Once again Banesfinger showed up and inspired me again with his comments on the old Savage Worlds: Whiff & Ping. This got me thinking about the crunchy bits of games and who I choose what rules to use for which campaign.
Since these thoughts started with Savage Worlds, I’ll start there. I totally admit that I love Savage Worlds but I also know that it’s not the best fit for every game. Savage Worlds is great at handling big fights. The combat is quick and easy to manage. Most folks think that it’s just a pulp style game and it works great for that. You throw all the cinematic options and it can be a fun and high speed game. But it also works great if you to the opposite end of the spectrum and go total gritty. I’m talking you need to show up with three ring binder full of characters just in case. Just look to Realms of Cthuhlu to see some nasty tips on turning the screws. It can be a fast and bloody game, too.
Of course, I can’t really do this without talking about a few other games too. Yeah, Dungeons and Dragons and it’s current forms. I’m including both 4th Edition and 3.55/Pathfinder in this. Here’s the thing. As D&D has evolved it’s become it’s own genre. Yes, there are house rules and third party supplements that barely change the game when it boils down to it. It’s still pretty much the same game with its own unique feel. There’s nothing wrong with this. As a friend of mine says, “It is what it is.”
And a little on one of my new favorites. Of course, I’m talking about FATE. I’m also including it because it’s so different than Savage Worlds or D20. Fate is not tactical or minicentric. You’re not planning feat trees to optimize your character. The basic rules are very lite and lean towards narrative or story type games. Yes, you can tell stories with any game. It’s just FATE has good mechanics to encourage this and back it up.
Let’s take high fantasy, D&D’s normal genre. For Savage Worlds, you can take Hellfrost and the Fantasy Companion and there you go. A High Fantasy Campaign. Let’s use Legends of Angelerre for FATE. Now as Game Master you can create the exact same game world with each these but end with vastly different campaign atmospheres. None of them is better or worse than the others. Just different. Pick and choose what is important to you and players and run with it.
I’ve been around the game table a time or two and know that just because you love a set rules it may not be the best for the campaign. Sometimes you just have to pick which of your children are your favorite.

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3 Responses to “Using The Right Game for Your Game”

  1. Maybe you can add one more game to your list there, Grogtard.

    I just took my game into public beta. http://www.synapserpg.com/download

  2. ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    I just heard about it yesterday and haven’t had a chance to look at it. But it is on my list of things to do. :)

  3. John LewisNo Gravatar says:

    Just started playing FATE myself with the recent purchase of Legends of Anglerre; I can’t say enough about how much I like this system. I’m currently converted/updating my D&D campaign setting to use LOA/FATE for my next campaign.

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