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    Default Savage Worlds

    Anyone played it? What did you think?

    An old gaming buddy of mine is really getting into it, since his former-favorite system, d6, is...suffering difficulties...I guess (I'm not really savvy on all of it, all I know is what I read in an e-mail from him). He's never really been a big fan of 3.5 and doesn't realy like 4e, either (go-go-2e & L5R, I guess).

    Anyone tried the Evernight or Necessary Evil campaigns? Worth the $19.95 price for the .pdfs?

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    Default Re: Savage Worlds

    I admit I haven't played it, so play experience could reveal otherwise, and my impressions are from reading the book on the shelf several months ago... but my impressions were overwhelmingly negative. Each rule I read was worse than the last, and I was making houserules in my head just to make the rules make any sense as I was reading. Initiative was a needless subsystem, multiple action penalties were insanely draconian, and indeed any penalties at all on your action was almost a guarantee of failure, the system promoted the worst (in my opinion) type of min/maxing, the system seemed to believe it was delivering a system of cinematic action, but the skills system was more simulationist than cinematic.

    I've heard tale told of the game being very quick in play, but I don't know how that's possible, since the default system of tactical movement was gridless and miniatures based. That means any time you want to move in combat you're pulling out a ruler to see how far you go.

    Now, I've talked to maybe a half dozen people who swear by the system, and won't run any system but Savage Worlds, so maybe I just haven't seen how elegant it is in play, but when I put down the book I said to myself, "When I designed my first RPG system for the Redwall book series at the age of eleven, I made a better system than this."
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    Default Re: Savage Worlds

    I recommend giving the Quick Start Rules a read through. I like Savage Worlds a lot, though I am not overly keen on the initiative system.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerthanis View Post
    I admit I haven't played it, so play experience could reveal otherwise, and my impressions are from reading the book on the shelf several months ago... but my impressions were overwhelmingly negative. Each rule I read was worse than the last, and I was making houserules in my head just to make the rules make any sense as I was reading. Initiative was a needless subsystem, multiple action penalties were insanely draconian, and indeed any penalties at all on your action was almost a guarantee of failure, the system promoted the worst (in my opinion) type of min/maxing, the system seemed to believe it was delivering a system of cinematic action, but the skills system was more simulationist than cinematic.

    I've heard tale told of the game being very quick in play, but I don't know how that's possible, since the default system of tactical movement was gridless and miniatures based. That means any time you want to move in combat you're pulling out a ruler to see how far you go.

    Now, I've talked to maybe a half dozen people who swear by the system, and won't run any system but Savage Worlds, so maybe I just haven't seen how elegant it is in play, but when I put down the book I said to myself, "When I designed my first RPG system for the Redwall book series at the age of eleven, I made a better system than this."
    I concur on the initiative system, that's something I would definitely houseule. I think the cards system are a holdover from the origins of the system in Deadlands or something. Admittedly, I may be a bit biased, though, since I don't generally like card-based games with a few rare exceptions (OOTS is okay and I can tolerate Munchkin from time to time) and can't stand when they bleed over into RPGs. If you have dice, why bother with smeggy playing cards?

    Yeah, the movement system is kind of wonky, but easy enough to use that it doesn't really bother me. I'd probably just run minis on a hex grid with each hex = 6'/2" or whatever. Would make converting effects from other systems a pain since pretty much every other system I'm familiar uses a 5'-base (with the possible exception of one or two games with metric bases).

    I admit that I do like the core mechanic, using multiple sized dice to simulate skill/talent. I was working on a somewhat similar system of my own a while back that did the same thing, but on a larger scale (used d20's and d30's for super-human and god-like stats/skills). In my system, your ability score set the die type, and skill ranks set the number of dice you'd roll for a check. I ran into some serious issues with standardizing the TN scale, though, since the extreme results of rolls had a large degree of divergence. (Default, unskilled roll was 1d, minor skill 2d, moderate skill 3d, etc. Poor abilities were d4, average d6, good d8, etc. So, if you were unskilled at something based off a poor ability, you were virtually guaranteed to fail utterly with virtually no chance of success unless the base TN was so ridiculously low that everyone else would be guaranteed success if they were either more skilled or more talented; chances improved moderately with open rolls but that became a bit of an issue itself in the event of exploding results among highly-skilled characters).

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    Default Re: Savage Worlds

    I've also only read the rules, but I thought they were elegant. It's a bit rules-heavy... but it's supposed to be so that's fine.

    I actually like cards in a game, not necessarily as they use them in SW but as an alternate resolution mechanism, like for instance in Everway (tarot cards are used to indicate success or failure and also possibly what went wrong, how to fix it and so on...).
    Last edited by namo; 2008-08-17 at 09:24 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost_warlock View Post
    Anyone played it? What did you think?
    It's one of my favorite game systems. SW does heroic or pulp action very well and very fast.

    An old gaming buddy of mine is really getting into it, since his former-favorite system, d6, is...suffering difficulties...I guess (I'm not really savvy on all of it, all I know is what I read in an e-mail from him). He's never really been a big fan of 3.5 and doesn't realy like 4e, either (go-go-2e & L5R, I guess).
    It's a system where edges (loosely similar to feats) make more of a difference to your character than almost anything else. An edge such as "Ace" means you'll succeed at almost all normal Driving or Piloting rolls. The system itself is fast, most rolls are simple rolling a skill die at a set target number of 4. Edges or unusual circumstances may provide a +2 / -2 modifier to your roll. A few skills such as Notice / Stealth are opposed rolls but most keep the simplicity of a set target number and a single roll.

    Combat is very fast and allows cinematic "Tricks" or "Tests of Will" to directly affect combat. This keeps all character builds potentially effective in combat. You don't need a high fighting skill to trip or confuse an opponent.

    Anyone tried the Evernight or Necessary Evil campaigns? Worth the $19.95 price for the .pdfs?
    Neither of those have the basic rules, you'd need to purchase Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition ($10) as well. Evernight is a very linear adventure. Necessary Evil adds a system for superhero powers. For a good book with all of the rules (though little magic) I highly recommend Pirates of the Spanish Main. It's a swashbuckling pirate setting.

    The one advantage to the card initiative system is really visibility. It's easy for any one at the table to see who is next. Combat speed and flexibility are the systems strong points.
    - You can run a combat with 20+ combatants in less than an hour.
    - Combatants don't need to be optimized for combat to be effective.
    - There's a simple system for resolving cinematic stunts and tricks.
    - There is very little combat accounting needed.
    - Character creation is simple, primarily revolving around choice of edges.

    I recommend trying the game for a couple sessions. It's easy to learn and plays very quickly. Enjoy!
    Last edited by Raum; 2008-08-17 at 10:23 AM.
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    Default Re: Savage Worlds

    My take on SW - it's fast, fun, and easy. Do you have a pile of star wars minis and want to run a simple star wars adventure? DONE.

    Want to have a session where you bust out with adventurer teams competing to get to the top of an undead infested temple first? DONE.

    Do you want to have a long, protracted, campaign... well... yes, you can do it. I don't think this game system would be the best for it though.

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    Default Re: Savage Worlds

    Ive only dabbled in it, but it was quite good.
    We did Star Wars with it, and despite no one being a Jedi in a Jedi focused adventure it went well enough.
    Last edited by Leon; 2008-08-17 at 12:14 PM.
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    Default Re: Savage Worlds

    From what I've seen, the core concept is pretty solid, the game moves quickly, and its versatile. Basically it shares the same concept as Fudge, which I personally like a bit better.
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    Savage Worlds is a great system. It may be a little difficult for "D&D" players to get into, as a lot of the systems are very different.

    It us a dream come true for game masters who are short on prep time.

    Combat is fast! You can't beat the price either. 10 dollars for a rulebook is just fantastic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raum View Post
    Neither of those have the basic rules, you'd need to purchase Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition ($10) as well. Evernight is a very linear adventure. Necessary Evil adds a system for superhero powers. For a good book with all of the rules (though little magic) I highly recommend Pirates of the Spanish Main. It's a swashbuckling pirate setting.
    I have the core book, I was just wondering if the additional material (edges, story, etc.) in those books are worth the pricetag for someone curious about the system. Since they're OOP and only available (to me) in .pdf form, I can't just go down to the local hobby store and thumb through them for a quick look at what I'd be purchasing.
    Last edited by ghost_warlock; 2008-08-18 at 01:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost_warlock View Post
    I have the core book, I was just wondering if the additional material (edges, story, etc.) in those books are worth the pricetag for someone curious about the system. Since they're OOP and only available (to me) in .pdf form, I can't just go down to the local hobby store and thumb through them for a quick look at what I'd be purchasing.
    I see. Well I recommend against Evernight, it's really just an adventure to save the world from a Sauron who won. Once you've reached the end and beaten him it's lost any differentiation from other fantasy worlds. If you want dark fantasy where evil rules, I'd look at the Midnight d20 setting, there may still be a conversion for it though "againsttheshadow.org" seems to be down now. That's where the conversion used to be.

    Necessary Evil is good if you like the superhero genre. It has a full system for creating superhero powers and the plot point campaign is decent. The system is good for low to mid powered superheros. It doesn't do the extreme high end of power as well as some other systems.

    If you're looking for fantasy settings built specifically for Savage Worlds, Shaintar has gotten pretty good reviews (I haven't picked it up yet). I also like Rippers (Victorian fantasy) and Savage Worlds of Solomon Kane (age of exploration fantasy). Solomon Kane in particular is a very nice book, beautiful art and it's the full SW system for that world. It also has a good skill based magic system. My only complaint is the campaign is more of a railroad than I like - and that's easy to change. Rune Punk is a good (and dark) steam punk setting. There are actually a lot of good settings for SW, but I tend to pick and choose pieces from several to use in my own alternate earth.

    Hope that helps!
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    Went back and read this and figured it might be helpful to follow up...
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerthanis View Post
    I admit I haven't played it, so play experience could reveal otherwise, and my impressions are from reading the book on the shelf several months ago... but my impressions were overwhelmingly negative. Each rule I read was worse than the last, and I was making houserules in my head just to make the rules make any sense as I was reading. Initiative was a needless subsystem, multiple action penalties were insanely draconian, and indeed any penalties at all on your action was almost a guarantee of failure, the system promoted the worst (in my opinion) type of min/maxing, the system seemed to believe it was delivering a system of cinematic action, but the skills system was more simulationist than cinematic.
    In many ways I agree with your first impression. Reading through SWEX is a) very dry and b) gives the impression of an unfinished framework or rules. It is an unfinished framework so I suppose that makes sense. SWEX is just a generic base to build a game on. It's very like reading through the 3.5 SRD without ever seeing a rule book.

    Some specifics:
    - initiative is a subsystem, can't disagree. I do think the cards make it easier for everyone (not just the GM) to track who is up.
    - Multiple action penalties are fairly tough, they should be. The system is built around one action per character per turn. That's part of what helps keep the game moving so quickly.
    - It's fairly easy to set things up to gain bonuses, particularly in combat. Penalties on the other hand seldom go over a -2. Much of this is just learning the system.
    - Not sure what you meant by "promoting min/maxing" that's not an issue I ever ran into. It's also a fairly difficult proposition - I found the system very balanced.
    - SW delivers cinematic combat through Tricks and Tests of Will. Skills are kept to those likely to see use in game with 'common knowledge' replacing those you don't use as often. Not sure the skill system was detailed enough for me to call it simulationist. :)

    I've heard tale told of the game being very quick in play, but I don't know how that's possible, since the default system of tactical movement was gridless and miniatures based. That means any time you want to move in combat you're pulling out a ruler to see how far you go.
    Movement is exactly the same as D&D - just presented from the opposite point of view. In D&D you can move 30' which is 6" on the battle map. In SW you can move 6" with each inch being 2 yards. Ok, you can move slightly faster in SW. :)

    Now, I've talked to maybe a half dozen people who swear by the system, and won't run any system but Savage Worlds, so maybe I just haven't seen how elegant it is in play, but when I put down the book I said to myself, "When I designed my first RPG system for the Redwall book series at the age of eleven, I made a better system than this."
    I recommend trying it if you're looking at other systems. It plays much better than it reads.

    SW does approach things differently than many games...the basic rules are very 'metagamey' with the expectation you'll add trappings (fluff if you prefer) to match your setting and background*. To make it even more counterintuitive to us long time D&D players, attributes and skills matter far less than edges. Some times I think you could throw both out and create characters solely with edges.

    It was addressing a different subject, butTuesday said it well on the PEG forums:
    Quote Originally Posted by Tuesday
    The problem is that you're conflating pure skill (which an assassin *needs* to have at least some of) with what actually really makes somebody good at a task: Edges.

    A guy with a Stealth of d6 and Thief will roll better, on average, than a guy with a d10 Stealth.

    A guy with a Fighting of d6 and Improved Trademark Weapon[1] will roll better, on average, than a guy with d10 Fighting.

    A guy with a d10 Fighting is not a great Conan-style warrior. To be a great Conan-style warrior, you want Combat Reflexes, Nerves Of Steel, Sweep, Frenzy, and Mighty Blow, in addition to your d10 Fighting.

    A sneaky assassin, on the other hand, probably has a lousy Strength and Vigour compared to Conan. He's got a much higher Agility, though - and with Acrobat, Dirty Fighter, Fleet-footed, Improved Trademark Weapon, Thief, Improved Level-Headed, and Mighty Blow, he can sneak up using Stealth at +2, almost always win init, do double damage from Jokers much more often, stay out of Conan's reach (or run away and return to try later), and he can open up with "nerve strikes" that are nearly impossible to avoid (Agility Trick at +2, no MAP) leaving his opponent Shaken, at half move, and with a -2 to Parry, and then immediately make a Fighting attack to a critical location with something like a net +10 to hit and damage.

    His Fighting could be a *d4*[1] and he'd still club his opponent like a baby seal, despite that he's not all that great in a standup slugfest. Since he's got that d10 Fighting, he's just that much more dangerous.

    But yeah. d10 Fighting doesn't make you a great warrior. It makes you highly skilled with a weapon, which an assassin is necessarily going to be. What makes you a great assassin, with "knowledge of killing techniques" and "an arsenal or nerve blows" are the Edges that back up your skill and the trappings with which you use them.

    So, yeah. That's the two places where I see our disconnect:

    #1: I don't see "Fighting d10" as meaning "great standup warrior", only "very good with a weapon", so I'd say it's expected for *both* a good D&D-style Fighter *and* your stealthy assassin to have a d10 Fighting - and
    #2: just because you have a d10 Fighting doesn't mean that you're going to last more than five seconds in a fair fight. That's determined by the build of your stats and your Edges.

    [1]: Can't buy Improved Trademark with a d6 or a d4, but that's not the point. The point is that a +2 to a roll is better than two die types more in almost every case.
    * Edit: The setting books do this for you, it's SWEX which leaves trappings to GMs and players.
    Last edited by Raum; 2008-08-18 at 09:22 PM.
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