Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Conversion Rates

So, with the progress of my campaign book for The Known World comes the ever increasing urge to play GURPS (we're officially at the ten month mark, August is twelve, FYI). Also, an urge to make a campaign book for Grenaldeen and The Grey Wastes, and The North. Kaleshmar too, why not? Dogdamnit I am a nutter about this stuff. I just enjoy these goofy projects so much I have trouble dragging myself away from them to actually write the next DnD scenario. Almost done on that by the way, and I have over a month to finish it. It is fairly simplistic though. Hopefully it will be a nice break from the past two, without being boring for the folks that don't want to spend eight hours in combat. Combat kind of bores me to be honest. I like talking things out a lot more and making skill checks and whatnot.

Back to my ever increasing urge. I started converting the part into GURPS statistics. I had already done Spineplate, but the version I made of him is kind of his "epic" level state and follows the events of this campaign, assuming he survives. I statted out D'alton and Xein as two hundred and twenty-five character points. It wasn't terribly difficult, most skills in DnD have a pretty clear analogue in GURPS and I already have some material written down for conversions for Fell Human descended humans. I hit the major points, Xein does gadgets, and D'alton is a talker/second story man. I've got to say though, their character sheets in GURPS are just bland looking compared to everything that is going on in DnD.

GURPS is general, that is the point, obviously. It is also on the bland side. There are no flashy names for descriptions or skills. You have moves like "Move and Attack" or "All Out Defense" or "Acrobatic Dodge" not stuff like "Deft Strike", "Switcheroo", "Killer's Ambush". Don't get me wrong, I don't need flash, I can imagine what a pretty good roll looks like in combat without clich├ęd flavor text and all the stuff they plaster the powers with in 4th Edition. I guess my issue is that if you hold D'alton next to D'alton, GURPS D'alton looks bland and uninteresting. The only way to get him to be interesting and complex is to actually play him.

Also, he needs some disadvantages. Xein and D'alton (and Derf as well, but we'll get to him later), have a Secret, that they were in Beltan and escaped with Jack, which makes them interesting to Kusseth because part of Kusseth's contract with Cenn the Reaver is that they keep Hell's Smiling Butcher locked up. The PCs don't actually know anything about Jack, but Kusseth is desperate. The secret is the only disadvantage the two have, other than being Dead Broke, which they have because they started in prison. All players will have Dead Broke and Secret because those are the keystones of the group being a group. They started out together in the prison, even if they used to be a dwarf and didn't join until the third or fourth scenario. Anyway, my belief is that the real...character of the character comes from the disadvantages you give them, and I don't know what disadvantages to give to Xein and D'alton. They appear to be reluctant killers, but does that mean that they need Pacifism (Reluctant Killer), or is that just them being sensible that you shouldn't drop bodies every ten feet? I guess I need input from them. Jeremy, Eric, if you're reading, look at Basic Set: Characters and give me some input.

Derf. Derf was complicated to write, and he isn't finished. I involved his background by using the Enemy disadvantage, plus Dead Broke and Secret. I gave him Callous because he is, and a negative appearance because of his facial scars. Derf was difficult to make because I had to pause in the middle of it and decide which magic system of GURPS I wanted to use (Threshold-Limited with Auras, and Will based). His ability to teleport is obviously analogous to Warp, probably with decreased distance or the Blink limitation. Easy enough to make it work. There is a spell that will allow him to call his sword to him as well. There are spells for fiery swords and lightning swords and cold swords (no cold damage, effects that are "cold" affect Fatigue Points) as well, which is the shtick of the Swordmage, elemental attacks via their weapons. You can even temporarily enchant items so that they cast the spell in GURPS, which works perfectly. Working on Derf was great because I finally found a GURPS magic system I like and some of the Calamity stuff involving Threshold-Limitation magic works great with my wonky version of magic. Still needs some tweaking though.


Music: Her Sisters They Were Weak - Witchcraft
Music: You Bury Your Head - Witchcraft
Music: God of the Cold White Silence - 3 Inches of Blood
Music: The Great Hall of Feasting - 3 Inches of Blood

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