SWADE: Integrating Edges into Stat Blocks


Liek D&D 3.x or Pathfinder feats, Savage Worlds enemies often have Edges built into their stat blocks that are not explained in the stat block itself. As with D&D, I think this is a mistake: requiring the GM to flip pages to find out what the monster or villain is capable of is a waste of time and counter to the Fast, Furious, Fun ethos of Savage Worlds. That being the case, I would like to build a "bestiary" of SWADE enemies that do not require the GM to turn her attention away from the game in order to run the bad guy.

Let's take the Master Assassin (from the SWADE Fantasy Companion) as an example. It's Edges include: Acrobat, Block (Imp), Combat Acrobat, Alertness, Assassin, Dodge (Imp), First Strike, Marksman, Level Headed, Poison Expert, Streetwise, Quick, Thief

Alertness provides a +2 on almost all Notice Rolls. Why not list Notice as 1d10+2?
Assassin: just say +2 when they get the drop.
Block Increases Parry. It appears that it is calculated in (as only Parry, Not Improved Parry. Why?
Dodge and Improved Dodge have specific effects. These should be laid out so the GM does not have to go to the Edges section to know what they do.
First Strike is a fiddly rule that should be built into the state block. It may be that the Edge is too fiddle for an NPC meant to last 3 rounds and you just define an ability "once per round, if the Master Assassin moves into reach an enemy the Assassin gets an immediate free attack that does not count against the Assassin's total actions for the round."
Marksman is agin too fiddly for a "monster." Just give say they ignore 2 points of penalties or give them +2 to hit.
Thief: Come on. "The Master Assassin gets +1 to all assassiny actions."
Streetwise seems like a Edge that is not appropriate to NPCs.
Quick is a special one. Maybe just list it as an ability? Quick: The master assassin my redraw an initiative card of less than 5.
I'm not sure what Poison Expert is supposed to be.
Acrobat and Combat Acrobat are from Savage Pathfinder, so...
In any case -- my point is that burying important abilities for NPCS and monsters in reference to state blocks is a ain and makes running the game harder. I propose rewriting such enemies so that their important abilities are directly available in the state block. I also think that SWADE enemies, liked D&D ones, need more versatility to make combat interesting and dynamic.

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This is what D&D did with 4th Edition - anything resembled a spell was fully described in the stat block of the creature so you did not have to flip around to look it up.

It's still incredibly annoying when it happens in games like Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, and I cannot believe game designers haven't learned to do better.

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