Hey there, Lady Shel here. If you’ve wanted to try to play the Savage Worlds ruleset but you were afraid to try it since you don’t know the rules, no worries. I got you covered.
I will admit that Savage Worlds isn’t quite like playing D&D5e, so if you are an avid 5e fan, you may be worried that you won’t understand the differences, but it’s not all that different, and I gotta say… as a 5e fan myself, I really LOVE Savage Worlds. The differences from D&D make it super fun. Especially the exploding dice! What? Yep, let me explain.
Let’s start with Combat
I will try to compare things with D&D so you can understand the concepts. If you think of rolling initiative in D&D, in Savage Worlds, you’ll be drawing cards instead. You as a character are a Wildcard. That makes you special.
When your cards are dealt, the highest card is the joker. If you get the joker, you get to pick when you go in the round. You can go first, second, last, or even in the middle of someone’s turn. In addition, the person that draws the joker receives +2 on any checks and +2 on their damage during the round. Also, when someone rolls a joker, all friendly players get a bennie. This also applies to NPCs. When one of the NPCs rolls a joker, all the NPCs get a bennie.
The remaining cards are dealt and go from Aces to 2s. For ties, you go by the suit, the highest being Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and then Clubs.
Now, let’s talk about some other features.
Skill Checks: You will roll a die on your sheet and a d6 and take the higher of the two. The number you are aiming for is a 4 or higher.
Aces: Aces are special, because when you roll an Ace, it will explode (remember, I told you there was exploding dice) and you can reroll it. Add the new number to the old. This will happen as many times as you roll aces.
Raises: In the card theme again, a raise is made each time you get 4 higher than your target. For each raise, you get additional effects, based on what the DM says.
Exception: When you are rolling attack rolls, they can only be raised once. This increases your damage by a d6.
Unskilled check: There will be times when you are making a skill check, but you are not skilled in it. In this case, you would roll a d4 and a d6 and subtract 2 from the result. Some checks cannot be made if you are not skilled in them (example: brain surgery) Keep in mind that the Aces and Raise rules still apply here.
Bennies: Basically, a bennie is similar to inspiration in D&D. You use your bennie (which stands for benefit) to do any of the following:
Reroll a trait or Skill roll
Get rid of the Shaken condition
Get rid of a Wound (will require a Vigor check)
Can no longer use a bennie to re-roll a critical fail, but some DMs will allow you to use them to get a mundane item.
The DM can use bennies for the NPCs he/she controls, and has one bennie per player, and an additional 3 for each (DM)-Wildcard in the Game.
Well, that should be enough to start on. I encourage anyone who is thinking of trying the Savage Worlds ruleset to do it. Maybe a one-shot to start, and I would bet that would be enough to get you wanting to find a full campaign soon afterwards.
I offer this link for the Savage Worlds Combat Survival Guide in .pdf format.
Happy gaming everyone!
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