Edges and Hindrances Rules FAQ

This page provides a compiled version of the Core Rules Questions maintained by Clint Black on the Pinnacle Forums. To ask more questions or to get the latest official Core Rules Questions, please visit the SW Official Core Rules Questions Forum. Thanks to Erik A. Dewey for the initial work on compiling the rules FAQ from the forums.

Q: Beast Master edge gives the character an animal companion. Is this companion considered an Ally? Could it level up?

A: Yes and yes.

Q: A character has the Frenzy Edge, or two fisted or some other edge that gives him 2+ attacks.

Can you attack one enemy, dispose of him with one attack, then move and attack another enemy with his extra attacks

A: With Frenzy you could not, but with Two-Fisted you could. Here is why.

Frenzy only gives you one Wild Die to roll. So you have to roll your two Fighting die and one Wild Die at the same time. Now you could declare when you roll it that one goes against one guy and one goes against the other, but you still have to roll them at the same time. It is one action. You would not be able to move to attack two different people with it since it is one action, but you could definitely attack two different people.

Two-Fisted, on the other hand gives you two separate Fighting rolls and a separate Wild Die with each one. So in this case, you could take one attack, dispose of your enemy, move, then attack another enemy. The fighting rolls in this case are two separate actions (they each get their own Wild Die) and so you could move in between taking them.

Q: One question about generic use of that Edge (Holy/Unholy Warrior) - if my priest is trying to repulse undead (4 zombies are in Spirit range), does that repulse works on all 4 or only one, specified zombie?

A: All of them. "...creatures in that range..."

Q: If a Two-Fisted hero uses dual rapiers, does he then get +2 Parry?

A: Sorry, no, only a +1 Parry.

Q: I have a player who has come up with a question about the Marksman edge. She has Steady Hands and does most of her archery from horseback and was wondering if the Marksman edge could be used, since technically she was not using her personal movement during the round. The question is then, does the mention of movement in the edge description refer to a character's personal movement or any movement at all?

A: The description makes no distinction in the type of movement, which I would normally say would simply mean no movement at all; however, I'd go with the spirit of the Edge here.

The hero excels at "controlled, measured shots." I would say that not being able to move equates to the character not moving their own normal Pace and the character not using any of the "Transport" skills; Driving, Piloting, or Riding.

So if the character is controlling a moving horse or car, they couldn't use the Edge, but if they were simply a passenger, they could.

The Edge is pretty powerful, so care needs to be maintained to keep it balanced. Even this version could potentially be too lenient. I don't think so, but you might want to preface any allowance with a "we'll try this for a while, but if it seems too powerful, we may go back to the strict interpretation." Just so the player knows ahead of time.

Q: Blind (Major) – Your hero is completely without sight. He suffers a –6 to all physical tasks that requires vision – which is most everything, and –2 to most social tasks as he can “read those he’s interacting with as well as others.

On the plus side, blind characters gain their choice of a free Edge to compensate for this particularly deadly Hindrance.

So a blind character gets an edge plus the two points for a major Hindrance?

A: Yep, but Blind is pretty debilitating, so it all balances out in the end.

Q: SWR conflicts with itself (and the Test Drive) on the effect of the Giant Killer edge. SWR page 25 says to add +1d6 damage, while SWR page 34 and the Test Drive both say to add +4 damage. Which is it?

A: The Edge description on Page 25 is correct (you get +1d6 damage). The original Savage Worlds (the non-Revised version) was +4. The table on page 34 is wrong.

Q: Does arcane resistance add to your agility roll in the case of a fire burst template since the casting roll is the target number to dodge?

A: Nope, that's a matter of avoiding not resisting.

Q: Does arcane resistance give its bonus on guts checks vs. magical fear? and if so +2/+4 for standard/improved?

A: I'd say yes.

Q: Against AE attacks like blast, does the increase in target number to hit you work like deflection in that it adds armor? ie: Against a bolt, arcane resistance increases the target number to cast on you by 2, and gives you an additional 2 toughness, but against blast it gives +4 toughness because the spell doesn't target you directly, so the +2 to hit you goes to toughness?

A: Arcane Resistance does not increase the TN for spells like bolt. It provides Armor versus damaging effects and a bonus to the character if they are allowed a roll to resist.

It's just as easy to hit a character with Arcane Resistance; it's just not as easy to affect them.

Q: 1. If a character has Improved Sweep and a weapon in each hand, can he make 2 sweeping attacks at -2 (normal MAP) in one action?

1.1. And if he's under the effect of a Quickness spell, does that enable him to 4 sweeping attacks at -2 (one-time normal MAP because of spell) in one action?

2. If a Character has Mighty Blow or Dead Shot, how exactly do you calculate damage? Do you:

A. Roll the dice (and add bonus if melee weapon), add bonus from raise and/or called shot, add +2 for Joker, then double the result.

B. Roll the dice (and add bonus if melee weapon), add bonus from raise and/or called shot, double the result and then add +2 for the Joker.

C. Something else entirely.

A: 1) So far, yes. Although the offhand attack would suffer an additional -2 penalty without Ambidextrous.
Nope. Quickness gives one additional action at no penalty; it does not double actions.
Remember the attacks are still separate actions even if performed on the same turn.
2) It would be A. As the Edge states, you double the total damage. So figure out the total and then double it.

Q: Can the Berserk and Sweep Edges be used in the same action? Can they be combined singularly or in concert with Wild Attack?

A: Yes.

Q: Does the size bonus for toughness of a larger creature (orc) add to the toughness bonus from the Brawny edge.

A: Yes. A brawny Orc is tougher than a normal Orc.

Q: A character with first strike gets a higher initiative card than his opponent in combat. He decides to go on hold. His opponent rushes in and the character with first strike makes his free attack. Now, can the character with first strike attempt to interrupt his opponent's action and, assuming he is successful, make another attack using his regular action?

A: Yep. First strike and a high agility can be quite useful.

Q: When using the first strike edge, the description says an attack can be made when a foe moves adjacent to the character. If the character has a reach weapon, like a spear, does he get to use his first strike ability when a foe moves adjacent to the character or to the reach of the weapon

A: Adjacent, just like the Edge states. If the GM wants to allow it to apply to Reach weapons, that's his call.

Q: How would the first strike edge work in a situation where a character sets his weapon against a cavalry charge (see Setting Weapons, page 89 of the SW rulebook)?

A: Based on the above, the charging opponent would have to move adjacent to the character after the Agility roll had been made for First Strike to apply.

Q: Assuming the character with first strike won the agility roll and received the +4 bonus to damage on his attack, then he followed up with his first strike as the charger moves adjacent to him would he then receive the +4 damage to this attack as well?

A: Nope.

Q: I couldn't see it mentioned in the thread, how does one buy off hindrances (if its logical to do so)?

A: There is no official rule for "buying off" a Hindrance unless it is specifically stated in the Hindrance description (such as Enemy or Habit which can be removed with a leveling opportunity). Young has a similar rule, but it just goes away when the character reaches the appropriate age (in fact, the character loses the benefit of the Hindrance at that time).

Personally, I prefer to exchange Hindrances instead of getting rid of them, as the loss of one typically leads to the logical acquiring of another. But for an unofficial rule, you could come up with your own or ask around on the forum; it's been bandied about before.

Q: 1) If you have the Berserk edge, can you voluntarily fail the Smarts roll when you are hit? Or must you fail the roll (and wild die) honestly to go berserk?

2) Does the same apply to the Wild Die? i.e., the player can choose to use the lower of the normal roll and the Wild Die?

A: 1) Yep, the character has the fail the roll. It's one of the balancing factors for this very powerful Edge.

Note, the player could spend a Benny to reroll, where failing would be the "better" roll in this case.

Alternatively, some GMs allow the player to just spend a Benny to go berserk. It's entirely dependent on the players and style of the game to not be abused, but it can work.

2) Nope... but nice try.

Q: If I am making a character with the Elderly Hindrance, is it necessary to put a d6 into Strength and Vigor so that they can be dropped to a d4, or can they both be started at d4 and have 5 points for the remaining attributes?

A: They could be started at a d4, in which case they cannot go any lower.

Q: How exactly does the Healer edge work? Does it include the effect of Fast Healer?

It says +2 to all Healing rolls, natural or magical in nature...Given that it also mentions that it boosts companions natural healing, well, the effect on the char who has the edge seems ambiguous. Does it actually boost their own natural healing rolls?

Also, for the second part of the effect. how does that work? You pick 5 specific companions initially? You can change it around later? Only change if one dies?

A: Um, yes, thus the reason it says they get a +2 bonus to Healing rolls, natural or magical.

Healer is a Weird Edge. It's a +2 bonus to all Healing rolls for the character that has it.

Healing skill
Healing power
Natural healing

Any roll they make that relates to Healing.

As it says in the description of Weird Edges, they are slightly supernatural, and the GM has to decide if they are available.

Fast Healer on the other hand is just a standard Background Edge. It only affects the individual and natural healing, but it's pretty much always available.

Oh, and the effect of Fast Healer and Healer would stack. So a character with both would get a +4 bonus on natural healing rolls (or a character with Fast Healer who was chosen by a Healer to receive the +2 bonus).

Any five companions who need it. The player can choose whomever they wish to aid in healing.

Q: Can I apply the +2 bonus from the Scholar Professional Edge to an arcane skill like Spellcasting?

A: No. It says +2 to two Knowledge skills, not Smarts-linked skills. Of course, what you do in your game is up to you, but "No" is the official answer.

Q: If you have a character with both Arcane Background: Magic and Arcane Background: Miracles, you would have two Power Point Pools, correct?

As you advance, can you take both edges - Power Points: Magic and Power Points: Miracles - in the same rank. For example, at 5 XP, I select Power Points: Magic for my advance. At 10 XP, can I take Power Points: Miracles? Or do I have to wait until I'm seasoned?

A: A character can't officially have two Arcane Backgrounds. Edges can only be taken once unless otherwise specifically stated. Arcane Background is a single Edge regardless of the type (Magic, Miracles, Psionics, etc...).

Q: Humans in Savage Worlds get a free edge, and, page 12 says they have to meet all criteria for this edge. Do you pick this edge in the first step of character creation (i.e before you have assigned Attributes and skills) or can you choose this edge at anytime during character creation.

The reason that I ask is that, if you follow the former method, you have yet to have any stats so would be unable to get any edge whose requirements were for a skill or attribute of a certain level, limiting you to only a small handful of edges

A: Although char gen is listed in numbered steps for convenience, you can do them in any order. So to answer your question, you can buy your attributes and skills first, then get your free Edge. Alternately, pick the Edge first and then buy the requirements to match. So long as it all balances out when char gen is finished, there's no right or wrong way.

I usually buy Hindrances first, as these help get the character sorted in my mind. Then I get attributes and skills, then Edges last. That's just my personal preference.

Q: I have a question about what happens when a character fulfills their death wish. If, for example, the character has Death Wish: Avenge his family's murder, does that mean he commits suicide once he's accomplished his revenge? Or is it more of a 'you are willing to die to fulfill your goal'?

A: The character is pretty much willing to risk anything to fulfill their goal if the opportunity presents itself, and if they do fulfill the goal, they don't really have anything left to live for and is pretty much going to do stupid things until they do die... unless they come up with some other goal to accomplish.

Q: Sorry if this has been addressed. But does Marksman work with Double Tap or Three Round Burst? i.e., does DT or 3RB count as ROF greater than 1?

A: Marksman can be used as they are still considered a single attack, ROF 1.

Q: Question about the Champion Edge, does the +2 damage vs. supernatural apply to all attacks, or just hand to hand damage?

A: It's a +2 to damage no matter what the source; melee, ranged, power, etc...

Q: It's easy enough to see how most uses apply - re-rolls, remove Shaken, etc.. Where the question comes into play is when an Extra takes damage beyond Shaken. If the party wants to spend Bennies to save them, how do we handle that?

1) Do we calculate Wound Levels, as though they were a Wild Card, and have them "soak" as normal (the idea being if they take even one Wound Level after Soaking, they go down).?


2) Do they just have to get a single success on a Vigor check to "soak" and stay standing?

A: It would work just as with a Wild Card. They have to Soak all the wounds generated regardless of how many they can take.

In short, if there are 7 Wounds, they'd have to Soak 7 Wounds. But hey, at least Extras would never face wound penalties on the roll.

Q: Mentalist gives +2 on any opposed psionics rolls. Does this include Spirit rolls for some spells or just the skill 'psionics'?

A: The bonus applies on any opposed Psionics roll. That means any Opposed Roll where Psionics is used by one (or both) of the parties. As long as it is an Opposed Roll and Psionics is one of the Traits being rolled by someone, the Mentalist gets his bonus.

For example...

Mentalist using Puppet power on someone gets the +2 bonus.

Another AB: Psionics character using Puppet on the Mentalist, they get the bonus to their Spirit roll for resistance since it is opposing the Psionics skill.

An AB: Magic character using Puppet on the Mentalist, the Mentalist gets no bonus as it is Spellcasting instead of Psionics versus Spirit.

Q: How would the money stack up if a player took Rich, Filthy Rich, and Noble? Filthy Rich upgrades either Rich or Noble, so would the amount of the other one stack? IIRC, Rich and Noble both triple your starting money, and upgraded to Filthy Rich, your starting money is x5. With all three would your starting money be x8?

A: Not unless the GM makes it some kind of house rule. Otherwise, it simply can't be done.

No Edge can be taken more than once unless it specifically states that it is allowed. Since the Noble Edge specifically gives the character the Rich Edge, a character can't have both Noble and Rich by the book. Or to be more specific, a character with Noble already has Rich, so it can't be taken again.

Q: Now, is the Charismatic edge counted this way too? Noble grants +2 Charisma, but doesn't specifically say "Charismatic Edge". Can Charismatic be stacked with Noble?

A: Yup. Two different Edges, so the effects stack.

Q: If a character rises from Prone (which costs 2" of movement) while adjacent to a Foe with the First Strike edge, does the Foe get a First Strike?

Or does rising from Prone just cost movement without actually being movement?

A: Doesn't matter really. The character is already adjacent to the one with First Strike, so First Strike would not apply since the prone character is not moving to be adjacent to him.

Or to put it another way, First Strike only applies when a character moves to become adjacent, not if he moves while adjacent.

Q: With the Berserker background edge from the main rule book it says that you ignore all 'wound modifiers' although this doesn't seem to include shaken results.

If shaken results are not ignored, then what happens to a Berserker when he gets a shaken? does he immediately roll his intelligence to become berserk while he is shaken? Does the shaken result drop the character out of the berserker fury? Can you remain berserk while shaken?

If possible I would love to see two examples - one where the character is healthy until he is attacked and wounded with a shaken, and a second example where the character is already in a berserker fury and he gets a shaken result without gaining any wounds

A: You are correct. Berserk does not affect being Shaken. A character can be both Shaken and Berserk.

For your two examples of a character with the Berserk Edge...

1. The character is unhurt then get a Shaken result from damage. He rolls Smarts. If he fails, he goes berserk... and it still Shaken.
2. Character is already berserk and gets a Shaken result from damage. the character is Shaken and still under the effects of Berserk.

It might help to think of it this way. Berserk allows a character to ignore pain (Wound modifiers), but it doesn't allow him to ignore shock (being Shaken).

Wizard Edge

Q: Can the Wizard Edge reduce the Power Point cost of a spell to 0?

A: Yes. With enough Raises, the cost of the spell can be 0 PP.

Q: Can it the PP cost go below zero, causing you to gain PP?

A: No. You can't gain Power Points from Wizard.

Q: Does the Wizard Edge lower the upkeep costs on maintaining a spell?

A: Upkeep costs are unaffected by the Wizard Edge. The power point cost remains the same for upkeep no matter how many raises you got on the Spellcasting roll.

Q: On opposed rolls, does the Wizard Edge count raises from the TN of the spell, or from the opponent's roll?

For example, a spellcaster with the Wizard Edge casts Lower Trait on an opponent, rolling 14. The opponent rolls a Spirit roll of 9 to resist. Lower Trait has a base cost of w. Would the Wizard Edge reduce the cost to 0 for getting 2 raises over a TN of 4, or would the spell cost 1 because of a single raise over a TN of 9?

A: Wizard counts Raises over the target number of the spell, so the spell would cost 0. Successful casting, however, doesn't necessarily equate to successful use.

For example, if the Wizard had rolled an 8 versus the 9, the spell would be unsuccessful, but it would only still cost 1 PP because of the Raise over the Spellcasting TN of 4.

Q: What about modifiers to the attack roll, like range or darkness or The Drop, on an attack spell?

A: Only modifiers to the Spellcasting roll itself are counted for the purpose of the Wizard edge. Wound penalties and Fatigue penalties apply, but range and most other modifiers that only affect attack rolls do not.

For example, using Bolt:
1. The final die roll is a 9, but the target is one range increment (-2) away. The cost of the Bolt is reduced by 1 because the Spellcasting got a raise, even though the final result for the attack was only a 7.

2. The final die roll is an 8, but the target is two range increments (-4) away and Prone (-2 for Cover). The target is missed, but you still got a raise for casting purposes, and so the cost is reduced by 1.

3. The final die roll is a 5, and the caster has the Drop (+4). The power activates, and hits with a raise for purposes of the attack roll. The caster would not get a reduction in PP cost, as there was no raise for activate purposes.

In short, you figure out the effects of the Arcane skill roll for activation, and then you apply any modifiers that affect the attack roll to determine if and how it hits.

Q: How does Wizard affect the cost of Bolt, where there is more than one Spellcasting roll?

For example, a spellcaster with the Wizard Edge casts the Bolt spell (3 bolts of 3d6 each). This normally costs 6 PP. There's not one, but 3 spellcasting rolls involved, although they share a Wild Die. The spellcaster rolls 15, 8, and 7 on the spellcasting rolls. What would the total cost of this be?

A: Each Bolt is treated like a separate but simultaneous casting of the same spell. Each of these castings costs 1 PP for a 2d6 Bolt and 2PP for a 3d6 Bolt. Raises on a Spellcasting roll are applied only to the single Bolt that that Spellcasting roll is for.

In this example, the total cost would be 3 PP - the first Bolt costs 2 points, reduced to 0 by the 2 Raises. The second Bolt costs 2 PP, reduced to 1 by a single Raise. The third Bolt did not get a Raise, and so costs the full normal price of 2 PP. 0 + 1 + 2 = 3PP total cost.

Combat Edges

Q: What's the maximum number of attacks a character can do, and its modifiers in a single turn with all the official edges?

Table of attacks

  • Single Attack: SA
  • Multiaction: MA
  • Ambidextrism: AMB
  • TwoFisted: 2F (Melee OR Ranged)
  • Frenzy: FRZ (Melee only)
  • Improved Frenzy: IFRZ

Edge Combo
On Hand
Off Hand
Related, Quickness Power gives 2 actions, that could be (but not have to) an Attack, and follows the rule that a character cannot do the same action twice so...
  • You can run (Full action) and Attack (As table above)
  • You can invoke Smite (Full Action) and Attack
  • You cannot make attack actions beyond the listed in the above table