I plan to run a Savage Worlds campaign. I will use the new Adventure Edition. According to these rules, there are 32 skills. At character creation, 12 points can be distributed amongst those skills. Five of them already start with 1 point (because most players would pick them anyway).

If half of the 32 skills were removed from the list of available skills (for whatever reason), one could assume that the number of skill points should be halved as well. But this would, of course, lead to very underpowered characters, because not every skill is of equal importance (at least to me). In addition, five of those skills are some type of “magic” skill and a single character is very unlikely to have more than one of those, if any.

I would like to keep the following 18 skills from the original list: Academics, Athletics, Fighting, Healing, Intimidation, Languages, Notice, Occult, Performance, Persuasion, Repair, Research, Science, Shooting, Stealth, Survival, Taunt and Thievery.

Driving, Boating and Piloting will be combined in one “Operate Vehicle” skill. Common Knowledge will be axed. Battle, Gambling and Riding are too specific for my campaign. If it comes up, it will be covered with an already existing skill. Electronics and Hacking are not appropriate for the time period of the campaign. And all five “magic” skills will be combined into “Magic”.

This reduces my skill list from 32 to 20. From the five “special” skills (which get one point automatically), only four remain. As the GM, I have to face a difficult task. If I reduce the number of skill points relative to the number of skill, this would result in 7.5 skill points. Four of these skills would already start with 1 point. Underwhelming. But as per original rules, characters start the game with 17 skill points (12 to allocate freely, plus 5 extra for “special” skills). If I reduce that accordingly, characters would only start with 10.625 points altogether. On the other hand, only the “unimportant” skills were removed/combined. The number of “relevant” skills stays the same. Therefore, I’m not sure if the number of skill points should be changed at all. So, my question is:

If skills are removed or combined in Savage Worlds (Adventure Edition), how many skill points should be available for starting characters, in order to keep the “power level” of said characters the same?

(An ideal answer would include experience gained from prior usage of the Savage Worlds rules. This does not have to be limited to the newest version of Savage Worlds, as the skill system seems to be comparable between editions).


1 Answer 1


All 12 points still.

I have been running SWADE weekly since December, and it’s fantasy so of course the modern skills are not available. I still give them all 12 points to distribute.

Reason is simply that players wouldn’t try to invest in all 32 skills (although generally they can choose only one of the magics, not several). You’ve still got 20 skills — that’s more than enough for them to have an actual choice.

In SWADE player characters start pretty strong; that’s to be expected. What I would advise is that players who want to take an d8 in a skill should be able to explain it from their PC’s background, and if they want something above d8, there should be a really good reason for that.


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