Savage Legends: Clarifications

•August 4, 2014 • 1 Comment

No new rules or tweaks today, just a clarification on a spell: Entangle.

I was correct about the roll to escape being unopposed. Further, the roll to cast is opposed by the target’s Agility.

The correct process is:

  • Cast spell, rolling Channel.
  • Target(s) roll Agility to resist spell.
  • Targets that fail by less than 4 have -2 to Strength & Agility linked skills (skills only, not the Attribute itself) and -2 Pace.
  • Targets that fail by 4 or more are fully restrained.
  • Targets may, as their action, roll Strength OR Agility to escape. This roll requires a 4 to succeed

Don’t forget that there is nothing preventing an affected target from taking multiple action penalties to act after they have broken out.

Example: A black blood beserk is partially restrained by the entangle spell. The storyteller declares that the beserk will attempt to break free, move 6″ and attack the caster. The roll to break free is at -2 (MAP). He rolls his Strength of d10 (+2 for being beserk, -2 for MAP), scoring a 6. He can now move his full pace and attack at -2 (MAP). If he had failed to escape, his Pace would only be 4 thus negating the attack even though he had already paid the MAP.

Any questions?

Savage Legends: Tweaks

•July 30, 2014 • 4 Comments

Point The First

I have been giving some thought to a player suggestion that the racial casting bonuses for Elves and Dwarves change to +2 versus penalties, rather than a straight +2 bonus. I think there is serious merit to this idea, not only from a balance viewpoint but also for mechanical simplicity (one of my design principles), since it then has the same effect as the Natural Power Edge (and stacks with it).

I am going to let the current part of the chapter play out – a few more sessions – before deciding whether to make this change or not. There may be implications beyond how effective a character is at casting spells – can anyone else think of any?

Point The Second

Bolt, in earlier versions of Savage Worlds, allowed the character to combine the extra damage option with the multiple bolt option. This is how it is currently in Savage Legends (at Veteran, an adept may cast 3 2d8 bolts for a -1 casting penalty and a greater chance of rolling a 1 on the casting die).

This option has been removed in the current version of Savage Worlds – 1 bolt at 2d8 or up to 3 bolts at 2d6. We will be following suit. Since this does not affect any current character the change is effective immediately. Casters who wish to inflict higher damage on multiple targets will need to invest in burst, blast or prolonged blast.

Point The Third

Remind me when you feel you have effectively played your Hindrances. I’ll give you a Fate Token (benny). The Hindrance must, at the very least, have caused inconvenience to your character or the party to count.

Example: Being greedy and looting the bodies before helping injured comrades probably does not count, although that is playing your Hindrance. Jealously stealing the gold ring (the one that whispers to you about setting fire to the ship) and refusing to let anyone else look at it because it’s yours (your precioussss…) – that would probably get you a token.

I have a lot on my plate when I’m running a game and will often forget this kind of thing – so speak up.

No you don’t get to keep those from session to session.

Savage Legends: Errata coming.

•July 16, 2014 • 6 Comments

Some minor changes will take place before we start up the campaign in earnest, due to player feedback last week.


Elemental Form: Casting penalty increased to -2, bringing it into line with most other Veteran level spells. While the caster does retain their own Traits, Edges, etc, they do not have the ability to cast their own spells while in elemental form. Why? Mainly because it makes the spell rather more powerful than it should be, although a case can be made that a character in elemental form would not have the proper connection to his companion spirits and could not summon their aid (cast spells) until his normal form is restored.

Elemental Manipulation: When used to perform a Trick, the casting roll replaces the Agility or Smarts roll. It is subject to all appropriate casting penalties and will not benefit from Edges that enhance Agility or Smarts based rolls. Why? Making two rolls for an action that normally requires one is clunky. This gives the spell, which is basically a cantrip, some more utility


Sling: Increased range to match a bow, which is much closer to being historically accurate. Damage remains the same, although using lead bullets gives the sling AP 1. Bullets are generally only available in town size settlements or larger. Although this makes slings a much more viable choice for a ranged fighter, they are only culturally appropriate for Surayans or the natives of the Savage Coast.

Short Spear / Javelin: Research has given me a more appropriate set of range brackets of 5/10/15. The weapon, as written, represents a weighted spear that can be thrown at close range to disrupt an enemy formation before closing to melee range. The medium range bracket is more than the normal pace for an attacker, and the long range is more than running distance without an ace, so this allows for stand off skirmish tactics. While I am aware that longer ranges are possible using specialised javelins or spear-throwing devices, I do not intend to include them in the game.


That is it for now, but stay posted. Amended documents, where needed, will be up by the end of the week.

Grimoire Balance

•July 10, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I have found time to make a balance pass on the spell lists. Here is a new version of the Savage Grimoire (PDF)

Here are the details:


  • Changed: Entangle now has a fixed duration.
  • Changed: Banish to remove the limitations on what can be affected by each Sphere.


  • New spell: By Pain Reforged (Novice) that increases the character’s Wild Die as they become wounded.
  • New spell: Haze (Seasoned) that causes the terrain near the caster to become difficult.
  • Added: Deflection
  • Added: Fatigue
  • Added: Negate Arcana
  • Added: Banish
  • Added: Glyph


  • New Spell: Warp (Seasoned) that lowers the Toughness of inanimate objects, buildings or vehicles.
  • Changed: Boost/Lower Trait is now At Will for Chaos casters.
  • Changed: Precognition is now At Will.
  • Added: Prolonged Blast
  • Added: Becalm
  • Added: Luck/Jinx


  • Removed: Fatigue
  • Removed: Banish
  • Removed: Bladebreaker
  • Removed: Animate War Tree
  • Removed: Bridge
  • Removed: Glyph
  • Removed: Voice on the Wind


The Affinities are not all equal – some are more populated than others – and are likely to remain that way.

The breakdown of spells by Sphere is much closer to being equal:

  • Arcane has 37 spells. 14 At Will, 13 Encounter and 10 Daily (Up from 30, with a 14/9/7 split).
  • Chaos has 37 spells. 12 At Will, 15 Encounter and 10 Daily (Up from 32, with a 10/16/6 split).
  • Creation has 40 spells. 14 At Will, 12 Encounter and 14 Daily (Down from 47, with a 15/14/18 split)
  • Order has 37 spells. 13 At Will, 11 Encounter and 13 Daily (Unchanged).


Savage Legends core update

•July 8, 2014 • Leave a Comment

SW_Fan_Small1I have uploaded a new version of the Savage Legends core. This includes the rules for languages and vocational skills. It also removes the ability for a character to select more than one Magical Background edge. A character may learn spells from any Affinity that their race allows. There is also no need to purchase two different Channel skills to be able to cast spells from two Spheres – one skill fits all. A character still only gets to choose a single Affinity, however.

There are a couple of minor tweaks as well. The Spell-sword Edge has been updated to include the spells aim and armour. The special maneuver granted by the Sword-master Edge now also grants immunity to free attacks for withdrawing from combat during the maneuver.

Savage Legends (PDF)

Languages Addendum

•July 7, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Small modification here: A character starts with their native language at a d8 OR their Smarts die, whichever is higher, and a trade tongue at d4.

Linguist Edge: The character starts with a number of languages equal to their Smarts die. D4 = 4 languages, d6 = 6 languages, etc. These extra languages start at d6 or the character’s Smarts when they took the Edge – which ever is lower. These languages are in addition to the two that every character knows at character creation. Once the Edge has been purchased and the languages are selected, they are treated just like any other knowledge skill and must be advanced normally.

Languages of the Three Pillars

•July 4, 2014 • 2 Comments

Language Skills

First up is a breakdown of what the skill levels in a language represent:

  • d4 – Basic. Sufficient to convey basic ideas. Cannot read or write the language. (-2 Charisma may apply)
  • d6 – Adequate. Sufficient to communicate somewhat complex ideas. Reading and writing permitted. Speaker most likely has a heavy accent. (-1 Charisma may apply)
  • d8 – Fluent. Normal conversational level for a native speaker although regional accents persist.
  • d10 – Expert. Can grasp even the most complex nuances of speech and literature. Character no longer has a detectable accent. (+1 Charisma may apply)
  • d12 – Master. No facet of the language escapes the character and they may mimic regional accents. (+2 Charisma may apply)

Languages of the Known World

Non-human languages:

  • Elvish – the common language spoken by the survivors of the Sundering. A debased form of High Elven.
  • High Elvish – the ancient trading tongue of the Elves prior to the Sundering. Spoken by the Seekers of the Enclaves and Wilders who hold to the old ways.
  • Feral Elvish – a debased form of Cartesian. Spoken by the wild Elves of the East March.
  • Dwarvish – language of the Dwarves of Refuge.
  • Qurish – the language spoken by the Darkened Qur.Known only to a few Dwarven scholars and Shapers.
  • Graven – the language of the Black Bloods, although it is far from certain that this is the only language they use. At least a dozen different dialects have been identified, but they all seem to share a root with Graven.

Languages of Men

  • Carathan – the common language of the Empire. One of the Trade Tounges, the other being A’mai.
  • Ritual Carathan – a variation of High Carathan. Used by the Congregation of the Saints for religious services and liturgical writing.
  • A’mai – the language of the A’mai and one of the Trade Tongues. Most commonly spoken language among the Surayans. Once also the language of the Sha’tai.
  • Temple – the language of the Orrenai of Suraya. Also used by the Swordmasters.
  • Desert – language spoken by the Bedine, J’alin and Fe’din tribes of Suraya.
  • Salmadi – spoken in the Salmadi Khanate and the Satrapy of Madith, in Suraya.
  • Callous – a heavily debased form of High Carathan that serves as a common tongue in the Chaos Wastes.
  • Slave Tongue- a polyglot dialect of Carathan and A’mai used on the Savage Coast. Not a true language in its own right.
  • Chacho- a minor language spoken by the native tribesmen in the southern regions of the Savage Coast, most notably around the Ghost River delta.

Dead Languages

These languages are no longer spoken in the known world, although they can be found in ancient texts.

  • High Carathan – language of the Men that would later become the Empire. Used extensively through the pre-Imperial period but declined during the Golden Age.
  • Amerish – spoken by the Ameri tribes of Suraya. Died with them.
  • Candish – Pre-Sundering elven language of the Candolar elves. They lived in the lands that are now Suraya but largely vanished during the Sundering. Also spoken by the slave-races that would become the tribes of Suraya.
  • Cartesian – Pre-Sundering elven language of the Cartisan elves. They lived the great forests of the present East March.
  • Imperial Elvish – Pre-Sundering langauge of the elves of the Over-Empire. Also spoken by the slave kingdoms of Men prior to the Sundering.
  • Assimilated Dialects – there are several dozen different languages once spoken by the tribes of Men assimilated during Imperial expansion. None are in current usage but may be of interest to historians or archaeologists. Important examples are the dialects of the Ash People, the Meero, the Firtis, the Aronites and Berenites, the Conclave of Serpents, and the various tribes of the Savage March.




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