GURPS Witchcraft

Witchcraft Conversion

I recently picked up C. J. Carella's Witchcraft RPG, because I lovedGURPS Voodoo: The Shadow War and I had heard that Witchcraft was a very similar setting. It looks like Eden Studios is going to support Witchcraft, so the chance to grab new stuff and add it to Voodoo, which is unlikely to get support, was too good an opportunity to pass up.

The conversion to GURPS is very easy, since Unisystem, the game engine used by Witchcraft, is very similar to GURPS. In fact, I'd say that many aspects were borrowed from GURPS. This conversion is intended for converting existing Witchcraft characters to GURPS, not creating them from scratch. At a later date, I will create a full-fledged GURPS Witchcraft.

Point Totals

In Witchcraft, character points are divided into separate pools for Attribute, Qualities, Drawbacks, Skills and Metaphysics. This makes characters more balanced. Also, different character types get different amounts of points in each pool. The character types are Gifted, Lesser Gifted and Mundane. This can be accomplished in GURPS by limiting points spent on Magic and other supernatural abilities to 60 points for the Gifted, 30 points for the Lesser Gifted and to zero points for Mundanes.

Characters in GURPS Witchcraft start with 250 points.


Witchcraft uses six primary attributes, which are essentially the standard GURPS attributes, plus Perception and Will.

Attribute Equivalence Table
Witchcraft GURPS
Strength ST
Dexterity DX
Constitution HT
Intelligence IQ
Perception IQ + Alertness
Will IQ + Strong/Weak Will

Attribute levels are on a -1 to 6 scale for humans, with 2 being average.

Attribute Level Conversion Table
Witchcraft GURPS
per -1 -2
0 6
1 8
2 10
3 12
4 14
5 16
6 18
per +1 +2

The formula is:

GURPS Attribute = Witchcraft Attribute * 2 + 6

For Perception and Will, compare these attributes to Intelligence. If Perception is greater then Intelligence, add levels of Alertness. Since there is no opposite of Alertness in GURPS, if Perception is less than Intelligence, just ignore it. If Will is greater than Intelligence, then take levels of Strong Will. If Will is less than Intelligence, then take levels of Weak Will. Use the Attribute Level Conversion Table to determine how many levels of Alertness or Strong/Weak Will to take. For example, Johnny has Intelligence 3, Perception 4 and Will 2. Since the equivalent GURPS attribute for Perception 4 is 2 greater than the IQ of 12, Johnny takes Alertness/2. Since the equivalent GURPS Will for a Witchcraft Will of 2 is 10, Johnny takes Weak Will/2.

Witchcraft also uses four secondary attributes that are calculated from the others. These are Life Points, Endurance Points, Speed, and Essence Points. Except for Essence, these are ignored in GURPS. Instead, use the GURPS rules for Hit Points, Fatigue, and Speed. In Witchcraft, Essence is used to cast Magic, and is a separate pool from Fatigue. Either simply copy the Essence Pool value from Witchcraft or use the following formulae to calculate Essence:

Essence = (ST + DX + 3*IQ + HT ± Strong/Weak Will + Alertness - 36) / 2


Qualities and Drawbacks

Qualities in Witchcraft are Advantages in GURPS and Drawbacks are Disadvantages. The conversion of these is pretty straightforward one-to-one mappings. Advantages and Disadvantages with no equivalent in Witchcraft can be used with GM approval. Only those Advantages and Disadvantages that are named differently than the Witchcraft equivalent are listed in this table.

Mundane Quality / Drawback Conversion Table
Witchcraft Quality / Drawback GURPS Advantage / Disadvantage
Acute Senses Acute Vision, Hearing, Taste/Smell
Impaired Senses Bad Sight, Hard of Hearing, No Sense of Taste/Smell
Adversary Enemy
Artistic Talent Artistic Genius*
Attractiveness Appearance
Clown *
Covetousness: Greedy Greed
Covetousness: Lecherous Lecherousness
Covetousness: Ambitious *
Covetousness: Conspicuousness Gloryhound
Cowardly Cowardice
Cruel Sadism
Emotional Problems various Mental Disadvantages
Fast Reaction Time Combat Reflexes
Honorable Code of Honor
Humorless No Sense of Humor
Lazy Laziness
Minority Social Stigma
Multiple Identity Alternate Identity
Nerves of Steel Unfazeable
Obsession Compulsive Behavior
Paranoid Paranoia
Photographic Memory Eidetic Memory/1
Physical Disability various Physical Disadvantages
Reckless Impulsiveness
Recurring Nightmares Nightmares
Resources Wealth
Showoff Gloryhound
Situational Awareness Danger Sense
Status Social Status
Talentless *
Zealot Fanaticism
Supernatural Quality / Drawback Conversion Table
Witchcraft Quality / Drawback GURPS Advantage / Disadvantage
Accursed Curse
Age Longevity, Extended Lifespan
Divine Inspiration Divine Favor
Essence Channeling Essence Channeling*
Gift Gift*
Good / Bad Luck Luck, Unluckiness
Increased Essence Pool Increased Essence Pool*
Medium with Magical Training Unusual Background - 10 points *
Old Soul Racial Memory
Rosicrucian Scholar Unusual Background - 10 points *

* = New Advantage or Disadvantage

New Advantages

Artistic Genius 15 points

You have a high level of creative genius in a particular area of art. Choose a skill from the Artistic Skills for this advantage to apply to. All skill rolls for that skill have a +3 bonus, and all normal failures become normal successes.

In addition, Artistic Geniuses have strong souls. Add 12 points to the Essence Pool because of the strength of your spirit.

Essence Channeling +5 points/level

You have the ability to use your own Essence to power metaphysical arts. Each level of this advantage allows the character to add one Essence per turn to a use of metaphysics. Without this advantage, a character can still perform Magic, but only long rituals and external sources of Essence can be used.

The Gift 50 points

Your have abilities that few understand. You can see things others can't. This advantage is required to have any other supernatural abilities described in the Metaphysics section. It also gives the character the ability sense the presence of supernatural creatures and the use of magic in their vicinity on successful IQ roll.

Increased Essence Pool 1 point/level

Your soul is stronger than normal. Each level of this advantage adds one point to the character's Essence Pool.

Unusual Background (Medium with Magical Training) 10 points

In general, mediums only have access to Necromancy training and abilities. This advantage is required for mediums to learn Magic or The Sight.

Unusual Background (Rosicrucian Scholar) 10 points

In general, Rosicrucians only have access to Magic training and abilities. This advantage is required for Rosicrucians to learn The Sight or Necromancy.


As for Qualities and Drawbacks, Skills are translated to GURPS in a very straightforward manner. In fact, most Witchcraft Skills have the same name as their equivalent GURPS Skill. The table below gives only those skills that have different names in each system.

Skill Conversion Table
Witchcraft GURPS
Beautician Professional: Beautician
Bureaucracy Administration
Cheating Gambling
Computers Computer Operations
Craft (type) Craft Skills
Dodge *
Electronic Surveillance Electronic Operations: Surveillance
Escapism Escape
Fine Arts Artistic Skills
Haggling Merchant
Hand Weapon Combat Skills
Humanities Scientific Skills
Instruction Teaching
Magic Theory Thaumatology
Martial Arts Karate
Medicine Medical Skills
Myth and Legend Legend Lore
Notice *
Occult Knowledge Occultism
Play Instrument Instrument
Questioning Interrogation
Research / Investigation Research,
Rituals Rituals and Ceremonies
Sciences Scientific Skills
Seduction Sex Appeal
Smooth Talking Fast Talk
Snares Survival (type)
Storytelling Bard
Surveillance Shadowing
Trance Autohypnosis
Unconventional Medicine Esoteric Medical Skills
Veterinary Medicine Veterinary
Weight Lifting Lifting


Witchcraft has four main metaphysical areas of knowledge: Magic, The Sight, Necromancy and Divine Inspiration. These translate loosely into GURPS Improvisational Magic, Psionics, the Necromancy College of Magic and Divine Favor, respectively. Use Witchcraft for exact descriptions of the metaphysical powers.

Access to Metaphysics powers requires the Gifted Advantage. This allows Mundanes to be more powerful characters than the Gifted, since they don't have the mystical abilities that the setting is all about.

All forms of Metaphysics interact with each other, unlike in GURPS. For example, Magical forms of mind control can be resisted with The Sight's Mindrule defense. All Essence costs listed in Witchcraft are used as-is.

These powers are only not well fleshed out in this article. For more information, consult the Witchcraft book.


Witchcraft's Magic is similar to the magic system presented in Steffan O'Sullivan's Improvisational Magic as the Only Magic (Roleplayer 19: Replace Spell Colleges with Invocations. Each Witchcraft Invocation is a Mental/Hard skill. All effects within an Invocation are improvised.

The table below shows each Witchcraft Invocation and its area of effect:

Witchcraft Invocation Game Effect
Affect the Psyche Emotions of target
Blessing Luck
Cleansing Neutralize Negative Energy
Consecration Create Essence Vessel
Communion Attune with Area
Elemental Air Air
Elemental Earth Earth
Elemental Fire Fire
Elemental Water Water
Farsight Vision at a distance
Gateway Interdimensional portals
Insight Perceive Person's Aura
Lesser Curse Project Negative Essence
Lesser Healing Healing
Lesser Illusion Illusions
Shielding Magical Protection
Soul Projection Astral Travel
Soulfire Direct damage
Spirit Mastery Control of spirits
Symbols of Protection Protective Items
Warding Magical Barriers

The Sight

The Sight is easily converted to GURPS Psionics. Each power of The Sight has Strength and Art levels which translate directly into Psionics Power and Skills. The following table shows the translation between them:

The Sight Conversion Table
Witchcraft GURPS
Mindsight Strength Telepathy
Mindsight Art Emotion Sense, Telerecieve, Mind Shield
Mindtalk Strength Telepathy
Mindtalk Art Telesend, Mind Shield
Mindrule Strength Telepathy
Mindrule Art Suggest, Telecontrol, Mind Shield
Mindhands Strength Psychokinesis
Mindhands Art Telekinesis, PK Shield
Mindheal Strength Healing
Mindheal Art Healing
Mindfire Strength Psychokinesis
Mindfire Art Pyrokinesis, PK Shield
Mindtime Strength ESP
Mindtime Art Precognition, Psychometry, Combat Sense
Mindkill Strength Telepathy
Mindkill Art Mental Blow, Mental Stab
Mindview Strength ESP
Mindview Art Clairvoyance
Mindsight Strength Conversion
Witchcraft GURPS Power
1 2
2 5-6
3 7-8
4 9-10
5 11-12
6 13-14
+1 +1
Mindhands Strength Conversion
Witchcraft GURPS Power
1 13
2 14
3-5 15
6 16
7 17
8 18
9-10 19
11+ 20



Necromancy in Witchcraft consists of a skill and several power areas. The level of the individual power governs what effects can be made. The Necromancy skill governs whether someone is successful is in what is attempted. Necromancy is a Mental/Hard skill. Levels of the Necromantic Powers cost 5 points per level up to level 5 and 10 points per level over level 5. More powerful abilities are available at higher power levels, as described in Witchcraft.

Necromancy Power Effect
Death Speech Speak with Spirits
Death Vessel Spirit Possession
Death Lordship Command Spirits
Death Mastery Power of Life and Death


Divine Inspiration

This is the power of a god manifested through the Divinely Inspired character. It requires the Divine Favor advantage to give access to Miracles. Miracles can be bought for 10 points each, and their effects are summarized below:

Miracle Area of Effect
The Binding Supernatural Restraint
The Touch of Healing Cure Wounds
Exorcism Banish Spirits
Divine Sight True Sight
Holy Fire Divine Retribution
Strength of Ten Superhuman Strength
Visions Divine Guidance