A couple of weeks ago, I was watching The Expendables and I thought back to an old game we used to play called Commando by SPI that was house ruled into sort of an RPG. It was a lot like the movies Uncommon Valor, Dogs of War and The Wild Geese.
It was fast, fun and the characters died like flies. This little trip down memory lane lead me to remember a little Savage Worlds project that I had started. So here it is ultra gritty Mercenaries for Savage Worlds the Very Basic Edition. I may expand these rules sometime. We’ll see.
Abilities: A character’s Ability scores start at d6. Characters should be at least average at in each stat. You have two additional points to spend to raise your Abilities.
Buying Skills: Characters have 8 points to buy skills. If a Skill is higher than its controlling Ability, you do not pay double. No skill can be higher than d8 for starting characters. This is a game of gritty paramilitary action. You shouldn’t worry about social skills.
Edges: Characters have one Edge. Obviously, Edges that are fantastic, magical, over cinematic or supernatural in origin should not be used. Since technically there are no Wild Cards, Leadership Edges will affect the player characters. Don’t worry about required character rank for Edges but Skill prerequisites should still be followed.
Suggested Edges: Alertness, Ambidextrous, Block, Brawny, Command, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Fervor, First Strike, Fleet Footed, Frenzy, Hold the Line, Level Headed, Luck, Marksman, Natural Leader, Nerves of Steel, No Mercy, Quick, Quick Draw, Rock and Roll!, Steady Hands, Trademark Weapon, Two Fisted.
Hindrances: This really isn’t a game about role playing. It’s about blowing up crap and shooting bad guys before they shoot you. Don’t bother with picking a Hindrance.
Playing the Game
Bennies: Each character gets one Benny for each mission. Characters gain an additional Benny only by surviving the mission. Bennies are spent the as per the normal rules in SWEX.
Wild Die: There is no Wild Die.
Keeping Track of Ammo: While keeping track of ammo may seem a pain, how much you have available will be important.
Wounds, First Aid and Death: The Wound Track has one more box: “Dead”. This is a deadly game. So one Raise beyond Incapacitated is Dead. No need for extra rolling. Your character can still die by bleeding through the Incapacitation rules.
Leveling Up: On the off chance that a character survives a mission, he may choose one of the following.
Gain a new still at d4
Increase two known skills up to a maximum of d8
Increase one skill beyond d8