Jump to content

Fourth Edition D&D conversion to BRP


Recommended Posts

Well, um, seeing as how there are plenty of conversions here....

I was travelling around the country and I saw a copy of the PHB at the PX, and like a moron, I picked it up...and spent the last seven days converting it while chilling with zee Germans.


Forth edition is not a bad game, but it isn't old fashioned D&D either. You can tell that it is heavily influenced by online RPGs and miniatures. Ranges are given in squares and items take up "slots".

They kept the same stats and D20 mechanic from D20, so not much change there. They did cut down on a lot of races and classes, but added some new stuff, so the end result is still 8 races and 8 classes, just not the ones we are used to. Net result so far is nil.

What they did do was reduce skills to only 17, very similar to AD&D and it's Non Weapon Proficiencies, actually, so that is a -1 point for me personally, since I like skill based systems (Obviously...BRP...duh).

Each class has a buttload of powers, which take the place of spells. This has two effects. It makes spellcasters very easy to play, but at the same time makes non spell casters more difficult to play. The breakdown of powers is fairly intuitive and isn't too difficult but the entire powers concept is basically just class specific feats out of 3rd ed. I think they got tired of 50,000 Prestige classes and basically just rolled up all the feats right into the PHB.

Feats are still around but they are able to be taken by more than class, so I guess that is the difference between Feats and Powers.

Also, they built in Prestige Classes into each of the classes, although now they are called Paragons and are automatically gained at 11th level. They game is also very well into Dungeons and RIFTS territory since the characters have a progression to 30th level. They gain Epic Destinies at 21st level, though only three are listed...I expect the Big Book of Destinies will be out for Christmas.

Also, they included a whole ton of magical weapons up to +6 and 30th level. This is a power gamers delight.

All in all, it is not a bad game, but it really reads to me as an alternate rules set for D20 munchkins rather than something brand new. The good news is that it lends itself to just adding it to 3rd edition, though just as a way to make really, really powerful PCs/NPCs.

The most surprising thing is that the created characters very easily convert to BRP. All the powers and feats just turn into BRP skills that burn POWer and voila, silly powerful BRP characters.

So, this is how I turned 4th Edition into BRP:

Stats..4th to BRP







1 square = 1 meter or 3 feet/1 yard

Skills...well there only 17 of them so, if they are trained, they get a 25% in it, if not, they have a 0% in it. Depending on the key ability for each skill, they get a bonus of 5% for every +1 they get for their stats.

Every 2 levels, the character goes up a whopping....5% in all 17 skills...thus at 10th level, the character will have 25% untrained/50% trained

at 20th level, the character will have 50% untrained/75% trained

at 30th level, the character will have 75% untrained/100% trained on his 17 skills...

weapons and armor, just pull them from BRP

combat is pulled from BRP

feats...every +1 to something is a either a +1 for damage or AV, or is a +5% for an effect. Feats are treated just like skills...because they are...quick draw is a skill. I determine the skill level the same way as the skills...above.

Powers are also treated like skills BUT they use Power. 1/2 the Level of the Power is the cost in Power and it comes built in with limitations, thus a certain 7th level power can only be used once a day...well in BRP it is a skill than can be used once a day AND it cost 3 Power (I round down...) to use it.


Granted, since BRP doesn't hand out Hit Points like D20, a LOT of these powers are simply over kill, but you know, if I have a character that is a Ranger type and shoots the Hydra in the mouth from a foot away, and spent 4 Power to do it, AND makes the skill roll (same as for the 17 skills), I will let that arrow do 4x the normal damage. Of course, I DO NOT allow critical successes on these Power rolls.

I also don't add healing surges or HP bonuses.

The way it works is...I determine the power level for a game, convert that to the D&D level limit and when the character is made...I convert straight over from that point to BRP and they are from that point on a BRP character...

Now, the final question...why would I even ALLOW a D20 4th Edition creation into any BRP game? Well, my son and daughter LOVE the slot building rules for it...and DO NOT like the completely open ended BRP character design process. So, I let them build characters in D20, then I convert them to BRP.



Edited by sladethesniper
spelling and gramman...I hate being stupid!!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good topic idea, Slade.

My gaming group takes turns GMing. I run Call of Cthulhu when it is my turn, but the last two GMs have chosen to run 4th Edition (despite my complaints).

I agree your assessment of 4E. I just have a couple of refinements to offer:

I would convert one square to two meters. A medium size creature occupies one square vertically and horizontally, so I think that 2m is a better fit even than 5'. Besides, this allows you to fix the 4th ed silliness of diagonal movement costing the same as lateral. Instead, say that a square costs 3m of movement diagonally. Easy.

I would start the skills at 30% instead of 0%. In 4th Ed, starting characters can succeed with an untrained skill. Since the typical task is DC15, a character with zero skill bonus has a 30% chance of success (rolling 15 or above on a bare d20).

What is your method to determine SIZ?

I am curious about what you discover through your efforts, so please report back as it progresses.

How old are your son and daughter?

Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Powers are also treated like skills BUT they use Power. 1/2 the Level of the Power is the cost in Power and it comes built in with limitations, thus a certain 7th level power can only be used once a day...well in BRP it is a skill than can be used once a day AND it cost 3 Power (I round down...) to use it.

I don't think you really need to do this. From what I know of 4E, powers can be used at-will, per encounter, or per day.

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CruelDespot, thanks for the input. I like the idea of having the characters start with a 30% but I have found that apparently Munchkin is a genetic disease...it skipped my wife (not quite to the "proud to play a gimp" camp...but can see it over the rise :happy: ), but somehow "others" ended up with it...thus, in an attempt to stop the "Make a Character in One System that is More Powerful when Converted" game...we have installed a "gimp" system...which states that if a PC from system X doesn't have Y skill in Z system...well it doesn't magically appear...

Also, since I am dealing with a little math genius (my son), I really don't want to have to do advanced math to keep the play balance mathematically perfect...so a 0-20 range just converts to D100 in 5% increments...the last thing I want to do is get him started in finding all the flaws in all of my conversions... :o

Son is 11 and a math genius...daughter is 9. They want characters with cool powers...background be damned...

I can't blame them...I was...about 23 and full time GM'ing when I finally got out of the "my character is more powerful than yours" stage.

As for Harshax, I put the Power cost in there to blend in with other magic systems in use in my BRP Hackjob...the justification for "Martial" powers using Power is twofold...1) some of those powers do damage x 4 and other effects...which is far and away more powerful than a simple skill (Martial Arts, etc.) and 2) It allows the Fighter/Ranger/etc. class :confused: to be partnered alongside a CoC Dark Ages inquisitor without being either overpowering or useless...at least in my games :innocent:


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...