In Savage Worlds Deluxe, many powers can affect more than one target. For example the Smite power cost 2 Power Points (PP) and has also the following text:

Additional Targets: The character may affect up to five targets by spending a like amount of additional Power Points. - Savage Worlds Deluxe p.113

By "like amount", do I need to pay 1 PP per additional target, or do I need to repay the entire PP cost (2PP in this case) for each additional target?

Also, do I need to pay extra to maintain a spell affecting multiple targets?

  • \$\begingroup\$ What rules version are you quoting? Because that language doesn't exist in the current rules. \$\endgroup\$ – ValhallaGH Jan 10 at 15:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ValhallaGH the rules from Savage Worlds \$\endgroup\$ – Guillaume F. Jan 14 at 4:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are five to seven iterations of Savage Worlds, depending upon how you count them. Which subtitle is on the version you're referencing? Because it does not appear to be the latest iteration, the Adventure Edition. \$\endgroup\$ – ValhallaGH Jan 14 at 4:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ So you mean the original version of Savage Worlds, released in 2004. That version does not include any language resembling what you've quoted. Voting to close. \$\endgroup\$ – ValhallaGH Jan 14 at 16:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ The original version, Explorer's edition and Deluxe edition all use that language, though only the Deluxe edition includes it for Fly. The intent of the question seems pretty clear, and it could be relevant for many users (as evidenced by the need for an official clarification that features in some of the answers). Plus I've included a slight change that references the exact edition as requested. Happy with that @GuillaumeF.? \$\endgroup\$ – Isaac Reefman Jan 15 at 0:52

Varies by Edition

Savage Worlds has undergone numerous relatively minor revisions.

Adventure Edition
The most recent rules version (2019) does not contain the quoted language, at all. Instead it uses this:

ADDITIONAL RECIPIENTS (+1): The power may affect more than one target for 1 additional Power Point each.

That's very clear and hasn't caused any questions or confusion.

Deluxe Edition
The Deluxe Edition was first published in 2015. It used two different wordings for additional targets.

Additional Targets: The power may affect an additionaltarget for every additional Power Point spent, up to a maximum of five targets.
Additional Targets: The character may affect up to five targets by spending a like amount of additional Power Points.

The first costs 1 PP per additional target.
The second costs [base power cost] PP per additional target; though that only matters for fly, invisibility, and the few other powers that cost more than 1 PP. As clarified in the PEG official answers forum.

Explorer's Edition and earlier
Explorer's Edition was released in 2008 and, like the predecessors, didn't have rules for affecting multiple targets with most powers. Powers that did affect multiple targets either used blast templates, a variant of the automatic fire rules, or special rules described in the power entry.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's worth noting that Savage Worlds 1E published in '03 includes the following regarding the Bolt power, on p. 84: "Additional Bolts: The character may cast up to 3 bolts by spending a like amount of additional Power Points..." - so this question can be useful in the knowlege base beyond just the Deluxe Edition; in fact, it looks like this was the confusion someone was clarifying here... \$\endgroup\$ – Isaac Reefman Jan 14 at 22:55

In normal English you can, in this context, replace "a like" with "the same".

Thus you can read that passage as "...The character may affect up to five targets by spending the same amount of additional Power Points."

Thus if you affected 2 additional targets you would spend 2 additional Power Points.

This seems to be in direct opposition to their apparent intent as shown here.

In SWADE they fixed the wording to be less problematic though:

ADDITIONAL RECIPIENTS (+3): The power may affect more than one target for 3 additional Power Points each.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That's contrary to the official clarification given here, and doesn't make sense in light of the text for bolt, which uses the same language for Additional Bolts, but specifies that extra damage is achieved by "doubling the Power Point cost per bolt [...] so firing 3 bolts of [extra] damage costs 6 Power Points." \$\endgroup\$ – Isaac Reefman Jan 14 at 23:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @IsaacReefman Admittedly I haven't done much with Deluxe or any edition other than SWADE (which iirc doesn't do multiple bolts) but that is how English works, so if I have 10 apples and a like number of oranges that means I have 10 oranges. Is the company foreign and it is translated later? Because if that was their intent they should have said something like: "each additional recipient costs you x PP" to avoid such confusion. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Jan 14 at 23:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ I dunno, it seemed pretty clear to me that "a like number" means the same as the base cost. If they wanted it to be just 1 extra PP per target it would have been easier to say so like "The character may affect up to five targets by spending 1 additional Power Point per target" - certainly adding "per target" on the end of the existing text could only have made it clearer though. \$\endgroup\$ – Isaac Reefman Jan 15 at 0:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @IsaacReefman I would agree if they didn't have the extra clause with the number in it, given the two sets of numbers the context in English would indicate that the latter be the one of similar value not the former. Which is why it seems that SWADE changed their verbiage. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Jan 15 at 1:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ I get that. It's pretty clear that it isn't as clear as it should be. I guess my subconscious held on to the context within which that whole sentence sat, which is why my initial impression matched what the designers intended. But yeah, re-word was clearly warranted. \$\endgroup\$ – Isaac Reefman Jan 15 at 2:35

The German "Savage Worlds Gentleman's Edition (Revised)", which is based on the English "Savage Worlds Deluxe" to my knowledge, translates it as multiple targets requiring the corresponding multiple of power points. Thus, Smite on two targets costs 4PP to cast.

Unfortunately, it doesn't mention whether this also applies to the maintenance cost of the power. I would rule that it does, but that is a personal decision, not anything mentioned in RAW.

(I of course have no data either way whether the German translators asked the original authors about the meaning of the quoted phrase and whether therefore their translation is based on the original authorial intent or their interpretation)

Confusingly, the SW:GER uses two different ways to phrase the power point cost increases from multiple targets, and it's unclear if those are qualitatively different or just stylistic variants.

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It's clarified in the OG context

Text that uses the phrase "by spending a like amount of additional Power Points" has its roots in the first edition where it is used, for example, in the optional modifiers of the Bolt power:

Additional Bolts: The character may cast up to 3 bolts by spending a like amount of additional Power Points. This must be decided before the power is cast. The bolts may be spread among targets as the character chooses. Firing the additional bolts does not incur any attach penalties.

Additional Damage: The character may also increase the damage to 3d6 by doubling the Power Point cost per bolt. This may be combined with the additional bolts, so firing 3 bolts of 3d6 damage costs 6 Power Points -(Savage Worlds 1E Core Rulebook, p.84)

As you can see, the second avaliable modifier clarifies the matter, and seeing as "the bolts may be spread among targets as the character chooses," Additional Bolts in this case is very similar in meaning to Additional Targets, though the latter, and explicit application to the Fly power are lacking here.

The Deluxe Edition is unique in it's use of this wording for Fly but the context remains the same, as it is for Invisibility, whose function in that ruleset is clarified in the PEG official answers forum. (Thanks to ValhallaGH's answer for that link)

As ValhallaGH mentioned, the most recent edition does not include this wording, instead giving an explicit cost per additional recipient - for example, the Fly power in this edition costs 3 PP, but has the following "Additional Recipients" text:

ADDITIONAL RECIPIENTS (+2): The power may affect more than one target for 2 additional Power Points each. -(Savage Worlds Adventure Edition, p.158)

Which is clearly not the same text, and requires no clarification, though it's interesting that it's cheaper to do in that edition.

But What About the Maintenance Costs?

Interestingly (and perhaps conveniently) that appears to have been the real question in the official clarification linked above. In it, Clint confirmed that if a power that cost...

...5 PP to cast [and] 1 PP per round to maintain [...] should affect 3 targets, the initial costs would be 3x5=15 PP and the costs to maintain the power would be 3x1=3 PP per round

This confusion may have been part of the reason that the most recent edition includes the following text:


It costs 1 Power Point to maintain a power for its base Duration. If a power’s Duration is five rounds, for example, it can be maintained for another five rounds for 1 Power Point.

Maintenance is per target but ignores other Power Modifiers, so renewing boost Trait on three allies costs 3 Power Points and extends the effect of each another five rounds.

Unless a power says otherwise, the caster can terminate it as a free action. -(Savage Worlds Adventure Edition, p.150)

This means that extending Fly for 5 targets in that edition would cost only 5 PP, even though it's initial casting would cost 3(base) + 2 for each extra target: 11PP.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Just realised I misread the question and targeted Fly instead of Smite. I'll amend it sometime tomorrow, gtg now... \$\endgroup\$ – Isaac Reefman Jan 15 at 7:10

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