Savage Worlds House Rules

From Asmythe

Savage Worlds is a framework system from Pinnacle Entertainment. It is ideal for a lore heavy, narrative friendly world like Asmythe.

Any references to page numbers refer to the Savage Worlds Adventure Edition core book unless otherwise noted.

Characters

Savage Worlds character creation is designed to support archetypes, which are idealized character styles popularized by books, movies, and other kinds of fiction. For example, an elven druid with animal companions, a human paladin fighting for great good, a dwarven smith, a book and staff wizard, a tough barbarian, and many many more.

Consider what kind of character you want to play and the information below should help you create that character. At the bottom of this page is a list of sample archetypes and character builds.

Recommended Character Creation Process


  1. First get a piece of scratch paper and use this to make notes during this process.
  2. Decide on a character concept and archetype. What kind of character do you want to play?
  3. Choose a race for your character that fits your concept.
  4. Review the list of skills and choose a 4-8 that are important to your character concept. Looking at the linked attribute for these skills, which attributes look like they are the most important?
  5. Allocate attribute points according to your character concept and skills from above. You
  6. Choose skills and allocate points. You should have 5-10 skills with at least a d6 in your most important skills. Note that skills may not be higher than the linked attribute.
  7. Make your character interesting by selecting 4 points in hinderances. Use these points to gain edges and/or improve attributes. If your character uses magic you must gain the appropriate supernatural background edge, see #Supernatural Backgrounds below.
  8. All characters begin with basic adventuring gear (see below). If you want any additional gear now is the time to talk to your GM about it.
  9. Copy everything to your character sheet.

Races

Humans Humans are the most common player race and form the baseline for used for other races. They are more sociable and adaptable than other races.

  • Adaptable: Begin with a free novice edge of your choice.

Elves Elves are about half as tall as humans and spend most of their lives in natural surroundings. They are nomadic, stealthy, and fierce. Elves have a natural tendency toward primal magic.

  • Attribute Increase: Agility begins at d6
  • Small (Size -1): Elves are child-sized by human standards.

Dwarves Dwarves are short and stout and spend most of their lives in large mountain strongholds. They have access to alchemy magic.

  • Attribute Increase: Vigor begins at d6
  • Reduced Pace: Due to short and stout stature Pace is -1 and running is reduced by one die type.

Traits

Traits are rated on the dice scale: 0, d4, d6, d8, d10, d12

Attributes

All begin at d4 and new characters have 5 points to raise attributes, one die type per point with a maximum of d12.

  • Agility - Dexterity, coordination, reflexes
  • Smarts - Intellect, perception, logic
  • Spirit - Willpower, mental fortitude, charisma
  • Strength - Physical fitness, muscle strength
  • Vigor - Endurance, health, constitution

Skills

Every character begins with the four common skills and one knowledge skill at a base value of d4. All other skills begin at 0 and new characters have 12 points to gain and improve skills; 1 point will improve a skill one die up to the linked attribute. Untrained skill tests, skill level 0, are made at d4-2.

Common Skills


  • Athletics (strength) - Physical strength and coordination: climbing, jumping, swimming, and most other physical activities.
  • Common Knowledge (smarts) - Local knowledge, local history, local geography, local politics, etc. Anything a typical resident could know.
  • Notice (smarts) - The ability to perceive something out of place, somebody sneaking, or otherwise unexpected. Also use this skill to recognize that something not-obvious and non-hidden is significant.
  • Persuasion (spirit) - The ability to convince others to agree to do or say something willingly through negotiation, politics, or deception.
  • Stealth (agility) - Move silently, hide, camouflage, and other sneaking stealthy things.

General Skills


  • Academics (smarts) - Knowledge of culture, history, language, etc. Higher education and general knowledge that doesn't rise to the level of "science".
  • Animals (spirit) - Handling tame and wild animals. Training them, riding them, sensing their needs or intentions, etc.
  • Battle (smarts) - Tactical and strategic planning for ambushes, large battles, siege warfare, etc.
  • Boating (agility) - The knowledge and ability to handle a boat or ship, on the sea or air.
  • Gambling (smarts) - Winning bets and games of skill or chance.
  • Healing (smarts) - Identify ailments, craft and apply healing ointments, set splints, cure poison, etc. Use this skill to deal with any non-magical physical damage or affliction.
  • Intimidation (spirit) - Using insults, taunts, threats, and aggressive language to coerce another person to do or say something they don't want to do.
  • Investigation (smarts) - Research and logical thinking, used to follow a trail of clues or solve puzzles. Use this skill any time the book references "Research" but it is also used for social and situational investigations.
  • Occult (smarts) - Knowledge of the cosmology, primal dagapesh, the ilthura, elementals, etc. Use this skill to decipher runes, recognize magical effects, and identify curses.
  • Performance (spirit) - Performing for an audience: acting, singing, dancing, playing an instrument, etc.
  • Science (smarts) - Knowledge of hard science such as engineering, chemistry, geology, physics, etc.
  • Survival (smarts) - The knowledge and practice of wilderness survival: navigation, hunting and gathering, build camps and shelters, predicting weather, etc.
  • Thievery (agility) - Dishonest work: pickpocketing, lockpicking, and other kinds of skulldugery.

Combat Skills


  • Shooting (agility) - Attack with any ranged weapon such as bows, crossbows, bolos, and thrown weapons.
  • Fighting (agility) - Attack and defense in close quarters using any kind of weapon, improvised weapon, or martial arts.

Magic Skills


Requires the appropriate Supernatural Background.

  • Alchemy (smarts) - Dwarven arcane magic is the skill of creating magical constructs.
  • Diva (spirit) - Human primal magic affects thoughts and emotions and, to a lesser extend, living humans.
  • Druid (spirit) - Elven primal magic is the skill of creating potions and salves and changing the shape of nature.
  • Sorcery (sprit/smarts) - Sorcery is magic that manifests as a natural ability of the character. Primal sorcery uses spirit, arcance sorcery uses smarts.
  • Wizardry (smarts) - Human arcane magic used to summon and bind elementals.

Hindrances

You may and should take up to 4 points in hinderances. Roleplaying hinderances is a powerful way to get extra bennies; you should have one hinderance that directly affects traits and the remaining points in personality and role-playing hinderances.

  • 2 points can raise an attribute one die or choose an edge.
  • 1 point can improve a skill one die or gain additional starting equipment.

These hinderances are not available in this setting:

  • All Thumbs

Edges

Characters get edges from Hinderance points or from advances, aka "leveling up".

Wealth

Asmythe uses an abstract wealth system, removing the need to count coins and inventory your inventory. This system assumes that characters have easy access to their wealth or are able to issue IOUs that will be honored by the Tridale Trade Company or local oligarch.

We also don't keep track of expendable items such as arrows, bolts, torches, rations, etc. But a critical failure or dramatic conditions could indicate that supplies have run out.

Wealth is a trait that ranges from 0 to d12, just like other traits. Most characters start with basic adventuring gear and d6 wealth, which is enough to have residence at a local inn or a room in a shared residence. Wealth tests use the wild die just like any other trait test.

Each level of wealth has two values, pocket and limit, that determine what purchases can be made. Any purchases less than pocket value can be made without a wealth check; the cost is too small to note. Any purchase above the limit is too expensive, the character can't afford this purchase without selling some property. A purchase that is more than pocket and less than limit, requires a wealth test. Sum all purchases in a short amount of time, usually a day or two, to find the total value of the shopping trip and use this value to determine if a wealth test is necessary.

Wealth Description Pocket Value Purchase Limit
0 Beggar $0 $10
d4 Laborer $10 $100
d6 Commoner $50 $500
d8 Freeman $150 $2000
d10 Lord $450 $5000
d12 Noble $1000 $10,000

Wealth tests are modified by the quality and rarity of the purchase and the prosperity of the local economy. These modifiers stack.

  • A success means the purchase can be made, but it reduces the wealth trait one level. If wealth would be reduced below 0 then the purchase can't be made.
  • A raise means the purchase can be made without reducing wealth.
  • A failure means the purchase isn't possible. The item can't be found or you can't afford it at the offered price.

Purchasing Modifiers

Economy Quality Rarity Modifier
City Low Very Common +1
Town Standard Common +0
Village High Rare -1

Whenever you gain a financial reward, such as from an adventure or bounty, you may either spend it on a shopping spree or increase your wealth, but not both.

  • Shopping spree: Spend some or all of the reward on purchases. Any remaining after the shopping spree becomes part of your wealth without affecting the trait.
  • Increase Wealth: If the amount of the reward is greater than the limit of the next higher wealth level then wealth increases. Wealth becomes the highest level that has a limit less than the reward. Increasing wealth does not confer any property or holdings, as you would get from Edges.

For example, after defeating Bullnose Bill and his band of ruffians the pair of adventurers each receive a reward worth $1000. Tom recently purchased a new set of armor and his current wealth is a d4; he chooses to use all of his reward to increase his wealth level back up to d6 ($1000 > $500). Terry already has d6 wealth and goes on a shopping spree, she spends $750 and the remaining $250 becomes part of her existing d6 wealth.

Edges and Hinderances

  • Poverty - wealth is d4 and the character lives day-to-day. They often sleep in the gutter, stables, or at a boarding house.
  • Rich - increase wealth to d8 and the character has a house, a small farm, a small shop, or similar.
  • Filthy Rich - increase wealth to d10 and the character has a small estate, trading house, noble title, or similar.

Equipment

Characters begin with basic adventure gear and d6 wealth.

Basic Adventure Gear

  • Backpack
  • Bedroll: wool blanket wrapped in a waxed canvas tarp
  • Casual clothes
  • Mess kit: cup, cutlery, field knife
  • Tinderbox
  • Torches
  • Travel boots and cloak
  • Travel rations
  • Twine
  • Water canteen
  • One weapon (sword, staff, axe, mace, bow, etc.)
  • A light leather coat (armor +1).
  • Appropriate professional gear such as a wizard's device, holy symbol, lockpicks, etc. (subject to GM review)

Supernatural Powers

Supernatural traits can be either arcane or primal. The page on Magic describes each in great detail. Characters never have more than one supernatural background.

Backgrounds

Alchemy This is an Arcane Supernatural Background common to dwarves. Dwarven alchemy is the ability to alter the properties of inorganic material and to create elemental-powered devices. Alchemical devices are almost always tools or weapons created for a specific purpose.

  • Total Construct Powers: 2
  • Total Construct Power Points: 10
  • Signature Power: Fuse Elemental. This costs 0 power points but the process takes about an hour and requires the use of special dwarven tools.
  • Reduced Backlash: When activating a device critically fails the alchemist is not staggered. The device simply malfunctions and requires an hour of repair before it can be used again.
  • In all other ways Alchemy works like the Weird Science arcane background on page 148.

Diva This is a Primal Supernatural Background common to humans. Divas use music and song to shape the dreams of the Primal Dagapesh and affect thoughts and emotions in a living creature. Diva magic affects mind, emotions, and destiny. It can not create any physical changes in creatures or things but can imbue objects and create artifacts. Each diva draws from a specific dagapesh for their power and their powers will manifest to reflect the intentions and emotions of that dagapesh.

  • Starting Powers: 3
  • Starting Power Points: 10
  • Signature Power: Empathy. This power uses 0 power points but the diva must succeed in a persuasion test and touch the target in a friendly way such as a hug, fist-bump, high-five, etc. This also allows the diva to understand any language the subject speaks for the duration of the conversation.
  • Diva magic involves intricate music, song, poetry, dance, or other kind of verbal and/or physical performance. The target must be able to see and/or hear the diva to be affected.
  • Diva powers don't have a duration, instead the effect lasts as long as the diva continues the performance; this is a narrative action that may trigger multi-action penalties.

Druid This is a Primal Supernatural Background common to elves. Druids use their knowledge of the natural world to brew potions and perform rituals, they are not skilled at fast or dramatic magic.

  • Starting Powers: 3
  • Starting Power Points: 5
  • Starting Edge: Druids always have the imbuing edge.
  • Ceremonies Only: Druids can not cast powers but can perform ritual ceremonies that amplify power effects as described in Tomes and Prayers page 32.

Sorcery Sorcery is the untrained and undisciplined use of magic as a natural ability. Sorcerers have a power they barely understand and can't always control. This Arcane Supernatural Background is intended to provide a supernatural power to characters who aren't magic-users. For example, an archer could use sorcery to turn arrows into bolts of lightning, a monk could gain a power that makes them super strong or tough, a ranger could animate plants to entangle enemies around them, a warrior could manifest a magic shield, a thief could walk on walls, and much more.

  • Starting Powers: 1
  • Starting Power Points: 10
  • Starting Skill: Sorcery, d4
  • Sorcerers have a phrase or action they use to activate their power, but with intense concentration they may be able to activate their power while bound and silenced.
  • Sorcery powers always target the sorcerer or have an effect emanating from the sorcerer. Power range is always "self" or "touch", decided when the power is chosen.
  • A sorcerer's power always has the same trappings but can be modified (pg 152).
  • Sorcerers may not imbue or enchant objects.
  • Sorcery is still either arcane or primal. Primal powers are internal and associated with a dagapesh domain as usual. Arcane powers are associated with a specific object, as usual, but if the object is lost it can be replaced after an hour of "tinkering" by the sorcerer as they attune themselves to the new object.

Wizardry This is an Arcane Supernatural Background common to humans. Wizardry is the ability to use Ilthura science to summon and bind elementals into objects. Each elemental so bound activates a power at the command of the wizard. The object used must be non-organic and at least an inch in the smallest diameter, gems and metal baubles are often used and set into staves or jewelry. Powers can be activated only by the wizard that bound the elemental and with a simple command phrase. All wizards can command minor elementals at will.

  • Starting Powers: 1 + Elemental Manipulation
  • Starting Power Points: 15
  • Signature Power: Elemental Manipulation, uses 0 power points and can be used without an enabling object but with a -2 modifier because an elemental may not exist when and where you want it.
  • A wizard may dismiss a bound elemental and bind a new one to get a new power. The process requires a wizard lab and Wizardry test; the process takes 4 days, -1 day per raise. When done the wizard has bound a new elemental and has a new power to use. The same process is required to replace a lost elemental.

Powers

Powers are listed in the core book and the Tomes and Prayers expansion. Powers are available to characters with the appropriate magic background, determined by effect. The Tomes and Prayers expansion is the preferred source for powers.

Additional Powers


  • Fuse Elemental (S, alchemy) - [1+pp, touch, instant] An alchemist fuses a minor elemental into an inorganic object to change one of its properties. The object must be less than 1 meter in the largest dimension. For example an object could be made naturally warm, more dense, slightly translucent, to glow dimly, or a myriad of other changes. This ability can not transmute objects, only alter them in some minor way: warm objects aren't hot enough to cook with, only vague shadows can be seen though a translucent object, glowing object barely provide enough light to read, etc. In the third age this ability is a closely guarded secret of dwarven alchemists and non-dwarves may not learn this ability. This is a permanent change to the object.

Power Effects

In the core book these are described as "trappings". Whenever a power is learned the effects of that power are chosen and remain the same every time that power is used. Arcane powers work by controlling the power of elementals and select an elemental trapping for each new power. Primal powers work by manipulating emotions and select an emotion associated with a dagapesh.

Power Backlash

Magic is inherently complex and difficult to control. Any time a magical skill critically fails the power will "backlash" with an effect depending on the effect and type of magic. A wizard is wracked as uncontrolled elemental energy surges through them; a diva's mind is filled with a cacophony of noise only they can hear. In either case the magician is staggered and all currently active powers end.

Power Modifiers

All those listed in the core book, page 152, in addition to those below. Power modifiers, if any, are selected when a power is cast.

Supernatural Edges

This list replaces those in the core book. Requirements are in parentheses; all require a supernatural background, obviously.

  • Advanced Artificer (H, Artificer) - Create permanent artifacts that don't deteriorate.
  • Artificer (V, Enchanting) - Enables the wizard or diva to create semi-permanent magical objects. These major magical devices are very powerful and difficult to create, see Enchanting for details.
  • Channeling (S) - Recover 1 power point if you get a raise on a supernatural skill test.
  • Desecrate (S, primal) - Drain the life from all plants in a 3ft radius around you to recover 5 power points. This is a narrative action.
  • Drain Life (H, primal) - Touch a dying creature and drain its life to recover 10 power points. This is a narrative action and can not cause any wounds.
  • Earworm (V, primal) - Your diva's music is so memorable that it persists after the song has ended. Use listed casting time and duration for powers.
  • Enchanting (S, Imbuing) - Enables the wizard or diva to create magical devices with multiple uses: wands, clothing, jewelry, etc. See Enchanting for details.
  • Imbuing (N) - Enables the wizard or diva to imbue single-use items with a power anybody can use. These are potions, scrolls, magic arrows, etc. Imbuing is described in Wizards and Mystics on page 14, see Enchanting for details.
  • New Powers (N) - Learn two new powers.
  • Prestige (S) - Learn a new power which is a combination of two powers that can only be used together as a single power. Use the higher duration, casting time, range, etc. of each individual power.
  • Power Surge (N) - Recover 10 power points when dealt a joker.
  • Rapid Recharge (S) - Meditate to recover 10 power points per hour.
  • Soul Drain (S) - Sacrifice a level of fatigue to recover 5 power points.
  • Power Points (N) - Gain 5 additional power points, increasing your maximum.

Character Archetypes

Archetypes are similar to classes in other RPG systems, but instead of strictly defining character abilities they describes what characters are like. There are many more archetypes than I have listed here and players may create their own characters and backstory in whatever style they like.

Artificer.jpg Alchemist

Dwarves have developed advanced metallurgy and alchemy, drawing on arcane energy to power their industry. Dwarven alchemists are able to create and command constructs powered by elemental energy.

  • Attributes: Agility d4, Smarts d10, Spirit d6, Strength d4, Vigor d6
  • Skills:
  • Edges: Alchemy, Hard to Kill
  • Hinderances: Greedy, Outsider, Stubborn, Quirk
  • Gear: warhammer, light leather coat, basic adventure gear
  • Example:


Barbarian.jpg Barbarian

The barbarian is a primitive and ferocious warrior from a land far from civilization. They are often brash and confident in their strength. They are accustomed to the wilds but lost in cities and towns.

  • Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d4, Strength d8, Vigor d8
  • Skills: Adventuring d6, Animals d4, Archery d6, Athletics d6, Common Knowledge d4, Intimidation d6, Melee d8, Notice d4, Profession: mercenary d4, Survival d6
  • Edges: Brawny, Berserk
  • Hinderances: Illiterate, Outsider, Overconfident
  • Gear: Greatsword or maul, light leather coat, basic adventure gear
  • Example: Conan the Barbarian


Bard.jpg Bard

Bards are travelers, entertainers, and occasionally spies who use primal magic. They are often as comfortable in the king's hall as they are in the bustling markets.

  • Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d4, Vigor d4
  • Skills:
  • Edges: Diva, Attractive
  • Hinderances: Loyal, Driven (minor), Mild Mannered, Cautious
  • Gear: Shortsword, dagger, light leather coat, basic adventure gear, lute (or other musical instrument)
  • Example:


Bounty hunter.png Bounty Hunter

Younger sons and daughters who have no hope of an inheritance often seek their fortune and a life of adventure hunting monsters, outlaws, and other threats that a local patronage ruler wants eliminated.

  • Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d4, Strength d8, Vigor d8
  • Skills:
  • Edges: Nerves of Steel, Combat Reflexes
  • Hinderances: Vow (defend the kingdom), Quirk, Impulsive
  • Gear: Longsword, shield, light leather coat, basic adventure gear
  • Example:


Cleric.png Crusader

Crusaders are fighters driven by a purpose. They seek to change the world, molding it into the design of a primal dagapesh.

  • Attributes: Agility d4, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
  • Skills:
  • Edges: Diva, Danger Sense
  • Hinderances: Driven (minor), Heroic, Vow (minor)
  • Gear: Mace, light leather coat, basic adventure gear, religious trappings
  • Example:


Druid.jpg Druid

Elven druids follow the old ways of nature and spirit. They are part of the wild lands, friend to plant and beast. They know which plants to use for potion and poison and often have animal companions.

  • Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strength d4, Vigor d4
  • Skills:
  • Edges: Druidic, Beast Master
  • Hinderances: Outsider, Driven (minor), Quirk (vegetarian, won't kill animals), Illiterate
  • Gear: Staff, bow, light leather coat, basic adventure gear
  • Example:


Monk.jpg Monk

Many of the factions of The Hand of Sol have secluded monasteries where they take in the poor, sick, and rejected and give them food shelter and meaning. Most of these monks learn only basic defense or administration, a few with the gift of primal magic are able to become formidable fighters.

  • Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d4, Strength d8, Vigor d8
  • Skills:
  • Edges: Martial Artist, Brawler
  • Hinderances: Poverty, Vow (serve the Hand of Sol), Quirk, Loyal
  • Gear: Staff, sling, basic adventure gear, religious trappings
  • Example: Kane from Kung Fu the Legend Continues


Ranger.jpg Ranger

Rangers are scouts, hunters, and explorers who spend most of their time in the wilderness patrolling the edges of civilization and protecting us from monsters and bandits.

  • Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d4, Strength d6, Vigor d6
  • Skills:
  • Edges: Free Runner, Marksman
  • Hinderances: Habit (smokeleaf), Overconfident, Quirk
  • Gear: Hand axe, bow, light leather coat, basic adventure gear
  • Example: Strider from Lord of the Rings


Bladesinger.jpg Runeblade

The runeblade is a wizard trained in combat by the Eye of Horus. They don't have the focused combat training of a knight or the depth of arcane expertise of wizards but combine the two into an elite combat style.

  • Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d8, Strength d8, Vigor d4
  • Skills:
  • Edges: Sorcery, Trademark Weapon
  • Hinderances: Vow (serve the Eye of Horus), Code of Honor, Quirk
  • Gear: enchanted longsword, light leather coat, basic adventure gear
  • Example:


Thief.jpg Scoundrel

The Scoundrel is a thief and swindler of the city who prospers by taking what belongs to others and making in their own.

  • Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d4, Vigor d6
  • Skills:
  • Edges:
  • Hinderances:
  • Gear: Short sword, two daggers, rope, light leather coat, basic adventure gear
  • Example:


Swashbuckler.png Swashbuckler

Swashbucklers are smart and agile duelists. They often enjoy taking risks and experiencing adventure as it is told in the stories.

  • Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4, Spirit d4, Strength d8, Vigor d6
  • Skills:
  • Edges: Ambidextrous, Two-Fisted
  • Hinderances:
  • Gear: Two short swords, two daggers, light leather coat, rope, basic adventure gear
  • Example: Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean


Treasure hunter.jpg Treasure Hunter

Treasure hunters search for treasure and lost artifacts among the ruins of lost civilizations. They are experts at research and puzzle solving.

  • Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d8, Spirit d6, Strength d4, Vigor d6
  • Skills:
  • Edges:
  • Hinderances: Curious
  • Gear: Hand axe, bow, light leather coat, basic adventure gear, rope, lantern
  • Example: Indiana Jones


Wizard.jpg Wizard

Wizards have spent long hours studying and practicing arcane arts. They are experts at cosmology and magical theory, and little else.

  • Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d10, Spirit d6, Strength d4, Vigor d4
  • Skills:
  • Edges:
  • Hinderances:
  • Gear: enchanted staff, enchanted robes, basic adventure gear
  • Example: