The action in Savage Worlds is fast and furious. To help the Game Master keep track of who goes in what order and add a little randomness to the game, I will use a single deck of playing cards with both Jokers left in to determine everyone’s initiative. Deal in characters as follows:
- Every Wild Card is dealt a single card. Any allies under that player’s control act on his initiative card as well.
- Each group of Game Master characters, such as all zombies, all wolves, and so on, share a card.
Exactly which nonplayer character groups get their own cards is up to the GM. If he wants to break his 30 zombies into 5 groups of 6, that’s fine. Your goal is to do whatever makes running the battle as quick and easy as possible. Generally, Wild Cards and other unique characters get their own card.
Shuffle: Shuffle the deck after any round in which a Joker was dealt.
Once the cards are dealt, the Game Master starts the round by counting down from the Ace to the Deuce, with each group resolving its actions when its card comes up.
Ties: Ties are resolved by suit order: Spades are first, then Hearts, Diamonds, and Clubs (reverse alphabetical order).
Jokers: When a player draws a Joker, his character can go whenever he wants in the round, even interrupting another character’s action if he wants. In addition, add +2 to all Trait tests this round, and +2 to damage totals as well!
Hold: A hero may choose to wait and see what happens by taking a Hold action. He may then go later in the round if he chooses. A Held action lasts until it’s used. If a character has a Held card when a new round starts, he’s not dealt in.
If a character is Shaken while on Hold, he loses his “Hold” status.
Interrupting Actions: If a character on Hold wants to interrupt an action (including a rival who was also on Hold), he and the opponent make opposed Agility rolls. Whoever rolls highest goes first. In the rare case of a tie, the actions are simultaneous.