Savage Borderlands

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If you haven't played the video game series Borderlands -- particularly Borderlands 2 -- you're missing out on something amazing. And Brice Naudin converted the entire series into an RPG. I hope to update this later with more on how well it worked! But in the meantime, here are some resources:

Savage Borderlands

The "official" books and supplemental files

Additional Forms and Sheets

Savage Worlds Character Sheet
-- A form-fillable version of the official SW sheet (I didn't make this one, I just like it)
Savage Borderlands Gear Sheet
-- A printer-friendly, form-fillable sheet with room for 8 guns, 4 grenade mods, and 2 shields
Savage Borderlands Gear Sheet - Oversized
-- A variant of the above, with more room per item but half as many items per page
Savage Borderlands Shield Trackers
-- Print these on cardstock and use paperclips to easily track shield status (example)
Savage Borderlands "Gear Keywords" Cheat Sheet
-- A summary of the many keywords that firearms, grenade mods, and shields use
Savage Borderlands One-Page Sirens
-- The rules for sirens are a bit scattered, so this collects them in one place

Savage Borderlands Gear Generator

A PHP program that automates the tables in the book, with the tweaks below
For details, instructions, and notes, see SBGG Notes

Savage Borderlands Melee Weapons

Rules for generating melee weapons, similar to those for guns

Our Characters and Gear

The character sheets, companion sheets, and (current) gear for our campaign

House Rules

These are in addition to the Savage Worlds General Rules which apply to every campaign.

Bennies

  • Vault Hunter's Relic: You can spend a Benny to reroll a randomly generated item gained via a Loot Point (in combat or in downtime), but you must accept the new item (or spend one or more additional Bennies to keep trying); the old one is lost.

Claptraps

  • Racial Template: Claptraps do not start with a free edge, just 10 skill points. However, they are allowed to take the standard three hindrances, which allows them to add edges (or other advances) as normal. (This is not a house rule, but actual errata confirmed by Brice.)

Class Mods

  • Class Mods: These exist as an in-world concept, but not as actual gear. Instead, the idea that you can switch class mods, combined with the existence of "respec" stations, means that the GM will be more lenient than usual when it comes to players wanting to retcon their character's edges and other advancements.

Edges (New and Modified)

Those with a * are taken or adapted from the Deadlands setting.

  • {New} Ammo Hoarder (Seasoned): You may raise each of your maximum ammo counts an additional time, but the Loot Point cost continues to double each time. This Edge can be purchased multiple times, but only once per Rank.
  • Beast Master: Suitable animal companions are a tadpole thresher, a brat bullymong, a rakk (without the Unshakable ability!), a spring stalker, an adult varkid (without the Evolution ability!), an adult skag, or a spiderant soldier. This edge may be taken multiple times to acquire multiple companions.
    • If larger-Size versions of your companion are available, it can take "Size +X" as an advancement, where X is the next size up. This grants the usual +1 Toughness along with a one-die Strength increase. For those that meet the "pack animal" requirement (everything except rakks), this also increases their carrying capacity (see here). However, it can only take this once per (your) Rank, starting at Seasoned! For example, a brat bullymong could take Size +2 at Seasoned and Size +3 at Veteran, but nothing further (since that's the largest bullymongs get).
    • You can purchase a shield for your animal companion during downtime. It must be bought special for the animal; you cannot just strap one of yours onto it. Animal shields cost an extra +1 Loot Point; if the animal is larger than Size 0, also add a Loot Point surcharge equal to Size. (For example, a shield for a Size +1 bullymong would cost 2 LP if white, or 3 LP if non-white and randomized.)
    • "Normal" animals won't attack you, but most animals on Pandora count as mutant and/or dire! Roll Survival against the alpha animal's Spirit once the pack is within (their Pace) of you. This roll is at -1 for each person with you who lacks this edge! If you have multiple copies of the Beast Master edge, add +1 for each one past the first. Success means they won't attack, a raise means they treat you as one of their own.
  • Digistructed Autonomous Weapon (DAW): If you have one DAW, you may take a free DAW edge every four levels (e.g., every rank). If you have two DAWs, you may take a free DAW edge (for one of them!) every three levels. If you have three or more DAWs, you may take a free DAW edge (for one of them) every two levels. This produces fair results compared to Beast Master; each DAW gets fewer freebies, but unlike beast masters you can voluntarily take edges whenever you want.
  • {New} DAW: (I'm Legally Obligated to Tell You That My Drone Ain't a) Real Doctor (Support Drone, Seasoned): Your support drone is able to heal other people (still within 6"). This requires it to first take an action to recalibrate its bioscanner to the new person, though it's allowed to "scan n' heal" as a multi-action (at the usual penalty).
  • {New} Hacky Sack (Seasoned, Throwing d6): You have learned how to knock a grenade free and then kick it at your opponent. You no longer suffer -2 to Throwing for lacking a free hand, and when you go to "pick up" and throw back a grenade, your Agility roll is only at -2.
  • {New*} Hip-Shooting (Seasoned, Shooting d8): You're an expert at fanning the hammer. You suffer only -2 to your Shooting rolls when using a Revolver's Rapid Attack ability.
    • {New*} Improved Hip-Shooting (Heroic, Hip-Shooting, Shooting d10): You ignore the penalty completely.
  • Improvisational Fighter: In this setting, this edge lets you ignore up a total of two points in Fighting and Parry penalties from a poorly balanced weapon.
  • {New} Projected Power (Siren, Seasoned): Choose one power with a range of Touch, like Deflection or Healing (but not Self-Only, like Resilience). That power now has a base range of Smarts, and you can extend it further for a -1 penalty per additional increment (e.g., -3 for up to Smarts x 4).
  • {New*} Riled Up (Novice, Wildcard): When making melee attacks while wounded, you take the usual penalty to hit, but add your wound penalty to your damage rolls!
  • Wild Berserker: Gunzerkers may take this. (See here.)

Elemental Damage

  • Cryo: This has been imported to Pandora, though its effects are intentionally a bit less overpowered than they were in The Pre-Sequel -- it must be the different atmosphere. Cryo works similarly to slag: Anyone Shaken by a cryo attack is automatically (semi-) frozen until they take an action to break the coating of ice (after recovering from Shaken).

    Effects of being frozen: (1) Victim's Agility-linked rolls (including all attack and Evade rolls) and Pace are reduced by twice the cryo level. If their Pace was higher than 8", reduce it to 8" and then apply this penalty! Due to the Fighting penalty, this also reduces Parry by the cryo level (not doubled). (2) All "impact damage" against victim gets a damage bonus equal to the cryo level. "Impact damage" refers to any melee attack, any explosive attack, or any non-elemental attack.
  • Explosive: Due to balance issues with inflicting Shaken regardless of Toughness, the following rules replace those in the book.

    Explosive: Anything inherently area-effect (including grenades, rockets, and Torgue shields) already has "explosive" as a trapping; the existing rules cover the effects. But guns that fire normal bullets or shotshells can gain explosive elemental damage, which adds a secondary blast in an SBT around their target. In this area, compare the attack's damage at -4 to everyone's effective Toughness, but only for the purpose of dropping shields and inflicting Shaken; it cannot cause a wound (unless the target is already Shaken and becomes Shaken again, of course). AP does not apply.

    For rapid-fire attacks, use the single best damage roll, +1 per additional shot that hit, then subtract -4 and compare.

Enemies

  • Bullymongs: Every bullymong can pick up and throw a rock as a single action.
  • Hyperion Infiltrator: Instead of an auto-shotgun, they have a triple-barreled shotgun with the same stats.
  • Robots: Robots (constructors, loaders, surveyors, etc.) halve the effective level of all incendiary damage inflicted on them (round down). However, any corrosive AP that is left over after dissolving their armor is added to damage. For example, a robot with Armor 2, hit by an attack with AP 3 (corrosive), loses its 2 armor (after the attack) but also takes +1 damage from the remaining AP 1; next turn, if the same AP 3 attack hit the same robot (now with Armor 0), it would inflict +3 damage.
    • HOT Loaders: As for Robots, above, with two additions. They are completely immune to incendiary damage. However, cryo damage adds +1 damage per level in addition to its usual effects.

Grenades

You must have a hand free to throw a grenade at no penalty. (It does not matter if it's your off hand; in fact, that's how most Vault Hunters train to throw them.) If both of your hands are occupied, you can still throw a grenade, but at -2 to skill (without the Hacky Sack edge). Either way, it's a standard attack action.

  • Rubberized Grenades: A 1 on the skill die, regardless of the Wild Die, means that the grenade bounces in a random direction, deviating as per p. 79. If the attack also failed, then it deviates twice, which (if you're lucky) could actually send it back at the original target! A critical failure usually sends it right back at the thrower.
  • Singularity Grenades: In addition to evading these at a penalty, targets must roll against the lower of Agility or Strength. (Good against rats, rakks, and baby monsters.)
  • Standard Grenades: These Bandit/Tediore grenades have no special ability and instead come with one free improvement.
  • Tediore Reload Grenades: A while back, the video game heavily revised how Tediores work, and it was a good change. To reflect this, if there is ammo left in the clip when you reload your Tediore, that ammo is lost. However, this may improve damage. Damage is +0 for 1-2 bullets, +1 for 3-5, +2 for 6-11, +3 for 12-23, +4 for 24-47, and +5 for 48 or more.

Relevant Knowledge Skills

  • Battle: Tactics, leadership, assessing (but not fixing) weapons and armor
  • Computers: Understanding robot and CL4P-TP psychology, hacking databases, overriding security systems
  • Esoterica: What little is known about Vaults, aliens, Sirens, and other weird crap
  • (Specific) Lore: Pick a gang, corporation, etc.; you know their dirty secrets and hidden resources
  • Psychology: Assessing someone's motive, whether they're lying, what they want
  • Science: Using lab gear, knowing weird properties of Eridium runoff, sounding smart
  • The Healing skill functions as usual but is also effectively Knowledge (Medicine and Human Anatomy). As such, you can apply the Scholar edge to the Healing skill (for all purposes). Thus, Scholar is usually a better choice than the Healer edge.
  • General questions about the people, places, and things of Pandora just call for a Common Knowledge check, not a skill. To answer detailed questions about weaknesses and abilities, use Survival for monsters and environmental hazards and use Repair for robots and vehicles.

Setting Rules

  • The following optional Savage Worlds rules (pp. 108-109) are in effect: "Blood & Guts," "Critical Failures," and "Joker's Wild." (Plus the mandatory "No Power Points," of course.) In addition, the GM reserves the right to do something really mean and unfair on a critical failure, but if so, will pay the player a Benny as compensation.
  • The following optional Savage Borderlands rules (p. 40) are in effect: "Healing," "Resurrection," and "Fight for Your Life!" Also, living, non-digistructed NPC companions can be resurrected at a New-U station for the usual 3 Loot Points.

Shields

Our group will be playtesting these alternate shield rules. If these work well, who knows, maybe they'll even become official!

Important Preface: The following rules apply only while the shield's current Capacity is above 0. If you're wearing a shield with current Capacity 0, resolve attacks as though you weren't wearing a shield at all.
Damage to Shields (and Their Owners): When an attack hits someone equipped with a shield, the current Capacity of that shield is added to the owner's Toughness as if it were armor (cumulative with any worn armor). Compare the damage to this enhanced Toughness as for a normal damage check, but with the following results:
Failure: You are fine. However, your shield's current Capacity is reduced by 2 if the damage exceeded your shield-less Toughness, or by 1 otherwise. Exception: If it was a shock attack, your Capacity drops by the weapon's AP!
Success: Your shields have been penetrated! You are fine, but your shield immediately drops to 0. (This is bad not only because your effective Toughness is now lower, but also because you can't use this damage table while your shield has no Capacity; you have to use the regular results!)
Raise: As for success, plus you are Shaken. Every additional raise also inflicts one wound. (In other words, exactly one step more lenient than the usual rules, since your shield takes the first hit for you.)
Recharging: Disabled vs. Enabled: Keep track of whether your shield's active recharging is disabled or enabled. By default, such as when you're walking around with your shield at full Capacity, recharging is disabled (it's unnecessary). Once attacks force your Capacity to drop, your shield's Reactivity determines how quickly it's able to bring recharging online. If you don't want your shield to come back online (e.g., for a Roid shield), you may switch it off manually as an action.

At the beginning of each of your turns, if your shield is disabled and missing Capacity, roll against its Reactivity. On a success, recharging is enabled, starting now; each raise lets it recover 1 additional Capacity this turn only. Once enabled, a shield recovers Capacity equal to its Recharge Rate at the beginning of each of your turns, before you act. It stays enabled until one of the conditions below occurs.
Disabling a Shield: A shield's recharge becomes disabled when any of the following happen: (1) The wearer takes any damage. (2) It reaches maximum Capacity. (3) A game effect says so.
(The additional tweaks below are unrelated to these new shield rules. The gear generator takes them all into account.)
  • Absorb Shields: These work only while their Capacity is above 0, but they do add the ammo to your own supply. Rockets can be absorbed, but only if you're directly hit, not just caught in the blast. Absorption starts at 12 on a d12 (instead of 10 on a d10).
  • Improvements: At most, half (round up) of a shield's improvements can be devoted to the "special" ones. For example, you can't have a purple Absorb shield with three "Absorption" improvements.
  • Nova Shields: These produce a nova the first time they drop to Capacity 0, but must then return to maximum Capacity before this ability is reset. Torgue damage is increased by one level, to compensate for the lack of element damage.
  • Spike Shields: These are hurty as long as their Capacity is above 0, regardless of whether charging is disabled. Torgue damage is increased as for nova shields.
  • Starting Suggestion: If you're not sure what shield to start off with, consider a white Tediore "My First Shield" (Capacity 4, Reactivity d4+1, Recharge Rate 2, Weight 2). It offers green-level protection at a bargain value.

Weapons and Ammo

Before manually generating gear, see SBGG Notes for adjustments to the rules.

  • Dahl Firearms: If you use Zoom or Scope on a Dahl weapon, you must fire in 3RB mode.
  • Hand Requirements and Swapping Weapons: Pistols require one hand. All other firearms require two. Melee weapons require one hand unless otherwise specified. Grenades work best if you have one hand free; see above. As a single action (which the Quick Draw edge enhances), anyone can swap the weapon(s) in both hands for new weapon(s) in both hands.
  • Heavy Weapons: To preserve the tradition of blowing up vehicles with pistols and SMGs, non-HW weapons can harm heavy mobile targets -- not structures -- but the attack always does one fewer wound (one wound becomes shaken, shaken becomes no effect). Grenades and rockets are always HW.
  • Launchers (Grenade/Rocket): The direct target can try to evade, at the usual penalty, but has to beat the results of the Shooting roll! Anyone else in the area can evade normally (but cannot pick the grenade/rocket up and throw it back).
  • Melee: Anyone can pistol-whip or butt-stroke with their current gun for Str+d4 damage at no penalty to Fighting. Anything more requires a bayonet or actual melee weapon.
  • Rapid Attack: Only guns with the Revolver keyword can use Rapid Attack. (The rules state this explicitly in one place, but then waffle in the individual gun descriptions.)
  • Rocket Launcher Ammo: You start with a maximum capacity of 6 rockets, not 5. Each improvement adds +2 rockets, not +1. (Some Bandit and Vladof launchers have a 12-rocket clip, so it seems unfair to not allow PCs to hold at least that much!) As a side effect, the "DAW: Supply Drop" edge can grant 2 rockets instead of just 1.
  • Shotguns: A multi-barreled shotgun uses the automatic fire rules, with two changes. The upshot is that this only uses bullets equal to the number of shots (not squared). The drawback is that all of the attacks must target the same subject or multiple subjects in the same space. You always make attacks equal to the lower of your barrels or the number of bullets left in your clip.
  • Stability: This negates one (Stable) or two (Very Stable) points of penalties from firing mode or movement. This includes full auto, rapid attacks, firing from a vehicle, firing while running, and so on -- but not Snapfire. The minimum penalty after reduction is -1; it cannot negate it completely.

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