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World of Darkness: Innocents

Conversion from World of Darkness: Innocents to The World of Darkness rules set (characters growing up).

The rules presented in WoD: Innocents are intended for children, ages 7 to 12.
The World of Darkness rulebook is intended for adults, ages 18 and up.
Below are rules for meeting them halfway for teenagers as well as the process of changing from child to teen to adult. There is information here from the section in WoD: Innocents on upgrading characters to adults, which I have fleshed out and added the midpoint to.

Step One: Updating Concept

Consider how your character has changed during the intervening years. Pay special attention to whether the characters have kept in touch. Very few people have close friends from their childhoods, but experience with the supernatural might just be a strong enough impetus to keep a group in contact, at least occasionally. Relationships change due to new priorities, likes, dislikes, school changes, etc. Families move away, children of divorced or separated parents may be sent to live primarily with the other parent. Also, if the characters are all family friends (or just family), they have a good reason to stay involved with each other.

It might be interesting for each player to decide individually how his or her character has changed, and then present this new teen or adult version to the other characters without much in the way of explanation. Describe the character as she is now, with no reference to how she was then, and let the other players figure out what's changed.

Puberty (Child to Teen)

There is a change in attention and focus from childhood to teenage years as many of the following things affect their view of the world and how they interact with it:

  • hormones (growth spurts, interest in the opposite sex
  • changes in how school works (no recess, moving from classroom to classroom, and interacting with a larger number of people in the classroom)
  • becoming more mature (in reality and/or perception)
  • a greater need of freedom and whether they get as much as they want or not (from parents, guardians, teachers, etc.)
Some of these changes may involve a character distancing themselves from other PCs (especially from younger ones) as they create new bonds. This may also be a way for them to try to distance themselves from the supernatural events they have experiences (if they can).

Coming of Age (Teen to Adult)

Depending on how many years have passed, characters might:

  • have college degrees, careers, spouses, children
  • be struggling for a place to live or have a home
  • have buried parents, friends or lovers
  • suffered injuries and terrible losses

Don't Forget the Weirdness

And, of course, consider the supernatural. Have the characters seen anything strange in the years since their last meetings? Have they continued to pursue the unexplained, or do they just ignore it, like most of the adults in the World of Darkness? If that's the case, seeing the other characters will almost assuredly rattle the characters terribly. How will they cope with that?

Assets and Faults to Virtues and Vices

Switching Assets and Faults to Virtues and Vices should happen during the early teenage years and doesn't require a change anywhere else in the system so it can be done independent of other changes.

Step Two: Updating Attributes

This can occur at the 12 to 13 year change or at the 17 to 18 year change. Attributes do not necessarily change. If you wish to “shuffle” your character's Attribute ratings, however, you may do so (even possibly to the point of changing which categories are primary, secondary and tertiary. An athletic kid might grow up and lose some of his physical prowess, but become a practiced socialite. A child who had a tough time in school (low Mental Attributes) might just be a late bloomer.

Step Three: Passage of Time

Changes should occur at the 12 to 13 year change or at the 17 to 18 year change. It is generally around this time that people start to have a greater understanding of concepts that make the knowledge of younger children seem “simplistic”. And it is this same phenomena that causes a mix of awe and confusion from younger children at the opinions and knowledge of “older kids”.

Adjusting Skills

Any dots in Study should be put into Academics and/or Science. Physical Skills now include Drive, and Social Skills now include Persuasion.

Subtract one dot from each Skill your character possesses, to a minimum of 1 dot. This isn't to suggest that children lose abilities as they get old; it merely simulates the growing complexity of information that Skills represent for teenagers and adults and the effort that adults must put into maintaining their Skills. Note, however, that characters keep the basic knowledge and ability they had in their youth.

If the character's Skills total less than 11/7/4 with three Specialties, add dots to the appropriate categories to bring them up to this total. Any skill dots and specialties beyond these minimums must be purchased with experience points. It's not critical that the integrity of the primary/secondary/tertiary division for Skills be maintained, provided that the character winds up with 22 dots in Skills (prior to spending XP).

Adjusting Specialties

Specialties don't necessarily change, though they can if the player wishes (it's often appropriate; our interests change as they grow more sophisticated). If the character has less than three Specialties, add dots to the appropriate categories to bring them up to this total. Any specialties beyond the first three must be purchased with experience points.

Step Four: Updating Merits

This can occur at the 12 to 13 year change or at the 17 to 18 year change (will vary based on merit). Certain merits will have a particular time of change mentioned. If the character has fewer than seven Merit dots after the following changes are accounted for, choose Merits to bring the total to seven.

Mental Merits

Ego Boost and Mental Prodigy go away at 18 years. At 13, Mental Prodigy allows the 5th dot of a mental skill. Unseen Sense goes from a 2-dot merit to a 3-dot merit (it is less common and harder to retain this sensitivity as an adult).

Physical Merits

The childhood Fighting Styles (Karate for Kids and Playground Dogpile) are lost, but if the character has kept up his training, he can use experience points to purchase dots in the Brawl Skill and/or pick up Fighting Style: Kung Fu, Fighting Style: Boxing or other appropriate Style (depending on the characters intervening experience a Weaponry-based fighting style might be a good choice).

Giant goes from a 3-dot merit to a 4-dot merit (as even adults don't normally get this big).

Physical Prodigy goes away at 18 years. At 13, Physical Prodigy allows the 5th dot of a physical skill. Hard Head goes away at 13 years of age as it provides a resistance to rules that do not apply to teens and adults. Tough goes away at the same time because children become teens that gain the tough experiences, or don't in which case their Resolve and/or Composure remain low.

Social Merits

Social Prodigy goes away at 18 years. At 13, Social Prodigy allows the 5th dot of a social skill. Deep Pockets and Odd Jobs go away at 18, possibly earlier, to be replaced by Resources (or they just eek by) once a character is no longer dependent on his parents.

Guardian is likely to go away or becomes a disadvantage as your parents or someone else continues to treat you like a child, keeping track of your whereabouts and activities.

Despite the Pet merit not being in The World of Darkness rulebook, it can remain ... or be added. Most pets will not survive with a character into adulthood, but may have been replaced with another pet with a similar significance.

Updating Flaws

This should occur sometime during the teenage years. Most change that will occur here will depend on the development of the character from child to adult such that particular flaws may not change, others may change focus and still others may go away entirely.

Flaws such as Behavior Blind (social) and Learning Disability (mental) are likely to go away. Trigger (mental) will become Derangement or another appropriate mental Flaw.

Step Five: Updating Morality and Triggers

Morality doesn't necessarily change, though it can be bought up with experience points (new dots x 3) or traded in for more experience points (5 experience per dot lost, to a minimum Morality rating of 5). Triggers are assumed to have faded, though they can be converted to derangements.

Step Six: Updating Traits

Now it is time, once all of the initial character creation points have been used, to spend experience points to round out the new and past experiences of your character. This is where you decide if you put points back into some of the things that lowered or if your points are placed into new thing that reflect your growth into new areas.

Step Seven: Updating Experience Points

Add experience points to your character using the following formula: 20 plus the number of years that transpire between the age of the characters at the end of the Innocents chronicle and the age of the characters at the beginning of the new, adult-oriented chronicle. These points can be used to buy up any trait that that player wishes.

Step Eight: Update Advantages

Depending on which traits have been raised or altered, Speed, Health, Willpower, Defense and Initiative might have changed. In addition, Size increases to 5, even if the character was Tiny (characters with the Giant Merit do not change in Size; the Merit dots spent for Giant are reassigned in Step Five).

Example of Updating a Character

Matt has decided that after several stories, he's going to move his Innocents chronicle forward seven years. This means that the characters, including Jess' character Olivia (whom we met on p. 167), move past the range of Innocents and into adulthood. Olivia, 12 years old in Matt's original chronicle, will be 19 as the new one starts.

As such, Matt instructs Jess to use the maturation system to make Olivia into a woman. For the sake of space, we'll assume that Matt and Jess do not have access to the World of Darkness Rulebook, and thus this example does not use rules or traits from that book.

  • Step One: Concept -- Jess talks with Matt and with the other players about what Olivia has been doing. Olivia, Jess decides, graduated from high school in the middle of her class. She's never been a slacker, but she's more motivated to be social than to study. As such, Olivia was active in drama club and spent a season as a cheerleader, and moved on to college to major in English (though she's thinking of switching to Pharmacy -- what's she going to do with an English degree, after all?). Jess decides that Olivia is still Friendly (her Asset doesn't change), but she's not as egocentric as she was in her youth. She still has trouble being considerate of others, and her experiences with the supernatural awakened a Cruel streak within her.
    Over the course of the Innocents chronicle, Olivia has improved her traits. She's added a second dot of Stamina, single dot of Occult, Investigation, Weaponry and Subterfuge, a second dot of Stealth, and a dot of the Fast Reflexes Merit. Unfortunately, Olivia has also lost a dot of Morality during an unfortunate incident involving bats and a car accident, and developed a trigger along the way (Insomnia -- sometimes, when she tries to sleep, she still hears the horrible shriek of those bats).
  • Step Two: Attributes -- Jess decides that in addition to the extra dot in Stamina (which she is keeping), moving the third dot in Manipulation to Dexterity since Olivia has maintained a high level of exercise, but lost some of the need and knack to manipulate.
  • Step Three: Passage of Time -- Jess looks over Olivia's character sheet and reduces the Crafts, Stealth, Expression, Intimidation and Socialize Skills by one dot (her other Skills are already at one dot, so those don't change). She leaves the Crafts Specialty in Sewing (Olivia has kept up with this hobby), but decides that Olivia has lost her knack for Intimidation with younger kids -- she's just not around them that much anymore. Jess decides to wait to replace that Specialty until she knows what she's doing with her adult Skills.
  • Step Four: Merits -- Olivia doesn't live with her parents anymore, so Deep Pockets is no longer applicable. Likewise, her Contacts Merit represented her friends in elementary school. Her Team Player and Danger Sense Merits can remain as they are, and Jess decides that Olivia still pays attention and still works well with others.
  • Step Five: Morality and Triggers -- Olivia's Insomnia has been reigned in over the years, though Jess decides that Olivia sometimes needs medication to get to sleep at night (though she isn't so dependent as to justify a Flaw). Her Morality remains at 6, and Jess doesn't wish to reduce it further.
  • Step Six: Update Traits -- Presently, Olivia has seven dots in her Social Skills, six in Mental Skills and four in Physical Skills. Matt isn't particular about Jess sticking to the 11/7/4 spread, especially since she'll be able to raise these traits with experience, so Jess has five Skill dots and two Specialties to spread around. She adds dot to Study, a dot to Computer, two dots to Politics and one dot to Intimidation. She gives herself a Specialty in Intimidation (Cold Stare; this plays into the Cruel streak that she discovered during the Innocents chronicle) and one in Science (Chemistry; she's found she has a real knack for it). Olivia has two dots of Merits unaccounted for (she lost three dots, but has a total of five, counting her Fast Reflexes). She puts them into Striking Looks -- Olivia has blossomed into a lovely young woman.
  • Step Seven: Experience Points -- Seven years have passed since the end of Matt's Innocents chronicle, Jess has 27 experience points to spend on Olivia (between leftover experience and experience awarded for the passage of the seven years. Jess decides that Olivia has kept in shape and has learned a bit of self-defense, and so spends six experience points on a second dot of Athletics, and three more on a dot in Brawl. She spends nine on a third dot of Socialize (Olivia fits in quite well with the college party scene), and three more on a Specialty in Occult (Urban Legends; Olivia likes to scare her friends with spooky stories). Jess spends the remaining six experience points on Merits. She buys a dot of Contacts, representing the faculty in the Pharmacy department (two experience points), a second dot of Fast Reflexes (four experience points).
  • Step Eight: Update Advantages -- Olivia's Size is now 5, meaning her Health increases by one. Her second dot in Fast Reflexes increases her Initiative Modifier by one. Her Speed, Defense and Willpower do not change. Olivia is now an adult character, ready to re-enter play and experience the World of Darkness through a different set of eyes.

Children and Adult Interactions with Teens

Children vs. Adults

Simulating contests between adults and children is complicated, in part because of the vast difference in the age range of Innocents. When children and adult characters interact, the following systems apply:

  • All unarmed combat attacks made on adults by children receive a negative modifier equal to the adult's Stamina.
  • Adults are not subject to the stun rule (p. 153).
  • Adults receive 8-Again (p. 127) on all contested rolls made against children, except on rolls to find children who are hiding (see p. 65) or to spot children who are running for it (p. 143).
  • Adults do not suffer wound penalties until they have only three open Health boxes. At that point, they suffer a -1 penalty, then -2, and finally, with no boxes open, -3. Adults never lose 10-Again or the ability to take heroic effort from wounds.

Children vs. Teens

When children and teen characters interact, the following systems apply:

  • All unarmed combat attacks made on teens by children receive a negative modifier equal to half the teen's Stamina (round up).
  • Teens are not subject to the stun rule (p. 153).
  • Teens receive 9-Again (instead of 8-Again, p. 127) on all contested rolls made against children, except on rolls to find children who are hiding (see p. 65) or to spot children who are running for it (p. 143).
  • Teens do not suffer wound penalties until they have only four open Health boxes. At that point, they suffer a -1 penalty, then -2, no Heroic Effort, and finally, with no boxes open, -3. Adults never lose 10-Again.

Teens vs. Adults

When teen and adult characters interact, the following systems apply:

  • All unarmed combat attacks made on adults by teens receive a negative modifier equal to half the adult's Stamina (round up).
  • Neither teens or adults are subject to the stun rule (p. 153).
  • Adults receive 9-Again (instead of 8-Again, p. 127) on all contested rolls made against teens, except on rolls to find teens who are hiding or to spot teens who are running for it (no modifier in these situations).
  • Teens do not suffer wound penalties until they have only four open Health boxes. At that point, they suffer a -1 penalty, then -2, no Heroic Effort, and finally, with no boxes open, -3. Adults never lose 10-Again.
  • Adults do not suffer wound penalties until they have only three open Health boxes. At that point, they suffer a -1 penalty, then -2, and finally, with no boxes open, -3. Adults never lose 10-Again or the ability to take heroic effort from wounds.

New Merit: Fort (o+)

Effect: A fort is a place where kids can retreat to where they can hide, relax, have fun with others, grab a stashed snack and occasionally be protected. It can be anywhere that is away from the eyes and ears of parents and many times other kids, or may actually have been provided by a child's parents. This can provide a place to plan how to deal with the next really weird thing that stalks the neighborhood, or perhaps a place to hole-up and defend against one that has found you...

There are three categories that points spent into this merit fall under and a large number of potential points that could be spent. The actual number of points for a fort are likely to fall far under this number. Most forts excel in one of the categories or are modestly balanced. Some sample forts are listed below:

Sample Forts

A single character's fort is likely to be o to ooo dots.


ooo - "A tree fort that your father helped you build. It has a knotted rope for access, a roof, a couple of windows, and is just big enough for 2-3 friends to visit. You have added some old pillows, a small endtable and some left-over carpet for the floor."

  • Size 0
  • Security 1 [access; rope ladder]
  • Amenities [comfort, shelter])

A group of 4-5 kids are likely to have a fort worth ooooo ooo+ dots.


ooooo ooo - "An old tool shed discovered amongst overgrown grass, bushes and weeds not far from a farmer's barn. The shed has no windows, but does have some rusty holes that allow peeking out. An extension cord has been run from the barn and buried a couple of inches into the ground (to avoid it being discovered or mowed over) providing power to the old rusty shed. Chairs and a card table have been added. A hammock hangs along one side and a mini-fridge in one corner with soda and sandwich fixings in it."

  • Size 1 [8' x 12' shed]
  • Security 2 [hidden by weeds and bushes]
  • Amenities 5 [food, water, comfort, juice, shelter])

ooooo ooooo oo - "A small abandoned house, mostly forgotten about. Surrounded by overgrowth, no one is going to easily notice anyone coming or going. A house key was found in the house that works on the back door so it can be locked and unlocked as needed. It is a small house with only one bedroom, a living room, kitchen, bathroom, pantry and dining room. There are a couch, loveseat, fridge, stove and dining room table. The fridge and stove work well enough and there is some food (mostly snack foods) and drinks in the kitchen. Since moving in you covered the windows inside with black cloth so no one can tell the house is being used. Currently there is power to the house, but no telling how long that will last..."

  • Size 3 [small house; 6 rooms]
  • Security 4 [hidden by weeds and windows covered (2), lockable (2)]
  • Amenities 5 [food, water, comfort, juice, shelter])

Fort Size (o to ooooo)

Forts can vary drastically in size from a shack or natural cave just large enough for a few kids to huddle in to a boarded over, forgotten house that has a loose board at one of the doors or windows.

  • About the size of a closet (up to 6' x 6')
  • One room (up to 12' x 12')
  • Two to three rooms; a multi-chamber cave or an apartment (up to 24' x 24')
  • Four to eight rooms; a small house (up to 50' x 50')
  • Nine or more rooms or a really large area; a large house, barn or small warehouse (up to 100' x 100')
  • a large barn, old warehouse or other large area

Scavengeable Materials
(things commonly thrown away next to the dumpster)

  • couch, loveseat, chairs
  • coffee table, end table
  • old mattresses/box springs
  • shelves and cabinets
  • fridge/mini-fridge
  • misc. lumber
  • lamps

Fort Security (o+)

Most forts are setup with ways to keep out unwanted guests such as trap doors that can be blocked off from within the fort, being built up in a tree where it is difficult to get too, concealed from view in a variety of ways, or make use of naturally occurring defenses (a discovered cave, concealment behind trees and bushes, requires a boat to get to, etc.). More than 3 dots should involve some really good camouflage or actual defenses of some sort.

Someone can see the fort without difficulty and can enter the fort without much effort. There are no penalties to find or enter the fort.
The fort is difficult to access or is partially hidden from view. There is a 2 dice penalty to find or access the fort (as appropriate).
The fort is very difficult to access or is completely hidden from view. There is a 4 dice penalty to find or access the fort (as appropriate).
Some combination of the first two (hidden & difficult to access) totaling three points. There is a 6 dice penalty to find or access the fort (as appropriate).
Both of the two point ratings (hidden & difficult to access). There is a 6 dice penalty to find or access the fort (as appropriate).
Ratings higher than in concealment or defense require that there be fairly sophisticated camouflage or something that presents a danger to those entering the fort (other than the actions of the characters).

Fort Amenities (o to ooooo)

Food, water, a dry place and comfort are very important to the fort that sees a lot of use. Many forts have a stash of snackable items replenished by the group or naturally occurring food such as the cherries growing on the tree where the fort is built. Some may have a working faucet or a decent stream nearby for water. Kids frequently will leave things in their fort that can provide comfort for future stays (whether it is to spend while skipping a day at school or hiding from a monster) such as a mattress, pillows, blankets, chairs, a table, etc. A source of electricity can increase the possibilities dramatically: space heaters, televisions, mini-fridges, etc.

With ingenuity kids can manage to scavenge or haphazardly construct/repair enough to end up with a rather extensive fort (see sidebars).

Hand-Me-Downs / Household Items

  • old gaming console and t.v.
  • cooler
  • sleeping bags
  • matches
  • light bulbs
  • pillows and blankets
  • flashlights
  • bug spray
  • tools from the garage

o  The fort provides no food or water, minimal protection from the elements, nothing that provides any level of comfort (everyone sits on the floor or stands), and no source of power.
All of the items listed below cost a dot:

  • Comfort: Comfort is provided that allows the kids to relax, recuperate and spend more time at the fort. This may be in the form of chairs and a table, a mattress or sleeping bag(s), blankets, pillows, or anything else that would make staying at the fort more comfortable.
  • Food: Provides food in the form of natural food (berries, nuts, etc.) and/or food brought and left at the fort someplace dry and covered.
  • Juice: A source of electricity is available, allowing for modern conveniences: space heaters, fans, televisions, game machines, mini-fridge, recharging of mobile phones (and other rechargeable devices), etc.
  • Shelter: The fort is generally rainproof, cuts down on wind and keeps at least somewhat cool/warm (but will still be uncomfortable during extreme weather).
  • Water: Provides a source of water (water bottles that are refilled periodically, a working faucet at or near the fort, a stream, etc.).