I’d like to showcase a house rule that I’ve started using in all my Savage Worlds campaigns. It’s called the “Monkey Knife Fight.” My buddy Chris showed me this simple and fun time-wasting game a while back, and I’ve found that with a little bit of tweaking to the original method it works exceptionally well in combat for those times when groups of mooks and henchmen are fighting one another (usually while the main PCs are engaged in their own fights). Here’s how it works:
- Count the number of fighters on each side, and set a single die down for each fighter. The die should equal their relative combat skill die (Fighting or Shooting).
- Each side rolls all their dice at once. For each die that rolls a 4 or higher, remove the smallest die from your opponent’s dice pool. For each die that rolls a 1, remove that die from your own dice pool.
- Repeat each round until one side wins or retreats, or the combat is otherwise resolved.
Should the story’s direct focus ever actually move to either side of this conflict, however, it is then handled as per normal rules. Meaning, if it ever actually becomes important to handle the combat with a more hands-on method, then by all means, abandon the Monkey Knife Fight and roll the dice as normal.