First Look: Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition

Savage Worlds IconHello World!

Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition is available for preorder with a PDF Bundle. I took the plunge and now have the PDF in my virtual hands. Please note this is by no means a review. So far I am only skimming it and will note here what catches my eye as new and shiny while doing so. Let’ s go and turn the page as they say!

What I see immediately is the layout and artwork is a lot better than the explorers edition, good work! It is a joy to read and look at.

First thing I notice: Races are now included complete with race creation rules.

Guts skill is gone and replaced with a simple spirit roll in the standard rules, but is still used in specific settings.

A real surprise is the fact that background edges are not limited to character creation anymore but can be taken freely during any advance. After some thinking I like this change. I find myself in a Deadlands game where I slowly realize: the way I planned my character is not like he plays out. I would love to take different background edges. And hopefully I can now. This just makes the game even more FFF as it takes one of my few worries away. After all no one wants to play a “gimped” character that just can´t get an edge that would fit perfectly. However they still encourage you to come up with some explanation for these changes.

A replacement Character does not start with half the XP of the former character any longer, but rather simply with one advance less. Very generous but again: Makes it more Fun when all of the group is at least close in skill and power.

The Equipment lists contain much more items and a slew of Vehicles for every genre.

The most awesome thing so far is Chapter 4: Situational Rules. It contains a lot of optional material to use in your game. A few examples:

Dramatic tasks are a good addition and something I am sure a lot of people have houseruled already. Basically you act during initiative by using any fitting Skill, like Knowledge(Demolitions) to defuse a Bomb, and need to collect  a fixed number of successes in a fixed number of  “actions” or rounds. As a twist: If you draw a card of clubs you hit a complication and your next roll incurs a negative modifier. If you fail then you fail completely.  Yep, I would call that Dramatic, a kind of negative Joker!

Savage Worlds Deluxe
Savage Worlds Deluxe Cover

Interludes: Not sure I will use these. You use them when the characters have some downtime, for example while healing up after a combat. The GM determines which player has to draw a card. Each symbol represents a theme and depending on the symbol drawn the Character has to tell a story in that theme. The player gets a Benny or Adventure Card when finished, Players choice. I do not think that “forcing” players to divulge information or story bits from their characters is really helpful, but it could be useful if roleplaying needs a little push.

Setting rules: simply Great! To me the best new addition so far. The section has a lot of little rules like “Gritty Damage” or “Multiple Languages”. The two most prominent are “No Power Points” eg using a Skill roll with modifier instead of PP and “Skill Specializations” for settings that need it. It works by turning the broad skills into specialized skills. Lets say the character has Fighting:”Axes”. Whenever he uses an axe he has no penalty, use a different weapon and get a negative modifier on your roll. The specializations a character has can be expanded during advances.

The Powers section has received an overhaul and now contains the Trappings and Effect section from the fantasy companion. And finally the summon ally power in the core rules!

The bestiary seems expanded, but I have not checked in detail. Cool idea: There are no full illustrations for a few creatures but rather every creature has a “Token” image next o its name. So if you have the PDF you could print out the creature and have a usable token right there! Great idea and should be standard in more RPGs.

After a quick glance the included once sheets are very diverse and use varied settings and each with different setting rules. They give a good overview of the great versatility of the Savage Worlds engine.

My Impressions during my first look are only positive. The Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition really drives home the point that it is a “toolset”. That they are basic rules you can play everything with. This is reinforced by the setting rules, the overall varied artwork and finally the one sheets. My Favorite system just got even more Fast Furious  and Fun without changing the core but by tweaking the execution. In my opinion It is well worth every penny I spent on the preorder, even with international shipping! Go get it!

Did you have a look? What are your impressions? What do you Like/Dislike? Want to know something specific? Leave a comment below. 🙂

Read you soon!

*addendum* some errata is already popping up

6 thoughts on “First Look: Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition

  1. I think one of the best things are the new Chase rules. They are very FFF! I really never used the old rules, because they confused me a bit. Overall, I think the PEG guys outdid themselves on this.

    Rocky Mountain Savages


    1. Totally agree! I´ve tried every iteration of the chase rules, with no full satisfaction. I´m looking forward to my next game to try them with my players.

      Even so, they already did a tweaking adding the Force maneuver in the downloadable pdf at the Pinnacle website.


      1. That was really a much needed addition. I used the chase rules for a space dogfight already and my player liked it. Abstract enough to be quick but exciting nonetheless.


  2. It is indeed a fantastic piece of work. I have not read the Chaserules yet as I never had reason to use them so far. But if they are really better then the old ones I will have to read them soon.


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