I know a combat round is six seconds, and all of the power duration are in rounds. I was wondering if there was a rule for how long powers last outside of combat? It seems like trying to use powers for non-combat use isn't viable given how short the duration is.
There is no special rule in core Savage Worlds that would treat powers differently outside of combat than inside of combat. So for instance, the deflection power lasts 3 rounds, so it is 18 seconds both in combat and out of combat (although it can be extended).
It seems like trying to use powers for non-combat use isn't viable given how short the duration is.
First off, I'd like to make sure you aren't carrying over your expectations from other systems. In Pathfinder, you can cast Mage Armor and have it last for hours on end. The game is balanced (or unbalanced) with this in mind. In Savage Worlds, the armor power lasts 3 rounds. The game is balanced around this. You are not intended to walk around all day with that power up, and it would severely unbalance the game if you could.
That said, the powers that have less combat use are all available for extended amounts of time. The beast friend and disguise powers last 10 minutes. Darksight lasts 1 hour.
There are some third party settings (like Shaintar: Legends Arise) that allow for extended durations for powers when used outside of combat. In my opinion though, it tends to unbalance things a bit and make magic users more powerful than non-magic characters.