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RPG Rules Recipes Repository : Conversions - Gurps Magic browse

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Convert spells from GURPS Magic to BRP

Author: Peter Brink
Added: 2007–01–06

GURPS Magic is a nice magic system that is really easy to use with BRP. Below are my notes for how to convert spells from GURPS Magic to BRP. If you need the spell descriptions you can buy a pdf-copy of GURPS Magic at SJG downloads warehouse (e23).

Table of contents


1. Learning spells

All spells are separate skills. GURPS rate skills by how difficult they are to learn. Most spells are Hard skills but some, the most powerful, are rated as Very Hard to learn. I’ve decided to allow Characters to open spells at a base chance of 30%. This should probably be 20% if you use RQ. Very Hard spells are opened at 15% (5% for RQ).

1.1. Colleges

GURPS Magic group spells in colleges. Many spells in a college are interdependent; a mage needs to understand the principles of simpler, less complex spells, before he can learn more complex ones. I have used 40% as the required threshold for when a character has reached the necessary understanding of a spell. For example, to be able to understand the spell ‘’Fireball’’, a mage must have, at least, a 40% skill in: ‘’ignite’’, ‘’create fire’’ and ‘’shape fire’’.

2. MP Cost

All GURP spells have a cost in power points that are directly translatable to MP:s.

3. Range, Area etc.

GURPS measures range and area using yards and hexes. These can be used as is or be converted straight off to meters.

4. Damage

Spells that does damage are rated by raw d6:s or by d6 ± a modifier. I suggest that you convert damage differently for BRP games that does not use hit-locations (such as Stormbringer) and for those that does, i.e. Runequest.

GURPS damageBRPRQ
1D1d81d6
1D-11d61d5
1D-21d51d4
1D-31d41d3
1D+11d101d8

5. Saves

GURPS uses 3d6 vs. a stat for dealing with saves. In most circumstances ST is used where POW would be used in BRP.

Stat conversion

GURPS StatBRP
STPOW
DXDEX
HTCON
ININT

Often a stat is modified, most often negatively. Use the following conversion:

Stat modification conversion

GURPS ModBRP multiplier
Nonex 5
−1x 4
−2 and −3x 3
−4x 2

6. New Skills

A mage needs to know two new skills: concentration and innate attack. The base chances given bellow are for Stormbringer and then RQ.

6.1. Concentration [POW x 3] / Magic skill (10%)

A mage must make a Concentration check whenever he might potentially be distracted (by taking damage, by harsh weather, and so on) while engaged in some action that requires his full attention. Such actions include casting a spell, concentrating on an active spell, directing a spell, or using a spell-like ability. If the Concentration skill roll succeeds, the mage may continue with the action as normal. If the roll fails, the action automatically fails and is wasted. If the mage were in the process of casting a spell, the spell is lost. If the mage were concentrating on an active spell, the spell ends as if he had ceased concentrating on it. If the mage were directing a spell, the direction fails but the spell remains active. If he were using a spell-like ability, that use of the ability is lost. A skill use also fails, and in some cases a failed skill roll may have other ramifications as well.

6.2. Innate attack [DEX x 3] / Magic skill (10%)

This skill helps a spell caster (most often a wizard) to direct spells and other magical assaults originating from the caster, at a target or a target area. The skill doesn’t activate the attack it directs it and whenever a mage must make a skill roll to hit a target then this skill is used. All normal missile skill modifications apply. If the wizard can trigger her attack while being restrained, no skill roll is needed to attack the restraints! A wizard can only learn this skill for ranged attacks.