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A Common Sense Conversion From FASA ST:RPG to GURPS

by John Pasinas, j_pasinas@hotmail.com
June, 1989 (originally)

STAR TREK is a Registered Trademark of Paramount Pictures Corporation.
STAR TREK: The Role Playing Game was published by FASA Corporation under License from Paramount Pictures Corporation.
GURPS is a registered Trademark of Steve Jackson Games Incorporated.

Long before the Next Generation made the Star Trek Universe unrecognizable, thousands of gamers lovingly played Fasa's Star Trek: RPG in the golden age of Pen & Paper RPG, the Eighties. Everything has its day, including the game, Fasa's support of the system, and the original TV cast I'm sad to say. Nevertheless, hardcore TOS Star Trek gamers can still RPG with the excellent Gurps.

Thus, this article proposes some simple guidelines for players who want to "boldly go" with their old FASA characters but with Steve Jackson's GURPS. This is not a "scientific" conversion process but rather a "quick and dirty" one.

First, it must be understood that FASA's game and GURPS have incompatible systems. FASA's rules allowed characters to have skill statistics from 1 to 100. Any attribute or skill above 100 is considered super-human. FASA players rolled 2 d10 under their character's skill to perform a task. The GURPS system, as we all know, allows characters to have skill statistics from 3 to 20. Players roll 3 d6 under their character's skill to perform a task. Any attribute above twenty is considered super-human. Any statistical table made to convert FASA's percentile system with GURPS six sided die rules would be a nightmare in decimals!

Aah! But why not simply divide my character's attribute by five to have the GURPS equivalent?, you ask; my character's strength of 80 would be 16 in GURPS terms. This cannot be done because of the point cost. A FASA character converted to GURPS simply by dividing attributes and skills by five would be a 1000 pt. juggernaut in no time. Hardly sporting.

No, what is needed to convert systems are quick and dirty guidelines coupled with common sense.

The first step in converting characters is to have the players and gamemaster decide how many GURPS character points the character will be worth. The simplest way of doing this is to estimate how many sessions the FASA character played. Then take that number and multiply it by 2.5. The sum should be the average number of character points earned in play. Thus, if one played approximately 30 sessions in the campaign, the character earned 75 character points in play. Thus, he would start as a 175 point character in the new GURPS campaign.

The Gamemaster could then award additional character points to characters due to seniority ,age or other factors. I was forced to award an additional 30 points to a player who had a Starship captain as a character. He argued that his character would have started the campaign with 150 points rather than the other characters who were younger and had less rank. We eventually reached a compromise.

The next step is to spend these points. Generally, the higher the FASA's attribute or skill number, the more GURPS points I allocated. It was that simple. Common sense is required. As in all character creation, a little juggling with the character points is unavoidable.

The only difficult part in converting a FASA character would be the nomenclature.

FASA's names for skills were different than GURPS . The trick in the conversion process was to find the right GURPS skill. The following two tables provide a nomenclature equivalence.


FASA characters have seven attributes, compared to GURPS's four. This is not much of a problem because the first four FASA attributes have simple GURPS equivalents. The remaining three attributes can easily be made into advantages.


CHA Charisma or Appearance adv.
LUC Luck adv.
PSI Any Psionic Power, usually Telepathy


The tech level of the classic T.V. series and movies is Tech Level 12. The Next Generation is TL 13. It goes without saying that any technical skills should have the appropriate tech level.

FASA's rules tended to breakdown as many tasks into skills as possible, whereas GURPS skills encompass most reasonable tasks. For example, FASA broke down the Communications skill into Communications Systems Operations (the use of the communications gear) and Communications Systems Technology (the repair of the communications equipment).

GURPS characters can use and repair the communications' gear simply with Electronics Op/TL 12 (Communications).

With this in mind, the following table is provided to help gamemasters convert their players' characters. The table lists FASA's skills with the GURPS equivalent.

Administration Administration
Artistic Expression Singing, Musical Instrument, Writing, Poetry, Performance
Carousing Carousing
Commun. Systems Operations Electronics Op/TL 12(Commun.)
Commun. Systems Technology Electronics Op/TL 12(Commun.)
Computer Operation Computer Programming/TL12 or Electronics Op/TL12(Computer)
Damage Control Procedures Professional Skill, Damage Control Procedures/TL12
Deflector Shield Operation Electronics Op/TL 12(Shields)
Deflector Shield Technology Electronics Op/TL 12(Shields)
Electronics Technology Electronics/TL 12
Environmental Suit Operations Vacc Suit/TL 12
Gaming Gambling or Hobby, i.e. Hobby (3D Chess)
Instruction Teaching
Language Languages,Galacta(Basic) M/A All other Alien Races M/H

Leadership Leadership
Life Sciences Any Biological skill at Tl 12 such as Exobotany/TL 12
Life Support Systems Tech. Electronics Op/TL 12(Medical)
Marksmanship, Archaic Any non-beam weapons skill, like Black Pdr.Weapons
Marksmanship, Modern Beam weapons/TL 12
Mechanical Engineering Engineering, Mechanical/TL12
Medical Sciences General Medicine/TL12 (but specify)

Negotiation/Diplomacy Diplomacy, Fast Talk
Personal Combat, Armed Any primitive weapons skill Tech Level 4 and below
Personal Combat, Unarmed Judo, Karate, or Brawling. See GURPS Martial Arts
Personal Weapons Technology Armoury,(beam weapon)/TL 12
Physical Sciences Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics,etc. at /TL 12
Planetary Sciences Geology, Meteorology, Hydrology, Ecology etc at/TL12
Planetary Survival Survival, (specify)
Security Procedures Electronics Op/TL12(Security)
Shuttlecraft Pilot Pilot (Shuttlecraft)/TL12
Shuttlecraft Syst. Technology Mechanic (Shuttlecraft)/TL 12
Small Equip Syst. Operation n/a (see footnote)
Small Equip Syst. Technology n/a (see footnote)
Small Unit Tactics Tactics (Ground)
Social Sciences Any social science
Federation Culture/Hist History (UFP)
Federation Law Law (UFP)


Space Sciences Astronomy or Astrophysics/TL12
Astronautics Mechanic, Starship/TL 12
Astrogation Astrogation, Warp /TL 12
Sports Sports (specify)
Starship Combat/Strategy Tactics Strategy or Tactics (Space)
Starship Helm Operation Pilot, Starship/ TL 12
Starship Sensors Electronics Op/TL 12(Sensors)
Starship Weaponry Operation Gunnery (specify, Phaser, Photon)/TL 12
Starship Weaponry Technology Armoury, (Photon, for example)/TL 12
Streetwise Streetwise
Transporter Operation Electronics Op/TL12 (Matter Transmitter)
Trivia Hobby, (specify)
Vehicle Operation Pilot, Anti-Grav car/ TL 12
Warp Drive Technology Engineering, Warp/TL 12
Zero-G Operations Free Fall
Bribery Merchant
Cryptology Intelligence Analysis
Clandestine Operation Stealth, Shadowing or Holdout
Demolitions Demolitions/TL 12
Intelligence Procedure Professional skill or Intelligence Analysis
Small Vessel Engineering Mechanic, Spaceship/ TL 12
Small Vessel Pilot Pilot, Spaceship/ TL 12 (not Starship)
Surveillance Shadowing, Sensors, or Photography/TL12
Stealth Shadowing, Stealth, Tracking, Holdout
Trade & Commerce Merchant
Value Estimation Merchant



Small Equipment Systems Operations and Technology are too vague to be converted into GURPS. This skill allowed characters to use any small device (such as a tricorder). There are sufficient GURPS skills in Electronics Operation for the gamemaster to ignore these two FASA skills.


That's about it. If a character is not human, then the Gamemaster and the player involved should consult GURPS Aliens to recreate the famous aliens of the classic T.V. series. May your campaign live long and prosper.