(Copyright 2000, 2006)
With the updating of GURPS to Fourth Edition, certain aspects of converting between The Primal Order and GURPS have become outdated. This page attempts to address all the changes needed to bring together The Primal Order and GURPS 4e. This page requires knowledge of GURPS Basic Set: Campaigns, GURPS Basic Set: Characters, GURPS Powers, and The Primal Order sourcebook. Knowledge of Chessboards: The Planes of Possibility, GURPS Magic, GURPS Religion, and Pawns: The Opening Move is helpful but not required.
Strictly speaking, GURPS 4e contains everything needed to create a god without resorting to The Primal Order. However, with The Primal Order to supply ideas and benchmarks, players and GMS can create gods that are truly GODS and not just better-than-ordinary characters. This comes at a price, of course. Even the simplest of deities based on The Primal Order is likely to very complicated and cost thousands of character points. However, combining GURPS 4e and The Primal Order will permit a GM to create highly individualistic deities and allow them to mix divine and non-divine characters.
When running a game which combines GURPS and The Primal Order the GM should decide whether to build characters in terms of character points (from GURPS) or primal base (from The Primal Order). This page will assume that character points are the standard, but a GM should use whichever he feels most comfortable with. For character development, 1 point of primal base equals 15 character points. If characters are built on Primal Base, GURPS ability levels can be ignored. If characters are built on character points the normal Primal Base prerequisites can be ignored.
The attribute range for GURPS begins at one and is open-ended. Character attributes generally fall in the range of 7 to 16, with attributes greater than 20 definitely being superhuman. A 5% increase is generally 1 point. Divine character attributes should generally be purchased from a base of 13.
The attribute system used in Pawns and Knights uses human norms for attributes between 1 and 20, and supposedly doubles ability for every 5 levels beyond 20. In spite of GURPS attributes generally being linear, it's suggested that you just use the Primal Order value as the GURPS value for attributes without real world measures like IQ, DX, and HT. Other attributes can be calculated according to the sidebar.
When combining the rules in GURPS Religion with The Primal Order, gods have two sources of power available to them. They gain fatigue when their priests channel a worship service, and they gain primal flux from the influence of each worshiper on their universe. These two sources of power are not the same and each has different effects. A god may use the fatigue gained by worship or pass it along to his priests. Flux can only be used by the deity, although he may use it to grant powers to his priests.
Fatigue from worship may be represented in several different ways. In addition to just purchasing more fatigue, a deity may have the Reduced Fatigue Cost enhancement, Mana or Sanctity Enhancer, and Regeneration (Fatigue Only).
In GURPS 4e the extreme powers of primal entities are represented by the Cosmic enhancements. Since The Primal Order uses its power rating system (page 84) to distinguish between powers, it only makes sense to follow the rules for "Powers Great and Small" in GURPS Powers (page 32), and divide up the Cosmic enhancements appropriately. The sidebar shows a more-or-less standard tier system for using Primal Order systems in GURPS.
GURPS establises 8 ranks (whether social, religous, or other) as the normal maximum. Deities, however, generally have more power and respect than even the greatest "Divine" Ruler with organizations to match. Rank and Status, therefore, can be increased to permit 16 possible ranks as in this example.
In addition to rank there is another useful classification. High Gods act independently. Middle Gods have some independence, but still work under another deity. Low Gods work for their organizations with little independence. Trivial Gods are independent, but lack the power to be considered High Gods.
"Skills" is actually the short form for all general learned abilties including specializations, techniques, and spells in addition to actual skills. While GURPS skills tend to be fairly broad (for adventuring purposes) people who aren't adventurers, even those who have mastered many skills, will tend to specialize instead of having the full range of a skill.
When listing ability levels according to Primal Order standards, it's generally a good idea to supply a representative skill. This allows people to note a particular character's emphasis. For example, the differences between Legendary/1 Unarmed Combat (Arm Lock/27), and Legendary/1 Unarmed Combat (Flying Jump Kick/25) are obvious and easily interpreted.
Characters may tap their Primal Flux to restore fatigue lost in spellcasting. They may duplicate magics that are known to them or improvise effects by using the Divine Wish ability. These abilities are fully defined in Primal Power below. In summary:
There is, unfortunately, no easy way to convert Primal Order resistances and destiny to GURPS. Appropriate abilities are listed in the Primal Power, Meta-traits and Templates sections.
Sanctity (GURPS Basic Set: Characters page 235 "Mana") represents how easy it is for a god to channel fatigue (not Primal) between himself and his priests. Very High Sanctity is only possible in places where the god established a primal presence, generally by storing portion of his primal base there. High Sanctity represents areas where the deity has many worshipers or a strong interest, and does not need to actively grant individuals the ability to use spells. Normal Sanctity is, of course, the default condition. Low Sanctity can represent the influence of a hostile deity, or can represent an area in which the deity has little or no interest. No Sanctity typically means that the deity has been sealed away from that area by another primal presence, and such areas are usually at least High Sanctity for a hostile power.
Note that the god himself is a very high sanctity area. This reflects the immediate access the god has to the fatigue his worshipers have granted him. If the god uses magic, he may take the Mana Enhancer advantage to reflect the fatigue available to him from his worshipers. A god with priestly spells may take Sanctity Enhancer, which is the same as Mana Enhancer, only for sanctity.
Allies should be used to represent Servitors.
While no specific primal order abilities equate to Blessed it is still worth mentioning as an ability useful for any entity in service to another, whether it's a god, pantheon, or even a transcendent being served.
Compartmentalized Mind can be used for certain aspects of Primal Order Omnipresence.
Detect can be used for Omnipresence and the abilities of those assisted with primal flux.
Duplication can be used to represent Primal Order avatars.
Jumper (World) is a common gift to give to members of a divine hierarchy. The limitation "To the location of a summons" is a +0% enhancement.
Oracle is probably the best way to handle divine underlings knowing what would please and displease their superior.
Patron (Personal Church) can (and should) be used for a deity who can get more out of his religious organization than is suited for his Religious Rank. Frequency of Appearance in this case can be used to indicate how likely the church is to be able to help instead of how easy it is to contact. Of course, the GM shouldn't permit a roll in cases where it's known the church simply doesn't meet the deity's needs.
The implementation of Possession in The Primal Order is quirky, and leaves many questions unanswered from a GURPS viewpoint. It also doesn't fit well with the Primal Power's focus of "manipulating primal energy." Most deities will have a Possession ability, typically with the Telecontrol enhancement, but it's easier to build such abilities from scratch than to attempt to implement the Primal Order rules in GURPS.
Rank (Religious) is nearly universal among deities, and a deity may use that rank to get aid from the religion. However, the GM should be cautious in granting that aid. The exact help the deity needs may not even be available. Because Rank and Status are usually synononymous in divine society, Rank for divinities should cost 10 per level. In cultures where a deity's religious rank and status are not equivalent, Rank 8-10 grants +3 Status, Rank 11-13 grants +4 Status, Rank 13-16 grants +5 Status, and Rank 16-18 grants +6 Status.
Signature Gear can be used to represent Limited and Enhanced Onmiscience. That is, use Divine Wish and Burning Base to create Signature Gear which represents the information involved.
Telecommunication can be used for callings and summonings within a divine hierarchy. Most deities will have their own Telecommunication system, and pantheons and council may also have private systems.
Unusual Background can be used to represent the ability of certain deities to produce containers for artifacts (Crafter Deities), creatures with souls (Creator Deities), or similar effects which are more capabilities than activities. (These types of abilities are dicussed further in the Special Abilities section.) As the value of these abilities varies from game to game, a GM should set a price that seems appropriate to him for such abilities, or even forbid them to players characters altogether.
Primal Base (15/level): Most beings with Primal Base will have the Primal Entity meta-trait. Note that losses to Primal Base cannot be healed. If spent or damaged, the loss is permanent, though more primal base can be gained from time or experience. Primal Base has the following properties:
Note that Primal Base acquired through evolutionary gains still need to be paid for with character points. If the player doesn't care to spend the character points it can be assumed that the Primal Base was burned, used for sphere research, or the like.
Costs Primal [-25%/level]: Based on Costs Fatigue, this limitation is worth -25% per point of primal required (either base or flux).
Link [+40%]: This level of link permits a character to create an ability which can link to another ability, even if that ability does not have the Link modifier itself. (GMs should watch the use of this modifier carefully.)
Hazard: Primal [+20%]: An attack which affects only Primal Base cannot be created, nor may an attack target Primal Base directly. Whatever the primal base is contained in must first be brought to -10*HP damage, then every 7 full points of damage removes one level of Primal Base if the attack has this enhancement. The attack must also have a Primal or Primal Aspect enhancement to be effective.
Soul Capture (Per/Average)
Prerequisite: Primal Base
Then fashion in which souls and primal are linked are unclear, but all entities with Primal Base have some ability to manipulate souls. This skill is used to do so, but otherwise follows the rules in The Primal Order.
Focus: Primal Energy
Modifier: Primal +40%
Primal Talent [15/level]
Focus: Selected Pillar of Reality
Modifier: Primal Aspect +50%
Pillar Talent [Typically 10/level]:
When strictly using GURPS rules to play in The Primal Order characters may be permitted to ignore normal Primal Order limits when developing the abilities of their pillars. That is, Base isn't required for permanent abilities, abilities don't have to cost flux, DR can be created which blocks Primal Blasts, and so forth. While the GM should take care that the abilities aren't unbalanced, there's no reason to deny the full potentials of cosmic GURPS to the abilities a deity gets from his, her, or its pillars.
As a suggestion, consider dividing a deity's pillars into "doing," "being," and "feeling." A deity whose pillars do not cover the full range is typically underpowered in comparison with deities with the same number of pillars.
The following abilities are not strictly part of a Pillar, but the divine nature which allows a deity to master a Pillar also permits the following effects.
Primal Entity : Attributes: Fatigue +3 . Advantages: Combat Reflexes , Luck , Magery/0 , Injury Tolerance (No Blood 5, No Brain 5) , Perk (characters choice) , Resistant: Immunity to Metabolic Hazards , and Unaging . A character will need to select a Perk and decide on an amount of Primal Base.
Divinity : Attributes: Fatigue +6 . Advantages: Clerical Investment , Combat Reflexes , Doesn't Breathe , Doesn't Eat or Drink , Doesn't Sleep , Injury Tolerance: No Brain & Unliving [5+20], Mana Enhancer/2 (Sanctity, Own Religion) , Regrowth , Resistant: Immunity to Metabolic Hazards , Telecommunication: Telesend (Broadcast +50%, Primal +40% Universal +50%) , Unaging , Unkillable 3 (Primal Consciousness +40%, Must contain Primal Base -10%) , and Visualization .
Divine Servitors are supported by a deity's primal flux, and occasionally by Burning Base. The abilities of these servitors are limited only by a deity's imagination and flux, and thus cannot be easily categorized.
While not a divinity, you have managed to gain access to some divine power.
|Primal Growth||=60 Base|
|First Pillar||+150 Base|
|Primal Support||+290 Base|
|Home Plane||+1,000 Base|
|Pantheon Leader||+3,000 Base|
|Transcendent Blessing||+5,500 Base|
|Controlled City||~2 Base|
|Controlled State||~6 Base|
|Controlled Continent||~24 Base|
|Controlled Planet||~100 Base|
|Controlled Star System||~400 Base|
|(Control also adds Primal Flux equal to half the Primal Base.)|
A character with Primal Base is tapped into the raw stuff of creation. It is possible that characters who draws on that connection can change themselves in ways impossible for anyone not so connected. Thus, optionally, various levels of Primal Base as a prerequisite for advantages that can't be otherwise purchased (see Primal Base Prerequisite below). This also allows for games in which characters possess only a few points of Primal Base.
The Primal Order chose to hand out Primal Base liberally. While this provides for extremely powerful deities, some GMs may prefer to lower Primal Base awards in order to make deities easier to handle for both players and the GM. The Reduced Primal Gains sidebar shows a new series of primal gains based on the Primal Base Prerequisite optional rule. Note that Primal Flux gains, aside from that granted for planes, are not affected by these reductions, although the reduction in Base indirectly causes a reduction in Flux.
The exact amount of base from a controlled plane can be a tricky question. The Reduced Primal Gains sidebar shows this author's suggestions, but many factors can affect these averages. For example, a plane may be large but complicated, resulting in less base available to the controlling deity.
The Primal Order mentioned several special talents for deities, but failed to mention how common those talents are. This section covers the different talents I use and describes how common they are.
Note that a deity will never possess more than one special ability. For that reason, a GM should first check the less likely abilities. Alternatively, the GM can roll against each and select the special ability that seems most appropriate.
Crafter abilities are found in 1 in 20 deities. These abilities permit a deity to create the receptacle for artifacts.
Creator abilities are found in 1 out of 100 deities. These abilities allow a deity to create a unique organism without resorting to already existing creatures.
Temporal abilities are found in 1 out of 1,000 deities. While most deities can travel in time, the abilities enable a god to instinctively bypass paradox and manipulate time safely.
Opener abilities enable a deity to create permanent new worlds. (See World-Spinning) This ability is so rare that no gods are currently known to possess it. The GM might permit it to newly created deities on a 1 in 1,000,000 chance.
Certain aspects of regenerating on a home plane are unclear in The Primal Order rules.
Planes will eventually recover and require less flux.
One problem with GURPS is that it doesn't model high-end powers well. The way I resolve this problem is by shifting the campaign to concentrate on the high end. In this campaign, stats and powers are twice as effective as in a campaign designed around normal humans, and the abilities of normal humans are halved. Normal humans have base stats of 5, and starting deities have base stats of 8. Each level of an advantage counts double for purposes of range and weight, but normally for damage.
The Primal Orderrecommends that deities not be permitted to create new worlds. World-Spinning permits deities to overcome this limitation. While the full power of World-Spinning is only available to Openers certain deities can benefit from lesser applications.
This section assumes knowledge of both The Primal Orderand Chessboards: The Planes of Possibility(particularly Chapters 5 & 6). Feel free to write the author if you have any questions.
Creating new worlds is not an easy task. Even the simplest planes use huge amounts of primal. However, basic world-spinning is available to any deity with the appropriate sphere. This is typically Chaos, Creation, Dimensions, or Rule, but could be anything the GM deems appropriate.
World-Spinning:Research Cost: 500 flux per day. Research Time: 25 years. Backing Cost: 1,000 base. Activation Cost: Special.
In order to spin a new world, a deity must have the World-Spinning ability and provide the necessary primal (in flux) to support the world. Though this may seem easy enough, it's not. The typical plane (solar system in my games) uses some 1,000,000 points of flux daily, and would require the same amount from the deity who spun it out. Luckily, the deity need not create a full-sized plane. The table below the standard costs for planes of various sizes. These costs should be increased or reduced if the plane is more or less complicated than a standard plane of that size.Standard flux costs:
|Closet or chest:||1|
|Room, Hut, or Shack:||4|
|Small Building or Apartment:||15|
|Small City or District:||1,000|
|Large City or County:||4,000|
|State or Country:||15,000|
Once a plane has been spun out, it must be anchored to a normal plane. Once anchored, the new plane can only be accessed from the plane it is anchored to, and can be considered a sub-dimension of it. It is removed from all other locations. The plane exists for as long as the deity allocates flux to support it. Should the deity fail to support the plane by even one point of flux, the plane will disappear with all its contents except for souls and primal base. Any souls or primal artifacts within the vanished plane will reappear in a random location in the anchoring plane.
With sufficient luck and work the new plane may eventually be supported by the anchoring plane and no longer require flux from the deity. In order for this to happen the new plane must have souled inhabitants, and there must be large numbers of people on the anchoring plane who believe in the new plane. The GM should set the necessary requirements for each new plane. Alternatively, if the anchoring plane is controlled by the deity, the deity may establish a constant to support the new plane.
Optionally, any deity may create a new realm, but can only do so by using all his base and ending his existence. The new plane ends up with 2.5 times the deity's own base. In this case, the deity has little fine control over the nature of the new realm, though, in general, its nature will be suited to the deity in question.
An Opener follows much the same process, but doesn't require the World-Spinning ability. (Though nothing prevents an opener from learning the World-Spinning ability.) An Opener possesses the ability to open a conduit between his potential plane and a meta-plane, thus creating a self-sustaining plane. For every 5 points of flux the Opener puts into the creating the new plane, s/he must spend 2 points of base. The minimum amount of flux that can be spent is 2000 points.
However, base and flux are not only ingredients to open a new realm. An Opener puts a portion of who and what he is in each world. This can add, remove, or modify any advantage, disadvantage, power, quirk, or skill. The way the opener modifies himself is reflected in the created world.
There are planes which permit the easy creation of personal realms. (The Dreamlands or some conceptions of the Astral Plane.) These planes do not require world-spinning or opening abilities in order to create a new realm, and usually permit select mortals to form realms. Such planes typically require other advantages and skills, and may limit what is permissible in the new realms.
Otherwise, the realm follows the rules for world-spinning. However, primal base or character points may be substituted for primal flux, and using primal flux is more efficient. As it is the nature of these planes to spin off realms, each point of primal flux a diety uses to support a realm counts as 10, and each point of primal base put into a realm gives it one point of flux daily. Mortals, who have no access to primal, may use character points, either by using unspent points or taking disadvantages. Every 5 character points puts into a realm gives it one point of flux daily.
In a GURPS Primal Order campaign, primal is more important than GURPS points. GM's should establish the amount of primal base available to PC's and allow them to purchase GURPS points with that base at a ratio of 1 point of primal base gets 5 GURPS points. Flux, beyond that provided by base, can be provided by exchanging 1 point of base for each point of flux. The player is free to determine the source of the extra flux. I recommend 300 points a godling campaign, 500 for a pre-demigod campaign. and 750 for a demigod campaign.
Divinities make the party a gift of a very small amount of primal and encourage them to compete to get more.
Newly ascended characters.
Characters have developed a pillar, but are just starting to figure out how to use it.
In producing this conversion I went with two basic assumptions. First, that a primal blast does 7 hit points damage per point of primal expended. Second, that Primal Flux is of equal value to Primal Base.
The 7 Hit Point equivalency means that a single point of primal will injure a typical mortal, two points will knock a typical mortal unconcious without killing, and four points will typically kill. This also allows the easy calculation of 1 primal per 2 dice of damage.
The equivalence of Primal Base and Primal Flux is a bit more tricky. I went with it because in past play it seems to work. This resulted in the Flux to Base ratio climbing with divine rank.
While Primal Base increasing its container's ability to take damage is not specifically mentioned in The Primal Order there are things which imply it. Having Primal Base act as hit points also provides an easy equivalence for calculating its cost in GURPS.
The decision to allow sphere/pillar powers to bypass the normal base and flux restrictions was easy. It allows for certain abilities to be simply stated in GURPS terms, and for deities to concentrate on the abilities given by their pillars.
Return to Beginning of Page | Go to main RPG page.
This page © 2000, 2006 by Jefferson
A. Wilson. This page is an original creation. It is not official
and the use of any trademarks is not an endorsement by the holder of
the trademark of this work. The mention or reference of any companies
or products in these pages should not be construed as a challenge to
the trademarks or copyrights concerned.
GURPS © 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005 by Steve Jackson Games Incorporated.
The Primal Order © 1992, 1995 by Wizards of the Coast® Inc.
All rights reserved world wide. No part of these works may be reproduced in part or whole, in any form or by any means, without permission from the copyright holder.
GURPS ® and the
all-seeing pyramid are registered trademarks of Steve Jackson Games. Pyramid,
Illuminati Online, and the names of all products published by Steve Jackson Games
Incorporated are registered trademarks or trademarks of Steve Jackson Games
Incorporated or used under license. All rights are reserved by Steve Jackson Games.
This material is used here in accordance with Steve
Jackson Games online policy.
The Primal Order, Primal, Primal Energy, Primal Base, and Primal Flux are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast® Inc.
|The author is a member of||This page was created by Jefferson Wilson using the Programmer's File Editor (PFE) by Alan Phillips, and with the assistance of the Web Design Group's HTML 4.0 Reference.||Validated to|
|© 2000, 2006 by Jefferson Wilson. All rights reserved. This page last updated March 23, 2006. Contact Jeff_Wilson63@bigfoot.com with suggestions or problems.|