View Full Version : Character Conversion Help GURPS -> D&D 4e

2009-10-03, 09:23 PM
Hey playgrounders! I'm running a D&D 4e game. One of the players has asked me to convert a GURPS char of his to D&D 4e for him. He's new to D&D 4e, but I can make him a D&D 4th ed char quickly... I'm not familiar enough with GURPS though. The bigger issue though isn't so much the system itself, but the settings-dependent things.

The D&D 4th ed campaign is starting at level 1, so the party can learn to play 4th ed without starting with too much clutter, but the party will gain double XP and treasure to level quickly to more interesting material.

In the GURPS game, players had to be Human and there was a big evil empire.

In my game, if the character builder says your character is legal, it's good. I'm not allowing evil alignments, but I am allowing Neutral Good, Lawful Neutral & Chaotic Neutral. (I consider D&D 4e's Good to be Chaotic Good.)

His character's background:
Resh comes from an area where there was a resurfacing, higher level of technology, just recently reconquered by the Unity Empire, within the past year or so. His father was a mid-level military/government official in the native power structure, and when the Empire planned its invasion, he was recruited to betray the native government. He secretly sabotaged the resistance efforts, and eventually openly aided the Empire. During this time, his best friend was severely wounded, many he knew were killed, and life was never the same. Resultingly, Resh no longer trusts either of his parents, and began to develop a severe distrust of anybody.

Before that time, Resh was apprenticed to a blacksmith-like trade, where he gained superb dexterity and built his strength. (He's not a physically large person, and wouldn't normally be prone to strong physique.) He also studied myriad topics, and had interests in the sciences. After the invasion, and when he learned of his parents' treason, he dodged the occupation forces, and began to support himself with petty thievery and brigandry. In the past year, he's become quite adept at lockpicking, robbery, and con games. He trained using various weapons with his father, and took a liking to flail-type weapons, including his current morningstar. (It should be noted that he considers himself the best in the business at lockpicking, robbery, etc., when in reality his skills are strong, but only modestly so. He perhaps implicitly knows this, as in leveling up this character, the player should continue to throw experience at the thievery skills, and add more.)

Although a few times in his youth he was involved in some miscreancy, after starting his apprenticeship, he put all that behind him. During those youthful indiscretions, however, he learned the basics of many of his thieving skills.

While working as an apprentice, he was scolded many times for stoking the fire too much, melting the metals unnecessarily, and generally abusing the fire. Oftentimes he would lapse into a daydream about how to better perform the smithing tasks, and leave much work unfinished.

Just recently, his best friend (the same who was wounded), joined the ranks of the Empire's forces, and in a recent resistance skirmish, the woman he loved was killed -- he blames his best friend for this, despite the fact that he was probably uninvolved. Resh vows vengance against the Empire, and believes nearly everyone he meets is an agent of the Empire, instructed to come for him. He has taken deals working for the Empire, to support himself, when necessary, but has always arranged to cause a setback for the Empire inthe process, even if his work appeared successful. These days, he is a con-man, a charlatan, and a rogue -- He'd as soon work with you, as sell you out to your enemy (as long as that enemy is not the Empire, and if it was, it wouldn't be enough to make you trust him.)

Resh is adept at many things, is smart, and what's worse, he knows it all too well. He's arrogant, conceited, egotistic, and a show-off. He'll correct you, even if you're incorrect, just to take you on, in a battle of wits. The events of the past few years have left him paranoid of everyone, and have forced him to change his attitude to life and people. He wasn't always a distrusting, conceited rogue -- and sometimes this old personality slips through a bit. He fears people getting too close -- if you don't get close, you won't betray him; if he betrays you first, you can't betray him. Sometimes things happen, that remind him of the way things used to be, or the way things changed, and he will start acting differently -- not so much a whole different personality, but a different attitude: he'll go from calm to rage in an instant (or vice-versa. His personality is both ascerbic and volatile.)

He wants you not to like him too much, to protect himself. He is callous and unfeeling, at least in appearance, to distance himself from people. He is stubborn, especially in his conceit -- he'll refuse to take no for an answer. All this said, he's not unaware of human dynamics, and he's quite skilled at playing people's faults and desires off one another -- he's looking for his advantage, either in the next con-game, or just to keep himself on top. His youthful appearance, unassuming look, and distrust of people make him an excellent con artist, and rogue. People naturally trust the innocent-looking, seemingly-friendly kid with many things -- of course he then leverages this to his advantage. Although this makes some dirty work hard to come by: scurrilous characters aren't always convinced that he is as cunning, devious, or lawless as he really is.

He is a skilled and pathological liar, and even lies about himself -- especially to inflate both his ego, and others' opinions of him. He doesn't keep many friends long these days, although those who barely know him, or don't know him well are generally impressed. (He tells different people different stories, and is quite skilled at keeping them all straight.)

Since a young age, he's tinkered with things, and is quite skilled at a low-tech level of "MacGuyver" style solutions to things. He always seems to have that necessary tool or doo-dad to save the day. (Be it a key swiped from a guard, or a beer mug stolen from the pub that you can use to carry some water, or just your wallet when you weren't looking.) He's insatiably curious about nearly everything, but has the dangerous aspects mostly under control - however, if the mood strikes him, he'll wander off to see what's behind that locked door over there, even if he really shouldn't.

At this point, he feels that he is on the run from everyone, although he probably isn't. He's looking to join up with people who are working against the Empire, but isn't always ready to trust them. Oftentimes he goes by various aliases to protect his identity, and avoid becoming close to people. This may cause problems like mistaken identity, should he ever run into people who recognize him under a different pseudonym than he is currently using. Thus far, in the past 2 years, only once has this happened, and he was able to con his way out of this tricky situation -- it concerns him that this problem may get worse, so he is more careful. (Of course this is not really mistaken identity as GURPS mechanics term it, but it can provide for potentially interesting aspects of role- and game-play.)

The setting:
The city of Nerusia's current King, Arinthius, is widely respected and looked up to as a wise and just ruler. He has decreed that the city of Nerusia would accept all sentient creatures who obey the laws of the city regardless of prior conflict they may have had with humans. This noble decree has brought many refugees, ambassadors and just ordinary people of other races that don't normally ally with humans to the city. It has also brought some who wish to undermine the King's noble intentions for their own gain. Crime is on the rise in Nerusia, and the crimes are oddly coordinated. The city guards, have been stepping up recruitment to account for the increase in crime.

King Arinthius has not yet taken a wife and thus far has no direct heirs to his throne by blood. The next in line for his throne right now would be his good friend and trusted adviser, an Eladrin spellcaster by the name of Lirinthiell. The city has a river cutting through it, separating a third of the city from the rest. The river is great for trade and fishing. Beyond the isolated third of the city is a large expanse of forest. Far up-river are the Syrazi Mountains. Legend has it that this mountain range was formed when the primordial Syrazi fell in the Great War between the Gods and Primordials long ago, her body becoming the mountain range. And on the opposite side of the city as the forest is the city's graveyard.

A recent increase in crime has proven the city guard's forces to be less than sufficient. To bolster their forces, the guard has been hiring adventurers. Your characters have all been working for the city guard for a while, and are trusted well enough to be receiving orders directly from the captain of the guard himself. Captain Rhogar is a fire-breathing dragonborn man about 6'4". He's usually wearing chainmail and is never far from his axe.

Today, Captain Rhogar has a very important mission for you. There's an artifact being held in the museum attached to and run by the local temple of Ioun. The museum is closed in the meantime. Somebody tripped one of the magical sensors inside. Your mission is to see what's going on, and probably to catch the thieves. For this mission, it's preferred that you capture them alive. You should go now, before they escape. You'll be compensated when your mission is successful.

At first, his character strikes me as very Rogue. However... Artificer actually makes a lot of sense for him. They get Thievery as a class skill, and I can give him Bluff through a BG bonus... And they make items, which makes sense here as his character was a blacksmith. Also, Artificers are secondarily Controllers, and the party lacks a controller... (It's got a Swordmage, Barbarian and a Bard.)

He's strong though, which is secondary stat for Rogue. I can give him item-making through a BG bonus, covering his blacksmithing. Rogues can't use Morningstars for their abilities, but I'm sure he'd be fine swapping weapons.

For his history, I'm thinking, there was an empire somewhere else and he left. Now he's in Nerusia. This way, it doesn't go completely against his character that he would be helping the Nerusian City Guard (for profit, of course.)

Race: Human, but I'd let him retrain it after the first session if he wants to.
Class: Battlesmith Artificer or Brutal Rogue
Skills to definitely have: Thievery, Bluff

Here are his character's GURPS stats, if you can decipher them (I'm using just his char BG for my analysis):
BASE: 110
STATS: 120
XP: 0
S: 0
NAME: Resh Hedom
AGE: 20
ST 12 DAMAGE thr=1d-2;sw=1d
DX 13
IQ 12
Spd 5.5
1p IQ/Avg
Lip Reading
1p Per/Avg
Lock Picking/TL4
1p IQ/Avg
1p IQ/Hard
1p Per/Easy
1p IQ/Avg
1p IQ/Hard
Pick Pocket
1p DX/Hard
4p DX/Avg
1p DX/Avg
8p DX/Hard
1p DX/Easy
Shield2p DX/Easy
Honest Face
Leaves a random object marked with an obscure symbol or phrase
Personality Change
Average $2000
ITEMS (29lbs.-(0); 58lbs.-(-1); ...)
Chain Mail Shirt
DR Cost Weight LC
4/2* $150 16 4
Medium Shield
DR DB Cost Weight LC
7/40 2 $60 15 4
Morning Star
Dmg Reach Cost Weight LC Parry
sw+1 1 $60 6 4 0U
Cost Weight LC
$50 e 3
Cost Weight
$20 3
CashAverage $1060
Being a commoner $600

What are your thoughts on this, playgrounders?

EDIT: Thinking about it, Assassin was a contender as well. Here's my Assassin attempt at his character: http://www.gamecheetz.com/AssassinSheet.pdf

2009-10-06, 04:57 PM
In my personal experience it cannot be done. There was one time that our GM switched from GURPS to D&D after one session, and I had to design a completely new character because there was no way that my GURPS character could be converted. Having said that, I'm sure there are some characters that are possible to convert.

GURPS is a skill based, classless system. There's a fundamental difference in the mentalities used to design characters in each system (at least that's my opinion). That's one reason why I always find it very hard to develop characters for D&D, because I always think of the kind of "person" I want the character to be, and not the "class" I want to play. If this player is new to D&D, I would explain the different classes to him (it would probably be helpful if you admit that D&D is much more constrained when it comes to characters), give him your input, and let him choose.