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Here are my rules for adapting FASA's Earthdawn game-world to GURPS.

Character Creation

Starting characters should be built on 100 points, with up to 40 points of disadvantages (or one disad of any value) and 5 quirks.


There are eight PC races available. In my adaptation of the FASA races to GURPS, I have generally tried to avoid giving more than -10 points in mental disadvantages to the races, to encourage flexibility. I've also had to scale back some of the races. (E.g., Obsidimen are described as weighing 900lbs (roughly 410kg). This would make them prohibitively expensive in GURPS.)

Dwarf Racial Package: 35 points
Dwarfs have ST+1 (10 points) and HT+2 (20 points), but their Move is reduced by 1 (-5 points) due to their short stature. They have Infravision (15 points), the ability to see heat, and a +1 skill bonus with all Craft skills (6 points). As a race, dwarfs are Stubborn (-5 points), and have an Odious Racial Habit of being Patronizing (-1 reaction penalty, -5 points). They are noted for their quirk of Loyalty (-1 point).
Elf Racial Package: 20 points
Elves have DX+1 (10 points) and IQ+1 (10 points) but HT-1 (-10 points). All elves have excellent Night Vision (10 points), and are considered Attractive (5 points) by all races. They live greatly extended lives (5 points). In general, Elves strive to live in harmony with themselves and nature (-10 points).
Human Racial Package: 0 points
Humans define the norm in GURPS.
Obsidiman Racial Package: 35 points
Obsidimen are tall, heavy, rock-like beings. The details of their physiology and sociology are generally a mystery to the other races. They are noted for being phlegmatic and mystical. Obsidimen have ST+3 (30 points) and HT+2 (20 points) but DX-1 (-10 points). They have 1 point of natural Damage Resistance (3 points), and 100lbs of Increased Density (5 points), which gives another DR2 versus crushing damage. However, their Move is reduced by 2 (-10 points), and they cannot swim (-5 points). The obsidiman life-span is extremely long (10 points); this different perspective makes them Composed (5 points). All obsidimen have the Geology skill at IQ-1 (2 points). Sunlight is part of their life-cycle, and they will fall into a coma after several weeks underground (-5 points). They have a Sense of Duty to their Liferock and Brotherhood (-5 points), and a Compulsion to understand the Universe (-5 points).
Ork Racial Package: 5 points
Orks are bulky humanoids, noted for their small tusks and coarse hair. They have ST+2 (20 points), and HT+1 (10 points), but DX-1 (-10 points) and Weak Will -1 (-8 points). They are excellent runners, and have the Running skill at HT (4 points). Orks have Night Vision (10 points) and Short Life-spans (-10 points). They are Impulsive (-10 points), which for orks is biological; an ork that resists his impulses too often suffers from a heartburn-like ailment. They have the quirk of Seize Life and Shake It (-1 point).
Troll Racial Package: 30 points
Earthdawn trolls are tall humanoids with rough skin, tusks, and horns. Trolls have ST+2 (20 points), HT+1 (10 points), and Strong Will +1 (4 points). They have Infravision (15 points), Acute Vision +1 (2 points), and Short Life-spans (-10 points). Trolls have complex ideas of personal, clan, and racial honor, and do not tolerate slights easily (-10 points). They strive for a form of spirituality known as jar'arak (-1 point quirk).
T'skrang Racial Package: 25 points
T'skrang are reptilian beings, hairless with green or blue skin and remarkable crests and tails. T'skrang have DX+1 (10 points) and HT+1 (10 points). Their tails are natural Strikers, with a 1-hex reach and attacking at DX-1 (9 points). T'skrang have Semi-Functional Gills (5 points), and may stay underwater for up to HT minutes; they have Swimming skill at DX+1 (2 points) by default. The vast majority of t'skrang practice a philosophy called haropas, which involves confronting one's fears and regarding the universe as a challenge (-10 points). They have the quirk of Flamboyance (-1 point).
Windling Racial Package: 0 points
Windlings are 18"-tall humanoids with wings similar to a dragonfly. Windlings have DX+1 (10 points) and IQ+1 (10 points), but ST-3 (-20 points) and Hit Points -3 (-15 points). They are capable of Winged Flight (30 points), and have the Flight skill at DX by default (0 points). However, when walking their Move is reduced by 2 (-10 points). They are 18" tall, and thus have the Inconvenient Size disadvantage (-15 points). Windlings have a mystical Awareness (10 points, reduced from the standard 15) of magic use, magic items, spirits, et cetera, Acute Taste and Smell +3 (6 points), and Charisma +1 (5 points). They are Curious (-5 points) and Xenophilic (-5 points), and have the quirk of Exuberance (-1 point).

Special Abilities

Psi and superpowers are forbidden. Magic is of the standard type described in GURPS Magic. The spells from GURPS Grimoire may be used, but all spells from the Technology College are forbidden. The expanded martial arts abilities are strongly discouraged, mostly because they would slow up the game. GURPS Compendium I is in use, and some of the "Occult and Paranormal" advantages and disadvantages from that book may be up for discussion.

Adjusted Costs, Player Contributions

Magic use is very common in the world of Earthdawn (in the original FASA game, all PCs were "magic users" to one extent or another). The cost of all levels of Magery is reduced 5 points. Other magic-related advantages (e.g., Awareness for Windlings) may also be adjusted at the GM's discretion.

Literacy is the default. A PC may be Semi-Literate for -5 points, or Illiterate for -10.

New Disads & Skills

The default language for all characters is Throalic, the language of the dwarfs. Starting characters have it at IQ. Each race also has its own language, and it is recommended characters put a few points in the language of their race. All languages are M/A. Other languages available include Theran and the tongues of elemental spirits.


In the world of Earthdawn, those touched by the Horrors are unable to create things of beauty. Thus, virtually all sentient beings practice some form of art, whether it be weaving, singing, or architecture. This is both an affirmation of essential freedom and a defense against paranoid neighbors. PCs are strongly encouraged to have a creative skill.

PCs with significant spellcasting abilities should take the skill Thaumatology (M/VH), the science of magic. The Research skill is mildly recommended.


Jonathan Woodward,

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