Table of Contents

This page is organized to coincide with the SW core rules. If you see something similar to what you do but it is different enough, just add another section for the variant. Please try to provide acknowledgments if you learned the house rule from someone else. If this page gets too large, we may need to split it up into a separate page for each chapter.

Character Creation

No Throwing Skill

Throwing skill is removed and split between Fighting skill, Shooting skill, and Agility attribute.
If throwing a heavier weapon like a hammer, spear or throwing axe it is a Fighting skill check.

If throwing a shuriken, dagger, dart, knife, rock, sling, or other small and precise weapon it is a Shooting skill check.

If throwing a potion, grenade, splashing holy water/acid, grappling hook, or other non-targeting combat item it is simply an Agility attribute check, the GM may allow the character to use their fighting or shooting skill in place of agility if deemed applicable.From Sadrik

Alternative Knowledge Skill System

I have seen knowledge skills as somewhat problematic in rpg systems. For savage worlds I propose using a broad based knowledge skill system. Alternative Knowledge Class/Synergy System Rules


Characters are fluent in their native language plus an additional language for every Smarts die type above d4. For example, a character with a d6 Smarts is fluent in two languages (native language plus one). If characters want to take another language above their normal quota, they must take a Knowledge skill. Language fluency is considered to be d6. (Alternate: Each non-language Knowledge skill the PC begins with grants an additional starting language as well.)

Languages (alternate)

Everyone gets 3 additional points at character creation to spend them onto Knowledge skills.
Languages are Knowledge skills with a special rule for every die type:
  • d4: speak only
  • d6: read/write
  • d8: understand dialects
  • d10: understand old texts
  • d12: philosophize
Because reading/writing a language now depends on the die type, you should change Illiterate to: "They must take a language at d6 to speak it, d8 to read/write etc." (Therefore it would become an edge which describes a person with problems in learning new languages).

Languages and Knowledges (alternate)

Characters receive a number of additional skill points equal to their Smarts die, which can be spent on any Knowledges, including languages. -texaspoet

Languages and Edge

Your character starts with a d6 in their native language, but other languages must be learned as skills. A d4 in a language indicates a pidgin grasp of the tongue, a d6 is fluent in the language, while a d8 and above indicates a higher grasp of the language and improved communication skills.
Requirements: Novice only
You are a polyglot, you speak multiple languages and you learn new languages quickly. You start the game with number of additional languages equal to you half your Smarts dice. These additional languages all start at d6.
Alternative 1: You treat learning a new language as though you were increasing an existing skill, instead of purchasing a new one. You can learn up to two languages this way, at the GM's discretion. These new languages start at d4.
Alternative 2: When you learn a new Language skill, it starts at d6, not d4. (This does not stack with Alternative 1.) -kedamono

Replacement Characters

The experience loss for dying is limited to 20 XP (= losing 1 rank).

Replacement Characters (alternate)

The "player" earns the XP not the character, so in effect, there is no XP loss for dying. From Sadrik


In high tech settings where electronic locks are the standard, Lockpicking is linked to Smarts instead of Agility. - Sitting Duck

Wild Card Edge Variation

Here's an alternative which allows Wild Card Edges to come into play more often. The effects occur when the relevant skill roll gets two raises. For Dead Shot and Mighty Blow, an additional 1d6 damage is inflicted. For Power Surge, the cost of the power being used is reduced by 1d6 (though at least one Power Point must be spent). These dice may ace. - Cobbled together from suggestions made at the forum

New Skills

Craft (Agility, Smarts. or Spirit)

You are skilled at one of several crafts. Depending on the craft, this skill is based on either Agility, Smarts, or Spirit. Some example craft focuses: Craft (Writing) Smarts, Craft (Carpentry) Agility, Craft (Painting) Spirit. You can use this skill to create something of value or for use by yourself or other people. The GM decides how many rolls and how many successes you will need to complete the creation of the object and how long it will take. Depending on the number of successes you roll, the value of the item will increase or decrease. Raises count as extra successes. The GM can also set the difficulty for creating the item, starting with a target number of 4 and going up beyond that.

Example: You decide to create a table using your Craft (Carpentry) d6 skill and then sell it. The GM decides that you need four successes on four rolls to build a table worth $50 and that it will take you a day to do build it. Every success above these 4 will increases the value by $10. For every each failure under four successes, the value drops by $10, and to zero dollars if you roll four failures in a row. Your target number is 4. You roll the following: 11, 1, 5, 9. You get 5 successes, increasing the value of the table by $10, for a total value of $60. Now you have to use either your Persuasion skill or Streetwise skill to sell that table.

Performance (Spirit)

Performance is a catchall skill for the various types of entertainment. This skill must have a focus, such as Performance (Singing) or Performance (Newsreader). The skill can be taken multiple times for different focuses.

Fighting/Shooting/Throwing Variations

With this revision to the listed skills, players have "weapon proficiencies". Being proficient in a weapon means that a hero takes no penalties to using that weapon.The character may be profiecient in an amount of weapons equal to half the apropriate skill die. If the hero is using a weapon he is not proficient with, it is assumed he has not had proper training and just can't make efficient use of it and so suffers a -2 to his attack roll. So Frank the brute, having a d10 fighting and only a d4 shooting, would be proficient in up to 5 melee weapon types but only 2 ranged weapon types. This provides an extra dash of realism to any campaign, especially one with many weapons involved. This keeps a gunslinging pirate with only a d4 fighting and proficiency in short swords and daggers from picking up a knight's Great Axe and wielding it like a pro. being proficient in a weapon also allows the character to take the "Weapon Specialization" Edge, under additional Combat Edges.
Fighting/Shooting/Throwing Variations - Alternate
Inspired by player grumblings (and 1337pwnr), here is my take on Weapon Proficiencies and Specialization. The categories and listings are for a fantasy campaign, but can easily be expanded for modern or future settings. An example character using the rules can be found here. Posted by TheGrayFox.


The Athletics skill replaces the climbing and swimming skills and is also used when making tests of endurance and foot chase rules.

Alternative Initiative System(s)

The goal of this system is to tie Agility and Smarts more directly to initiative.
  1. Initiative = (lower die type of Agility or Smarts / 2) - 1
  2. At the start of each round, the player draws that number of initiative cards and chooses the best one
For example, if a player has a d6 Smarts and D10 Agility, they would have an initiative of 2 (6/2 - 1) . At the start of each round of combat, they would get 2 cards and choose the best
(by Clint Black on the Savage Worlds Forums)

Changes to Derived Traits

As posted here: House Rules: Parry, Toughness, Pace, and Charisma

Parry as a penalty to Fighting

By changing your Parry calculation from the standard ((Fighting/2)+2) to the slightly altered -1*((Fighting/2)-2) you can convert Parry from a variable Target Number to a Penalty (or bonus, for characters without Fighting) to the Fighting rolls of attackers. When using this rule, Fighting is rolled against a standard TN 4, thus bringing combat one step closer to consistency with the core mechanic.
From Jonathon Volkmer

Toughness as a penalty to Damage

Toughness is less troubling to me than Parry, since damage is not technically an trait roll (although you may roll your Strength die as part of it), and therefore is not technically covered by the core mechanic. However, since damage rolls follow other conventions of Trait rolls (acing, raises, etc.), it might well be more consistent if we converted it to a penalty and set Toughness up as a penalty to a damage roll with a standard TN 4.

This change is easy and consistent with the change we made to Parry. Normally, you calculate Toughness like so: ((Vigor/2)+2). To get a penalty instead, you just do this: -1*(Vigor/2)-2).
From Jonathon Volkmer

Derived Pace

I stuck this down below, in Game Rules, since there was already a section for it there. I couldn't seem to get my mid-page link to work, so you'll have to look on the Table of Contents, or just scroll down and keep your eyes peeled.

Spirit Derived Charisma

To tie Charisma into the Spirit Attribute (thus making Charisma just like Parry and Toughness (and Pace, if you're using some of the rules from below)), just calculate it like so: Charisma = (Spirit / 2) – 4.

This formula could result in slightly higher Charisma among high-Ranking characters, and will likely result in lower Charisma among lower-Ranking players. Since a high Spirit Attribute is typically necessary among leader- and persuader-type characters anyway, it shouldn’t unduly punish them, and may well make them more effective at higher ranks and leave room for a slightly broader array of Edges. Characters with low or average Spirit, meanwhile, will struggle with leadership and persuasiveness, as seems reasonable based on real life.
From Jonathon Volkmer


Vehicle Maintenance

This is a good house rule for post-apocalypse games where running vehicles are increasingly rare. From Emiricol
  • Maintenance Number: Each vehicle has a Base Maintenance Number. This is the number of hours per week that should be spent in routine maintenance. This number ranges from 2 for a HUMMV or full-size pickup/civilian car, 4 for a semi truck, 8 for an M2 Bradley, all the way up to 14 for an M1A2 Abrams main battle tank.
  • Wear Value: This is a d10 that determines the condition of a vehical. Divide the base price by the wear value to determine cost of a vehicle when trying to buy or sell. (Thus, full price is for a wear value of 1, excellent condition).
  • Breaking Down: Every day a vehicle travels, roll 1d10 - if it is equal or less than the wear value it has a potential breakdown. Avoiding the breakdown is a skill roll at -1 by the last character to perform routine maintenance on the vehicle. If the required preventative maintenance was not performed, the potential breakdown is automatically an actual breakdown.
  • Preventative Maintenance: Mechanics can spend more time than the Base Maintenance Number in routine maintenance. Spending twice the time will cut the potential breakdown possibility in half.

Tech Level-Based Equipment

Those who use the Victory by Any Means strategic space empires game may use the Starmada X technology tree system. For such campaigns (or any campaign using tech levels), personal weapons and other gear must be configured by tech level (TL) to have meaningful variances. The TL system used here goes from -3 to 0 to +3. However, the basic variances can easily be modified for different TL systems such as D20 Modern's or GURPS' systems, with very little work.
  • Personal Weapons - Ballistic and laser personal weapons, replacing the core book weapons.
  • Power Armors - Modifies the Sci-Fi Toolkit section on power armors.
  • Starships - Heavily dependent on the Starmada system, this is a conversion that lets you design ships in Starmada for the strategic game, and give them Savage Worlds stats for role-playing; it is included here because it is TL-based.
An example setting using this system can be found here.
By Emiricol

Alternative Cybernetics and Cyborg Rules

by C.A.Pryde

Another Alternative Cybernetics System

A Cybernetics System that doesn't use the Arcane Background edge.
by r_b_bergstrom

Armor Damage

“Armor is not forever.”

Damage that exceeds a hero’s total toughness may damage their armor. Roll 1D10 + 1D10 for each raise. D10: 1 = -1 armor toughness.

Example: Armor with Toughness +8 and hero Toughness of 14 is hit with a plasma rifle for 23 damage. The damage exceeds the armor toughness with two raises. Roll 3D10. A 1,7,1 means that the armor loses 2 Toughness such that it’s protection rating if reduced to +6 Toughness.

Armor damage may be repaired. A successful Repair test restores 1 lost Toughness. Each raise also restores 1 Toughness. Each Repair attempt consumes 10 minutes. Armor with 0 Toughness is not repairable.. A Critical Failure on an armor repair roll, slags the armor. This rule encourages regular maintenance, provides more value for the Repair skill and makes armor more desirable to find.
by TeknoMerk

Fusion Grenade

A Fusion grenade is a rare and devastating TI-2 weapon that is a restricted, military-grade item. This is similar to the Mk67 Pineapple grenade from SWEX but the damage is 5D6.
Range: 5/10/20 Cost:125 Weight: 1 TI-2 Military
by TeknoMerk

Incendiary Grenade

Special: Fire damage. Medium Burst Template.

An exploding incendiary grenade scatters sticky, flaming liquid across everything in the blast radius. Incendiary grenades are commonly called napalm or fuel-air explosive (FAE) grenades. An incendiary grenade causes 2D10 damage on the turn it explodes. The burning liquid sticks to the victim, causing a fire check (See SWEX) of a D6: 5-6. A character that passes an Agility check takes only half damage.
Range: 5/10/20 Cost:75 Weight: 1 TI-0
by TeknoMerk

Plasma Grenade

A Plasma grenade is a powerful TI-1 weapon. This is a military-grade weapon carried by the standard, TI-1 trooper. This is similar to the Mk67 Pineapple grenade from SWEX but the damage is 4D6.
Range: 5/10/20 Cost:100 Weight: 1 TI-1
by TeknoMerk

Stun Grenade

This TI-1 weapon is used by security and military forces. See SWEX Stun Monstrous ability. The Vigor test modifier is -2 in a Medium Burst Template.
Range: 5/10/20 Cost:15 Weight: 1 TI-1 Security,
by TeknoMerk


Simple stun devices which are easy to purchase and legally carry in modern and future settings. Tasers can be used as either hand weapons (Fighting) or as short range weapons (Shooting). Anyone hit with a Taser must make a Vigor roll at -2 or be Shaken. As long as contact is maintained with the Taser (the wires remain in contact until removed), another jolt can be administered for a new Vigor -2 roll. If used as a ranged weapon, the wires need to be respooled before the device can be used again.
Range: 1/2/4, ROF 1, Cost: $100 - $400, Weight: 1
by HawaiianBrian

Pepper Spray

Similar to Tasers, these devices are designed to stun opponents with a blast of concentrated capsaicin. They are cheap and legal to carry in most modern settings. Targets within the cone template must make a Vigor roll at -2 or be Shaken. Recovery rolls also have a -2 penalty for 1d4 minutes.
Range: Cone template, ROF 1, Cost: $25, Weight: -
by HawaiianBrian

Simplified Ammo Tracking

Tired of keeping track of every bullet? Try using Charges instead. This is designed to reduce the book keeping required for ranged weapons down to a single Ammo roll at the end of a battle, while still allowing players to run out during combat.
by Kakaze

Game Rules

Blocking spaces

As long as you aren't shaken, you can block the space on which you are standing.
If you are shaken, enemies can pass through but your space counts as difficult terrain.

Bull Rush

The attacker makes a Fighting attack and then, instead of damage, makes an opposed Strength roll. Success and the opponent moves back an inch, a raise and the opponent moves back 1d4" and is Shaken. Raises on the attack roll give cumulative +2 modifiers to the Strength roll, just like with damage. If the defender gets a raise on the opposed strength roll, the attacker drops prone until his next action.

Called Shots

Legs (-2): Works like Disarm but enemy makes an Agility roll (instead of Str). Failure means the character is falling prone.


If you would hit the target without the cover modifier, you hit the cover instead (if it's living, roll damage as usual).
This rule could be used as an alternative or as an addon to the "Innocent Bystander" rule.

Critical Failure

If you roll Snake Eyes, spending a Benny allows one to change a critical failure to a simple failure. slasherepoch


Item malfunctioned or damaged. This works very well if GMs do not allow bennies to re-roll Critical Failures.
1 – 5: Weapon/Item Malfunction
6 – 9: Weapon/Item Lightly Damaged
10: Weapon/Item Moderately Damaged

A malfunctioning item can be restored to working order. The hero just needs time to correct it. An item malfunction takes 1D4+1 actions to clear. A damaged item requires repair. Repairing a lightly damaged item uses 3D6 minutes, subtracting 2 minutes/raise on the Repair roll. Moderately damaged items require 5D10 minutes to repair, subtracting 2 minutes/raise on the Repair roll. Field repairs suffer a -2 modifier to the Repair roll and add an extra die due to lack of available parts & tools. If parts & tools are available at the “field” location, then the penalties do not apply.

An evil option for a malfunctioning item is for the GM to make the roll, but not tell the player how long they need to clear the condition. The Hero has an idea (the 1D4+1 range), but not the exact time. That will cause some dramatic suspense. An even more evil variation is to not inform the heroes if the item is damaged or malfunctioned. After a round of analysis, they can tell, but it is a distraction from fighting. Do you drop the weapon? Do something creative? Tough it out and clear the weapon? Run?
by TeknoMerk

Lucky Break

If a single die explodes twice (example: a d6 rolls 6, 6, X), the player gets a Lucky Break. When this happens, the player can take over the storyline for one yes/no or A/B decision.

An attacker using a grenade could instead throw the pin. A direct hit to your APC by a battle tank could have a dud round. That guy with plague you just encountered in the woods? He's got eczema now. The marauder captain who is about to execute you? He just remembered that Dan the mechanic saved his life once in a traffic accident pre-war. The building you are breaking into? Now it has a skylight. So on and so forth.

While it can definitely dominate an encounter, and may at the GM's discretion have long-ranging effects, it should never be allowed to break the campaign. From Emiricol

Play Multiple Adventure Cards

The player can play the normal number of Adventure cards without penalty, but by spending a Benny, the player may play an additional Adventure Card. This can be repeated as often as the player has Bennies to spend.

Rising from Prone

As written, the core rules allow a Prone defender to rise automatically to defend herself. I feel this undercuts those who may attack with surprise and Tricks which may trip the opponent. In my games I have removed this rule and rising from Prone requires 3" of movement. slasherepoch


The character can take the average (round down) instead of rolling.


Fleet-footed gives you a 2d4 running die instead of 1d10.

Pace & run

Not everybody moves at the same pace, after all I can out run my best friend, my son can out run me and someone 6'3" walks faster than someone of 5'6". For that matter the short but foxy person can out maneuver that lumbering giant. Therefore pace is equal to one half your agility plus two and your run die is equal to your agility die. Adaption to the Fleet-Footed Edge: +2 to pace, and +2 to the running roll. The Obese Hindrance: -2 to Pace, running die type reduced by 2 steps {I know some rather agile and fast fat guys}. ~Lord Skudley

Running (Alternate Rule)

When attempting to shoot a target that is running, it is much harder to shoot them. While a character takes a running action, all enemies suffer a -1 to thier resulting shooting/ throwing roll to hit him.

More Alternate Pace and Running Rules

Basically, Pace is not tied into attributes at all, and a static pace shared by most everybody is not terribly realistic, as pointed out above. However, there are a lot of different ways to go about fixing this problem. I'll leave out the options that have already been mentioned above. As far as the Running die goes, I suggest following Lord Skudley's advice and tying it to whichever Attribute the player is using to derive their Pace. In the case of Pace from Agility and Strength, found below, you could give them a choice, or restrict them to the lower, depending on how much of a hardcase you are.
As posted here: House Rules: Parry, Toughness, Pace, and Charisma

Pace from Strength, more challenging

Pace = (Strength / 2) + 2. Speaking realistically, stronger legs often means more rapid movement. The upside of using Strength is that it makes a somewhat less influential Attribute more important, encouraging characters to be more balanced than they might otherwise be. Normally, Strength applies only to melee damage, encumbrance restrictions, and a very short list of skills (Climb and…what?). Since players and GM’s (in my experience) often ignore, waive, or modify encumbrance, Strength can become relatively unimportant to many character archetypes. This changes that, and puts it on a more even footing with the other Attributes.

Pace from Agility, less challenging than 3.9.1

Pace = (Agility / 2) + 3. This makes players slightly faster than the above method, and puts the average character at the default of 6, rather than below it. However, because Agility is already tied to so many skills, and affects Parry via Fighting, it could make Agility seem somewhat more important than other Attributes.

Pace from Strength, less challenging than

Pace = (Strength / 2) + 3. Once again, the +3 speeds characters back up from where the more challenging version above left them, and using Strength provides an increased importance to a potentially less-important Attribute.

Pace from Agility and Strength

Pace = (Agility / 2) + (Strength / 2). This final method will tend to give many characters a Pace of 6 without giving an undue boost to either Agility or Strength. Particularly athletic characters will tend to be faster, while particularly un-athletic characters will tend to be slower.
From Jonathon Volkmer


This combines running and wild attack into a single action. To charge an attacker must declare a charge move at least 6”.The run die is rolled after a charge is declared, if the die comes up sort the attacker moves as close as possible to the target of the charge and has a -2 to parry until his next action.If the charge makes it to the target he attacks with +2 to fighting and damage and has a -2 to parry until his next action.

Suppressive Fire

Allow those using Suppressive Fire to ignore the auto-fire penalty and the range penalties when making their Shooting rolls.


You may also make Suppressive Fire an opposed roll of Shooting versus the Spirit of those in the burst template. slasherepoch

Advanced Tricks and Test of Wills

From Clint Black
As an optional house rule, when a character chooses to perform a Trick or Test of Will, they have two options as listed below and must choose one before rolling the dice.


Distract - This works as written in the main rulebook, causing -2 Parry and Shaken on a raise to the target.
Confuse - This inflicts a -2 penalty on the target's attack rolls on the next round, and -4 on a raise (Note: this only affects attack rolls, not all actions).

Tests of Will: Intimidate/Taunt

Cow/Enrage - This works as written in the main rulebook, granting a +2 to the next action against target and Shaking the target on a raise.
Rattle/Belittle - Target suffers a -2 to their next Trait roll, and is Shaken on a raise.

Bonus from a Joker.

The +2 to damage and trait rolls only apply to one member in a group. A wildcard whit extras can choose to take the bonus himself or give it to one of the extras.

Alternative Damage Options

Direct to Knockout Damage

All damage and incapacitation rules remain except this: If a damage result gives more than one raise you go directly to the Incapacitation table and roll vigor using the modifiers before the damage. (A raise on the vigor roll causes you one wound if you don’t have three already). This will make it easier to get knocked out but it will also make it much easier to soak massive damage. It’s also a little lighter on the calculations.

Cinematic Damage (Verson 1)

This houserule is for a highly cinematic game where PC death can only happen at climactic moments, not because of one bad die roll while fighting some mooks. The rule is simple: except for certain circumstances, no single attack can do more than one wound. "Certain circumstances" could include:
  • Whenever you have The Drop on someone, the attack does damage per the default Savage Worlds rules, including the standard +4 bonus. If someone's got a weapon to your back, it's time to respect them.
  • If the session is a "season finale" or you're facing down your arch-nemesis, or something similar. In these cases, the GM should make the PC aware of the specialness of the situation before the fight begins.
  • In Deadlands: Reloaded, the first round of Dueling does normal damage, so there's some risk of being shot dead before you can draw.
  • Particularly large and nasty creatures may deal and receive damage per the normal rules instead. As with major villains, the GM should point this out to the players before the fight starts.
  • Heavy Weapons, if it fits the campaign, may deal damage normally. This is determined by the GM at the start of the campaign, as in some genres it's perfectly fine for heroes to survive ridiculously large explosions.
  • Certain very high-rank spells may circumvent this houserule. Again, this is up to the GM, who should make every effort to warn the PCs in advance.
One pleasant side-effect of this rule is that the damage resolution step of combat is much faster, since you can stop doing math once your total is 4 higher than the defender's Toughness. (For some that may also be a downside, as rolling 57 on 3d6 has a certain appeal.) The length of fights will likely be longer, since you're capped at one damage and soaking the hits is easier, but the time between players actions will frequently be shorter, and there's less time and energy spent on math.
From r_b_bergstrom

Multiple Damage Options

  • Heroic Incapacitation – Ignore Wound Modifiers on any Incapacitation roll. Hard to Kill instead provides a +2 bonus to Incapacitation rolls. Instant death is much more unlikely, but still a possibility for some concern.
  • Cinematic Incapacitation (version 2) – All results on the Incapacitation table are moved down one category. So a critical failure acts as a Failure, a failure acts as a Success, and a success provides the same effect as a Raise. This makes death and permanent injuries almost non-existent, and a Wild Card is either going to be knocked out or stay in the fight with a minor injury.
  • Harsh Incapacitation – All results on the Incapacitation table are moved up one category. Instant death now occurs on any failure. A success acts as a Failure, a raise acts as a Success, and the Raise result is either dropped or requires two raises to achieve. Aftermath for Extras works similarly where a raise is required to be alive but Incapacitated and anything lower means death. Surviving Incapacitation in this game is a rare event and those that do will often have the permanent injuries to show for it.
  • Superheroic Incapacitation – All damage is treated as nonlethal. It may look deadly, but no one is ever killed just knocked unconscious for a period of time. [Hard to Kill may be renamed Hard to Take Down.]
In addition, a decision may be made to apply these rules to NPC Wild Cards or not ("It's Good to Be a Hero")
(from Clint Black on the Savage Worlds Forums)

Social Combat

  1. Start Social Engagement: Identify the targets of your social offensive. Targets break down into: Potential Allies and Enemies.
    1. Potential Allies must be "won" through Persuasion (Charming and convincing conversation) and/or Tricks (Talking them into committing themselves publicly to your cause, or using Agility to garner their admiration for your skill in dance or sleight of hand).
    2. Enemies must be "defeated" by Intimidation (Social or Veiled Threat), Taunt (Cutting remarks and innuendo), and/or Tricks (Mentally tricking them into revealing statements or foolish positions).
  2. Begin Combat: Either the player or the GM can initiate a Social Combat. Use cards for initiative as normal.The Target Number to "hit" using Persuasion, Intimidation, Taunts and Tricks is your target's Social Parry (½ Smarts +2 +Charisma).All social damage is 1d6 (Wild Cards can roll a wild dice as normal) +1d6 per raise on the attack (and a called shot can also give a bonus to damage).The GM can also give bonuses for Good Role Playing by the character.Social Toughness is based on Spirit (½ Spirit +2) with Nobles, the Rich, Famous People, and Politicians being more difficult to wound so they have a +2 Social Armor (which called shots bypass as normal).
  3. Combat Outcomes: If "damage" is equal to the social toughness the target is shaken (struck dumb with awe and amazement or sputtering and red-faced with indignation). If "damage" is over the social toughness a "wound" is scored (plus one per raise) which can be soaked as normal but using spirit rather than vigor. A wound on an extra "defeats" the extra by making him an ally or sending him from the social "field of battle" in defeat.Wild cards that are "Incapacitated" act as a defeated extra. Wild Cards that are wounded are suffering the rest of the "battle" from a telling remark or exposure and take the penalty on all further rolls as normal.
  4. Results: Damage is non-permanent (going away as wounds do rolling once every week (or more quickly if the GM rules) on Spirit to recover from the social defeat) to the participants but allies gained (or lost) will stay that way until another opportunity for "Social Battle" presents itself. Social "damage" does not impact normal combat.

From Forums

Pecs & Pulchritude

Clint Black's take on reflecting the combat style of pulp fantasy settings like Conan and its many imitators.

Throwing Opponent

I'd say after the grapple, just use the same roll as for attempting damage to throw the target. A success allows you to "throw" them into any adjacent square, and a raise allows them to be thrown into a square up to 1" away.

If need be, Size difference could be added (if lower) or subtracted (if larger) from the distance. So a human could throw a Size -1 creature 1" on a success and 2" on a raise, but he would need a raise to throw a Size +1 creature even into an adjacent square. And he couldn't throw anything of Size +2 or larger at all.

Meanwhile, an Ogre (Size +3) could throw a human (Size 0) 3" on a success and 4" with a raise.

From Clint Black on the forums

Alternative Ammunition Rules

Instead of players or GMs counting ammunition, roll an extra D10 with every shooting skill test. On a 1 the weapon is out of ammunition. A general average of all SWEX standard weapons is about 10 shots per clip, if all the special weapon features are used. A player will get a few more shots out of pistols than with ammo counting, and a few less shots for use of single-shot attacks. Overall, this works out about the same as counting ammunition, but with less bookkeeping. GMs should let anyone spend bennies to re-roll a bad ammunition result, including monsters.
by TeknoMerk

Shooting and Knockdown

Since most firearms have significant kinetic impact to cause damage, heroes hit by firearms may be knocked down. If a Shooting skill test results in a raise, the target must a pass an Agility check to remain standing. Each raise beyond the first causes -2 to the target roll. A knocked down target is considered prone.
by TeknoMerk

Shooting a Running Target

A running target is moving fast enough to cause accuracy challenges for attackers. Therefore, an attacker suffers a -2 to hit for all Shooting skill rolls. This rule encourages aim actions.
by TeknoMerk


In addition to the normal jumping rules, each raise also adds +1" distance jumped.
by TeknoMerk

Types of Poison

  • Damage: Causes Wounds.
  • Death: Fatigue and Wounds
  • Sickness: -1 Vigor die type, Fatigue
  • Paralysis: Prone and cannot move
  • Slow: 1/2 Pace
  • Unconscious: Sleeping
  • Weakness: -1 Strength die type
  • Stun: SWEX Stun Monstrous ability
  • Pacify: No aggressive action; No running; ½ Pace
by TeknoMerk

Vacuum Atmosphere

A vacuum atmosphere causes a 1D6 target number (cumulative/round) of exposure. The affected heroes make an opposed Vigor roll or receive 1 Wound. Finding a breathable atmosphere restarts the process.

Vacuum Target Number

1st round: 1D6
2nd round: 2D6

Therefore, remaining in a vacuum for very long is extremely deadly for air-breathing creatures.

If exposed to vacuum and prepared, a typical humanoid may hold their breath for one minute. A successful Vigor roll provides +30 seconds, while each raise gains +30 seconds.
by TeknoMerk

Alternate Radiation Rules

Radiation is classified with two attributes, Level and Intensity. Radioactive Intensity typically ranges from D4 to D12; although, there may be some exceptional, higher intensities. Intensity determines the amount of damage caused to an organism.

Radioactive Level determines the length of exposure before the intensity begins damaging a being. Once out of the affected area, the hero recovers Fatigue at the listed rate.

Low radiation areas represent old, degraded sites. High radiation areas are caused by the recent remnants of weapons or breached power cores or radioactive fuel. Extreme radiation fields are caused by active nuclear cores, nuclear fuel and nuclear weapon explosions.

The following list determines the frequency and effects of radiation exposure.

Low Level Radiation

Vigor test per hour of exposure
Recover 1 Fatigue per hour

Fatigue Vigor roll:
Success: No Effect
Fail: 1 Fatigue (to Exhaustion)
Critical Fail: Shaken, 1 Fatigue

High Level Radiation

Vigor test per minute of exposure
Recover 1 Fatigue per day

Fatigue Vigor roll:
Raise: No Effect
Success: Shaken
Fail: 1 Fatigue
Critical Fail: 1 Wound

Incapacitated Vigor roll:
Raise: No Effect
Success: Shaken
Fail: 1 Wound
Critical Fail: 2 Wounds

Extreme Level Radiation

Vigor test per hour of exposure; 2 Dice Intensity
Recover 1 Fatigue per week

Fatigue Vigor roll:
Raise: No Effect
Success: Shaken
Fail: Shaken, 1 Fatigue
Critical Fail: Shaken, 1 Wound

Incapacitated Vigor roll:
Raise: No Effect
Success: Shaken
Fail: Shaken, 1 Wound
Critical Fail: Dead

by TeknoMerk

Fencing Stolen Goods

Make a streetwise check once per week.
If successful you find a fence that can move your goods.
Next, you need to check to see how much he will offer.
The best offer a fence will make is 50% of the value of the object.
This is reduced 10% for each of the following reasons:
  • item is valued at more than $5,000
  • item is marked or otherwise personalized,
  • item is distinctive/famous,
  • item was reported missing/stolen,
  • item is magical,
  • item is only interesting to collectors
A successful Persuasion check can up the value 10% +10% per raise (to a maximum of 50% of the value of the item).
A failed Persuasion check has no effect.
A critical failure on the Persuasion check lowers the value 10%.

A successful Intimidation check can up the value 10% +10% per raise (maximum of 100% of the value of the item).
A failed Intimidation check reduces the value of the item by 20%.
A critical failure reduces the value 20% with all fences for the next month.

If the item’s offer reaches zero the fence is not interested.
You can check elsewhere but if you are unsuccessful with three different fences, you will not be able to sell the item in this town.

by jasales

Arcane Backgrounds

Rewarding Limited Number of Arcane Powers

If a character takes an Arcane Background with a substantially limited number of available powers (say 5 or less), due to the setting description, the character gets a free d4 in the appropriate Arcane Skill

Mana Burn

A non-Power Point alternative for using arcane powers.

Weird Science Variation

Want a character who makes extensive use of Weird Science gizmos but doesn't actually build them? Use the Weird Science Arcane Background as is but with the trappings of the devices being provided by a lab bound patron. To reflect the character's lack of understanding of the innards of the gadgets, Repair (if even taken) will be minimal. For purposes of flavor and perversity, the Edge is renamed Arcane Background (Guinea Pig). Suggested by Clint over at the Pinnacle Forums

Situational Rules


Adapt the rules for Interludes to collaboratively create a satisfying ending to any campaign or short adventure.

Squad Combat

Want to have combat involving large numbers of Extras with less die rolls than the Showdown rules? Try grouping them into Squads!
Works best with Squads of between 5 and 40 extras. This is designed to be a combination of the Mass Battle and normal Combat rules.

Zone Based Combat.

An combat system using a Zone based movement concept, where movement and timing are non-linear and abstracted to a strong degree, allowing combats to be held in a small table top area.

Game Mastering

Challenge Ratings

For all of you who need some "math" to backup your encounter choices - Clint has proposed a "Damage Rating" system for checking out the lethality of your encounters:

Try getting a Damage Rating for your PC's. Take half their Strength plus the bonus from their "standard" weapon. You can average this to figure out a Damage Rating for the group as a whole. Then compare the Damage Rating t their opponents Toughness.
  • If it's equal, then the PC's have an edge over an equal number of opponents (where 2 Extras equal 1 Wild Card).
  • If the Toughness is a point higher, then the fight should be about "even."
  • If the Toughness is 2 points higher, then it will be a (pardon the pun) tough fight (1 opponent for every 2 PC's).
  • If it's 3 points higher, the PC's are in trouble (1 Opponent for every 4 PC's). And generally the progression continues to double.

So if your group has an average Damage Rating of 5 and you throw a 10 Toughness npc at them, then you should have about 16 PC's or understand that it may take 4 PC's four times as long to take him down. From Clint Black

Standardized Experience Rules

Alternate Magic Items Creation

Legendary Items

This system makes magic items unique, rare and wondrous. It is fairly low magic, and results from WCs imbuing items with their own essence rather than wizardly enchantments. The details can be found here. From Emiricol

Magic Items and Loot

SPF's beta-version for Shaintar can be found here. From SPF

Alternate Bennies Rule

At the end of a gaming session, the GM counts up all the bennies that were given out during the session. He then divides that total by the number of players, rounding up. One of the players than rolls a number of d6s equal to the result. For every 4-6 result on the dice (50%), every PC gets another XP above the session XP award. Any individual PC bennies left over after a setting are lost.

This alternate rule provides the following advantages: 1) it encourages good RPGing to get bennies, 2) PCs don't have to worry about saving bennies, and 3) the awarding of extra XPs is team based. (From ohoh7)

Expanded Benny Rules and Meaningful Extra Success

Meaningful extra success

In Savage worlds we have the concept of a raise, however there is no bonus for multiple raises, which can either be the result of luck or heavy investment in skills. For example a wild card rolling a d12 on a standard target number 4 has an 80% chance of succeeding, a 50% chance of a raise and a 10% chance of two raises. Well 10% of the time they are super awesome and that would be cool to utilize. (Statistical percentages thanks to AnyDice)

I propose using a variety of benefits, at GM discretion, to reward this extra awesomeness with the default always being, that for each raise, including any raise that happens on a roll where it would normally have no effect, should generate at a minimum a Benny. The generated Benny can either be given to the player if they have less than their starting amount or can be put in the group Benny pool.

Group Benny Pool

The group pool can only be added to through cashing in extra raises and can only contain 1 benny per player. So in a game with 4 players, the pool can only ever contain 4 extra bennies and it does not matter who it was who put them in there. Anyone, whether they have their own bennies or not, may use the group pool.

GM Benny Rules

To make sure this is balanced and to give the GM some ore options as well, two things now interact with the GM benny pool that did not before.

First each time a player rolls a 1 on any die, the GM gets a benny added to their pool. The GM benny pool is increased to two times the number of players to accommodate extra bennies generated in this way.

Second, if a player does not have a benny, the GM is able to gain one, and the group pool is empty, that player may give the GM a benny and then use one themselves.

Further the use of Bennies by the GM is expanded to include giving an 'auto soak' to an extra and other GM fiat things. By spending a benny, this avoids calls by the players of Unfair.

Combat Options

As opposed to just adding to the pool or getting a benny back, combat is handled slightly different since there are some wonderful and fun things that this extra success could be used for.

Extra combat raises could be spent in the following way: (#oR = Number of extra raises) This table is intended to replace the normal +1d6 for a raise.
Extra Damage
Add a +1 to the damage roll
Weak Point
Add +1d6 to the damage roll (only if the target has a weak point)
Re-Roll Damage
Re-Roll a single damage die, must keep the new result. May only re-roll each damage die 1 time.
Additional Target
Double-Tap, 3RB or Full auto only: Additional target, that you have a clear line of sight on, within ROF spaces is also hit. Roll Damage normally.
-1 to next action against you from the target this round.
Reload the fired weapon as a free action
Move the target 1 space away in the direction of the attack. This does not cause collision damage and does break melee. You may move into the space that was previously occupied.
Additional Attack
Melee only: Make another attack at -4+X, where X is an additional 1 for each raise spent (so 2 extra raises would be a -2 net modifier etc)
Defend Action
Allow the attacker to take a defend action for free
Ready An Item
Draw a weapon, or otherwise ready an item for action.
In The Zone
Negate two points of multi action penalties for the rest of the round.
Get a +2 on the same target on your next action against them.
(from NaiSrewop)

Cooperative roles

Savage worlds cooperative rolls appear to be an abstraction of one person aiding another person to do something, which is all well and good but it does not seem to capture the true spirit of cooperation.

Rules As Written a cooperative roll is done by one person making a roll and then each other person who is aiding that person making the same skill roll. Each success generated by the ‘aides’ is then added to the primary person’s roll as a +1. The success of the primary person is all that matters for the most part. Though this is a good abstraction for a simple task, a complex task, like cooperatively destroying something is missing from this mechanic. Sure you could always elevate to a dramatic task and what I propose is a kind of 'dramatic task lite'.

Everyone who wants to cooperate makes a skill test, out of a list that the GM suggests or that they suggest, that pertains to the action that is being attempted. If the group is trying to repair a high tech vehicle, two players may choose to roll repair while one rolls electronics and the last rolls knowledge mechanical engineering. It is assumed that all the players who are cooperating can act at the same time; meaning during combat one or more players may have needed to hold their turn.

When doing a group roll in this way, the rolls are still subject to the normal target number but the culmination of the group roll should be compared to a group target. Each success and raise counts toward the group target and as long as the group target is met or beat, the group succeeds. The GM should use their discretion but a good rule of thumb would be to require success results equal to the number of players for a hard task, equal to half the number of players for a simple task and equal to the number of players plus half the number of players for a very hard task.

For example a group of 4 is attempting a hard task. The first player gets a hit and a raise, the second player does not succeed and the third and fourth players each generate a success. This would be a group success.
(from NaiSrewop)

Rule Challenges

If the game is being bogged down by constant interruptions by players calling GM decisions unfair, try this. This method is inspired by an NFL rule. If the GM makes a call that the players think is bad, the players may agree to make an official rule challenge. This can be for misusing a spell, edge, damage, or any rule decision by the GM that the players think was handled poorly. The players may make a case and the GM must take a moment to review their arguments and look through any books if necessary. If the GM agrees s/he was at fault, the decision is corrected. If the GM believes s/he was correct in the original call, all players lose a benny. This incentives players to let minor issues rest and not make a fuss unless they are absolutely certain. -Tony Felony

Area Effect Attacks Without a Tactical Map

From the Savage Worlds Forums (multiple contributors)
When an attack calls for a Template, the attacker rolls the appropriate dice on the table below to determine how many enemies he can affect.

Small Burst Template - 1d4
Medium Burst Template - 1d6 + 2
Large Burst Template - 1d8 + 4
Cone Template - 1d6*
*In the case of a Cone Template, the Agility roll is at +2, or +4 with a Raise on the attack roll.

Any allies the GM deems are adjacent to chosen affected enemies must make an Agility roll to avoid the effects of the attack. This roll is made at a +2 bonus if the attacker got a Raise.

Reckless Endangerment

It is possible to increase the number of enemy hit, as below, but in doing so one PC or Ally must be included in the hit for every enemy covered, selecting them only from among those PCs or allies who have so far engaged the enemy or are otherwise in position to also be hit.

Small Burst Template - 1d3+1 / Note: to get a d3, roll a d6: 1-2 = 1 / 3-4 = 2 / 5-6 = 3
Medium Burst Template - 2d6
Large Burst Template - 3d8
Cone Template - 2d6*

Villains & Monsters

Alternate Toughness Rules

Size = Wound is just too nasty and it takes forever to put a big guy down.
  • Take the Size score. For each odd point in it, the creature gets +1 Toughness.
  • For every even point, the creature gains a Wound.

So, let's take an Ogre. He's size +2 and thus has his base Toughness (derived from Vigor) +1 and an extra Wound. A size +7 guy would have +4 T and +3 Wounds.

Extra Wounds due to Size cannot be soaked (so you don't have the never-dying big guy). Correspondingly there is no die penalty to losing these (to keep the bookkeeping down). From Jay Verkuilen

Minor Wild Cards

You can give some creatures or minor villains the "Extra Soak" Edge. This provides a "Soak Bennie" that can only be used to Soak damage. The Extra Soak Edge is only given to Extras that are like "Veteran Mooks" (gang leaders that aren't important enough to be Wild Cards and the like) or Critters that are too stubborn to go down in one hit. From Matthew Mather


Villains that are not as tough as the "Big Bad", but stronger than a standard mook get three wound levels (all wound modifiers apply as normal), but no wild die. These are great for a little surprise on the Players when they see a "mook" not go down after a solid hit.

NPC Templates

  • Goons: Skills: d6 in primary—d4 in the rest; Attributes: d6 in primary—d4 in the rest; Wounds: 0 (treat as an Extra—they’re either Shaken or Incapacitated); Wild die: ---
  • Mooks (The prototypical Extra): Skills: d6 in all; Attributes: d6 in all; Wounds: 0; Wild die: ---
  • Henchmen: Skills: d8 in primary—d6 in the rest; Attributes: d8 in primary—d6 in the rest; Wounds: 1; Wild die: ---
  • Right Hand Men; Skills: d8 in primary and any other one skill—d6 in the rest; Attributes: d8 in primary and secondary—d6 in the rest; Wounds: 2; Wild die: ---
  • Bosses (Wild Card): Create them just like Wild Cards.
-From SharkBytes #1 and the PEG forums

Bottomless Bennies

Great for those instances where a bad roll (or a good one) could make an encounter end much too quick. In this variant, the GM does not keep track of his bennies at all and essentially has an unlimited number... but with a catch. When the GM spends a benny for NPCs to the detriment of the players, the PC suffering the effects of the benny is awarded one for free.
Example: The mutant Nazi overlord fires at a PC and fails miserably. The GM may spend any number of bennies as normal, however the PC being shot at is awarded a benny each time this is done.
This also applies to soaking wounds. If a PC deals a wound to an enemy wildcard and the GM uses a benny to soak it, the PC receives a free benny.
-From Clint Black's interview on The Game's the Thing Jan '07

Answers From On High

If the players are totally stumped on some issue, or need some advice on how to tackle a problem, they may use this option. With the GM's approval, they may all spend a benny to get an answer, clue, or hint to the current predicament. Note that every player must spend a benny and so must all agree to do it. The GM may then insert some game related hint, such as a message on an answering machine, a headline in a newspaper, a rumor from a bar, etc. It should be obvious enough to the players that this is the clue, or at the very least, a good lead to finding the real information.

New Monstrous Ability: Leap

The creature performs an Agility test. If successful, it jumps 4” +1”/raise. A critical miss means some spectacular mistake occurred with the Leap.
by TeknoMerk

New Montrous Ability: Pounce

This is an enhancement for Leap. The creature performs an Agility test. If successful, see Leap and add +1 attack an +1 damage. See Leap for a critical miss.
by TeknoMerk

Gaming with Kids

Tips and House Rules for Gaming with Kids .