Conversion to FATE CORE

Commentary : It’s been a few years that I have been getting tired of the Old WOD rules system. After checking with my players, they were not convinced that changing to the New WOD would bring a lot of changes. So i have looked for another system.

What are the WOD main issues ?

Flat dice probability

Having a large pool of dice does not warrant that you can achieve even an easy task. The flatness of the probability curve give too much variance on the roll, rolling twice on a same action can give you very different result. You still have a relatively high probability to botch even with 14 dices !

Too many rolls

Werewolf give a great part to fighting. But instead of having a quick system, players need to rolls too many dices just to find out the result of a single attack: roll to Hit + roll for Specialty + roll for damage, then roll for soaking … On top of that, add fake hope when a player achieve many success on his hit roll then no success on damage… this is really a killer.

What can be more frustrating than using a hardly acquired gift just to do no success on the activation… When it’s targeting an enemy, it can be understandable but when it’s targeting yourself like raising armor of Luna for example, you just feel incompetent…

Too many dice

After rolling, you still have to count the number of success, take account of armor or power, … Knowing that werewolf can have a lot of dices, it turn out pretty slow.
On the GM side, I have stopped using complete character sheet even for big boss due to the number of rolls & dice and the counting of success that leave me no time for strategy …

Not enough difficulty levels

Even if the difficulty table is large, we always end up using the same 6, 7, 8, 9 difficulties, so basically only 4 levels, which became quite boring. An it turns out that even a 10 difficulty is not so frightening, even with one die, you have 10% of succeeding at an incredible task forcing me to go out of the table to convey a real sense of difficulty.

Specificity of rules for each situation

Since we are now playing very irregularly, it has become increasingly difficult to remember each rule variations for specific actions which has lead to improvising rules every time and ending up with confusion.

Why FATE ?

I was looking for a system with simple rules applicable in every circumstances but still allowing a lot of creativity.
I needed a system that could be easily hacked and could accommodate the specificity of Werewolf the Apocalypse without departing too much for the original basic rules.
A dice system that would restore a sense of being good at something when you have a high skill.
A quick fighting system to allow many combat situations without using up too much play time and that would still allow creativity in combat description and grievous wounds.
Add rules to help on the horror side of werewolf stories.

When i discovered FATE CORE and the Dresden Files, I could easily enough envision the conversion.
Plus it’s open game licence, so no extra cost…except for the dice.


How to convert difficulties ?

The Ladder / L’échelle

WoD Difficulty Number Name Nom français Rage/G/W dot
12 +8 Legendary Légendaire 11
11 +7 Epic Epique 10
10 +6 Fantastic Fantastique 9
9 +5 Superb Superbe 8
8 +4 Great Excellent 7
7 +3 Good Bon 6
6 +2 Fair Correct 5
5 +1 Average Moyen 4
4 0 Mediocre Médiocre 3
3 -1 Poor Faible 2
2 -2 Terrible Epouvantable 1

How to convert Attributes ?

Take the extra dot that the players has gain through experience point and redistribute them among Skills. When more than one skill apply, player can choose to which skill to convert.(see also the pyramid)

If Appearance is above 2 dot, it can be converted to an aspect or be part of an aspect. “a superb women …” , “The cutest wolf you have ever seen” …

More on this to come…

How to define the aspects ?

A short brainstorming session is in order, just ask at the beginning of the session that each players write a few words that come to their mind when they sink about the other player’s character.
This should give you a starting list to define aspects.
Just add to that any Pure breed or Ancestor or Fetish background that should also be converted to Aspects.

How to convert Skills ?

Easy, most skills exist in FATE CODE, I have kept the specific skills like Primal urge, they just need a definition with the Overcome/Create an advantage/Attack/Defend to clarify the range of application.

What about the pyramid of skills ?

If you have played for a few years like me, this is surely going to quite bad at the beginning as player have probably min-max skills linked with their gifts or their auspice.
They can have a lot of high skills and very little low ones, And they will probably have more than 15 skills.

To solve this issue, ask the player to fill the pyramid with their preferred skills.
Any “lost points” can be converted into Stunts or trappings.

Anyway this will be part of the redesign of their character as they will also need to define their aspects.

More to come on this…

How to convert Rage/Gnosis/Willpower ?

Keep the Rage and Gnosis pool of points. They stay separate from the FATE pool.
For the Permanent rating, you should calculated it based on the ladder+1.
So if you have 6 in rage, you keep a pool of 6, but your Rage rating becomes Good (+ 3)
So a starting Willpower of 3 would give a (0) Mediocre rating. A Rating of 4 would give (1 )Average and a 5 which is the middle, would give you the (+2) Fair value.

And if you have 10, this would be a (+7) Epic result. Meaning you would have reach almost the top of the ladder, leaving only the legendary for really legendary level.

How to convert gifts ?

Spending Willpower: no change
Spending Gnosis : no change
Spending Rage: no change
For roll, simply look at the skill, don’t look at the attribute anymore.
When result that depend on number of success : no change, don’t take account of boost for success with style, except if you feel it’s appropriate.

More to come on this…

How to convert Spirits ?

simply convert Rage, Gnosis and Willpower as above.
Gaffling with Essence between 9 and 17 are nameless NPC.
Jaggling with Essence between 18 and 23 are supporting NPC.
Jaggling with Essence between 24 and 30 are major NPC.

More to come on this…

How to convey the fact that experience not necessarily add skill to the character but rather change the character ?

First it just feel natural, think about everyday life. You surely don’t remember all that you have study at school. But it could still be accessible, meaning if you need to use it again, you just have to study it for some time (= wait for the next milestone) to switch the skills.

Second, if the character has too many gifts/fetishes/skills it become difficult to keep track of it and players will certainly realize that they had forgotten this or that. And Some skills are probably very rarely used. So it’s not really a loss since they were not using it.

Same for gifts, they should be able to switch gift at a milestone, except for those that are always active.
Gift are accorded by spirit, they can be taken back. It will make it more dynamic and will help a player get rid of redundant gift, especially if they get a fetish that has the same power. So the character no longer transform into a “Gros bill” but get more adapted to the situation.
Key word is adaptation, it’s no use to have 20 powers available if they are not useful in the present situation.

Third, the pyramid already exist for gifts, you can not have more high level gift than the level below. It should feel ok to extend this rule to skills. This rule will of course replace the 13/9/7 points to split for beginning character.

How to add rules to handle Horror ?

Just use a Mental Stress track which is exactly that, stress ! And of course mental consequence. A werewolf could have (-2)“Feeling guilty” or (-2)“Horrified” (-4)“Shaken believes”, (-6)“On the verge of Harano” (-8)“Deranged or (-8)”Madness stricken"

More to come on this…

Next time, I will talk about :
How to convert the different form ?
How to create a full new character ?
How to convert rites ?
How to handle absorption and wounds (Lethal & Aggravated)?
How to convert Backgrounds ?
How to convert Spirits power ?

Also next time, I will discuss on how to convert a group of old players and bypass resistance to change.


Dans les Entrailles du Ver bajorque