I have a vague and unformed intention of using Savage Worlds as an engine for a Paizo adventure path at some point. My primary interest is the utility of squishing down the power levels: Savage Worlds seems to map pretty easily to the standard language of leveling up, without drifting power levels by orders of magnitude the way D&D does at higher levels. I’m running Curse of the Crimson Throne now, which is a module series that takes place in a single city for the most part, and it’s even more of a hurdle than normal D&D in avoiding conceptual dissonance as to how the threats to the city always seem to be keyed directly to the strength of the PCs at any given moment (I’ve actually taken to just giving the luminaries of the city some degree of metagame awareness; they assign the PCs to tasks that seem to be roughly within their power level to free up higher level NPCs to deal with higher level threats).

So, all that said, a big task is to add in support for D&D tropes that the Savage Worlds fantasy rules don’t already cover. The biggest one is magic items. As noted above, my goal is to use this as a lower powered replacement for D&D, so part of that is to avoid having too much escalation of itemization: you might swap out an item for one with a wider set of capabilities or for one more tuned to your character style, but you won’t feel the urge to replace a +1 item for a +2.


Many weapon types grant “bonus damage” in certain circumstances. In this case, the weapon effectively adds a Wild Die for damage: add a d6 to the damage roll and drop the worst die result. If multiple traits of a weapon add bonus damage at the same time, roll a bonus die for each element that counts, and then drop low dice equal to that number (effectively, never keep more dice than your normal damage total). Some powerful items might add a bonus die larger than a d6, and these will be explicitly noted.

Weapon Materials

  • Steel/Wood: Most weapons are made of common ingredients, though mystical ones might be made of very high quality versions of these materials. Unless otherwise noted, a weapon is assumed to be made of steel, wood, or something else appropriate.
  • Silvered: Weapons designed to fight lycanthropes and certain other monsters often have silver alchemically bonded to the surface of the weapon, giving it an almost Damascus-like patina of silver and steel. These weapons deal wounds that ignore any monster protections (armor, immunity, invulnerability, regeneration, etc.) that are weak to silver. Silvered weapons are of functionally identical strength to normal weapons, but this process is complicated and expensive. A weapon made of pure silver is equally effective at bypassing monster resistances, but will likely do reduced damage due to softness of the metal (GM’s option) and is easier to break than steel weapons (having half the Toughness).
  • Cold Iron: Many faeries and demons are weak to weapons made of “cold iron;” this term generally refers to iron worked in a way that preserves its elemental purity… by the time it’s become steel, some vital mystical element is lost. Thus, wrought iron generally qualifies, and weapons made of the stuff are often heavy, brittle, dull, and ugly compared to their steel counterparts (but may be cheaper to create). Cold Iron weapons bypass certain monstrous defenses in the same way as silver vs. lycanthropes. They weigh twice as much as standard versions of the weapon, generally do one die step less damage for cutting/piercing weapons, and are easier to break than steel weapons (having half the Toughness).
  • Adamant: Iron mined from fallen stars and deep in highly magical areas is often classed as “adamantine.” Steel forged from this metal is generally harder and stronger than even the best normal steel, can be sharpened to a razor edge, and tends to cause lesser materials to shatter more easily. Effectively, these weapons gain bonus AP equal to the size of the bonus damage die/2 (e.g., a Str+d4 weapon has 2 greater AP than normal, a Str+d10 weapon has +5 AP, etc.). Additionally, these weapons may bypass monstrous protections possessed by golems and other constructs. These weapons have twice the toughness of steel weapons and apply their AP to attempts to break other items. At the GM’s option, these weapons may also be easier to enchant.
  • Ironwood: Elves, druids, and other forest dwellers have a secret process of oils and resins that can turn a weapon made of wood as hard as steel. Ironwood weapons behave like steel weapons, but maintain their natural properties (effectively, they are not conductive, do not offend druidic sensibilities, and can be used against creatures vulnerable to wood). Their major limitation, other than the expense of the process, is that they are harder to mend if broken than a steel weapon.
  • Mithral: Also known as “truesilver,” mithral is found deep within the earth and combines the best elements of silver and steel. Weapons made of mithral are half the weight of a steel weapon, count as silvered for purposes of fighting monsters, and are harder to break (at the GM’s option).

Weapon Traits

The following are common enchantments found on magical weapons.

  • Magic: All enchanted weapons have the “magic” trait, and, for some, this is the only trait possessed. A magic weapon is more able to resist breaking and magical effects that would destroy or ignore mundane weapons (treat Toughness as +5). Most importantly, certain highly magical creatures resist mundane weapons, and magic weapons bypass this effect (as silver bypasses lycanthropic defenses). Finally, many magical weapons emit light (with a high variation on the strength of the glow and whether the wielder can deactivate it).
  • Bane: Many weapons are given a purpose to defeat a particular type of creature. When fighting the creature, the weapon gains a bonus damage die and AP +2. Additionally, if the creature type is vulnerable to a material, the weapon will almost always be made of this substance (e.g., lycanthrope-bane weapons are typically silvered or mithral).
  • Elemental: A common weapon enchantment is to make the item coruscate with energy. The most common types are flame (fire), frost (water), and electricity (air), but some weapons have also been known to secrete acid or thunder on impact (earth). The wielder can often turn this effect on and off with a command word, and the weapons tend to automatically disable their effects when not in a wielder’s hand (sheathed or dropped). These weapons deal a bonus die of damage and all damage dealt by the weapon is considered of the energy type if the target is weak to that energy in some way.
  • Ghost: Undead hunters often enchant their weapons to be able to strike ghosts, spectres, and other ethereal beings. These weapons are considered fully present on both the physical and spirtual planes, allowing them to wound creatures through which normal weapons pass harmlessly. However, these weapons can sometimes be a risk: spiritual beings that normally cannot affect the physical plane can wield these weapons as easily as can mortals.
  • Keen/Impact: Magic can be used to sharpen a blade finer than is physically possible or to focus the impact of a blunt weapon to a much smaller point. Attacks made with such a weapon raise on every 3 degrees of success instead of every 4.
  • Ethical: Certain weapons are tuned to support the ethos of a religion, cutting down all that oppose it. In practical terms, these weapons are Bane against any being that is considered a core enemy by the tenets of the religion. For “good” religions, this is often a broad swath of amoral creatures and blackhearted men, while “evil” practices hurt the innocent, the just, and the virtuous. Ethical weapons almost always bypass the defenses of outsiders loyal to opposing deities (much as silvered weapons harm lycanthropes). At the GM’s option, bad things happen to wielders of such a weapon that it would consider opponents.
  • Disrupting: Another great aid to those that oppose the undead, disruption weapons weaken the target’s connection to the energy source that powers it. These weapons are automatically Bane against undead. Undead creatures incapacitated by such a weapon are automatically destroyed (typically in a dramatic blast of decay), and this almost always overcomes the abilities of creatures such as vampires and liches to reconstitute themselves when destroyed. Undead can always sense the presence of such a weapon within 5 feet times the die size of their Notice (e.g., an undead with d10 Notice can sense Disrupting weapons within 50 feet), and will respond typically respond with fear or anger.