So I have hit a pretty big character development turning point, which may result in the potential situation where some of the Hindrances I currently have, just don't fit the character any more.

I have already done this once (sort of), with a Minor Hindrance - my PC used to be an Alcoholic. However, the GM allowed me to remove this by way of attending AA meetings, etc. So long as I continue to prove my abstinence, I no longer "suffer" from alcoholism.

However, a story development has come up where The Character has potentially "made the choice" to actively change their outlook. This is in regards to the "Heroic" Hindrance:

Your hero never says no to a person in need. She doesn’t have to be happy about it, but she always comes to the rescue of those she feels can’t help themselves. She’s the first one to run into a burning building, usually agrees to hunt monsters for little or no pay, and is generally a pushover for a sob story.

To summarize, the story has gone that there have been glimpses into the future where a person has ended up enslaving the PC for their abilities. And now, even though it appears that particular future has been avoided, others are now invested in attempting to use him for other means.

His outlook is that he will no longer tolerate this potential, and will do whatever it takes to stop it from happening. So, I am thinking of swapping from "Heroic", to "Vengeful (Major)"

Your character always attempts to right a wrong he feels was done to him. If this is a Minor Hindrance, he usually seeks vengeance legally. If this is a Major Hindrance, he’ll kill to see it done.

So my question is; can I "switch" my Hindrances, in RAW/RAI? If so, what effect(s) does this have on my character?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Does this answer your question? Removing hindrances in Savage Worlds \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 12, 2020 at 6:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AlienAtSystem Well, since the link provided in the answer is broken, not really. Haha. Additionally, that's about removing Hindrances all-together, my question is about swapping one for another of the same level (i.e. Major for Major). \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben
    Commented Mar 12, 2020 at 6:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ And the answers don't specifically state that this is allowed in the rules. The other answer says "what I will sometimes do is allow players to change their Hindrances if it's appropriate to the story" \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben
    Commented Mar 12, 2020 at 6:31

2 Answers 2


In Savage Worlds Deluxe, there is no official rule about generally removing Hindrances. The closest there is is the guideline for the Enemy Hindrance, which, when the enemy is killed, that the GM either introduces a new enemy to replace old one, or to let the player buy off the hindrance by giving up one advance.

That latter part has been accepted as ground for a common house rule, because it mechanically makes sense: Since a Major Hindrance gives you an extra Edge during creation, and an Edge costs one full Advance to buy, it makes sense to weigh a Hindrance as a "negative" Edge and allow its removal at the same price. This also seems logical because there's a few Edge-Hindrance pairs that cancel each other exactly (Ugly - Attractive, Bad Luck - Lucky, Slow - Quick, etc), so buying that Edge is mechanically (almost) equivalent to buying off that Hindrance.

Why "almost"? Because technically, a Hindrance neutralised by an Edge still generates Bennies.

As for replacing Hindrances, again, official rules are lax, but given that they are measured on a point scale makes it easy to create a house rule of equivalent exchange. There is also one often-overlooked sentence in the rulebook: One can take as many Hindrances for a character as one likes, but only the maximum given by the rules (1 Major, 2 Minor (or as adjusted by the setting)) will give points for Character creation. The rules are unclear whether those extra Hindrances give Bennies when affecting play.

This also supports that Hindrances might be exchanged during play, by putting a formerly "dormant" Hindrance into effect after an old one was removed.

In summary, it might appear very simple to houserule that you can exchange Hindrances of the same severity for one another, and to buy them off, at the cost of either a full Advance for a Major Hindrance, or half an Advance for a Minor Hindrance. By further extrapolation, swapping a Major Hindrance for a Minor Hindrance at the cost of half an Advance would also seem logical.

However, in the case of the Supers rules, it should be noted that when playing with the rule to level up superpowers (allowing one to buy 5 Supers build points at the cost on an Edge once per rank), the math breaks down because of the "bigger on the inside" nature of the Superpower Upgrade Edge. If one bought that Edge during creation with the extra Hindrance, and then buys it off for the price of a "normal" Edge, the numbers aren't balanced. Instead, the character is still 1.5 Edges in the positive, because the 5 Supers points are equivalent (basically directly) to 2.5 Edges.

In total: Talk to your GM. All of these are houserules, not official rules. Their availability and applicability for any particular campaign are by the GM's discretion.

  • \$\begingroup\$ There are official rules. See page 54 of the core rules for official rules about reducing / removing Hindrances. \$\endgroup\$
    – ValhallaGH
    Commented Mar 12, 2020 at 13:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ValhallaGH please note that Ben hasn't specified which version is used. The SWD does not have an official rule. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 12, 2020 at 14:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ The OP asked about Rule As Intended. Given that the very next iteration of the rules includes explicit removal of hindrances, that is clearly the intention of the rules. That makes it a very relevant rule. Vastly more relevant than the Superpowers Companion. \$\endgroup\$
    – ValhallaGH
    Commented Mar 12, 2020 at 21:02

Changing Hindrances

Hindrances represent a character's defining qualities. As the character changes, the correct Hindrances for the character can also change.

Note that all of this begins with talking to your Game Master.


Removing Hindrances entirely is covered by the Advancement rules on page 54 of the current (Adventure Edition) core rules.

Permanently remove a Minor Hindrance, or reduce a Major Hindrance to a Minor (if possible). With the GM’s permission, and if it makes sense, two Advances may be saved up and spent to remove a Major Hindrance. The player and GM should work out how and when this happens. Perhaps the shocking death of an ally triggers a change in attitude, the hero puts real effort into improving harmful behavior, or might even seek professional help during downtime between missions.


Replacing an existing Hindrance with a different Hindrance is (unfortunately) not explicitly covered in the core rules. However, it should not be more difficult than removing an existing Hindrance.

A typical house rule is that the character may exchange an existing Hindrance for a different Hindrance (of equal value) that better fits the current character behavior, with GM permission. Variations include waiting until the next Advance, having to role play the various changes, and others. In my experience, there is not (and should not be) a game mechanic cost for this exchange.

The consequences of an exchange are minimal. You have already been role playing the new behavior, so there's no reason to change that. The mechanics of the different hindrances are clearly defined and easily changed. The only noteworthy change is to the Game Master's notes for awarding bennies for role play, and that is a GM concern.

Good luck.


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