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Friday, July 29, 2011

The Savage World of Athas part 2


Like I said, those familiar with Savage Worlds already may be a little confused by some of those ability scores you saw. That's because I'm using what I refer to as the "Heroic Array". It's what I use for Savage Worlds when I'm playing D&D style "Big Awesome Heroes" games and it seems especially appropriate for Dark Sun. So, here's how that works. 

Each character begins with a d6 in each attribute and receives 3 points they can spend to raise an attribute (each point raises an attribute by one die type). It is possible to begin play with lower attributes by taking Hindrances.

Normally a character can raise attributes up to d12+1, but this is adjusted based on the character's base attributes due to race and Hindrances. For example, Half Giants begin with a Smarts of d4 so they cannot raise their Smarts above d12 but they have a Strength of d10 so they may raise their Strength to a maximum of d12+3. Likewise a human who takes the Inferior Attribute Hindrance (Vigor) begins with a d4 Vigor and may not raise it higher than d12. 

Skills and Derived Statistics are unchanged from the normal Savage Worlds rules. 


These are edges that I've brewed up for the Dark Sun setting, or modifications to standard SW edges to function in the setting. 

Background Edges 

Arcane Background: With proper training and initiation all Arcane Background edges (except Wild Talent) may be learned after character creation, neither elemental or arcane magic is inborn, and all sentient beings possess enough psionic talent to be trained as mindbenders with time and effort. Information on the different forms of Arcane Backgrounds will be detailed further down.

Arcane Resistance: There are two forms of Arcane Resistance (and Improved Arcane Resistance) and characters must select which one when taking the Edge. Magic Resistance provides a bonus against the Powers of Templars, Elementalists and Wizards and other Powers based on magic. Psionic Resistance provides its bonus against Wild Talents and Psionicists as well as any Powers based on psionic ability.

Heat Adaption: (Vigor 1d8+)
Your hero is very adapted to the heat of the desert and is even conditioned to require less water than normal. Characters with this edge require only 2 quarts of water daily to avoid heat exhaustion and recieve a +2 on all rolls made to resist fatigue from heat exhaustion. 

Combat Edges

Armor Optimization: (Seasoned, Fighting d8+, Agility d8+)
When an opponent strikes you they automatically hit your most heavily armored location unless they get a Raise or are making a Called Shots. Called Shots to locations with less armor suffer an additional -1 penalty. If your character has several equally well-armored location then the opponent's attack is directed to the area with the lowest Called Shot penalty. 

Improved Armor Optimization (Veteran, Armor Optimization, Fighting d10+)
The armor rating of any armor you're wearing improves by 1. 

Weird Edges

Mental Armor: (Seasoned, Smarts d6+, Spirit d6+)
You have received training in resisting mental control and invasion. Against any Power (psionic or magical) that uses mind control, mind-reading or similar trappings your character receives a +3 bonus to any rolls made to resist. 

Psionic Detection (Novice, Smarts d6+, Notice d6+)
Your character can detect active psionic powers with a Notice roll at a -3 penalty. Powers that cost more than 1 power point add a bonus of +1 for each Power Point beyond the first (so detecting a Psionic Bolt that uses 6 power points would involve a Notice roll at +2). This edge works on powers used within 20 yards. It can detect powers further away at an additional -3 penalty up to a limit of 60 yards. A success alerts the character that there was a psionic power used nearby. A raise gives you a rough idea of the distance and direction. 

Professional Edges

Bardic Assassin (Novice, Smarts d8+, Knowledge (poison) d8+, Persuasion d8+, Stealth d6+)
Although many bards are simply skilled entertainers, storytellers and musicians it is a commonly accepted fact that many who adopt the title are also skilled poisoners, spys, and theives. Bardic assassin's are typically masters of poison, blackmail and stealth: they add +2 to all Stealth related skills in an urban environment, +2 to all Knowledge (poisons) rolls, and +2 to Persuasion rolls.

Gladiator (Novice,  Fighting d10+, Vigor d8+, Taunt or Intimidate at d6+)
Years of fighting in the pits have given experienced gladiators an exceptional talent for dirty fighting and psychological strategy. Gladiators recieve a +2 bonus to perform and resist combat tricks.

Veiled Wizard (Novice, AB (wizard), Preserver, Spellcasting d8+, Knowledge (Arcane) d6+, Stealth d6+)
Mages trained by the Veiled Alliance have an advantage over others even if they do not stay with the group. They are given some knowledge of the Veiled Alliance and may make Common Knowledge rolls to recall information about the group (including code words, safehouses and the like). In addition they recieve a +2 bonus on Knowledge (Arcane) and Stealth rolls made to conceal their spellcasting.

Defender of the Land (Novice, AB (elementalist), Spellcasting d8+, Survival d8+)
An elemental priest can forge a bond with the spirits of the land, claiming guardianship over a chosen stretch of land. While in their guarded lands the priest receives a +2 bonus to all Notice, Stealth, Survival and Tracking rolls and they regain Power Points twice as fast. In addition you may now learn the following Powers in addition to those from the Elementalist AB: Beast Friend, Entangle (plant-based trappings) and Shape Change (creatures found on guarded lands). You also are intuitively aware of the condition of your guarded land and sense instantly if defiling magic or similar harm comes to it. 


There's only one new Hindrance:

Inferior Attribute (Major/Minor): Your character is below average in some way but fortunately has still managed to survive. One of your Attributes is at a d4 and may not be raised above a d12. This edge may be taken once as a Major Hindrance. If it is taken again (for a different attribute) then it is considered a Minor Hindrance. 

Characters in Athas begin with 500$ (ceramics). The following rules cover how gear in Dark Sun is different from the standard Savage Worlds rules. 

Metal Equipment
Metal is exceedingly rare in Dark Sun and iron gear costs 10 times the normal price (so a metal longsword costs 3,000$). Iron weapons inflict normal damage but have AP 1 against non-iron armor. Bronze weapons cost 6 times the normal price but do not provide any AP. 
Inferior Gear
Without metal most weapons are made from bone, obsidian and flint (Dasyl is in this category as well). These weapons inflict normal damage but have a chance of breaking in combat. If a primitive weapons have a Damage Threshold and if the attacker rolls higher than their Damage Threshold with the weapon then it breaks, inflicting a -1 penalty to any Fighting rolls and dropping it's damage bonus by one die type (weapons that add a d4 damage are worthless).
   A weapon's Damage Threshold is twice the bonus to damage it provides (so a dagger has a Threshold of 8, while a Longsword has a Threshold of 16). If you are attacking an opponent wielding a metal weapon or wearing metal armor the Threshold is halved. Monsters with exceptionally tough natural armor (+4 or higher) may have a similar effect. 

Other Weapons
Weapons that are not normally made from metal (staffs, clubs, slings etc) suffer no penalty and function just like normal. Bows with metal-tipped ammunition have AP 1 against non-metal armor but otherwise function identically.

Athasian Weapons
This is the description of weapons unique to Athas. To save space I won't provide descriptions (just google "athasian weapons") and I won't include weapons that are basically slight variations on existing weapons (singing sticks and quabones are just clubs for instance).
Cahaluks: (Str +d4) This pair of weapons ignores cover bonuses and shield bonuses. It can also be used to entangle an opponent and trip them making an Agility Trick using the wielder's Throwing or Fighting skill instead of Agility. On a raise the target falls prone as well as being Shaken. (ROF 1 4/8/16). 6 lbs. 200$
Chatkcha: (Str+d6) These are triple pointed blades usually made from thri-kreen Dasyl. They can be thrown (ROF 1, 3/6/12) and if a special technique is used (-2 to Throwing) they will return if they miss their target. 1 lb. 100$
Forearm Axe: (Str+d6) It takes an action to strap these axes to your arms but once equipped they cannot be disarmed. The same stats can be used for the Wrist Razors. 4 lbs. 225$
Gythka: This weapon is effectively identical to a spear. 
Tortoise Blades: (Str+d4) It takes an action to strap on a Tortoise Blade but once on they cannot be disarmed. The small shield grants +1 to Parry. 5 lbs. 150$


The armor is slightly different from the standard SW armor. The weights are for full suits (torso, arms, legs). Partial armor is common in Athas, Torso armor is about half the standard weight. Just legs or just arms are about 25% of the standard weight alone. Boots or gloves are about 10% the standard weight. Reduce cost by the same amount. Metal shields provide an additional point of armor against missiles.

Leather: Armor +1, 15 lbs. 50$
Giant Hair: Armor +1, 9 lbs. 100$
Heavy Hide/Light Chitin: Armor +2, 25 lbs. 300$
Heavy Chitin: Armor +3, 55 lbs. 850$
Chainmail: Armor +3, 25 lbs. 4,000$
Bronze Plate: Armor +4, 50 lbs. 10,000$
Steel Plate: Armor +5, 50 lbs. 20,0000$

All that's really left is the rules for Arcane Backgrounds and Wild Talents. I'll try and post that later tonight or tomorrow.

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