This idea came to me while I thinking of ways to make Savage Worlds more familiar to gamers who are used to games with Hit Points and since there’s been a bunch of shatter on the boards over there about tweaking combat and such, I thought that I’d throw this out to the Internet masses.

For some reason, some folks get a little confused without their shiny, shiny hit points. I wanted a method that wasn’t intrusive to Savage Worlds’ game mechanics. Basically, all the rolls, modifiers and target numbers are unchanged.

First, replace the standard Savage Worlds damage track with the following:

0000-Shaken

0000- -1

0000- -2

0000- -3

0-Incapacitated

If you’re familiar with Savage Worlds, you probably already see where I’m going with this. There is no change for how any attack or damage rolls are made. Here’s how you take damage, subtract the target’s Toughness from the total damage rolled. Mark off that many boxes. Characters will get Shaken as per all the normal rules. The only variant is that some times what would be a second Shaken will not result in another Wound Level but the character still “takes damage”. For example, let’s say that Character A has taken 6 points of damage and is at -1 Wound Penalty. He gets hit again, for 1 point. He’s shaken but that’s not enough to raise him to a -2 Wound Penalty.

Soak Rolls and Overkill: The maximum damage a character can take is the total number of unmarked boxes (for an undamaged character that would be 17). When rolling a Soak, the character only compares to the maximum damage he could possibly take. For example, our Character A with 7 points of damage gets hit again, this time for 20 points of damage. Since he already has 7 points of damage, he can only take 10 points of damage. The player decides to spend a Benny and make a Soak roll. His margin of success after applying all the modifiers as the normal rules, is 6. So he soaks, 6 points of damage but still takes 4 points of damage and marks off that many boxes and is Shaken (just like the normal rules).

For creatures with Hardy ability, just raise their Toughness by a point or two. Whatever feels right.

The Injury Table: No change.

Healing: Once again, all normal rules apply for any Healing rolls (either through Skill, Spell, or Natural Healing). The only difference. You just erase the wounds on the number of boxes equal to the Margin of Success.

Fatigue: Since the Fatigue are basically separate mechanic from damage. There’s no change to the Fatigue rules.

Yes, the rules as written are easy and quick but sometimes familiar makes people feel better. And I freely and openly admit that this has not actually seen any play test. So your mileage may vary and some one may point out something totally obvious that I missed.

### 5 Responses to “An Alternate Damage System for Savage Worlds”

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Here are a few situations where the results will differ from the original system:

In all cases, the target has a Toughness of 4.

#1: Target unwounded. Damage roll is exactly the same as toughness (4).

Original System = target suffers Shaken result.

Alternate System = target suffers no damage.

#2: Trick causes shaken result, then target hit by damaging result.

Original System = shaken target suffers 1 wound.

Alternate System = this will vary greatly depending on how many damage boxes are checked when the target suffers a non-physical shaken result (tricks, taunts, etc).

#3: Target already shaken (1 point). Then target hit by damage with a raise (9 points).

Original System = target suffers 1 wound (pg 75 max 1 wound/raise).

Alternate System = target suffers 2 wounds.

You are so very right! This system is no where near perfect or even close to it,

Ohhh, don’t misunderstand my post. I wasn’t implying your alternate system wasn’t perfect. I was showing that it could give differing results from the core system.

As far as I’m concerned, these slight differences (1 point here, 1 point there) would probably all come out in the wash and would present no balance issues.

The question you have to ask is: would the “familiarity” of the alternate system outweigh the “simplicity” of the core system? I suspect this would highly depend on your players.

On a slightly different note: could you get rid of the concept of Toughness all together? Instead of a set number of HPs (4) at each level, just increase it based on Toughness.

(This would involve much more core changes: like healing, fatigue, armor…so it is probably not worth the effort.)

Don’t worry. I didn’t take your post wrong. I was saying that this system is no where near perfect. I admit that. Like I said, this has never been play tested, so I’m sure many quirks will pop up.