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In the context of tabletop Role Playing Games, a Rules Conversion is an attempt to run a game built for one roleplaying system in another roleplaying system. In some cases, this is supported officially, with conversion guides or sourcebooks published with the original game creators' approval. Some of these works only provide the converted material from the original game, while others may include rules and guidelines to help players convert material to the new system themselves - and some do both. Numerous official conversions from other games have been released as GURPS or D 20 System sourcebooks.
In other cases, conversion guides are written by other players who have done this before. Rifts and other Palladium games are usually played in converted form, since the Palladium system is unpopular (although doing so publicly often leads to cease-and-desist orders from Palladium, who do not take kindly to the practice at all). When players convert games, they often use the GURPS, Hero System, and Fudge roleplaying systems, since these systems are specifically built to accommodate conversions.
Rules conversions fall into two broad categories:
- "Counts As" conversions. For each item or character trait in your game, find an equivalent one that is already present in the target system.
- "Remake" conversions. Modify the rules of your target system so they can accommodate the material you're converting to it.
Most rules conversions contain some elements of both.
- GURPS official conversions (from Steve Jackson Games unless otherwise noted):
- GURPS Autoduel (conversion from one of their own games)
- GURPS Blue Planet
- GURPS Bunnies and Burrows
- GURPS Castle Falkenstein
- GURPS Conspiracy X
- GURPS Cthulhupunk (includes conversion guidelines from Call of Cthulhu to GURPS)
- GURPS Deadlands
- GURPS In Nomine
- GURPS Ogre
- GURPS Prime Directive (published by Amarillo Design Bureau)
- GURPS Mage: The Ascension
- GURPS Vampire: The Masquerade
- GURPS Werewolf: The Apocalypse
- GURPS Traveller
- d20 System official conversions (published by various companies):
- Big Eyes Small Mouth
- Call of Cthulhu (the core rulebook includes conversion guidelines from the original Basic Roleplaying version to d20; these guidelines are expanded further in the Call of Cthulhu Gamemaster's Pack)
- Legend of the Five Rings (the d20 version has conversion guidelines for Alderac's previous editions)
- Prime Directive
- Silver Age Sentinels (includes guidelines to convert material from the d20 version into the original Tri-Stat version)
- Star Wars (not a conversion per se, but the original version of the core rulebook includes guidelines to convert material from the d6-based West End Games Star Wars RPG)
- D 6 System official conversions
- Other conversions
- Champions/Silver Age Sentinels: Reality Storm (crossover adventure with guidelines for converting material between HERO System and Tri-Stat)
- Deadlands: Adios, A-Mi-Go! (adventure for Deadlands and Call of Cthulhu with guidelines for converting material between the systems)
- Rifts: Rifts Conversion Book (converts material from other Palladium games for use in Rifts)
- Fan conversions of the Old World of Darkness games to the New World of Darkness.
- In the back of some old Villains & Vigilantes supplements, there were rules for converting material to and from Champions and/or Superworld (Basic Roleplaying System).
- The HERO Games magazine Adventurer's Club used to regularly include articles that gave guidelines for converting material from other systems into Champions/HERO, including TSR's Marvel Super Heroes RPG and the DC Heroes RPG.