Savage Masterdeck 03: Initiative Section (Bottom)

 Updated to SWADE


Initiative Effects

There are four Initiative effects on each card, corresponding to the four suits of the Initiative Deck – Spades (♠), Hearts (♥), Diamonds (♦), and Clubs (♣).   These effects are applied to those with the player’s initiative card suit.  For example, if the Heart has Fatigued, all players and GM characters with a Heart card are affected by the Fatigue effect (see below) for that round.

Each round, flip a new Savage Masterdeck card.  When an Savage Worlds Initiative card is flipped, so is a Savage MasterDeck card.  If the card is a picture card, the picture card can either effect play or be ignored, based on the GMs judgement.  Then another card must be drawn for initiative.  These initiative effects simulate the dramatic, changing, and often dangerous nature of adventures; the uncontrollable contingencies that affect abilities and actions. Here are the different effects that can come up –

Breaks

Note: This effect only comes up for GM characters.

When this comes up on the initiative line, the eeffect depends on whether their is a Wild Card GM character or not.

No Wild Card GM character Present – the Extras have one round to either cause damage to the PC, significantly improve their situation, or severely affect their opponents negatively, else they must break off the combat or the interaction, if at all possible. If they do cause damage, etc., even if they only manage to affect one character on the player side, then play continues as normal next round. If it is not possible for them to depart, or if the player characters make it impossible, then they will resume the interaction or combat as normal, but all difficulties will be a level higher until they improve their situation significantly.

Wild Card GM character is Present – This effect simply causes a -1 to all Extras actions for one round.

Confused

Note: This effect only comes up for PCs.

The player characters are confused and their plans are disrupted.  Confused has the following effects:

  • No card play this round (PCs cannot trade cards, put cards in their pools, or draw cards from the deck)
  • PCs must make a Spirit check or take a Distracted Condition.
  • Seize Initiative card cannot be played to remove this condition

This card is in effect for the whole round. In addition, gamemaster characters (NPCs) acting on the players’ side act confused and have difficulty following orders or making plans this round (automatic Distracted condition)

Down

Under a Down-Condition, both Wild Cards and Extras must roll an additional Trait die for all actions this round.  The character then must take away the highest Trait die. 

Fatigued

Due to the stress of the situation, every character with this suit takes a level of Fatigue damage.

Flurry

Every character every character with this suit  gets one extra action this round with no Multi-Action penalty. Characters can receive cards for performing approved actions during either or both actions. Characters can also play cards from their Hands into their Pools twice if they perform two actions.

Inspiration

When this effect comes up, all characters with this suit can remove all Fatigued levels. Unconscious characters wake up, but are considered prone. In addition, any player character on an inspired suit receives a card at the beginning of the round.

Setback

Something bad happens to the characters with the suit. This can take two forms. The easiest setback to play is that everyone on the affected side loses one action this round. Second and subsequent actions can be taken, but with a multi-action penalty. The more interesting method of enforcing a setback is to figure out an appropriate “disaster” the side suffers. Combinations of disasters for some characters and missed actions for others is also appropriate (maybe one character misses an action, another’s gun jams, and a third finds the catwalk he is standing on collapsing), but no character should suffer more than one setback from this result.

Skill Tests

Note: This effect only comes up for GM characters, Extras and Wild Cards.

The GM characters may have Trait Roll such as Intimidate, Trick, or Taunt listed on the action line.

TestRolls
IntimidateIntimidate vs. Spirit
TauntTaunt vs Spirit
TrickPersuasion vs Smarts or Spirit*
*Which ever is higher

During the round, if a GM character performs one of these actions successfully on a player character, the GM can take one card from that player (either from his hand or pool – but hand cards are chosen randomly) and place it in the discard pile. This effect is valid for the entire round, so if the GM characters are enjoying the benefits of a Haste card, they could have more than one opportunity.

Stymied

The side that is stymied loses one Wild-Die re-roll during his next action. If they get a six on the Wild Die, they cannot re-roll.  This condition lasts only for the single action and then goes away after, even if it has not come into play during that action phase.  This only applies to Wild Cards.  Otherwise, Extras suffer a -1 to a single action.

Up

Under a Up-Condition, both Wild Cards and Extras must roll an additional Trait die for all actions this round.  The character then must take away the lowest Trait die. 

TypeEffect
BreaksGM characters only. Without Wild Card, GM Extras retreat if no progress or -1 to Rolls if with Wild Card
ConfusedNo card play this round (PCs cannot trade cards, put cards in their pools, or draw cards from the deck). PCs must make a Spirit check or take a Distracted Condition. Seize Initiative card cannot be played to remove this condition
DownFor all actions, roll an extra Trait die. Take away the highest Trait die rolled.
FatiguedAdd a level of Fatigue
FlurryPreform one free extra action.
InspirationAll Fatigue conditions are removed. All Unconscious characters wake but prone. All player characters gain a card, played directly into their pool
SetbackLose first action or other effect determined by GM (gun jam, ammo runs out)
TestsGM characters only. Succeed at this, GM takes a random card from the player
StymiedLose one Wild Die Re-roll during next action (-1 to Extras)
UpFor all actions, roll an extra Trait die. Take away the lowest Trait die rolled.

Approved Actions

At the bottom of the cards is a line called the Approved Actions.  An approved action is a action that is randomly determined as appropriate for this round.  Approved actions are an incentive for players to do more than just blaze away with their guns. Most of the approved actions are not directly combat-oriented, and they stress inventiveness and roleplaying.

Any player character that SUCCEEDS at an approved action during the round receives a new card off the top of the Action Deck.

In order to win a card by performing an approved action, all the character has to do is SUCCEED. The action may end up having little or no effect and still be a success. However, the action must move the story along. It is important to remember that approved action means approved action. Only actions that require skill rolls can be approved actions – no matter how appropriate a simple action may be.

He then puts the card into his hand and may play it into his pool as per the normal rules. Characters can only receive one card a round in this manner unless they play a Haste card or a Flurry action is in effect. Note, however, that a multi-action does allow the player to get more than one card if they are performing two different approved actions, like Attack and Defend or Trick and Maneuver. This must me roleplayed out and make sense for the scene.

The following list explains the Approved Actions and what they mean in Savage Worlds terms

Attack

Use an offensive combat skill, such as Fighting or Shooting. The GM may even approve other skill uses if appropriate.

Defend

Defensive actions include actions like Defend, Disarm, or Evasion.

Intimidation

Make others back down or fear you.  In Savage Worlds, use an Intimidation Test (Intimidation vs. Spirit) in combat to determine the result.  This is considered an action.

Maneuver

A Maneuver Test (Athletics vs Agility) in combat attempts to put your opponent at a disadvantage by getting behind someone, ducking to take advantage of cover, and psyching someone out with fancy footwork. Maneuvering can include skill uses such as climbing, driving, riding, piloting, and swimming. Particularly dangerous uses of Agility may also fall into the maneuver approved action category as well.

Taunt

Characters who taunt intend to insult, upset and annoy a target so that he will think less clearly and will not be able to react with good judgement. In Savage Worlds, use the Taunt Test (Taunt vs. Smarts) rules in combat to determine the result.  This is considered an action.

Trick

The character tries to unbalance or deceive a target briefly, using misdirection, deception, and outright bluster. In Savage Worlds, use the Test (Persuasion vs. Smarts) rules in combat to determine the result.  This is considered an action.

Other Ways to Get Cards

There are other ways of getting cards.

The End of a Scene or Act

When an adventure Scene or an Episode ends every player is allowed to replenish/discard cards.

Exceptional Roleplaying

Sometimes, when a player does an exceptional job of planning, roleplaying, or leadership, the gamemaster may choose to award that player with an extra card.

Buying Cards

Players can buy cards with Bennys if they so choose.  They spend the Benny and draw two cards.  They then pick the best of the two, shuffling the other back into the Savage Masterdeck.

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