a curious conversion...

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Snake Storm
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a curious conversion...

#1 Postby Snake Storm » Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:28 pm

i'm a fan of an anthropomorphic RPG known as Ironclaw, and have often wondered how well it'd work savaged. Much like savage worlds it uses die types for attributes and skills, only instead of a flat bonus after d12 it gives you a d4. I Figure this'd be the easiest to convert from. Gonna try seeing what i can come up with for a little game that's been trying to escape.

Been dying to let loose Dragon's fang, chimera's claw and mutagenesis.

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#2 Postby supercOntra » Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:06 am

d4 => +1 d6 => +2 d8=> +3 etc?
"Eyes without life…sundered heads…piles of carcasses…these are pleasing words to me"

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#3 Postby Tuesday » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:06 am

Rule #1 of conversions: Convert results, style, and feel, not mechanics.

Snake Storm
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#4 Postby Snake Storm » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:00 pm

never said i was gonna convert mechanics, lol. All i'm gonna try and convert are the races anyhow. feel and all that i want to be different than ironclaw. and yes superc0ntra, that'd be the mechanical gist of it.

basically all i'll be converting is a selection of races for use with my own, distinct projects. but so far that's a little tricky. i'll get it though.

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Jordan Peacock
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Re: a curious conversion...

#5 Postby Jordan Peacock » Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:38 pm

Snake Storm wrote:i'm a fan of an anthropomorphic RPG known as Ironclaw, and have often wondered how well it'd work savaged.

The important thing is to know where you're coming from. What is your primary goal?

1) Have you been previously running an Ironclaw campaign, and you want to "convert" the campaign over to Savage Worlds (with existing, experienced PCs), and continue in the new system?

2) Do you like the Ironclaw setting, but perhaps you just prefer the Savage Worlds rules?

3) Or, is it just that you like the idea of playing anthropomorphic animals, but aren't particularly obliged to the Ironclaw setting per se?

My introduction to Savage Worlds was around the time when I was running a brief Ironclaw campaign (3 specific mini-adventures spanning 6 sessions, in a "high seas" setting with all the PCs traveling on a Bisclavret privateer ship off the coast of Akoma, en route to take a Priest of S'allumer to Keshret, so that he could then journey on to Calabria).

The Ironclaw system wasn't really equipped to handle ship-to-ship battles, so I managed a home-brewed system that used Pirates of the Spanish Main ships, and adapted some of the mechanics ("masts," etc.) with Ironclaw skill rolls. It made for fast-paced ship battles, if a bit abstract, but allowed us to get on to the fancy swashbuckling and the plot, which was the whole point.

Unfortunately, while the Ironclaw system does have some very interesting mechanics (some of which share much in common with Deadlands Classic), my players were tiring of some of its clunkier aspects. Plus, we had a bit of group turnover, and some of the newer players weren't quite as dedicated to the idea of playing "animal people." They were still fond of the "high seas" aspect, though, and around that time, "Pirates of the Spanish Main RPG" was new on the shelves - so I picked up a copy.

I proposed that after our campaign, we start a new one in Pirates of the Spanish Main RPG. The trouble was, while the players weren't necessarily fond of the setting or the rules, they were fond of their CHARACTERS, and the reparte they had established. We ended up doing a convoluted turn: I hand-waved an encounter in which the players encountered the Hangman's Joke, and that when the PCs "defeated" it and tethered their ship alongside to try to loot their new prize ... the next fog bank they passed into caused them to be taken along with the Hangman's Joke into another world entirely - into the world of Pirates of the Spanish Main!

I "converted" their characters by arbitrarily figuring out how many sessions we'd been playing, and how much experience they would have earned if we had been playing for the same amount of time in Pirates of the Spanish Main RPG. I then "built" their Savage Worlds characters (with some player consultation on the tougher points), making custom racial packages to handle their unique animal characteristics (claws as natural weapons, night vision, etc.).

I also introduced the conceit that, upon being in the Pirates universe, they would be subject to a sort of "veil" effect: To inhabitants of this (human-inhabited) world, they would appear as humans. Only under the light of the full moon would their true forms be obvious. (I borrowed a bit from a certain pirate-themed movie there!)

The transition wasn't *completely* smooth, and it was pretty weird, but the players had fun (including those more inclined to play humans than fuzzy animal-people), and that's the important part. :)

All things considered, I'm not sure I'd really want to try converting all the Ironclaw races. Sometimes in campaigns, I'll create a custom racial package, to fit the inclinations of a particular player (in fantasy or sci-fi campaigns): the Slipstream "alien generator" is great for this. (If only I'd had it when we were playing Pirates!)

My personal preference is to only generate as many "races" as are needed for the plot, and to facilitate (as much as is reasonable) my players' character concepts.

If you have a fantasy world of elves and dwarves and humans, and one guy in your group insists on being a "cat-man," no problem: it's not hard to give him the basic trappings that make him distinctive, without breaking play balance or the plot. If, however, you have an entire world filled with fuzzy animal people - and every single Earth mammal species imaginable (except humans) is represented as a separate race ... eh, it's not very SPECIAL being a talking animal anymore.

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#6 Postby Snake Storm » Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:07 pm

i see what you mean. I bought ironclaw and jadeclaw but had no real interest in playing them as is. My idea of fantasy involves monsters and that's just not their style.

i don't really have any long term goals around these projects, nor do i play with anyone but my nephews. But after nine years my homebrew fantasy world is getting on my nerves and i just need a change of pace.

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