Chris Miller

Savage Worlds Combat Cheat Sheet


In Savage Worlds, combat is resolved through a series of Trait tests. This includes actions like attacking an enemy, casting a spell, or using a special ability.


Combat proceeds in turns, with the order determined by drawing cards from a standard deck. Aces go first, Deuces go last.

Basic Combat Trait Test

  1. Declare the Action: Decide the action you’re taking. This could be an attack, a power, or another action.
  2. Roll the Trait Die: Roll the die associated with your relevant Skill (e.g., Fighting, Shooting, Spellcasting).
  3. Roll the Wild Die: If you’re a player character (a Wild Card), roll a d6.
  4. Take the Higher Result: Choose the higher result between your Trait die and Wild die.
  5. Compare to the Target Number: If your result meets or exceeds the target number (usually 4 for attacks), your action is successful. The GM may adjust the target number based on difficulty.


For every 4 points over the target number, you get a “raise”. In combat, a raise on an attack roll often adds to your damage.

Acing (Exploding Dice)

If you roll the maximum number on a die (for example, a 6 on a d6 or an 8 on a d8), you get to roll that die again and add it to your total.

Damage and Toughness

If an attack is successful, roll for damage. This is typically based on the weapon used and any extra damage from a raise.

A character’s ability to resist damage is represented by their Toughness, calculated as 2 plus half their Vigor die type, plus any bonus from armor.

Compare the damage roll to the target’s Toughness:

Shaken and Wounds

A Shaken character is limited in their actions. They must first recover on their turn by making a Spirit roll.

Characters can take up to 3 Wounds. Each Wound inflicts a -1 penalty to Trait tests. At 4 Wounds, the character is Incapacitated.

Multiple Actions

Performing multiple actions in a turn results in a -2 penalty per additional action to all Trait tests that turn.


Armor adds to a character’s Toughness, increasing the amount of damage they can take without being Wounded. Some attacks can bypass or reduce the effectiveness of armor.

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