Savage Worlds House Rules
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.
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.
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 dragon 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 are rated on the dice scale: 0, d4, d6, d8, d10, d12
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
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.
- Athletics (strength) - Gross motor skills and skills based on physical strength: Climb, Swim, Run, Jump.
- 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.
- Profession (smarts) - Select a professional skill such as cooking, sailing, driving, mercantile, blacksmithing, coopering, cobbling, busking, cartwright, etc. Each professional skill represents the collection of knowledge and activities used to practice that profession.
- Adventuring (smarts) - The accumulated experience of adventuring in strange and dark places. This skill can be used to gauge how dangerous an unknown situation is and provide intuition about the unexplained.
- Animals (spirit) - Dealing with 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.
- Coordination (agility) - Balance and fine motor skills: walking a tight-rope, juggling, legerdemain.
- Deduction (smarts) - Investigation and logical thinking, used to follow a trail of clues or solve puzzles. Use this skill any time the book references "Research".
- Engineering (smarts) - Knowledge of basic mechanical systems including construction and basic mechanisms. Use this to build or repair bridges, tunnels, siege engines, mechanical traps, etc. This is not modern engineering, is is classical medieval engineering.
- 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.
- Occult (smarts) - Knowledge of the cosmology, elder dragons, 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.
- Persuasion (spirit) - The ability to convince others to agree to do or say something willingly through negotiation, politics, or deception.
- Philosophy (smarts) - Knowledge of other cultures, history, language, etc. Use this skill to translate mundane languages, understand foreign traditions, etc. This is most useful for humans who expect to encounter dwarves or elves or their culture.
- Stealth (agility) - Move silently, hide, camouflage, and other sneaking stealthy things.
- 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, etc.
- Archery (agility) - Ranged weapons such as bows, crossbows, and bolos. Use this whenever the book references "Shooting".
- Melee (agility) - Attack and defense in close quarters using any kind of weapon or improvised weapon. This includes punching, boxing, wrestling, and martial-arts.
Requires the appropriate Supernatural Background.
- Alchemy (smarts) - Dwarven arcane magic is the skill of creating magical devices and imbuing elemental energy into inanimate objects.
- Chi (spirit) - Chi is a kind of dragon magic that creatures can use to enhance their own abilities. Chi warriors may be super strong, fast, or tough.
- Diva (spirit) - Human dragon magic affects thoughts and emotions and, to a lesser extend, living humans.
- Druid (spirit) - Elven dragon magic is the skill of creating potions and salves and changing the shape of nature.
- Sorcery (smarts) - Sorcery is arcane magic that is inherent to the character, without studious training. It tends to be very limited and more likely to go wild.
- Wizardry (smarts) - Human arcane magic directly manipulates elemental energy. It can also summon and bind elementals.
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
Characters get edges from Hinderance points or from advances, aka "leveling up".
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 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.
|Wealth||Description||Pocket Value||Purchase Limit|
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). Jerry 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.
Characters begin with basic adventure gear, basic equipment, and d6 wealth.
Basic Adventure Gear
- Bedroll: wool blanket wrapped in a waxed canvas tarp
- Casual clothes
- Mess kit: cup, cutlery, field knife
- Travel boots and cloak
- Travel rations
- Water canteen
- One weapon (sword, staff, axe, mace, bow, etc.)
- A light leather coat (armor +1).
- Appropriate professional gear such as a spell book, holy symbol, lockpicks, etc. (GM approval)
Supernatural traits can be either arcane or dragon. The page on Magic describes each in great detail. Characters never have more than one supernatural background. Throughout this section powers are referred to as "spells".
Alchemy This is an Arcane Supernatural Background common to dwarves. Dwarven alchemy is the ability to create magical devices by making pacts with elementals and binding them to a device. These devices only work for the dwarf who created them.
- Starting Spells: 2
- Starting Spell Points: 15
Alchemy spellcasting works like Weird Science on page 148.
Chi This Dragon Supernatural Background is most common to hobgoblins but may exist in any race. Chi is the natural use of physical focus and training to a supernatural level. Most chi warriors don't have the skill or knowledge to create more than a single magical effect. Chi spells can only target the chi warrior.
- Starting Spells: 1
- Starting Spell Points: 15
- Chi warriors must complete a simple "voice and gestures" action to activate a power.
- Chi warriors may not imbue objects or have the Artificer edge.
Chi works like the Gifted arcane background on page 148.
Diva This is a Dragon Supernatural Background common to humans. Divas use music and song to shape the dreams of the Elder Dragons 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.
- Starting Spells: 3
- Starting Spell Points: 10
- Loud and Clear: Diva magic involves intricate music, song, poetry, or other kind of verbal performance. It is not subtle.
- Keep Casting: Diva spells don't have a duration, instead the effect lasts as long as the diva continues the performance; this is a narrative action.
Druid This is a Dragon 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 Spells: 3
- Starting Spell Points: 10
- Imbuing: Druids always have the imbuing edge.
- Ceremonies Only: Druids can not cast spells but can perform ritual ceremonies that amplify spell effects as described in Tomes and Prayers page 32.
Sorcery This Arcane Supernatural Background is most common to hobgoblins but may exist in any race. Sorcery is the untrained and undisciplined use of arcane magic as a natural ability. Most sorcerers don't have the skill or knowledge to create more than a single magical effect. Sorcerers don't use a spell book and can not benefit from Incantations, Wand Work, or any other edge that affects how spells are activated.
- Starting Spells: 1
- Starting Spell Points: 15
- Sorcerers must complete a simple "voice and gestures" action to cast a spell.
- Sorcerers may not imbue objects or have the Artificer edge.
Sorcery works like the Gifted arcane background on page 148.
Wizardry This is an Arcane Supernatural Background common to humans. Wizardry is the ability to use the Ilthura language to summon and manipulate elementals. Wizards use a wand, staff, or similar object made of wood, bone, or other organic material to draw glowing runes and symbols.
- Starting Spells: 4
- Starting Spell Points: 10
- Voices and Gestures: Wizards cast spells by speaking words and drawing symbols.
- Enabling Tool: Wizards must be able to draw Ilthura symbols with a specially prepared wand, staff, etc.
Spells are listed in the core book and are available to characters with the appropriate magic background, determined by effect. The Tomes and Prayers expansion is the preferred source for spells.
Additional Spells -- WIP --
- Bless (S, dragon) - [2+pp, instant] The subject gains one benny that may only be used to reroll their own rolls. If not used by the end of the scene it is lost. +1 spell point per additional target.
- Command (N, dragon) - [2pp, instant] Like Puppet, but subject can only be influenced to take one simple action. "Lay down", "Flee", "Come here", "Calm down", "Believe me", etc. Opposed by Spirit; Cone effect: +2pp
In the core book these are described as "trappings". Whenever a spell is learned the effects of that spell are chosen and remain the same every time that spell is used.
Arcane spells work by summoning and controlling elementals.
All those listed in the core book, page 152, in addition to those below. Spell modifiers, if any, are selected when a spell is cast.
- Mutate (+1) - Change the elemental effect/trappings of an arcane spell as it is cast. For example, a fire bolt can become a lightning bolt.
This list replaces those in the core book. Requirements are in parentheses; all require a supernatural background, obviously.
- Artificer (V, Imbuing) - Enables the wizard or diva to create permanent magical devices with a power point reserve of their own: wands, clothing, jewelry, etc.
- Advanced Artificer (L, Artificer) - Enables the wizard or diva to create permanent magical effects with an unlimited power point reserve. These major magical devices are very powerful and difficult to create.
- Astral Projection (H) - Introspective Divas can leave their body and roam the world as an invisible ghost-like entity. They can see and hear and may use powers but may not affect anything physically. They must return to their body within a day or begin to fade.
- Channeling (S) - Recover 1 spell point if you get a raise on a spellcasting test.
- Desecrate (H) - Drain the life from all plants in a 3ft radius to recover 5 spell points. This is a narrative action.
- Drain Life (V) - Touch a dying creature and drain its life to recover 10 spell points. This is a narrative action and can not cause any wounds.
- Imbuing (S) - Enables the wizard or diva to imbue single-use items with a spell. These are potions, scrolls, magic arrows, etc. Imbuing is described in Wizards and Mystics on page 14.
- Innate Ability (S, d8) - As a sorcerer or chi warrior, choose an existing power that can be activated instantly without voice or gestures.
- Incantations (N, d6) - Your wizard has learned to speak the Ilthura language better than most. Any spell cast using a loud clear chant won't backlash. Such incantations reverberate though the air and can be heard by any creature that could hear a shout or scream.
- New Spells (N) - Learn two new spells.
- Prestige (S) - Learn a new spell which is a combination of two spells that can only be cast together as a single spell.
- Power Surge (N) - Recover 10 spell points when dealt a joker.
- Rapid Recharge (S) - Meditate to recover 10 spell points per hour.
- Signature Spell (S, d8) - Select one known spell. This arcane spell can be cast instantly by visualizing the necessary symbols, which appear without being drawn. But any backlashes from a signature spell creates an elemental blast at the wizard's location: Small Blast template, 2d6 damage.
- Soul Drain (S, d8) - Sacrifice a level of fatigue to recover 5 spell points.
- Specialty (S, Incantations) - Select a specific element, spells using that effect use 1 less power point. This spell must be cast using an incantation to get the bonus.
- Spell Points (N) - Gain 5 additional spell points, increasing your maximum.
- Wandless (H) - Your wizard has learned to visualize the Ilthura language in their mind and project it onto the world. Spells may be cast without a wand or staff but backlashes also create an elemental blast at the wizard's location: Small Blast template, 2d6 damage.
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.