01.12 Edges & Hindrances

01.12 Edges & Hindrances

Converting Shatterzone Advantage & Compensation to Edges and Hindrances.


SZ CompensationSavage Worlds Equivalent
Alien Prejudice[Outsider]
Xeno-Flaws[Negative Racial Abilities] or Ability Flaw*
General Compensations 
Advantage FlawEdge Flaw*
Attribute LimitationsAttribute Limitation*
Handicap[Blind, Hard of Hearing, One Arm, One Eye, etc]
Skill LimitationsSkill Limitation*
Mental Limitations 
Social Compensations 
General Prejudice[Outsider]
Employed[Obligation ]
Hindrances Conversion (Shatterzone to SWADE)

* => New Hindrance. Existing Hindrance, are in [ … ]. See SWADE

New Hindrances

Ability Flaw [Minor/Major]

Something is wrong with an Positive Racial Ability your character has. Pick an Positive Racial Ability and come up with something that partially (or completely) negates it under certain circumstances. Coming up with the exact circumstances of the flaw can be fairly easy and fun. Some of the examples can work very well in a story context as well.

For example, a character with Flight may have a Ability Flaw where the character can not use the ability unless they are on their home planet or similar environment.

A minor Ability Flaw effects an ability only occasionally while the Major Ability Flaw effects the ability more often.

Amnesia [Minor/Major]

‘The character has background, skills or abilities she has forgotten about. This can be a Edge, or a set of skills, or anything that would help the character – if she knew about it. Amnesia works best when combined with other mechanics and Edge. It can be hard to roleplay – you probably know what your character doesn’t – but it can be fun. Imagine Computer Tech character who is all mousy and timid – until somebody pushes the character too far. Then the character remembers those martial arts skills and beats the offending person to pulp.

Minor: Partial Amnesia – The character does not remember a skill he or she has a d4 or more in. The character cannot use the skill unless in a crisis situation, in which case he temporarily remembers and then forgets again. The crisis should be a serious crisis – more serious than standard combat.

Major: Total Amnesia – The character doesn’t remember anything about her background, and
this is a bad thing. Usually, taking another Hindrance – such as Obligation, Enemy, or Wanted – would be a good idea and then roleplay the character as if she does not remember the situation.

Attribute Limitation [Major]

Every character has Attribute limitations – no character may have more than a certain Attribute die type at character generation, for example. However, the Hindrance Attribute Limitations makes this much more severe.

Attribute Limitation is the lowering of the character’s upper limit on a single Attribute – lowering the maximum value his or her Attribute can ever go up to. This Hindrance can be taken multiple times for multiple die types in a single attribute or one limitation for multiple Attributes.

Normally, Attribute Limitations are imposed on Attributes that already have values lower than the new limit. The character may not increase the limited Attribute above the new limit without first Buying Off the Hindrance. It is recommended that this Hindrance not be taken more than 3 or 4 times.

Edge Flaw [Minor/Major]

Something is wrong with an Edge your character has. Pick an Edge and come up with something that partially (or completely) negates it under certain circumstances. Coming up with the exact circumstances of the flaw can be fairly easy and fun. Some of the examples can work very well in a story context as well.

For example, a character with Rich may have a Edge Flaw where the character is not worth nearly as much (say, half), unless the character is in his or her home sector or planet where the character’s Rich is actually worth something.

A minor Edge Flaw effects an edge only occasionally while the Major Edge Flaw effects the Edge more often.

Language [Minor/Major]

The .character is, for some reason, unable to speak Fleet Standard (the interstellar language used for space docking and other procedures, and known, at least in part, to virtually everyone who has done any traveling). If he can understand the language but not speak it, this Hindrance is worth Minor. If he cannot speak it or understand it, it is worth Major.

Psychosis [Minor/Major]

The character has a mental psychosis that adjusts his personality. The Psychosis should not be so major that the character is unplayable. Some Psychosis suggestions are paranoia, unrelenting cynicism, gullibility, or persistent lying. While not all of these actually are psychoses, they fit under the basic category for the purpose of the game.

As far as effects go, a Minor Psychosis doesn’t usually need much in the way of game effects – as long as the player roleplays well. Assign occasional penalties to Trait checks that affect the psychosis, for example a character with Cynicism may have difficulty persuading people, or a compulsive liar may not be able to pull off a tricks if his lying is well known.

A Major Psychoses almost always requires rule mechanics, but they are along the sme lines of the minor occasional mechanics. Talk to your gamemaster about selecting these psychoses. Fears and phobias fit well into this category.

Reputation [Minor/Major]

The character has a Rep – he is known for something and it isn’t something good. Instead of being Famous (or even infamous, which can have some benefits), the character’s Reputation is like an albatross around her neck. People may refuse to deal with the character, actively try to inconvenience the character, or even kill the character because of what they’ve heard. In addition, the degree of Reputation is determined by how well known the character is.

Skill Limitation [Major]

When a character limits a skill, he is voluntarily limiting the amount of skill dice he may ever have in that skill. It is an imposed limit much like the Attribute limit. The skill limited must be one that could be used in a Combat or Social Conflict round. These include: all combat skills, Taunt, Intimidate, Persuasion, Piloting, Driving, and more. The character may not take Trademark Specialization in any aspect of the skill. The skill limitation must be approved by the gamemaster. If the gamemaster does not think that the skill would be used much by the character in the campaign, the Hindrance may be reduced or overruled.

A common reason for limitations imposed on skills is brain-burning. A character who has been brain-burned has had certain skills chemically and electrically burned into his brain. This causes other skills to be stunted or lost.

This Edge can be taken multiple times for different skills or the same still. It effects on die type.


SZ AdvantageSavage Worlds Equivalent
Alien or Special Abilities 
Special AbilitiesPositive Racial Abilities
Psionic PowersAB: Psionics
CulturesNew Background Edge: Cultures
SecretsNew Background Edge: Secret Knowledge
Supranormal KnowledgeNew Background Edge: Supranormal Knowledge
Latent AbilitiesAB: Gifted
Material Gain 
EquipmentGeared Up
PatronNew Background Edge: Patron
Increased Attribute Points
Increased Attribute Limit
Quirks, Perks,and Oddities 
AuthorityNew Professional Edge: Authority
Good LuckLuck
Law EnforcementNew Professional Edge: Law Enforcement
Money ManagementNew Professional Edge: Money Management
Noble BirthNew Background Edge: Noble Birth
Trademark SpecializationNew Background Edge: Trademark Specialization
Personality QuirksQuirk

New Edges


Type: Professional Edge

Prerequisites: Novice, Spirit d8

The character has rank, duties, and power in his local jurisdiction. An Authority Edge belongs to someone who does has some opportunity to use his authority or rank. The character gains a +2 to Intimidation and Persuasion rolls when the Authority comes into play.


Type: Background Edge

Prerequisites: Novice, Smarts d6

The character has unusual knowledge of a species, culture, or society other than his or her own. This knowledge is not a skill – it is natural to the character. This knowledge is much more flexible than a skill, but probably much less predictable. This gives a characters a +2 to Persuasion and Intimidation while Networking in relation to alien cultures.

Law Enforcement

Type: Professional Edge

Prerequisites: Authority Edge, Seasoned

The Law Enforcement Edge gives adventurers some measure of abilities associated with being a deputized agent of the law – gives the prestige of being ordained by the legal system.

With this Edge, the character can carry a firearm and has limited authority to enforce the law. Private investigators, bounty hunters and bail bondsmen would qualify as Law Enforcement professions.

Improved Law Enforcement

Type: Professional Edge

Prerequisites: Law Enforcement Edge, Seasoned

With Improved Law Enforcement the character is actually a enforcement officer, or security and is allowed to make full arrests and reasonable search and seizures.

Money Management

Prerequisites: Novice, Smarts d8

Type: Background Edge

The character has the knack for hanging on to money or getting it when it is needed. While this should not be confused with the Rich option, it can sometimes be more useful. Characters with Money Management always seem to have money for docking fees, minor armor repairs, replacement parts, etc. Essentially, what this Edge does is let the character ignore the tedious bookkeeping for minor expenditures – anything below about 100 credits – as long as this doesn’t get abusive.

When it comes to major purchases, the character can find minor discounts or coupons that others can’t. With a Persuasion check and good roleplay, the character can have a firm idea of how much an item would sell for and how much he can get as a discount. Additional raises in the Persuasion check can gain additional discounts. The exact amount is up to the Gamemaster.

Additionally, with a Notice check the character can guess about how much money he should have for a given situation, how much the characters should get for a job, and how much expenses should run. It is up to the player to plague your gamemaster with questions about costs and fees, making certain that you get the most for your money. Choose how you want to play this character and go with it.

Noble Birth

Type: Background Edge

Prerequisites: Novice

This character was born into luxury, born into a noble family. It might be a rich family or a deposed family but they have title and prestige. It may be accompanied with the Rich Edge, the Authority Edge or neither, depending on the situation. The character gains the lowest possible title appropriate for the culture.

Noble Title

Type: Background Edge

Prerequisites: Seasoned, Noble Birth

This Edge can be taken multiple times. The amount of times taken is a general measure of the title and political power the player has. The first time, Noble Title would put the player low on the political latter, perhaps a Baron of very low standing, or just a Baronet. The second time can perhaps be a more powerful Baron or a low level Count of Earl. The third time could be a very high powered Baron, or a moderate to high level Count or a low-level Marquis. It is recommended that the GM not allow any higher, but it is left to the GM to allow higher Noble Titles, which gives the player even higher standing in the aristocracy.


Prerequisites: Novice

Type: Background Edge

The odds are that most player characters are not independently wealthy. But they might have access to wealth in the form of patrons. If the characters are treasure hunters, patrons might include museums, universities, private philanthropists, newspapers or even retired adventurers.

Patron could mean the character has a backer who will fund one or more expeditions, with all proceeds going to the patron. All of the costs might be covered by the patron or the Patron may supply a significant stipend, depending on the mission. There may be an understanding that the player character is basically just a worker-for-hire or there may be a long time commitment. Anything that the adventurer discovers or purchases might become the property of the patron or they may split the benefits.

This may be accompanied with a Hindrance Obligation.

Secret Knowledge

Prerequisites: Novice

Type: Background Edge

Where the Hindrance Secrets tends to pertains to the negative side to knowing something, the Edge Secret Knowledge is more advantageous. The character knows something. Either he has something on someone of importance, or just knows something that will benefit him during play. Some examples include: inside information on stock or mineral prices; the secret location and password for a hidden fringer base; how to forge Fleet registration papers perfectly, every time (until they change the format); or the name of a planetary governor’s mistress (and the governor’s wife’s phone number).

All information has to be treated differently. Some of it is one-time important – like the location of a secret treasure – while other information can be milked indefinitely – such as the hidden fringer base location. Other information may vary in value – if the governor doesn’t care whether his wife knows about his affairs, blackmail won’t work, but the character may be able to become friends with the mistress himself thereby acquiring more information.

If this information is darker in nature and can’t really be used in a positive way to help the character, then it is more of a Hindrance (Secrets). If it can be used by the character to help him in his goals, then it’s positive and an Edge.

Supranormal Knowledge

Type: Background Edge

Prerequisites: Novice

The character with Supranormal Knowledge knows something something nobody else (at least nobody else in the campaign) knows. As a Edge, give the character +2 to any knowledge based skill, noting that the character has this supranormal knowledge related to it. Whenever the character performs this skill, watchers will be amazed or confused (or both).

Some examples of this include the real-world example of the effect of martial arts on the Western world. Before anyone went to the Far East, unarmed combat was comparatively crude. Then, when people began to see martial arts, they became amazed at the efficiency and grace of the different styles. Those who did not understand how martial arts worked were awed by the performances of practitioners.

There is an additional effect when the character performs the skill, usually to the benefit the character. At the very least, it will be impressive. Note that this option can also be used to introduce alien skills into the game. Perhaps there are skills your gamemaster has in mind that are not included in or covered by the normal rules. For the three point cost, your
character could be the one who introduces those skills to the game universe.

Trademark Specialization

This Edge allows your character to be the best he or she can be. A Trademark Specialization is a cross between an affectation and an obsession. The character has one skill that he or she practices a certain way constantly and is pretty good at. The character selects a skill specialization of a skill he already has and this gains +2 to this specialization. For example, the character has Fighting but with this Edge can gain a specialization of Fighting Axe at that die level, with a +2 bonus.