The Elder Scrolls: A Savage Worlds Conversion

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The Elder Scrolls: A Savage Worlds Conversion

#1 Postby Thunderforge » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:05 pm

I’m very pleased to announce the completion of several months labor: a massive, 50-page conversion to bring the world of The Elder Scrolls video games into Savage Worlds. I’ve taken elements from all the games, Arena through Skyrim, and created this awesome conversion. This conversion includes everything you could ever want in an Elder Scrolls conversion:

  • All ten races
  • All thirteen birthsigns
  • A revised magic system that replicates the feel of magic in the video games
  • At least one Racial Edge for each race (including one that allows Nords to do dragon shouts)
  • Sinning tables for all of the Nine Divines
  • Rules for having gear made of a variety of materials
  • Two new Professional Edges: Alchemist and Enchanter
  • A bestiary with everything from Mudcrabs to Dremora Lords
  • Two dozen artifacts
  • Vampirism and lycanthropy

I've done my best to not only keep it faithful to the setting, but also keep it faithful to Savage Worlds. There are only two new powers and three new (non-Racial) Edges because Savage Worlds already handled everything else. The revised magic system should still feel like Savage Worlds while being distinctly Elder Scrolls.

You can download the PDF right here! I greatly encourage feedback, so please let me know what you think, either here on the forums or on the contact page on my blog.
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#2 Postby kreider204 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:19 pm

Wow, impressive! It'll be a few days before I have time to look at it in detail, but I'm looking forward to doing so, and I'll be sure to give you some feedback.
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#3 Postby ValhallaGH » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:00 pm

Pretty cool stuff.
Issues noticed: Caster races got a lot of love (see below).
Altmer are a +3 race - two (-2) abilities, stat bump (+2), disease immunity (+1), and +10 power points (two free edges, +4).
Bretons are another +3 race - the boost to Magicka will apply to all casting, which means it's the Power Points edge for free, not the +5 PP for a single Arcane Background that you seem to have priced it as.
Dunmer dislike dating Dunmer? How odd.
Khajit come to a +0 race - two Major hindrances (-4), agility bump (+2), claws (+1), and low-light vision (+1).
Redguard adrenaline rush could simply count as a Joker. It's a once / session ability, and the ability to use Wild Card edges when you really need them lets the Redguard live up to their reputation as "the most naturally talented warriors in Tamriel".

I'll give the edges a good read when I can process new details again (been a tiring day).
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#4 Postby Thunderforge » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:14 am

Thanks for your feedback so far. You're right that the bonus to Magicka is listed as being for a single arcane background, but I guess I didn't consider that that might have unbalanced it since everyone has that single arcane background. I would like to keep the extra Magicka for Altmer and Bretons, since it's a trait of them in pretty much every game, so any suggestions to balance them would be appreciated.

Good catch with the Khajiit. I'm pretty sure I thought Yellow was a Minor Hindrance rather than a Major. The Khajiit get a +2 to Climbing in addition to extra damage from their claws, just like the Rakashan race in SWD (the natural claws along with +2 Climbing seems to be counted as a +2 ability and I think that's what I meant to do here). Maybe I should write it on a separate line or change it to starting with a d6 in Climbing. That still leaves them an extra point behind though, so I think I'll just change them to starting with a d8 of Agility instead of a d6. That way, they'll be a +2 race.

I'm not sure what you mean about "Dunmer dislike dating Dunmer?"

As for the Redguard, this was something that I really struggled with. Initially I did have it so that they could use Wild Card Edges, but I decided that being able to instantly turn any card into a Joker was a powerful enough ability, since it gives you a +2 for that round and an instant interrupt. But I'll take the suggestion into consideration.
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#5 Postby Yuritau » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:06 pm

The thing I notice is an increase in the number of skills required to be a proficient spell caster, but no similar increase for any other character type. This forces caster type character to spend a lot more advances on skills than other character types.

Overall, it's a really well done conversion, and I quite like it, but that one stands out to me.

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#6 Postby Thunderforge » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:54 pm

Yuritau wrote:The thing I notice is an increase in the number of skills required to be a proficient spell caster, but no similar increase for any other character type. This forces caster type character to spend a lot more advances on skills than other character types.

I'm a bit confused. Your statement matches my intention, but it sounds like you're seeing this as an issue.

My rationale is that in-universe, NPCs tend to specialize in only a few schools and a lot of people mix schools of magic with martial skills (e.g. a Nightblade uses swordsmanship with illusion magic), but aren't generally skilled in all schools. Since there are also no consequences for failing to cast a spell, my aim was to get something between Arcane Background (Magic) and Arcane Background (Superpowers). I felt that this was a fair balance that replicated the world, but I take it you disagree?
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#7 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:04 pm

Thunderforge wrote:I'm not sure what you mean about "Dunmer dislike dating Dunmer?"

Because all Dunmer are Mean, they all have a -2 charisma even with each other. Dunmer are as romantically appealing as Orcs, even to other Dunmer. Dunmer would rather date Imperials, Nord, or even Argonians than other Dunmer. They should be a dying race, since none of them would want to breed with each other - though the fact that no one else wants to breed with them may make them stuck with each other.
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#8 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:31 pm

I'd use a bit more AP for the special materials. Damage bonuses are a huge benefit.
Thunderforge wrote:Thanks for your feedback so far. You're right that the bonus to Magicka is listed as being for a single arcane background, but I guess I didn't consider that that might have unbalanced it since everyone has that single arcane background. I would like to keep the extra Magicka for Altmer and Bretons, since it's a trait of them in pretty much every game, so any suggestions to balance them would be appreciated.

I'd probably give the Altmer something like Quirk (selective breeding program) - they regulate reproduction to maintain as much of the Aldmeri look as they can.
Bretons, I would downgrade their Dragonskin to Armor 1. Still gives them +1 toughness, against just about everything, but can be punched through by AP.
Thunderforge wrote:Good catch with the Khajiit.

Good point on the claws. I'd leave the +2 Climbing and give a d6 Stealth, but opinions vary.
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#9 Postby Thunderforge » Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:45 pm

Thanks for clarifying with the Mean Hindrance. I think I'll clarify it to something like this: "Outlanders often note that Dunmer do not react favorably towards them. All Dunmer receive the Mean Hindrance, which applies to all but their own. Even if a particular Dunmer isn't mean towards those of other races, they still suffer from the stereotype."

My concern with giving the Altmer Quirk (Selective Breeding Program) is that it is very unlikely to come up in gameplay. I've already got Arrogant in there, but maybe some other Quirk to reflect their status would be good? Or maybe I do need to cut one of the benefits.

Downgrading the Breton Dragonskin to Armor 1 seems like a good idea. Guess I didn't think about that since it's not listed in SWD. And I think that giving the kitties…err..Khajiit a d6 in Stealth seems like a better idea.

Changing the special materials to Armor Piercing is an interesting possibility. Originally I based it off of the Fantasy Companion, which listed extra flat damage as a possible benefit to treasure. I'll think about that one some more, perhaps mixing the two.
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#10 Postby VonDan » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:48 pm

BF Zar i was sorting through all my pc games two days ago and was thinking with all the elder scroll games some one could make a pen and paper setting but i'm not gonna do it

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#11 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:22 pm

Thunderforge wrote:Thanks for clarifying with the Mean Hindrance. I think I'll clarify it to something like this: "Outlanders often note that Dunmer do not react favorably towards them. All Dunmer receive the Mean Hindrance, which applies to all but their own. Even if a particular Dunmer isn't mean towards those of other races, they still suffer from the stereotype."

Just use the mechanics for Outsider. -2 Charisma for non-Dunmer, because normal etiquette for Dunmer is mean by everyone else's standards.
My concern with giving the Altmer Quirk (Selective Breeding Program) is that it is very unlikely to come up in gameplay.

Yes and no. It means that they won't get into casual romantic liaisons, will be a lot less likely to consummate a Love Interest, and should avoid spending their treasure on whores (though ale is still acceptable). All of which can be a lot more of a problem than anything else I could think of.
Still, reducing their benefits may be the better approach.
Downgrading the Breton Dragonskin to Armor 1 seems like a good idea. Guess I didn't think about that since it's not listed in SWD. And I think that giving the kitties…err..Khajiit a d6 in Stealth seems like a better idea.

Glad to help.

Changing the special materials to Armor Piercing is an interesting possibility. Originally I based it off of the Fantasy Companion, which listed extra flat damage as a possible benefit to treasure. I'll think about that one some more, perhaps mixing the two.

Yeah, one of the things I really like about SW is the flexibility of weapon customization. Damage, weight, and cost are only the beginning.
Other options are: AP, conditional AP (while mounted for cavalry weapons, or against rigid armors for picks, or against soft armors for slashing weapons), reach, shield mitigation, shield exacerbation, Parry modifiers, handedness, and even raise effects.
An example list I put up on another forum: http://www.enworld.org/forum/general-rpg-discussion/258396-savage-worlds-5.html#post4871490
And that's simply the base weapon design, neglecting the effects of various materials. Maybe Glass weapons have +1 or +2 AP, while Daedric weapons do +1 Damage and +1 AP, and Dwarf weapons deal +1 damage (extra mass behind the striking head), while Elven weapons have +1 Parry but -1 Fighting versus Shields. It's all about how the individual weapons fight.
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#12 Postby Baiyo » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:05 am

I'm impressed with the work you put into this. Nice job.

Personally, the first change I would make is to link three of the Magic skills to Spirit rather than Smarts. Probably Destruction, Mysticism and Restoration. My reason for this doesn't have anything to do with the Elder Scrolls world, as much as it just seems to me that there should be more than one choice of attribute for spellcasters to raise.

Valhalla's suggestions make sense to me for the most part.
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#13 Postby fanchergw » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:37 am

Baiyo wrote:Personally, the first change I would make is to link three of the Magic skills to Spirit rather than Smarts. Probably Destruction, Mysticism and Restoration. My reason for this doesn't have anything to do with the Elder Scrolls world, as much as it just seems to me that there should be more than one choice of attribute for spellcasters to raise.

I like this suggestion. However, I would change the list of Spirit-linked magics to: Alteration, Destruction and Restoration, since those are the ones tied to Willpower in the most Elder Scrolls games (Daggerfall, Morrowind & Oblivion). Mysticism is tied to Willpower in Daggerfall and Morrowind, but not Oblivion, so it could go either way.

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#14 Postby Thunderforge » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:52 am

It means that they won't get into casual romantic liaisons, will be a lot less likely to consummate a Love Interest, and should avoid spending their treasure on whores (though ale is still acceptable). All of which can be a lot more of a problem than anything else I could think of.

Wow, you play a very different game than I do! This would never come up in my games.

What about instead they get a –2 Toughness against Fire, Frost, and Shock attacks in addition to a –4 to all environmental effects. This replicates their weakness in the games.

fanchergw wrote:I like this suggestion. However, I would change the list of Spirit-linked magics to: Alteration, Destruction and Restoration, since those are the ones tied to Willpower in the most Elder Scrolls games (Daggerfall, Morrowind & Oblivion). Mysticism is tied to Willpower in Daggerfall and Morrowind, but not Oblivion, so it could go either way.

I'd forgotten about how they were tied in the game, so thanks for pointing that out. The next version will probably have Alteration (Spirit), Destruction (Spirit), Restoration (Spirit), Conjuration (Smarts) Illusion (Smarts), and Mysticism (Smarts). I think a 3 and 3 balance is good.
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#15 Postby newForumNewName » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:50 pm

Thunderforge wrote:
It means that they won't get into casual romantic liaisons, will be a lot less likely to consummate a Love Interest, and should avoid spending their treasure on whores (though ale is still acceptable). All of which can be a lot more of a problem than anything else I could think of.

Wow, you play a very different game than I do! This would never come up in my games.

Ahahahahahahaha! Me and Valhalla need to play games together at some point. That is EXACTLY how my games go.

I should stop commenting until my fever breaks though. Seriously not sure if I'm being helpful.
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#16 Postby ValhallaGH » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:52 pm

newForumNewName wrote:
Thunderforge wrote:
It means that they won't get into casual romantic liaisons, will be a lot less likely to consummate a Love Interest, and should avoid spending their treasure on whores (though ale is still acceptable). All of which can be a lot more of a problem than anything else I could think of.

Wow, you play a very different game than I do! This would never come up in my games.

Ahahahahahahaha! Me and Valhalla need to play games together at some point. That is EXACTLY how my games go.

It's all the time in the desert. Your brains scramble in a predictable way. :wink:
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#17 Postby Thunderforge » Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:45 pm

Turns out there's already at least one group using this conversion for actual gameplay! There's a post about character creation at TripleCrit.com.

One thing that I've been thinking about: in the video games, it's relatively easy to purchase spells and characters will have a wide range of them, even if they aren't proficient in all of them. What do you all think about the possibility of purchasing spells? The Fantasy Companion had spell tomes that could teach you a single spell as random loot, but they are unpriced. I'm concerned about throwing off the balance of power if spells can be bought rather than given with the New Power Edge, but if they are priced highly enough, would it be an issue? What do you all think?
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#18 Postby ValhallaGH » Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:12 pm

I think you could purchase them in the games because you were the epic hero of legend that needed to find some way to learn magic.

Personally, I'd prefer that some of those tomes you find by the house-full would have spells in them, since they probably shouldn't give you +1 parry for reading a book.
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#19 Postby newForumNewName » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:51 pm

I haven't had a chance to read through the whole thing (or the magic section :1icon_wall: ), but it seems to me that this setting screams "different trapping, different power!" So there are maybe a few hundred different versions of Bolt floating around. Et cetera.
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#20 Postby Thunderforge » Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:08 pm

ValhallaGH wrote:Personally, I'd prefer that some of those tomes you find by the house-full would have spells in them, since they probably shouldn't give you +1 parry for reading a book.

So… I take that as a yes to having them in this conversion? How about a base price of $100 x Max Power Points to Cast x Rank seem? (e.g. Speak Language costs $100, Bolt costs $300, Intangibility costs $2,000, everything else is in between). And for that matter, should I just completely axe the New Power Edge and make it all purchased? They would still get 2 free powers to start with.

newForumNewName wrote:I haven't had a chance to read through the whole thing (or the magic section :1icon_wall: ), but it seems to me that this setting screams "different trapping, different power!" So there are maybe a few hundred different versions of Bolt floating around. Et cetera.

You might want to read the magic section then :-D I just listed Savage Worlds powers and had notes about trappings rather than having Firebolt, Frostbolt, Shockbolt, Viperbolt, etc.
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