Sunday, November 7, 2010

Races for Savage Dungeons

Well, I'm still not playing in or running any games. My latest game flyer is still on the bulletin board in the student center of the local community college, apparently untouched and unread. I played a short session of Barbarians of the Aftermath with my daughter (the one now at the college) several months ago, but that's the most gaming I've had in a year.

Last year I played a two session adventure with my wife and my daughter using my Savage Dungeons variant. The adventure was pretty good, I used an altered form of a free "one-page dungeon" I'd found on the internet (If I could remember which one it was, I'd give a shout out to the designer) over which I laid a mission to find the son of a local lord.

As it turned out, the son became a were-rat and hid in the local ruins. Since all the son could think about was the shame he would bring to his family if discovered, the party made a deal to bring back his signet ring and say that he was captured by beasts, but was killed while nobly trying to escape.

Even though I tried to fuse an old school Dungeons and Dragons feel into the Savage Worlds rules with my Savage Dungeons variant, I also wanted to change it up a bit and make the campaign world more my own. I decided to toss the Tolkien-inspired standard fantasy races from D&D, and just allow three races for player characters: human, wee-folk, and troll.

The rules for humans are standard, of course, but here are the Savage Worlds write-ups for the wee-folk and troll races:


The wee-folk are an ancient and mysterious race. Averaging only 3-4 feet tall and only about 80lbs, they sometimes look so much like children (though somewhat wrinkled and time-worn children) that they are often overlooked or simply not taken seriously by larger folk. Of course, some larger folk sometimes end up dead for mysterious reasons...

Wee-folk are consummate artisans and crafters, with a sharp eye for details, and a fairly indomitable will for as humble as they look on the outside. Wee-folk as concieved here are a blend of the standard fantasy gnomes, dwarves, hobbits, elves and other fae-type little people.

It is said that goblins and other nasty things with their glowing eyes and pointy teeth are simply twisted, evil wee-folk . Or maybe they all just look like that in the darkness underground...
  • Small: Wee-folk are Size -1 and get a -1 to their Toughness score. Individual wee-folk can still be Brawny (edge) or Small (hindrance) compared to the average.
  • Slow: Wee-folk have a Pace of 5
  • Spirited: Wee-folk are humbly confident and strong-willed. They start with a d6 Spirit instead of a d4.
  • Talented: Because of their natural affinities, all Wee-folk start with a d6 in the Repair and Notice skills.
  • Sharp-tongued: While not very powerful physically, wee-folk know how strong words can be. All wee-folk start with a d6 in the Taunt skill.

Huge and brutish (and based somewhat on the trolls from Shadowrun), trolls are usually found living in nomadic bands in the wilderness, though many have come to see the advantages to civilized living. Most stand between 7 and 8 feet tall, averaging about 320lbs or so. Like the beasts of the wild, they have horns and claws, and some can be quite hairy, but they are just as capable as humans with the tools and rules of civilized life.

The one thing that makes them not quite fit in well with the humans and the wee-folk, however, is the fact that they tend to eat their prisoners and opponents, as well as anything else they can get their hands on. "Waste not want not," as the troll sages say.
  • Large: Trolls are Size +1 and get a +1 to their Toughness score. Individual trolls can still be Brawny (edge) or Small (hindrance) compared to the average.
  • Strong: Trolls start with a d6 Strength instead of a d4.
  • Natural Weaponry: The claws, teeth, and horns of a troll do Strength+d4 damage and trolls are never considered to be unarmed.
  • Bloodthirsty: Because of their habit of eating opponents, trolls get a -4 penalty to Charisma when dealing with the more civilized humans and wee-folk.
  • Hungry: Trolls require twice the amount of food and water for survival purposes than humans or wee-folk.

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