I'm making a Savage setting for Dead Space, and I'm really unsure about this part. I understand I need to compare the monsters to regular humans, for instance, and try to determine their stats from that, but I'm not sure how. Example: a regular human in SW have, let's say a d6 in strength. Now, in Dead Space, the Necromorphs are mostly stronger than normal humans. Do I then take the most basic Necromorph, which is just a bit stronger than a human and give it a d8 to strength?

And how about lower stats? Let's say average human smarts are d6. The Necromorphs aren't intelligent at all. They are mostly part of a kind of hive-mind, but neither are they stupid. They can lay on the ground and play dead up until the moment you try to step past them. Next thing you know, they jump up and stab you or bite you. Would you say they have a d4, or maybe a d4-2?

Of course, I want a good way of doing this, and I prefer it to be relatively easy. If someone can help with this, I'll be ecstatic!

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    \$\begingroup\$ You might want to stick with just asking how to convert Necromorphs to Savage World characters, if that's all you're converting at the moment. That's much easier to answer than how to convert any video game character into a SW character (which, really, isn't far removed from just a question of how to create any character in SW, which might involve a tutorial in character creation) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 13:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd love to answer this, but haven't got my books with me at the moment. I'd start by looking at Zombies in the bestiary from the core rulebook (I seem to recall they're in there, but not sure, ergo comment), and swap some values around; that would cover some of the Necromorphs, I think. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ardavion
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 17:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would personally edit this to narrow the question as suggested by @JonathanHobbs. Giving broad guidelines on converting monsters to Savage Worlds is a wide topic that is probably too broad for one question on this site \$\endgroup\$
    – Wibbs
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 19:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie I think my confusion actually comes from the difference between the question title and body. The title is very general "monsters", but the body focuses on one specific example. I think in retrospect all it needs is the title to be edited to reflect the content of the question \$\endgroup\$
    – Wibbs
    Commented Feb 12, 2014 at 16:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ Since the original poster hasn't done it, I've changed the topic and narrowed down the question a bit to focus on the Necromorphs from Dead Space, rather than all monsters from video games, per this discussion. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 5:22

1 Answer 1


First off, I'll quote some general advice about converting settings, which is in the GM section of Savage Worlds Deluxe:

Like an original setting, identify the themes of the other game and try to adapt with a very few key world rules. Literal translations of game mechanics from other systems usually just result in cumbersome sub-systems that don't add one minute of fun to the Savage version.

I think that this advice also applies to converting monsters and other elements from video games. Fortunately, you seem to have the right mindset by considering their place within the setting and describing them as "stronger" or "weaker" rather than pulling out the mechanical numbers from the game.

As you noted, a d6 is usually the baseline for an "average" person in the setting (with "average" generally referring to an average trained person. An average soldier in the military would have d6 Shooting, an average writer who spends his days in a coffee shop will not). Everything else should be in relation to that.

If a Necromorph is noticeably stronger than an average human in the setting, give them a d8 Strength, which will put it on the level with someone who has gone above and beyond average strength training. Giving them a d10 Strength would make it only an equal match for those who are even more dedicated to it and so forth. Put another way, the higher their Strength, the more people they will be overpowering by a greater degree, and the fewer the characters who will be equally matched against it.

You specifically mentioned Smarts as a point of contention. One thing you can do is add the animal intelligence modifier, written as "Smarts d6 (A)". From the book:

Note that for some creatures, Smarts is listed relative to the animal world, and is thus followed by an (A) to remind you that this is animal intelligence, not people intelligence, so don't expect a dolphin to drive off in your tank just because it's a relatively smart animal.

It sounds to me like this might be appropriate for the Necromorphs, since you wrote that they aren't intelligent, but can use hunting tactics to great effect (sounds like they're using the "Smarts trick" combat maneuver). So they might have Smarts d6 (A) or even Smarts d8 (A) if they're very clever. For reference, enemies in the SWD bestiary like a Wolf, Giant Worm, and Lion have Smarts d6 (A). By the way, Attributes cannot go below d4, so you can't have Smarts d4-2 like you suggested.

Hindrances and Edges are generally for intelligent beings rather than monsters. There are some exceptions, such as monsters in the SWD bestiary getting things like Frenzy, but generally these are few and far between and almost always combat related (it doesn't make sense for a zombie to have the Arrogant Hindrance, for instance). Also note that if they do get them, they are usually listed under the "Special Abilities" section of their statblock, rather than an "Edges" or "Hindrances" section. This is more for concision in the statblock than anything else.

Finally, don't forget Special Abilities. Immediately before the bestiary in SWD is a list of monstrous abilities that are generally inappropriate for players, but are important to many monster concepts, such as ethereal and infravision. If you need something that isn't covered by anything else, this is usually where you put it (for instance, the wolf's "go for the throat" ability and the deal about a vampire needing to be invited into a house are new special abilities). However, less is more and you should avoid creating new special abilities unless it is absolutely essential to the concept.

If you'd like to see an example of converting video game enemies into Savage Worlds, check out my Elder Scrolls conversion, complete with a bestiary statting enemies from the games.


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