Racial Diets

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GURPS has a bunch of traits related to diet, but they're a little scattered and can feel free-form. This is a list of lenses for common diet restrictions, for quickly making new races, or adding a mutation to a character. Unless otherwise noted, diet restrictions can be pushed with the help of TL7+ medicine and TL7+ food processing. By TL 10 food can be synthesized by machine from a wide variety of "inappropriate" feedstock.

Human-like, 0 points

  • Must eat a flexible combination of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and grains to maintain health.
  • Can (and often does) supplement or replace part of the vegetation diet with animal sources - eggs, dairy products, and/or animal flesh.
  • Cannot digest cellulose, therefore gains insignificant calories from grasses, bark, wood, etc.

You eat like a human. You can be a pure vegetarian or a mixed omnivore, and can be a pure carnivore for short periods of time (weeks) before malnutrition becomes an issue. You have a strong resistance to many plant toxins - spices are tasty! - and a reasonable resistance to alcohol.

No special rules are required, GURPS assumes this as the default case. It isn't clear if GURPS assumes lactose tolerance or not.

Cat-like, -15 points

  • Must eat fairly fresh meat
  • Must eat all body parts: muscles, organs, skin/hair/feathers, small amounts of bone, etc.

You are an obligate carnivore, like the small and big cats. You can't live just on muscle meat, you must eat all different parts of the animal to maintain balanced nutrition. You can eat plants for medicinal purposes, but not for nutrition; large quantities of plants don't just starve you, they can dangerously block your digestion and usually make you vomit. You have very little resistance to plant toxins or alcohol.

Rules: Restricted Diet, whole animal flesh (no substitution) [-10], Susceptible to Plant Toxins 2 [-4], Alcohol Intolerance [-1].

Dog-like, -7 points

  • Must eat animal flesh, preferred fresh but can be somewhat dubious quality.
  • Can (and often does) supplement with fruit or vegetables.
  • Cannot digest cellulose, therefore gains insignificant calories from grasses, bark, wood, etc.

You are an opportunistic scavenger - primarily a carnivore but you're able to "make do" for a while with high value plant foods. You cannot eat an entirely herbivorous diet without TL7 technology, and you have little resistance to plant toxins or alcohol.

Rules: Tough Stomach [1], Restricted Diet, whole animal flesh (Substitution, fruit or veg) [-5], Susceptible to Plant Toxins 1 [-2], Alcohol Intolerance [-1].

Horse-like, -20 points

  • Must eat high-cellulose, low-calorie foods like grasses, tough leaves/pine needles, or twigs.
  • Can supplement with some high-calorie plant foods (like grains)

You are a grazing or browsing herbivore, and you spend much of your life just on the business of eating.

Modified or New Traits

Slower Eater

Slower Eater replaces "Slow Eater" - the second level of Slower Eater is equivalent to "Slow Eater". -5/level, maximum 4 levels. Most creatures with the higher levels of Slower Eater have Less Sleep - this is vital at level 4!

Extra time lost to eating Total time per meal Points
1.5 hours 1 hour -5
4.5 hours 2 hours -10
10.5 hours 4 hours -15
16.5 hours 6 hours -20

Tough Stomach

You can eat some pretty questionable meat and usually escape unscathed. You don't necessarily like the grey-green bits, but you can probably eat them. You get +2 to HT rolls to resist the effects of eating "spoiled" meat. This gives no benefits against other food-borne illnesses, poisons, or bad water. Requires HT 10+. 1 point.