Streamlining the WOD: First thoughts
As you may have seen from our previous post I was in a Google Hangout last evening with Marko, Rufus and Chepé; the crux of the Hangout was that I wanted to run a world of darkness game in the future (probably either the V2 NWOD version of Werewolf: the Forsaken or the V2 version of Changeling: the Lost (when it’s released)) but that I feel the rules for the game could do with a real streamlining. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the rules but I don’t feel as though they’ve been majorly altered/re-worked since they were created (understandable since the publisher doesn’t want to alienate their core market) but have just has sub-systems piled on top of the existing rules, making it a little unwieldy in my opinion.
Whilst the discussion on the Hangout turned into something a little more like “how could Fate be used to run World of Darkness“, I very much want to use the core WOD system (or something like it) in a game.
So i’ve decided to create a list of things that I believe will need to be dealt with in my streamlined version of the game:
Things that I want to get rid off
- Conditions: One of the newer mechanics that I am not that keen on, I love the idea of having conditions that apply to a character and encourage RP but i’m going to be looking for a different way of representing them (perhaps taking a leaf from the Fate aspect system).
- Humanity/morality score: I’ve never really liked the idea that humanity was tracked on a scale like it is in WOD so i’m going to look for a different way of doing that.
- Altering the number you need to roll on dice: Certainly in OWOD the GM could alter the number you needed to roll on a dice to make it a success (as well as the number of successes you needed per roll); I don’t think this is as prevalent in NWOD but it’s something I want to get rid of.
- The massive skill list: One of the things I thing Fate does well, and that i’m taking inspiration from, is that they shortened the skill list dramatically, I think that the list of WOD skills can be condensed down.
- Merit & flaws: After a suggestion by Marko I think that i’m going to get rid of merits/flaws and have them represented by either something akin to Fate aspects or incorporate them into the background system somehow.
- Different types of damage: I think this is unnecessary and can be dealt with by just varying the damage level instead or common sense (if a werewolf can’t soak silver damage then just don’t let them, for instance).
Things that I want to keep
- D10s and the attribute + skill style mechanic: D10s are very much linked with the WOD so I want to keep them and I like the whole attribute+skill mechanic although I may not have it as a dice pool, i’m considering reverting to an attribute+skill+dice roll vs opponents roll/difficulty level style system just to make things a little quicker and less dice intensive.
- The background system: I love the backgrounds in the WOD, however over they have odd and arbitrary rules attached to them, i’d like to see them incorporated into the dice pool/total; so you might be rolling attribute + skill + background + dice roll.
I’ve also been thinking about the things that i’m going to need to cover in my WOD hack:
- Supernatural powers: There needs to be some method of representing these that keeps the essential flavour of the powers without unnecessary book flipping.
- Supernatural weaknesses: Things like a vampires need for blood or a werewolves vulnerability to silver will have to be represented somehow.
- Morality: Despite me not liking the current rules system, morality is an important aspect of most WOD games and so it will need to be dealt with somehow.
Over the new few weeks/months i’m going to put up a series of posts that discuss my tweaks to the WOD system and hopefully some playtesting as well.Tags: Chepé, Fate, Fate Accekerated, Fate Core, hack, hangout on air, Marko, nWoD, OWOD, Rufus, rules revisions, WOD, World of Darkness