the cast of the Godzilla movies, and this is the recommended campaign style. PCs at this level can deal as equals with hostile aliens, strange-but-small beasties, and malevolent underworlders. When Godzilla does appear, all the players' ingenuity will be required to make the slightest difference in his rampage.

Sometimes Super-Strength Isn't Enough (500 points)

Superheroes in the 500-point range will still be largely helpless against Godzilla directly, but will be able to conduct damage control in his wake much more effectively. Godzilla and the Toho Universe can be grafted onto most superhero worlds with few changes.

With Immense Power Comes Immense Responsibility (1000 points, 5000 points, and up)

"Ultra" characters will be able to go toe-to-toe with Godzilla and his ilk, and triumph. Unfortunately, GURPS as a system is not perfectly suited to kilopoint campaigns, but with care this can be a valid play style.

Character Concepts

Android: 23rd Century technology can produce super-strong androids indistinguishable from normal humans. Their loyalties are reprogrammable, making them suitable for many different party-types.

Explorer: The Toho Universe still has its share of unexplored nooks and crannies, some of which may be home to things best left undisturbed. An explorer can be a member of a well-funded expedition, or an "Indiana Jones"-style loner.

Inventor: 50-point Gadgeteers are appropriate in the Toho Universe, and can usually be counted on to come up with the Gadget that Saves the Day!

Investigator: An investigator can be a private eye, work for an insurance company, or a government agent who had no idea where his inquiries would lead.

Kid: Many of the Godzilla movies were aimed at a younger audience, and they tend to be filled with vaguely-annoying children who befriend Godzilla and cheer him on to victory. I can't honestly say I recommend "kid" as a PC type, but completeness requires me to suggest it.

Physician: Any Godzilla campaign can use a doctor. Trust me.

Psi: Psionic powers are a subject of detailed study in the Toho Universe, and GMs shouldn't feel obliged to charge an Unusual Background if a player wants to play a psi.

Reporter: It seems every Godzilla movie has a reporter or two in it, ready to get into serious trouble in search of a story. Recommended employers include the Tokyo Star, Nitto News, or Mu, The Super Mystery Magazine.

Sarariman: Corporate employees frequently play an antihero role in Godzilla movies, usually by attempting to exploit some dangerous artifact that a large monster feels obliged to protect. Slightly less greedy and short-sighted sararimen can easily be PCs.

Scientist: For every reporter in a Godzilla movie, there are two scientists. Specialties include biology, nuclear physics, and astronomy. The Science! skill is permitted at the GM's discretion.

Soldier: A military PC can be a grunt assigned to civil defense, or the chief pilot of Mechagodzilla. They often learn that force can't solve every problem.

Spy: There are a lot of secrets to be stolen in the Toho Universe, including future technology, alien technology, and Godzilla DNA.

Time Traveler: A careless E3 espionage team could leave someone behind, or displace an Elias citizen to the present from 60,000,000 BC.

Psionics

Dangers of Psi

One powerful psi can easily mess up your campaign. Godzilla has a formidable will, but even a 100-point character has plenty of room to buy the power necessary to take control of him. GMs should permit this - within reason! Too much contact with Godzilla's brain can have any number of side effects, including increased hostility, unexpected blackouts, peculiar limitations on powers (-10% "Only when roaring."), Delusions ("Uranium is yummy."), or even flat-out mindswitches! Further, if it's that easy to take over Godzilla's mind, maybe someone's already done it...

The following powers and skills from GURPS Psionics definitely exist in the Toho Universe: ESP (Precognition), psychokinesis (telekinesis), and several of the telepathy skills. Other skills may exist at the GM's discretion. Teleportation is strongly discouraged.

Most psis are young female humans (though there are many exceptions). A player may take a -20% limitation on his or her psi powers, "Diminished by Age". A character with this limitation must be 13 or older. Starting with the character's 15th birthday, make a HT roll once a year. On a failure, one level in one power of the GM's choice is lost. On a critical failure, an entire power is lost. On a critical success, the next roll is waived. Starting at age 20, the rolls are twice yearly. (Standard GURPS rules aren't generally suited to a character as young as 13; a certain amount of GM flexibility is encouraged.) It is speculated that this diminishment of powers is connected to increased body mass, and that this is why the twins who serve as avatars for Mothra are bred to be small; to preserve their psychic abilities.

Note that the movies are not as rigorous in their terminology as GURPS Psionics is, and often use "ESP" where GURPS uses "telepathy".

Racial Templates

M-11 Android (lots o' points): Forthcoming.

Citizen of Mu (-20 points): Muvians are Edgy (-5), Hidebound (-5), and mildly Agoraphobic (-10). They tend to be emotionless, but this varies widely.

Member of the Sulna Royal Family (15 points): The Sulnas are descended from Mysterians, and once had powerful mental abilities. Today, all still have Danger Sense (15 points), and some have much higher levels of ESP, usually with the emphasis on Precognition. For Sulnas, all rolls to sense danger from Skyllans are at +5 (probably due to attempts to gengineer an "early warning system", and/or simple survival of the fittest). It has been noted that the Japanese Royal Family have some gift for prophecy, as well. Hmm.

Other Aliens: There are at least four other races of aliens in the Godzilla canon who don't get write-ups here. Most are humanoid, one is distinctly ape-like, and one is a race of cockroaches who evolved intelligence after the humanoid race on their world destroyed itself with pollution. Feel free to surprise players with new invaders who haven't heard how tough Earthlings are.

Sample Characters

Several of these characters are taken from the Godzilla movies, and almost all are suitable as starting PCs. They rarely have a "full load" of disads and quirks, to allow for customization.

Takuya Fujito, Archaeologist/Thief

ST: 11 IQ: 14 Speed: 5.25
DX: 12 HT: 11 Move: 6 (Running-12)
Dodge: 5

No armor; no encumbrance.

Japanese, male, 30.

Point Total: 100

Advantages: Alertness +1, Attractive.

Disadvantages: Dependent (daughter Midori, 10 points, loved one, fairly often, -24 points); Greed.

Quirks: Idolizes Indiana Jones; Considers physical hardship beneath his notice; Overconfident; Incompetent in Law.

Skills: Riding (Horse)-11; Photography-12; Writing-12; Jumping-12; Running-12; Swimming-13; Guns (Pistol)-12; Knife-11; Whip-10; Cooking-13; Mechanic (gasoline engine)-12; Japanese-14 (default); Chinese-12; English-12; Korean-12; First Aid-14; Climbing-12; Fishing-13; Naturalist-11; Navigation-13; Survival (Jungle)-14; Computer Operation-13; Anthropology-13; Archaeology-14; Chemistry-13; Geology-13; History-13; Meteorology-12; Occultism-13; Research-13; Acting-13; Area Knowledge (PacRim)-14; Fast-Talk-13; Merchant-13; Savoir-Faire-13; Sex Appeal-12; Teaching-13; Camouflage-14; Forgery-12; Holdout-13; Pickpocket-10; Scrounging-13; Stealth-10; Driving (Car)-10.

Story: Until recently, Fujito was a talented thief of archaeological relics, selling artifacts to the highest bidder. In the wake of the Mothra incident he has a new perspective, and is looking to resume teaching and caring for his daughter. He has an on again/off again relationship with her mother.

Serene Josiah, Geneticist

ST: 10 IQ: 14 Speed: 6.25
DX: 13 HT: 12 Move: 6
Dodge: 6

No armor; no encumbrance.

Indian (Asian)-American, female, late 20s.

Point Total: 100

Advantages: Beautiful; Charisma +1; Sanctity.

Disadvantages: Curious (-5 points); Dependent (boyfriend, 50 points, friend, quite often, -12 points); Impulsiveness; Wealth: Struggling.

Quirks: Wears scarlet; Belly-dances; Loves bad science in sci-fi TV shows.

Skills: Biochemistry-12; Chemistry-13, Genetics-14; Zoology-12; Dancing-12; Breath Control-11; Shortsword Art-12, First Aid-14; Computer Operation-14; Fast Talk-12; Teaching-12; Driving (Car)-12.

Story: Serene is a brilliant geneticist, currently working in Japan with the UNGCC Biology Division. She considers getting to work on Godzilla DNA as one of her life's crowning accomplishments. Her coworkers find her surprisingly flashy for a scientist, but charming nonetheless. She has been credited with isolating the portions of radiovore DNA that pertain to the creation of the structures that probably do the actual absorption of radioactivity. There's still much work ahead of her, however.

Emmy Kano, Temporal Terrorist

ST: 10 IQ: 11 Speed: 6.5
DX: 12 HT: 13 Move: 6
Dodge: 6

No armor; no encumbrance.

23rd Century Japanese, female, mid 20s.

Point Total: 100

Advantages: Attractive; Charisma +1; High Technology (+2 TLs, 50 points); Immunity to Disease.

Disadvantages: Delusion ("I can fix the timeline so everything comes out right.", -5 points); Enemy (E3, large group, quite rarely, -15 points); Impulsiveness; Gullibility.

Quirks: Proud of being Japanese (even when she's plotting against Japan); Actually likes dorats; Enthusiastic.

Skills: Piloting (Cyber-Ghidorah)-13; Fast-Talk-12; Temporal Operation-11; Guns (Pistol)-12; History-9; Demolition-10.

Story: Emmy was a member of the Equal Environmentalists of Earth in the 23rd Century, up to the minute she clued into the true purpose of their mission to 1992. At that point she stole the time machine and killed the other members of the expedition. E3 is very interested in hunting her down and forcing an explanation out of her, not to mention getting their time machine back! She is "currently" bopping back and forth across time, trying to determine the best way of equalizing power among nations (a goal she still believes in), without actually harming her native Japan. She has a knack for getting people to do things for her, even against their better judgment.

Tetsuo Toori, Inventor

ST: 11 IQ: 14 Speed: 5.25
DX: 10 HT: 11 Move: 5
Dodge: 5

No armor; no encumbrance.

Japanese, male, mid 20s.

Point Total: 100

Advantages: Gadgeteer (50 points).

Disadvantages: Compulsive Behavior (Tinkering, -10 points); Gullibility; Truthfulness; Wealth: Struggling.

Quirks: "If I invent something spectacular, Fuji will let me marry his sister"; Suspects aliens are behind most of his setbacks; Little fashion sense; Nervously adjusts glasses.

Skills: Astronomy-11; Chemistry-13; Computer Operation-14; Computer Programming-13; Mathematics-15; Electronics (Communications)-14; Electronics (Sound Systems)-14; Engineering (Electrical)-13; Metallurgy-11; Physics-11; Swimming-10; Jeweler-11.

Story: Toori is an aspiring inventor who isn't having much luck. He's romantically involved with the sister of an astronaut, but he disapproves of Toori's "hopeless" gadgetry. Toori has had several moderately-useful ideas, but he never reads contracts closely enough, and ends up being robbed by the firms that buy his inventions.

Major Akira Yuki, G-Force

Forthcoming.

Miki Saegusa, Psi

ST: 10 IQ: 14 Speed: 5.75
DX: 12 HT: 11 Move: 5
Dodge: 5

No armor; no encumbrance.

Japanese, female, early 20s.

Point Total: 250

Advantages: Mindlink (10 levels, with Mothra, 10 points).

Disadvantages: Mild Shyness; Selfless; Skinny; Weirdness Magnet.

Quirks: Wears her Mothra earrings all the time; Morally confused about the "rights" of monsters.

Skills: Running-11; First Aid-14; Computer Operation-14; Physiology (Godzilla)-12; Teaching-14; Psionics-13.

Psionics: Telepathy Power 20, Emotion Sense-13, Illusion-12, Mental Blow-13, Mind Shield-13, Psi Sense-14, Sleep-13, Suggest-13, Telecontrol-12, Telereceive-13, Telescan-12, Telesend-12; ESP Power 10, Clairvoyance-11, Clairaudience-11, Precognition-13, Psychometry-12, Seeker Sense-12; Astral Projection Power 5, Astral Projection-12; Healing Power 5, Healing-12; Psychokinesis Power 5, Levitation-13, Telekinesis-12.

Story: Ms. Saegusa was for many years the top-rated psi at the Psionics Research Institute, and has been called in to help with nearly every kaiju incursion since she stood off Godzilla for several minutes while still in her teens. She has come to feel genuine affection for Godzilla, but still believes it is her duty to defend Japan against him by whatever means necessary. This is difficult for her to reconcile, at best. In 1993 she joined the UNGCC, and was named director of the brand-new Psychic Center division the following year.

Lora & Moll, Avatars of Mothra

The avatar "race" was gengineered by the Elias to serve as a "telepathic interface" for the Mothras. In appearance they are Asian, female, and just over a foot tall. They almost always appear as twins, and will resist being separated; there is no record of this ever happening. Their campaign role is almost always as a plot device, but the GM may use them as he or she sees fit, possibly even as PCs. (One set of twins per player.)

The current avatars are Moll and Lora. Also present on Earth is Belvera, an "untwinned" avatar inimical to mankind. It is speculated that the loss of her twin drove her insane. Until recently she had a flying robotic steed resembling a dragon, called Garu Garu.


Science and Technology

Tech Levels

As of the end of the 20th Century, the world as a whole is at early TL8. Most mature TL8 devices have been successfully demonstrated in the lab, and can be pressed into service in emergencies. Japan has received several technological boosts, and has channeled them into its military. The Self-Defense Agency is mature TL8 through borderline TL9. Mechagodzilla, Garuda, and MOGERA are borderline TL9.

At its peak, the Cosmos civilization was TL12 overall, and TL13 in bio-tech. Repeated assaults from the Skyllans have reduced different Cosmos colonies to all levels down to TL0 (as happened on Earth).

The current Mu civilization is TL9 in most regards, but has TL12 control over gravity. The Ra and the Liberty are TL9.

The Mysterians and the Planet X aliens are at early TL9.

For the future, in most timelines TL9 is reached around 2100 for the world, but several decades earlier in Japan. By 2204 the world is firmly in early TL10. The offworld and underworld civilizations are either stagnant or dying, and will not advance much in the next 200+ years.

"G-Type" Weaponry

Robot, Mecha, Cyborg?

The orginal Mechagodzilla (from Godzilla vs. the Cosmic Monster) was technically a robot. The aliens gave it orders, and it executed them independently. The rebuilt Mechagodzilla (from Terror of Mechagodzilla) was an ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle); it was controlled by transmissions from a cybernetic human. The third Mechagodzilla (from Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla) was a true mecha; it was piloted by on-board humans. The first two "MGs" are not part of GURPS Godzilla continuity.

The original Mogera was a Mysterian robot. The second MOGERA was a UNGCC mecha.

Then there's Cyber-Ghidorah. This unique creature was definitely a cyborg (an organic creature with mechanical parts), but it was controlled by an integral robot mind (taken from an M-11 android) working in tandem with an on-board human pilot! Further, it is unclear whether Cyber-Ghidorah's "natural" brain/brains were still functioning after its conversion, or if it was "lobotimized" in the process. Some evidence indicates the two non-cybernetic heads were acting "on their own". This creature falls outside the range of normal terminology. I decided to call it "Cyber-Ghidorah" (instead of the more correct translation "Mecha-King Ghidorah"), as it best distinguishes it from the fully mechanical Mechagodzilla, et al.

"G-Type" is the UNGCC's term for weapons designed to be used against Godzilla and other kaiju. At the upper end is Mechagodzilla, but the word also encompasses the UNGCC's battalions of maser artillery and electron cannon tanks.

Mechagodzilla (early TL9)

These are the stats for Mechagodzilla, as built using GURPS Mecha. Though it is fully a TL9 device, the designers did not have access to all TL9 equipment. Also note that it is specifically designed for a "stand-up fight" with Godzilla, and would probably fare very badly against true military mecha of comparable size and TL.

Subassemblies: Two legs, two manipulator arms, full-rotation turret. (Tail is mostly decorative, not a striker.) Has fair streamlining.

Drivetrain: 50,000 kW motive power leg drivetrain, in legs.

Arm Motors: ST 5000 motor in each arm.

Thrusters: Fusion air-ram thruster with 11,000,000 pounds thrust in body and "tail". Lasts for 1 year.

Cockpit: Five standard cockpits in turret. (Captain, pilot, weapons, engineering, specialist.)

Built-In Weapons: Heavy rainbow laser in turret (mouth)1, two heavy laser cannons concealed in turret (eyes), heavy particle cannon concealed in body (stomach), twin 57 mm light missile launchers in body (shoulders), 50 57 mm missiles in body, twin superheavy tasers in arms2.

Hardpoint: one 1,000,000 pound hardpoint on back (Garuda mount point).

Electronics: 10-mile range AESA sensors in turret, advanced comsuite in turret, no ECM.

Power Plant: 3,200,000 kW fusion reactor in body powers all systems but heavy particle cannon for 200 years.

Energy Bank: 1,200,000 kWs volatile batteries3 in body power heavy particle cannon.

Cargo Space: 100 cf in turret, 1000 cf in body. Typically unused.

Volumes: Turret 3000 cf, arms 5000 cf each, legs 75,000 cf each, body 165,000 cf.

Structure and Hit Points: Extra-heavy frame made of advanced materials. Turret 9000 HP, arms 24,000 HP, legs 72,000 HP, body 120,000 HP.

Surface Features: Sealed. Absorption coating4.

Armor: Laminate armor all over. Turret PD 4 DR 2000, arms PD 4 DR 500, legs PD 4 DR 1000, body PD 4 DR 1500.

Statistics: Loaded weight 8,811,445 pounds. Loaded mass 4405.72 tons. Mecha volume 328,000 cf. Size modifier +10, turret +3, arms +6, legs +8. Loaded cost $13,630,790,3005. HT 8.

Dimensions: Height 130 yards. Length 50 yards. Width 50 yards.

ST and Reach: Body ST 240,000. Arm ST 5000. Reach 22 yards. Damage thrust 501d, swing 503d.

Ground Performance: Ground speed 25, gMR 1, gSR 2, Ground move 10/12.

Air Performance: Can hover. Effective motive thrust 1,188,555, Lift ST 79,237, Aerodynamic drag 24,750, Air speed 600, aMR 0.125, aSR 7, Flying move 1/300.

Space performance: None.

[1] Yes, I know, just because it has a rainbow special effect, that doesn't mean it's a rainbow laser. Humor me.

[2] Bought as: Twin 100mm medium misile launchers, two 100mm missiles, twin heavy plasmafausts. Missiles are lauched with trailing wire, damage only applies to penetrating DR. Once missiles are embedded, plasmafaust discharge can be conducted along trailing wire. In Mechagodzilla's second battle, this weapon was psi-targeted. Psi specialist must roll vs. Clairvoyance or Telereceive to target Godzilla's secondary brain.

[3] Bought as non-rechargeable batteries. Volatile batteries can be charged instantly, but lose half their charge after every five seconds.

[4] Bought at $100 surface area, no weight. Charges energy banks at a rate of 1 point of radiation damage = 350 kWs. Does not stop any damage; DR does that.

[5] Cost has been multiplied by 10 as Mechagodzilla is very early TL9 technology.

Mogera (Mysterian): Forthcoming.

MOGERA (Mobile Operation Godzilla Expert Robot Aero-type): Forthcoming.

Maser Artillery: Forthcoming.

Electron Cannon Tank: Forthcoming.

Miscellaneous

Elias Shield: Forthcoming.

Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah and Time Travel

The Ghidorah Timeline

The causal sequence of events that involves the beasts called "Ghidorah" is looped (twice!) relative to the normal flow of time. This can be moderately confusing. Here we present the sequence of events from a different perspective.

  1. The Skyllans, including Death Ghidorah, ravage the galaxy. (100,000,000 BC)
  2. Death Ghidorah comes to Earth, and is imprisoned by Mothra. (65,000,000 BC)
  3. Death Ghidorah is freed, but is reimprisoned by another Mothra. (1997)
  4. E3 obtains Death Ghidorah cells. (Early 2200s)
  5. E3 creates dorats from the cells, and sends them back in time. (2204 to 1992 to 1944)
  6. The dorats are released on an island due to be h-bombed. (1944)
  7. The dorats are fused together, and begin developing into King Ghidorah. (1954)
  8. King Ghidorah emerges, and is defeated by Godzilla. (1992)
  9. King Ghidorah lies, nearly dead, on the ocean floor. (1992 through 2204)
  10. King Ghidorah is salvaged, turned into Cyber-Ghidorah, and taken back in time to fight Godzilla. (2204 to 1992)
  11. Cyber-Ghidorah defeats Godzilla, but is severely damaged. (1992)
  12. Cyber-Ghidorah components are salvaged by the Japanese. (1992)
  13. Mechagodzilla is constructed from Cyber-Ghidorah technology. (1992 through 1993)
  14. Most of Cyber-Ghidorah remains on the ocean floor. (1993 through ?)

Note that all this means that from 1992 on, there are three different (and, thank god, dormant) creatures named Ghidorah in or near Japan: Death Ghidorah, the body of King Ghidorah, and the wreck of Cyber-Ghidorah.

In Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah time travelers from the 23rd Century come back to 1992, pick up some locals, then go back to 1944 in an apparent attempt to remove Godzilla from history. Unfortunately, the commonly-accepted interpretation of the events in this and subsequent movies is logically flawed, no matter what type of time travel one postulates. (Why does everyone remember Godzilla, if he never existed?) However, if one assumes that the 23rd Century people are a little more devious, and that the 1992 people are a touch stupid (both of which are pretty well-supported by characterization), one can come up with a reasonably coherent picture of events.

Common interpretation: In 1944, the travelers teleported the pre-Godzilla godzillasaurus to the Aleutian Trench, then released the dorats onto the island. When they returned to 1992, they found that everyone still remembered Godzilla, but that he had ceased to exist, and been replaced by King Ghidorah, who was just being seen for the first time, though he had been created by the fusion of the dorats in the late 1940s. Further, the events of the previous movies (Godzilla 1985, Godzilla vs. Biollante) still happened. In addition, the godzillasaurus was transformed into Godzilla anyway, apparently by radiation in the Trench. The new Godzilla is allegedly meaner than the previous.

GURPS Godzilla interpretation: When the travelers first came to 1992, they checked up on Godzilla, and teleported him to the Aleutian Trench. They then went back to 1944, where they faked teleporting Godzilla to the Trench, but really just sent him to the other side of the island, where he was slightly closer to the atomic explosion (and thus bigger and meaner). The video displays were faked to convince the 1992 natives. The dorats were fused, but required several decades to grow to the size of King Ghidorah, and were "programmed" to remain in hiding during this period. In the new timeline, the events of Godzilla 1985 and Godzilla vs. Biollante took place much as they did in the old one. When they returned to 1992, King Ghidorah had just emerged, and Godzilla was right where he had been all along.

Thus, in GURPS Time Travel terms, time is "plastic with high resistance". The past can be changed, but tends to follow the same path. The old timeline is nominally inaccessible. The travelers in GvKG explicitly state that a strong version of the "temporal snarls" rule is in effect; it is impossible for people to visit themselves in the past.


Monsters

Radiovore Biology

Many of the strange creatures living in the Toho Universe (including Godzilla himself) are radiovorous; they consume radiation the way more normal species consume plants and animals. This unique quality was genetically engineered into the Mothras about 65 megayears ago, and subsequently also appeared in godzillasaurus and pteranodon rodan.

Radiovorous animals are able to convert most forms of radiation (including alpha, beta, and much gamma radiation) directly into body tissue. This completely removes the necessity of actually hunting and consuming more traditional food. However, normal solar and background radiation is generally insufficiently intense to allow for an active, energy-intensive life. Radiovorous creatures tend to be somnolent, bordering on comatose. So long as they are exposed to some radiation, however (and there is no naturally-occurring situation where they won't be), they are capable of surviving in this state for indefinite periods of time, up to tens of megayears.

Beginning in the mid-20th Century world radiation levels, particularly in the Pacific Ocean area, became higher due to human use of nuclear weapons and nuclear power. Several radiovorous creatures became active again. Most notably, at least one godzillasaurus was directly exposed to a nuclear bomb at a range of only a few kilometers. His unique biology transformed him, almost overnight, from a 30 foot beast into a 300 foot force of nature as radiation was converted into body mass.

Godzilla's frequent attacks on humanity have demonstrated other abilities of radiovorous animals. In addition to radiation absorption and tissue regeneration, these creatures are usually capable of re-emitting their radiation, in the form of destructive energy-blasts, or in a form that allows it to be transmitted to another creature, as a mother bird regurgitates food for its young.

Note that while radiovore biology is understood on an empirical level (e.g., if Godzilla absorbs this much radiation, such-and-such will be the result), no accepted process has been suggested for the transmutation of radiation (free electrons, helium nuclei, electromagnetic waves) into body tissue (complex organic molecules). Even after intense study, it remains a mystery.

Oxygen Destroyer Biology

In 1995, the exposure of microscopic organisms to the oxygen destroyer resulted in mutations causing the incorporation of the destroyer into their digestive process. These creatures live by injecting oxygen destroyer-tainted saliva into their prey, and absorbing the resultant liquid. This efficient process permits rapid growth, and allows multiple Destroyers to assimilate each other to create a giant Destroyer.

Godzillasaurus

ST: 250 Speed/Dodge: 16/6 Size: 52
DX: 14 PD/DR: 2/5 Wt: 66 tons
IQ: 4 Damage: 10d imp (bite)
HT: 15/130 Reach: C through 4

The godzillasaurus is an "ordinary" dinosaur about twice the height of the famed tyrannosaurus rex. It has a shorter snout, and its eyes are arranged for binocular vision. Some examples are radiovorous, and a few have survived in hibernation into the 20th Century. See GURPS Dinosaurs for suggestions on including "normal-sized" dinosaurs in GURPS campaigns.

What's the point of stats for Godzilla?

In most circumstances, GMs should indeed say, "Godzilla steps on you. You die." However, GURPS is a universal system, and it's barely possible that someone will be playing a 5000 point character capable of physically taking on Godzilla.

Well, aren't these stats a little high?

No, not really. Godzilla is nearly impervious to conventional weaponry, right? A 120mm tank gun does 6dx30(3), so a high roll is 6x5x30 versus one third of Godzilla's 3000 DR, or 900 points of damage versus 1000 DR. Two Godzilla-sized beasts stand a pretty good chance of hurting each other, and ST 7500 does approx. 750 dice of damage, or over 2500 points of damage on average. Other stats follow similarly. Also, compare Godzilla to a nuclear weapon; nukes do on the order of 300 megadice of damage. On that scale, he barely rates.

Other Godzilla Writeups in GURPS

Stats for Godzilla appear in GURPS Atomic Horror and GURPS Warehouse 23 (and probably elsewhere). Both interpretations are excellent for the purposes given, but aren't quite Godzilla qua Godzilla. (For starters, he's only 300 feet tall, not 600.) GMs looking to have the Big G in their plot without running a full GURPS Godzilla campaign are encouraged to check out these differing interpretations.

Godzilla

ST: 7500 Speed/Dodge: 100/5 Size: 2500
DX: 9 PD/DR: 2/3000 Wt: approx. 10 kilotons
IQ: 6 Damage: 750d cr minimum
HT: 20/50,000 Reach: C through 10+

Godzilla is an example of a radiovorous godzillasaurus exposed to massive amounts of radiation. Precisely how many Godzillas have existed is a question of some debate, and almost verges on philosophy at points (see Time Travel, above). For the purposes of GURPS Godzilla, is is assumed that the oxygen destroyer skeletonized the original (1954) Godzilla, but that enough cells were left that he regenerated over the next 30 years, and re-emerged in 1984. The post-time-tampering Godzilla is considered to be the "same" beast as well. This Godzilla died in 1996, and was succeeded by Godzilla II. He has identical stats to the original, but it is hoped he will prove less hostile towards humanity.

In addition to the above "punching" damage, Godzilla has a breath weapon that does radiation/heat damage at about the 1000d level up to a distance of one mile, and can stomp on most human-sized opponents for damage up to the maximum DR of the ground (at which point the target will be driven into the ground, instead of squashed). Also, Godzilla's roar can deafen at ranges up to 10 yards, and he gives off 20 rads per hour of various types of radiation, mostly short-range alpha particles. It is possible for a Godzilla's radiovorous biology to get out of control. In this situation his radiation will double every 2 days, until it reaches the 5000 rads/hour level. At that point either Godzilla will detonate at temperatures high enough to cause Earth's atmosphere to combust, or he will experience meltdown, irradiating an area of approximately 100 square miles to lethal levels. Godzilla's only other relevant stat is Strong Will +10. Also, Godzilla rarely falls for the same trick twice. Each time a clever tactic is used against him (birdcalls, flashing lights) he gets a +3 to his IQ to "not fall for it". This is cumulative, up to +9.

Godzilla-tropic Creatures

ST: 8 Speed/Dodge: 7/7 Size: 1
DX: 14 PD/DR: 2/5 Wt: 20 lbs
IQ: 3 Damage: 1d+1 cut
HT: 12/5 Reach: C

Several forms of fauna actually live on Godzilla. They are uniformly radiovorous, but will frequently attack humans and other prey. The above stats are for a form of lice occasionally dislodged when Godzilla surfaces. They aggressively leap on potential meals, but may be dodged at +1. GMs should feel free to design other inhabitants of Godzilla's skin.

Biollante

ST: 8000 Speed/Dodge: 120/4 Size: 3000
DX: 11 PD/DR: 2/2500 Wt: approx. 15 kilotons
IQ: 7 Damage: 800d cr minimum
HT: 18/60,000 Reach: C through 100+ (tendrils)

Biollante is a hybrid of Godzilla, human, and rose DNA. The only known example is currently dispersed. In addition to the above stats, Biollante possesses an "acid spray" breath weapon that does 500d damage. When severely damaged, Biollante evaporates into spores, which can later regrow into a new body in any fertile ground.

Dorats

Dorats are the "proto-Ghidorahs" gengineered from Death Ghidorah DNA. They have negligible stats. They can fly, are kind of cute in an Ewok sort of way, and allegedly have the advantage of Empathy. They can be "controlled" and "programmed" by certain microwave signals. If exposed to a nuclear explosion, they fuse together and eventually evolve into a Ghidorah.

Ghidorah

ST: 6000 Speed/Dodge: 50 (400 flying)/5 Size: 2500
DX: 11 PD/DR: 4/4000 (wings 2/1000) Wt: approx. 10 kilotons
IQ: 6 Damage: 500d cr minimum
HT: 18/60,000 Reach: C through 50+ (necks)

The above stats apply to most incarnations of Ghidorah, including "Death", "King", and "Cyber". Physically, Death Ghidorah has four legs, and is dark gray, King Ghidorah is two-legged and gold, and Cyber-Ghidorah is similar to King Ghidorah, but has cybernetic parts. Death Ghidorah emits a powerful energy field that leaches life-energy from plant material within a one-mile radius. "King" and "Cyber" have a lightning-like breath weapon that does 1200d. Three bolts can be emitted at once (one from each throat), but the to-hit roll is DX-2. Further details forthcoming.

Mothra and Battra

ST: 5000 Speed/Dodge: 50 (400 flying)/7 Size: 2500 (not counting wings)
DX: 12 PD/DR: 2/2000 Wt: approx. 8 kilotons
IQ: 8 Damage: 500d cr minimum
HT: 18/30,000 Reach: C through 10+

Both Mothra and Battra have a wide variety of powers relating to energy-transfer. Further details forthcoming.

Rodan

Wingspan close to 900 feet, weight 100 tons. Further details forthcoming.

SpaceGodzilla, Destroyer

Forthcoming.

Meganurons

ST: 15 Speed/Dodge: 4/4 Size: 5
DX: 11 PD/DR: 2/10 Wt: 800 lbs
IQ: 6 Damage: 2d cut
HT: 14/20 Reach: C, 1, 2

A form of large radiovorous bug is often found near Rodan eggs, and serves as a food source for a newly-hatched Rodan. These creatures resemble caterpillars with massive (and extremely sharp) ant-like jaws. They are vicious to intruding humans, and emit a ululating cry when attacking.

Non-Canon Monsters

In the first wave of Godzilla movies, more than a dozen creatures were introduced, each more bizarre than the one before. In current Toho continuity, however, most never existed... which is a pity. This section is for GMs who wish to re-introduce old favorites to their players.

Anguirus: This spunky, spiky beast was the first monster Toho created after Godzilla. He is simply a radiovorous ankylosaurus grown to 'Zilla proportions. Stats are similar to Godzilla, but Anguirus has no breath weapon. His PD and DR are both much higher, however, due to the spiky plates on his back. Anguirus is generally a peaceful beast.

Gigan: Gigan was originally a bird-like Skyllan, but was captured and cybernetically modified by a paranoid post-Cosmos race (the Planet Xers?) into their defender... but they lost control. Can the PCs discover the correct control frequencies? Its alleged place of origin, the "Hunter Nebula", is the mythical source of all Skyllan life.

Gorosaurus: A radiovorous t. rex, much smaller than Godzilla, and good for an inexperienced party to cut their monster-battling teeth on.

Hedorah: The hideous, amorphous Smog Monster is the result of (GM's choice) stray Godzilla cells or self-replicating Skyllan cells festering in industrial waste and regenerating in a mutant, quasi-cancerous pattern. Very suitable for use as a menace that starts small and works its way up.

Manda: This serpentine beast is a tool of the Mu empire, and an occasional foe for the crew of the Ra. It was genetically engineered to defend the undersea entrances to their kingdom.

Megalon: Powerful god of the Mu people, the insectoid Megalon lies sleeping deep beneath even their caverns. Perhaps it is an unusually crafty Skyllan, perhaps a defender created by Cosmos superscience... and perhaps it hails from a different mythos entirely, one far more chthonic...


Campaigns

Western Players, Eastern PCs

GURPS Godzilla vs. GURPS Atomic Horror

GURPS Godzilla is definitely in the "Atomic Horror" genre; the original movie practically defined it! GMs are encouraged to pick up GURPS Atomic Horror for its perspective. The first big difference is that 1990s Japan (the default setting for GURPS Godzilla), isn't 1950s America. That should be obvious. Also note that in most GURPS Atomic Horror campaigns, the world-at-large doesn't believe in the paranormal. In GURPS Godzilla, only the delusional don't believe.

Alternate Setting: 1950s Japan

Many of the finest science fiction movies to come out of Toho Studios were made in the 1950s, including the original Godzilla, Godzilla Raids Again, The Mysterians, and Rodan. In this period, Japan was still a nation trying to recover emotionally from the loss of WW2. In many ways, Japan's society was intentionally like the society of 1950s America, with prosperous young couples wearing American fashions and buying homes to raise their 1.3 kids in. However, Japan was still much more Eastern than that overall, and in many of these films the clash between the two cultures is disconcerting to the viewer, but unremarked upon by the characters. For players interested in exploring unusual cultures, 1950s Japan offers one surprisingly close-to-home.

Your Intrepid Author is not an expert on Japanese culture, and welcomes commentary from those who are.

The logical setting for GURPS Godzilla is Japan, with a Japanese cast, but most GURPS players are American. (This is narrowing quickly, however, GURPS Basic has sold almost as many copies in Japanese as in English.) Explaining the differences between American and Japanese cultures goes beyond the scope of this document (and the expertise of Your Fearless Writer). By default, playing one's character as a polite Westerner will be adequate to capture the mood of the second wave of films. Interested GMs and players are encouraged to browse the travel section of their local bookstore for guides to traveling in Japan, or to watch subtitled versions of the original movies (the dubbed ones often radically change the character's motivations).

HMI

One trick in GURPS Godzilla campaigns (and movies!) is creating "Human-Monster Interaction". The scales involved are so disparate that this is often a problem. The last 20 minutes of many 'Zilla movies have virtually nothing for the people to do but watch monsters fight. The most popular forms of HMI are:

  1. People getting killed by monster. This is a fairly obvious frontrunner, but it tends to chew up PCs rapidly.
  2. People ineffectually attacking monster. Also obvious, but not much fun for PCs. The GM should work this in occasionally, just to give the players a sense of perspective.
  3. People attacking monster, and succeeding! This generally comes at the climax of an adventure, right after the PCs have cleverly come up with a new and exciting plan, probably involving luring the monster into a volcano (in which case it's actually "people tricking monster").
  4. People controlling monster. Giving this much power to PCs may seem like a mistake, but it's okay on a temporary basis. If your players outsmart you and keep control, feel free to play up all the problems of being responsible for a 300 foot monster.
  5. People stopping other people from controlling monster.
  6. People distracting monster long enough for X to happen. X is usually #3, above.
  7. People helping monster. Generally this is a variant of #3, and involves joining forces against the real menace.
  8. Monster is sleeping. Research teams want to take this "unprecedented opportunity" to study it, the military wants to blow it up while they can. Sometimes leads to...
  9. People waking monster. This can be unintentional, or deliberate.
  10. People communicating with monster. This is discouraged, except for vague telepathic insight into a monster's intentions. Some of the most mood-breaking bits in the Godzilla canon are those where he actually talks.
  11. Unknown connection with monster. See "And the Children shall Lead", below.
  12. Lastly: Monster as force of nature. This is the role Godzilla had in his first movie. He wasn't something you interacted with, he was a hurricane, an earthquake, he was something we puny humans had to cope with as best we could. This requires the creation of a certain mood, but is well worth the effort.

Keeping the Party Together

One of the elements of the "giant monster" genre that seems implausible is how those who discover the threat (miners, reporters, schoolteachers) remain involved in events up to the climax, often getting ferried around by the military, and being asked for advice by the scientists! Fortunately, this is a genre convention that works very well in an RPG, and GMs should encourage it. If an explanation is required, try one of the following:

"The differences between our professions are nearly irrelevant in the face of an otherworldly threat like this!"

"This is like nothing we've ever seen before, and every perspective is useful."

"You discovered something no one had ever seen before, and it would be a mistake to ignore you now."

Campaign Crossovers

GURPS Atomic Horror, Dinosaurs, Illuminati, Mecha, Time Travel: Even the "default" GURPS Godzilla campaign is going to have elements of all these genres in it. Feel free to make any one of them the focus of your story.

GURPS Black Ops: "You grunts think you're Truly Badass? Well, we got a Truly Badass job for you. The Lodge has planted a telepathic receiver at the base of Godzilla's brain. He's dormant right now, so you gotta go in, fight off the Lodge defenders and mutated lice, and destroy the control gadget, which is buried six inches deep in skin tougher than titanium. Try to do it before the radioactivity kills you. And, by the way, don't wake him up."

GURPS Bunnies & Burrows: How do you think bunnies view humans? As unstoppable forces of nature, maybe?

GURPS Cyberpunk: The Japan-dominated future is likely to be very cyberpunkish, and as Japan grows the rest of the world will become less and less pleasant. The characters can even be members of E3 underground; not all of them are bigots.

GURPS Illuminati University: The campier 'Zilla flicks are a perfect fit for this less-than-serious institution of higher learning.

GURPS International Super Teams: "Commander Astraph? IST Nagasaki on the line. Godzilla is marching on the city, and they have no one there but the honor guard."
"Damn. Send a flash to all embassies, I want everyone on alert, and all members with DR over 50 are to prep for immediate combat. Get Airdrop, Portal, and Transit bulk-'porting civilians out of Nagasaki now. Send Nukebuster and Radiator to my office; they should have a plan to siphon off 'Zilla's energy before they get here. I'm not losing any more people; this time that lizard is going down."

GURPS Reign of Steel: The robots may have won, but even they have trouble controlling Godzilla... as opposed to one small, telepathic child.

GURPS Space: When the monsters finally do destroy the Earth, humanity will flee to the stars, there to battle with the Skyllans on their own turf.

GURPS War Against the Chtorr: The Chtorr are, frankly, a little wimpy compared to a typical Skyllan, but they make up for it in volume. Best suited for a Godzilla-as-defender campaign.

Adventure Seed: The Skyllan Within

In the wake of the SpaceGodzilla incident, the city of Fukuoka is littered with crystals, ranging from building-sized to dust. The larger blocks channeled energy for SpaceGodzilla, but some of the particulate matter left behind consists of living Skyllan cells, easy to inhale, and ready to latch on to any DNA they find.

Many of the survivors are unknowingly infected, and slowly become Skyllans themselves. The process consists of several stages:

Phase I: The subject's bones begin to crystallize. This will generally pass unnoticed; the only symptoms are a mild stiffening of the joints (IQ-3 to notice). A doctor may notice that the bones are becoming sharp-edged by prodding (Diagnosis-2), and x-rays will not penetrate the new bones at all. Roll Will-3 in secret any time the character is trying to sleep or otherwise not thinking intently. On a failure, the Skyllan consciousness activates. Its IQ and intents are left to the GM's discretion. Perhaps it will try to summon more of its kind from space, or it may simply go into a killing frenzy. Its control will last 1d+3 hours. At this stage the subject may be completely cured by keeping him or her isolated from high levels of ambient electromagnetic radiation for 15 hours; underground or in a bank vault will serve. All symptoms will then quickly vanish. This phase lasts about a week.

Phase II: The crystalline bones begin to poke through the skin at the elbows and kness, and along the spine. This can usually be disguised by normal clothing. ST, HT, and DR increase by 1d each. At this point the Skyllan is in control almost all the time; the subject may make a Will roll once a day at -5 to break free. The isolation cure will still work, but the subject must make a roll versus original HT, or acquire the Bad Back disad at the -25 point level. On a critical failure, the subject dies. This phase also lasts a week.

Phase III: Crystals are now clearly visible at all joints, and at the sternum, shoulders, and middle of forehead. The subject's eyes turn milky, and the teeth either fall out or become distinctly pointed. The original person is dead; the Skyllan is completely in control now. ST, HT, and DR increase by another 1d each, and PD 2 is acquired. The Skyllan may also channel electricity, doing 1d damage by touch at a minimum. In the center of a nuclear plant, 10d at a range of 20 yards may be possible.

Adventure Seed: And the Children Shall Lead

In the days after a visit to the new amusement park called World Children's Land, many of the psychic youngsters at the Psionics Research Institute begin having strange dreams about Godzilla stomping across an island off the coast of Japan. Two days later, he does so! The researchers put it down to a strong shared precognitive flash, and when the kids beg to be taken back to World Children's Land, they agree. The next day, the children dream about Godzilla destroying a small town near the shore, and this one comes true, too...

Who runs World Children's Land? Are they boosting the children's precognition, or causing them to read Godzilla's mind? As an even more sinister possibility, are they using the kids to control Godzilla?

Adventure Seed: Bad Mu Rising

Forthcoming.

Campaign Seed: Countdown to Rage

Forthcoming.

The Edges of the Universe

Toho Studios has produced dozens of SF/horror movies beyond those mentioned here, starring mad scientists, invisible men, truck-sized slugs, sucker-mouthed devourerers, six-story gargantuas, Frankensteinian creations run amuck, mutant crustaceans, griffons, hydrae, Wookies-with-horns, menacing timelost centurions, mechanical kong-beasts, and more. Feel free to include anything in the dark corners of your universe. Toho certainly does.


Glossary

G
Godzilla. Used as shorthand, and by those superstitious about speaking his name.
gengineering
Genetic engineering. Also spelled "genegineering".
Gojira
Japanese for "Godzilla". Loosely translates to "gorilla-whale".
kaiju
Japanese for "mysterious beast". Generic term for creatures like Godzilla, Rodan, et al. Traditionally includes fully-mechanical beasts.
mecha
As used here, an anthropomorphic tank.
radiovore
A creature that can consume radiation as a substitute for organic food. (Adjective, radiovorous.)
ROV
Remotely Operated Vehicle.
sarariman
A corporate employee, a "suit".
Skyllans
Those who hunt; the ancient enemies of the Cosmos races. Includes Death Ghidorah. (Named for the Greek legend of a multi-headed consumer of men.)

Bibliography

Godzilla graphic novel by Kazuhisa Iwata. Published in the US by Dark Horse, this trade paperback retells the story of Godzilla 1985.
ISBN 1-56971-063-5

Godzilla: Age of Monsters comics collection from Dark Horse. Original stories. This and the following inspired "G-Force Alpha".
ISBN 1-56971-277-8

Godzilla: Past Present Future comics collection from Dark Horse. Original stories, including "Godzilla vs. Titanic".
ISBN 1-56971-278-6

The Official Godzilla Compendium by JD Lees and Marc Cerasini. An invaluable reference text.
ISBN 0-679-88822-5

Godzilla Returns by Marc Cerasini. This novel and its sequels (below) are excellent fodder for GURPS Godzilla GMs.
ISBN 0-679-88221-9

Godzilla 2000 by Marc Cerasini.
ISBN 0-679-88751-2

Godzilla at World's End by Marc Cerasini.
ISBN 0-679-88827-6

Godzilla vs. The Robot Monsters by Marc Cerasini.
ISBN 0-679-88828-4

Godzilla and the Lost Continent by Marc Cerasini.
ISBN 0-679-88829-2

Godzilla: The Series
This animated tv series is currently (early 1999) airing on Saturday mornings on Fox, and is based on the American Godzilla movie. It is required viewing for GURPS Godzilla GMs.

Planetary #2 (1999): "Island" by Ellis, Cassaday, Depuy
This comic book is recommended to GMs looking to run a very odd, very different GURPS Godzilla game.

Many GURPS books were consulted in the creation of this page, including the GURPS Basic Set, GURPS Atomic Horror, GURPS Bio-Tech, GURPS Dinosaurs, GURPS Mecha, GURPS Psionics, GURPS Time Travel, GURPS Vehicles, and GURPS Warehouse 23. Visit the Steve Jackson Games website for more info on GURPS.

Notes

GURPS uses the American system of measurement (feet, pounds), and I have also done so throughout this page, despite the subject matter and my own personal preferences. Even the "kiloton" unit is in thousands of American tons.

Names

While "official Toho English names" exist for both the movies and the monsters, they are very confusing in places, and don't match with common G-fan usage. I picked different names in the following cases:

Toho Name Name Used Here
Godzilla vs. Hedorah Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla Godzilla vs. the Cosmic Monster
The Return of Godzilla Godzilla 1985
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
Godzilla vs. Destoroyah Godzilla vs. Destroyer
Destoroyah Destroyer
Mecha-King Ghidorah Cyber-Ghidorah
Moguera Mogera, MOGERA
Fire Rodan Rodan

Continuity Choices

The Mysterians, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, and Mothra 1996 refer to three different races living on Mars. I managed to condense this down to two, but couldn't squeeze it to three. Mars just gets beat on by Skyllans a lot, I guess.
In Godzilla vs. Mothra it's said the Mothras existed 12,000 years ago. In Mothra 1996, it's 65,000,000 years ago. It's possible they existed continuously from one time to the other, but I decided to set both the first Death Ghidorah battle and the first Battra battle around the time the dinosaurs went extinct.
The race that the "Mothra twins" belonged to/were created by is given a lot of names. I picked two and defined them more clearly.
The notion that several of the alien races have the same origin as humanity is obvious but not explicit in the movies. Ditto the existence of the Skyllans (my word) as a race. Ditto "radiovore" biology.

Acknowledgments

GURPS is a creation of Steve Jackson Games. Godzilla is a creation of Toho Studios (see also Godzilla.com for the American 'Zilla movie). Use of trademarks is not intended as a threat to their validity. Warm gratitude to Tokyo Kid and Anime Crash and their stores in Harvard Square, where I get my 'Zilla fix from. The best Godzilla fan site is Barry's Temple of Godzilla, from which I drew a lot of inspiration. Special thanks also to the real Serene Josiah, for not killing me when she eventually discovers this site.

Godzilla.com Toho Studios

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Jonathan Woodward, woodward@prismnet.com

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