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  • House Rules

    Are there any house rules you use at your table and/or would strongly recommend?

    We currently have a few. We tied common knowledge back to being a smarts check and not a smarts linked skill. We combined two-fisted and two-gun kid into one edge. When I am GMing, I allow critical failures to be rerolled but no one else at the table does this when they are GMing.

    I have a few more. The GM deals extra cards from sources like quick or level headed from the bottom of the deck. You can spend bennies on opposed rolls you initiate even after seeing the opponents roll. After increasing an attribute, you gain 1 skill point for any linked skill equal to or higher than the new attribute unless an exception is made. Example exceptions: higher starting skill from racial skill bonus, the expert and/or professional edges, and/or super skill. The last one is phrased kind of poorly but is basically saying you can retroactively benefit from, say, an agility increase. Its purpose it to encourage people to take attribute increases other than vigor and to prevent inexperienced players from "messing up" their builds.
    Last edited by NoJuice; 03-09-2020, 09:42 AM. Reason: Consolidation

  • #2
    I've had some rather controversial house rules at my table. A lot less nowadays, as SWADE elegantly addresses several of the issues that I had previously sought to fix with house rules.

    Limited Acing Damage: While acing damage dice can cause some crazy and explosive situations, I've felt the need to somewhat limit it in my games. When a damage roll is made only one die can ace, and only once. So if you roll 3d6 and get two sixes, you can only re-roll one of them. I mainly instituted this rule after I noticed too many players getting instantly incapacitated by some random mook, or even from a minor environmental hazard. While wacky and occasionally hilarious, these situations frequently led to players feeling less happy, and led to them playing much more risk-averse leading to slower gameplay and less interesting actions.

    No Hindrances Required: Players can pick 2 Edges when creating a Novice character, or 3 if they're Human. Even if they pick no Hindrances. Any Hindrances a character chooses to pick should be chosen only because they fit the character, and Bennies will be handed out for roleplaying a Hindrance convincingly. My players are mostly experienced enough that they enjoy picking Hindrances that fit the character, and this system I find just encourages them to be creative with it.

    Comment


    • Jonah Hex
      Jonah Hex commented
      Editing a comment
      For the latter one, do you find that it discourages Hindrances which tend to be only mechanic driven like Bad Luck? How do you handle ones that that are always-on types of thing - Blind, Mute?

  • #3
    I'm not running anything right now but in the past I've done:

    Only one ace on any roll, damage or otherwise

    Veteran of the Weird West - the extra advances are only a loan against your first 20 xp but the edge is free - sort of like the Veteran edge in Tour of Darkness

    Doubled skill points for hindrance points and advances but only half can be spent on combat skills.

    Middle ground characters between WC and Extra (that might be an official variant now)

    NO using Bennies on critical failures

    I use the incap rules from an earlier edition (Explorer's I think) new editions are far too lethal for my taste

    Most extras get a Master skill where they get a wild dice, generally not a combat skill, to reflect competence in a certain area. For example, the town smith gets a WD in his smith skill even if he's an extra.

    Comment


    • #4
      In SWADE, I think the only house rules I use (like intentional changes from the core rules, not tone-based Setting Rules that can vary from campaign to campaign) are...
      • Running is an action, not a weird half-action that doesn't count against your three but still inflicts a multi-action penalty like it is in the rules. You can do it three times if you want; each time you do it, you get an extra d6" of movement. so if you run all-out (regular movement and running three times) you move 6 + 3d6 inches total. These dice don't Ace.
      • Interrupting someone's action is an opposed Agility roll, not opposed Athletics.
      • Super fiddly, but during a chase, the driver has to declare at the beginning of their side's turn if they're evading, holding steady, or neither, and that choice applies to the beginning of their next turn. They can't wait to start Evading until after everybody else acts, and they can't Hold Steady until everyone else acts and then take their maneuvers without the penalty from Hold Steady.

      Comment


      • zgreg
        zgreg commented
        Editing a comment
        I strongly dislike "running as an action rule":
        1. Fleet footed characters on full speed run quicker than 60 meters sprint world record holder.
        2. It massively impacts ranged weapon combat, it's too easy to reach the shooter in one leap (Pace 6 character can run 9 - 24 inches, 16 on average).
        3. Mounts make it even more overpowered...

    • #5
      Originally posted by SteelDraco View Post
      In SWADE, I think the only house rules I use (like intentional changes from the core rules, not tone-based Setting Rules that can vary from campaign to campaign) are...
      • Running is an action, not a weird half-action that doesn't count against your three but still inflicts a multi-action penalty like it is in the rules. You can do it three times if you want; each time you do it, you get an extra d6" of movement. so if you run all-out (regular movement and running three times) you move 6 + 3d6 inches total. These dice don't Ace.
      I like that

      Comment


      • #6
        Originally posted by Jonah Hex
        For the latter one, do you find that it discourages Hindrances which tend to be only mechanic driven like Bad Luck? How do you handle ones that that are always-on types of thing - Blind, Mute?
        Yup, I haven't had a character pick a purely mechanical hindrance in ages. Then again, I find the purely mechanical Hindrances are also the most boring.

        For Hindrances that are 'always on', I hand out Bennies when they're relevant. Especially if the player manages to play the Hindrance into the character. A mute character might gain a Benny when he has important information but can't communicate it properly, which is when the Hindrance makes his life hard. But he'd also get a Benny if, after his friend loses something important to them, he silently places a hand on their shoulder and sits next to them, wordlessly offering their support. Because that's both playing the Hindrance in an interesting way, and creating a cool scene.

        In my experience, this method encourages players to pick Hindranes that affect how their character behaves, and that they feel fits with their character. I've even had players add new Hindrances to their character mid-game when they find they enjoy playing their character a certain way, or a certain Hindrance properly encapsulates that character's tendencies.

        Comment


        • #7
          Originally posted by SteelDraco View Post
          Running is an action, not a weird half-action that doesn't count against your three but still inflicts a multi-action penalty like it is in the rules. You can do it three times if you want; each time you do it, you get an extra d6" of movement. so if you run all-out (regular movement and running three times) you move 6 + 3d6 inches total. These dice don't Ace.
          Very interesting.

          Originally posted by SteelDraco View Post
          Interrupting someone's action is an opposed Agility roll, not opposed Athletics.
          Yes! Same here. And I maintain that's how it should be in the core rules, as RAW still doesn't make any sense to me.
          Last edited by Augusto Antunes; 03-08-2020, 04:10 PM.
          "Did I fire six shots, or only five? Three? Seven. Whatever." - Unkempt Harold

          Comment


          • #8
            If we went by skill to act and attributes to react then Athletics opposed by Agility (but does that presume that the Athletics roll is an action?)

            Comment


            • #9
              Originally posted by SteelDraco View Post
              In SWADE, I think the only house rules I use (like intentional changes from the core rules, not tone-based Setting Rules that can vary from campaign to campaign) are...
              • Running is an action, not a weird half-action that doesn't count against your three but still inflicts a multi-action penalty like it is in the rules. You can do it three times if you want; each time you do it, you get an extra d6" of movement. so if you run all-out (regular movement and running three times) you move 6 + 3d6 inches total. These dice don't Ace.
              You want you sub-3:30 miles (sub-3:00 if you ignore MAP) to be the human standard? Cool. Also, Running doesn't inflict MAP; its penalty is analogous to the Unstable Platform penalty. If you want more granularity in runners' speeds, I'd recommend using Athletics as the base Running die (as I would do as a GM). Additional actions to sprint can reasonably be done already by rolling Athletics (again, as I'd allow as a GM). I don't dislike what you're trying to do, I'm just not sold on the specific mechanics.
              Originally posted by SteelDraco View Post
              • Super fiddly, but during a chase, the driver has to declare at the beginning of their side's turn if they're evading, holding steady, or neither, and that choice applies to the beginning of their next turn. They can't wait to start Evading until after everybody else acts, and they can't Hold Steady until everyone else acts and then take their maneuvers without the penalty from Hold Steady.
              I'm a bit confused about the issue this addresses.
              • What do you mean by the driver's side? in a Chase, each participant (each Wild Card, at least) acts on its own card. This is called out as intentional to allow one character to, for example, Support the driver or attack before he makes any maneuvers.
              • Why wouldn't a fast acting gunner be able to squeeze off a shot before the driver starts jinking all over the place?
              • Are you applying the effects of maneuvers from the start of the driver's turn until the start of his next turn or are you resetting everything at the top of each round?
              Last edited by paladin2019; 03-08-2020, 07:39 PM. Reason: Fix formatting

              Comment


              • Deskepticon
                Deskepticon commented
                Editing a comment
                paladin2019
                This houserule idea is actions, thus MAP <snip>
                No no no... MAP applies only to Trait rolls. The Running die is not a Trait roll, it's just used to see how many inches to add to Pace. By explicitly referring to Running as an action, the houserule "standardizes" the running penalty as a MAP that applies to any Trait rolls made that turn. So taking two Running actions would give you -4 to Fighting, but the Running dice are entirely unaffected.

                If Lady Luck smiles on you and you roll 18 for your three Running dice, that gives you a Pace of 24" (6"+18), or 48 yards for the round. Fleet-Footed and a lucky roll gets you a Pace of 32" (8"+24). Respectively, this is 16 mph and 21 mph, which is not unreasonable for a human. And as SteelDraco said, leave the OOC rules the same; there's no need to touch them.

                I'm also confused why you brought Vigor into the equation. Pace is not modified by Vigor.

              • paladin2019
                paladin2019 commented
                Editing a comment
                Running is limited to half Vigor minutes. Thus, you require a d8 to Run for 4 minutes. As it's not addressed, my assumption is that after this expires you have to move at normal Pace + max running die for some indefinite time period.

                Also, Actions on p92 and Multi-Actions on p103 don't mention Trait rolls, just a penalty to Actions taken that round. As this house rule makes a Running an Action, I don't see why they wouldn't be penalized by the basic rules for Multi-Actions.

              • Deskepticon
                Deskepticon commented
                Editing a comment
                paladin2019 Ah, my bad! I misunderstood how you were referring to Vigor to in your earlier comment.

                And, yes, Multi-Actions apply to an action's roll... but there is no roll made to determine if you Run or not, just a roll to see how much distance you add. You cannot "fail" a Run, you can only get the lowest result. The Run die is analogous to Damage in that sense.

                Houserule or not, the Run die is simply not affected by MAP.

            • #10


              I'm going with Interrupting another's turn is an opposed roll, since I don't agree with letting players wait until actions are declared and/or movement has started to get away with taking their turn without having to roll off since no action has started yet.

              Comment


              • Deskepticon
                Deskepticon commented
                Editing a comment
                The first step of a Turn is declaring actions. So if a player is on Hold and a GM begins to declare a foe's actions, that foe has started their Turn and the player needs to roll to Interrupt.

                But if the player on Hold simply decides to act (i.e., if the GM is doing an initiative countdown, and the player decides to go at 9 before the character at 8 has declared anything), then no roll is needed; the character simply takes their Turn as if they had drawn a 9.

                EDIT - I just realised this post was addressing the language used for the Hold rule. It only mentions Interrupting an "action", not a turn. Perhaps this is a weird technicality... back in Deluxe, "action" was used much more loosely, and "turn" wasn't used at all... I always ran Interrupts as once a "turn" began as well, and that means once a character begins declaring intent.
                Last edited by Deskepticon; 03-08-2020, 10:02 PM.

              • mac40k
                mac40k commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes, and the way you described it is how I've been playing it. Since this came up on the FB group, I've felt it was worth asking for clarification in the official answers forum, rather than just responding with my interpretation, but I will continue to play it my way regardless of what the official answer turns out to be.

              • Deskepticon
                Deskepticon commented
                Editing a comment
                mac40k Yeah, that's the way I've always ruled it too. It just seemed the "natural" way. It seems the official answer agrees, which is nice. The core rules are just spottedly worded.

            • #11
              Originally posted by paladin2019 View Post
              I don't dislike what you're trying to do, I'm just not sold on the specific mechanics.
              This was a possible rule for Running that was discussed during the play-test phase of SWADE. PEG decided to do things differently. The goal of the houserule is to give characters more control over their movement / Pace. They can perform a full-on sprint by dedicating three Actions to running, but then obviously won't be able to do anything else. This makes sense realistically; when you're pushing yourself as hard as you can, just try doing anything else.

              in a Chase, each participant (each Wild Card, at least) acts on its own card.
              Nope.
              Each independent participant gets a Card and rolls a maneuvering die. Four dudes in car act on the driver's Action Card; they don't roll maneuvering. When the card comes up, they need to collectively decide how they are resolving their actions (i.e., they determine their own Turn order, even though they all act on a single Card). That could mean shooting before the driver Evades.

              Other than that, yeah, I agree with you. I'm not sure what issue this particular houserule is meant to be addressing.
              Last edited by Deskepticon; 03-08-2020, 09:48 PM.

              Comment


              • SteelDraco
                SteelDraco commented
                Editing a comment
                "Other than that, yeah, I agree with you. I'm not sure what issue this particular houserule is meant to be addressing."

                Mostly just a mechanical way to say "Don't try and cheese the free action maneuvers". I had somebody try to Hold Steady, let everybody act with the bonus from Hold Steady, and then Evade every turn after everybody else in that vehicle had acted. RAW that seemed valid, but stupid. You could also address it by saying that they have to figure out their order and then each resolve their turns completely before moving on to the next person on the same Action Card, but that would mean you could never do stuff like handing over a weapon or switching positions in the vehicle in the same turn.

              • Deskepticon
                Deskepticon commented
                Editing a comment
                SteelDraco Ahh, I getcha now!
                But wouldn't it be easily to just say Hold Steady and Evade cannot be used in the same turn? By having the driver /pilot declare it at the beginning of a turn, you're limiting every other passenger's actions for that turn. Player's should still have the option to allow the passenger's to pop off a few shots just before the driver makes a hard cut down a side road.

                And because Hold Steady /Evade are in effect until the beginning of the driver's next turn, the passenger's still face any penalties if they choose to go first next round. In other words, the rule is self-balancing.

                Although, looking at the rules now, I would agree that Hold Steady and Evade should not be allowed in the same turn. I'm just not on-board that it needs to be declared first. YMMV

            • #12
              I've got a few. I've always said I think Savage Worlds is like 95% of the way to exactly the kind of game I want to play. There are a handful of Edges that I think are poorly done, some of the gear needs tweaking, and a couple rules can use either minor changes or elaboration. (Also Suppressive Fire still isn't that good.) I try to cover all of those issues in my personal house rules, though of those changes I probably favor the Edge additions and changes the most—helps fill some genre-neutral gaps and makes most of the weaker Edges much more attractive compared to the competition (for example, no one should ever take Brute: the throwing range is minor and super niche, resisting Athletics tests barely ever comes up, and saving points raising Athletics during chargen or Advances isn't interesting or fun in play).

              Also I used my own Expanded Wealth (see my signature).
              Join the Unofficial Savage Worlds Discord! Check out Expanded Wealth!

              My thoughts, musings, and general character adaptations on Savage Everything.

              Comment


              • #13
                For that multi-action running, I would make it come from an edge (not EVERYONE can do it) and have some mechanic for getting tired.

                Comment


                • #14
                  Originally posted by mac40k View Post

                  I'm going with Interrupting another's turn is an opposed roll, since I don't agree with letting players wait until actions are declared and/or movement has started to get away with taking their turn without having to roll off since no action has started yet.
                  You're always welcome to run things however you like, of course, but I will say that I think that's contrary to the intention of an interrupt. We've always played that if you're On Hold then you BEAT the other guy on the card draw, so just go whenever you like. However, if you want to wait until you start to get an idea of what the other guy wants to do... well, then you are trying to interrupt them and THAT means you tried to get an extra advantage over them beyond your win at the card draw, therefore now you'll have to make an opposed roll to really see if you get to take advantage of having an idea of what they are going to do. That, to me, is what the opposed roll is all about. Otherwise the one who won the card draw already has the advantage so what are they "interrupting' otherwise if it isn't the declared action you are trying to actually interrupt. That's how I've always viewed it, anyway (include in SWD)
                  Lenny Zimmermann
                  Metairie, LA

                  Comment


                  • mac40k
                    mac40k commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I don't think I disagree with you. Perhaps I just worded it poorly. As Deskepticon lays it out above, if the player on hold wants to take their turn before the other character starts theirs, go for it. However, since movement isn't an action, I don't want to give the players the opportunity to metagame to the extent that I have to walk back an NPC's movement because they decided they want to shoot them before the NPC makes contact with them or another character or, if running away, reach medium range which would result in a penalty to their shot, just because an action hasn't yet started. That's not FFF because it slows things down too much. Once their turn has started, you have to win the opposed roll if you want to be able to shoot them before they get to move or you want to shoot before they complete their move. IOW, I still want to treat movement as an action for the purposes of interrupting.

                  • zarlor
                    zarlor commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I would completely agree with that, in the sense that if I started to move a baddie either a PC would have to interrupt, with a roll, at that point (to interrupt the movement... so I agree that in this sense I read "action" to be anything the enemy is doing, rather than just "Action", as in SWADE-defined Actions) or they could let the baddie move then see that the enemy wants to, say, shoot, so they could interrupt there, and so. The interrupt could happen at any point but in this scenario interrupting the shot would definitely not mean walking back the movement, since that "action" already happened and was not interrupted, or rather attempted to be interrupted. So i think we're on the same page here, just the oddity of if RAW intended the wording here to mean "Action" or "action", if you know what I mean.

                    EDIT: Just saw PEGRon's response, essentially to this, which of course is not always how we run things at the table. Most of the time even players completely forget to fully declare their round before doing their round, and that is definitely true for the GMs, in my experience, so in that sense by RAW interrupt occurs because as a player or GM you flat out declare intention publicly and it is at that point that a player can decide to interrupt or not. Whereas I guess for us it's an unspoken house rule that we effectively do what I listed above, instead.
                    Last edited by zarlor; 03-10-2020, 12:33 PM.

                  • zgreg
                    zgreg commented
                    Editing a comment
                    mac40k To clarify: movement is an action - a free one, but still. It's a special action as it can "last a whole turn" and be intermixed with other actions. But still, you can interrupt every "piece" of it

                    For example: if an opponent moves 1 inch, picks up a weapon from the ground, moves 2 inches, shoots and finally moves 3 inches you can choose to interrupt him at any moment (e.g. after he reached 2 inch of his final, three inch move - just because he has no cover at this moment).

                    I also think that the opponent move should be performed in a way which allows the interrupting player to make a decision (time needed to move a mini on a table is definitely too short ).

                • #15
                  I always use a lot of house rules; Savage Worlds has been the only system I've GMed in probably 10 years, so me and my group try to change things up a bit. The ones I am currently using are:

                  - Pace is affected by Fatigue and Wound penalties.

                  - Fatigue penalties can reach -3, just like Wound penalties.

                  - Head and limb Wounds always result in temporary Injuries (unless it was the incapacitating blow, then it is business as usual).

                  - Standing up from the prone is an action.

                  - Shooting at a target that is hidden behind cover from an elevated position treat the cover penalty as a level lower (medium cover becomes light and so on). Shooting at a target that is behind cover on higher ground has the opposite effect.

                  - Completely overhauled Emcumberance. Carrying capacity is equal do Strength die, penalties for being overemcumbered are slightly less harsh (first level is just a penaly to Pace and running rolls), weapons weigh usually between 1 and 3, armor starts as 1 as well. Player Characters can't carry as much gear, so they must choose wisely what to equip themselves with and no session time is lost looting regular weapons and armor, just money and rare items.

                  - Harsher Recoil penalty, -4 now. Now characters must combine Rock'n'Roll and bipods to compensate the penalty if they want to fire for full effect.

                  - Readying items is an action (like it was in Deluxe, Explorer's and so on).

                  - Characters may reload 3 shots per action when reloading firearms without a magazine, such as revolvers, lever action rifles and most shotguns.

                  Comment


                  • ValhallaGH
                    ValhallaGH commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Pace is affected by Wounds. "Each Wound a character suffers causes a −1 cumulative penalty to his Pace (minimum of 1″) and all Trait rolls," page 95.

                  • Buzzerker
                    Buzzerker commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Oops, I meant Running die!

                  • paladin2019
                    paladin2019 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    ValhallaGH, but it isn't affected by Fatigue. Not a bad rule to include both. However, applying the penalties to the running die, too, that's harsh.
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