Sep 192012

It’s that time of year when geeks talk funny. OK, funnier than normal. But as you know everything is better with pirates. So I’ll take this moment to rant about what I think is the coolest pirate RPG out there.

That’s right. Pirates of the Spanish Main for Savage Worlds. It ain’t exactly historical but it’s close enough for my tastes. It hits that cinematic sweet spot. It has just enough of the supernatural to not quite be a horror or fantasy game. Ship combat and life is pretty easy and not a bookkeeping burden. Plus, it’s Savage Worlds and you really can’t go wrong with that.
So me mateys, grab your rum, cutlasses! We’re off for some lost treasure!

May 152012

Pinnacle Entertainment announced their new secret setting and it’s Deadlands Noir and their funding it via Kickstarter. It was only announced at noon Eastern time today and it’s already exceeded its goal. Wow.

Now, I know I haven’t been mentioning Savage Worlds too much lately. It’s not that I lost love for the game. It’s just that real life has gotten to say hectic plus I’m not playing it right now. But damn this one that I am kind of excited about. I don’t know if it’s because I’m currently in a Classic Deadlands game plus prepping for Dresden Files game. I mean come on get those two mixed up in your head and you’re right into Deadlands Noir territory.
But like anything, I’m getting a little leery on Kickstarter projects. It’s nothing against this or any other project. It’s just the dollars aren’t quite stretching as far as they used to. My first thought when I see a new project is “Can I play this game with the stuff I have now?” Second, “Am I going to play it?” Third, “Can I afford it?” Hopefully, Deadlands Noir is going to chocked full of new great stuff like most of Pinnacle’s settings. But I’m not sure if I can get the gang to play this. It’s a possibility. Can I afford it? Hmmm. Maybe.

Beasts & Barbarians for Savage Worlds

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Jan 262012

It’s been too long since I touched anything to do with Savage Worlds. It’s no fault of the rules or anything like that. It’s just if I’m tinkering or playing with a game I tend to not thing about it.

Beasts And Barbarians

I know that Beasts and Barbarians by GRAmel has been out for a while and it’s been sitting there patiently on my hard drive just waiting of the attention it deserves.
First of all, I have a renewed love of Sword & Sorcery. Maybe because I’ve just been too much Pathfinder and am getting tired of all the High Fantasy. Beasts & Barbarians is a Sword & Sorcery setting for Savage Worlds.
First of all, Beasts & Barbarians is damned pretty book with some fine artwork. I know I don’t usually mention that but this one is really nice. Now, on to the crunchy bits. There are plenty of rules for new magic systems and some very nice rules for handling the Ale and Whores rule as well as a good chart for what happens between the adventures. All in all, it’s a good selection of Edges, Hindrances and Powers to add to a Savage Worlds game.
Where this product really shines is the setting. The Dread Sea Dominions is a damned fine setting. It’s well thought our and documented but not to the point of of every little detail. There’s plenty of room and inspiration for game masters. The world is big enough and varied enough to have just about any kind of Sword & Sorcery character you want. And that makes it cool. But here’s the real kicker. Even if you don’t like Savage Worlds. Don’t ever want to play it and just don’t care about it. That’s fine. But you should still pick this up if you’re looking for a Sword & Sorcery setting. It won’t be that difficult to convert the fluffy bits. So yep, if you don’t play Savage Worlds, it’s still a damned good source book for Sword & Sorcery game.
Beasts & Barbarians is available thru Drivethrurpg.(Affiliate Link)

Oct 132011

Holy crap. It’s been a long time since I posted anything about Savage Worlds but this one is worth it. I’ve been keeping my eye it since the guys at Reality Blurs have been talking about it and have waited anxiously for it.
I have to admit that this game takes advantage of all of my weaknesses. First, it’s for Savage Worlds. Second, it covers two of my favorite RPG genres (Spies and Supernatural) and throws them into the martini shaker for damned near the perfect cocktail (see I’m even using their tag line).
The core background fluff is that characters are Agents of Oblivion, hence the title. Basically, you belong to a super secret spy organization fighting all the nasty creepy crawlers in the world. That’s the basic premise. The good news is that it takes sort of the tool kit approach to setting and give plenty of advice for GM’s to create the kind of campaign they want. Anything from bring Realms of Cthulhu and playing a Delta Green style campaign, to alien and terrestrial conspiracies, normal monster hunting or just plain mundane spies. There’s also advice on setting the feel of your campaign from cinematic to gritty. As I read through the book, my mind started to put together a weird that would end up being like a cross between Dresden Files and Burn Notice.
On the crunch side, Agents of Oblivion adds some really nice stuff. It has setting specific Edges, Hindrances and Skills that tweak Savage Worlds for the setting and genre. There’s a couple of things that I found were really neat. The Single Use Devices or SUD’s. This is basically your system for all those nifty spy gadgets that we idolized when we were kids. Then there’s there’s the Resource Point system. Because spies don’t pay for their own equipment and such. This can grant characters temporary Edges, gear and Perks. As a GM, I would have a feeling of both dread and amazement upon hearing a player utter the words, “I call in an air strike.”
Now there are a couple things I’m not crazy about but they are things that are easily ignored or fixed. First, some of the equipment is just too much like cyberwear for me. Yes, I know it’s bleeding edge but in my mind there’s this divide between cyberpunk and classic spies. It’s sort of like how some folks hate black powder weapons in their fantasy games. It’s like that. So no real biggie. Also there’s isn’t much of bestiary in the core book (but one is on the way!). There is a system for generating nasties as well as plenty of other Savage Worlds sources to get your things that go bump in the night. So once again, something minor that is easily fixed.
While I’m ranting on Agents of Oblivion, I might as well throw out my wish list. I’d really like to see a supplement that deals with making more supernaturally based player characters something with sort of Hellboy feel to it.
Overall, Agents of Oblivion is a solid Savage Worlds setting. There’s plenty of little things to plug into other games and the setting is flexible enough you can bring stuff from your other sources (like Realms of Cthulhu or the Horror Toolkits). Well worth the $10.

Ultra Gritty Mercenaries for Savage Worlds

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Jan 102011

A couple of weeks ago, I was watching The Expendables and I thought back to an old game we used to play called Commando by SPI that was house ruled into sort of an RPG. It was a lot like the movies Uncommon Valor, Dogs of War and The Wild Geese.

It was fast, fun and the characters died like flies. This little trip down memory lane lead me to remember a little Savage Worlds project that I had started. So here it is ultra gritty Mercenaries for Savage Worlds the Very Basic Edition. I may expand these rules sometime. We’ll see.

Character Generation
Abilities: A character’s Ability scores start at d6. Characters should be at least average at in each stat. You have two additional points to spend to raise your Abilities.

Buying Skills: Characters have 8 points to buy skills. If a Skill is higher than its controlling Ability, you do not pay double. No skill can be higher than d8 for starting characters. This is a game of gritty paramilitary action. You shouldn’t worry about social skills.

Edges: Characters have one Edge. Obviously, Edges that are fantastic, magical, over cinematic or supernatural in origin should not be used. Since technically there are no Wild Cards, Leadership Edges will affect the player characters. Don’t worry about required character rank for Edges but Skill prerequisites should still be followed.
Suggested Edges: Alertness, Ambidextrous, Block, Brawny, Command, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Fervor, First Strike, Fleet Footed, Frenzy, Hold the Line, Level Headed, Luck, Marksman, Natural Leader, Nerves of Steel, No Mercy, Quick, Quick Draw, Rock and Roll!, Steady Hands, Trademark Weapon, Two Fisted.

Hindrances: This really isn’t a game about role playing. It’s about blowing up crap and shooting bad guys before they shoot you. Don’t bother with picking a Hindrance.

Playing the Game
Bennies: Each character gets one Benny for each mission. Characters gain an additional Benny only by surviving the mission. Bennies are spent the as per the normal rules in SWEX.

Wild Die: There is no Wild Die.

Keeping Track of Ammo: While keeping track of ammo may seem a pain, how much you have available will be important.

Wounds, First Aid and Death: The Wound Track has one more box: “Dead”. This is a deadly game. So one Raise beyond Incapacitated is Dead. No need for extra rolling. Your character can still die by bleeding through the Incapacitation rules.

Leveling Up: On the off chance that a character survives a mission, he may choose one of the following.
Gain a new still at d4
Increase two known skills up to a maximum of d8
Increase one skill beyond d8

Sep 272010

I’m so sorry but I just couldn’t let it go. I just had to do this for some strange reason.

Sharktopus (Wild Card)
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6 (A), Spirit d8, Strength dd12+4, Vigor d12
Skills: Fighting d10, Guts d8, Notice d12, Swim d10
Charisma: 0; Pace: 4/10 ; Parry: 7; Toughness: 16
Bite: Str+d8
Tentacles: Reach 3, can attack up to 4 targets, on a Raise victim is grappled. Sharktopus can do Str+d6 each round by crush and may drag the victim underwater.
Tentacle Spikes: Reach 3, Sharktopus has sharp blades on the tips of its tentacles. They do Str+d6 damage.
Ink Cloud: Sharktopus may release an ink cloud covering the area of a Large Template. Characters are at -4 to hit with attacks and Notice rolls.
Edge/Powers: Aquatic, Hardy, Large (+5), Thick Rubbery Hide (+2 Armor)