Rules! We have rules in this house!

•May 7, 2015 • 7 Comments

bernard huhes“Second shelf is mine. That’s where I keep my root beers and my double-thick Oreo cookies. Nobody touches the second shelf but me.”

In all seriousness, we have a new rule straight from Pinnacle Entertainment Group that changes how you recover from Shaken:

As mentioned in another thread, we’ve been working on a tweak to the rules for a while now, and it’s gone over so well, we’ll be releasing it soon. But before the official release, we’re going to let you guys in on it first!

It’s a simple change that speeds up play, frees up Bennies for players, and makes the GM’s job even easier. In all ways, it fits Fast! Furious! Fun!

At the beginning of their action, a Shaken character makes a Spirit roll to recover. On a failure, he remains Shaken. On a success, the character removes their Shaken condition and may take their action normally.

That’s right, folks, a success removes Shaken and allows the character to act immediately. Raises are no longer required.

It may not seem like much, but with only two results for recovering from Shaken instead of three, resolution is sped up dramatically. And by making recovery with actions easier, players don’t have to spend as many Bennies just to take an action and can instead spend them to make those actions awesome! Finally, we realized the three conditions for Extras, Up, Down, and Off the Board, had really been four with the inclusion of “Up… but recovered without a raise and can’t act.” It’s a temporary condition to be sure, but one that occurs regularly. GMs never have to worry about that “floating” condition again. Extras who are Shaken can’t act, and those who are not Shaken can–there’s no middle ground.

Those are some of the reasons for the change, but we think you will all be as thrilled as we are with the results in play. So go ahead and try it out, and see if it doesn’t crank your games up to 11!
Clint Black
Savage Worlds Core Rules Brand Manager

And from my own vaults:

Power Points recover at a set rate – normally 1 per hour. The recovery rate is now doubled if a character is resting – uninterrupted sleep or meditation – but always rounded down. Thus a character with Rapid Recharge (1 PP every 30 minutes) is resting (now 1 PP every 15 minutes) but is woken up after 40 minutes will only recover 2 PP, not 3.



•May 7, 2015 • 7 Comments

The new campaign will be called Splintered. There is a new Obsidian Portal site set up for it here: Not much to see yet, but it will be better updated than the last one (I hope).

Character connections: I am going to borrow a page from the Dresden Files RPG.

  1. Imagine that we are writing the blurb on the back of a book about how your character got to the start of the campaign.
  2. Based on what I have been told about your character, I will write a few lines about your character and how they fit into the world.
  3. You nominate another player. They write a few lines on how they fit into your character’s back story.
  4. They nominate another player who also writes a couple of lines.
  5. It passes back to you, and you add a few lines to finish it off.

The basic premise requires that your character be relatively new to adventuring. They don’t have to be young, but I don’t need a party of legion veterans, or characters with extensive missions independent from the campaign. You don’t really need much of a hook to be involved since, hopefully, the above method will throw plenty of hooks around.

The campaign will begin in the West March, as a merchant caravan arrives in the seedy town of Falcon’s Hollow, nestled on the edge of Darkmoon Vale.

I will start for each of the characters that has been made so far:

PAUL: My father, a retired Greybeard of the Tower, always impressed upon me the need for authority. His martial training and skill with the Words have stood me in good stead since leaving Tor Egan. I’m glad he sent me out of that nightmare when he could, although I worry for the rest of my family still trapped in the city. I have been working where I can, selling my skills to traders as a guard – a service sorely needed in these dark times.[PASS IT ON]

WAYNE: Things were going so well. I had a bed to sleep in and a warm meal at least once a day. Master Eddin, the artificer,  was stern and uncompromising, but I still had it better than most of Tor Egan. Then the palamyr went missing – that stupid jade statuette Eddin was always harping on about. I don’t know what happened to it, but the blame was placed on me. I was branded as a thief and thrown in prison for a crime I didn’t commit. [PASS IT ON]

CRAIG: Who could have possibly known that the old alchemist was so well connected? Stealing the palamyr was the easy part, and what the Prefect was offering for it would have set me up for life. Before I could hand it off, the Vigiles start tearing up the city looking for it, the Prefect is nowhere to be found, and I have to get out of Tor Egan. I admit to feeling guilty about what happened to the alchemist’s apprentice – perhaps I can make a detour to the gaol before I go over the wall…[PASS IT ON]

GREG: Life is simple out here on the new frontier. Hunt for enough food to eat. Earn enough coin to spend at the ale-house. Avoid being killed by wild animals, bandits, or black-bloods…or black-blood bandits riding wild animals if the stories are to be believed. Engrit’s caravan, to which you have hired as a scout, has given you opportunity to do all three, although it has taken on a few unusual passengers of late. [PASS IT ON]

BEN: As a man(?) of learning, of books and letters, life in the blighted West March is a trial. Dispatched from the comfort of my cell in the Monolith and sent abroad to gather the scattered records of an empire at war, I am earnestly reviewing the choices that lead me to this war torn land. Still, the Battle-master has claimed that this is an important task and I have free rein to go about it as I wish – something I would never have if the task had been assigned by the deacons. Traveling with Engrit’s caravan has made things easier, and I’m sure there are some stories to be found among those I travel with. [PASS IT ON]

DAVE: Go for it. Give me something – I’ll change it if necessary. The party so far is all human – an Order spell-blade, an Artificer/beast tamer, a city-bred thief, a hunter/ranger/scout (who may or may not also be a caster, I can’t remember), and a very well read scholar/scribe (who will possibly become an Order caster). Bear in mind what I said above, and note that Black-bloods and moss-born Elves are open to be characters if you wish – as well as the normal race options previously available. Just try and make sure there is something for one of the other players to hang a few lines from.

Savage Legends Revised Edition

•April 28, 2015 • 8 Comments

SW_Fan_Small1Last week I sent out the final versions of the Savage Legends source book and the Savage Grimoire. There have been some big changes and a lot of new options. I personally feel that this is the best version so far but, of course, I am biased. I am aware that not every one is as happy with the changes as I am. We have had over a week to digest this, perhaps bitter, pill and I would like constructive feedback. If you think there is a problem with the game mechanics, now is the time to have your say: What is the issue? What makes it unbalanced, or unfair, or not fun? What is a viable alternative? Please bear in mind that, although I am open to criticism and alternatives, I do not want to make changes without testing. I anticipate that the current rules will stay as they are for a couple of weeks at least so that we can settle in and give things a good going over. Another thing to consider is that players are not privy to all of my, quite possibly evil, machinations. There will be surprises and stuff you haven’t seen before – stuff that might allay some concerns. No, I am not going to tell you about it.

Race Overhaul & Work in Progress

•January 28, 2015 • Leave a Comment

As seen on Monday night, I have finished the racial outlines for what I’m calling Savage Legends 3.0. At this time, due to the nature of the content, I will not be publishing this to the blog but any of my players can message me for a Dropbox link to the PDF.

Next to get “the treatment” will be Edges & Hindrances, and then Magic.

Stealing from the best

•January 22, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Some twenty years ago I was lucky enough to see an early draft of HERO System rules for the world of Shaintar, by Sean Patrick Fannon. At the time I was blown away by how the tools of HERO had been used to arrive at a unique and flexible magic system.

So I stole it.

Adapting the system to my own world led to some of our more memorable moments – Jason’s spellweaver tunneling out of the goblin caves is just one.

So now that I want to reforge the Savage Legends setting, I have once again turned to Shaintar. The ways in which Sean has adapted Savage Worlds to his vision of epic high fantasy are truly inspiring, but do not appreciably detract from the simplicity and elegance of the core rules.

So I’m going to steal it again.

I picked up both of the Player’s Guides from DriveThruRPG (available as Pay What You Want PDF) and I will be using them as inspiration for the upcoming revision. I highly recommend picking them up.

Shaintar: Legends Arise covers play from Novice to Veteran.
Shaintar: Legends Unleashed covers Heroic and Legendary play.


•January 21, 2015 • 2 Comments

Ha! Didn’t see this coming, did you?

While you all have been exploring the Ninth World of Numenera and enjoying the new system, I have been hard at work brainstorming what I want to do with the Three Pillars. I have big things planned. Big, earthshattering, important things.

Which I will not tell you about.

With that in mind, I think I need to move Savage Legends closer to the core rules with regards to spell casting. I can hear the cries of, “Noooooo! Not more changes. What will become of my character now?”

Trust me, I hear you. Your pain is invigorating to me.

So what does this mean? It means I am thinking of reorganising the magic system to use Power Points. This will entail a rewrite of the Grimoire (although most of the spells will remain the same); a change to the current affinity system that requires a new spell for each affinity’s version (eg: bolt (Fire) and bolt (Earth) will be two separate spells); some new Edges or changes to existing ones; and a change the racial advantages of Elves and Dwarves.

Before I embark on this endeavor, let me know what you think. Do you support this move or not, and why?

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?