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Converting RuneQuest Characters to Hero Wars

There are many people switching their old RQ characters over to the Hero Wars system. There are probably as many ways of doing it. Here are a few that I gleaned from the Hero Wars Rules digest (

There are ideas here taken from Alain Rameau, Bob Stancliff, Thom Baguley, David Dunham, Wesley Quadros.

If you have something else to add let me know!


Divide the RQ skill by 3 and treat every multiple of 20 as a mastery.

IE: 90% / 3 = 30 = 10w
75% / 3 = 25 = 5w
45% / 3 = 15

A variant on this method is to divide by 3 and add 6. This method does not feel right to me with lower level skills – it would result in a character with a 45% skill in RQ having 1w in Hero Wars – but is nice for Rune-Level characters’ main skills.

The Hero Wars Close Combat ability should be based on the RuneQuest character’s best attack or parry skill and add any other weapon skills as sub-sets to Close Combat.

Several people noted that they have the player write a narrative description of their RuneQuest character. Some restrict them to 100 words, some don’t. The Hero Wars abilities are then based upon the narratives. You could then use the previous method to assign values to the new abilities or assign them based upon Hero Wars’ guidelines depending on the level of your campaign.


When I needed to convert attributes to Hero Wars I only converted those that were extraordinary. Generally 16 or higher, and I moved them directly to Hero Wars as they were. I feel that this gives the best representation.

IE: STR 17 = Strong 17
APP 18 = Charismatic 18

Another method is to multiply the attribute by 5 and then treat like a RQ skill.

IE: STR 14 = 14 * 5 / 3 ~ 23 = Strong 3w


When I needed to do this, I based the strength of the Hero Wars character’s magic on the RuneQuest character’s POW. I did it by feel rather than math:

POW 18 = Magical skills around 5w2
POW 16 = Magical skills around 10-15w
POW 14 = Magical skills around 5w
POW 12 = Magical skills around 15-17

Another method is to add all the number of rune magic points, spirit magic points, magic item points and all magic skill percentages. The total is used as hero points to buy affinities and feats starting from a base of 13.

POW Crystals can be converted directly into AP lending devices or – my preferred method – rolled into the previous number.

Spell matrixes, if not included in the previous total, should be converted to a named item in Hero Wars with a magical feat. Each point of spirit magic could be converted into 5 points of Hero Wars skill.

IE: A Heal 3 amulet becomes a Beveran Amulet with Heal Wound 15.

For combat spells like Blade Sharp, I convert the spell’s rating directly into a permanent edge or half of the value becomes an augment in Hero Wars. I treat protective spells the same, Protection, Shimmer, etc. but this depends on the intent of the item. The ability could just as easily be converted using the 5 levels per point method.

IE: A sword with Bladesharp 3 = a sword with ^6 rather than the normal ^3.
An armband with Shimmer 4 becomes an armband that grants a permanent +2 augment to Dodge, or defensive use of Close Combat. OR the armband becomes Hard to See 20.


Humakti/Yelmalio Gifts

Remove the benefits of any Humakti RuneQuest gift before converting the character. Add the appropriate Hero Wars gift and geas after the conversion is complete.


Thom suggested assigning a rating reflecting the cash and lifestyle of the old character.

Allied and bound spirits

I convert allied spirits and bound spirits into allies and followers. If they are followers determine their strengths normally. For allied spirits I would probably base their Power (spirits) and Devotion (daimones) on their RQ POW.

Other Notes and Advice

Don't be afraid to drop abilities if they aren't core character abilities and don't be afraid to add in sensible new abilities (from keywords etc.).

It is important to adjust any formulae you use to reflect the type of character and game you want to run. If the numbers don't feel right, tweak the formulae to give you a better fit.

Send Your Comments

July 15, 2001

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