Thursday, January 15, 2009

How To Convert A Character Into Savage Worlds

I have been requested a couple of times by folks to explain the process I use when I stat out characters for this blog..

So with out further ado...

I give you..

How to convert a comic-book character into Savage Worlds.

1. Do your research.

I like to get all the physical details of the character first, height, weight and all the other physical details. I also like to add “Base Of Operations”,”Group Affiliations” and throw in what comic-book issue the character first appeared in.

The next bit of information that is important is a good description of the characters skills/equipment and powers.

Since I am writing up Havok, I will go to, they have a character bio section that is just wonderful, I will usually read a character’s wikipedia article as well..

2. Look for other write-ups to study as a template.

I really try not to slavishly copy another system’s write-up of a character, but in the case of comic- book licensed rpg’s, a character’s powers/skill level has been reviewed and approved by some sort of editorial office making it “official”. This makes for a great road map for fitting those powers/skills into the Savage Worlds game engine.

A character with a considerable bit of history behind him like Havok has a write-up that has been published by TSR’s old Marvel rpg.

The old
FASERIP system has a thriving online community with several websites worth noting.
Marvel Heroes Classic Roleplaying and Ben Riely’s Marvel RPG Page are two of my favorite sites on the net. Both sites have extensive selections of characters and access to nearly all of the old FASERIP materials. I also personally have access to the majority of the TSR books as well. This stuff is also posted in .pdf form on the Marvel Heroes Classic Roleplaying website.

Once I have Havok’s FASERIP stat’s I use my handy dandy conversion guide to do a rough approximation of them into a Savage World’s version.

Please see:
Marvel/TSR rpg "Universal Table" to Savage Worlds/Necessary Evil Conversion Guide

I will also use a Savage World’s Benchmark guide as well.

Savage Worlds Benchmarks
Savage Worlds AttributeDescription
1d8Above Average
1d12+2Human maximum potential

3. Assign Stat’s/Edges and Powers

In Havok’s case, most of his physical traits are within the range of a high performance athlete and while he has been described as someone who engages in “Intensive regular exercise”, IMO he just isn’t on par with a Daredevil or Moonknight. At this point I am going to decide that while he is in the upper levels of strength, endurance and fitness, none of those stats are going to go over 1d10.

So Havok has had scientific training, hand-to-hand tutelage under Wolverine, and leadership experience with X-Factor . He also has had combat experience under a myriad of hostile conditions.

I assign Havok a range of skill’s that I think he might have received as either an X-Man or while he was in X-Factor. Fighting and Shooting are very obvious in this case, some others, like climbing and stealth are due his “Danger Room” training, Havok has “Pilot” since every mutant in the Marvel Universe seems to be able to fly “The Blackbird”. I also give him “Persuasion” and “Intimidate” since he was a leader of X-Factor. Since he has a University education he also has Knowledge: Geophysics/Geology.

For Havok’s edge’s, I take into account from a combat perspective he is primarily a ranged attack type. Marksman and Steady Hands fit the bill quite nicely to acknowledge his area of expertise. Since it was mentioned he was trained how to fight by Wolverine, I throw in the “Two-Fisted” edge. Havok has Command and Level-Headed due to his leadership experience and Connections since he has encountered and fought beside a good deal of the Marvel Universe. Since he was an X-Man, I also added Strong Willed since he must have received training from Professor X.

Havok’s Plasma power are pretty straight forward to stat out. He just has a really high level of “Attack Ranged”, the trick here is in the trappings. Based upon the description of his powers I add what I think are the appropriate extras. I have seen Havok use his blasts in non-lethal fashion and also use them in other capacities than a straight ahead “heat” beam.

I add the “stun” power to his powers since it was stated that at his lowest level of power output Havok can cause severe headaches in human beings.

I also add a +1d6 in Attack Melee to cover his Martial Art training from Wolverine.

I also have to come up with a game mechanic method that covers what happens if Havok discharges all of his energy at once.

I might have taken some liberties with his Absorption and Immunity powers, but on a gut level I think those fit.

4. Find Image and Host It.

I like to use
The Grand Comicbook Database to find a suitable image for the blog. I usually use the cover from the first comic the character appeared. I then downsize the image and post it on imageshack.

5. Post It On My Blog :)

Well I hope folks find that useful...I am not much of a writer so apologies for the clunkiness of it...


At 5:32 p.m., Anonymous Skycast said...

Nice process, I especially like the attribute benchmarks. It always helps to put the numbers into descriptive terms.

At 11:45 p.m., Blogger therealtony said...

Thank-you, I agree about the descriptions with the attribute rankings. When you do these kind of conversions it is really helpful to know the difference between an expert and a legendary fighter..

At 11:25 a.m., Anonymous Will Todd said...

This is great stuff. Thanks for taking the time to work on these conversions. I love the Savage Worlds system. I've been roleplaying for a LONG time and Savage Worlds is one of my favorite systems out there. Keep it up!

At 11:26 a.m., Anonymous Will Todd said...

This is great stuff. Thanks for taking the time to work on these conversions. I love the Savage Worlds system. I've been roleplaying for a LONG time and Savage Worlds is one of my favorite systems out there. Keep it up!

At 4:45 p.m., Blogger clackey said...

I hate to be a hater, but the link you have for the conversion is off.

At least on Strength. If you look in the explorers edition it has str chart (pg. 61)D12+8 means they can press 50 tons which is equal to Amazing (Monstrous 75 ton, Unearthly 100 tons)

So that conversion chart might be a bit off.

At 12:17 a.m., Blogger therealtony said...

Hey Clackey...the chart is a fusion of the lifting chart from NE and a little "guess-timation" on my part..


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