Translating Fantasy Realms Characters To Bindings
Copyright 1997 By Joseph Teller
The Fantasy Realms mechanic was designed to represent a particular philosophy in roleplaying, and although the Bindings mechanic represents a different philosophy, materials published for Fantasy Realms should be translatable to Bindings with a small amount of time and effort and still produce a satisfactory playing experience.
In Fantasy Realms, the Psyche system, or 'Aspect' system of character design was an optional method of character generation. In Bindings this becomes a mandatory part of the design process. For characters built under the Fantasy Realms Psyche system, it is simply a matter of adjusting the values to represent a 1-20 scale instead of the FR 1-8 scale for these Aspects of Personality. The suggested way of doing this is:
|Fantasy Realms Value||Bindings Value|
Any of the above, if felt a bit 'off' by the player, can be adjusted up or down (except that nothing can be above a 20 value or below a 1) as the concept is the important thing here, not the number crunching.
If a character was NOT designed with the original Fantasy Realms Psyche method, then the process is simpler, the player should look over the Bindings rules in regards to the method and simply create original numbers for the personality aspects that they believe the character has.
Translating a character's Attributes is a bit trickier, since the scale varies in Fantasy Realms, while it is fairly unchanging in Bindings. Still, its not as difficult as may look on the surface. First, compare attributes, any attribute that does NOT exist in the original Fantasy Realms character should be assigned a 10, except for FAME, which if absent should be set to the default of 1.
Next any attribute that normally has a scale of 1-20 in Fantasy Realms is left unchanged in Bindings (this is usually found in the case of the WEALTH attribute).
Finally we come to the hard part of attributes on one of the varying scales. In general the original scale for FR is 1-8, but this changes based primarily upon modifications for racial limitations, and may go as low as 0-2 and as high as 1-12, depending on the race, etc. So we have a simple table to use to get the basics of a character's attributes changed to the new scale as follows:
|Fantasy Realms Value||Bindings Value|
Note: In the case of LIFT the table should not be used, since lift in Fantasy Realms represents 25 lbs of carrying capacity per point, and in Bindings each point is worth 5 lbs of carrying capacity, you should recalculate the LIFT attribute based upon the character's original LIFT in pounds on the bindings scale. This is also true when converting animals and other beasts.
Also Symmetry, although not used in Fantasy Realms can be easily calculated into Bindings terms, by assuming an average symmetry of 10. This value should be modified up or down based on the number of ranks of Attractive Appearance, adding three to Symmetry for every rank of that trait the original character possessed. The Fantasy Realms Unattractive Appearance trait will reduce Symmetry by 5, and Unusual Appearance will reduce Symmetry by 2.
Mortality Points, and automatic factors (such as jumping) are all calculated using the newly calculated Attributes as they are under Bindings. Positive and Negative Traits, for the most part, remain untouched in translation (though in some cases numeric values may be converted to percentile at a 1 = 5% system).
Skills in Fantasy Realms are scaled on a 1-8 Scale, but represent a 60%-95% success range (while having a 0 in a skill is equivalent to having a 35% success range). This is in part because of the way in which the philosophy of the mechanic works and in regards to how opposed skills are dealt with. The intent of Bindings is a bit different, and so the scale is worked differently:
|Fantasy Realms Skill||Bindings Skill|
|1 (60%)||6 (30%)|
|2 (65%)||8 (40%)|
|3 (70%)||10 (50%)|
|4 (75%)||12 (60%)|
|5 (80%)||14 (70%)|
|6 (85%)||16 (80%)|
|8 (95%)||20 (99%)|
In general most character's traits can be transferred directly from Fantasy Realms without any changes. The exceptions are those that mention a numeric value, such as a +1 to a skill success (this in general should be a +10% in Bindings) and the few that have very different applications (generally listed in the regular Bindings base rulebook).
The other exception is Super Traits (Powers) and these will be covered in the next couple of sections of translation, as powers are related to damage systems and spells.
Spells & Powers Damage:
Most spell and Power descriptions can pretty much remain the same, except those that specifically refer to damage. If a spell states that a damage roll is necessary, then use the normal damage table and ignore all results that do not result in actual damage being inflicted. The damage die, generally, should be 1d10 for normal spells and effects (1d20 for energy effects in Perilous Earth).
If damage is listed by a type, such as inflicts a minor wound, instead of a roll, then we must translate from descriptions into damage rolls.
|Fantasy Realms Description||Bindings Mortality Roll|
Difficulty based spells, that is those that require a roll against a spellcasting or other skill and which have a modifier to success based upon the specific effect should generally be a -10% from success for each -1 in Fantasy Realms.
In Perilous Earth there is a Black Magic spell 'Armor of Darkness' that creates temporary armor on a character. It is listed as a -4 Difficulty spell. In Perilous the Fantasy Realms Mechanic gives a success based upon the character's Skill in Spellcasting and half their skill in the Black Magic Realm. Thus they would have, If their Spellcasting was at 75% and their Realm Skill was at 50% a base change of 100% to cast. From this is subtracted the difficulty of the spell, a -40%, giving a final success of 60% to cast this spell.
If the Spellcaster had in our example a 100% spellcasting skill, and was casting this same spell, then they would have 125% - 40%, or 85% success. If their realm skill and their spellcasting were at maximum of 100% each, then it would be 150% - 40%, or 110%, a success every time unless they rolled a dreaded 00.
Under this the worst modifier for a spells own difficulty would be a -80%, since Fantasy Realms Spells generally do not have a difficulty greater than a -8.
Systems where spells are separate skills would just be based off a standard skill system translation.
Powers that require a skill roll simply are approached as a skill and rolled as such. Powers that are based off an attribute roll, such as SPIRIT (as in the Perilous Earth Super Traits) are done so with a -5% per -2 in Fantasy Realms. This is because Attributes in Bindings are rolled at a lower multiple than is used by skills, so in normal human range there is a maximum 80% roll on an attribute without added difficulty factors. If a power has an odd negative modifier, you round down one Fantasy Realms rank (-1 becomes 0, -3 becomes -2, etc).
Example: Perilous Earth Spirit Mediums have an ability called 'Perceive Possessed' (-4) which uses a SPIRIT roll. A character with a Average (10) SPIRIT in Bindings would have a base 40% success, minus 10% for the difficulty ranks of the power, for a 30% success. A character with a High (20) SPIRIT would have a base 80%, minus 10%, for a 70% success with the same ability.
Some worldbases have mechanics that are specific to themselves alone. An example of this is Perilous Earth which has a way of handling equipment based super traits that is not used in other worlds. This is because of experimentation with various ideas of how to deal with needs, and varying philosophies used for particular worlds. Converting these must be done on a case by case basis by the GM.
In Perilous powers are bought as super trait package sets, such as Spirit Medium or Telekinetic, and the price paid for these are offered at two different levels, one for personal ability and a lower cost for equipment. Equipment under Fantasy Realms has an automatic Average POWER (4) and a usage trait of (4). This if translated to the Bindings mechanic directly as averages would produce problems, so for Perilous characters this must be redifined.
A normal equipment trait has a POWER of 10. It will have a SPIRIT/usage attribute of 15 (60%).
Powers with a difficulty modifier are done so from this usage attribute as a -5% per -2 in Fantasy Realms. If a power has an odd negative modifier, you round down one Fantasy Realms rank (-1 becomes 0, -3 becomes -2, etc). This way a very difficult power, such as a Telekinetic Blast (-8) can be performed by equipment 60%-20%=40%.
A minor Artifact in Perilous also changes, with having a POWER of 12 and a SPIRIT/Usage attribute of 18 (72%). A Major Artifact in Perilous changes to having a POWER of 20 and a SPIRIT/Usage attribute of 20 (80%).
Perilous Earth 'linked' equipment combines the character's POWER with that of the item, and can add the character's SPIRIT to the item's SPIRIT/Usage attribute, using the above values for equipment types. Although this may seem to give an advantage, remember that equipment can always be stolen or destroyed, and thus have a detrimental effect on the character.
Another example is the adaption rules for Hârn, which we published on the Fantasy Realms Journal WWW site and on the CD-R. Hârn uses Social Class as an attribute in the Fantasy Realms adaption, ranged from 1-10. Instead of keeping this, or trying to force it into the Binding rules, it should be handled as a TRAIT factor in design.
So to be a noble is a positive trait, as above, and to be a Slave is a negative trait.