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Savage worlds of Darkness
What This Is
What This Is Not
When I first read MCWoD, it was as if someone had ignited a fire in my brain. This seemed to be just about everything I could have hoped for in a World of Darkness game, since the Storytelling system isn't quite my cup of tea; it just doesn't have the combat focus that I enjoy in an RPG. However, as time progressed and the further I thought about what I wanted vs. what was in MCWoD, I realized that there was quite a bit of disparity.1 I didn't want levels or classes. I didn't want Hit Points. I really didn't want Attacks of Opportunity. What I did want was a system that was still reasonably combat-intensive yet did away with a lot of the D&D-esque role-playing tropes. I had tinkered around with changing the mechanics to a couple of different systems, but my problems would all boil down to the magic system not being free-form enough2 or that combat was very stilted and disjointed from the rest of the game3. Eventually I came to the epiphany that Savage Worlds could do just about everything I wanted – with some minor modifications so that the magic system from MCWoD could be easily integrated. Hopefully my efforts here will enable you to jump through fewer hoops that I have had to to make a more combat oriented World of Darkness game a reality.
Your first clue that this isn't a word-for-word reproduction of anything should be the length, but in case that isn't clear enough I will say this: this document isn't meant to be used by itself. You will require copies of the following:
Monte Cook's World of Darkness Necessary Evil
Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition
This is not an attempt to infringe on the copyrights of either White Wolf Publishing or Pinnacle Entertainment Group. This is not an officially licensed product nor has it any affiliation with either company. All books are available wherever fine role-playing games are sold, or online at their respective publisher.
General Conversion Notes
While working any of the conversions from the D20 based MCWoD, I've found the following approximations to be reasonably on target: The attributes correspond as follows: ○ Strength = Strength ○ Dexterity = Agility ○ Constitution = Vigor ○ Intelligence = Smarts ○ Wisdom = Spirit ○ Charisma = Charisma; in this case, any bonuses to D20 Cha would result in ½ said bonus to Savage Worlds Charisma Every increase of +2 to a given D20 attribute should correspond to a die increase in Savage Worlds; for example, a bonus of +4 would result in 2 die increases Saving throws convert as Trait Tests using: ○ Fortitude = Vigor ○ Reflex = Agility ○ Will = Spirit Feats/abilities that reference level convert to Ranks as follows: ○ Levels 1-5 = Novice ○ Levels 6-10 = Seasoned ○ Levels 11-15 = Veteran ○ Levels 16-20 = Heroic Damage from MCWoD (bite attacks and such) translates directly over to Savage Worlds Each character type has access to a “bonus” ability every 10 XP; this ability is on top of any Advances they would normally get, and is determined by character type Penalties or bonuses should be scaled to match the 1/2/4 Savage Worlds standard
For any of the character types, they may purchase special abilities as Edges per the normal character creation rules.4
Awakened characters begin play with: 2 “free” Edges 8 skill points instead of the starting 5 An additional die in their choice of two attributes The equivalent of the “Scholar” Edge applicable to any two non-combat skills, not just Knowledge Skills Bonus ability: Awakened gain the equivalent of an additional Advance every 10 XP or the equivalent of the “Scholar” Edge as previous; additionally, Awakened may begin to take the Legendary “Professional” Edges at Veteran (the other prerequisites still apply, just the Rank requirement is changed)
Demon characters begin play with: An additional die in two attributes of choice, which can be changed daily (in play); because of this flexibility, these bonus die are applied after character creation is complete and do not count toward calculating future Skill increases “Hardy” Monstrous Ability, and do not suffer from Bleed Out A natural form which provides a “Horrific Appearance” equivalent to a -4 Charisma modifier; additionally, “normal” humans that see a Demon's natural form must make a Fear check at a -2 “Shapechanging” and “Darkvision” per MCWoD As effective constructs, Demons do not benefit from the Healing Skill nor Natural Healing One “free” Cant A Demon suffers from either a “Craving” or “Bane” per MCWoD with alterations:
“Craving” penalties per day are -4 for common, -2 for uncommon and -1 for rare substances ○ “Banes” work as the “Allergy” Hindrance from Necessary Evil with the following changes: -1 penalty for common, -2 for uncommon and -4 for rare substances Demons begin with 10 + ½ Vigor Anima (note: do not count bonus die to Anima total) ○ Demons may spend one Anima to heal one Wound ○ Demons may otherwise spend/restore Anima as noted in MCWoD Bonus ability: Demons can choose an additional Cant every 10 XP
Mage characters begin play with5: An additional die in either Smarts or Spirit, depending on type of caster A d4 in the Spellcasting Skill, which is associated with either Smarts or Spirit depending on caster type; this Skill can be raised as normal VAMPIRES A choice of Path per MCWoD Vampire characters begin play with: 20 Power Points (PP), which can be raised by An additional die in Strength and Vigor the “Power Points” Edge as normal A Bite attack that does Str+d4 magic “Predator's Taint” which allows the Vampire to Coming up with a system that was neither as see another Vampire's Rank (unless hidden) intricate as written in MCWoD while still being as “Hardy” Monstrous Ability, and do not versatile as possible gave me the most headache suffer from Bleed Out out of any of the conversion material; presented is “Low-light Vision” and “Deathsleep” per my attempt to balance versatility and ease of MCWoD use/play6 Modifiers based off Clan: Mages may cast the majority of the Powers ○ Daeva: +2 Charisma, -2 Tests of Will from Necessary Evil as a Spell, using the ○ Gangrel: +1 Vigor die, -1 Smarts die associated point cost of the given Powers ○ Mekhet: +1 Agility die, -4 Charisma involved in said Spell, including any Modifier ○ Nosferatu: +1 Strength die, -4 Charisma bonuses ○ Ventrue: +1 Smarts die, -1 Spirit die ○ Spells from SWEE may also be used should One “free” Discipline there not be an analog in NE (for example, Vampires take 2d10 damage per round from “Light”) direct sunlight; partial exposure does ○ The duration of Spells will be denoted as proportionately less Instant, Short or Long; Short has a duration As Undead, Vampires do not benefit from of 3(1/round), Long is 10 minutes (1/1 the Healing Skill nor Natural Healing minute) Vampires begin with 10 + ½ Vigor Vitae ■ Short duration should be used for most ○ Vampires may spend one Vitae to heal combat oriented Spells, Long for noncombat one Wound
The GM and Player will need to decide upon which NE Powers are ineligible for use in Spellcasting7 ○ Example: A Mage wishes to animate a toy, have it walk into a room and explode. The Mage would construct said Spell using the “Animation” (3 PP for under 10 lbs.) and “Explode” (2 PP) Powers for a total of a 5 PP Spell. The “Animation” would have a Long duration, while “Explode” would be Instant Mages may create Rotes, which add +2 to the Spellcasting roll (sample Rotes in Appendix I) Mages start play with one “free” Gnosis ○ Mages may choose one of the NE Power types for each Gnosis, which enables the Mage to cast Spells using that Power at 1 PP less per Spell ○ For example, a Mage with Gnosis in “Animation” and Explode” would cast the previously mentioned Spell for 2 PP less Bonus: Mages can choose an additional Gnosis or the Power Point Edge every 10 XP
Vampires may draw Vitae equal to ½ a creature's Vigor ○ Vampires may otherwise spend/restore Vitae as noted in MCWoD Bonus ability: Vampires can choose an additional Discipline every 10 XP
Appendix I: Sample Rotes
The following Rotes are presented as examples of conversion and not intended to be a complete list. Once you get the general idea for how the conversion should work, any number of D20 sources can provide a steady stream of Spell ideas. Alter Size Either “Growth” (2 PP/Size) or “Shrink” (3 PP/Size) Long Annihilate Matter “Decay” (3 PP) Instant Dead Zone “Negation” (4 PP) Short Plasticity “Matter Control” (1 PP/weight affected) Long
Werewolf characters begin play with:
W EREWO LVES
An additional die in Strength and Vigor “Shapechanging” per MCWoD except as follows: ○ Beast form: ■ Additional die in Agility and Vigor ■ Pace of 8” ■ Bite attack of Str+d8 ■ +4 bonus to Notice and Tracking ○ Hybrid form: ■ Bite attack of Str+d6, Claw attack of Str+d6 ■ +2 to Notice ■ Two additional die in Strength and Agility, additional die in Vigor ■ Hybrid form may be maintained for ½ Vigor rounds, plus one round for each Primal Urge Rite Sprint Healing of 2/58 Modifiers based off Auspice: ○ Rahu: +1 Strength die ○ Cahalith: +1 Smarts die ○ Elodoth: +2 Charisma ○ Ithaeur: +1 Spirit die ○ Irraka: +1 Agility die Werewolves take double damage from silver weapons, and Wounds incurred from silver weapons may not be Healed by Sprint Healing One “free” Rite Werewolves begin with 10 + ½ Vigor Essence
As I intent to actually use a variant of this in a campaign of mine, please feel free to direct any possible improvements or point out discrepancies that I may have developed.
Werewolves may spend one Essence to The version of this will change as I incorporate both heal one Wound; this applies to Wounds feedback and playtesting. incurred by silver weapons Werewolves may otherwise spend/restore Thanks, and Go Play! Essence as noted in MCWoD Steve W.
1 For further rationale behind my decisions, see my musings here
2 I considered using the Unisystem magic system as written, using the MCWoD magic with the rest of the Unisystem, using the magic rules from Mage: the Awakening with Unisystem, and finally trying to tie the magic from MCWoD to Savage Worlds 3 I submit the nWoD Storytelling system as my prime example of this; while the rest of the system is beautifully short and to the point, the combat mechanics leave me wanting for something a tad more granular 4 The converted character types are significantly more powerful than the typical Savage Worlds character, which is keeping in line with the starting capabilities of a standard MCWoD character 5 Mages proved to be the biggest challenge for conversion, most of which hinged upon being capable of casting a variety of different Spells while at the same time not being as bogged down in the minutia of the original magic system 6 I compared the starting Components for a 1st level Mage to various Rotes that could be cast, and then compared similarly constructed Spells using my method to determine a rough starting Power Point level; should this prove to be excessively high or low during play I will adjust as necessary 7 Recommended for removal are “Ageless,” “Construct,” “Gifted,” “Lair,” “Minions,” “Super Edge & Skill,” “Super Sorcery” (as this version effectively replaces it), “Undead” and “Vehicle” 8 Each round at the beginning of your turn, you can choose to heal up to 2 Wounds; however, you can recover no more than 5 Wounds per day in this manner