Savage Worlds Encounter Balancing by CV

Posted: 25 November 2011 in Rules

Since MetaCreator calculates the Showdown points value ("CV") for each figure for me, I wondered what things would look like if I tried balancing encounters by points value. So, just for fun:

  • The party that I GM for most often (Gutz the Rogue, Nessime the Paladin, and The Warforged) has a current total CV of 238. Their commonest opponents are orcs or human soldiers.
  • A soldier with leather and shortsword has a CV of 25, and an experienced soldier with chain and longsword has CV 37. A reasonable match if the town guard are after them is a squad of 8 soldiers with an experienced soldier in command.
  • Ogres have CV 62, Orcs 42, and Orc Chieftains 118. So, barging into the orc chieftain’s lair while he communes with his pet ogre and five orc bodyguards is a fair fight.
  • At the top of the food chain in terms of encounters is a liche (CV 192) with 4d10 zombie/skeleton guards (32-33 each); total CV of 320-984, average CV 517.

Do not boogie with the liche. He will mess you up.

  1. Robert says:

    How is this CV calculated? Is it the same as the CombatRating found in the GM section of the SavageWorlds Deluxe?

    • andyslack says:

      No, it’s the Combat Value from the Showdown skirmish combat add-on.

      • andyslack says:

        By the way: The closest the party ever came to a Total Party Kill was going up against an equal number of werewolves (CV 62 each). Of course, they didn’t have any silver with them, which didn’t help… they’ve been worrying about werewolves in every darkened corner and behind every door ever since. My work there is done.

  2. Robert says:

    I downloaded the MetaCreator SavageWorlds demo and checked the the rules how the CombatValue is calculated.

    After reading through it I strongly doubt that it can be used to balance encounters. For that, the Combat Rating in SWDLX makes much more sense.

    In short the CR is calculated from the amount of damage you can dish out, your toughness above a certain level, the number of your combat and special edges.

    CV gets its numbers from attribute,skill dice and edges; subtracting hindrances.

    That allows me to build a brainiac player character with an enormous CV number that is basicly walking dead meat since he can’t dish out and take any amount of damage. Using CR instead will immediately tell you that the character is in trouble.

    • andyslack says:

      Hmm, you could be right – none of the characters in any of my games have that sort of build, so I hadn’t spotted it.

      I’ll do a comparison of CV vs Combat Rating and see if that throws up any interesting points. Unless you already did?

      • Robert says:

        I did the calculation for the soldier and experienced soldier allies from page 81 in SWDX. The CV is calculated by metacreator, the CR is done according to page 123/124 of SWDX.

        Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
        Skills: Fighting d6, Notice d6, Shooting d6, Stealth d4
        Charisma: —; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 7(2)
        Gear: Longsword d8, Chainmail +2
        >>> CV=46 ; Wildcard CR = 9; Extra CR = 4.5

        Experienced Soldier
        Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d8
        Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d8, Shooting d8, Stealth d6
        Charisma: —; Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 8(2)
        Edges: “Combat Reflexes” and “First Strike”
        Gear: Longsword d8, Chainmail +2
        >>> CV=72 ; Wildcard CR = 13; Extra CR = 6.5

      • Robert says:

        It should be noted that the CV was calculated for a wildcard NPC. So for an extra it is only half of it.

        So its:

        Soldier Extra: CV = 23; CR = 4.5
        Soldier Wildcard: CV = 46; CR = 9

        Experienced Soldier Extra : CV = 36; CR = 6.5
        Experienced Soldier Wildcard: CV = 72; CR = 13

      • Robert says:

        Ah yes, I assumed the CV equals the “Combat Total” shown in the MC window.

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