Steal this Setting: Savage Zendikar

MightyWok requested that I post my rules from a Savage Worlds game I ran on Google Wave set in Zendikar, so here they are.



  • Free Edge – Humans begin play with a free novice edge, which they must meet the requirements for as normal.


  • Disliked – Elves are disliked by most other races and get a -2 penalty to charisma when dealing with non-elves.
  • Keen Hearing – Their well-developed ears give elves a +2 bonus on notice checks to detect sounds.
    Low-Light Vision – Elves can see well in all but the darkest conditions, and ignore penalties for dim and dark lighting.
  • Survivalist – Elves are particularly in tune with the world of Zendikar and begin play with a free d6 in survival.


  • Agile – Goblins begin play with a free d8 in agility, and may raise it up to a d12+2. Through the expert and master edges, this may be raised up to a d12+4.
  • Ambush – Goblins favor ambush tactics, and begin play with a free d6 in climbing and stealth.
  • Small – Goblins begin play with the small hindrance, giving them a -1 penalty to toughness.
  • Outsider – Goblins begin play with the outsider hindrance, giving them a -2 penalty to charisma when dealing with non-goblins and they are treated particularly poorly.


  • Acrobatic Climbers – Kor base their climbing skill on either strength or agility, whichever is better.
  • Hearty – The Kor are a hearty race and gain an extra point to spend on attributes.


  • Aquatic – Merfolk have webbed fingers and toes, and can move at their full Swimming skill while in water (-2” per load limit penalty). Merfolk begin play with a free d6 in Swimming.
  • Dehydration – Merfolk must immerse themselves in water one hour out of every twenty-four. Those who don’t are automatically fatigued each day until they are Incapacitated. The day after that, they perish.
  • Lore of the Sea – Merfolk have a strong oral tradition, granting a +2 bonus on common knowledge checks and they begin play with a free d6 in Knowledge (History).
  • Magical Affinity – Merfolk start with 5 free power points. Those without an Arcane Background edge gain no bonus from this trait, though they do get the bonus power points immediately if they later gain an Arcane Background.



Arcane Background (Mana)

Associated Skill: Channeling
Starting mana points: 10

Starting spells: 3, at least two of which must be from your chosen color.

When you choose this arcane background, pick a color– white, blue, black, red or green. The color you choose determines what spells you have access to and what attribute your channeling skill is derived from.

You may learn powers from your color’s list, as well as your two allied colors’ lists. Spells from your allied colors’ lists cost 1 additional mana point to cast (your own color’s spells cost the usual amount).

For reference, here are each color’s allied colors:

White: Blue, green
Blue: White, black
Black: Blue, red
Red: Black, green
Green: Red, white

A normal character can only channel a single type of mana; even though you have access to other colors’ spell lists, when you cast a spell from one of them you are using your own color of mana to do it, and the spell is aligned with that color. For example, if a blue mage casts heal (which is on the white list), it is considered a blue spell and uses blue mana.

Versatile Caster

Requirements: Novice, Channeling d8

You may cast spells from your allied colors’ spell lists for their normal cost instead of paying an extra mana point.


Channeling (Special)
This skill is used for Arcane Background (Mana). If you take the arcane background edge, make sure to toss some points in here! Otherwise, ignore this. The skill is linked to a different attribute, depending on your chosen color, as follows:

  • White: Spirit
  • Blue: Smarts
  • Black: Smarts
  • Red: Strength
  • Green: Vigor

Spell Lists


  • Armor
  • Deflection
  • Healing
  • Light
  • Smite


  • Conceal/Distract (See New Spells, below)
  • Detect/Conceal Mana (See Detect/Conceal Arcana)
  • Elemental Manipulation (Air)
  • Elemental Manipulation (Water)
  • Speak Language


  • Entangle
  • Fear
  • Lower Trait (See Boost/Lower Trait)
  • Obscure
  • Stun


  • Bolt
  • Burst
  • Elemental Manipulation (Fire)
  • Speed


  • Beast Friend
  • Boost Trait (See Boost/Lower Trait)
  • Elemental Manipulation (Earth)
  • Environmental Protection
  • Shape Change

New Spells


Rank: Novice
Mana Points: 3
Range: Smarts
Duration: 3 (1/round)
Trappings: Illusory camouflauge, ghost sounds, etc.

This spell has two similar modes.

As Conceal, all creatures in a small burst are magically camouflaged, and all others take a -1 penalty on notice checks to spot them for the duration of the spell.

As Distract, all creatures in a large burst take a -2 penalty on all notice checks for the duration of the spell.

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5 Responses to “Steal this Setting: Savage Zendikar”

  1. Only sorta problem I find is there’s not enough representation of the “wild” mana in zendikar resultant from the Eldrazi. But still, nice

  2. [...] Wheaton posted a tweet pointing to a pretty clever idea: roleplaying in the Zendikar world (from recent Magic the Gathering sets) using Savage Worlds for the mechanics. Zendikar has [...]

  3. Thanks a lot! I’m off and running!

  4. Stolen. :D

  5. [...] site apresentou uma idéia bastante interessante: ambientar o universo de Zendikar (cenário do último [...]

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