In episode 3 we talked a bit about Edges in character creation and briefly mentioned the Class Edges in Pathfinder for Savage Worlds. Let’s take a deeper dive into how Class Edges actually work.
The first Class Edge that a character can access—also known as Core Class Edges—functions as both a character archetype like you’d think of in traditional fantasy roleplaying games, but also a collection of individual Edges and traits.
If you decide you’d like to build a Monk, for example, you take the Monk Core Class Edge. Much like many other Edges, this has a set of requirements that your character needs to have before they can take it, but it also grants your character a number of traits that are specific to the class. Where other Edges are like individual abilities, Core Class Edges are a bunch of different traits that come together to form the giant fighting robot that is a Class.
This is the key to what makes each class unique. Within the Monk Core Class edge, for example, are all the traits that you associate with Monks in fantasy roleplaying: A bonus to unarmed strikes, a Stunning Fist ability that can apply a negative status to an opponent, a penalty to agility-based rolls—like I mentioned before, the Core Edge for each Class is an archetype. This is followed by other Edges that branch off of the first, and are meant to be taken as your character advances.
The second page of each Core Class Edge has an Iconic Character Path breakdown. These are example characters that you can use as a guide for character advancement, and as inspiration for character creation, both in the nuts-and-bolts of character stats, as well as character backgrounds. If you’re having trouble on what to do with your character at any point, giving one of these a look could help you out!
RANKS AND ADVANCEMENT
Get enough adventures under your belt, and it’ll come time for you r party to get stronger. That’s where getting familiar with character Ranks and Advances are key. Instead of measuring character growth by experience points, characters in Savage Pathfinder have five Ranks that reflect their growth and increasing prowess as adventurers:
As we mentioned in episode 3, characters start at the Novice rank and progress upward until the final rank of Legendary. So if there aren’t experience points, how does this growth happen? Through Advances.
Rather than an experience system tied to individual achievements, like defeating enemies of a specific strength, or securing types of loot, Advances are awarded to all characters in an adventuring party at the end of a specific amount of game sessions—the book considers about 4 or 5 hours of play to be a session, but always work with your group for what’s a suitable amount of time for all of you to have a satisfying gaming session.
The suggested number of sessions a group should play before Advances are awarded depends on what kind of campaign you’re playing. For short campaigns—about 10 sessions or less—Advances should be awarded at the end of each session. For longer campaigns, grant an Advance every four or five sessions, with a suggestion to slow down a bit once characters have hit Heroic Rank.
At each Advance, characters can make one of the following adjustments:
For Background and Core Class Edges, or removing Hindrances you should have strong, story-based reasons to back your choice up. Changes like those should represent years of work, or a drastic life change. Neither should be granted lightly.
Characters reach a higher rank every 4 Advances. In addition to getting a cooler name to apply to your character as they grow, higher ranks give you access to more powerful Edges, including Prestige and Legendary Edges.
Once characters have a variety of different skills, powers, and edges under their belts, they can use these unique combinations to open the door to truly unique talents known as Prestige Edges. These Edges represent characters that take their experiences and skills and build them into incredibly effective specialties.
To use an analogy, you can think Core Class Edges as your character’s undergraduate career, while Prestige Classes where you declare a major, or pick a graduate program, focusing on a more narrow area of study. If you’ve been focusing on your skills with a bow and arrow, consider the Arcane Archer. Enjoy sneak attacks and subterfuge? Take a look at the Assassin. Prestige Classes are something you can plan for and build up to.
Advances can only be used to obtain Prestige Edges once per rank.
Legendary Edges are just that, Edges that are available once your characters have hit the Legendary Rank. These are Edges that more than anything else, represent your characters’ immense experience and status as battle-tested adventures. As such, they provide benefits that could only come over the course of many adventures, building up a reputation, and taking enough lumps to learn lessons that very few people could live to tell.
Edges like Followers—where five allies join a character to fight by their side—can only happen after tales of your great deeds have spread far enough that they could encourage people to risk their safety to aid you. On the other hand, edges like Tough As Nails where a character’s wound threshold to being Incapacitated goes up by one, are probably the result of years-long training—and repeated exposure to ludicrous amounts of damage.
By the time you’re in a game with Legendary characters, it probably goes without saying that you’ll have plenty of good story reasons for why these Edges would be unlocked, don’t be afraid to lean into them. If a character takes Sidekick edge, perhaps their new ward is a child from a village that the party saved, all grown up.
That about does it for the How-To portion of our Savage Pathfinder series! Thanks for reading! Be sure to like and share this with your friends if you enjoyed it! Join us soon for a play session on the channel, where you can see the game in action! Even with everything we’ve covered, there’s still a ton of Savage Pathfinder to uncover, so if you have any specific questions or requests, check out our Discord!
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‘Til next time, LET’S DUNGEON!