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Created On 27 December 2011
Last Updated On 23 July 2003
Copyright (c) Simon E. Phipp 2011

Converting HeroWars Characters

The most difficult thing about using HeroWars in RuneQuest is how to convert the characters, especially NPCs. I can't honestly see anyone wanting to convert a HeroWars character (or Hero) into RQ. Why spend time creating a new HW character only to convert back to RQ? So, I will concentrate on converting NPCs.

The best, and quickest, way of converting a HW character into RQ is to look at what skills and abilities he has, wrtie them down in RQ format and then fudge everything else. However, this is very wishy-washy and is probably not a good thing to encourage (although it is the fastest and easiest method).

The other way is to convert all the HW skills, feats and abilities into their RQ equivalent on a skill by skill basis, with hard and fast rules for each conversion. This is what I will explore here. The advantage of this is that a Narrator can convert several characters using this method and can keep the relative power levels, he can also ensure there is no favouritism by sticking to the rules for all Heroes converted.

During this article, I will be using the stats for Kallai as detailed in the HW rulebook. The stats can be summarised as follows:

Skills: Acute Hearing 17, Craft Weapon 17, Hide in Cover 17, Riding 17, Running 17, Detect Lie 17, Eastern Customs 13, Eastern Languages 13, Foreign Customs 13, Foreign Languages 13, Heortling Customs 17, Heortling Geography 17, Heortling Religion 17, Mythology of Humakt 17, Recognise Foe 17, Sense Assassin 12, Six Cuts Silk 13, Stay Awake 17, Travelled Widely 1W, Travelled Widely in the East 1W
Weapon Skills: Close Combat 5W: Dagger Combat 1, Greatsword Combat 5, Sword and Shield 3, Spear and Shield 3, Ranged Combat 17: Bow 3
Armour: Chain and Shield 5
Personality Brave 1W, Boastful 17
Deities: Orlanth 13, Devotee of Humakt 17
Affinities: Combat 17 (Enchant Iron, Great Blow, Shield Destroyer, Truesword Stroke, Weapon Destroyer), Death 17 (Bless Corpse, Death Song Berserk, Kill Undead, Lay Ghost, Visage of Fear), Honour 17 (Empower Oath, Know Truth, Rally Warriors, Sever Relatoinship, Shame Coward)
Wealth: Prosperous
Items: Sack of Black Winds 13, chain byrnie and helmet, sword, spear, shield, dagger
Flaws: Mother and Father are dependents, Never participate in an ambush


To convert physical, mental and weapon skills, find the nearest RQ equivalent to the skill, if there is no equivalent then create a new skill. Then find the skill level by multiplying the Equivalent Skill Number (ESN) by 5. The ESN is the Ability Target Number + 20xNumber of Masteries,  as when working out Action Points. So, for a skill of 3W, the ESN = 3 + 20 = 23, so the RQ Skill is 23x5=115%. Where the weapon skill has a bonus, add this to the ESN.

Where a skill is generic and will cover several RQ skills, then either break the skill down into the RQ skills and give each of them a percentage of the Skill, or use a new skill that encompasses the other skills.

So, Kallai gets the following RQ skills:

Listen 85%, Craft Weaponmaking 85%, Hide in Cover 85%, Riding 85%, Running 85%, Detect Lie 85%, Eastern Customs 65%, Eastern Languages 65%, Foreign Customs 65%, Foreign Languages 65%, Heortling Customs 85%, Heortling Geography 85%, Heortling Religion 85%, Humakt Lore 85%, Recognise Foe 85%, Sense Assassin 60%, Martial Arts 65%, Stay Awake 85%, Travelled Widely 105%, Travelled Widely in the East 105%, Shame Coward 85%
Dagger Attack 130%, Greatsword Attack 150%, Greatsword Parry 150%, Sword Attack 140%, Spear Attack 140%, Shield Parry 140%, Bow Attack 100%

The following skills are new:

Detect Lie (Perception) Allows the use to tell when someone is lying. The user must be actively trying to tell in order to use this skill. Someone using another skill, such as Act, to oppose this skill means that the user of Detect Lie must score a better success than the liar. So, Kallai has Detect Lie 85% and is trying to tell whether Sallan the Sneaky (Act 120%) is lying. Sallan rolls a 30, a normal success, so Kallai must roll a special or better to tell, he rolls a 15 and sees that Sallan is lying.

Eastern Languages (Communication) Allows the user to get by in the East. He can use this skill to communicate with anyone from then East, as if he could speak their language. However, any communication will be stilted and with a lot of shouting and speaking slowly. This is no substitute for learning the language.

Recognise Foe (Perception) Allows the user to tell whether someone is an enemy or not. As with Detect Lie, this can be opposed with Act or similar skills.

Stay Awake (Special) This allows the user to stay awake for longer than he would normally do. Each hour past bedtime the user must roll Stay Awake with a penalty of -5% per hour past bedtime. Success means the person stays awake, failure means he falls asleep, a fumble means he is dead to the world for the time it takes to recover.

Travelled Widely (Knowledge) This allows the user not to be surprised or appalled by foreign customs and beliefs. This is the skill of not going into shock when a women offers you horse genitals to eat and its blood to drink.


Theistic magic is converted by working out the ESN of an Affinity to get the number of points of Divine Magic the character gets from that Affinity. The character can assign these points to any Divine Magic that corresponds to the Feats the character has. At the GM's discretion, the character may assign 10% of his Divine Magic as Common Divine Magic, such as Spell Teaching or Worship (Deity). Where a Feat counts as a Spirit Magic spell, 1 ESN counts as 4 points of Spirit Magic. Where a Feat is converted as a skill, the character gets the skill at his ESN and this costs 1 ESN.

So, Kallai gets 17 points of Divine Magic from his Combat, Death and Honour Affinities. The player chooses to take:

Enchant Iron 1, Great Blow 3, Break Shield 3, Truesword 4, Break Weapon 3

Bless Corpse 1, Death Song Berserk 3, Turn Undead 4, Free Ghost 2, Terrifying Appearance 2

Oath 2, Detect Truth 2, Rally Warriors 1, Sever Relationship 1, Worship Humakt, Spell Teaching, Warding 4, Divination 3

Sorcery Skills are converted as normal skills, with the sorcerer taking the best skills as Sorcery Skills.

Animism is more difficult. Spirits are converted as their equivalent Divine Spell or Spirit Magic Spell.


This is very dificult to convert. Normal kit can be converted as it is writen, with metal armour being converted as Iron or other Rune Metal for Devotees or higher. However, a HW character sheet is devoid of detail and the RQ equivalent will miss all the little magic items. At the GM's discretion, the player may add a reasonable number of POW crystals or enchantments, perhaps using his allocation of Divine Magic to make enchantments instead.

Magic items will be converted to their nearest RQ equivalent. Where there is no RQ equivalent, the GM must rule as to whether this is a new item or a mundane item. So, Kallai has Sack of Black Winds 13, chain byrnie and helmet, sword, spear, shield, dagger, the equipment is converted as Iron and the Sack of Black Winds is converted as an Orlanthi Bag of Winds.


HW has no characteristics in the same way as RQ. This means that a Hero's Strong, Large or Tough rating corresponds to a RQ species characteristic - all humans have the same ratings (none), for instance. This means that the player and GM must sit down and discuss what kind of person the character is. Either roll characteristics normally or allocate a certain number of points to allocate to the characteristics. So, the GM asks Kallai's player to allocate 100 points to his characteristics, Kallai gets STR 15 CON 17 SIZ 14 INT 14 POW 13 DEX 14 APP 13. The GM may want to allocate more points for a physically superior character. For a human, 147 gives 21 in all characteristics.

The player may ask for enchantments to be made on his body, perhaps to increase AP or HP, these can come from the Divine Magic pool. The idea is to build a reasonably believable character.


If you are using my RQ rules on Relationships, then simply calculate the new Relationship as a skill. Otherwise, keep the relationship in the Notes section.

Wealth can be calculated as the GM sees fit. In my campaign, a Prosperous person would have maybe 2D6 x 1000L cash on him with a large amount of credit at the Temple. However, a good guide may be the RQ3 tables on wealth, but they all seemed a little on the light side for my tastes.

Cult status is determined roughly as follows: Devotee = Rune Level, Initiate = Initiate or Acolyte, Disciple = Hero Questor. Where a Hero may be a member of one cult and several subcults, in RQ that corresponds to being a member of several cults. So, Kalai is an initiate of Orlanth and Devotee of Humakt, in RQ he woul;d be a Sword of Humakt and Acolyte of Orlanth Adventurous (I know, in the rules, only Orlanth Thunderous has Acolytes and Orlanth Adventurous only has Widn Lords, if you play that then make Kallai a Sword and Wind Lord or a Sword and Initiate of Orlanth Adventurous).

Geases are kept as they are, gifts are translated as their nearest equivalent.


There is no easy way to convert between HW and RQ as some of the flavour will be lost whatever you do. Try and make sure the character is playable and not to distorted. If you look at the end result and think that he could do with his minor skills increasing then increase them. If he needs more POW storage then give him more. But, do this for all the characters.

The GM must have an idea in his mind of the power level of the PCs and must ensure that the PCs stay at that power level. If the campaign is set with a powerful Wind Lord at 120% sword attack and 12 points of Divine Magic, then it is no use having a HW character with 300% sword and 50 points of divine magic unless he is a powerful character.