Savage Wizarding World

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Darq666
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Savage Wizarding World

#1 Postby Darq666 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:01 pm

I would love some feedback!

Savage Wizarding World

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Re: Savage Wizarding World

#2 Postby Deskepticon » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:38 am

Coincidentally, I just watched all the Harry Potter movies for the first time last week. Oh boy, were they terrible! Every one of them suffers from the worst case of bad story-telling I've seen in a long while, with all the plots driven forward solely by a series of extremely convenient Ex Machina. However, I haven't read any of the books to make a comparison though, so I can't speak on that aspect. I've heard they're much better than the films, though.

With that scathing intro aside, I must say, the world is quite intriguing and I can see this making for a very interesting setting. So, let's begin…

Introduction
first word: “Forward” should be “Foreword”.
last line in the foreword: “… none of them is perfect not Dumbledore, not Harry, no one.” should be “are”. Also put a comma or colon after “perfect”.

Setting Rules
I would dispense with opening paragraph explaining the goal of the new rules and just let the rules speak for themselves. After all, the simple act of including custom Setting Rules implies a break from the norm; there's no need to explicitly say that.

Also, I would give each rule a name that summarizes what it does and list them that way. Other than being the way it is typically done in Savage Worlds settings, it makes for easier referencing later. For example:
Spell Distinction
This setting uses multiple arcane skills for the Arcane Background (Wizarding) Edge. Each skill must be purchased separately if the character wishes to cast spells from that field.

Wand Casting
Standard spells require a wand to be held in order to be cast. All spells have a somatic component (wand motion) and a verbal component (spoken phrase). Off-hand penalties apply to the arcane skill roll when holding a wand in your non-dominate hand. If the character has trouble speaking, they receive a –2 to the arcane skill roll, or –4 if they are gagged.

… and so on.
I will address my concerns with House Restrictions below, but for now I'd like to stay on the topic of Setting Rules.

Defensive Casting
This system is pretty cumbersome. First of all, it diminishes the benefit of going on Hold by allowing anybody to interrupt their opponent's action. Sure, it's limited only to spells, but the majority of all actions in the setting are probably going to be spells.
Secondly, it requires additional bookkeeping to keep track of who counter-spelled when, what the result was, etc.

I would suggest a new Derived Trait called “Spell Defense,” or “Counterspell”, which acts like a character's Parry but only against magic. I suggest linking it to the arcane skill that best deals with spell defense (which looks to be Custodiomancy), and determine its value the same way you would for Parry or Toughness: half skill die, plus 2.

This approach has a number of benefits: First, it doesn't change the way combat is structured and balanced. Second, it encourages players to diversify their arcane skills. Third, it means that characters are always actively defending against harmful magic, but relegates that activity to the background in the same way Parry does. And lastly (and probably most importantly) it reduces the number of rolls made during combat.

Wandsmanship
I understand where you're going with this, but it really falls flat as a rule. Essentially, most spells will require two Trait rolls at all times. Not only is that counterintuitive, it's going to slow the game down tremendously… and it is going to increase the failure rate of spells by a factor of 2.

I strongly suggest dropping the Wandsmanship skill completely. A character's “wand work” should just be assumed in their arcane skill roll. Besides, you've already introduced a ton of new skills… this one is just overkill.

Character Creation
Okay, where to begin?

I don't think it's entirely necessary to write down all the ins-and-outs of character creation; just tell the reader to reference the SWD and then simply provide them the info on what's different.

But if you're going to be comprehensive, then at least be concise. I have two suggestions regarding this:

1) Lose the Overview. It only serves as redundant text as you pretty much repeat all of it word for word in the breakdown.
2) Leave only the Overview, but restructure all the rest. The Overview, as you have it written, actually does a pretty decent job of guiding the player through the process. The breakdown is not really needed at all. You can then present the Skills, Hindrances, and Edges as separate sections unto themselves. This would be my preferred method as you can then justify going into a little more depth with how the various Skills work, and whatnot.

edit: this was written based off of version 1.3 and option 2 isn't entirely viable anymore since the update to v1.5. I still think a restructure is a good idea, though.

Sorted into a House
Alright, here is where I take some serious issue. I firmly believe players should have full control over the type of characters they build. Requiring them to roll to get the build they want is just wrong. It potentially pigeonholes them into a House that they didn't optimize for, then penalizes them for buying into skills they might actually want (<<more on this later).
Furthermore, having an Edge [Destined For House] which grants the player a freedom they should have had from the beginning is just borderline sadistic. It's a waste of an Edge in a setting that already looks like it'll be strapped for resources due to the mountain of new skills.

I think you should simply let the player choose whichever House they want to be in.

Also, don't limit which skills they can take by making the others cost more. First, as I already mentioned, it looks like resources are going to be spread pretty thin as it is. And second, from a gameplay perspective it's better to give the individual Houses bonuses to certain skills instead.

House Traits
This concept (as you presented it) was pretty confusing to me. At first I thought you meant members of a House used the listed attribute as their linked attribute, which didn't make sense since all the skills already had their own linked attributes.
Then I re-read page 2 where it says, “Each House (and default magic class skill) is associated with an attribute,” and I thought, “where are the default class skills listed” before I realized you just meant the regular list of arcane skills.

In closure, rather than this weird doublespeak of “House Traits” and “class skills” just say explicitly which arcane skills each House gets a bonus with (again, don't penalize players by making other skills cost more).

Skills
WizardingWorld wrote:The following standard Savage Worlds skills are not available in Savage Wizarding World:
• Knowledge (Common): Replaced by Knowledge (Common – Muggle) and Knowledge (Common – Wizarding).

If you're referring to Common Knowledge then this rule change is completely unnecessary. Common Knowledge is already entirely subjective based on character concept: a soldier is going to know daily drills; a baker is going to know basic measurement conversions; a muggle is not going to know squat about the world of magic.
There is no reason to split Common Knowledge the way you did.

Specialties
What does this mean? If the setting uses the Skill Specialization rule that should be listed under the Setting Rules section.

Also, given the sheer number of skills added, you may want to look into emulating “mundane” skills with an appropriate arcane skill.
For example, rather than using the Climbing skill to scale a wall, the character may use Impugnatiomancy to levitate; instead of Stealth they use Incantomancy to muffle their footsteps, etc.

Of course, the standard skills should always be available as well.

Broomsmanship
Why not just use the Riding skill so it can apply to riding hippogriffs and thestrals too?
If you want to put a special emphasis on brooms, consider adding a Professional Edge. Quittage Player?

Knowledge (Common – Muggle)
Knowledge (Common – Wizarding)

Again, it's dubious to list these with standard skills since players cannot buy them like standard skills. Common Knowledge is technically a separate rule.

I strongly recommend you remove these two “skills” and instead include a sidebar on how Common Knowledge is applied in this setting.

Wandsmanship
As mention before, I suggest removing this skill completely. If you want to introduce the concept of “clumsy wand work” consider adding a Hindrance for that.

Hindrances
WizardingWorld wrote:The following standard Savage Worlds Hindrances are not available in Savage Wizarding World:
Doubting Thomas, Illiterate, One Arm, One Leg, One Eye, Wanted

Okay, I agree with Doubting Thomas and perhaps even Illiterate, but why the others? Does Hogwarts discriminate against the disabled? Alastor Moody had just one eye and he seemed to do fine. And a wizard Wanted by the muggle police is an interesting concept indeed.

Lycanthrope (Major)
This looks fine. I'm sure you will include stats for a werewolf in the future. Also “site” should be “sight.”

Mud Blood (Major/Minor)
I'm having trouble seeing how the penalties fit in with the setting. You mentioned this takes place ten years after the Harry Potter story arc, in which the “Pure Blood bigots” were largely viewed as the bad guys. Is the Ministry still tolerating (and seemingly propagating) the same mentality that nearly caused a muggle genocide?

Besides, I saw no real evidence in the films that Mud Bloods faced such discrimination. For instance, Hermione was much loved and respected by her peers and teachers, and only the people we were supposed to hate treated her any differently.

If the Wizarding High Society you mentioned is meant to be a small cross section of elitist pricks outside the mainstream, then the Hindrance may have some virtue. But then I would make the Charisma penalty a static –4 (regardless of how many parents are muggles) and leave it as a Minor Hindrance only: Pure Blood bigots view the world in an “us and them” mentality; one muggle parent is still one too many.

Edges
“New” Edges
I realize that this new category sprung out of necessity with the way Sorting into a House was handled, but it is wholly unneeded. Just list them as Background Edges.

Animagus
Why make them roll on a table? Just let the player choose their animal from the list.

Arcane Power (Wizarding)
Change this to Arcane Background (Wizarding) since that is its proper name. It will prevent any confusion down the road.

Also, why is “wizard or witch” listed as a requirement? Isn't this Edge what makes them a wizard or witch? :?

Destined For House…
Please, remove this Edge and rework the House selection process.

Esteemed Family Name
Since this is replacing Noble I think the Charisma bonus is fine, but it feels somewhat lacking. Maybe let the character start with a free magical item / heirloom.

Familiar
This Edge is pretty weak. It is essentially the Beast Master Edge without the “animal magnetism” aspect.
Now, I am at a loss since I have no idea what role the familiar plays in a wizard's life. To me they seem like nothing more than pets. But I would at least allow the character to spend Bennies on their familiar; the Beast Bond Edge would then apply to all other creatures.

Improved Familiar
Once again, pretty weak. But since I'm not familiar (*yuckyuck*) with the books, I don't have any good suggestions. I would have you look at how familiars are handled in Savage Beasts and see if that works for you.

Silent Cast
Aside from the requirements needing to be reworked, this looks fine.

In general, I would like to see proper Edge headings (Background, Professional, etc.) instead of including that information in the text block. Also, proper text block format is needed and some of the Edges need to have their requirements tweaked and adjusted, but all in all it looks like a good start.

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Re: Savage Wizarding World

#3 Postby Deskepticon » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:11 am

I just read through the whole School progression method and I find it a bit questionable as well. I don't hate the idea, but the way it's done irks me. I think it stifles too much of a player's choice in advancing, and it's way too over powered.

As characters progress, they receive a number of “automatic” Trait bumps, Edges, and spells. It seems like you are treating spells as being worth half an Advance (or roughly equivalent to one skill bump). Factoring all the “automatic” perks together, after Year 7 the character would gain the equivalent of 22 Advances, placing them at Legendary Rank. Of those Advances, only 2 are allowed to boost an Attribute, and only 4 are allowed to buy an Edge.

Every character graduates with the following:
Adflectomancy d4
Broomsmanship d4
Custodiomancy d4 (d6 for Gryffindor)
Incantomancy d4
Inpugnatiomancy d4 (d6 for Slytherin)
Knowledge (Magical Creatures) d4
Knowledge (Herbology) d4
Mutomancy d4 (d6 for Hufflepuff)
Potiomancy d4
Occulomany d4 (d6 for Ravenclaw)
Sanomancy d4
Wandsmanship d6
Four (4) Novice spells
equivalent to 9 Advances

…and has 14 point with which to improve the skills or learn new spells (for the equivalent of 7 more Advances).

Then you have these “Potential” bonuses:
Roll d10 above your Level in your House Attribute and raise it one dice type.

I'm not quite sure what this means. Do you roll a d10, and if the result is higher than either your Smarts or Spirit die (depending on your House) then increase your Smarts or Spirit one die step?
Anyway, the reward is equal to +1 Advance.

Join Your House Quidditch Team— Broomsmanship (TN6) to join the House Quidditch Team
Success = Chaser
Raise = Beater
2 x Raises = Keeper
3 x Raises = Seeker

What are the benefits?

Join the Dueling Club—Wandsmanship (TN6) to be admitted.
Success = +1 Level Knowledge (Magical Duel Etiquette) , +1 Level Custodiomancy, +1 Level Impugnatiomancy
Raise = ALSO Gain +1 Seasoned Spell

1.5 – 2 Advances.

Find the Room of Requirements and Join Dumbledore’s Army! - Wandsmanship (TN 6)
Success = Gain +2 Charisma, +2 Impugnatiomancy Spells (Novice / Seasoned), +2 Custodiomancy Spells (Novice / Seasoned)

+3 Advances.

Selection by The Goblet of Fire
Success with any three different spell skills (TN10) to be selected for the Tri-Wizard Tournament
Success = Selected (Charisma +1)
Raise on 2 Skills = Second Place
(Charisma +2)
Raises on All 3 Skill Rolls = Tri-Wizard Champion (Charisma +4)

Alright, hold up! In Year 4 you can join Dumbledore's Army, which means that the events of the books/films are not only canon, but the PCs are active participants in them. But then you can also join the TriWizard Tournament? And even Win it!? Are the events canon or not? And what happens if more than one player gets accepted? There are a number of things wrong here.

At any rate, I'm beginning to see a problem with all the various Charisma bonuses in this setting. Suppose the character wins the TriWiz Tourney and also joins Dumbledore's Army. That's a +6 Charisma right there. If they take Esteemed Family Name, Auror, Charismatic, and Very Attractive as well, they're looking at as much as a +15 bonus.

Reward: +0.5 – 2 Advances.

OWL Exams
Custodiomancy (TN 4)
Incantomancy (TN 4)
Occulomancy (TN 4)
Potiomancy (TN 4)
Successes on three rolls Allows the character to select one Veteran Level Spell for free.

+0.5 Advance.

NEWTS
Custodiomancy (TN 4)
Impugnatiomancy (4)
Incantomancy (TN 4)
Occulomancy (TN 6)
Potiomancy (TN 6)
If the character rolls three total Successes, they receive the Edge Auror, and coming out of school they are hired by the Ministry of Magic to the Auror Division, Failing their
NEWTS means they are hired by the Ministry of Magic as a Clerk Typist.

Yeah, but a Legendary Clerk Typist. 8)
The Auror Edge gives +1 Charisma, 2 skill bumps, and 2 Veteran spells for +1.5 Advances.

Also, wasn't the theme of the setting that the PCs were Aurors investigating dark magic users? So by missing a couple rolls they just aren't?

Anyway…
Depending on how well a player rolled in the Potential arenas, they can receive anywhere from 0 – 10 additional Advances. And that doesn't include whatever bonuses are gained in the Year 2 Quittage Games.

I like the idea of including a Training Regimen to character creation to serve as a buffer for the 12+ extra skills added to this setting, but 22 – 32 Advances worth is a bit insane.

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Re: Savage Wizarding World

#4 Postby Darq666 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:33 am

Thanks for taking the time to do this - a lot to absorb!

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Re: Savage Wizarding World

#5 Postby Deskepticon » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:45 am

Darq666 wrote:Thanks for taking the time to do this - a lot to absorb!

I'm rethinking some of the things I said. The first post was written before I read the School PDF so some of it can be discounted.

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Re: Savage Wizarding World

#6 Postby Legate71 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:57 am

Deskepticon wrote:Alright, here is where I take some serious issue. I firmly believe players should have full control over the type of characters they build. Requiring them to roll to get the build they want is just wrong.


Don't ever play Traveller then.

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Re: Savage Wizarding World

#7 Postby kronovan » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:06 am

Legate71 wrote:Don't ever play Traveller then.


Not that I want to derail this thread too much... but that's why I cringe a bit whenever I see it being recommened on other websites in SciFi suggestion threads. Not every player is content with a system that does a fair amount of straight jacketing PC creation - heck in classic traveler your PC could even die during the creation process! :o I haven't played any of the recent editions, so I don't know if that aspect of Traveler has survived. Anyhow...It's a treat to have SWD + SFC where a much more free-form approach to PC building is the norm. I usually make a point of making a subtle suggestion of those whenever I see a Traveler recommendation being made.

Afraid I don't have much to add to the already good and many suggestions in this thread.

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Re: Savage Wizarding World

#8 Postby Darq666 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:53 am

kronovan wrote:
Legate71 wrote:Don't ever play Traveller then.


Not that I want to derail this thread too much... but that's why I cringe a bit whenever I see it being recommened on other websites in SciFi suggestion threads. Not every player is content with a system that does a fair amount of straight jacketing PC creation - heck in classic traveler your PC could even die during the creation process! :o I haven't played any of the recent editions, so I don't know if that aspect of Traveler has survived. Anyhow...It's a treat to have SWD + SFC where a much more free-form approach to PC building is the norm. I usually make a point of making a subtle suggestion of those whenever I see a Traveler recommendation being made.

Afraid I don't have much to add to the already good and many suggestions in this thread.

I think there is a miss-conception here. The player still gets to start his character standard char gen - no limitations other than edges / hindrances not appropriate to the setting removed. On TOP of that, the School tenure grants them additional skills and edges - of which they get to choose from options to allow them to craft their character. These are on top of the original character - bonus skills and edges. The character starts out with these and it costs them nothing. There is no railroading other than limiting their options for additional FREE skills and edges that doesn't in any way impact the base character creation.

To a point made earlier about the system, all the different spell types, require a lot of skills - this addresses that without impacting the character's growth. The character will continue to develop normally.

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Re: Savage Wizarding World

#9 Postby Deskepticon » Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:56 am

Darq666 wrote:I think there is a miss-conception here. The player still gets to start his character standard char gen - no limitations other than edges / hindrances not appropriate to the setting removed. On TOP of that, the School tenure grants them additional skills and edges - of which they get to choose from options to allow them to craft their character. These are on top of the original character - bonus skills and edges.


Yeah, I jumped the gun a bit with my first post because I had only read the Setting Guide PDF. That led me to think the influx of new skills would spread the character pretty thin.

Then I read the School Progression PDF and realised it was meant to lift the burden a bit... until I crunched the numbers and discovered it essentially starts characters off at Legendary Rank. :o

The character starts out with these and it costs them nothing. There is no railroading other than limiting their options for additional FREE skills and edges that doesn't in any way impact the base character creation.

I think just if you give the player 10 - 12 extra points at char-gen to spend exclusively on arcane skills or magical Edges you'd be alright. They'll start off as powerful as a high level Seasoned character, which sounds about right for a graduate of a Wizard's school.

To a point made earlier about the system, all the different spell types, require a lot of skills - this addresses that without impacting the character's growth. The character will continue to develop normally.

I'm fine with the 8 or 9 different arcane skills. It was really only two skills (Broomsmanship and Wandsmanship) that I felt could be done without.

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Re: Savage Wizarding World

#10 Postby Darq666 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:46 pm

The math might say these would be Legendary characters, but they just aren't. I did a test character and you end up with your Spell skills ranging from d4 to d8 (2 at d4, 7 at d6 and 3 at d8), 2 attribute raises and 5-6 edges. In my mind this is a newly Veteran character - which is appropriate to the setting (Characters are elite Aurors, hunting deadly Deatheater types).

PS I updated and uploaded the Setting guide and School book - incorporating some of your feedback.
    I did get rid of wandsmanship - I agree that was busy work.
    I simplified Defensive Casting, basically if you are on hold you can roll to use a spell that would negate / impact the original caster's spell with a TN of that caster's roll. Unlike normal interrupt, the original caster's spell did go off, you don't stop their action you impact the result.
    I made the House Sorting optional, but did not remove it as I am from the school of giving the players everything they want doesn't make a good game.
    Passing NEWTS is automatic now, but I added a Hindrance of "Failed NEWTS - Allowing role playing potential as a hanger on, external asset.

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Re: Savage Wizarding World

#11 Postby Darq666 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:57 pm

Btw in regards to your comment about the Hindrances that weren't allowed - One armed, etc aren't hindrances in that it is a simple matter to grow a new one (Pettigrew getting a new hand, Even your example of ME Moody - had his special eye patch). Those are too easy to get around in this setting!


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