Savage Worlds Rules Summary
This includes Deadlands Content. This is a work in progress...
A Primer What do I need to play? As a group, you will need: • Savage Worlds Deluxe (SW:D) • Deadlands Revised: Player’s Guide (DLPG) • Deadlands Revised: Marshal’s Handbook (DLMH) • A Character Sheet for each PC • Dice: 1d4, 2d6, 1d8, 1d10, & 1d12 • 1 deck of playing cards with Jokers Why Three Books? Toolbox? Savage Worlds is a set of rules, but has no setting. Deadlands is setting, but has no rules. Frequently one book will reference the other and together you get one game with two books. There are many books dedicated to specific settings or expansions to specific areas of gamer interest. Your group is encouraged to take up which settings, rules, and books fit your group best, and leave behind the ones that do not. This is called The Toolbox approach to rules. This is great for players because you can learn one set of core rules (here called Savage Worlds Deluxe) and play many wildly different games without having to relearn different rules for the same thing. Also, crossover games are easily accommodated. Conversely, this is not good for players because each game may lack the level of cohesion a game gains when its core mechanics are custom designed to suit it’s theme. A note on Reskinning Savage Worlds provides rules devoid of story context. It is intended to be used, customized, and adapted to the idiom provided in a setting book. This means everything is named and described in generalities, but intended to be renamed and redescribed as fits your setting. For example, the Power “Bolt” might be called “Magic Missile” in a fantasy setting, or “Soul Burn” in an Elizabethan horror setting, or “Mind Blast” in a game with psyonics. All three are attacks that hit for 2d6 at range, but have different meanings and connotations in their respective settings. This applies from the ground up, affecting most everything in the game.
Who is the Marshal? Marshal is the reskinned DM, GM, or ST. Same thing, different name. Move along, cowpoke.
Core Dice Mechanic Overview Players have Traits and Skills, each measured in dice, like Strength d4 or Firearms d10. The higher the number of faces on the die, the better. When a check is called for, generally players will roll their Trait or Skill die and add relevant bonuses and penalties to the final total. The result is compared to a Target Number (TN) provided by the GM. The TN is usually a static 4, but some circumstances use alternate methods to determine the TN.
Wild Die: Wild Cards (see below) always roll a 1d6 along with their Trait or Skill roll. The active player chooses to use either die result (usually the higher one) after all roles and rerolls are completed. Wild Die can Ace.
Aces: Any die landing on its maximum value is rolled again and has the new number added to the previous number. This is cumulative and repeats until a nonmaximum number is rolled. Both Wild Cards and Extras can Ace.
Raises: Every 4 points by which you beat the TN of a roll is called a Raise. This is important to the Marshal.
Wild Cards: All player characters and particularly important or powerful NPCs are called Wild Cards. This allows them access to a special rules like the derived stat Grit and the Wild Die.
Extras: Every villain worth his spit needs minions, a flock of hangers-on who are no threat alone, but potential more dangerous in numbers. We call these short lived fools “Extras.”
Character Creation SW:D pg 44-47
1 - Choose a race 2 - Buy Traits 3 - Buy Skills 4 - Determine Derived stats 5 - Choose Hindrances & Edges 6 - Buy Gear 7 - Create background details
• Pace: How fast you walk in a turn. Pace starts at 6 +/Advantages and Flaws. Run = Pace +1d6. See “Scale.” • Parry: How hard you are to hit in melee. Parry = Fighting/2 +2 +/- Bonuses from weapons and Advantages & Flaws. If Fighting = 0, use 2 instead. Round total value down. • Toughness: Damage Threshold. Toughness = Vigor/2 +2 +Armor. Round total value down.
1 - Race
Humans only. +1 Free Edge. No Elves or Dwarves in Deadlands, only tough hombre’s made of spit and glass make it in the Weird West.
*See Derrived Stats
2 - Traits All Traits start at d4. Start with 5 points. -1point increases a Trait’s die type by 1. Capped at d12. • Agility: Nimbleness, quickness, and dexterity. • Smarts: General knowledge and mental agility. • Spirit: Inner wisdom & willpower. Helps you recover from being Shaken. • Strength: Raw physical power, fitness, & melee damage • Vigor: Endurance, resistance to disease, poison, or toxins, and damage mitigation
3 - Skills All Skills start at 0, or untrained. Start with 15 Points. -1 point increases a Skill’s die type by one. The first purchase grants a d4. Skills purchased with a die type above their linked Trait cost 2 points. Linked traits are color coordinated above and below. Skills are capped at d12. Other skills, especially knowledge skills, can be created as needed. Some are granted by Advantages
4 - Derived Stats These are much like Traits, but they are not bought. Their value is derived from other values. • Charisma: your character’s appearance, manner, and general likability. Starts at 0 and is raised/lowered by Edges and Flaws. Charisma is added to Persuasion and Streetwise Rolls. The GM can use this to determine first impressions for NPCs • Grit*: This measures your hero’s willpower and experiences. Essentially, how well you keep it together when WEIRD stuff starts happening. Wild Cards receive +1 Grit/Rank. Grit adds directly to Guts rolls.
5 - Hindrances & Edges Start with 0 Points. Minor Hindrances add a point, Major Hindrances add 2 points. Limit 1 Major and 2 Minor Hindrances. Raising an Attribute or adding an Edge is -2 points. Gaining a skill point or gaining an additional $250 is 1 point. Human receive 1 Edge for free. Edges + Hindrances must = 0 at the end. See Unbalanced Hindrances?
6 - Gear Start with $250. Buy stuff from DLPG 55-57. It’s so simple, I almost made it on one line.
7 - Background Details Name? Origin Story? Motivation? Life Goal? What makes you a person worthy of story, and not just a mook? Worst Nightmare What scares your character? What causes him to wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat? Write it down. Tell the Marshal. No reason…
Other Things Level UP!
Each session you will receive 1 - 3 XP. Character “Level” is called “Rank” and is judged by Total XP gained. XP can be spent on advancements. Each advancement costs 5XP. Keep track of total XP earned, and XP spent separately.
Unfamiliar Skills: -2 for skills used in ways the character is not used to. This lasts until the character is familiar with the skill’s new use, determined by the Marshal.
• Gain a new Edge • +1 to die type of one skill ≥ its linked Attribute • +1 to die type of two skills < than linked Attribute • +1 new skill at d4 • +1 to one Attribute die type, once per rank.
Common Knowledge: Some knowledge is assumed to be present. If a roll requires a check against something common knowledge, roll Smart. +2 if it seems likely the character knows it based on background/experiences. -2 for foreign subjects. Success yields common basic information. EG: This cave was carved, not formed naturally.
All edges can be purchased as advancements, even background edges. The Marshal and player are encouraged to come up with any reasonable justification and allow the purchase.
Ranks Total XP 0-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80+
Rank Novice Seasoned Veteran Heroic Legendary
Specific Knowledge: Anything rolled using Knowledge [Specific Topic] skill should provide detailed information on the subject, not generic overviews. They should provide significant impact on the game. EG: This cave was carved by (Race X) in (Year) and can be collapsed at points Y & Z. Unbalanced Hindrances? Savage Worlds assumes you will take a full complement of Hindrances and reap the benefits. The designers are aware that some Hindrances can be “gamed” around for free points. They encourage the Marshal and player to incorporate them into the story, but Hindrances are designed to help a player develop a character, not penalize him.