Setting Rules


Barbaric Rage

  • In our tale of Sword and Sorcery, bennies have an additional function as well. Each time your hero spends a benny in combat, roll a separate d6. On a 5–6, the character is gripped with an overwhelming rage, holy conviction, or pure red-blooded fury. The exact rationale is up to you—not every hero has to have a barbarian’s hot blood for instance—but the game effect is the same. For your character’s next three turns, roll an extra d6 and add it to his Trait and damage rolls. Barbaric Rage kicks in immediately, and even adds to the very roll you spent the benny on in the first place. Mark your rage with three tokens of some sort (three red gaming beads work great). At the end of each round after the Rage is triggered (before new cards are dealt), discard a bead. When all the tokens are gone, your hero’s rage has subsided.

Rage does not stack—if a hero is already raging he does not roll for it again even if he spends a benny. Note that having the Conviction Edge allows a character to automatically trigger his
righteous rage before rolling, once per game session.


Blood & Guts

  • Characters can spend Bennies on damage rolls!


Critical Failures

  • When a character rolls double 1’s on a Trait roll, he can’t spend a Benny—he’s stuck with the critical failure.



  • Quality of Material: In the Dread Sea Dominions the science of metallurgy is still in its infancy and many cultures use primitive materials to build weapons and other tools.

The most common materials, in descending order of hardness, are: steel (see below), iron, bronze, stone, bone, wood. Iron weapons and armor are common only in the Iron Empire (Faberterra, Syranthia and Zandor). In the other lands they are Rare and cost double.

Bronze is common in the most of the Dominions. Only in the Caledlands, Lush Jungle, and Ivory Savannah it is Rare and cost double. A character buying a tool made of a material weaker than the current standard in that land (so, for example a bronze dagger in Faberterra) pays 20% less.

The effects of having weapons of different grades of hardness are the following:
When a fighter rolls 1 on the Fighting Die, regardless of the Wild Die, and his opponent is using a weapon, shield or armor of harder material, the fighter’s weapon breaks. The Game Master should not abuse this rule and use it only when it fits the story.

  • The Magic of Steel: Steel, in truth high-carbon iron, is the magical metal of the Dominions. Steel was produced in small quantities at the height of the Empire by the priest smiths of Hulian, but the technique to smelt it is lost today, especially because very few forges can achieve the necessary temperatures. So, steel objects are prized relics and treasures.

A weapon made of steel has AP 2, while armor gains +1 Armor and weighs 25% less. They are almost priceless but, as a general guide, steel weapons and armor cost from ten to twenty times their standard cost, provided that the hero can find some for sale.


Extreme Actions

  • The Dread Sea Dominions are a place where heroes die with a sword in the hand and a curse on their mouth. When a hero is Incapacitated, he makes the usual Vigor roll and apply the results as normal, then the player can choose one of following options:
  • Avenge Me, My Friend(s)! The hero can distribute all his Bennie (minimum one) to his allies within his command radius (usually 5”).
  • Last Breath. Even if the hero should be dead, the sheer force of his will allows him to act as normal for another round, ignoring all the wound penalties. At the end of that round he automatically passes out, as for failing on the Vigor roll on the Incapacitation table, or dies (if the previous roll indicated such a destiny).
  • The Curse of a Dying Man. The hero can throw a terrible curse to his opponent before going down. Unless the GM states differently, it is a lower trait spell, cast using the Spirit score of the incapacitated hero as Arcane Skill. If the hero is actually dying, he receives +4 to the Spirit roll, and the curse is permanent. Each hero can only use this option once each rank.

Given the power of these options each player can use this option only once per session.


Heroic Healing

  • After a fight, each hero is allowed an unmodified Vigor roll. With a success, he recovers a Wound (or a Fatigue level, player’s choice), two with a raise. This represents the character “shrugging off ” wounds and acts in addition to the normal Healing rolls.


High Adventure

  • Characters can spend a Benny to gain a one-time use of a Combat Edge. Player Characters have to meet the Rank and any Edge requirements, but can ignore Trait requirements for this one-time use. Multiple bennies can be spent in one round for multiple Edges, either for different effects or in order to meet a needed requirement to gain another Edge.


Joker’s Wild

  • When a player character draws a Joker during combat, he receives his normal +2 bonus to Trait and damage rolls. In addition, all player characters receive a Benny!


Knock Out Blow

  • In the corrupt cities of the Dominions, one can never be certain of what lies in the shadows or if an ally might suddenly turn enemy. When a character takes enough damage to be Shaken or worse from an attacker with The Drop on him (see Savage Worlds), he must make a Vigor roll against the total damage or be knocked unconscious. If the hero Soaks all the wounds, he doesn’t have to worry about getting cold-cocked. A character knocked unconscious in this manner remains out for 2d6 minutes, or longer if dramatically appropriate. What happens during that time is up to the Game Master, but waking up bound, bereft of belongings, or both is not uncommon.

Note: This covers any kind of damage, not just blows to the head.


NO Honor Among Thieves

  • Betrayal is a part of life. Sometimes a companion double crosses his mates over a few gold pieces. Other times he might cheat on a friend over the love of a woman. Most of these betrayals are met with a wry smile and a vow to reciprocate at some future date. There is no honor among thieves, after all. Sometimes the betrayal is more personal. Whenever a character is betrayed by a close friend or associate (a trusted ally or even another player character—Game Master’s call), he cannot spend a Benny to reroll any opposed defensive action. If the betrayal is an actual attack (almost assuredly with The Drop) and the victim doesn’t Soak all the wounds and / or remove the Shaken, he must make a Vigor roll versus the damage or go unconscious per the Knock Out Blow rules. He may not spend Bennies on this roll.


Setting Rules

Blood and Thunder kaine1972