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 the SWADE General Rules!

Official Errata and Clarifications

For the books updated March 6, 2020


  • Combat Cyborg's Adrenal System should have a *.
  • Mind Melters' inherent detect arcana power has the Range (Self) limitation but not the Aspect limitation, since they possess the Conceal Arcana ability as well. Conversely, the Mystic has detect arcana but not conceal arcana and thus does have the Aspect limitation.
  • Regarding NPCs, techno-wizards are more common than all other types of magicians combined.


  • Adept: This should say, "...the adept may choose one power to become activatable as an Innate Ability with the Range (Self) limitation." It adds a new way to activate the power, without limiting the base power in any way.
  • Blaster: These Edges do not affect the damage boost on a raise; it's always a flat +1d6.
  • Conjurer: For quick and dirty use, the Shape Change (power) table is a fair guide for what sort of animals can be summoned. If the player has time to prepare, they can build the animals per Free Summoning (SWADE World Builder's Guide, p. 95).
  • Diabolist: The Heroic and Legendary lines got switched.
  • Minor/Major Item Creation: These let you create enchanted items (a.k.a. magic items). These are different from TW devices, notably in that anyone can use them (no Arcane Background required) and that you don't have to be a Techno-Wizard to make them, as long as you have the edge. A few extra clarifications:
    • The time required includes the crafter creating the item itself: forging the sword, scrimshawing the skull, etc.
    • The item cannot be mechanical (not even "low-tech" like a crossbow); the sidebar on A&M p. 48 is aimed at the GM, not PC enchanters.
  • One With Magic (Heroic): Maintenance is not free. For a leveled power (e.g., Summon Ally), only the first level is free; pay the difference to use higher levels.


  • T-11 Enhanced Heavy EBA's "+2 Strength" should be "+2d Strength"; it improves your Strength by two die types.
  • Power armor is treated like a person on a tabletop mat (using Pace) but a vehicle when moving full speed off a map (using MPH).
  • Normally, PPE reserves on TW/magic items are limited to powering the item's powers/abilities. However, a TW device with nothing but a PPE reserve, or a magic item with a PPE reserve with no powers, is a "PPE battery" whose power points can be tapped for things like casting personal spells/miracles.


  • The Mystic's limitations for Resurrection (TLPG, p. 50) apply to any PC able to learn that power. In brief, it ignores Born a Hero and must be done as a ritual. (The GM may introduce NPCs, artifacts, scrolls, etc. that break this rule.)
  • If a racial power isn't tied to a specific AB (like a Psi-Ghost's Intangibility), treat it as Gifted for the purpose of Dispel, etc.

General House Rules

Armor Stacking

This isn't always clear and consistent, so follow these universal rules:

  • Racial armor, implanted cybernetic armor, and worn armor all stack. You get the Toughness and Armor bonus from each. In addition, if you are in a vehicle (including a robot vehicle), its Armor (but not its Toughness!) stacks for you as well.
  • You cannot gain protection from multiple suits of worn armor unless said armor explicitly says so (like certain forcefields and overcoats do). Power armor counts as worn, which means it cannot stack with normal body armor; in fact, you usually can't fit into power armor wearing anything other than light clothing.
  • If any of these sources are M.D.C., then your armor rating is considered M.D.C.

Character Creation Rerolls

For the various random roll tables, players get free rerolls equal to half the rolls they'd make (round up). If you don't like the final results, you can start the series of rolls over completely (no keeping what you like and redoing just a few).

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

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.

Iconic Frameworks


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.)

Dragon Hatchling

Scales Beneath the Skin

Because dragons come in different varieties, at character creation you may choose to reduce your dragon-form armor by 2 levels in order to add +2 M.D.C. in human form (concealed, as "tough skin") — much like a Dragon Juicer has.


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 adapted to Size -2 instead of -3. This means Strength d4-1 (before the boost to d6), Toughness 3, and Small (-2 to be hit); otherwise the same.


Absorbing from Nuclear

The zapper can target nuclear-powered devices like combat cyborgs, 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.

Absorbing from Sentient Beings

When you drain electricity from a sentient being, whether targeting a full intelligent construct or just negating a human's cybernetic implants, they may resist with a Vigor roll.

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