At first I thought Savage Worlds characters would have much more compact statblocks than those in other games, but as my players start to level up their characters, I was beginning to wonder. Various minor ailments among the group meant no session this week, so I took a D&D 3.5 NPC and converted it to Savage Worlds and Castles & Crusades, just to see what would happen. I decided to use a word processor word count function to determine size, so as to avoid any bias due to layout.
D&D 3.5 (221 words)
This statblock is one of the standard NPCs from The Other Game Company’s Dungeon Bash.
Human, 11th-Level Wizard
Medium Humanoid, Challenge Rating: 11, Type: Caster
Hit Dice: 11d4+22 (51 hp), Initiative: +1, Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 15* (+1 dex, +2 bracers of armor, +1 deflection, +1 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +5/+4, Attack: Quarterstaff +4 melee (1d6-1) or mwk light crossbow +7 ranged (1d8/19-20), Full Attack: Quarterstaff +4 melee (1d6-1) or mwk light crossbow +7 ranged (1d8/19-20)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft., Special Attacks: Spells, Special Qualities: —
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +11, Abilities: Str 8, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 17 (19), Wis 12, Cha 10
Skills: Concentration +14, Decipher Script +16, Knowledge (arcana) +16, Knowledge (the planes) +11, Spellcraft +16, Feats: Scribe scroll, *Dodge, Mobility, Combat Casting, Brew Potion, Iron Will, Improved Counterspell, Craft Wand,
Treasure: Wand of magic missile (9th), ring of protection +1, cloak of resistance +1, amulet of natural armor +1, headband of intellect +2, 2x potion of cure serious wounds, 1x scroll of fireball, 1x scroll of fear, 100 gp, Alignment: Neutral evil
Spells prepared: 0: 2x Read magic, 2x ray of frost, 1: Mage armor, 4x magic missile, 2: acid arrow, 2x bull’s strength, 2x see invisibility, 3: 2x dispel magic, fireball, 2x hold person, 4: lesser globe of invulnerability, 2x stoneskin, shout, 5: break enchantment, cone of cold, 6: Chain lightning
SAVAGE WORLDS (80 words)
Using the Pinnacle d20 Conversion Rules, I find this guy is an Heroic Wild Card with a Combat Rating of about 12.
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d12+1, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigour d8.
Skills: Fighting d6, Knowledge (Arcana) d12, Shooting d8, Spellcasting d12.
Charisma -, Pace 6, Parry 6, Toughness 7 (1), Power Points 30.
Edges: Arcane Background (Magic), Dodge, Improved Nerves of Steel, Power Points x 4.
Hindrances: Varies by personality.
Powers: Armour, Blast, Bolt, Boost/Lower Trait, Burst, Detect/Conceal Arcana, Dispel, Puppet, Stun.
Gear: Staff (Str+d4), crossbow (2d6), Magic Armour (+1), Scroll of Blast, Scroll of Fear, Potion of Healing, $10.
CASTLES & CRUSADES (135 words)
If I return to class and level gaming, my weapon of choice is likely to be C&C, for reasons not relevant to this post. OD&D retroclones of various stripes are likely to have similar word counts.
This 11th level wizard’s vital stats are HP 51, AC 15. His primary attributes are dexterity, constitution and intelligence. His significant attributes are strength 8, dexterity 13, constitution 14, and intelligence 17. He wears an amulet of natural armour +1 and a ring of protection +1 in battle. He carries a quarterstaff, a +1 crossbow, a potion of cure serious wounds, a scroll of fireball, a scroll of fear, and 100 gp. His spells are as follows: 0th level – ?. 1st level – 4 x Magic Missile, Read Magic, Shield. 2nd level – 3 x Acid Arrow, 2 x See Invisibility. 3rd level – Dispel Magic, Fireball, 2 x Hold Person. 4th level – 2 x Minor Globe of Invulnerability, Shout. 5th level – 2 x Cone of Cold. 6th level – Chain Lightning.
Savage Worlds statblocks really are smaller, even at higher ranks. I suspect this is because there are fewer stats, skills and powers required in SW to achieve the same game results.