Advancement and rewards

Character improvement and other goodies

There are two kinds of rewards your characters will earn from a mission: karma and nuyen.

I’ll typically award karma at a rate of 3-5 per session, depending on how much you get done, and also give out occasional bonus points for cool writeups of downtime actions and stuff like that. (Note: at-the-table cool stuff, like clever strategies, funny jokes, and excellent roleplaying will earn Bennies, not karma. This is to your advantage; Bennies are powerful.) Karma is turned into advances, which is Savage World’s terminology for levelling up – see below.

Nuyen will be negotiated in-game by your characters, as usual. Nuyen is only used to cover your character’s lifestyle costs for a while after the mission ends, during which time you can do some downtime actions; the more nuyen you get, the more of these you can do before you run out of money and start looking for work again. See downtime for details. Some of these actions let you convert nuyen into karma, LP, or other resources. Outside of working out how many downtime actions you get, you don’t need to track anything to do with nuyen.

Separate to nuyen is the Sprawlrunners concept of Logistic Points. LPs are what your characters “spend” to acquire illegal or untraceable gear from their contacts. LPs are part in-game money, but also partly based on your character’s reputation with their contacts. (If you prefer, you can use the term from The Sprawl - cred, where it’s deliberately ambiguous if it means currency or street cred.) The total number of LPs your character can access at once goes up naturally as they advance. You might also choose to negotiate a one-off LP bonus with Mr Johnson, rather than a greater nuyen payout.

Occasionally, we might need to figure out if you character has enough liquid funds to cover some expense; a bribe for information, say, or a big restaurant bill. For that, we’ll use Savage World’s wealth die system. See Wealth for more information.

Savage Worlds advances

Core SWADE has a simple structure for advancement: every so often, the character earns an advance. Each advance can be spend on a few things, such as improving traits or new Edges. Every three advances, the character also improves their rank, which unlocks new Edges and other abilities. Sprawlrunners doesn’t change this structure.

Advances are quite “large”, as it were. Each one is quite a significant power boost for a character. It’s slightly tricky to work out at what rate to hand them out, as our mission length varies quite a lot and our sessions are quite short.

For my campaign, to smooth over this, I’m going to make a small change, and re-introduce karma from Shadowrun. Karma will be simply spent on advances at a straight 10:1 ratio (ie. one advance costs 10 karma.) This means I can have a slightly more granular mechanic to reward you than just SWADE advances, but it doesn’t change any game balance.

Spending advances

Each advance can be used in one of a few ways:

  • Gain a new Edge.
    • Note that mages have access to a Power Edge called New Powers that gives you… new powers. You get to pick two new powers each time you take this, and you can take it as many times as you like. This is how you learn new spells.
  • Increase a skill that is equal to or greater than its linked attribute one die type.
  • Increase two skills that are lower than their linked attributes by one die type each (including new skills the character didn’t have before at d4). Note that you can’t increase the same skill twice.
  • Increase one attribute by a die type. Note that this option may only be taken once per Rank (so once at Novice, once at Seasoned, etc.)
    • Legendary characters may raise an attribute every other Advance, up to the racial maximum.
  • Permanently remove a Minor Hindrance, or reduce a Major Hindrance to a Minor (if possible). With the GM’s permission, and if it makes sense, two Advances may be saved up and spent to remove a Major Hindrance.
Last modified January 18, 2021: tweaks (3aed6a5)