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I just started running Savage Worlds (SW:EX) and ran into a minor issue on my first session. The SW:EX book says in the Character Creation section that an average human has a d6 for any given stat. That means my "average human" NPCs (bandits, villagers, etc) have d6 across the board unless they're outside the norm. I also assume they have a d6 in any skill that's within their area of expertise, unless they're especially talented.

One of my players, who has played a fair bit of SW with a different edition (I'm not sure which), mentioned in an off-hand way to one of the other players that d4 is the human norm. This got me a bit worried that my mooks aren't as weak as they should be.

Can someone clarify, preferably with a citation, for SW:EX? Bonus points for other editions.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 18 down vote accepted

On page 6 of the Savage Worlds: Explorer's Edition, it says

Attributes and skills are ranked by die types, from a d4 to a d12, with d6 being the average for adult humans.

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In addition, it's common sense. The stats start at D4, and you have 5 pts to boost the stats. If you apply a +1 step to each stat, you have D6. Thus average humans have D6 in each stat. –  Benjamin Schollnick Feb 25 '13 at 15:30
It's only common sense if PCs are not exceptional compared to the rest of humanity. That's why it wasn't obvious to me. That and my apparently poor reading comprehension. –  cr0m Feb 26 '13 at 18:23
I've also heard it defined that a d6 is average for an adult human with training in the skill. For instance, a d6 Shooting means that the person has been practicing for a maybe several months and has developed their skills to where they are average among the other trained soldiers in their army or whatever. I personally do not have a d6 in Shooting because I have virtually no training in it, despite being an average adult human. –  Thunderforge Jan 18 at 4:30

I use this rule of thumb:

A celebrity has d12 in their specialised skill. (Muhammad Ali, Steve Jobs, Michael Schumacher, The Red Baron.)
A professional has d10 or d8 in trained skills.
Skills associated with a profession are at d6 or d8.
Other skills are at d4 or untrained.

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Very nice way to think of this. I am going to have to remember this guideline... Thanks! –  Benjamin Schollnick Feb 25 '13 at 15:30

There are to answers to this.

a) SWEX Page 131

Consider this Game Master’s Rule #1 when it comes to NPCs: Don’t “design” them! ... Just give them what you think they ought to have in their various skills and attributes and move on.

b) Some source books have approprate genric NPCs like Citizen in the Fantasy Companion Page 108.

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Right, that note is exactly why I assume that they are the human norm unless they're special in some way. But that's also why I needed to know what the norm is! –  cr0m Oct 15 '11 at 0:34

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