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MyGURPS - Savage Rifts House Rules

Savage Rifts House Rules

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Savage Rifts is very well-balanced, but there's always room to clarify or adjust the rules. These changes either add flavor or make the game more balanced and fair.

Be sure to also read our general SWADE House Rules!

General House Rules

Character Creation Random Tables

A player's first pick out of any random roll tables* they'll be rolling on is a free choice. (This is to address the notion that they could just keep "remaking" the character until they got the initial roll they wanted.)

After that, the player is committed to what they roll on further tables, but gets one free reroll, or two for M.A.R.S. characters.

* Usually Hero's Journey and Fortune & Glory, but also the various Hindrance-based tables of certain frameworks.

Dumb Luck

We use this rule; see Savage Worlds, p. 138.

Hero's Journey for the Gifted

Characters starting with Arcane Background (Gifted) may roll on the Magic & Mysticism table to enhance this. However, result 7-9 must be the New Powers Edge and 16-17 grants the Extra Effort Edge instead.

M.A.R.S. Fortune & Glory Table

You must reroll any duplicate results. The Personal Concept Option must choose two different results. (This is not a house rule, it is canonical.)

For entry #6, change "two die types" to "one die type."

For entry #15, or anywhere else it would make sense, you may swap one of the Beast Master edges for Beast Bond, due the changes we've made to them.

Purchasing TW and Enchanted Items

To find the market price of an unlisted TW or enchanted/magic item, first figure the total cost to upgrade/enchant the item. The GM then uses the guidelines below to set a markup multiplier for that cost. Finally, add the cost of the base item itself. (From this thread.)

  • TW Items: Markup multiplier is typically 1.5 for common, off-the-shelf items, while unusual or custom work ranges as high as 2.0.
  • Enchanted Items: Multiplier is pricier than TW due to rarity and time requirements, ranging from 2.0 for common up to 3.0 for unusual/custom. (This is in addition to the doubled cost to enchant; it does not replace it.)
  • For Both: If any imbued abilities (not the enchanting Edges themselves) and/or extra upgrade slots require a minimum Rank above Novice, increase the multiplier by +0.2 for Seasoned, +0.4 for Veteran, +0.6 for Heroic, and +1.0 for Legendary.

Selling Back Starting Gear

If you don't like your starting gear, you may sell any items back for half value, and add that to your budget for new gear (not cash). This only applies to the items in the "[Your Framework] Starting Gear" section; you cannot sell back vehicles, power armor, etc.

In a similar vein, if you don't like lugging around the 20-lb. NG-S2 Survival Pack, you may trade it for the more basic 3-lb. Utility Belt (EOH, p. 37) and 250cr toward new gear.

Vehicular Weapons

If you own a vehicle or are capable of hand-carrying vehicular weapons (see pp. 90-91), you may trade two Hero's Journey rolls (or one M.A.R.S. Fortune & Glory roll) to acquire a single Mod 1 vehicular weapon. No, you can't use the Ranged Weapon Table to enhance it.


Summon Ally

When summoning an Attendant, Bodyguard, or Sentinel, you may add the following new Mega Modifiers:

  • Heavily Armed (+2): The ally has a potent weapon (or effective integrated ability). Choose either a melee weapon (Str+2d6 Mega Damage, AP 6) or a ranged weapon (Range 12/24/48, 3d6+3 damage, AP 6, RoF 1, Heavy Beam).
  • Heavily Armored (+2): The ally gains +2 Toughness, +4 Armor, and all armor becomes MDC.

(Credit: Ndreare)


This power gains the Heavily Armed and Heavily Armored Mega Modifiers from summon ally, above, which can be combined with similar existing Modifiers.

Iconic Frameworks

The Dragon Hatchling, Elemental Fusionist, and Glitter Boy have their own separate pages.


Agility Boost

While you're Losing It, any Agility-linked skill which has been raised above your base Agility (before the Losing It boost) is temporarily increased by one die type. For example, if you have Agility d8 and Fighting d10, when Losing It you would have Agility d12 and Fighting d12.

(This is due to the way skill points work; see this thread for details.)

Losing It

As an action, you make attempt to succeed at a Smarts roll to go voluntarily berserk.

At Veteran, you may take a new Iconic Edge, Wild Berserker: While Losing It, you get +4 to Toughness instead of +2.

EOD Specialist

Spicy Home Cooking

To avoid bookkeeping, assume that the EOD Specialist tinkers with their explosives before sleeping, during downtime, etc., but don't roll. They instead make the Science roll when using the explosives to see how effective the "cooking" was. For rapid-fire grenades, roll once per attack, not per grenade.


Note that the burn die cannot ace (explode) and cannot be rerolled with a Benny. That isn't a house rule; it's canon.

Burn Die

The Juicer's Burn rating drops if the burn die rolls maximum value, not if it rolls a 1. So for a normal d6 burn die, Burn drops on a 6.

(This helps take the sting out of losing Burn. Burn Brighter still lets a result of 1 count as +6.)

Dragon Juicers

The following adjustments keep this framework fair compared to the normal Juicer, as well as closer to its Palladium roots:

  • Dragonborn Senses: They use Spirit to activate detect arcana. (This is a clarification, not a change.)
  • Speed: In addition to these benefits, double the Juicer's Pace and jumping distance. For a human, this means Pace 14 and a d8 running die.
  • Dragon-Related Disorders: Delete the last sentence; the Dragon Juicer just picks one Hindrance at Novice.

Iconic Edges

Neither Burn Faster nor Burn Past the Pain require the Juicer to automatically pay Burn. Instead, the Juicer must roll her burn die each round that the Edge is active, paying 1 Burn only if the die rolls maximum value. The Juicer will never pay more than 1 Burn per 5 rounds (Burn Faster) or per combat (Burn Past the Pain); stop rolling for the remainder of the duration once the max value comes up.

Momano Headhunter

Energy Projector

The Momano's Energy Projector can take Modifiers, including Mega-Power Modifiers, but only if the Momano pays full ISP cost for the power (e.g., 2 ISP for Burst or Smite instead of just 1 ISP).

Rogue Scholar

Skill Adjustments

Change the third bullet to, "Begin with the Investigator Edge."

(The Research skill no longer exists, and this M.A.R.S. Package is overloaded anyway.)

Note: Unless you're building a "Rogue Scientist" with this package, you should take Academics at a d6 or higher — either with your extra skill points or as one of your "Scholar skills".


Agility Boost

When in cat or werecat form, any Agility-linked skill which has been raised above your base Agility (before the cat-mode boost) is temporarily increased by one die type. For example, if you have Agility d8 and Fighting d10, when in werecat form you would have Agility d12 and Fighting d12.

(This is due to the way skill points work; see this thread for details.)

Ocelot Size

An ocelot can pass as a big alley cat at a glance, but anyone paying any attention will realize that this is a wildcat, not a pet. Use the Small Cat stats, but Size -2 instead of -3. This means Strength d4-1 (which is then bumped to d6), Toughness 3, and Small (-2 to be hit); otherwise the same stats.

Wilderness Scout

Master Survivalist

In addition to the listed abilities, the Wilderness Scout gets one free reroll on Survival checks.


See Savage Rifts: Eruptors (PDF) for a version that integrates the rules below and expands on the Iconic Edges.

Absorbing from Nuclear

The zapper can target nuclear-powered devices like power armor and many vehicles. Although they don't run on batteries, there's still "stored electrical power" in the systems themselves that will take a few seconds to replenish so they can restart. It takes one full round for a nuclear-powered device to go from fully drained to half-drained, or from half-drained to full again. If the zapper scored extra raises on her initial drain roll, each raise past the first adds an extra round of being fully drained. A fully or half-drained system cannot be targeted again until it recharges fully. An operator or engineer may use their entire turn to make a Repair roll to speed up this recovery, shaving off one turn per success and raise.

Absorbing from Sentient Beings

When you drain electricity from a sentient being, like negating a human's cybernetic implants, they may resist with a Vigor roll. If the target itself is a sentient being (like a combat cyborg or intelligent construct), treat this as the stun power instead of using the normal Absorb Electricity rules.



Humans can take 6 points of Hindrances instead of 4. This extra flexibility keeps them a viable and attractive choice in a setting with so many powerful races.

True Atlantean

True Atlanteans do not get the Versatile racial ability. This is because the race is undercosted; see details here.

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