Savage Worlds Walk-Through

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Context: HL KitAuthoring Examples 


This section of the documentation outlines the evolutionary process of the Savage Worlds data files. It provides a technical walk-through of how the Skeleton data files provided with the Kit were converted into the fully functional data files for Savage Worlds. The process is outlined in a step-wise fashion that you can follow along with if you wish or simply use as a reference. For steps that involve the entry of numerous data elements (e.g. attributes, skills, edges, etc.), a few key examples are outlined and the rest remain as an exercise if you wish. Alternately, you can simply review them within the completed Savage Worlds files that have everything already implemented for you.

IMPORTANT! The Savage Worlds data files implement the rules as outlined in the Explorers Edition rulebook. In some cases, pertinent mechanics that existed in the original rulebook are also included to illustrate how to do various tasks.

What We Assume

This walk-through assumes you have a basic familiarity with the Savage Worlds game system from Great White Games, since our goal is to develop data files for that game system. If you aren't familiar with the game, the first step is to get up to speed on the basics. This can be easily accomplished by reviewing the free "Test Drive" rules for Savage Worlds, which can be found online. Just go to the Great White Games website and you should find the file in the Downloads section. If you have trouble locating the file, you can use this mirror link.

If you have not done so yet, you will likely benefit by reviewing the organization and content of the Skeleton/Sample data files. Since the Savage Worlds data files start with the Skeleton data files and evolve from there, you'll probably find that extra context to be helpful.

Lastly, the assumptions sets forth for the examples as a whole also apply.

Where to Find the Source

Sometimes, it might be useful to refer to the source code of the completed Savage Worlds files during this tutorial. You can find it by downloading and importing the Savage Worlds game system from the updates mechanism (click "Locate Files" on the "Select Game System" form that appears when you start Hero Lab), then looking in the "source" directory under the Savage Worlds folder. Depending on where you installed Hero Lab, this will be something like:


Once there, you can view all the source files. Note that editing them will NOT apply any changes to the Savage Worlds game system - they are for reference only. If you want to make changes to the game system, you must copy them to a different folder (for example c:\herolab\data\mysavage) and begin editing there.

Creating the Savage Worlds Data Files

The topics below follow the evolutionary process from start to finish. If this is your first time reading through this documentation, we strongly recommend that you read through these topics in the order presented, as each one builds upon changes made in the previous stages. After an initial reading, you can return to the topics that most closely pertain to whatever task you are working on within your own data files.

Changes After Initial Release

The Savage Worlds data files are maintained on an ongoing basis, which means bugs are fixed and new capabilities are sometimes added. Instead of retrofitting the preceding documentation, any such changes are outlined in the following topics.