SWD vs Test Drive v6

Posted: 8 November 2013 in Rules

I’m drifting back to using the Test Drive version 6 as my portable quick reference for Savage Worlds, and that led me to compare it to the current core rules, Savage Worlds Deluxe. (The Wild Hunt uses the same rules as the Test Drive, but I prefer version 6 as it has a slightly larger font and rules for character advancement.)

Obviously, SWD has more stuff in it, but the Test Drive is also based on the previous edition of the rules (Explorers’ Edition); so what things are there in the Test Drive that are different in the core rules?

It turns out, not many. Here are the ones I know about:

  • SWD drops the Guts skill.
  • Shaken characters can only move at half Pace in the Test Drive, but since they are permitted free actions in SWD, they can move their full Pace.
  • If Shaken while On Hold, in SWD you lose the On Hold status.
  • Incapacitation works differently, and needs a lot more column inches to explain, so I won’t go into it here.
  • Raises on an area effect attack (like Blast) cause an extra d6 of damage in SWD, the same as for any other attack.
  • You can fire three 3d6 bolts in the Test Drive, but only one in SWD. (Actually, this was so central to the Warforged’s style of play that I let him keep doing it when we switched to SWD, and the game didn’t suffer a bit. Especially after he reached Seasoned rank and upgraded to Blast.)

So there you have it. There are more changes than I expected, but none of them are game-changing, you should pardon the pun. Still, it would be nice to see a Test Drive version 7 at some point – preferably one that uses layers to make printing the colour page background optional.

The only thing I’d want to add to the Test Drive is how many powers beginning characters have, but I can understand why it doesn’t go there, as if it did it would need to explain the differences between Arcane Backgrounds, and that would take too much space. If it came up, I’d use three, which is what Magic and Psionics get, and settle up later when I had the core rules to hand.

Do you know about any differences I’ve missed?


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