Review: Savage Worlds RPG by Pinnacle Entertainment Group
February 24, 2009 by tcgames
Savage Worlds, from the very first page, is designed to be easy to run, easy to play, and easy to enjoy. It takes most of the bookkeeping out of the mix and allows the game master and his or her group to be creative without bogging them down in too much detail. However, if detail is what you like in your game, it’s in there as well. It’s very scalable.
A brief overview of Savage Worlds’ game mechanics:
Character attributes are represented by a die type. For example, strength would be a d8, so that if you needed to perform a function using your strength, you roll a d8 and check the result. Skills are also represented by a die type and are linked to an attribute.
There are no hit points to speak of; characters have wound levels so that if you are hit and take damage, that number is checked against your vigor and any modifiers that apply to see if you receive a wound. This makes combat move extremely quick and there is little or no down time for waiting players during a battle.
Along with skills, players have edges and hindrances which are physical or mental traits which balance out the character and give it a beginning personality.
Character creation is easy, with enough choices to make it interesting but not too much to make it confusing. The emphasis is on playability, pure and simple.
The explorer’s edition gives rules and stats for running a game in just about any genre imaginable. After reading through the material once, I took my son through a practice scenario with him battling a few villains with guns and swords. Our short session went really well and I was running the combats without thumbing through the book during every encounter.
Initiative is done with a deck of standard playing cards with the Jokers left in as “Wild Cards”. Starting with the Ace down to the Deuce, action is resolved in order. The Jokers act as Wild Cards, allowing that player to go whenever they want during the round. Jokers also give some bonuses to rolls as well.
Also included in the mechanics of the game are something called “Bennies”. Bennies are handed out at the beginning of a game session and can be used to re-roll an attribute or skill test, and can also be used to soak up some damage in case a character takes a hard hit during combat. Bennies are also given out to the characters during a session for creative roleplaying, overcoming major obstacles, or even just entertaining the game group with a memorable moment during play.
There are many world settings for Savage Worlds that are already commercially available and more are being created all the time.
The Savage World Of Solomon Kane:
The Savage World of Solomon Kane is a roleplaying game based upon the incredible works of Robert E. Howard, author of Conan the Barbarian®, Kull the Conqueror®, and countless other great heroes and heroines.
Inside this lavishly-illustrated 352 page book are the complete and award-winning Savage Worlds rules customized for Kane’s world, as well as all-new setting and magic rules to capture the spirit of Howard’s dark tales.
Game Masters will also find terrible creatures and merciless foes drawn from Kane’s own travels—and beyond—as well as dozens of Savage Tales and a ready-to-run Plot Point™ Campaign.
Rippers is a complete setting for Savage Worlds featuring a full plot point campaign that pits the heroes against the fearsome creatures of the evil Cabal.
Inside this setting you will also find rules on creating Rippers, the brave monster hunters who face the growing evil, new Edges and Hindrances, a huge bestiary of hellish adversaries, and details of the Rippers’ most controversial weapon—Rippertech!
When all the super heroes of the world are blown to kingdom come by an army of invading aliens who will save the day? Evil… The only forces left to take on the alien menace are the crafty and self serving super villains!
Necessary Evil is a supers game for Savage Worlds. Inside this twisted Plot Point setting you will find complete rules on making four-color super powered characters, a whole slew of adventures weaving in and out of a resistance story, new Edges and Hindrances, a bestiary of out of this world critters, and more!
This 144 page full color book has everything you need to start leaping buildings and zapping your foes right away!
Pinnacle’s flagship product is Deadlands, a horrific journey into the “Weird West”. Mysterious beings called the Reckoners have given life to monsters and magic, causing history to divert from July 4th, 1863 forward. The South has won its independence, California has shattered into a labyrinth of flooded sea-canyons, and a mysterious super-fuel called “ghost rock” has spawned as much war and strife as it has “steampunk” devices.
Players are steely-eyed gunfighters, card-slinging sorcerers called hucksters, mysterious shamans, savage braves, mad scientists, and more who battle against evil and attempt to prevent the “Reckoning”.
The people of the Skies survive, tested by an unimaginable apocalypse, struggling daily against ravenous beasts, sky pirates, and the effects of the inescapable voidglow! But the fate of the Skies is in danger! The magic of the glow is not the only taint in this unforgiving realm. Dark forces conspire to bring the Skies to the brink of an even greater catastrophe.
Can you survive long enough to discover the secrets of Sundered Skies? Sundered Skies is a dark fantasy Plot Point™ setting for the award-winning Savage Worlds RPG™
Daring Tales of Adventure by Triple Ace Games:
Daring Tales of Adventure are Triple Ace Games’ new line of pulp adventures. Set against a pre-World War II background of two-fisted, heroic action, each issue contains a complete adventure. To begin your pulp campaign you just need to buy an adventure, download the sheets, and start rolling dice! By the time the heroes reach the end of this line, you’ll have played through over 450 pages of pulp action!
Those are just a few of what’s available on the market for Savage Worlds. There is also a huge online community of popular conversions from other systems over to the Savage Worlds system and many of them can be found at the Savage Heroes website.
I have about 30 years of roleplaying experience having started during the summer of 1978. The Savage Worlds system is just about the best roleplaying system I’ve come across in all those years. It allows everyone at the table to concentrate on the gaming experience without worrying about which chart to look at or if they remembered to bring their calculator to role up a new character.
I highly recommend Savage Worlds to anybody that wants to experience roleplaying that not only plays well, but is full of “Fast, Furious, Fun!!”
Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition 2nd Printing
Soft Cover – 160 pages
$9.99 retail – as of this writing
2008 Edition – Great White Games, LLC