Monday 6 December 2021

December 2021: City of Rats

 We're coming to the end of the year and the Festive Season (at time of writing) is almost upon us!

This time of year it is typically customary to give gifts, so this is what this month's blog post is all about. Some years ago I ran a Savage Worlds campaign based on the video game Dishonored, something that I created a fan adaptation for. I've been wanting to run a follow-on game for some time, but we've had the Adventure Edition of Savage Worlds released since I originally ran the game. So my gift to folk this year is an updated version of my Dishonored fan adaptation for SWADE.


Savage Dishonored

There is plenty of resources elsewhere that covers the setting of Dishonored, so this blog post will be focused on the mechanics side of things needed to run a game.

Making Characters

Creating characters for Savage Dishonored is the same as the process is in SWADE, though the characters will be Human and there are some restrictions on Arcane Background (see below). For Hindrances, Edges and Gear consult both this blog post and the SWADE rulebook.

A Note On Arcane Backgrounds: There is only one Arcane Background allowed, The Outsider's Mark which is a reskinned Arcane Background Gifted. A character may select this with the GM's permission either during character creation or as an Advance later on. The difference is that improving a character's Arcane ability such as buying Power Edges or New Powers, etc is a separate Advancement track that requires a Whalebone Rune to be spent in order to get an Arcane related Advance. This is done to both reflect the rarity of those who bear the Mark of the Outsider and mirror the video game.

NPC Arcane users are recommended to use the Arcane Background (Magic).


There are no new Hindrances, but Bad Luck from SWADE is removed due to a variant of the Hard Choices Setting Rule being used that allows unlimited Bennies for the players (explained later under Setting Rules).


Luck and Great Luck have been changed to allow a character to have additional tokens of Momentum, detailed below under Setting Rules, up to a maximum of three tokens.

New Edge(s) include.

Ghost (Professional Edge)

Requirements: Novice, Stealth d8+

May reroll any Stealth rolls made.

Street Forager (Professional Edge)

Requirements: Novice, Spirit d6, Survival d6

+2 to Survival and Stealth in urban environments.

Voidsense (Weird Edge)

Requirements: Novice

Your character is able to sense when there is something marked by the power of the Void close-by, be it a rift or bone-charm. You may attempt a Notice roll at -2 to try and locate where this thing actually is, with a raise you gain an idea of just how powerful it is.

Credit to Zoltan for alot of the following.


Template: Teleport, p. 170
Blink is a Novice Power.
This power can only be used with Personal limitation.

Actually Blink is a very quick jump so if the hero tries to jump through hard objects like bars, chain link fences or even people, they will stop the motion and might damage him sometimes. But he can jump through glass which will break in the process. He cannot blink to places he cannot see.

Swapping places (+1):
You may change the position of your hero with his doppelganger within range. He needs to know that power to use this modifier.

Template: Speed, p. 167
This power can only be used with Personal limitation.

Only the Quickness modifier can be used.

Template: Dark Sight, p.
This power can only be used with Personal limitation.

Detects living animals and people in every direction, even through walls. Black and white sight except living beings who appear in orange.

Template: Telekinesis, p. 170
Trapping: black smoke tentacle

Small objects (-3 PP)
: Grabbing small items up to 2 kg (4 pounds) is cheaper.

Template: Darkness p. 164

Rank: Seasoned
Power Points: 3
Range: Smarts
Duration: 5
Trapping: summoning a void spirit 

Summons an invisible spirit from the void which looks like a kind of crystal and attracts the full attention of the targets. They became easy targets in a fight, the attacker gets the Drop against them. Targets can be humans and animals.

Anyone sees the spirit’s place must make a Spirit roll (at -2 if the caster got a raise on her arcane skill roll). Those who fail will stare at the place of the spirit and cannot do anything else. They don’t perceive the environment and forget everything after the Power ends. Those who succeed also can see a small vibration in the air and if they continue to watch — which is a very typical behavior — they must make a new Spirit roll.

The spirit can mesmerize targets within a Small Blast Template centered around it. However, items and people may cover the sight.

Marked people see the spirit and aren’t affected.

Medium visibility (+1)
: visible within a Medium Blast Template.
Large visibility (+2): visible within a Large Blast Template.

Rank: Seasoned
Power Points: 3
Range: Smarts
Duration: 5
The hero may possess an animal or human. Possession means the caster disappears and travels in the body of the victim. When the possession ends the target gets stunned and your hero reappears behind them. Small targets like rats won’t survive this process.

The hero cannot possess Mark Bearers. Those with magical talents recognize they are possessed, but they cannot do anything against it. The hero can possess fresh corpses or unconscious people. Other Powers cannot be used while possessing someone.

Template: Disguise, p. 158
The hero may steal the look of existing people from touch range. It can change only the appearance of the hero.

Modifiers cannot be used. Mark bearers cannot be deceived.

Template: Intangibility, p. 163
Rank: Veteran
Trapping: black smoke monster
This power can only be used with Personal limitation.

The hero cannot travel through walls, only through holes.

Rank: Veteran
Power Points: 6
Range: Smarts
Duration: one week
The caster summons a Blood Briar, a semi sentient vine-like void creature described below in Bestiary. They don’t like to be close to each other.

Rank: Novice
Power Points: 2
Range: Smarts
Duration: 5
Trappings: rats

Summons rats who attack the closest targets. An alternative can be summoning bloodflies. They occupy a small blast template size. See the Swarm enemy type p.189.

Rat Piper (+1)
: The swarm follows you and attacks everyone.
Two small swarms (+2)
Medium swarm (+3)
Large swarm (+4)

Template: Summon Ally, Mirror Self, p. 169

You may put a single command to the mind of your doppelganger when created, for example run to a certain place or attack a target. Otherwise, the doppelganger will follow you and will attack those who you attack.

With Blink, you may exchange places with your doppelganger.

Modifiers cannot be used.

Template: Bolt, p. 156

Rank: Novice
Power Points: 2
Range: Smarts
Duration: Permanent
Corpses disappear including their non-metallic equipment and body parts.

More targets (+1)
: The power may affect more than one corpse for 1 additional Power Point each.

Rank: Legendary
Power Points: 5
Range: Smarts
Duration: 1 hour
Trapping: a painting
The hero can create a gate to the Void that everybody can use.

Template: Havoc, p. 162
Trappings: wind, scream

Shockwave (+1)
: it deals 2d6 lethal damage in addition.


Just like in SWADE, characters get 500 coin to spend on gear.

General Equipment

Burglar's Tools, 50 coin, 1lb.

-2 Thievery without them.

Cheater's Tools, 30 coin, 1lb.

Free reroll when attempting to Cheat during a Gambling roll.

Climbing Gear, 50 coin, 10lb.

Allows the user to ignore up to 2 points of penalty when climbing. 

Concealing Clothing, 50 coin (though any concealing clothing that works in any environment are much more expensive), 4lb.

Grants +2 Stealth when worn in specific environment or +1 Stealth if made for any condition.

Disguise Kit, 50 coin, 8lb.

Grants free reroll on Performance rolls while using a disguise.

Fine Clothing And Accessories, 150+ coin, 10lb.

Forged Papers, 50 coin, - lb.

The better quality or rather the document being forged, the higher the cost.

Gives user +1 to Persuasion, +2 if high quality, when attempting to convince some official. The target can attempt an opposed Notice roll to spot that the document is a fake, the TN is the character's Persuasion result.

Physician's Kit, 50 coin, 1lb.

-1 Healing without it.

Spyglass, 100 coin, 1lb.

+1 Notice at range.

Tinkerer's Tools, 200, 5lb.

+1 to Repair on mechanical items.


Armored Mantle Coat (Torso), 120 coin.

+3 Armor, Min Str d6, 15lb.

Helmet (Head), 20 coin.

+3 Armor, Min Str d4, 3lb.

Masks worn by the Overseers only cover the face.

Treated Cloth, 60 coin.

+1 Armour, Min Str d4, 3lb.


Crossbow, 100 coin.

10/20/40, 2d6, AP 2, RoF 1, Min Str d6, 5lb.

Cudgel, 10 coin.

Str+d4, Min Str d4, 2lb.

Grenade, 70 coin.

4/8/16, 3d6, MBT, 1lb.

Grenade, Chokedust, 70 coin.

4/8/16, Special, MBT, 1lb. 

Those caught within the blast template must make a Vigor roll (at -2 with a raise) or be Distracted and Vulnerable.

Knife, 20 coin.

Str+d4, Min Str d4, 1lb.

Knuckledusters, 10 coin.

Str+d4, Min Str d4, 1lb, Don't count as a weapon for Unarmed Defender.

Pistol, 150+ coin.

12/24/48, 2d6, AP 1, RoF 1, Shots 1, Min Str d4, 3lb.

Rifle, 300+ coin.

24/48/96, 2d8, AP 2, RoF 1, Shots 1, Min Str d6, 8lb.

Sword, 50 coin.

Str+d6, Min Str d6, 2lb.

Wristbow, 120 coin.

5/10/20, 2d4, AP -, RoF 1, Shots 1, Min Str d4, 2lb.


Bolt (Standard), 4 coin apiece, 1lb.

Bolt (Incendiary), 30 coin apiece, 1lb. Notes: Counts as Heavy Weapon and deals 2d6 damage even if fired from a Wristbow, may also set a target on fire with a SBT.

Bolt (Sleep), 20 coin apiece, 1lb. Notes: Deals no damage and is completely negated by metal armor, requires a Called Shot to be used. Those hit by this bolt must make a Vigor roll (-2 if hit with a raise) or fall asleep for one hour.

Bullet (Pistol), 3 coin apiece.

Bullet (Rifle), 5 coin apiece.

Setting Rules

Hard Choices & Variant Bennies

This adaptation makes use of the Hard Choices Setting Rule, though a key difference is that the players are allowed unlimited bennies to encourage them to spend bennies. In addition, there are two additional types of bennies used.

*Momentum:- When used, Momentum tokens work like a typical bennie but do not grant the GM a bennie and players may only have one Momentum token at a time (additional bennies normally awarded by Luck, Great Luck, etc count as Momentum tokens but do not count against this limit). They also do not reset at the end of a session/adventure.

*Chaos:- Chaos tokens are bennies that can be used to double any trait roll (even after a roll was made). They may also be used to reroll a critical failure, granting a +2 bonus in the process. However, when used the GM gains two bennies for each Chaos token spent. Just like Momentum, they also do not reset at the end of a session/adventure.


Key to the Dishonored setting are bone charms, talisman carved from whale bones that provide lesser or greater powers. There are bone charms known as so-called 'corrupted charms' that incur a negative effect. Regardless of their actual type, the Abbey of the Everyman has banned their use and possession of a bone charm is considered a crime.

Bonuses and, sometimes, special effects are always passive abilities. No Power or any other ability that requires an activation can be incorporated into a bone charm. To use a bone charm you must wear it on your person, typically hidden under clothing. The amount of bone charms that you can benefit from any one time is the number of your character's Ranks plus one, a Seasoned Rank character would be able to benefit from three charms.

The Occult skill can be used to not identify bone charms, giving the character an idea of what effects are given, but also to craft new charms. Crafting requires a day work and costs 50 coin plus material, though the effects of the charm need to be decided and declared before work begins. A standard bone charm only requires a success, more powerful ones need a raise on the crafting roll. A failure means the charm gets made, but the GM chooses a negative effect thus turning the charm into a corrupted charm. Critical Failure just means the whole project fails with all materials involved consumed in the process.

A Networking roll at -4 can be made to try and acquire bone charms from less than honest sources.

Popular Bonecharms

  • Agility: +1 to Athletics rolls.
  • Bitter Blood: Bloodflies/rats avoid your hero when possible and attack only close to their nests.
  • Bloody Mana: Suffering a would level restores 3 Power Points.
  • Boar Skin: +2 to Soak, Injury, and any other rolls to survive wounds.
  • Calmness of Whales: +1 to Fear checks and any rolls to resist effects that provoke strong emotions, especially taunts.
  • Cat Eyes: Dim and Dark lighting penalties are halved (but not Pitch Darkness).
  • Elongated Power: The duration of a single, chosen Power lasts 50% longer. A 5 round duration will extend to 8 rounds. Every Power requires a separate bone charm.
  • Expansive Spirit: +2 to the maximum Power Points.
  • Familiar Scent: Wolfhounds cannot smell the hero.
  • Harming Void: +1 damage when using Powers.
  • Leviathan's Breath: Doubles the time the hero can spend underwater without drowning.
  • Malfunction: Nearby constructions used by enemies malfunction with 10% chance. Guns don’t fire, grenades don’t explode. This affect enemies who aim the hero.
  • Power Slash: +1 melee damage.
  • Separation Trauma: Hosts are rendered unconscious when you leave them using Possession.
  • Shadow: +1 to Stealth rolls.
  • Spirited: The hero heals slowly a Wound every day.
  • Spiritual Pool: The hero restores 2 extra Power Points per hour.
  • Tougher Allies: Allies summoned by the hero have +1 Toughness.
  • Twist of Fortune: Critical Failures turn into raises instead.
  • Underwater: +1 Movement when swimming (so an average hero may move 3+1” every round), +1 to
  • swimming Athletics rolls.
  • Unnerving Target: Enemies have +1 to difficulty when shooting at the hero.
  • Vengeance Suffering: Unsoaked Wounds grant the hero a Momentum token.
  • Vitality: +2 to Vigor rolls against poison and diseases. It affects sedatives as well.
  • Void Surge: There is a 10% chance the Power they use don’t cost Power Points. Heroes cannot use Powers without having the appropriate Power Points.
  • White Friends: White animals are friendly and won’t attack your hero unless the hero attacks them.
  • Zephyr: +1 Pace.

Black Bonecharms 

  • Bloodfly Alchemy: The first ranged attack which would hit your hero transforms into bloodflies. Can be used once per day.
  • Cornered Animal: +2 to melee damage rolls for every Wound the hero currently has.
  • Fickle Beasts: Summoned beings in the vicinity of the wielder turn against their summoner. Summoned Followers are the only exception.
  • Hardiness: +1 Toughness.
  • Whirlwind: Quicker melee attacks +1 to Fighting rolls. 

Corrupted Charms 

  • Bad Smell: Animals hate your hero. Dogs always bark at him. When combined with White Friends, white animals are only cautious.
  • Conspicuous: -1 to Stealth rolls and guards pick the hero more often for routine check.
  • Costly Effect: Every Power use costs another 1 Power Point.
  • Delayed: The hero must discard Action Cards of 6 or higher draw another until they have an Action Card of 5 or less (though Jokers are kept). Whilst using this charm, the Quick Edge cannot be used.
  • Doom of Machines: When you roll a 1 on the wild die using any machines, the machine fails and must be repaired. This includes even pistols and grenades. When no trait roll is required you still need to roll a wild die.
  • Exhausting Contact: When the hero uses Powers and rolls a 1 on the wild die, the hero gets a level of Fatigue.
  • Fragile: When the wearer gets a wound, roll a d12. A roll of 1 means the bone charm is destroyed. Soaked wounds don’t count.
  • Frailty: -1 Toughness
  • Leviathan's Smell: -1 to social rolls. The smell of whales can be suppressed by intense fragrance but the overused scent isn’t pleasant either. Intimidation isn’t affected.
  • Omission: Suffer a -1 penalty when attempting to use a Power.
  • Periodic: The bone charm works only during the day or the night.
  • Slow: -1 Pace.
  • Slow Restoration: Power Point regeneration is halved.
  • Unlucky Fighter: -1 to Fighting rolls.
  • Unlucky Shoot: -1 to Shooting rolls.


Blood Briars

Huge and aggressive supernatural plants summoned from the Void. They lash out at and sometimes grab any nearby enemies that they detect. When destroyed, their remains disappear.

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4 (A), Spirit d6, Strength d10, Vigor d10
Skills: Fighting d10, Notice d6+2
Pace: 0; Parry: 7; Toughness: 7
Edges: Alertness
Special Abilities:
• Size: 1
• Tentacles (1): A blood briar has one tentacle action and Reach 6. It may lash for Str+d6 damage.


The black and red coloured bloodflies can grow as big as 25cm (10"). They prefer warmer climates, thus they found in the southern climes of the Empire. Bloodflies build huge nests, similarly to hornets, usually on walls but occasionally they build small ones on the corpses of their victims. They require fresh corpses to lay their eggs  that hatch after a very short time. Bloodflies are peaceful alone and aggressive in groups. They are attracted to rapid motion and sounds. Fire is deadly to them. The nests are flammable and their wings can be easily destroyed. Their stings may cause bloodfly fewer and multiple stings can be deadly.

Use stats for a Swarm in SWADE, though fire does an additional +2 damage to them. Anyone wounded by a bloodfly swarm must make a Vigor roll or be Stunned, failure on this roll requires a second Vigor to avoid being infected by Bloodfly Fever.

Clockwork Soldier

Extremely expensive and deadly constructs sought after by the rich and powerful across the Isles. Costing a king's fortune, these mechanical sentinels are a status symbol of both wealth and paranoia.

Attributes: Agility d4, Smarts d6, Spirit d4, Strength d12+4, Vigor d12
Skills: Fighting d10, Intimidation d10, Notice d8+2
Pace: 7; Parry: 7; Toughness: 13 (3)
Edges: Alertness (Sensors).
Special Abilities:
• Armor +3
• Blade Arms: Str+d8 damage.
• Construct: +2 to recover from being Shaken; ignores 1 point of Wound penalties; does not breathe or suffer from disease or poison and don’t Bleed Out.
• Extra Arms: The machine can attack twice per round.
• Fearless: Machines are immune to Fear and Intimidation.
• Hardy: The clockwork soldier does not suffer a Wound from being Shaken twice.
• Jump: The machine can jump 3” as part of its movement. In can jump up to 2”.
• Size 3 (Large): The clockwork soldier stands 10′ tall.
• Very Resilient: Can take two Wounds before they’re Incapacitated.
• Weak Point, Head: A successful Called Shot to the head can decapitate the machine if the hero wants it. It won’t get wounds but becomes blind and attacks the direction from which it was attacked. In the following rounds it moves and attacks that direction. But it receives a -4 penalty for all attacks. If attacked from another direction it turns and attacks that way. 


Undead hounds summoned by occultists to serve as tireless guards. Normally encountered as a dog's skull upon the ground, but when an intruder is sensed nearby it will transform into a terrible beast. Even after destroying the creature, it returns within 1d6+1 rounds if it's skull is still intact.

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4 (A), Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Athletics d8, Fighting d8, Intimidation d8, Notice d10+2
Pace: 8; Parry: 6; Toughness: 6
Edges: Alertness
Special Abilities:
• Bite: Str+d6.
• Fear (-2)
• Resilient: Can take one Wound before it is Incapacitated.
• Speed
: d10 running die.
• Undead: +2 Toughness; +2 to recover from being Shaken; no additional damage from Called Shots; ignores 1 point of Wound penalties; doesn’t breathe; immune to disease and poison.


Guards can be found all across the Isles, either as hired swords or enforcing the law as part of the Dunwall City Watch or the Serkonos Grand Guard.

Rookie Guard
: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Athletics d6, Fighting d6, Intimidation d6, Notice d6, Shooting d6
Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5
Gear: Sword Str + d8.
Some guards in Gristol wear gorgets and helmet (see Gear above).

Veteran Guard
: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Athletics d6, Fighting d8, Intimidation d8, Notice d8, Shooting d8
Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 6
Edge: Investigator, officers will have Command and other similar Edges.
Gear: Pistol, sword and armor.

Officer Guards will be Wild Cards.


Use Swarm from SWADE.

Tallboy (Wild Card)

The infamous silt walker used during the Rat Plague, Tallboys are dangerous foes to tackle.

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d8, Vigor d6
Skills: Athletics d8, Fighting d8, Intimidation d8, Notice d8, Persuasion d6, Shooting d10
Pace: 3; Parry: 5; Toughness: 10 (4)
Edges: Combat Reflexes, Free Runner

Gear: Their incendiary bolts cause 2d6 fire damage when hit and in the following round. 3d6 with a raise. Range: 12/24/48.


Witch is the catch all name given to magic practising individuals, especially those who form a coven to pool their knowledge and power.

: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6, Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Spellcasting d6.
Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5
Edge: Arcane Background (Magic)
Powers: Blink; Thorns or Windblast with scream trapping.
Gear: Sword Str + d8 

Inner circle
: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d8, Persuasion d8, Spellcasting d8.
Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 5
Edge: Arcane Background (Magic), Power Points x2
Powers: Blink, Blood Briar, Thorns, Windblast with scream trapping.
Gear: Sword Str + d8
They often use Blink in combat.


Use Dog/Wolf from SWADE.