Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The Importance of Attributes

On several occasions now, I've seen people suggest that it's not worth raising attributes in Savage Worlds. This usually seems to be because the individual comes from another game system where the attribute is rolled alongside the skill (such as WoD, Cortex, etc). However just because you don't roll Agility alongside your Fighting die, or Smarts alongside your Notice check, it certainly doesn't mean that the attributes aren't useful. They're just used differently.

Many settings introduce new rules and abilities that tie in with certain attributes, so I'm just going to focus on the core rule book for now. In Savage Worlds Deluxe, the various attributes provide the following benefits:

Agility:
  • Linked to most of the physical skills, including all the combat skills.
  • Unlocks some of the best combat-oriented Edges (like First Strike, Two-Fisted, and Acrobat).
  • Used for readying (drawing) and reloading weapons.
  • Used for evading area-effect attacks.
  • Used to avoid being hit by a vehicle.
  • Used for interrupting other characters mid-action.
  • Can be used for escaping or maintaining a grapple (choice of Agility or Strength).
  • Can be used to escape from the Entangle power (choice of Agility or Strength).
  • Used for performing and resisting Agility tricks.
  • Used by the Chase rules when moving on foot.
  • Used to survive long falls into water.
  • Used to jump from moving vehicles and eject from wrecked aircraft.
  • Used to resist the Blind, Burst, and Entangle powers.
  • Used to avoid the breath attack of drakes and dragons, the blast attacks of elementals, etc.

Smarts:
  • Linked to most of the mental skills, including most of the arcane skills required for spellcasting.
  • Used for Common Knowledge rolls (the catch-all mental skill).
  • Unlocks several really nice Edges (like Level Headed, Mentalist, and Wizard).
  • Used to resist Taunt-based tests of will.
  • Used for performing and resisting Smarts tricks.
  • Used for avoiding airborne diseases (by holding your breath before the air enters your lungs).
  • Determines how many languages you speak when using the Multiple Languages rule.
  • Used for maintaining your powers when wounded or Shaken.
  • Determines the range for the Banish, Barrier, Beast Friend, Boost/Lower Trait, Burrow, Confusion, Dispel, Drain Power Points, Elemental Manipulation, Entangle, Fear, Growth/Shrink, Havoc, Light/Obscure, Mind Reading, Puppet, Slow, Slumber, Summon Ally, Telekinesis and Zombie powers.
  • Used to resist the Confusion and Mind Reading powers.
  • Used for teleporting to a location you can't see.

Spirit:
  • Linked to the Intimidation and Persuasion skills, as well as the Faith arcane skill used by priestly spellcasters.
  • Unlocks some really nice Edges (like Elan, Champion, Beast Master, and Healer).
  • Used to gain Power Points using the Soul Drain Edge.
  • Used to recover from Shaken.
  • Used to resist Suppressive Fire.
  • Used to resist Intimidation-based tests of will.
  • Used to resist Fear checks.
  • Used for Morale checks.
  • Used to resist Brainburn.
  • Used to resist the Banish, Boost/Lower Trait, Divination, Growth/Shrink, Puppet, Slow and Slumber and Telekinesis powers.
  • Determines the strength and damage of the Telekinesis power.
  • Used to keep a vampire at bay with a holy symbol.

Strength:
  • Linked to the Climbing skill, and also determines climbing speed.
  • Unlocks some strong melee Edges (like Sweep and Brawler).
  • Restricts which weapons you can use effectively (both melee and ranged).
  • Determines melee damage.
  • Determines how much you can carry (good weapons and armour are heavy).
  • Used for jumping.
  • Used to resist being disarmed.
  • Can be used for escaping or maintaining a grapple (choice of Agility or Strength).
  • Can be used to escape from the Entangle power (choice of Agility or Strength).
  • Used for performing and resisting the Push maneuver.
  • Used to resist the Havoc and Pummel powers
  • Used to resist being moved by the Telekinesis power.
  • Used to escape a (literal) bear hug, or a constricting snake.
  • Used to resist the push and whirlwind monstrous abilities of an air elemental.

Vigor:
  • Determines Toughness.
  • Used for Soak rolls.
  • Unlocks some defensively useful Edges (like Champion, Nerves of Steel, and Liquid Courage).
  • Used to survive incapacitation and Bleeding Out.
  • Used for natural healing rolls.
  • Used to resist Fatigue from failed Fear/Nausea checks.
  • Used to survive a heart attack from a failed Fear check.
  • Used to resist poison and disease.
  • Determines how long it takes to recover from a disease.
  • Used to resist Bumps and Bruises, heat, cold, drowning, smoke inhalation, radiation, hunger, thirst, and lack of sleep.
  • Determines how many rounds you can hold your breath, and how fast you die after drowning.
  • Used to resist the Stun power, and the Corrosion, Fatigue and Spasms power trappings.
  • Used to resist the infection, paralysis, poison and stun monstrous abilities.