Savage Worlds Kickstarter: “Core Skills” Rules Preview!

With just two weeks to go until the Kickstarter gates open wide for the new Savage Worlds: Adventure Edition, here’s another sneak peek of what’s in store from Pinnacle Entertainment Group President, Shane Hensley:

Core Skills

Some skills feel basic to just being a statistically average human (or other similar species). Default rolls allow every character to try most anything, and the Wild Die and Bennies give them a decent chance of success. But to some, not having a basic skill like sneaking up on someone, overhearing a conversation, or being able to ask for a favor, feels like they can’t do it at all. They can, of course, that’s what default rolls are for, but not having it listed and the –2 penalty to default rolls makes it feel like they can’t.

At conventions, we sometimes hear: “You mean I can’t sneak up on someone? I’m no ninja in real life, but I sneak up on my spouse/friend/dog/etc. all the time!”

Again, they can, but since the ability isn’t printed on their sheet and they have to subtract 2 from the total, it doesn’t feel that way.

So we created something called “core skills,” abilities that every reasonable character has at least a modicum of ability in and gets at a d4 for free. In alphabetical order, they are Athletics, Common Knowledge, Notice, Persuasion, and Stealth. (Yes, Common Knowledge is an actual skill now!)

We know that lots of other skills could fall into this category as well, like Intimidate or Taunt, for example. And yes, most everyone can scare or belittle others, but only those with some real gravitas behind it can have a game effect (and remember, anyone can still do these things as a default roll…it’s just a little harder). We went through many different versions of which skills should be core and these are the ones our playtesters agreed with across the many different genres we’ve now played with them.

Along with consolidated skill lists and a little more explanation why certain skills are so broad and others remain fairly narrow, we think you’ll enjoy what we’ve done and players across the world will have a slightly easier time with these common and basic tasks.

Next week, we’re saying so long to… Charisma!

~ Shane
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