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Savage Worlds Black: Things to fix/clarify

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  • Savage Worlds Black: Things to fix/clarify

    Over the years there have been a few minor issues which needed to be clarified on the forums. I'd like to collect them into this thread, where everyone can see them, in the hope that they'll be resolved in SWB.

    This thread is not for general suggestions, there are already plenty of threads like that. This is just for things that I feel should be fixed or clarified.

    Archetypes: The "Leader" and "Pirate" archetypes don't add up, they have unspent points beyond those listed.

    Fire/Heat: In the FC the Fire/Heat "Fatigue" trapping said it worked the same as the Cold/Ice version. When trappings were added to SWD, each received its own separate write-up, and the drawback (range is halved) was omitted. The Fire/Heat "Fatigue" trapping should also halve the spell range, otherwise it gives a bonus without any drawback.

    Shape Change: This power refers to "mundane animals", and in SWD only animal forms were listed. But SWDEE added "dragon" to the list of options. Clint has confirmed that dragon shouldn't have been included. See here.

    Long Bow: The English long bow should cost $300 instead of $200. See here.

    Brass Knuckles: Several people have asked what "Unarmed Attacker" means. It should be "Unarmed Defender".

    Reloading Times: I'd like to see these added to the rulebook. See here.

    SFC Charisma: If SWB uses the the SFC race creation guidelines, Charisma needs to be updated to +1 per 1 point. See here.
    My blog: Savage Stuff. I've also written some free tools and supplements.

  • #2
    Quick Combat: These rules are awesome, I use them extensively, but they really belong in the core rulebook. See here.
    My blog: Savage Stuff. I've also written some free tools and supplements.

    Comment


    • zgreg
      zgreg commented
      Editing a comment
      They are a part of newest polish editon (from 2015), I guess that they will get into Black as well.

    • Augusto Antunes
      Augusto Antunes commented
      Editing a comment
      They're already in the current brazilian edition as well, along with the revised Shaken rules.

  • #3
    Yeah the reloading rules definitely need to be in Black. I always ruled that replacing a magazine was an action, but I didn't realize that was the official ruling.

    Comment


    • #4
      Not sure if this belongs here, but...

      The SFC has already gotten rid of the Auto ability for weapons, relegating "single shot mode" to the Semi-Auto ability.

      This actually greatly simplifies how weapons work:
      ... any weapon with a RoF 2+ fires on automatic (autofire penalty). If it can fire in single-shot, it has the SA note, and if it can also burst-fire it has 3RB.

      Essentially, the "Auto" note from the SWD has always been redundant. I'd like to see the SFC model carried over to Black.

      Comment


      • ValhallaGH
        ValhallaGH commented
        Editing a comment
        The note was less "redundant" and more "confusing". But I agree with the change.

        This comment brought to you by my nigh compulsive pedantry.

    • #5
      If the race creation rules in SFC are the new guideline going forward (and I believe they are), then the values for Toughness and Parry (+1 for 1 point increase) make Tough as Nails, ITaN, Weapon Master, and Master of Arms look weak by comparison, especially since they are all Legendary Rank Edges.

      Maybe offering Tough as Nails and Weapon Master at an earlier Rank (say, Veteran) while leaving the other two at Legendary is a fair compromise?

      Comment


      • Lord Lance
        Lord Lance commented
        Editing a comment
        Many Legendary Edges feel "weak", and I also think they need more... Edge... (pun intended)
        I (too) think they should at least be given at earlier ranks.

    • #6
      I’d like to see Knowledge (Language) be a new named skill Language (Elven|Spanish, etc). I know this is very minor, but it’s help keep skill name lengths down on character sheets so one doesn’t have to write: Knowledge (Language, Elven).

      Normally I’m not one for adding new top-level skills, but this might help for clarity.
      My Savage Worlds Tools: https://jdgwf.github.io/savage-worlds-web-tools/
      Proud Member of the Lone Star Savages
      NaNoWriMo 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 Winner

      Comment


      • Deskepticon
        Deskepticon commented
        Editing a comment
        By RAW you don't roll for Language skills... the die type simply represents your proficiency. I guess a GM can call for a roll if the character is trying to understand something above their "level", but it's not explicitly stated in the rules.

        Some of the higher abilities with Language include reciting literary works, so I don't see a problem with rolling cultural knowledge into a country's Language skill.

        As for separating it from "Knowledge", that's just a cosmetic change... one I already use.
        Wouldn't mind seeing it officiated

      • Gordon
        Gordon commented
        Editing a comment
        Exactly. This would be purely a cosmetic change. Everything else in SW would stay the same (unless they have other plans for it)

      • LordRahvin
        LordRahvin commented
        Editing a comment
        One if the house "setting" rules in my last ETU game was that if you have suffcient knowledge skill in a particular culture, you automatically speak the language.

    • #7
      There are many things about the wording in the explanations in SWD that I feel could be better - please see HERE for the complete list.

      [EDIT] Decided to include the list here :

      0. Please define non-Free actions as "Regular" (or whatever) actions, it would make life so much easier!

      1. I've seen so many people not get the Shaken-while-Shaken-makes-a-Wound rule, until they see Clint's little table HERE. Include that!

      2. Add an explicit comment about being able to roll to recover from Shaken only at the beginning of your action.

      3. Add a comment that explicitly explains that a Bennie can be spent to negate the Shaken before it actually happens. "At any time" may make sense to an experienced SW gamer, but not to a newcomer.

      4. In the Wizard Edge, add "...to a minimum of 0".

      5. In Push, change "ran at least 3 inches" to "moved at least 3 inches".

      6. In Disarm, re-word to make clear that damage is done whether the weapon is dropped or not.

      7. While talking about backlash, make clear that if the Arcane die is a 1, the Power still goes off if the Wild die is a Success. As worded, it's easy to assume that the backlash supercedes the Wild die result.

      8. For Psionics, make it explicit that the 1-on-the-Psionics-die Shaken does not cause a Wound. Not saying it doesn't isn't clear enough.

      9. When talking about Disruption, change "all his Powers" to "all his maintained Powers".

      10. Separate Illumination and Cover so they don't look like they only apply to Ranged attacks.

      11. Explicitly say whether attack maneuvers can or cannot be used with First Strike and Withdraw attacks.

      12. Explicitly state that grappling is a two-handed action for the attacker. Defining any grappling roll as a "grappling action" might help make it clearer that you can never do two of them in the same round.

      13. The wording of Puppet is not at all obvious - perhaps "...though such acts allow the victim another opposed Spirit roll on each of their actions to break the spell"?

      14. In Readying Weapons, the second paragraph's "still inflicts a single -2 penalty but requires an Agility roll" does not make clear that that only applies if you're also trying to attack (despite the previous paragraph), and that the Agility roll is not required if you are only drawing. It needs to be reworded to explicitly include both cases.

      15. The phrase "simple [Trait] roll" is used at least a couple of times, but "simple" is never defined, AFAIK.

      16. If everyone on-staff agrees that it's appropriate, change the Chase "Ranged" penalties to "Attack" penalties, so they can also apply to Melee attacks while in a footchase.

      17. Explicitly add that Chase participants without Actions cards can only roll to recover from Shaken at the end of the round (unlike anywhere else).

      Last edited by ZenFox42; 05-21-2018, 05:08 PM.
      Savage Summaries-RAW, with added info from Clint:Combat Actions,Cover,Healing,Using Powers,Grappling,Chases
      Also:Persuasion,Better Bosses,Better Combat Rating
      And:historical tech levels,generic SW sci-fi tech levels

      Comment


      • Deskepticon
        Deskepticon commented
        Editing a comment
        16. If everyone on-staff agrees that it's appropriate, change the Chase "Ranged" penalties to "Attack" penalties, so they can also apply to Melee attacks while in a footchase.
        I would add that the sentence, "Since distance is abstract, the value of their Action Card determines any penalties to the roll due to Range and whether or not a melee attack is possible," needs to be revised.

        It is contradictory in that it says distance is abstract, but then dictates Range. As quoted above, the Chase rules make much more sense when you think of the "Range" penalties as simply generic penalties.

      • Deskepticon
        Deskepticon commented
        Editing a comment
        On a related note, Advantage could do with an explicit example showing it's function.

        Many players ignore it entirely, thinking the "Range" penalties are enough... but that causes other problems (specifically, allowing a character/vehicle that has "out-maneuvered" the other to still be attacked).

        Understanding Advantage is contingent upon understanding how the penalty chart works (or should work... which ties back to the main point).
        _________

        Still, I would change Advantage to apply to card groupings rather than individual cards.

        So, looking at the Chase chart on p.95, we already have these groupings. Under this proposed change, a 3 would still be able to attack a 10 at -4, but not a Jack or higher. A King could attack anyone with no penalty, and a 2 couldn't attack anyone, including another 2.

    • #8
      Originally posted by Zadmar View Post
      Reloading Times: I'd like to see these added to the rulebook. See here.
      Originally posted by Shoggoth View Post
      Yeah the reloading rules definitely need to be in Black. I always ruled that replacing a magazine was an action, but I didn't realize that was the official ruling.
      Yes. I've been saying this for a long time now. It's ridiculous that the core rulebook doesn't have any rules for reloading modern firearms and doesn't even specify what kind of action it would be. I've seen so many people having to improvise their own rulings or just using the Deadlands reload rule for every setting without realizing that it is a setting rule.

      I'm very satisfied with the reload rules suggested by Clint in that archived forum post and would love to see them added to the new edition.
      "Did I fire six shots, or only five? Three? Seven. Whatever." - Unkempt Harold

      Comment


      • #9
        I would like to see a more clear/concise text for "catching fire" in the core book, as I feel the current writeup can be misleading/confusing without resorting to internet clarificaiton.

        A unification for the rules of Area Effects would also be nice, instead of having several types of "rulings" spread throughout powers, equipment and general rules.

        Additionally, rethinking the poison rules might be a good idea. As they currently stand, they're too much of a "save or die" effect, which I do not think is interesting for general Savage Worlds rules.

        -

        From the top of my head, those are the things Black should strive to change/fix/improve!

        Comment


        • Freemage
          Freemage commented
          Editing a comment
          The big issue is that, in the interest of FFF, they got rid of a key issue with poisons--Onset Time. Poison SHOULD be potentially lethal--if you have no means of counteracting it before the poison kicks in. However, onset times in the real world vary from 'minutes' to 'days'. Very few poisons are both instantly effective and utterly deadly.

          If it becomes a matter of Healing checks to treat poisoning, or using magic to do so, then an unprepared party in a viper's nest gets what they deserve.

        • LordRahvin
          LordRahvin commented
          Editing a comment
          I actually thought the rules for fire were kind of cool.
          (No pun intended.)

        • Lord Lance
          Lord Lance commented
          Editing a comment
          Here some notes I gathered about Fire (not crystal-clear, indeed):
          Per the second sentence under Fire, "Roll the damage listed below when a character is first burned and at the beginning of each round until he is free of the flame."
          So if a character catches on fire, they immediately take the first damage (1d10) and as long as they remain on fire, the damage is rolled at the beginning of each round before anyone acts.
          At the beginning of the character's action, they roll to see if the fire spreads where the increased damage would then apply at the beginning of the next round.
          Since the damage is applied at the beginning of the round and not the character's action, there's no timing issue with the roll to recover from Shaken at the beginning of their action.

      • #10
        I only have two things I would really like to see that addressed.

        Grappling: the grappling rules need to be cleaned up. It would also be good to include potential size modifiers or common sense application.

        Poison Rule: the current poison rules are too realistic they do not generate fun and instead generate resentment. Something needs to be done to make them less realistic and more game oriented.

        Comment


        • Shoggoth
          Shoggoth commented
          Editing a comment
          The grappling rules previewed in Flash Gordon seem pretty clean and elegant to me, and they seem to make sense.

        • Lord Lance
          Lord Lance commented
          Editing a comment
          +1 about the Poison rules.
          Also, they are not crystal-clear explained, in SWDEE. Here some notes I gathered about that:
          >> Take for example the Lethal or the Venomous Poison: If an hero fails the Vigor roll, death is coming. However, does he suffer ALSO the "success effects"? From what I see, if the hero is in combat, he is more effective if he failed the roll... of course, until death comes.
          Yes, the character suffers all of the listed effects for a failure. For instance, a failure against a Lethal Poison would cause 1 Wound, Exhaustion, and death in 2d6 rounds.

          >> About the Treatment: "If successful, the victim’s life is saved and the poison no longer has any effect". Is that "any effect" related only to paralyzed and incapacitated? What if I suffered a Venomous Poison with a "success" result? I have 1 Wound and Exhausted. Is any of those effects lessened by the Treatment roll? Or, I have to wait the 24 hours, AND I need a standard healing roll for the Wound (with wounds rules - penalties etc.)?
          Per the full description, "If successful, the victim’s life is saved and the poison no longer has any effect—paralyzed victims can move and those rendered unconscious wake."
          So on a success, any continuing effects of a poison would be negated. It has no impact on effects which have already occurred. Wounds and Fatigue require rest, a normal Healing roll, or a power to recover. So for a Venomous Poison, the primary use of a Healing roll for treating it would be in the event of a failure where a success would negate the "continuing effect" of death coming in 2d6 minutes.

      • #11
        The fly power says a character can fly at their "basic Pace" and the race creation rules in the SFC say they can fly at "standard Pace", but there's no indication what basic or standard mean.

        I've always taken it to mean "default"... so 6". But why those abilities don't just say 6" I don't know.
        Surely the One Leg Hindrance won't affect flying, and a cheetah (whose whole body is optimized for running) wouldn't fly faster if they just magically sprouted wings.

        Some clarity on what "basic" and "standard" mean is needed.
        ________

        Also, in SFC... +2 racial points for +1 Climb seems too high. By RAW, Climb is only used in Chases, where it gives a better chance of being able to draw an extra Action Card. Even then you can draw garbage cards, meaning the benefit from Climb is not a sure thing.

        The +2 value is even more alarming when you consider the SPC2 values a +2 to Climb at 1 PP (and the Power Point scale is meant to mirror the Race Creation rules in the SFC).

        Incidentally, I address all these points here.
        Last edited by Deskepticon; 05-20-2018, 10:52 AM.

        Comment


        • #12
          Most of us here probably don't need it, but given how often the question comes up and how confusingly it is to the uninitiated, some variation of this table on Shaken/double Shaken/wounds would be phenomenally useful to a lot of newcomers in the system.
          My thoughts, musings, and general character adaptations on Savage Everything. Now featuring Suppressive Fire that actually works!

          Comment


          • #13
            1. Reformat all strength based damage to the actual dice.

            For example:
            An Alligators bite is written as "Bite: d10+d6." rather than the current "Bite: Str+d6"

            It's faster, simpler, and easier to use for the busy GM. Isn't that the whole point of the Savage Worlds system?


            2. Not a clarification so much as doing something to make suppressive fire effective. Tour of Darkness showed us that Suppressive fire is a waste of time and bullets. My house rule is for those being targeted, the TN of the Spirit roll is the result of the Shooting roll rather than 4. I don't know if that's a good fix or not, it works for us, but *something*.

            Comment


            • Deskepticon
              Deskepticon commented
              Editing a comment
              Reformat all strength based damage to the actual dice.

              For example:
              An Alligators bite is written as "Bite: d10+d6." rather than the current "Bite: Str+d6"
              I agree, it would make it slightly easier, but enemy stat blocks are intended to be altered as the GM sees fit.

              If the characters are facing a very large alligator with a Strength of d12+1, reading "Bite: d10+d6" can get confusing. Besides, if you have the stat block in front of you, it takes only a second to glance up, locate the Strength score, and jot down "d10+d6" on a piece of paper.
              ________

              The other thing to consider is the amount of editing and proofreading involved. Every enemy stat block would need to be scrutinized for consistancy. The likihood of errors is increased, which creates a situation counter to the one this change is meant to address.

              tl;dr : I like the entries just the way they are.

            • Freemage
              Freemage commented
              Editing a comment
              Put me in the "No thanks" category on the first one, too. It works fine if you're running unaltered creatures straight from the book. However, as noted by other dissenters, it becomes much, much less intuitive to reverse-engineer the statblock if you're mutating them with magic, or just buffing them to better challenge the PCs.

          • #14
            Originally posted by screenmonkey View Post
            1. Reformat all strength based damage to the actual dice.

            For example:
            An Alligators bite is written as "Bite: d10+d6." rather than the current "Bite: Str+d6"

            It's faster, simpler, and easier to use for the busy GM. Isn't that the whole point of the Savage Worlds system?
            I disagree. Cast boost strength in the middle of combat or modify it for custom needs, and that Str changes. Keep the attribute reference.
            Last edited by Kristian Serrano; 05-21-2018, 05:42 AM.

            Comment


            • #15
              Small: a Major Hindrance.
              Small: a Size descriptor for portraying attack bonuses/penalties.
              Small: a Negative Racial Ability in the SFC that affects Toughness (and presumably Size too, though it's not stated).

              • the Hindrance could probably do with a name change (Slight? Petite?) to avoid confusion, as well as a downgrade to Minor to fit the current point values.

              • the Size descriptor can keep the name Small, since it thematically fits with Large and Huge.

              • the Negative Racial Ability should really be changed to "Size -1" to clarify what it does, and to put it in line with its counterpart, "Size +1" on the Positive RA list.

              Comment


              • Freemage
                Freemage commented
                Editing a comment
                I'd like to see 'Frail' for the Hindrance, which covers any number of potential reasons for having -1 Toughness.
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