Creating a character in Savage Worlds is fairly straight forward. Using the information provided on this wiki, follow the directions below. If you want something that is not available here or have any questions, please contact the GM to have a chat about it.
To begin with, take a look at the different races available. Humans are far and away the most common, but your character need not be common. While you decide what Race you will play, try to come up with a general character concept to guide your choices to follow. Consider challenging yourself to play something different from what you normally do.
Characters are defined by attributes and skills, collectively called “Traits,” and both work in exactly the same way. Attributes and skills are ranked by die types, from a d4 to a d12, with d6 being the average for adult humans. Higher is better!
Every character starts with a d4 in each attribute (excepting racial traits), and has 5 points with which to raise them. Raising a d4 to a d6, for example, costs 1 point. You’re free to spend these points however you want with one exception: no attribute may be raised above a d12.
Agility is your character’s nimbleness, quickness, and dexterity.
Smarts is a measure of how well your character knows his world and culture, how well he thinks on his feet, and mental agility.
Spirit reflects inner wisdom, willpower and artistic ability. Spirit is very important as it helps your character recover from being Shaken.
Strength is raw physical power and general fitness. Strength is also used to generate damage in hand-to-hand combat.
Vigor represents endurance, resistance to disease, poison, or toxins, and how much pain and physical damage a hero can shake off.
Skills are learned abilities such as Shooting, Fighting, professional aptitudes, and so on. These are very general descriptions which cover all related aspects. Devices, for instance, covers all mechanical meddling from lockpicking, to setting and disabling traps, to fixing a wagon wheel.
You have 15 skill points to distribute among your skills. Each die type costs 1 point (starting at d4) as long as the skill is equal to or less than the attribute it’s linked to (listed beside the skill in parentheses). If you exceed the attribute, the cost becomes 2 points per die type.
As with attributes, no skill may be increased above d12.
Example: Fighting is linked to Agility. A character with a d8 Agility can buy Fighting for one point per die type to d8 (1 for d4, 1 for d6, 1 for d8). Buying a d10 costs 2 points, and a d12 costs another 2 points.
Your character sheet contains a few other statistics you need to fill in, described below.
Charisma is a measure of your character’s appearance, manner, and general likability. It’s 0 unless you have Edges or Hindrances that modify it. Charisma is added to Persuasion and Streetwise rolls, and is used by the GM to figure out how nonplayer characters react to your hero.
Pace is how fast your character moves in a standard combat round. Humans walk 6" in a round and can move an additional 1d6" if they run. Write 6 on your character sheet by the word Pace. This is 6" on the tabletop — every inch there represents 2 yards in the “real world.”
Parry is equal to 2 plus half your character’s Fighting (2 if a character does not have Fighting), plus any bonuses for shields or certain weapons. This is the Target Number (TN) to hit your character in hand-to-hand combat.
For stats such as d12+1, add half the fixed modifier, rounded down. For instance, a Fighting skill of d12+1 grants a Parry of 8 (2+half of d12), whereas a d12+2 gives a Parry of 9 (2+half of d12+2).
Toughness is your hero’s damage threshold. Anything over this causes him to be rattled or worse. Toughness is 2 plus half your character’s Vigor, plus Armor (use the armor worn on his torso). Vigor over a d12 is calculated just like Parry.
3. Edges & Hindrances
Great heroes and villains are far more than a collection of skills and attributes. It’s their unique gifts, special powers, and tragic flaws that truly make them interesting characters.
Characters can take Edges by balancing them out with Hindrances. You’ll find a complete list in the links above.
You can take one Major Hindrance and two Minor Hindrances. A Major Hindrance is worth 2 points, and a Minor Hindrance is worth 1 point.
For 2 points you can:
- Raise an attribute one die type, or
- Choose an Edge
For 1 point you can:
- Gain another skill point, or
- Gain additional money equal to your starting funds (if you start with 500 skelling, you gain an additional 500)
Next you need to purchase equipment. The standard starting amount for this setting is 500 skelling, modified by Hindrance points as well as Hindrances and Edges.
5. Background & Defining Interests
Finish your character by filling in any history or background that you care to. Ask yourself why your character is where she is and what her goals are. Or you can just start playing and fill in these details as they become important. You might also want to talk to the other players. Maybe your characters know each other right from the start. Or you might collectively decide to optimize your group a bit and ensure you’ve got a good assortment of skills and abilities. If so, make sure you’re playing what you want to play. There’s no point in being a healer, for example, if that’s not a role you’re interested in.
In addition, each character is entitled to some specific Defining Interests. These may be hobbies, remnants from childhood, or from any other source you like. Note that these Defining Interests provide only a general knowledge of a topic and is not nearly as detailed as someone who takes a specific Knowledge skill.
Your character begins with a number of Defining Interests equal to half his Smarts. This number increases as his Smarts increases. A defining interest gives the character a +1 to his Trait roll when the subject is called in to question as part of a Common Knowledge or Attribute check.
You may opt to select and reveal your Defining Interests over the course of play. Once an interest is chosen, it is a permanent part of the character. Hopefully, this is done as part of a reveal, such as “I learned a bit of acting when I was part of a summer performance troupe to bring in some extra money for the family.”
Sample Defining Interests
Agriculture, Astrology, Boating, City Knowledge (Specific), Cooking, Craft (Specific: Blacksmithing, Carpentry, etc.), Etiquette, Folklore, Gambling, Occupation (Specific: Architect, Armorer, Bookbinder, Bricklayer, Cartographer, Clothier, Fisherman, Gardener, Glassblower, Locksmith, Merchant, Midwife, Miner, Navigator, Politician, Potter, Scribe, Servant, Shipwright, Stonecarver), Performance (Specific: Acting, Comedy, Dance, Instrument, Juggling, Oration, Puppetry, Singing, etc.), etc.
This list is by no means exhaustive, and players are free to come up with additional items appropriate to their character, subject to the GM’s approval.