The Rule of Threes


GURPS Panescape




Characters should be built on however many points the GM thinks is appropriate for his GURPS game. Characters that start at 100 or 150 points, with some appropriate limit on disadvantages (40 or 50 points worth) should work well. Make characters more powerful if you want a higher-powered game from the beginning. Unless your group has already played in the Planescape setting, it might be wise to start with a more moderate point total (such as 100), so that the characters don't start too powerful, but rather can grow as they explore the setting and their knowledge and experience grows.

(Personally, I am fond of the method where you choose 145 points in attributes, advantages, and skills, and then take however many disadvantages you want, and up to five quirks. This would be suitable for a "100-point" game; raise the number of points in attributes, advantages, and skills for higher powered games.)

A player should choose a racial template and one or two "overlays" when creating a character. The racial templates work just like they always do in GURPS. (For humans, there is no template because the human race is the default assumption for GURPS character creation.) The two overlays are character type (prime, petitioner, or planar), and faction. Add the advantages, disadvantages, and skills, as well as the point cost, for the two overlays to the racial template to form an "overall template." If a given advantage appears twice, normally just ignore it the second time around. However, if the advantage is something with levels (e.g. Charisma), sum the levels from each racial template or overlay. If an advantage or disadvantage appears twice, consult your GM; probably, you will not need to pay for the advantage twice. (Additionally, if you are playing a Mage, and want to omit some of the expensive Knacks that come with certain faction overlays, consult your GM.) Disadvantages in racial templates and overlays do not count against any disadvantage limit the GM sets for the campaign. Given that the players have the option to choose a faction in addition to a race, the GM may wish to set a lower disadvantage limit for a Planescape campaign as compared to a normal GURPS campaign.

In order to encourage faction membership, the GMs should consider giving 15 "extra" character points to a planar character who joins a faction. This will offset the cost of membership in most of the factions, and for some factions (particularly the Fated) will give some other points to play with.

In Planescape, any planar character, or prime character who has been in the planes long enough to figure out what is going on, may belong to one of the fifteen factions. (The sixteenth "Outsider" faction is not worth any points, and isn't even really a faction.) Particuarly if the character is a planar and is native to Sigil or spends a lot of time in Sigil, faction membership is likely. (This may be different in a game set post-Faction War. GURPS Planescape is by default set in the time period defined by the Planescape boxed set, In the Cage, and The Factol's Manifesto.)

("Type, race, faction... uh, what about class?" some sod in the back shouts. Remember the chant: we're playing GURPS, not AD&D. GURPS doesn't have classes.)


Advantages and Disadvantages

If the GM wants his players to fight fearsome planar beasts and fiends, and if he wants his players to experience any number of planar hazards, and yet he wants them to (at least sometimes) survive, he should consider allowing some of the optional "cinematic" GURPS advantages such as Hard to Kill, Extra Hit Points, and Extra Fatigue. (A limit should be placed to avoid abuse of the latter two. For example, a GM could stipulate that one character can have a total of 6 Extras divided between Hit Points and Fatigue.)

Existing Advantages and Disadvantages

Optionally, the GM may wish to allow characters to purchase this advantage after character creation, and the GM may allow the character to increase his level of Magery with experience points. The rationalization would be that Magery is in fact not necessarily an inborn inherent trait, but an intimate familiarity with the workings of magic which can be learned (as fits the assumptions of any setting originally written for AD&D)..

Jumper [160pt]
This advantage should not be available to PCs. However, lots of creatures (including many fiends, Githyanki, and others) have the ability to "plane shift" or "teleport without error" at will. This can usually be represented by some suitably modified version of Jumper.

New or Modified Advantages and Disadvantages

Anarch [10 points]
An anarch is able to maintain terrain shaped from the chaos matter of Limbo without concentration. The Terrain Shaping skill is still required to shape the terrain in the first place.

Dead Truce [5 points]
This is the pact that the Dustmen have with the Undead.

Entropic Blow [8 points]
Normally available only to memebers of the Doomguard fasion. This is an Innate Attack that adds 2d of cutting damage to a normal melee weapon attack. It is: Innate Attack/2; Cutting; Usable 1/day, -40%; Follow-Up, +0%. The use of this ability must be declared before the attack, but it is "used up" only if the attack is succesful (i.e. it hits, and the target does not succesfully defened.)

Faction Masquerading [20 points]
This advantage is only available to a member of the Revolutionary League. A person with this advantage may pose as a member of any other faction, and no means of detecting that he's a false member will work! This means that knowledge spells, psionic mind reading, divination, and so forth will never reveal information that could mark this character as anything other than a genuine member of the faction he's pretending to be a member of. Note, however, that this advantage doesn't stop normal mundane means. If somebody comes up with documented proof that the character is a member of the Revolutionary League, or remembers seeing this character having been a "member" of another faction previously, then the character may well be exposed. Hence, characters with this advantage should use it carefully and cautiously.

This advantage does not confer any of the special abilities (or restrictions) of the faction which the character is pretending to belong to. The one exception is the Patron value of the masqueraded faction- since the faction believes your a legitimate member, they can and will provide you with the same aid they will provide another member.

Mercykiller Attack [4 points]
This is an Innate Attack similar to Entropic Blow. It adds 2d of crushing damage to a normal melee weapon attack, but if that attack hits it does half of the extra crushing damage to the attacking Mercykiller! It is: Innate Attack/2; Crushing; Usable 2/day, -30%; costs HT -35%; Follow-Up, +0%. The Mercykiller declares the use of this ability before making the attack, but it is only "used up" if the blow actually connects (i.e. the Mercykiller hits and the target doesn't succesfully defend).

Note: the costs HT was a guess that each point of HT is worth -10% (given that Costs Fatigue is worth -5% per point), and that 1d will give you on the average 3.5 points of damage. This limitation may well be undervalued!

Silver Cord [5 points]
When on an outer plane (including the Astral), presuming you travelled there correctly, an invisible "silver cord" through the Astral Plane connects you back to your body on the Prime Material Plane which is your origin. If your outer plane body is killed, you snap back to your Prime body, alive and well. (If you didn't travel in such a way as to create a separate astral body, then you don't get to reap the benefits of this advantage, which is why it's only worth 5 points.)

Resurrection Prohibition [-5 points]
For some reason, under certain not-uncommon circumstances you may not be raised or resurrected when killed. (For instance, in the case of peititioners, if you are off of your home plane and you are killed, you are lost to the multiverse; no form of resurrection, wish, nor even the whim of a Power will bring you back.)



New Skills

Area Knowledge: Planes (IQ/Average ; no default)
With this skill, you have a good understanding and overview of the Known Planes of Existence. Use of this skill won't give you specific information about the political situation of a given burg, but it might let you know that a burg exists on a given layer of a given plane. The GM should assume that somebody with this skill knows anything that is in the DM's Guide to the Planes from the Planescape boxed set. More information will be at the judgement of the GM, but remember that this is very broad knowledge of the multiverse, not detailed and specific knowledge of any one plane.

Terrain Shaping (Will/Hard ; no default)
This is the skill that lets you create terrain from the chaos matter of Limbo. The degree of your success indicates how much you can do; greater success alows either terrain shaping to a larger radius, or allows the construction of more complicated terrain. (Someday I may have a table of what degree of success allows what radius, but in the mean time GMs should refer to Planes of Chaos to get an idea about what is reasonable.) Repeated attempts are allowed at no penalty. However, if you succeed, but make an attempt to get a greater degree of success and fail your roll, the terrain you previously shaped dissolves back into Chaos. Mentors who can teach this skill might be suitably rare (cf: Planes of Chaos). GMs may wish to prohibit this skill at character creation.


Alignment or Lack Thereof

My advice on how to deal with alignment in GURPS Planescape: ignore it. You heard me right. Ignore it. It's an artifact of the AD&D rules system, just like character class. It's fine there, but it's not necessary with the GURPS mechanics. Give your character advantages, disadantages, and quirks that describe his philosophy, and do the rest with good roleplaying. See my page on "Why Planscape Doesn't Need Alignment" for an extended discussion about why I consider alignment unnecessary.

As with anything in the conversion, some mechanics from the Planescape system are affected by the lack of an alignment system. Without alignment, obviously there can be no alignment restrictions on races and factions. However, the GM and players should keep in mind the nature of the races and factions, and create characters that make sense in the world of Planescape. For instance, charitable and pacifistic Tieflings should be rare. Certain advantages and disadvantages might either be a prerequisite or a disqualification for membership in a specific faction.

The terms "law," "chaos," "good," and "evil" have descriptive value. In a published Planescape product, when you see an NPC's alignment listed, view it as just this: a description. Use it as a very broad and general indicator as to the character's ethos and philosophy. Really, of course, it's only a starting point, but with a mere two letters it does give you at least a glimmer of insight into a character's beliefs. The description can exist in the absense of the game statistic; you don't need to assign an "evil" alignment to an individual to make him evil. (The term "evil" does in fact appear in a number of published GURPS products.)

How about creatures (such as Aasimon) who can detect alignment with a glance? Ignore that ability, or replace it with some suitable seeming sort of empathy or intution. (Even without an alignment stat, a GM should be able to judge whether the sum of a character's actions and beliefs will be seen as "evil" in the mind of a given celestial; that is what the celestial should see, and it may indeed depend on the eye of the beholder.)

See also the alignment discussion in the Planes chapter.

If, despite all my ranting, I haven't convinced you that Planescape can survive without alignment, you can always import alignment and just tack it on to the GURPS mechanics... if you must. Write it down on the character sheet, and assess benefits and penalties under GURPS analogous to those that would have been assessed under the AD&D rules set. Don't worry about experience loss with alignment change, but do try to be intelligent about evaluating whether a character is being played according to his alignment, and at least qualitatively keep in mind the ethical forces and powers that might be irked as a character's alignment drifts.


Primes, Planars, and Petitioners

Primes (0 points)
Primes can come from any prime material world. If the tone of the game is anything like "standard" Planescape, the prime world the character hails from should be a medieval fantasy world, usually at TL3 (but possibly lower). In most such worlds, magic will exist and function. Yes, it is more reasonable to suppose that given an infinity of prime material worlds, some will have civilizations at higher technology levels, but none of those prime material worlds are reachable from the planes that form the setting of Planescape. (Unless you're making your own modification to the setting, of course.)

The overlay for a Prime character costs 0 points points and consists of: Silver Cord [5 points], Social Stigma (Outsider) [-5 points]. In addition, Primes new to the plane may wish to take an additional disadvantage or two representing their status as one of the Clueless. (GM approval required.)

Petitioners (-5 points)
Petitioner player characters should be rare. The basic overlay costs -5 points and consists of Resurrection Prohibition [-5 points]. However, most petitioners should probably add something like Fanaticism, Obsession, or the like to their template (with approval from the GM, of course).

Planars (-2 points)
The Planar overlay costs -2 points and consists of Detect (portals; occasional) [10 points], Duty (Susceptible to summoning crystals; quite rare (6-), involuntary) [-7 points], and Dread (wards against explanar creatures; rare) [-5 points].

Proxies and Powers
If your game has PCs which are proxies (at least at first) or especially Powers, you've stepped outside the realm of normal Planescape games. This doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, but you're on your own if you want your PCs to play Powers! Even very minor Powers ought to be worth a couple of thousand character points....



Old Races

Characters can be human, or of any of the "standard" fantasy races that the GM will permit. Most GMs will probably allow characters who are elves, dwarves, half-elves, halflings, and the like; some will probably allow more. The easiest way to create characters of these races is to refer to GURPS Fantasy Folk, and use the races therein. Eric B. Smith has written a conversion of those races to GURPS fourth edition.

New Races

Planescape defines several new races specific to that setting, such as Bariaurs, Githzerai, Tieflings, and so forth. Normally, these races must be planars; they will not be primes. I give my version of the GURPS racial template for these races below. For information on the character, origin, and society of these races, see the TSR Planescape line. In addition, the racial template is not a full description of the race; there are other traits which are "special effects" or otherwise worth 0-points. As with all of GURPS Planescape, this is merely enough to adapt it to GURPS, not an attempt to present all the information available in The Planewalkers Handbook or A Player's Guide to the Planes.

Aasimar (29 points*)
Aasimar have the following racial template: +1 to ST [10 points], -1 to HT [-10 points], +2 to Per [10 points], +1 to Will [5 points], Attractive Appearance [4 points], Infravision [10 points]


  1. Replace +1 to ST with Beautiful Apperance (raising the template cost to 31 points)
  2. Replace +1 to ST with Charisma/2.
  3. Replace +1 to ST with a 10-point appropriate and justifiable cool power.
  4. Add one or more Unnatural Features, reducing the template cost appropriately (or balancing an added appropriate and justifiable cool power that's more than 10 points).

Notes: The AD&D Aasimar have a greater penalty to constitution than a bonus to ST. I considered translating this into -2 to HT, but that seemed a little too severe.

Bariaur (31 points (males) or 28 points (females))
Still GURPS/3e ; Needs updating!

Bariaur males have the following racial template: +1/+3 to ST [14 points], +1 to HT [10 points], -1 to IQ [-10 points], Extra Legs (4 total) [5 points], Infravision [15 points], Enhanced Move (1/2) [5 points], Strikers (butting horns) [5 points], Centauroid [0 points], Congenial [-1 point], Intolernace (giants) [-1 point], Somewhat Inconvenient Size [-5 points], Vow (vegitarianism) [-5 points], Racial Quirk (fussy about appearance) [-1 point].

Bariaur females have the following racial template: +1 to IQ [10 points], -1/+1 to ST [-2 points], Acute Taste and Smell/2 [4 points], Extra Legs (4 total) [5 points], Enhanced Move (1/2) [5 points], Infravision [15 points], Nonrestrictive Magic Resistance/1 [5 points], Centauroid [0 points], Congenial [-1 point], Intolerance (giants) [-1 point], Somewhat Inconveient Size [-5 points], Vow (vegitarianism) [-5 points], Racial Quirk (fussy about appearance) [-1 point].

Notes: I debated whether or not to include Somewhat Inconvenient Size as a disadvantage. Although their size and shape does hamper them slightly relative to human norms, Bariaurs may well be common enough on the planes that there will be enough things that cater to them to make their size not inconvenient.

I decided not to assess a -1 to DX penalty to either gender of Bariaur. The reason is that they are supposed to be known as fierce fighters, and DX is the primary attribute on which most fighting ability is based in GURPS.

The "split strength" is because of the centauraoid structure of Bariaur. The first score is for the upper (human) body, the second score is for the lower (goat) body. The cost is the average of the two bonuses, with the lower body score having the "no fine manipulators (-40%)" limitation.

Githzerai (15 points)
Githzerai have the following racial template: +1 to DX [20 points], +1 to IQ [20 points], -1 to ST [-10 points], -1 to Will [-5 points], Infravision [10 points], Magic Resistance/3 [6 points], Intolerance (Illithids, Githyanki) [-5 points], No Sense of Humor [-10 points], Vow (protect the security of the race, protect the liberty of one's person and of the race) [-10 points], Racial Quirk: Chauvanistic [-1 point]

Note that a Githzerai's Magic Resistance is the standard GURPS sort. A Gitzerai may eliminate the Magic Resistance from the racial template by purchasing a 6-point Unusual Background at character creation. (I.e. the cost for the racial template is the same without the Magic Resistance.)

Rogue Modron (-22 points)
Still GURPS/3e ; Needs updating

Rogue Modrons have the following racial template: +1 to IQ [10 points], +1 to HT [10 points], -1 to DX [-10 points], Acute Vision/2 [4 points], DR 1 [3 points], DR 1 (vs. Fire, Cold, Acid) [2 points], Enhanced Move/0.5 [5 points], Nonrestrictive Magic Resistance/3 (Limitation: illusions, energy drains, Mind Control spells, -30%) [10 points], Single Minded [5 points], Broad-Minded [-1 point], Clueless [-10 points], Curious [-5 points], Enemy (Modron Hierarchy, appears rarely) [-20 points], Inconvenient Size [-10], Obsession (Find place in any hierarchy, impose/find and exist within order) [-5 points], Partial Amnesia [-10 points], Taboo Trait: Cannot Swim [0 points].

Notes: Rogue Modrons who have been out of the hierarchy long enough to have built a past and a life may buy off the Partial Amnesia disadvantage. Optionally, the GM may also allow them to buy up Clueless to Oblivious, or completely buy off that disadvantage as well. The Obsession doesn't exactly fit the GURPS description of the disadvantage, but it's something that Modron's are always thinking about, and they're uncomfortable if they can't indulge in their obsession, so the -5 point disadvantage fits. The Enemy is a big one, and counts as an "utterly formidable" group; "appears rarely" is based on the fact that members of the Modron Hierarchy are not common outside of Mechanus. If a Rogue character goes to Mechanus, the GM should feel free to roll as if the enemy appeared quite often or almost all of the time. At that point it's up to the Rogue to keep itself from being discovered....

Tiefling (44 points)
Tieflings have the following racial template: -1 to ST [-10 points], +1 to IQ [20 points], -1 to Will [-5 points], -1 to Per [-5 points], Charisma/1 [5], Loner [-5 points], Overconfidence [-5 points], Reputation -2 [-10 points], Unnatural Feature [-1 points], plus a 60-point "Tiefling Power Package".

The "Unnatural Feature" can be any appropriate tiefling attribute. It may be increased to higher levels (thereby reducing the cost of the template) with GM approval.

The standard Tiefling Power Package consists of Infravision [10 points], Resistant to Poison (Common, +3 to HT) [5 points], DR 5 (vs. lightning, cold, and fire, -40%) [15 points], Temperature Tolerance/4 [4 points], Obscure/10 (Darkness; Ranged, +50%; Reduced Range, 10yds, -30%; Extended, +20%; Extended Duration, 30s, +20%; Use 2/day, -30%) [26 points].

Other Tiefling Power Packages are possible; consult with your GM.

Notes: The Loner comes from tiefling's hesitancy to trust anyone, even other tieflings. The Overconfidence disadvantage comes from the description of tieflings as determined to create their own fates, and defying anything that stands in their way.



Before presenting the faction overlays, a bit of philosophy. Rationalist GURPS players might balk at the idea of faction membership granting special abilities. Sure, social advantages and disadvantages such as rank, allies, enemies, and so forth make sense, the GURPS rationalist would say, but since when did joining a political party give you extra magical abilities? Joining a faction is not the same as joining a political party. Sure, they serve many of the same functions. Remember, however, that in Planescape belief can alter reality. By honestly joining a faction and accepting the tenets of that faction, you alter the reality of yourself, through the power of belief.

For most of the factions, a varying "Patron" advantage is listed. Most of the factions are assumed to be "Appears Fairly Often" (9-). The GM will generally supply faction assignments whenever the heck she wants, and the faction will usually be available whenever the PCs are in Sigil. However, unless you're in a faction-controlled area of one of the other planes, the chances of coming across a fellow factioneer are much lower (set by the GM, but a roll of 6- would be appropriate). Most factions are "Very Powerful Organizations" worth 15 points, but some are merely "Powerful Organizations" worth 10 points.

Although most of the factions have other factions which are their enemies, in very few cases does this get to count as an Enemy disadvantage. One exception is the Free League, which currently (at the point in the timeline described in the Factol's Manifesto) they are being particularly persecuted by the Harmonium. Any faction member can easily come into conflict with a member of an opposed faction, but that's all just part of the setting and roleplaying. A member of the Free League, however, is liable to be harassed out of the blue by a Hardhead- hence they get the Enemy disadvantage.

The Planescape books list spells which members of various factions are immune to. Obviously, GURPS Magic and GURPS Grimoire don't have the same spells as 2nd edition AD&D. I don't always list specific GURPS spells below that faction members are immune to, but merely list the advantage as "Immunity (some spells)". It is up to the GM to use his good judgement as to whether the faction member would be immune to a given spell or not. Most of these immunities are assumed to be Occasional (10 points), but some are Rare (5 points).

These overlays are all for "namers". It is an exercise for the alert reader to create templates for more highly ranked faction members. Also, if you're playing in a post-Faction War setting, it's an exercise for the alert reader to modify these overlays accordingly.

The Athar [15 points]

Immunity (some spells, e.g. quests, curses, etc.) [10 points], Vow (receive no healing etc. spells from priests of specific deities) [-5 points], Patron (Faction) [10 points].

Believers of the Source [15 points]

Reputation (Godsmen; +2 reaction) [10 points], Resurrection Prohibition (always, but may be reincarnated as a "player character" race) [-5 points], Patron (Faction, and also usually the namer's sponsor) [10 points].

The Bleak Cabal [14 points]

Immunity (spells causing madness or insanity) [5 points], Mind Sheild/3 [12 points], Chronic Depression (resist on 15- (roll once per day); this is the Bleaker Madness) [-8 points], Patron (Faction) [5 points].

The Bleak Cabal isn't worth that much as a Patron, since frequently they don't care enough to actually help out their lesser members. Namers do have access to the Mad Bleaker Wing as detailed in the Factol's Manifesto, however.

The Doomguard [18 points]

Talent/2: Sword Skills [10 points], Entropic Blow [8 points], Healing Resistance (must fail HT roll in order to receive magical or psionic healing) [-5 points], Patron (Faction) [5 points].

Note that under GURPS, use of Divination Talent costs normal fatigue for that spell. Moreover, the use isn't automatic; the character must spend character points necessary to learn the Entromancy spell (M/H). Casting time is brief. Only a vision or information relevant to the destruction being used as the divination source may be relevealed.

The Dustmen [13 points]

Dead Truce [5 points], Resurrection Prohibition (must make HT roll to survive resurrection) [-5 points], Fearlessness/2 [4 points], Staid [-1 point], Patron (Faction) [10 points].

The Fated [1 point]

Vow: Cannot accept or provide charity [-10 points], Area Knowledge: Planes at IQ [2 points], +1 to Merchant [2 points], +1 to Pickpocket [2 points], Patron: Faction [5 points].

This faction package is worth less than all of the others. This fits nicely with the AD&D version of the faction, which includes extra nonweapon proficiency slots. Here, you get the advantage of faction membership with some extra character points left over for other skills and so forth. (Note: previously, instead of the "Vow" this faction overlay had the -6 point Callous disadvantage.) If a GM allows characters to join a faction and gain their abilities "for free" during play (i.e. without paying character points), then a character who joines the Fated should be given 10 character points to spend on skills. Otherwise, if a character pays character points for joining a faction, then joining the Fated is obviously cheaper than joining most other factions.

I dithered about the Patron value of the Fated. They do have the Hall of Records, which could be quite handy. On the other hand, the faction isn't one known for going out of its way to help people, never mind mere namers.

The Fraternity of Order [19 points]

Honesty [-10 points], +1 to Law [2 points], +1 to Administration [2 points], Magery/1 (limitation: innate only, -40% to lvl 1) [11 points], Faction Spell: Gift of Tongues at IQ+1 [4 points], Patron (Faction) [10 points].

Guvners which have a position within the courts of Sigil (which are run by this faction) will probably have a level or two of Administrative Rank. Frequently, such a position will also come with duties that will make such settled characters limited as PCs.

Guvner Mages can pay 4 points to change the Magery/1 into a fully Magery/1 (not limited to just the innate spell).

The Free League [7 points]

Mind shield/3 [12 points], Patron (faction) [5 points], Enemy (Harmonium, 6 or less) [-10 points].

Bear in mind what the Patron really means with the Free League. It's much less of an actual Patron than is the case with most other Factions. Really, it's something somewhere between Patron, Ally Group, and Contacts, and might indeed be better listed as just "Contacts". One might object that since most of the other factions give a body representation in what goes on in Sigil, they ought to be worth even more points compared to the 5 point value for the Free League. Bear in mind, however, that the Free League is less likely to ask something of a faction member than any other faction!

Although most factions have Enemies, the current attention directed towards the Free League by members of the Harmonium warrants giving the Indeps an actual disadvantage. On a roll of 6 or less, some Hardheads will actually come and give direct trouble to the character during a given adventure which is spent even partly in Sigil (or the right regions of Arcadia). Of course, if the character does something outright to annoy the Harmnoium, no roll is necessary....

The Harmonium [15 points]

Affliction/1 (Disadvantage: Duty, Involuntary, All the Time, +20%; Malediction, +100%; Usable 1/day, -40%; Based on Will, +20%) [20 points], Patron (Faction) [10 points], Duty (Harmonium) [-15 points].

The Affliction is in place of the AD&D "Charm Person" spell. This inflicts an irresistable duty (a -20 point disadvantage for the duration) on the target; the duty to the Hardhead who used the Affliction.

The Duty is because the Harmonioum, as described in "A Player's Guide to the Planes" (in the Planescape boxed set) is very severe about policing itself and enforcing obedience of its members. The "Almost All the Time" status means that the Hardhead must always be obeying the rules and strictures of the Harmonium, even if not actively on a quest for the Harmonium; moreover, the penalties for transgressions can be quite serious.

Members of the Harmonium who bear the appropriate rank and duties will also have Legal Enforcement Powers (5 or 10 points worth). This is not a part of the faction overlay, because frequently PCs will not be on that sort of assignment from their faction.

Members of other factions would probably assert that Fanaticism ought to be a part of this faction.... It is assured that that disadvantage is indeed found amongst a number of the Harmonium.

The Mercykillers [17 points]

Magery/1 (limitation: innate only, -40% to lvl 1) [11 points], Faction Spell: Truthsayer at IQ+1 [2 points], Mercykiller Attack [4 points], Patron (Faction) [10 points], Mercykiller Code of Honor (put justice before all; don't release a prisoner until he's been properly punished) [-10 points].

The Revolutionary League [15 points]

Faction Masquerading [20 points]; Patron (faction) [5 points]; Delusion (Mild Paranoia) [-5 points]; Secret: Anarchist [-20 points]; Talent/1 : Thief/Spy skills [15 points].

This faction's Secret is worth a lot of points because it's bad news to be discovered as a member of the Revolutionary League. Most of the other factions aren't nuts about them, and the factions running the justice system in Sigil (the Guvners, the Hardheads, and the Red Death) are likly to go out of their way to try and imprison (or execute) one who is publicly known to be a member of the Anarchists.

An Anarchist's Patron isn't really a patron, but it's a sort of catchall for the contacts within your cell, access to those Revolutionary League safe houses you know about, and the other support you can get from your fellow revolutionaries.

The "Mild Paranoia" delusion is the same as the normal GURPS Paranoia disadvantage, but normally without the -2 reaction penalty of others to the paranoid. The rationale for this is that Anarchists tend to get very good at disguising how they're really feeling. After enough interaction, the GM may decide that NPCs will find the character to be "overly cautions" and begin reacting at -1.

The Sign of One [9 points]

Magic Resistance/4 (Improved, +150%; limitation: Illusion college only, -40%) [9 points], Patron (faction) [10 points]; Solopsist [-10 points]

The Society of Sensation [18 points]

Per +1 [5 points], Infravision [10 points], Patron (faction) [10 points], Curious (9) [-7 points]

Be sure to interpret the "Extremely Curious" disadvantage in a Sensate sort of way. A Sensate is more interested in new experiences than specifically with explaining the unexplained or playing with interesting looking items.

The Transcendent Order [15 points]

Combat Reflexes [15 points], Patron (faction) [10 points], Impulsiveness [-10 points]

A common additional advantage that Ciphers take is "Common Sense". This doesn't reflect a thoughtfulness, but rather that the Cipher has become very effective at quickly and instinctively acting in an intelligent way, ofsetting much of the penalty of the Impulsiveness disadvantage. For characters with that advantage, the GM should not interpret use of the Common Sense advantage as the Cipher having second thoughts, but rather as the character having had an instinct which may have been different from what the player first declared.

The Xaositects [16 points]

Affliction/1 (Daze, +50%; Area Effect, 4yds, +100%; Malediction, +100%; Use 1/day, -40%) [21 points], Patron (faction) [5 points], Short Attention Span [-10 points]

Although the game mecahnics are the same, a Chaosman's "Mass Daze" ability doesn't daze so much as confuse; everything that affected people say is meaningless babble, and people are generally confused and unable to concentrate. The Xaositects don't really make much of a patron; they might be better described as an ally group, and even that is fairly mercurial.


Conversion Notes

The most important general heuristic for converting NPCs in Planescape literature (which are all given AD&D stats) to GURPS is to preserve the concept, not the minutae. Let me reiterate the purpose of GURPS Planescape: it is not to perform a conversion of AD&D rules to GURPS, but merely to facilitate the use of Planescape as a GURPS setting. If I suggest that you to convert a 1st level AD&D character to a 100 point GURPS character, don't get hung up on debates over whether a 1st level AD&D character is more or less powerful than a 100 point GURPS character. Such debates ultimately are about as useful as debates over whether the Enterprise D could take out the Death Star. If, when converting the Planescape setting to GURPS, there is an overall renormalization of power levels, it's not a big deal. Trust me.

Assuming that your characters are starting as 100-point characters, 0-level NPCs should come out between 25 and 75 points and 1st level NPCs should come out between 75 and 100 points. NPCs who in the book are of higher level should come out to greater numbers of points, depending on the GMs whim. For instance, those characters listed as 10th or higher level ought to be worth a few hundred (300?) character points, or perhaps even more.

When converting characters, don't try to preserve the details of every ability. Make it so you would describe the NPC, in words, the same way under either system. GURPS is a more flexible system; consider adding logically reasonable abilities to NPCs. Be flexible in what the character is. For instance, don't just give an NPC thief a uniform or generic package of GURPS thief skills. Rather, if the "thief" is more of a sneak and a spy, and doesn't actually do much actual robbing, emphasize stealth skills and de-emphasize things like pickpocketing. NPC wizards should be given a selection of spells which should be appropriate given the character and relative power level of the wizard in question; use listed AD&D spells as a guide for the sorts of things the wizard likes to cast, and then assign appropriate GURPS spells which would make sense for the character.

Although you can use AD&D scores as a qualitative guide for GURPS attributes, don't try to convert them directly. In AD&D, a character's scores tend to be fixed, whereas in GURPS that can be part of the character development one spends one's experience points on. Better warriors will tend to have higher DX scores, and higher level wizards will tend to have higher IQ scores, than those just starting out.

All of those warnings being stated, there may be times when you need a quick conversion of a 1-line Planescape character description to a guess at their primary GURPS skills. I hesitantly present a conversion table of AD&D levels to GURPS point values, with some suggestions as to what the skill levels might be. These are not hard and fast values by any means.

AD&D Level GURPS Point Value Fighter ST, Weapon skill Thief DX, Stealth (etc.) Skill Mage IQ, Magery, points in spells
0 25-75 11,weapon-12 [*1] 11,stealth-11 N/A
1-3 100-120 12,weapon-13 13,stealth-13 13,1-3,10-20
4-6 120-150 12,weapon-15 13,stealth-15 13,2-3,15-25
7-9 150-200 13,weapon-15 [*2] 14,stealth-16 [*2] 14,3,20-40
10+ 200-lots 14,weapon-16 15,stealth-18 15,3,30+

Notes: [*1] This assumes a 0-level soldier or city guard. "Joe on the street" won't be so skilled. [*2] At this point, the greater power of fighters and thieves is probably represented by more breadth. Thieves get better at combat and are highly skilled at a wider range of thief/spy skills; fighters know more and more weapons and are more likely to have Combat Reflexes, as well as reputations, allies, status, Extra Hit Points (if the GM allows them), etc.

By and large, it's difficult to convert AD&D attributes directly to GURPS attributes, for reasons discussed above. One possible exception is ST (and perhaps even HT). Additionally, AD&D charisma can turn into (as appropriate) levels of Apperance and Charisma, as well as other things (e.g. Odious Personal Habits etc.) under GURPS. If you feel inclined to convert AD&D Strength, etc., directly to GURPS, refer to the following table. This table, again, is not hard and fast, and you should feel free to violate it if it better fits the character concept to do so.

AD&D Attribute GURPS ST Total cp. in
"Charisma" ads/disads
3 6 -20
4 7 -15
5-6 8 -10
7-8 9 -5
9-12 10 0
13-14 11 5
15 12 10
16 13 15
17-18 14 20
18/xx 15 -

Last modified 2012-11-22 by Omar.