Chris Miller

Advancement in Savage Worlds

In the world of tabletop role-playing games, character progression is a key element that keeps players engaged and drives the narrative forward. In Savage Worlds, this progression is managed through a system known as Advancement. This article will explain how Advancement works in Savage Worlds and offer tips to help players make the most of their characters' growth.

Overview of Advancement

In Savage Worlds, characters grow and change through a system of advancements rather than leveling up as in many other RPGs. This creates a more flexible and customizable character progression experience.

Instead of gaining levels, characters earn Experience Points (XP) through participating in game sessions, accomplishing goals, and contributing to the story. After a certain amount of XP, the character gets an Advance, which can be spent to improve attributes, increase skills, gain new edges, or reduce hindrances.

Earning Experience Points

Experience Points in Savage Worlds are typically awarded at the end of each game session. The rate is typically 2-3 XP per session, though the Game Master (GM) may choose to give more or less based on the session’s challenges and accomplishments.

Milestones or significant achievements in the character’s personal story or the overall campaign could also earn extra XP, at the GM’s discretion.

Spending Advances

Every time a character earns 5 XP, they gain an Advance, and the XP count resets. Here’s what characters can spend their Advances on:

  1. New Edge: Edges represent special talents or abilities, and are a popular choice for Advances. There are many edges to choose from, so players can tailor their characters to their preferred playstyle.

  2. Increase Skills: Players can increase a skill by one die type, or two skills that are currently lower than the linked attribute by one die type each.

  3. Increase Attributes: Every other Advance (starting from the second), players can choose to increase an attribute by one die type. However, no attribute can be increased more than once per Rank.

  4. Remove Hindrance: With the GM’s permission, a player can spend an Advance to reduce the effects of a Major Hindrance or remove a Minor Hindrance.


As characters gain Advances, they also progress in Rank. Ranks are broad categories of power and skill that give a general idea of a character’s capabilities. There are five Ranks: Novice (0-4 Advances), Seasoned (5-8 Advances), Veteran (9-12 Advances), Heroic (13-16 Advances), and Legendary (17+ Advances).

Some Edges have Rank prerequisites, so gaining Ranks not only shows your character’s progression, but also opens up new options for their development.

Tips for Advancement

  1. Plan Ahead: Look at the available Edges and their prerequisites and have an idea of the character you want to create. Some Edges have Rank, Attribute, or Skill prerequisites, so planning can help optimize your progression.

  2. Balance: A balanced character can handle various situations. It can be beneficial to invest in a mix of combat and non-combat skills and abilities.

  3. Character Over Power: While it’s important to create a capable character, don’t forget the role-playing aspect. Sometimes a Hindrance or a lower-ranked skill can make for a more interesting character!

In summary, Savage Worlds provides a flexible, engaging character advancement system that allows players to shape their characters over time. This framework encourages creativity and strategic planning, enriching the role-playing experience. Enjoy your journey towards becoming Legendary!

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