A Conversion from Monte Cook's World of Darkness to Savage Worlds

Pre-Playtest Version 0.11

Savage worlds of Darkness
What This Is
What This Is Not
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:
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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. 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.2

Monte Cook's World of Darkness Necessary Evil5

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.

I had tinkered around with changing the mechanics to a All books are available wherever fine role-playing couple of different systems, but my problems would all games are sold, or online at their respective publisher. boil down to the magic system not being free-form enough3 or that combat was very stilted and disjointed from the rest of the game.4 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.

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  For Defense bonuses from various Abilities, halve them and apply the resulting number as a penalty to the opponent's combat Trait Test; for example, a Vampire with two levels in “Celerity” would invoke a -4 penalty to his attacker's Shooting or Fighting rolls  Penalties or bonuses should be scaled to match the 1/2/4 Savage Worlds standard  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

Character Creation
For any of the character types, they may purchase special abilities as Edges per the normal character creation rules.6

Awakened characters begin play with:  2 “free” Edges  18 Skill Points instead of the starting 15  An additional die in their choice of attribute  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  12 Skill Points instead of the starting 15  “Hardy” Monstrous Ability, and do not suffer from Bleed Out  A natural form which provides a “Horrific Appearance” equivalent to a -4 Charisma modifier; “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; additional Cants may be purchased as Edges via Advances  Demons suffer 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

“Banes” work as the “Allergy” Hindrance from Necessary Evil with the following changes: -1 penalty for common, -2 for uncommon and -4 for rare 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 choose an additional Cant every 10 XP

Mage characters begin play with:7  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  A choice of Path per MCWoD  20 Power Points (PP), which can be raised by the “Power Points” Edge as normal


Mages may cast the majority of the Powers from Necessary Evil as a Spell, using the associated point cost of the given Powers involved in said Spell, including any Modifier bonuses ○ Spells from SWEE may also be used if there is no analog in NE (for example, “Light”) ○ The duration of Spells adjusted to Instant, Short or Long ■ Short duration is 3 rounds (1 PP per  additional round) ■ Long duration is 10 minutes (1 PP per additional 10 minutes)  ■ Short duration should be used for most combat oriented Spells, Long for noncombat ○ More powerful Spells are harder to cast and control; for every 5 PP a Spell costs, the Vampire characters begin play with: Spellcasting roll is at -1  An additional die in Strength and Vigor ○ The GM and Player will need to decide  12 Skill Points instead of the starting 15 upon which NE Powers are ineligible for  A Bite attack that does Str+d4 use in Spellcasting9

Example: A Mage wishes to animate a toy, have it walk into a room and then explode upon command ■ Construct said Spell using the “Animation” (3 PP for under 10 lbs.) and “Explode” (2 PP) Powers for a total of 5 PP ■ The “Animation” would have a Long duration, while “Explode” would be Instant Mages start play with one “free” Gnosis; additional Gnosis may be purchased as Edges via Advances ○ Bonuses to Spellcasting from Gnosis will provide +2 in SW ○ Bonuses to DC provide a -1 to Trait Tests for target ○ Shakti Gnosis cause a Mage to automatically become Shaken, which can be bought off with Bennies ■ “Jolt” = basic “Attack, Melee” from NE; the damage can be increased +1d6 per Wound the Mage is willing to incur ■ “Push” = “Telekinesis” from SWEE; for horizontal movement only; Strength may be increased one die per Wound Mage is willing to incur ■ “Bolt” = basic “Attack, Ranged” from NE requires an initial Vigor roll to avoid a Wound on top of being Shaken; the damage can be increased +1d6 per Wound the Mage is willing to incur ■ “Hold” = “Telekinesis” from SWEE requiring an initial Vigor roll to avoid a Wound on top of being Shaken; cannot manipulate weapons; Strength may be increased one die per Wound Mage is willing to incur A Spell is considered a Rote if it uses only one Power and is not otherwise modified; such Spells receive a +2 Spellcasting bonus Bonus ability: Mages can choose an additional Gnosis or the Power Point Edge every 10 XP


“Predator's Taint” which allows the Vampire to see another Vampire's Rank (unless hidden) “Hardy” Monstrous Ability, and do not suffer from Bleed Out “Low-light Vision” and “Deathsleep” per MCWoD Modifiers based off Clan: ○ Daeva: +2 Charisma, -2 Tests of Will ○ Gangrel: +1 Vigor die, -1 Smarts die ○ Mekhet: +1 Agility die, -2 Charisma ○ Nosferatu: +1 Strength die, -2 Charisma ○ Ventrue: +1 Smarts die, -1 Spirit die One “free” Discipline; additional Disciplines may be purchased as Edges via Advances Vampires take 2d10 damage per round from direct sunlight; partial exposure does proportionately less As Undead, Vampires do not benefit from the Healing Skill nor Natural Healing Vampires begin with 10 + ½ Vigor Vitae ○ Vampires may spend one Vitae to heal one Wound ○ 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

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Hybrid form may be maintained for ½ Vigor rounds, plus one round for each Primal Urge Rite “Sprint Healing” of 2/5 ○ At the beginning of the Werewolf's turn, he can choose to heal up to 2 Wounds ○ May recover no more than 5 Wounds per day in this manner 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; additional Rites may be purchased as Edges via Advances Werewolves begin with 10 + ½ Vigor Essence ○ Werewolves may spend one Essence to heal one Wound; this applies to Wounds incurred by silver weapons ○ Werewolves may otherwise spend/restore Essence as noted in MCWoD Bonus ability: Werewolves choose an additional Rite every 10 XP

Werewolf characters begin play with:  An additional die in Strength and Vigor  12 Skill Points instead of the starting 15  “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 ■ Equivalent of “Frenzy” Edge when attacking with both Bite and Claw ■ +2 to Notice ■ Two additional die in Strength and Agility, additional die in Vigor

Final Thoughts
As I intend 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. The version of this will change as I incorporate both feedback and playtesting. Thanks, and Go Play!

Steve “Dubya”

1 For a list of changes made to this revision, please see the listing here 2 For further rationale behind my decisions, see my musings here 3 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 4 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 5 At the very least, a copy of the Necessary Evil Player's Guide, which contains all the Powers information without the Plot Point setting of Necessary Evil 6 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 7 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 8 Coming up with a system that was neither as intricate as written in MCWoD while still being as versatile as possible gave me the most headache out of any of the conversion material; presented is my attempt to balance versatility and ease of use/play. 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 9 Recommended for removal are “Ageless,” “Construct,” “Gifted,” “Lair,” “Minions,” “Super Edge & Skill,” “Super Sorcery” (as this version effectively replaces it), “Undead” and “Vehicle”