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Obviously, a lot of hindrances in Savage Worlds (like missing an eye in a medieval game) aren't reversible. But some very much are: an illiterate character can learn to read, for example, without breaking realism at all, and a character who swore a vow of poverty can renounce that vow.

Now removing hindrances feels like kind of a cheat, and it undoes a lot of interesting character development and story, but is there a mechanic for it in the game if a player really has their heart set on walking it back? Spending an Advance, or taking a "Lose Hindrance" Edge of some kind, or swapping it out for another hindrance to keep the character balanced, maybe?

Or is this just a "break the rules if the GM says it's ok" kind of thing?

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There is no official rule allowing you to buy off Hindrances that don't say themselves how to do so, but it's a common enough house rule. Talk with your GM and see what they think.

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Indeed. I tend to allow it if there is a good in story reason for doing so. For example, one of my PCs picked up a phobia of people in uniform due to a failed Fear roll. Part of the story saw them spending a significant period of time in the company of such people, and the player and I figured that it would have been enough to desensitise the character, removing the hindrance –  Phil Jan 16 at 23:08
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The most common house rule I've seen is one Advance buys off a Major Hindrance or you can spend one Advance to get one skill point and buy off a Minor Hindrance; so it's kind of the inverse of getting Hindrances at character creation. Some settings even make this a rule; in the cyberpunk Interface Zero, you can buy off One Eye by taking an Advance and get a cybernetic eye. –  Thunderforge Jan 17 at 2:16

It's worth remembering that Hindrances are tied into the benny economy - they're usually treated as one of the main ways to earn bennies during the game, so it's generally a bad idea to remove them completely.

However what I will sometimes do is allow players to change their Hindrances if it's appropriate to the story. For example in my last campaign, one of the unconscious PCs was left behind on the battlefield by the rest of the party, because they were too busy chasing after loot. They didn't even bother looking for her after the enemy found her, and started torturing her for information. When she finally escaped, I offered her the chance to change her Loyal Hindrance to something more appropriate - such as Mean or Vengeful.

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