Savage Worlds Kickstarter: “Test” Rules Preview!

We’re now just three weeks from the launch of the Kickstarter for the new Savage Worlds: Adventure Edition and here to present another sneak peek of what’s in store is Pinnacle Entertainment Group President, Shane Hensley:

Tricks and Tests of Will have always been fun but not as mechanically useful as we’d like. So just like we did with Support (see last week’s sneak peek), we’ve taken the core of the idea and made it much simpler, easier, and more narrative. Check it out!


The Support option allows a character to help out an ally. Test is the opposite—it lets him make things more difficult for his foe!

Tests include embarrassing an opponent, throwing sand in his eyes, staring him down with a steely gaze, or anything else a clever player can think of to rattle his enemy and put him off-balance.

To perform a Test, the player describes the action and works with the Game Master to determine the most appropriate skill to roll for it. The player then makes an opposed roll resisted by whatever attribute the skill is linked to.

Tripping someone up, for example, is an Athletics roll. Athletics is linked to Agility, so that’s what the defender resists with. Taunt is linked to Smarts, so verbally humiliating someone with Taunt is resisted by that attribute.

(Note that Fighting, when used as a Test instead of an actual attack, isn’t opposed by Parry—it’s opposed by Agility.)

If the attacker wins the opposed roll, he can choose to make his foe Distracted or Vulnerable. If he wins with a raise, the target is Shaken as well.

Example: Red is fencing a master vampire in a Gothic manor. Emily, her player, says she wants to make a Test against the bloodsucker, cutting the heavy drapes off the window to tangle him up. The GM thinks that’s clever as it might also reveal the rising sun and drive him off in later rounds. He gives Emily a Benny for the idea and tells her to roll her Fighting as a Test. Red gets a lousy 3 but immediately uses her new Benny to reroll. She Aces twice and gets a 15! The vampire rolls Agility and gets an impressive 10, but that’s not enough to avoid the raise so he’s Shaken. Red wants to pile it on, so she makes him Distracted. That means he’s now at -2 to recover from being Shaken as well!

Modifiers: The GM determines which modifiers apply to a Test. A Shooting Test should include Range, Cover, Illumination, Recoil, etc. Game Masters should also apply any subjective modifiers based on the situation as usual—granting a bonus to Taunt for hitting a rival’s ego where it hurts, for example, might be worth a +2 bonus to the attacker.

As for Support (discussed in last week’s rules preview), well, that option can be used against an opponent narratively. If a character wants to “trip up” an ogre, for example, to help a friend make a Fighting roll against it, she can add +1 or +2 to his roll, but she doesn’t actually trip the ogre. It’s not made prone, Distracted, Vulnerable, or Shaken as it might have been if she had used the Test option.

The advantage for a player in making a Support roll over a Test is to help an ally and avoid a more difficult opposed roll for the Test (even though narratively it might seem like it should be).

Next week, we’ll take a look at character creation and the “Core Skills” that really help shape those Wild Cards right out of the gate!

~ Shane