Savage Worlds Quick & Dirty (rules)

War of the Dead is a campaign that takes your character from the first stages of the zombie outbreak and into a world forever changed. The normal rules of society, law, order, and decency are out the window. Gone.
Forget about them. Luxury isn’t a good movie, a new video game, or finally affording that dream home. It’s being able to fall asleep at night, managing to wake up the next morning, and having survived another day without becoming a Living Dead. It’s being able to find food enough to keep you moving throughout the day, or something to burn to keep warm when the nights get cold. Welcome to the war for survival . . . the War of the Dead.

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Savage Worlds Quick & Dirty (rules)

Post by Priest »

Savage Worlds Quick & Dirty

The basic mechanic

Whenever you roll an attribute (e.g. Agiility, Strength etc) or a Skill (e.g. fighting, notice), you roll the die indicated on your sheet and a d6, taking the highest result. The d6 is your Wild Die, and you get it because you are what's called a Wild Card. All PCs are Wild Cards, as are some important NPCs. Non-wild cards are called Extras, and only get to roll the die indicated on their sheet.

If a maximum is rolled on a die, then it 'explodes' and you reroll and add the total. This can happen multiple times and occasionally leads to very high totals.

Target Number

When you roll your dice you will be aiming for the Target Number (TN). In the most basic case this will be 4. However, this can be modified by circumstances as decided by the GM to be made easier or harder.

For example, shooting a standing target in good light with no cover at short range has a TN of 4. Shooting a prone target (-2) in medium cover (-2) at long range (-4) gives a TN of 12.

Also, the TN when fighting starts at your opponents Parry.

Opposed rolls

With opposed rolls, the attacker always rolls first and spends any bennies they want to improve their result. The defender rolls second. In a tie, the struggle usually continues in some way.


If you get a roll of 4 higher than the TN, you get a raise. For each additional 4 higher you get an additional raise. For example, with a TN of 4, if you roll 13 you get two raises.

Raises sometimes have an effect on the outcome of a successful roll. For example, in combat, a raise on a fighting or shooting roll gives you additional damage.

Unskilled attempts

If you do not have a skill you are asked to roll, sometimes you will be able to make an unskilled roll. To do this you roll d4-2. You still get the Wild Die, so overall you roll d4-2 and d6-2, taking the highest result.

There will be occasions where unskilled rolls are not allowed, e.g. lock picking, knowledge(medicine)

Cooperative rolls

If you are trained in a skill, you can assist the character carrying it out. Each success and raise adds +1 to their total up to a maximum of +4, apart from Strength rolls, which have no maximum.

Critical fails

If you roll snake eyes, that is double 1, you have a critical fail. This means something really bad has happened, as determined by the GM. There is a setting rule in this campaign that bennies cannot be spent to reroll critical fails.


Every player starts each game session with three “Bennies”, although some Edges and Hindrances modify this.

You receive additional bennies during play for great roleplaying, overcoming major obstacles, playing to hindrances etc.

You can use Bennies to reroll any Trait test and Skill roll. When you spend a benny to reroll, you reroll all the dice, and take the higher number from the reroll or the original. The only exception is if you roll a critical fail, which you cannot benny, and have to take as your roll, even if you previously rolled higher.

You can also spend bennies to try to avoid wounds that you take (called making a Soak roll), or to automatically remove a Shaken status on your character.

Additionally, there is a setting rule called Heroic Determination, where you can spend a benny to take any Combat Edge for a single round
We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.
- Anais Nin
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Re: Savage Worlds Quick & Dirty (rules)

Post by Priest »

Each round represents approximately 6 seconds.


At the start of each round of combat you get a single playing card (unless you have certain Edges or Hindrances). This determines the initiative order, and characters act in descending card order. When ranks are equal, the suits go in rank of Spades, Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds.

A Joker is special. You can go at any point in the initiative order, and get +2 to all your rolls and damage in the round.

Characters can go on hold, choosing to delay their turn till later in the round. If they wish to interrupt another character's action there is an opposed Agility roll to determine turn order.

If you are Shaken whilst on Hold, you lose your hold status.


You can move your full pace as a free action (usually 6 squares). You can run, adding d6 to your move, but this counts as a full action.
- Crawlng - You can move 2" per turn, and count as prone for people tryng to hit you
- Crouching - move half pace, and make yourself a little harder to hit
- Going Prone - is a free action, but getting up takes 2"
- Difficult Terrain - each square counts as 2 squares
- Jumping - 1" from a dead stop, 2" with a run and go. A successful Strength roll adds another inch


You are allowed a single, full action per round with no penalty. For each additonal action you try in a single round, you add a -2 multiple action penalty (MAP) to ALL rolls. For example, if you try to taunt someone and then shoot, both the taunt roll and shot will be at -2.

Free actions include moving your full pace, dropping items, speaking a short sentence or two, dropping prone, and resisting opposed rolls.


Melee - your base TN is equal to your target's parry. If you roll at least 1 raise above this you get an extra d6 damage.
Ranged - your base TN at short range is 4. Medium range is -2, and Long range is -4.

Attack Modifiers and Combat Maneouvres

- light = -1 to hit
- medium = -2
- heavy = -4
- near total = -6

- Dim = -1
- Dark = -2 and cannot see beyond 10"
- Pitch Dark = no visibility at all. If you know roughly where someone is, you can attack at -4

If you spend a full round aiming at a target, you get +2 to your shooting roll

Area of Effect attacks
A fail means the attack deviates an amount, depending on the type of weapon
Cover gives you armour against these types of attack
For thrown attacks you saw coming, you can attempt to dive away with an Agility roll @ -2

Automatic Fire
Shooting with a rate of fire of 2 or higher counts as automatic fire. You get a -2 to the shooting roll, but roll a total number of dice equal to the rate of fire. However, you only get 1 Wild Die

Suppressive Fire
You can spray an area with a shooting roll @ -2. Success makes targets roll Spirit or become Shaken.

Called Shots
- Limb = -2 to hit, also special effects depending on what you hit
- Head/Vitals = -4, but +4 to damage
- Small target = -4, special effect depending on what you hit
- Tiny target = -6

Defend maneouvre
If all you do as a full action in a round is defend, you get +2 to Parry. You can still take free actions.

You attack the limb with -2 to hit. If the target rolls less than your damage with a strength roll they drop their weapon.
You can attack a weapon directly at -4 to make sure you don't cause actual damage.

Double Tap and Three Round Bursts
With a semi-auto gun you can double tap. This is a single roll with +1 to hit and damage, using 2 rounds of ammo
With some auto weapons you can three round burst. Again, this is a single roll, but with +" to hit and damage, using 3 rounds of ammo

The Drop
If a defender is completely and totally unawares, you can sometimes get The Drop. This gives you +4 to hit and damage. The GM is the ultimate arbitor as what counts as The Drop, and it is deliberately extremely difficult to get

Firing into Melee
If you miss on a 1, you hit someone adjacent to your target
With a shotgun or using full auto, this happens on a 1 or 2

Full Defense
If you stand still and defend you get to 2 + the result of a Fighting roll to your Parry. You can still carry out other actions as long as you don't move.

Ganging up
For each adjacent allie, you get +1 to your Fighting roll, up to a maximum of +4

Make an opposed Fighting roll to Grapple
Once successful, you can do your Strength in damage each round they are grappled
The person grappled can attempt to escape with an opposed Agility or Strength roll

Improvised Weapons
-1 to Shooting/Throwing, -1 to Parry

Non-Lethal Damage
Some weapons and unarmed allow this. Works the same as lethal damage, but knocks out the target

Off-hand attacks
-2 to hit

Counts as medium cover unless within 3"
In melee your Parry is -2, as well as Fighting

An opposed strength roll
- Bash to push a target
- Shield Bash to cause damage
- Trip to knocn prone
Moving at least 3" before adds 2 to the Strength roll

Ranged weapons in close combat
You can only shoot weapons of pistol size or smaller at adjacent targets. If you do, the TN is their Parry.

Tests of Will
Intimidation vs Spirit or Taunt vs Smarts
Success gives +2 against your next action (any action) against that person
Raise also Shakes the target

Touch Attacks
+2 to hit

Opposed Smarts or Agility after describing exactly what you are doing
Success gives -2 to targets Parry
Raise also shakes them

Unarmed Defender
Attacks against an unarmed foe are +2 to hit

Unstable Platform
Moving cars etc give -2 to hit from

Wild Attack
Attack recklessly for +2 to hit and damage, but lowers your Parry by 2 until your next action

Withdrawing from Combat
If you move away from an adjacent target they get a free hit against you.
Note, moving past a target you did not start adjacent to does not do the same thing
We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.
- Anais Nin
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Posts: 3281
Registered for: 8 years 4 months
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Re: Savage Worlds Quick & Dirty (rules)

Post by Priest »

Guts rolls and Fear.

You can be asked to make a Guts roll under two circumstances.

1. Fear/Nausea

This is if a scene is generally grotesque or horrific.
If you fail with a TN of 4, you are Shaken and have to make a Vigour roll or suffer a level of Fatigue for the remainder of the encounter.
If you roll a 1 on your Spirit die, regardless on the result of the Wild Die, you have to roll on the Fright Table

2. Terror

This is typically when you are confronted by a nasty monster.
If you fail with a TN of 4, you have to roll on the Fright Table, your roll modified by adding whatever negative modifier you had to the initial Guts roll. For example, Guts @ -2 means you add 2 to your roll.


Fright Table
1-4 Adrenaline Surge: The hero’s “fight”
response takes over. He adds +2 to all
Trait and damage rolls on his next action.

5-8 Shaken: The character is Shaken.

9-12 Panicked: The character immediately
moves his full Pace plus running die away
from the danger and is Shaken.

13-16 Minor Phobia: The character gains
a Minor Phobia Hindrance somehow
associated with the trauma.

17-18 Major Phobia: The character gains a
Major Phobia Hindrance.

19-20 The Mark of Fear: The hero is Shaken
and also suffers some cosmetic physical
alteration—a white streak forms in the
hero’s hair, his eyes twitch constantly, or
some other minor physical alteration. This
reduces his Charisma by 1.

21+ Heart Attack: The hero is so
overwhelmed with fear that his heart
stutters. He becomes Incapacitated and
must make a Vigor roll at –2. If successful,
he’s Shaken and can’t attempt to recover
for 1d4 rounds. If he fails, he dies in 2d6
rounds. A Healing roll at –4 saves the
victim’s life, but he remains Incapacitated.


Over time, seeing the same monster in the same types of situation is something you get used to. This means that in the end you won't need to keep making Guts rolls if you are used to seeing a particular beast. However, should the situation be suitably different, e.g. lots of them at once, then a roll is still required.

Hindrances and Bennies

Bennies are good things that mark your characters out as special and allow them to do certain things. This includes:
- Avoiding damage that could kill you
- Removing the Shaken status effect
- Rerolling dice when you want a better result
- Buying any combat Edge for a round

Everyone starts with three bennies unless they have Edges or Hindrances that modify this, e.g. Luck, Bad Luck, Young.

Bennies are refreshed at the end of a session. (Playing online means sessions are going to feel like they go on forever)

However, you can earn additional bennies in a number of ways:
- Playing to your hindrances. This is the biggie. If you deliberately play to one of your hindrances so that your character is put into a significantly worse situation than if you hadn't, you earn a bennie. For example, a Cautious character hears scratching in the room next door and decides to go investigate before waiting for the others only to find its full of zombies.
- Other exceptional role-playing. This one is more subjective, and it really, really has to be exceptional.
- Doing something really cool/genre appropriate.
- Doing something that's so funny (but in character) that I spit my tea out all over the monitor

Bennies are there to be spent, and I would advise you not to hoard them. However, given the genre, I would strongly suggest you hold onto your last one, just in case you need to soak that nasty wound. Damage in Savage Worlds is unpredictable, which makes combat very dangerous, so be prepared.

Character Advancement

Every 5XP accumulated grants a hero an Advance. An Advance lets a hero do one of the following:

- Gain a new Edge.
- Increase one skill that is equal to or greater than its linked attribute by one die type (up to d12)
- Increase two separate skills that are lower than their linked attribute by one die type each (up to being equal to their linked attribute).
- Buy a new skill at d4.
- Increase an attribute by one die type (up to d12. You may select this option only once per rank)

Ranks change at the following XP levels. Higher ranks give access to more powerful Edges.

Exp Rank
00-19 Novice
20-39 Seasoned
40-59 Veteran
60-79 Heroic
80+ Legendary
We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.
- Anais Nin

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