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.


1 Answer 1


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.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's probably worth mentioning the 'No Power Points' variant of the rules, as this allows powers to be maintained indefinitely. Hellfrost makes use of this rule and is a setting where it is perfectly feasible to maintain something like Armour for hours on end. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wibbs
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 7:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Wibbs I forgot about the No Power Points variant. I'll add that in when I get access to my books again. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 15:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ One of the scenarios that started the conversation at our table involved figuring out is Boost Trait could be used to help the roll at the end of making an infernal device. Could you in theory boost Weird Science for the roll even though the action happens over days? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jtest
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 15:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Jtest That's using the rules for building your own infernal devices in Deadlands Reloaded, right? I think that would be better answered in another question, since it's specific to that setting and the answer may or may not make it related to this question. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 15:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ Well that was where it started, but we then considered could you boost survival when looking for food/water? or Investigation when examining a crime scene? Those more extended dramatic actions that end in a single die roll. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jtest
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 15:57

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