Conversion of Shadowrun to New World of Darkness

Here are a few of my thoughts on converting Shadowrun 4th ed to New World of Darkness rules.

While the systems may be similar, the goal is to use the nWoD system and keep the "kewl stuff". The end result will not be a direct conversion, but it will make most of the people happy (maybe).

This quick little conversion plan will ignore the fact that you would have to substitute skills and attributes for certain powers and abilities. That's the common sense part of the conversion process.

First off, you have to throw out the character creation rules and use nWoD.
That means an attribute such as "Magic/Resonance" or "Edge" doesn't really exist any more (although it may be replaced with something else later).

Power Score seems best to use as Essence or Magic, but it can't work like it did before. You have to modify it to be a Power Score, not the 6-cyberware score it used to be. Thus, it starts out at 1, can be increased up to 10 but is limited by such things as cyberware (I think someone once mentioned a cost conversion of cost/6 x 10). The more cyberware, the lower your max Power Score.
Personally, I'd prefer a base 10 cyberware cost instead of the odd 1/4, 1/3 or 1/6 cost. Unfortunately that would require changing all the cyberware costs to 1-10. Then making each point of Power Score sacrificed equal to 10 "cyberware points" or something like that.

Edge is Willpower and works like Willpower.

Next is the Metatype. My first thought is to use Metatype as the X axis. The main problem with an X-axis Metatype is balancing. SR4E had each one as a different character creation point cost for a reason. Another thought is that Metatype could be an exclusive variable cost Merit, and it may still be the best option. A Metatype Merit may be the best way to balance the power levels. In that case, X-axis may go out the window.

After that is "class type". This part is very fuzzy. While there are some Qualities in SR4E that are mutually exclusive, you can make a "jack of all trades" type character. Not just a Magician, but an Adept as well. Some compromises will have to be made here.
I see "class type" being the way the character uses his magic, our new Y-axis.
Adept, Technomancer, Magician or Cyber (Cybers wouldn't use magic as directly as the others, more like how SR limits magic by Essence)
You could still have your Mystic Adepts using a special Adept Merit.

Magic should probably use the M:tAw rules. If you want a particular spell, break it down to its core and figure out what Arcana would be required. Yeah, this may be a cop-out, but how much work do you really want to have?

Adepts powers should probably become Adept Merits (think of the specialized Merits from Second Sight, maybe even use a few). Merits that need to be purchased with XP not "magic points".

Yes, there is still a lot more to it than what I've listed so far. And yes, you probably disagree with most of it. This is simply where I would start, if I were converting it over.
Also, if anyone is actually planning on converting it, I recommend getting a few people to help. Have each one focus on their favorite "class type" as they will better know what needs to be transferred and what can be left out. I would start with the Adept.
In fact, the best course of action would be to try to convert 1 single character. If you can't do that, you probably shouldn't try for the whole system. If you can do it, then you have a base starting point.

My closing thoughts, after reviewing my above rant, question whether it would be a good idea or not. Sure, you really like the nWoD system and know it fairly well (and probably don't like learning new systems), but should SR4E be shoehorned into a different system? The two systems have some opposing organizational traits that makes a conversion into a difficult task.

If I were to try to convert SR over to nWoD, I would start just the way I laid it out above. Then I would probably change my attack more than once, maybe throwing out the X and Y axis entirely (then bring them back and throw them out again). However you start, it will likely end a completely different way.
Either way, good luck to anyone attempting the task. And if you ask nicely, I might be willing to work on some Adept conversions.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License