The Primal Order Conversion Notes

for Unisystem

The Unisystem book Armageddon has rules for playing Avatars and Inheritors, characters that are connected or descended from the pagan gods. The book includes Primal Powers, these gods’ metaphysical abilities. However, in 1992, long before Armageddon was published, Wizards of the Coast (then a small company) released The Primal Order (TPO), a systemless RPG supplement aimed at playing gods. Written by several authors, including Peter Adkison, the game had conversion notes for several systems -- AD&D, GURPS, Rolemaster, Talislanta and TORG, among others.

Browsing the book again, I realized that conversion notes for Unisytem would be easy to write up and could greatly enhance divine playing. So here are they.

Enjoy them!

Resistance Rolls

In Unisystem, luck is a level-based Quality. Each rank a deity has confers five levels of Good Luck. Conversely, if a divine character drops in rank, he will lose five levels per rank dropped.

In case you are using Drama Points, each rank gives 10 additional points to the character.


Adjustments to Attributes

Technically, the normal human Attribute range in the Unisystem ranges from 1 to 6, but can go as low as -3 and as high as 7. When TPO call for a 5% increase in one Attribute, that equals half a point. Fractions are ignored for all game purposes and are only retained for possible accumulation with future fractional gains or losses. When generating a divine-level character, add three points to each Attribute after points are spent.


Power Levels for Characters

TPO’s amateur characters are those built with up to 60 points in Unisystem, called Pre-Heroic; veterans are the Heroic ones (70 to 100 points); professionals are Legendary (110 to 150 points); masters are Mythical (160 to 350 points) and legendary are Transcendental (from 360 points up).


Primal Blast Effects

A primal blast always hit, no roll is necessary, and it cannot be dodged or parried or blocked by armor, powers or Invocations of any kind. Each point of primal flux used does 10 points of physical and Essence damage that are not reduced by any kind of Armor Value, Power or Invocation. This is general damage , not specific to any body part.


Primal Shield Effects

A primal shield interferes with any physical, metaphysical or other Essence-based attack, and will stop non-offensive magical and psionic effects, like the Farsight Invocation or the Mindtime Seer ability. Attacks hitting the shield reduce it by one point of primal for every ten points of physical damage, per ten full points of Essence cost of an attack Invocation/spell, or per five full levels in a Seer/psionic Power. For Attack Invocations/spells or Seer/psionic Powers that do physical damage, calculate both types of shield losses and use the greater of the two.

If a physical attack reduces a primal shield to zero, first subtract 10 points of damage from the attack for each primal flux point by which it reduced the shield, then apply the remaining damage to the target character as described below for the appropriate type of shield. An Invocation/spell or Seer/psionic attack that strikes a primal shield is always stopped and never affects the target character, even if it reduces the shield to zero.

To hit an external shield, the attacker must score at least a Success Level in an attack Task. If successful, apply the damage to the shield as described above. If the shield is reduced to zero without using all the damage of the attack, use the same attack Task against the defender, allowing him to dodge, parry or block. If the attack is still successful, apply the remaining damage to the target character, after taking into account armor, Natural Toughness and any other damage-reducing factors.

Against a skin-tight shield, roll an attack normally, taking into account the target’s dodge, parry or block. If successful, apply the Armor Value given by armor or other external equipment (unless the attack would normally ignore these), then apply any remaining damage to the primal shield. If the primal shield is reduced to zero, apply natural Armor Value or other damage-reducing factor to the remaining damage (again, unless the attack would normally ignore these), then apply any damage left to the target character.

Versus an internal shield, all attacks and damages are handled normally, until the character has five Life Points remaining. At this point, the internal shield is treated exactly like a skin-tight one, except that incoming damage is first reduced by any natural Armor Value or damage-reducing ability (unless the attack form rules these out) before being applied to the shield. If the shield is breached, any remaining damage is applied to the target character, who does not get the benefit of his natural defenses that were already used when the attack hit the shield. An attack that would bring the character to less than five Life Points instead brings him to exactly five Life Points. All attacks against the mind or the Essence of a character impact against the internal shield, regardless of his Life Point total. Likewise, attacks that try to drain the character’s Attributes always strike the internal shield.



One point of primal flux may be converted into 10 points of Essence, which can be used by the deity to cast Invocations, power abilities and so forth. Essence cannot be converted back to primal flux, but deities can bleed primal flux from Places of Power. The amount of primal flux is equal to one tenth of the Essence produce. This prevents anyone from accessing the Essence at that site for the day. If the deity decides to rip out the primal base instead, it will get one hundredth the amount of Essence and will destroy that Place of Power.


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Last Update: 1-Oct-03