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Sometimes combat can last a long time. If a long combat happens in Savage World, so long, say, that it can't be completed in one session. Should the players get new Bennies at the start of the next session even if it is the same encounter?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Savage Worlds is a game of pulp action and Fast! Furious! Fun!

If it makes sense for them to have more bennies, do it.

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I agree with this - the point of bennies is to promote desired game behavior. If they're fighting their little hearts out, refresh it. If they dragged their feet so that the combat would wrap so they'd get more bennies, don't. There are too many factors going into it for this forum to answer - basically refresh if you think that promotes desired behavior and don't if you don't. –  mxyzplk Sep 16 '11 at 17:58
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I've had this happen before. The way I handled it was simply to complete the combat and then give them the session's Bennies refresh. It worked well enough that I forgot about it entirely until I read this question – it just went smoothly.

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I would say no, for a couple of reasons. One is that, although the Explorer's Edition says that "[E]ach player starts each game session with three 'bennies'..." (p.58), I believe that 'game session' is taken here to mean a chunk of in-game time (as opposed to real time) that is framed by periods of (typically off-stage) rest and routine activity. The second is that game time and real time usually have very little to do with each other, and whether or not a combat takes two sessions can have as much to do with real-life distractions as it does the scope of the conflict.

For instance, if you start a combat and then, five minutes into the fight, you receive a phone call saying that your friend needs a ride to the hospital, you're going to stop the game and take it up next week or whenever. But it has nothing to do with the resources you're accruing or expending in the game world--if the phone call had never come, you wouldn't be adding more bennies, and your game set-up hasn't changed at all in this situation.

Nevertheless, if you're engaged in an epic struggle that really takes more than one game session to complete, your characters will have ample opportunity to earn bennies through daring feats, cunning strategies, and dramatic role-playing, so if you're worried about running out of that resource in the middle of a long combat, I would encourage your GM (or encourage you, if you're the GM) to take the passage from page 130 to heart:

Bennies are much more flexible, and allow you to reward creative players on the spot for their actions.

...so you could refresh your point total simply by playing a riveting game--which is what it's all about, if you ask me.

(As a corollary, note that bennies are not saved between sessions. I would also waive this rule, in the situation you describe.)

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I am concerned that combat is taking this long in SW. Even a major pitched battle should be resolved in a single session. In fact one of Pinnacle's infamous Convention sessions does precisely that. You might want to look carefully at what is making combat take so long. As always I recommend popping by the forums at www.peginc.com/forum

To answer the question: new session means new bennies. If your combat is lasting longer than one session I expect they will need those bennies. Bennies are designed to compensate for some of the wilder dice rolls in the game and encourage exciting risky play: you will not break anything by using a lot of them.

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Agreed - the longest I've ever had a combat go on was about an hour and a half, and that was an exceptional situation with loads of NPCs on either side. –  Phil May 5 '13 at 21:47
    
If you get into an unplanned fight near the end of the gaming night, it can easily happen. It can also happen if the group is still unfamiliar with combat and sits there just using attack only actions and hoping for a rare super-high roll. –  SevenSidedDie May 5 '13 at 22:02
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I can see two ways about this. My team did a lot of information gathering then started a fight towards the end of the evening. Enough activity happened in the session to warrent a bennie refresh, but mid-combat is a bit weird. I'm excusing it as they just brought down a big baddie.

Perhaps offer a bennie refresh at the start of a combat you know will take a long time, and make it clear then those bennies have to last through the entire encounter.

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