The Unbestiary

Posted: 14 December 2011 in Rules

So-called because it isn’t really a bestiary.

We know three things from the Savage Worlds Rules As Written:

  • d6 in a trait represents an average human, and d12 represents world-class capability.
  • An average soldier has d6 in most relevant traits, while an experienced one has d8.
  • The average PC archetype has a d10 in his or her primary traits.

So we can estimate trait levels as follows:

  • d4: Below average.
  • d6: Average for someone who does this for a living.
  • d8: Trait level for an experienced professional.
  • d10: Trait level for a hero (or antihero).
  • d12: World-class trait.

Parry and Toughness can be worked out easily from the appropriate trait level, and melee weapons can be assumed to make best use of the character’s Strength.

Since this is all in the Rules As Written, at least in the Deluxe Edition, I no longer need the One Page Bestiary. Or indeed any Bestiary; I can make encounters up as I go along…

"Thinks: Ivan is a professional thief so he’ll have the Thief edge, and d8 in Agility, Lockpicking, Stealth and Streetwise. Everything else is a d6, including Strength, so he’ll have a shortsword to get the best damage he can."


"Since the PCs killed Ivan and he was reanimated by evil sorcerors, he now has the Undead attribute as well."

Or how about Pagurids? (Look it up!) Giant carrion-eaters of the seashore, not above producing their own carrion if necessary. Look like big hermit crabs, terracotta in colour.

Let’s see; d8 Strength, Vigor and Fighting, d6 in other attributes and Notice, +3 Toughness for the hard shell, and honkin’ big claws which attack for Str + d8. Job done.

Also, there is a lead to a further adventure once the PCs beat them off: Where do they get their shells from? Something pretty big, evidently. Possibly plate-armoured fighters, in which case the treasure is obvious, though they must then have some sort of tough secretion to fill up the holes they don’t want.

Pagurids took less than 60 seconds to invent and type (I was timing myself). This could even be the way SW was intended to be run.

Gotta love Savage Worlds.

  1. R Singers says:

    So what you are saying is Savage Worlds is converting you into a Narrativist 🙂

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