Wednesday, January 7, 2015

GURPS to Heroes & Other Worlds: Fantasy Folk conversion test

Inspired by the Retro-clone to HOW conversion guide found in Cauldron #0 (available for free at Brandon's site!), I decided to take a look at a GURPS 3E splat I had lying around. Thanks to the fact that HOW and GURPS share a common ancestor (The Fantasy Trip), it seems that GURPS is one of the easiest systems to convert. Before I start really working on in-depth GURPS-HOW conversions I wanted to do some quick and relatively easy experiments first by converting a races from Fantasy Folk to HOW rules.
Sadly, these chill-looking insect bros don't appear in the book.

Attributes are the easiest place to start. GURPS and HOW are both systems with four attributes and three share the same names and abbreviations (ST, DX, IQ). This leaves GURPS' HT as the equivalent to HOW's EN. In theory, this should be a good correspondence but I think that in practice the HT/EN equivalence might not work so well. We'll see!
Let's start with Fauns (Fantasy Folk 66). Fauns have ST -2, DX +3, and HT +1. Their Advantages and Disadvantages are Alertness (i.e. heighten senses), Animal Empathy, Musical Ability, Lecherousness, and bad Reputations. Their racial skills are Carousing (partying) and Scrounging.

The attributes are the easiest part to convert: ST -2, DX +3, and EN +1. HOW describes racial attribute adjustments as minimums so Fauns have minimums of ST 6, DX 11, IQ 8, and EN 9 (HOW uses 8 as the average attribute score). These are the same attribute minimums as a Halfling, so this step seems to have worked out. Yay!

Advantages/Disadvantages, and Skills to a lesser extent, are a stickier matter. Lecherousness and their bad Reputation are just roleplaying in HOW so there's no need for mechanics there. The sticky bit is deciding which aspect of the GURPS write-up is most important. Are Fauns woodland beings (as shown by Alertness, Animal Empathy, and Scrounging) or party animals (as shown by Musical Ability and Carousing)?

Either aspect is viable but since Fauns already have a Halfling's stats I'd rather go the party animal route instead of stealing the Elves' gimmicks. So let's say that Fauns get +1 to Bard and Charm tests. That's better than a Halfling's perks but not quite as good as an Elf's perks.

So far so good, eh? Next time I'll try my hand at Fantasy Folk's Dwarves, Elves, Giants, Insect Men, and Kobolds. I doubt it will go as smoothly as this conversion!


  1. This is a great conversion! Kudos sir!

  2. Glad you like it, Brandon :)

    Hopefully the next conversions will produce something viable too.

  3. Shouldn't the DX minimum be 11 (8 + 3)?

    1. Nice catch, Brett! Math is my eternal nemesis :v