Thursday, August 14, 2014

Introductions and such!

I suppose when creating a blog, one might find it wise to give a general mission statement, so here we go!

I am Donavon (or DoctorBoson on the rest of the internet). I am a player and Game Master of Pinnacle Entertainment's Savage Worlds game system. If you haven't played it before, the core rules are $10 or so. Pick it up with a group of buddies or find an online group!

I'll also insert a plug for the Savage Worlds GM Hangout, a fantastic source for understanding the system and just Game Master tricks in general (regardless of your preferred system).

So the purpose of this blog is simple. As the name suggests, we will Savage everything. Characters, settings, vehicles, people, whatever. The only thing I've ever encountered that I couldn't fit into the system (with a little bit of tweaking) is shonen anime stuff, of which I don't find particularly engaging anyways. Comic book supers are also a little bit shaky, depending on how ridiculous they get. I will not, for example, make a perfect modern Superman because modern Superman is stupidly powerful. If I scrapped the Power Point limit, I'm sure I could do it, but meh. I already threw together a character in the spirit of Superman, and it's still pretty silly.

I'll be posting links to a massive amount of Google Spreadsheets and docs, as well as citing any Savage resources, and explain my reasoning behind including or avoiding certain Edges, Hindrances, etc.

Since I'm mildly anal about consistency, here are some ground rules:

  1. I will be posting with information from all published Savage Worlds companions (Super Powers, Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy), as well as house Edges and Hindrances. The only thing from the core rules that I've altered mechanically are shields (providing Cover and low armor instead of a flat armor bonus), and I've made minor adjustments to some Edges, Hindrances, powers, etc. When relevant, I will include these changes with the character that I am posting.
  2. If there is a (good) movie adaptation of a character, I will probably use that as a base. It's simply easier Savage something originating in a static visual medium since nothing can really be chalked up to glitches, gameplay-story segregation, overactive imagination, hyperbole, etc. Similarly, in games, a cutscene will always hold more weight than a gameplay mechanic. In short, my Spartans don't respawn.
  3. I will not convert every possible mechanic and detail into a character, from any medium. Sure, Batman might have Attractive, and Alertness, and Quick, and Filthy Rich... but the only one that he really needs to be Batman is Filthy Rich. Vi from League of Legends doesn't get additional Armor after a successful strike with her Hextech Gauntlets, but they do grant her additional Parry and massive amounts of Armor on her arms. Master Chief doesn't heal Wounds by walking over health packs, but he does have the Healing skill. 
  4. These will be as balanced as possible. Some exceptions will be made, but most of the time I will track Experience, limit Edges and Hindrances, and otherwise create the character as though I were a player.
  5. Regarding Strength, I use the new Super Powers Companion "Superhuman Strength" table for load limits and max weight. Any human with a d12+1 in Strength can carry up to 1000 pounds of stuff around.
  6. I could build any character to any heights with a little bit of wiggle room and some rationalizations, but that's not interesting to read about or to build. Most characters will likely fall within the 120–220 Experience range, with a hard cap set at 500 Experience. This way I actually have to think about what I define a character as instead of piling on all the stats I can eek out of someone.
  7. I do use the Defining Interests house rule, as well as the Skill Specialization, Jokers Wild!, and High Adventure setting rules. 

Lastly, I present my reference chart for how I rate skill levels. Keep in mind that this is in conjunction with the appropriate Edges as well; a d8 with Alertness is almost always better than a flat d10 in Notice, for example.

  • Unskilled (d4–2): A character only vaguely capable of doing something, and likely has never tried. A city-slicker that's never even been camping would probably be Unskilled in Survival.
  • Below Average (d4): A character that is familiar with the basics and principles of a skill, but is sketchy on the application. An avid flight simulation player might have a d4 in Piloting.
  • Average (d6): This is the average capability of someone involved in a particular field. Most cops, for example, might have a d6 in Shooting.
  • Above Average (d8): Among a group of friends, or perhaps even a small town, a character with this is likely one of the best at it. Link (from the Legend of Zelda) has a d8 in Smarts, while a black belt martial artist would likely have a d8 in Fighting (as well as the Martial Artist Edge).
  • Expert (d10): This is around the level where people you don't know may begin to recognize you for your abilities, and maybe even seek your services. Gregory House has a d10 in Taunt.
  • Elite (d12): You are simply one of the best regarding this skill. Solid Snake or Ezio have d12s in Stealth.
  • Legendary (d12+1): Stories of your abilities will be told for decades after you have passed away. Sherlock Holmes has a d12+1 in Notice (and probably Alertness as well!).
  • Maximum Human Capacity (d12+2): This is the physical limit of the human body to be able to accomplish incredible feats. Louis Cyr had a d12+2 in Strength.

I hope you enjoy your time here. To the many, many Savaged things to come!
— DoctorBoson


  1. aaand, subscribed! What's "Defining Interest?"

    1. Defining Interests is a Setting Rule that gives you half your Smarts in "Defining Interests:" topics that grant a +1 bonus to Common Knowledge rolls but aren't significant enough to list as a Knowledge skill. I'm a bit back and forth on them when it comes to character conversions, because typically characters aren't that fleshed out, but it's one that I have my players use when they make characters.

      For example, if I was playing a Count of Monte Cristo-type character with a d8 in Smarts, I would have Defining Interests in Economics, Science, European Culture, and Philosophy.