Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Savage Worlds

I Really Really want to play a campaign in the Savage Worlds.

Those not in the know, Savage Worlds is a Role-playing game.
Not a video game Role Playing Game. I'm not really into Video RPG's.

No, it's a Pen and Paper RPG. Most people that have not played a Pen and Paper RPG are only familiar with one: Dungeons and Dragons. D&D has had a controversial past, and I won't get into it—except to say that it's pretty much exaggeration mixed with right out lies.

I was introduced to a podcast called Fear the Boot by a friend of mine. There were about 100 episodes at the time and I was so enthralled by the content that I eventually caught up. Now I'm completely behind—well only 20 or so episodes, but they were on hiatus for a while and that's the only reason I'm only 20 behind.

One of the individuals on the show LOVES a game called Savage Worlds. Part of the reason is the Motto of the Game: Fast Furious Fun. The Staple Pen and Paper RPG is D&D, it's the one almost everybody starts with, it's the Generic RPG if there is to be one. It's a high fantasy setting and the stereotypical RPG.—My understanding of Savage Worlds is that it is loosely based on the D20 system (the system that D&D was based on in it's previous iteration), but that they modified it to remove some of the "boring" parts of playing D&D. This is a very appealing Idea to me, D&D is great, a very fun game, but sometimes you are just beating your head against a wall, because you're waiting for other players to do their thing, and the Mechanics of the game are slowing it down.

Another thing appealing to the game is its price. To play D&D requires you to have a Player's Hand Book. I bought a used one for $15. I also purchased the 3.0 edition right when 3.5 was released. Helping to get the lower price. Normally the book is $35 (MSRP). Now someone in the Group has to act as the Dungeon Master (The Guy Telling the Story, Throwing Monsters at the Group, etc) He needs in addition to the Player's Handbook, a Game Master's Handbook and The Monster Manual. You can buy all three for just over $100 (MSRP).—The Savage Worlds only requires the Core Rulebook. It has all you need to play a game including the equivalent of the Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide and Monster Manual all in one convenient package, and all for $10.

One more thing that makes this game appealing is that it is a Generic Rule set, you can use the game to play any genre. High Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Horror, etc. It's all done with a sort of Pulp Fiction Flavor, but you can use it any way you please. D&D is High Fantasy and is based on the D20 Game Mechanism (well... 3.0/3.5 was) which was supposed to be applicable to any setting, but the conversion really didn't seem to be an easy one, with out a $20-40 rulebook designed with the setting you had in mind. (I tried writing up a Mr. Squishy Campaign and it didn't go far using just the Generic D20 Idea).

 I was so excited to read the Savage Worlds rules and play a game that I purchased the Core Rulebook some time ago, but it was about the same time that our gaming group stopped getting together regularly. So here I am, about a year later and I still haven't played a game.

I was reading some Savage Worlds Literature recently and was getting excited about it again, and I decided that I wanted to play a game, or sit in on a session before I tried introducing it to my own gaming group. Maybe start having an RPG game night on a regular basis again, and that's how I learned about the Metagame of the Savage Worlds.
I did a search for Savage Worlds Salt Lake City and I kept getting the same thing. A description of Salt Lake City in the Deadlands. The way I understand it, Savage Worlds is the Newly Developed, Generic, use-it-in-any-Genre version of  Deadlands: the Great Rail wars (A Deadlands game with a simplified rule system). 

So essentially the game was developed so you can use it for any and all settings. But if you want to, there is this whole Alternate History of the World setting that you can play in that starts with the Deadlands Game in what is known as the Weird West. The Weird West History is Identical to actual history up  July 3, 1863. When a group of Native Americans led by a Shaman performed a ritual in effort to rid the land of European settlers. This released into the world entities known as the "Reckoners." This is what makes the West Weird. It introduces Zombies and Ghosts and other Horror Elements into the Wild West. Where Deadlands is the Western meets Horror version of History; Hell on Earth is the, Reckoners succeeded in turning Earth into a Haunted Wasteland result. It's the Post Apocalyptic Future of the Deadlands. And then there is Lost Colony, placed even further in the Future. Just before the Apocalyptic Event colonists were able to travel to another planet, but then the apocalypse came and they were trapped. So Lost Colony is the Sci-Fi History of the Deadlands.

Here's what I kept coming across when I searched Salt Lake City Savage Worlds. 

"Life in the Weird West's never really easy, but some places are worse than others.
If you're fond of things like clean water, fresh air, and wide-open spaces, then the City o' Gloom's just about the worst place around. Sure, Salt Lake City's the only place in the west with electric lights and indoor plumbing, and it's the center of the most incredible scientific advances anywhere in the world, but progress always has its price." 

Which makes me want to play in this universe even more. They've even published Deadlands: Reloaded, which is the Original Deadlands setting written specifically for the current Savage Worlds rule set. But I still haven't found any games taking place in Salt Lake that I could Observe/Participate. If one of the GM's that I know would like to venture a stab at using the Savage Worlds for a campaign, I'm Game. 

One more thing I wanted to add. Previous to Savage Worlds the other Generic Roll Playing System that I was interested in was G.U.R.P.S.. G.U.R.P.S. has resources for any genre you could think of, but a) its rules make my head spin and b) it only uses d6's. One of the coolest things I found for Savage worlds is a conversion matrix from other roll playing systems (Chaosium, D20, AD&D, G.U.R.P.S., and Shadowrun specifically in this one document—but I have found documents for a Wide Range of other systems) G.U.R.P.S. alone has hundreds of resources in a multitude of genres. The fact that so many people are converting to this system is a testament to its usability and Fun Factor, in my opinion.

Interestingly Enough, Deadlands Has Been Published with it's original Classic Rules (1996–1999), Licensed to the G.U.R.P.S. system (2001), Supported under the D20 System (2001), and now Savage Worlds (2006–). 

You all know how much I like Dice, so a system that only uses the lowly d6 is just lacking in a bit of Flavor. 

Also, I still haven't played a D&D 4th Edition Campaign.

Also, I still want to finish our D&D "3.25" edition Campaign—I have a great character who's believed certain things his whole life, and all of that is unraveling, his world is in chaos, and he'd like to have some closure.


  1. Damn Sam! How did I miss this post. I'm starting a GURPS 4e supers game with some friends if your interested. I'm also dying to play Savage Worlds I've owned the book forever & have yet to play. I am lucky enough to be playing in a 4e D&D game, but we haven't gotten together since before the new year.
    I'd love to play in a game with you.

  2. I thought that you would be the first to comment P. I'm surprised that Brandon hasn't commented, he must be busy with his book.

    I'd like to play in a game with you as well P. E-mail me details on your supers game and I'll see what I can arrange.

    Speaking of Supers Games, did you see that Savage Worlds Has Revised, Updated and Reprinted Necessary Evil in an Explorer's Edition? If our budget wasn't so tight right now, I'd have it already.

  3. The long anticipated comment. I would like to play Gurps 4E (still mostly d20 I have been playing) Savage lands sounds fun. I would like to take a stab at DM’ing deadlands, savagelands, or just about anything anyone wants to play. I am hopelessly addicted to DM’ing. I have to get a few books and look at the literature. I am writing and being a Dad at the moment so, I have more time than I used to. I have been focusing a lot of time in revisions and research. Revisions are driving me mad. Mad I say.

    I Agree Gillian of the Ax does need some closure. Poor Gnome.