Savage Worlds and me

Long time no see! My time has become short to post anything the last year and a half, as is painfully obvious if you look at the page. I also did no have anything of interest to say. I am still playing Savage Worlds regularly with my group on Roll20. For a long time I have waited for the release of the Sci Fi companion, to see what the future for Savage Space might be. And when I finally had it in hand and read it I was first positively impressed. But then realized, it still left me kind of cold. I did not care as much for it as I did for past books.

I had to think about this for a while and try to find out why. After all it was a the system that ignited my inspiration after my DnD burnout and made me create like never before. I finally realized what the problem was during our last online session. The players had an advance and again, for the dozens time I felt, I had to explain the available options to choose. They looked at their sheet, and then again, choose skills or raised an attribute. Not because that would have made sense, because they simply had no idea of what to do and where to go with edges. Our outlook on the game changed as did our interests. Coupled with the same issues every time with counting raises, understanding toughness, shaken, wounds etc it became clear to me that while Savage Worlds is a fast and furious system, it simply is not one I can get my players fired up about or explain very well. And in turn that reflects on my look at the game. While it was a breeze of fresh air after 3.5 it now has become a burden again. While it rolls faster it still requires to have intrinsic knowledge of the available options and edges to properly create PC and NPC alike. And I find myself not wanting to do that anymore. Heck I have run NPC as D6 in everything, D8 in their primary function without any skills or edges for a while. While this abuse of the system is can be done and does work it is not using the system to its full potential. In fact it ignores vast swathes of the system. Also the “gimmicky” and “boardgamey” nature, something I adored when I first learned about Savage Worlds, began to weigh me down. I simply wish for a simpler game with less stuff around it.

Savage Worlds is a damn fine rules engine and I look fondly at my shelf full of settings and companions. It is just that the life of myself and my players changed again and our interests have become different. I want it even lighter than Savage Worlds. While it will always have place in my repertoire I believe it is time to move on. As it is often the case if you break off one relationship: it is easier when you have a new one. And in this case I have.

D00lite by DWD Studios has become my new flame. It is a percentile based system that moves quickly and is still exciting. It uses what would be classes in other systems as skills. In parts it feels actually old school to me as it puts rulings over rules. It releases under Creative Commons so makes creation of your own material easier than ever before. The company is pretty much two guys that listen to their fans. Their products are smallish but pack a punch and provide everything you need to run. It is pretty generic but has dedicated series to certain genres. Bare Bones Fantasy for your journeys to the fantastic, Covert Ops for modern games with a strong espionage theme. And their Sci Fi version, Frontier Space, is in the works as well. They release material every week on Mondays, have their own fanzine and are preparing a Living Keranak campaign, their equivalent of the Living something or others of DnD fame. I can heartily recommend you take a look at it, the guys and the system deserve it. It is very hack-able and people play all kinds of games with it, even Elder Scrolls and Stargate to name a few popular household names. I am still trying to set up a test game with my players and hope they will like it as well as I do.

So that’s it. No more Savage Worlds material from me and no update to Savage Space as I feel the Sci Fi companion has made tons of my material obsolete. And High Space delivers the rest. I will leave it available for download though. Thanks to all 2000 of you that downloaded Savage Space over the years and you all for your interest in my ramblings. I hope to see some of you on the DWD Forums. Game on!

5 thoughts on “Savage Worlds and me

  1. I love Savage Worlds, but I have also read Bare Bones Fantasy. It works a lot like Savage Worlds in terms of multi-actions. It definitely has an old school DnD vibe without the rules weight and baggage. The core book being only 80 pages means not a lot to absorb for players or GMs. SW took over too much so I never got around to actually giving the game a whirl. But no regrets on the purchase, the random d100 tables in the back of the book make it a useful pickup no matter what game you play. Also Bill and Larry are great guys who really do listen to their fans. So good luck Savage on your way to a new game system.

  2. Savage Worlds is still my favourite system, but recently I joined a game of Pathfinder, and earlier today I bought Scarlet Heroes (mostly because I was curious about its Solo Gaming rules). I also enjoyed reading your post about Edge of the Empire (and tried to convince my group to give it a whirl), and have been meaning to check out a few other games that have caught my attention.

    My suggestion would be to think of roleplaying games as being more like meals than a marriage – there’s no obligation to stick with one system, in fact it’s always a good idea to try new things even if you’re happy with your current system. There’s no need to say “goodbye” to Savage Worlds, you can always come back to it at a later date.

    In regard to the Science Fiction Companion, its spaceship rules seem to be very similar to those in the old Science Fiction Gear Toolkit. I prefer the Savage Space approach of treating ships like characters, and you could easily extend that concept to other settings – pirate ships, airships, liveships, even land-based vehicles, etc. Your adventure generator is also one of the better ones I’ve seen, and could be adapted to other settings. The Science Fiction Companion/Tookits may cover much of the same material, but High Space is certainly not obsolete.

  3. While it’s sad to see you leaving Savage Worlds, that’s the beauty of so many systems being available. When you want to try something different, there’s always something out there.

    May you enjoy trying new things!

    Vickey Beaver

  4. Hi all, thank you for your kind words! RPG systems come and go and change based upon your needs and the needs of your group. I think it is important to keep an open mind and not be entrenched in one single system. I will see you all around as I will keep an eye on SaWo one way o the other because after all I still like it, it just does not serve my needs right now and I am a bit burned out on it. We will see how the journey goes from here! Lets just say the best thing about Savage Worlds? The community of amazing people, I have not found another group of fans so helpful and engaged as this.

  5. Pingback: How time flies and some things come full circle | Chaotic / GM

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