Bonkeys [GURPS 4e]

Bonkeys [150] – Google Docs

Bonkeys [150]

Stats: IQ +1 [20], Per +1 [5]

Advantages: Blunt Claws [3], Intuition [15], Magery 2 [25], Visualization [10]

Meta-trait:  Skeletal Corpse (GURPS Zombies, page 69 {[base 13]; improve Appearance to Hideous [+9], remove Fragile (brittle) [+15], improve Unhealing to (healed with bone marrow & magic) [+10]} [total cost 47]

Skills: Electronics Operation/TL -12 (Security) (IQ+1) [4], Lockpicking/TL-12 (IQ+1) [4], Observation-12 (Per) [2], Research/TL-12 (IQ+1) [4], Search-12 (Per) [2]

Spells: Lend Energy (IQ+1) 12 [2], Lend Vitality (IQ+1) 12 [2], Minor Healing (IQ+1) 12 [2], Apportation (IQ+1) 12 [2], Lockmaster (IQ+1) 12 [2]

Quirks: Attentive [-1], Staid [-1]

Perks: Can use claws as Lockpicking/Electronic Operation tools [1]

Description: Bonkeys look more or less like regular skeletons, except for their finger-bones (which are adapted into a variety of lockpicking and electronics tools).  Bonkeys can speak normally, but many choose to adopt a deliberately ‘off’ voice. Likewise, they typically dress in robes and sandals, typically for dramatic effect.


It’s hard out there for a free-willed Undead.  Particularly when the Undead is both instantly recognizable, and considered awful-looking; it’s hard for that sort of creature to survive for very long.  With that in mind, that Bonkeys have managed to carve out a don’t-kill-on-sight niche for themselves is actually rather impressive.


It helps that Bonkeys are sufficiently magical that they can cast spells and heal themselves without, say, having to regularly drain bone marrow from living creatures.  It helps rather more that Bonkeys are intelligent enough to realize that being undeniably useful is an excellent way to keep those pesky torch wielding mobs at bay. They have gone the IT/security route; Bonkeys have a built-in talent for fiddling with security systems, and they don’t get bored at all.  Quite the opposite.


And it works.  Bonkeys are treated poorly — by people standards.  By Undead standards they’re practically royalty. It’s a crime to destroy or harm a Bonkey. They can own property, vote, testify in court, drive automobiles, and even get married in civil ceremonies (while being vulnerable to annulments, for fairly obvious reasons).  Their Hideous appearance is not bought with the Universal modifier: some people really can get past the ‘walking skeleton’ thing. After all, it’s not like they smell.


Customization notes: 200 pt Bonkeys will have +1 to IQ [20], +1 to Per [5], 10 points in Status, Rank, and/or Wealth, and 15 points in various IQ and Per-based skills. Computer skills in particular seem fairly likely. Above that, put points into more wealth, more skills, Allies, and Contacts.  Bonkeys are reluctant to learn unarmed or hand combat skills, but many appreciate the value of a shotgun. They all appreciate the value of a bulletproof vest.


Personality note: Bonkeys can be as awful or nice as the campaign requires, but they’re definitely focused on their jobs.  That never changes, even when everything else does.


The material presented here is my original creation, intended for use with the GURPS system from Steve Jackson Games. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games.

GURPS is a registered trademarks of Steve Jackson Games, and the art here is copyrighted by Steve Jackson Games. All rights are reserved by SJ Games. This material is used here in accordance with the SJ Games online policy.

4 thoughts on “Bonkeys [GURPS 4e]”

  1. I started reading this expecting pack animals .. and didn’t realize we’re talking IT service techs until about the third paragraph. (hey, if Baalam’s donkey could talk, why not a bonkey?)
    Other than that .. I like it .. and I’ll note that bonkeys would be ideal in several industries including chip-fabs where the constant skin-shedding from hairless apes are a major problem, or (for you steampunk types) in some high-temp environments where having skin at all is a problem.
    Campaign idea … that skeletal pirate ship from Jason and the Argonauts as a pre-victorian steampunk (what, the Greeks invented steam power ..) vehicle .. and it’s *still* out there .. and your new boss wants to hire them for a job.

    1. IT Help, Pack animals. You repeat yourself. 🙂 We are gentle beasts when cared for properly, and given reasonable directions. But we are so seldom given reasonable directions.
      Greeks had steam… rotation novelties. If they somehow stumbled upon the sealed vacuum piston a millenia earlier, that would make for some for some good alternate history.

      1. Jerónimo de Ayanz y Beaumont got from spinny novelty to mine pump and cooling system in 1600 or so, possibly by way of a circa-1200 steam organ, unclear.
        Point is .. had Greece lasted just a *tad* longer, no reason to believe someone there couldn’t have made the jump.. or even a more radical jump to a “spinny novelty” (i.e. “turbine”) system..
        B’sides, in a steampunk campaign, solid engineering isn’t necessarily a plus.
        p.s. I’m an old-timer in IT .. helpful and gentle until it’s time to not be .. i.e. UNIX admin…

        1. *Bows respectfully to the IT Admin.*
          We seem to be reading the same steam-history sources. I have no reason to believe the ancients weren’t somewhat more advanced than we give them credit for(i.e. the “Baghdad Battery”), though they seemed less skilled at keeping notes.

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