I'm interested in playing some of the classic early AD&D adventures, like the Giants modules, with Chaosium's Basic Roleplaying using their Classic Fantasy module.

My big issue is power doesn't scale in BRP like it does in D&D, specifically the ability to absorb damage. Given most of the classic AD&D modules are middle or high level how would you handle the fact that while a BRP giant does a lot more damage than a normal human the "10th level fighter" of the BRP world can't absorb that damage nearly as well as his D&D counter part?


4 Answers 4


I run into this issue all the time with GURPS. The basic assumptions of GURPS/BRP rules are different than that of the AD&D rules. Unless you are allowing the equivalent of superpowers there is no time that a GURPS/BRP is worth four "normal" characters like a 4th level D&D fighter.

So are two routes you can take. First you can have BRP (or GURPS) simulate D&D dungeon fantasy with the characters able to withstand increase damage. GURPS had dungeon fantasy that starts characters off at 250 pt and in theory BRP can handle it the same way. (Not sure what combination of books will get you there).

The second is to use a regular fantasy character of the system and adapt the module. Most players and referee, including myself, like doing this because these type of characters represent what we like about the system (GURPS, BRP, etc) in the first place.

So how you adapt the module? Well one way is to look at it realistically. Imagine a world where Hill Giant existed. They would have a society with a range of skills and aptitudes. So the first thing is don't have every hill giant be a skilled fighter. This plays nicely into the skill based system of BRP. So instead of the 12 fearsome Hill Giant warriors of the AD&D original you have two good ones, five that are ok, and the rest are mediocre. Note the original Giant modules were good about including non-combatants like the wives, and children. So they they are well suited for this treatment. So yes the Hill Giants are damn tough but now the highly skilled PCs have a excellent chance of besting them due to superior skill.

Another thing to do is flesh out the locale in the module especially the NPCs. This will provide additional methods of dealing with the situations through roleplay and plans. One of the reason many adopt BRP and GURPS is that character can be good at other things than swords and spells. Create opportunities to do those other thing.

Beyond this you need to be talking about the specific modules. I can try to help if you open another question about which module you are trying to convert. I have adapted several to use with GURPS so I have some experience doing this.


I'm the author of BRP Classic Fantasy and I am in the middle of running Against the Giants converted to BRP. In an effort test the system to the fullest, I'm not changing the module at all.

My players just did the battle with the 22 hill giants, 3 stone giants, 1 cloud giant, 8 ogres, and a cave bear and they only came close to losing a single character. Pop on over to BRP Central where I talk about that battle.

I also have a Yahoo group that discusses conversion of the old classics. Right now a members is converting Tomb of Horrors.


I just ran two players through the beginning of B10 with 4 PCs total. They had no problem taking out goblins with a 30-35% chance to hit, and hobgoblins with a 50% chance to hit. They could romp on groups of four to seven opponents of lesser weapon skills. We will see how they perform against werewolves and dire wolves, but a quick, accurate arrow brought Golthar to his knees before he could open his mouth.

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    – wax eagle
    Jul 18, 2012 at 12:29

Yeah, you'll need to make pretty sweeping changes to the number of giants - or change things to be a more "sneak" kind of mission. I remember that hall with like 20 giants in it... Not going to happen in BRP. Of course if you go with the BRP 'realism' vibe, far fewer giants can survive per square mile, so a really small clan of them is about it.

But in general you will need to take inspiration from any AD&D module, but not so much take directly, or else you'll just get chopped up PCs. I've played a lot of BRP and just "some goons with crossbows" are a potentially life-ending threat regardless of character advancement.

But this can be a feature not a bug - because of D&D's level-based advancement it basically requires throwing more of a foe at PCs, which dramatically is not really as interesting as fighting fewer more challenging foes. A BRP fight with a hill giant steading of 6 giants would be as interesting as a D&D fight with a steading full of 30 of 'em.


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