Using DC's in Savage Worlds

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Using DC's in Savage Worlds

#1 Postby Savage Mommy » Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:11 am

Hello All,
Quick question. I'm currently running a D20 adventure path and was wondering how people would deal with DC's in Savage worlds? I've been using a target number of 4 if the DC is 10 or less and then requiring a raise for every 10 over that. So a DC30 would require 2 raises. Does this sound OK?


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#2 Postby Noshrok Grimskull » Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:29 am

Sorry, you lost me.
What's a DC? And when do I use it?
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#3 Postby Savage Mommy » Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:35 am

They are Difficulty numbers used for Skill Checks. A knowledge check might have a DC 15, depending on what is gained by that knowledge. A PC might be trying to sneak past a guard and the Move silently DC would be 20 and the Guard would get a Listen check at a DC 20 to hear him.

These are of course not Savage Worlds skills in the example.

I know that the Savage Worlds skills don't really coincide with D20 skills. What I'm really looking for is a way to compare a DC with a target number. One easy way to go is with the "Your the DM, you decide what the number is."

I'm hoping for other ideas as well.


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#4 Postby Kristian Serrano » Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:46 am

The first thing to do is compare skill levels (i.e. - ranks). Thankfully, that's been done for you. ... ersion.pdf

The next thing is to realize is the greater opportunity for success as Savage Worlds has exploding dice and wild die.

With that said, the TN of any skill check should be 4 +/- numbers for variable factors. Don't try to convert DCs to SW's default TN.

On the other hand, there was a recent post on the Wild Die blog about the idea of scaling TN based on difficulty.

Also consider that D20 allows for taking a 10 while not under duress. (Many D20 critics forget this rule when considering NPC characters and classes and their capabilities. A 1st-level expert with 4 ranks in a skill plus attributes and bonuses for tools and assistants aiding another, all of whom are taking 10, can easily achieve a DC 15 task.)

Actually, I'm not sure how any of that last paragraph applies. I guess what I was getting at is that a D20 character can easily accomplish a high-DC task if there's no pressure whereas SW might simply take a hand-waving approach unless the DM really wants you to roll.
Last edited by Kristian Serrano on Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#5 Postby Strickland5 » Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:55 am

Swap from thinking in DCs to thinking in modifiers (same idea just in 180 degrees apart).

Example, I just had a group stumble onto a magic circle and called for a knowledge magic roll or a common knowledge roll at -8 (as it would be a rare bit of knowledge though I wanted to give the PCs a chance of knowing). So for the Kn:Magic it was just a 'DC' 4 while for CK it was 'DC' 12.

That make sense?
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#6 Postby Clint » Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:58 am

Kind of a hard call as DCs kind of vary in difficulty based on the skill in some cases. Obviously, use the standard SW rules where they apply (move Silently vs. Listen is just basic Stealth rules from SW and the DC wouldn't really apply).

SW gives modifiers for difficulty of +2 for easy, -2 for difficult, and -4 for extremely difficult. A more detailed breakdown might help with DC conversion like...

Very easy = +2
Easy = +1
Average = +0
Tough = -1
Challenging = -2
Formidable = -4
Heroic = -6
Nearly impossible = -8

Again, just a rough estimate and the GM would need to look at it pretty carefully to insure the DC isn't just a factor of modifiers that might already exist (for instance if the Spot DC is higher due to darkness, then just apply the existing darkness penalty from SW as opposed to trying a direct conversion using the above).
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#7 Postby Savage Mommy » Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:14 am

Thanks Everyone. Clint, that is exactly what is was looking for!


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