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If you were doing a contested skill check, if one person got an ace on their d4 and it ended up to becoming a 6, and the other rolled a d10 and ended up getting an 8, who wins?

Basically is it treated as a crit in D&D? That the number doesn't matter unless they both got aces?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that a smaller die is more likely to ace. Thus, if aces were unbeatable, then a d4 would be three times as likely to get an "unbeatable" result as a d12. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Sherohman Sep 25 '18 at 10:19
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The total is all that matters.

Source: Savage Worlds Deluxe, pp. 62-63.

In general, it's a bad idea to assume that all D&D rules have analogies in other game systems, especially when they use quite different dice mechanics.

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The higher value wins, regardless of acing.

Here are the relevant rules passages for trait rolls (which is what you mean when you say a skill check) and some observations about how opposed rolls (contests) work.

Aces (Savage Worlds Deluxe Explorer's Edition, p. 70)

All Trait tests and damage rolls in Savage Worlds are open-ended. That means that when you roll the highest number possible on a die (a 6 on a d6, an 8 on a d8, and so on), you get to roll that die again and add it to the total....

I'm omitting a little bit, but there's no indication of any special "critical" or "trumps" concept given. If you ace, you get to add the value onto your total result, but that's it.

Opposed Rolls (Savage Worlds Deluxe Explorer's Edition, pp. 70-71)

Sometimes rolls are “opposed” by an opponent. If two characters are wrestling for control of an ancient artifact, for example, they both make Strength rolls and compare results.... The highest total wins. In a tie, the two foes continue to struggle with no clear victor.

There's again no indication of any rules for who wins the opposed roll other than the one with the higher total. By omission, acing has no effect on that (except that whoever aces likely has a higher total).


It's worth noting that in Dungeons & Dragons 3rd, 4th, and 5th editions there is no such thing as a critical success on an ability check or skill check, through there is with attack rolls and (in some editions) with saving throws. Beware of trying to compare Savage Worlds concepts to D&D, but also beware of any "common knowledge" rules you've never actually read a rule for in any of the games you play. I'm not accusing you of anything, but just offering cautionary advice based on the comparison you used.

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The higher value wins. Savage Worlds open-ended roll (they call it "Acing") is a method to gain high totals, so even a low powered character can, every now and then, hope to beat even a powerful enemy (or overcome a very difficult hazard).

Side note: if you are searching a sort of similitude with D&D "Critical hit", then you'll find it in Savage Worlds "Raise". As you probably already know, you score a "Raise" when you beat the Target Number by 4+. So, if you are Climbing a difficult surface, let's say TN 6, and you roll a total of "10" for your character, then you scored a "Raise", a sort of critical. GM could award you with special effects (for example, you climb in ½ time), or the rules still state how you gain with a Raise (for example, while fighting you gain +1d6 Damage). When you are opposed by an enemy roll, you still can score a Raise. Let's say you Push the enemy with a roll of 8, and the enemy try to resist with a roll of 4, then you scored a Raise, so the enemy will be pushed very far!

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