Tuesday, August 10, 2010

[How To Play] Savage Worlds, Part 6: Rolling the Dice

Charley and I discussed how Savage Worlds rolls the dice. Dice choice is very important, since we will be rolling Wild Dice for Sir Nick and various Wild Card NPCs. Having Wild Dice that stand out from the other dice is vital to the game.

Traditionally, it is common to have a set of d4, d6, d8, d10 and d12 in one color, and the Wild Die d6 in a different color. Since we've both got a wide variety of dice, Charley chooses his solid Blues set (d4, d6, d8, d10 and d12) with a Red d6 for his Wild Die. I pull out my Maroon set and my Purple set, plus a couple of Green and Black d6s for various Wild Dice.

During play, when Charley has to make a roll, he'll take the Blue die appropriate to the skill or attribute and his Red Wild Die, roll them both and take the best value. Savage Worlds has an open-ended dice rule - if a die rolls the maximum, an "ace," re-roll that die and add together, as many times as the maximum roll is made.

For example, if Charley rolls his d8 Fighting and his d6 Wild Die, and rolls a 4 on the d8 and a 6 on the Wild Die, he keeps the highest roll (the 6 on the Wild Die) and re-rolls it because it "aced" (getting a 4), for a total of 10. His attack roll is the better of 4 and 10, so his roll is 10 (if that misses, Sir Nick is in trouble!).

In order to succeed at a task, it is necessary to equal or exceed a target number (TN). The standard TN is 4 for most common actions, but if Sir Nick's opponent in the above example has a Parry higher than 4, say a 6 or an 8, he'll have to match that higher Parry.

If Sir Nick is climbing a wall, I would leave the TN at 4, but if he was doing it at night, the TN would be 6, and on a moonless night, the TN would be 8, and in the dark during a thunderstorm, the TN could be 10 or more. So the more difficult the situation or the addition of more and more circumstances that would make a situation dangerous would add to the TN.

Each 4 above the TN is called a Raise, which has good game effects for the roller because it improves the success. For the standard TN 4, the first Raise is at a roll of 8, the 2nd at 12, the 3rd at 16, and so on. The rules allow additional damage for attacks that Raise and other rules are outlined for skills and attributes that Raise. I referred Charley to the Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition if he's interested in reading up on it.

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