Sunday, April 28, 2013

Game Design: Savage Worlds/curse the darkness mashup

So, as you may or may not know, we're doing a companion book for curse the darkness. As part of that, I'm doing a Savage World version of the game. And that, of course, requires I examine the rules a bit.

Scenario Creation

I think we keep scenario creation the same, with the five questions and everything. I kinda want to make the "what just happened?" question into a "what is the crisis", because it'll encourage a more in medias res feel to things, which is appropriate for Savage Worlds.

Character creation: 

  1. Attributes (no change, everything at d4 and then 5 points to play with)
  2. Skills (no change, I'll just make sure they're all listed on the sheet so there's no book-flipping)
  3. Hindrances. Now, here's a change. Players familiar with the rules can use the standard Savage Worlds hindrances, if they want. But Hindrances generally fall into three categories: Psychological (compulsions, obsessions, prohibitions on behavior); Physical (-2 on a given kind of physical action or under a given circumstance); Aptitude (-2 to all uses of a given Skill, and you have to have at least a d4 in the Skill). 
  4. Edges. Again, if you know them, use the ones in the book. People get two Edges. Hindrances don't give you anything else (speeding up chargen, here). Opener is an Edge. I'm thinking of breaking Edges down along the same lines as Hindrances - Aptitude and Physical is easy enough, but Psychological doesn't easily map. I think dropping the Novice/Seasoned/Veteran thing is probably wise, since characters aren't going to live that long. 
  5. No Arcane Backgrounds other than Opener. 
  6. Derived traits. As usual, but here at the end, where they belong.

Rules Changes

  • Bennies allow you to reroll a roll, as usual. They also allow you to escalate a removal challenge or roll to try and remove a Between Card. 
  • No soak. 
  • Every time someone Opens or violates the rules (basically anything that would make you give the GM a Between Point in the original system), put a card in the Between Track. When that track hits 5 cards, He notices and a Removal Challenge begins. A given combat can also become a Removal Challenge if the number of cards his the target number during the combat. 
  • Players can spend a bennie to roll Spirit, difficulty +1 for each card past 1. 
  • Dead is dead, make a new character. 

Removal Challenge vs. Combat

So, combat is combat. You're fighting people or animals, use normal rules. A Removal Challenge is when you're fighting Them. Any combat in the Between is a Removal Challenge. Any combat can become a Removal Challenge if the Between Track hits 5 cards. 

In a Removal Challenge, you take your actions as usual, and determine whether that action lights a candle or curses the darkness. But after every action, you roll d6 + Wild die vs. a d6 + Wild die from the GM. GM wins, you're dead. You win, you live, and you gain a section of Wick (if your action lit a candle). You gain Wick as usual. If you hit the requisite Wick for the story, you can make the essential choice to light a candle. You cannot spend a benny to reroll a live or die roll, but you can spend a benny to escalate, take a new action, and try again. If you succeed after escalation, you get an additional point of Wick (cumulative), but the GM gains a die type for every time you try it.

You can choose to die in place of another character as long as you're not already dead. 


Memory conversations start at a d4 + Wild and go up one die type for every pertinent fact (that would generate a Memory Point). When the conversation ends, everyone rolls that die. You get either 1 Wick + 1 benny/raise or 1 benny + 1 benny/raise.