SWADE is the New (Savage Worlds) Black

Savage Rifts robot armor pilot by Matt Plog

Playtest PDFs of Savage Worlds Adventure Edition, the new version of Savage Worlds, are going out to kickstarter backers and from what little I’ve read the bulk of the noticeable tweaks are in the Edges. Here’s a list of my favorite abuses when making SW characters and what SWADE did to stop me.

Marksman: Marksman granted +2 to hit with ranged attacks if you didn’t move. Considering the usual TN for ranged attacks is 4, this was a massive advantage. SWADE changes it to negate up to 2 points of penalties from called shots, cover, or range. Good change, keeps it useful and flavored to what the text represents, nerfs it out of being a must-have.

Two-Fisted and Ambidextrous: If you didn’t go the “single accurate attack with a big weapon” route, maximizing your attacks per round was the other way to build a Savage Worlds cheesemonster. SW had this rule where you couldn’t repeat the same action with the same limb, which led to the obvious shortcut of using all your limbs to shoot things. These two Edges, when combined, basically let you make a free attack with a one-handed weapon. SWADE changes a few things here. First, they get rid of the restriction on repeat actions and simply cap your multiple actions to three per round. Second, Two-Fisted only applies to melee attacks. There’s another Edge, Two-Gun Kid, which applies to ranged weapons. Otherwise, you can generally still build this kind of fighting style for your character, especially if you’re willing to pay an extra Edge for versatility. The thing is, the change to multiple actions means that Two-Fisted/Ambidextrous is no longer bait for multiple attacks it once was and it becomes more of a stylistic choice.

Dodge: This is a case where an underused Edge was given new life for SWADE. Originally, Dodge just gave enemies a -1 to hit you. Dropping an entire Edge on this wasn’t really a choice I’ve ever seen anyone make in my years playing Savage Worlds. SWADE ups it to -2, but only when you’re not already in cover. I could see myself choosing it now, which is why it warrants mention here.

My local group has embraced Savage Worlds over the past few years, warts and all. We’ve felt the pain points and so far SWADE seems like it’s doing its best to revise the janky parts without completely redoing the system.

4 thoughts on “SWADE is the New (Savage Worlds) Black

  1. Savage Worlds is a combat heavy game, right? It’s always been on the periphery for me, with tons of interesting setting books. But the mechanics seemed to be about fighting

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    1. Yup! I’m currently running Rifts with it, which is basically all their setting books mashed up in order to have the various pieces fight each other, and I’ve played in campaigns using the fantasy companion (where we fought), sci-fi companion (where we fought with lasers and stuff), and currently I’m playing in a superhero game (where we melodrama at each other until it’s time to fight).

      It’s still near the top of my list for a system to do minis-on-table modern action stuff. I read it and I kinda go “meh” to “ew” but when I play it that part of me shuts down and goes “fuck it”. If there was a game system that was directed by Michael Bay, this is the one.

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