Monday, August 14, 2017

Savage Dungeons: Character Attributes

In the game, we need some way of describing your character, the fighter you will pretend to be. We can say the fighter is "strong, fairly nimble, not too smart"— but we need to describe the character a little better than that. We call these descriptions abilities.
-Dungeons & Dragons Players Manual


The Basic version of the game that I am mostly drawing inspiration from calls these character defining traits abilities. Since Savage Dungeons is a designed for use with Savage Worlds we can refer to these defining traits as attributes.

In Savage Dungeons every Basic Quickdraw Wildcard Character has 3-6 defining "Attributes."

[needle scratch]

WHAT? 3-6? what are you talking about? Savage Worlds has FIVE attributes! (see pg. 16 Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition)

Yes I am aware of the rules as written, but since Savage Dungeons has grown out of my home game which includes children ages 5, 8,10, 22, and "older than 22", I am experimenting with how minimal things can get and still work with Savage Worlds rules as written—remember the monster stat block experiment?  (I've been able to run a game quite well using only one die type to represent all attributes and skills for monsters.)

The basic set of attributes for Savage Dungeons are Strength, Agility, and Smarts. While they are broad categories that cover many different but related aspects of a character,  having only three makes it as easy for young players and extremely new players to keep track of what die they need to roll for a given task. 

Strength defines how strong and durable your character is. The attributes of Strength and Vigor are both folded into the Strength attribute. Strength relates to physical actions such as forcing doors, fighting with melee weapons, physical endurance and resisting disease. Strength is the primary attribute for Fighter and Dwarf archetypes.

Agility describes how fast and physically coordinated your character is. Agility is quickness, movement, dexterity, and reflexes. Agility relates to actions such as dodging attacks, sneaking around quietly, picking locks, throwing objects, and shooting weapons. Agility is the primary attribute for the Thief and Halfling archetypes.

Smarts determines how smart, knowledgeable, and likable your character is. This attribute includes both Smarts and Spirit. Smarts relates to solving puzzles, remembering facts, telling convincing lies, using Magic and mental resistance. Smarts is the primary attribute for the Magic-user, Cleric, and Elf archetypes.

Since Savage Dungeons is trying to maintain the feel and flavor of the basic version of the original fantasy RPG, all the archetypes have fixed stats at the start of the game. So far this approach has worked well especially for players coming from a traditional F20 RPG background where the d20 does most of the rolling for attacks and skill checks and the concept of potentially rolling a different die type for each action can be as difficult to grasp as the classical dynamics of spinning tops.

What's your thoughts on this minimalist take on Savage Worlds attributes? 

Free Map Friday - Words with Fiends


The village hedge mage has lost their familiar and you have managed to track it into to the edge of the Darken Forest on the border of the Savage Marches, a dark and forbidding land. The cat's trail ends at what looks like a badger hole just inside the tree line. The cat's meow can be heard echoing from below...

3"x3" Dungeon Diviners cards in use
as a random dungeon generator.
This week as my oldest son and I were playing around with Dungeon Diviners cards and ICRPG cards we came up with a small map and an adventure seed. I was inspired to take that to the next level. 

All Patreon supporters this month get the hi-res watermark free files of the map, a bonus micro-adventure, and 9 new Dungeon Diviners tiles!

Add some desert terrain to your encounter!

Maybe you shouldn't have made that left turn in Albuquerque, perhaps you shouldn't have insulted that nicely dressed man in the casino, or perhaps that old silver mine was only a legend after all. However you found yourself in this godforsaken place, you never thought you would be asking yourself, "If a voice cries out in the wilderness and it goes unheard does it make a sound?"
...and what's up with those kids on BMX bikes?

Desert of The Damned includes a full 30 x 35-inch map as well as 11 modular 9-inch hexes featuring the Hexomorfo system.

The printable tiles were designed to be used as print and play or as a complement to the 2.5D tile creation method created by DM Scotty.

Also included are a full set of files for Virtual Tabletops.

Let me know how you use it!

Heart of Darkness is currently available digitally as a White Star compatible adventure and as a Savage Worlds licensed adventure.