Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Random Musings: Savage Worlds Lite, without changing the RAW

In SWADE, players can create their own skills (rather than just Knowledges like in SWD), and may use any skill they can reasonably justify for Tests and Support rolls. Dramatic Tasks and Quick Encounters also give players some leeway over which skills they use, at the GM's discretion, and the latter can be used to resolve combat and chases.

I could easily see this being used as the basis for a "Savage Worlds Lite" variant of the system, for groups who prefer Theater of the Mind style gaming. This wouldn't even require any changes to the official rules, it would just require the GM to use them in a specific way.

You could keep the core skills, but all the rest would be discarded (much like many settings drop certain skills, but taken to the extreme). Players could then make up appropriate skills to fit their character concept, and the GM could apply the Familiarization rule to water-down any overly broad skills.

The normal combat and chase rules would no longer be used -- instead, the GM would just use Quick Encounters, greatly speeding up play and removing the need for minis and battle maps. It would no longer be necessary to write down Pace or Parry, as they'd never be used during play, and technically you could even ignore Toughness (as Quick Encounters cause wounds rather than damage, and even rules like Mass Battles and Networking only cause Fatigue).

Some Edges and Hindrances would no longer have any effect if you never used the combat rules, but they could either be dropped or factored into the Quick Encounters in a more abstract way. Of course, once you've got guidelines for interpreting Edges and Hindrances in an abstract way, you could also allow players to make up their own, potentially eliminating the need for laundry lists of predefined advantages and disadvantages -- but then you're starting to move into homebrew territory.


  1. That sounds like a version of SW I would actually play!

  2. I would try it. Always interesting reading your material.

  3. It's funny you say that because I was thinking the same thing this past weekend at AZ Game Fair.

  4. Drop all skills at all. Just use relate Attributes and increase/decrease one level die per background-arquetipe logic and one more per edge/hindrance.

  5. I'm not sure I'd want to go that far (my group likes using minis and tactical battle maps), but I definitely want to get rid of the damage mechanic.

    The system has this beautiful conflict resolution system where raises can equate to successes across all kinds of conflicts and tests, but then there's extra layer of complexity plunked down for combat.

    Changing that one element is going to require a non-trivial amount of work, including how armor plays with the setting.

  6. Very interesting. I'd like to see something like that in practice before saying yay or nay.

  7. Instead of taking specific edges, just note "combat advance", "magic advance", "social advance". These are fields of expertises. Keep Atrributes and Skills advances as before.

    For the quick encounter, you only need to check how many advances a character has on a field of expertise.

  8. I'm a little late to the party, but this sounds like a fantastic idea.