On Porting Characters from DW to SW

So, not only are we planning to swap rule systems for the same setting, we’re going to try to port our old characters over too. The burning question is where to put the characters on the experience/rank line?

As far as I can see it, there are three ways;

  1. According to the SW rules, characters should be awarded 2-3 XP per adventure, but DW awards XP per monster and per adventure. I could just total up the number of adventures the characters have gone through, multiply this by 2.5 and give this number of XP to each of them in SW to rebuild their characters from scratch.
    Problem: doing this would give them relatively little experience. They’d be starting the game approximately as seasoned characters, which possibly means a drop in ‘level’ and a reduction in the number of skills they have.
  2. I can try to pitch them on the line between a new character and the ‘normal’ maximum character that the system caters for. DW characters run from level 1 to level 10; they’re presently at level 4/5. SW characters run from novice to legendary. Let’s say that each named rank in SW is approximately equivalent to two DW ranks. This would put the characters around the veteran mark in SW.
    Problem: this is probably overshooting the mark. Although at the beginning, DW rank progression is approximately linear (around 30 XP per level), after 5th rank, the gap between ranks starts opening up. Assuming that one SW rank is approximately equivalent to two DW ranks ignores this issue and could potentially pitch the characters further up the XP scale than merited.
  3. I can try to translate their skills and abilities from DW to SW. A knight? Fighting and Riding d8, tracking d6, survival d6. Assassin? Shooting, lock-picking and a few acrobat-type skills. Shouldn’t be too difficult, especially with the help of the rough equivalents provided by ValhallaGH and Planecreek on the PEGINC forum.
    Problem: Hmm. Probably seems to be the best way of doing it actually. Not quite sure where it puts them on the XP scale. I guess I could reverse-engineer; work out where they are and then retrospectively work out how many advances it would have taken to get there.

I think option 3 is probably the safest and fairest to all concerned. There will never be a 1:1 fit – if there was there’d be no point in porting after all, but I think this will be the best approach.

Thinking about it there’s also a fourth way; scratch the PCs and start from scratch – either now or at a later time point, but we’re in the middle of a story arc, and I want to strike while the iron’s hot, so to speak. We might run a quick unrelated scenario with pregenerated characters just to get the feel of the system, we’ll see.

About Mike Page

I’m a Christian, a father, a husband, a biochemist (PhD), a photographer, a gardener, a lover of good rock music, food wine and beer, an ex-pat, a lousy pianist and a patent examiner.
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