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


  • The Combat Cyborg's Adrenal System should have a *.
  • The Intelligent Construct's weapons and features are repaired using the same rules as repairing the Construct itself, including Obscure Construction penalties.
  • The 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.
  • The Psi-Operator uses the Techno-Wizard power list (not the Psionics list) when using the Gadgeteer Edge.
  • Ability bonuses from the Commando, Gunslinger, and RCSG Scientist packages do not adjust trait maximums.
  • 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: This requires a successful Spellcasting roll to use. When conjuring an item, a raise significantly improves its quality (GM call). For animals, there are three designer-approved methods to determine their stats:
    • For quick and dirty use, the Shape Change (power) table is a fair guide.
    • Alternatively, let the caster summon any natural creature up to Size (Rank - 1): up to Size 0 at Novice, Size 1 at Seasoned, etc.
    • If the player has time to prepare, they can instead build the animals per Free Summoning (SWADE World Builder's Guide, p. 95).
  • Diabolist: The Heroic and Legendary lines got switched.
  • Dragon Teleport: The dragon may use the Greater Teleport modifier, not the Range modifier.
  • Gadgeteer: Regardless of who has this and why, gadgets use the Techno-Wizard power list.
  • 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): The mage must know the power already. 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.
  • Strong-Willed: The bonus applies to Corruption Tests.


  • Obese grants Toughness +1 but not Size +1.


  • Add detect/conceal arcana to both the Ley Line Walker's and Mind Melter's power lists. (It's redundant for those characters, but not for others who get access to these lists.)
  • 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.
  • Maintaining an active power prevents PP recovery, but it's up to the GM whether that applies in edge cases. In general, powers sustained via psionic Meditation require active focus (preventing PP recovery), while powers sustained via magical Ritual or Techno-Wizard/Weird-Science devices do not.
  • Extended duration from a Meditation or Ritual cannot be extended via maintenance; e.g., if you Boost Strength for a week, and then spend 1 PP to maintain it, you only get the usual 5 extra rounds (not another week).

Gear (Mundane)

  • T-11 Enhanced Heavy EBA's "+2 Strength" should be "+2d Strength"; it improves your Strength by two die types.
  • Viggo's Custom Firearms are considered "modern firearms" (like those from the core SWADE book) and use the same type of ammo.
  • The Man-Portable Flood Light has a Cone template, not SBT.
  • 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).
  • Weapons mounted on power armor are treated as vehicular weapons, and thus ignore Recoil and Snapfire. Handheld weapons customized for the suit get the same benefit, but not random guns that the armor-wearer picks up.
  • The "two e-clips per gun" in Standard Starting Gear are in addition to the one e-clip that most guns come with.
  • Grenade/rocket launchers come with one load (=Shots) of ammo. The mix is determined by the player and GM.

Gear (TW)

  • Arzno TWA-1250RB Raging Bull's protection power can and must be cast with the Toughness modifier.
  • The TW Lightning Gun's protection power costs 2 PP to cast.
  • Remember that TW items must be technological gear, not simple necklaces or rings. They are subject to Technological Difficulties.
  • 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.
  • When using a TW device or magic item's embedded power, you may choose whether to roll an arcane skill or your Spirit. The arcane skill is penalized by Strain; the Spirit roll is not.
    • Exception: A TW item activated by (e.g.) Fighting must use that skill. The attack roll is the power activation roll, which means the arcane TN is based on Parry, affected by Dodge, etc.

Armor Stacking

  • You may stack the Armor and Toughness bonus from natural armor (which includes cybernetic Armor Plating) and one suit of worn armor. In addition, if you are in a vehicle (including a robot vehicle), apply its Armor bonus as well.
  • Body armor and power armor are both "worn armor," so they don't stack. In fact, you usually can't wear anything more than light clothing in power armor.
  • The Armor bonus from standard and M.D.C. armor do not stack with each other! If you have a mix of both, calculate both values and use whichever gives you the best results for each attack. (Toughness bonuses don't care about their source; they always stack.)

A Simple Guide to Mega-Damage:

General House Rules

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).

Dumb Luck

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

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.

Iconic Frameworks


Remember that the Wild Berserker Edge (from SWADE General Rules) exists.

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.)

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).


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.


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.

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