The following is a conversion of the Old World of Darkness game Orpheus to the New World of Darkness ruleset. It is a translation of the work done by a Frenchman who goes by the handle Selpoivre, with some minor tweeks made by me. Between my rusty French and, a hefty dose of Google Translate, I think this is a serviceable conversion, or at least should make a good starting point for someone.
- 1 Character Creation
- 2 Laments and Shades
- 2.1 Laments
- 2.2 Shades
- 2.2.1 Banshee
- 2.2.2 Haunter
- 2.2.3 Poltergeist
- 2.2.4 Skinrider
- 2.2.5 Wisp
- 3 New Merits
- 4 Common Powers
- 5 Vitality and Spite
- 6 Experience Point Costs
Step One: Normal Humans...
Following the normal character creation process outline in the World of Darkness core book up to step 7, Merits.
Step Two: ...Sent to the Other Side
Choose Lament: A character’s lament describes their relation with the other side. Two are living folks who can leave their bodies known as projectors, and two are dead people who have no body to leave known as ghosts.
- Skimmers are projectors who can leave their bodies quickly, for a short time, using trances and meditation.
- Sleepers are projectors who can leave their bodies slowly, but for long periods of time, using special medical equipment like cryochambers and drug cocktails.
- Spirits are normal, but high functioning, ghosts who have been able to cling to the world after their deaths.
- Hues are ghosts whose essence has been tainted in some way which allows them to tap into their darker sides.
Choose Shade: A character’s shade is the type of ghost they manifest as. This is highly dependent on a character’s personality.
- Banshees are insightful and empathic types. The power of their voices can wake or quiet emotions as well as wreak destruction. They can also glimpse into the past and future. (Automatic Horror: Wail, Favored Horror: Forbode, Banned Horrors: Helter Skelter, Congeal)
- Haunters are generally adaptable or drifter personalities. They can take over physical structures like cars and phones as well as make their forms burn like fire. (Starting Horror: Inhabit, Favored Horror: Witch’s Nimbus, Banned Horrors: Forebode and Wail)
- Poltergeists are mostly frustrated and angry people. They can throw and manipulate objects and form their ectoplasm into new objects. (Starting Horror: Congeal, Favored Horror: Helter Skelter, Banned Horrors: Unearthly Repose, Storm Wending)
- Skinriders are typically manipulative type alpha personalities. They can posses living and boost the performance of their host’s body. (Starting Horror: Puppetry, Favored Horror: Juggernaut, Banned Horrors: None Known)
- Wisps are charismatic and charming. They can use their powers to attract and charm others as well as limited teleportation. (Starting Horror: Unearthly Repose, Favored Horror: Storm Wending, Banned Horrors: Puppetry, Juggernaut)
Starting Horror: Record a starting Horror based on the chosen Shade.
Starting Vitality: Stamina + Resolve. Vitality is a measure of how powerful and independent a ghost is. It has a rating (dots) and points (squares).
Starting Spite: 3 plus 3 points. Spite is a measure of the angst, hate, and anger that comprises a character’s spirit. It replaces Morality and has both a rating (dots) and points (squares).
Starting Stains: Choose 3 Stains. Stains are horrible characteristics of a character’s spirit that they can manifest, at the cost of added Spite, which have benefits and drawbacks.
Spend Merit Points: Choose merits from the World of Darkness core book or this conversion.
Laments and Shades
Advantages: Skimmers can project their souls after one turn if they possess the Meditation skill or one minute otherwise. Their spirit is connected to their bodies by a thin silver cord which they can use to rapidly return to life. At will the skimmer can “ripcord” back to life in one turn at the cost of 1 automatic bashing damage. Skimmers recover 1 Vitality per hour spent in their bodies.
Disadvantages: Skimmers must spend 1 Vitality per hour to keep their bodies alive. If they fail to do this their body will take 1 automatic bashing per hour not paid. Additionally, trauma inflicted on a skimmer’s spirit travels back along their silver cord and is delivered to their bodies. All damage done to a skimmer’s spirit is also done to their bodies as automatic bashing damage. If a skimmer’s body dies from this damage, their silver cord is severed and they become a spirit or hue.
Advantages: Sleepers can transfer unwanted Spite Points to their bodies at the rate of 1 Spite Point to 1 automatic bashing damage. If this bashing is healed before the sleeper next projects then the Spite is dissipated, however, if they project again before being healed the character gains Spite Points equal to the amount of bashing damage remaining. Sleepers recover 1 Vitality per hour spent in their bodies.
Disadvantages: There is nothing fast about the sleeper process. It takes around 5 hours of intense medical procedures, involving cryostatis and having all bodily fluids replaced with special preservatives, before a sleeper can leave their body.
Advantages: Due to their time in the world of the dead, spirits start play with 7 experience points.
Disadvantages: Upon death, a spirit has a spectral doppelganger form from the pain and angst of their death. This entity exists solely to destroy and consume the character and turn them into a specter. This doppelganger is controlled by the storyteller. It can be temporarily destroyed, but will always return.
Advantages: The taint that has warped a hue also allows it to call on its darker side more easily. Hues can manifest their Stains for a scene without risk of accruing Spite by spending 2 Vitality per stain.
Disadvantages: However, this same taint limits how powerful and independent a Hue can become. Hues have maximum possible Vitality rating of 7, and can never raise their starting value. This is a severe disadvantage. It is recommended they spend their merit points on raising their Vitality rating as high as possible.
Caregiver, Defender, Martyr, Mediator, Penitent
0 Vitality: The banshee can speak through whispers that seem to come from all directions.
1 Vitality: The banshee appears as translucent and torn apparition. The higher their spite rating, the more tattered, torn, and monsterous they appear. All rolls to affect the physical world are halved, rounded down, to a minimum of 1.
2 Vitality: The banshee appears as normal human, though they seem “floaty” as if immersed in water. They may interact with the physical world normally.
Banned: Helter Skelter, Congeal
Dabbler, Explorer, Loner, Rebel, Socialite, Thrill-Seeker
0 Vitality: The haunter appears only in reflective surfaces. These reflections appear as if the haunter were alive, but are completely silent. The haunter must rely on gestures to communicate.
1 Vitality: The haunter appears as a humanoid covered in wet mucous and caul much like old Victorian images of ghosts. A haunter with a high spite rating appears to have dark worms or snakes riling around inside there caul. All rolls to affect the physical world are halved, rounded down, to a minimum of 1.
2 Vitality: The haunter appears as normal human, though extremely anemic and jaundiced. They may interact with the physical world normally.
Favored: Witch’s Nimbus
Banned: Forebode, Wail
Bravo, Bumpkin, Child, Critic, Judge, Masochist, Perfectionist, Rogue
0 Vitality: With a touch the poltergeist can exert some minor control on physical objects that require no more than one dot in Strength and Dexterity.
1 Vitality: The poltergeist pulls small objects nearby together to form a body. If this makeshift body is attacked the poltergeist must succeed on a Willpower roll or the body falls apart and the manifestation ends. The body of a poltergeist with a high spite rating swirls as if in a whirlwind. All rolls to affect the physical world are halved, rounded down, to a minimum of 1.
2 Vitality: The poltergeist appears as normal human, though twitchy and with a look of anger. They may interact with the physical world normally.
Automatic: Helter Skelter
Banned: Unearthly Repose, Storm Wending
Autocrat, Bureaucrat, Competitor, Director, Leader, Mentor, Pedagogue, Tradionalist
0 Vitality: With a touch the skinrider can exert some minor control on the living that require no more than one dot in Strength and Dexterity. They can also speak using their target’s voice. Victims of a skinrider with high spite appear demonically possessed with an otherworldly voice, blanching skin, and wild hair.
1 Vitality: The skinrider creates a body which appears to be made of cobwebs and fog. If the skinrider has a high spite rating, the cobwebs turn from silver to black and dark veins snake through the body. All rolls to affect the physical world are halved, rounded down, to a minimum of 1.
2 Vitality: The skinrider appears as normal human, though their veins and arteries are more apparent as if their skin was much thinner. They may interact with the physical world normally.
Banned: None known
Bon Vivant, Child, Conniver, Rake, Riddler, Trickster
0 Vitality: The wisp appears as a soft yellow or white glow, vaguely spherical in shape. Wisps with high spite tend to appear more red or violet.
1 Vitality: The wisp appears as a slightly blurry version of themselves. With a high spite rating, the wisp will take on darker tones and appear almost like a black and white photograph. All rolls to affect the physical world are halved, rounded down, to a minimum of 1.
2 Vitality: The wisp is almost indistinguishable from their living form other than a slight inner glow. They may interact with the physical world normally.
Automatic: Unearthly Repose
Favored: Storm Wending
Banned: Puppetry, Juggernaut
Meditation (● to ●●●)
Unique to Projectors. Each dot in Meditation adds to the normal meditation roll (Resolve + Composure) to enter a meditative state for either projecting or lowering stress.
Memorial (● to ●●●●●)
Unique to Ghosts. There are living people who remember you and continue to think about you. Each dot in this merit is worth 1 Vitality per session.
Vitality (● to ●●●●●)
Each dot purchased at character creation adds to the character’s Vitality Rating to a maximum of 9 at start (7 for Hues).
All ghosts have the following innate abilities.
Death Sight: A ghost can tell the relative level of vitality a given spirit has by rolling Wits + Composure. This does not allow a ghost to see spirits that are possessing people or objects, or using a power to mask their presence.
Intangible and Invisible: A ghost is completely invisible to most people in the physical world. Additionally, a ghost can spend a point of vitality to be completely intangible to the physical world for a scene. If not intangible a ghost will take 1 Vitality damage from anything that touches them as hard or harder than a thrown baseball. If not hit that hard, a ghost will simply be shoved out of the way.
Manifestation: A ghost can appear in the physical world by expending Vitality points.
See the Chains: By spending a Vitality point a ghost can see what links a ghost to the physical world.
Vitality and Spite
Vitality is measure of the spiritual energy of a ghost and is reflection of their will and capacity for independent action.
Health: Damage done to ghosts is done to their Vitality pool. For Skimmers it is applied to both their Vitality and their Health levels. A ghost’s current vitality also affects how they appear to the living when manifesting. With a low Vitality they look sickly and dead while at high Vitality they appear vibrant and full of life.
Manifesting: Vitality can be spent for a ghost to manifest in the physical world depending on their Shade. Horrors cannot be used to affect the physical world unless a ghost envokes its shade’s 2 Vitality manifestation.
Horrors: Vitality can be spent to activate a ghost’s various Horrors which have different effects determined by the amount of Vitality spent.
Rest: A ghost regains 1 Vitality for every 8 hours spent resting (ie not manifesting or using any horrors) up to their Vitality Rating. Projectors regain 1 Vitality per hour spent in their bodies.
Sharing: Ghosts who work together frequently, and know each other well, can share Vitality through touch. As an action a teammate can donate a point of Vitality to another. These donated points can take a ghost above their Vitality Rating unless they are a Hue.
After a month of working together, and sharing Vitality, teammates can share Vitality with simply a look.
Willpower: As a reflexive action, a Willpower point can be spent to regain 3 Vitality.
Spite: A ghost can tap Spite points to regain Vitality on a 1 to 1 basis up to their current Spite Pool. For each point tapped roll a die. For each failure the ghost gains 1 Spite Point. For each 1 rolled, the ghost gains 2 Spite Points.
A ghost can also tap their Spite Rating. Immediately gain 10 Vitality. These points can take a ghost above their Vitality Rating, except for Hues. Roll 1 die. If it fails immediately gain 1 Spite Rating and roll to degenerate.
Breaking the Strand: If a ghost assists another ghost in breaking the tethers that bind it to the world they can also regain Vitality. This normally involves resolving unfinished business for the ghost and the spending of Vitality to raise the target’s understanding and independence. Once resolved to the storyteller’s satisfaction, all those who participated gain 10 Vitality Points. These points can take a ghost above their Vitality Rating, even Hues! The Storyteller may also deduct up to 5 Spite Points or, if after an exceptional sacrifice, lower a ghost’s Spite Rating.
Consuming Other Spirits: A ghost can absorb the psychic energies of other ghosts and spirits. First the ghost must touch the victim and roll a contest Resolve + Composure check. Every success above the victim’s roll steals 1 Vitality. Every time a ghost does this they must roll their Spite Rating. Every failure results in a Spite Point. If a ghost’s feeding on a another spirit turns the victim into a specter the ghost automatically gains another Spite Rating and must roll to regenerate.
Spite is measure of the anger, bitterness, and insecurity of a ghost.
Regaining Vitality: As above.
Stains: By tapping Spite Points, a ghost can manifest 1 or more of their stains for total amount of turns equal to the amount of Spite Points tapped. For each point tapped roll a die. Gain a Spite Point for each failure.
A ghost can garner up to 10 Spite Points without accruing any permanent taint. However, after aquiring their 11th Spite Point a ghost's Spite Rating increases by 1 and the Spite Point track resets to 1. The ghost must roll for a derangement as per the Morality rules in the World of Darkness core book.
The fastest, and most effective, way of loosing Spite Points is to help other spirits move on to their final destination as mentioned in the Vitality section. The Storyteller may design other ways for characters to reduce their Spite at their discretion.
As a ghost’s Spite Rating surpasses their Vitality Rating, they lose the ability to control their negative emotions.
Spite Rating = Vitality Rating: The ghost looses fine control of their Horrors. All non-offensive Horror use takes a -1 penalty.
Spite Rating +1 Over Vitality Rating: As above plus if the character encounters a specter they must roll Resolve + Composure or take a -2 penalty to all actions taken against the specter as they feel strangely drawn to it.
Spite Rating +2 Over Vitality Rating: As above plus the character gains a number of extra Stains equal to the difference between the two ratings. The ghost takes a penalty to all social rolls equal to the number of stains gained in this way as their rage bleeds into their normal personality. Additionally, if the ghost invokes 2 or more stains, or taps 3 or Spite in a scene any nearby specters will be alerted and attempt to kidnap the ghost.
Spite Rating 10: The ghost completes their metamorphosis into a specter and is no longer suitable for play.
Experience Point Costs
As per the Experience Point Cost chart in the World of Darkness core book with the following additions:
New Horror: 15
Vitality: New Score x 3
The first new Horror a character must purchase is their Shade’s favored Horror.