The Seven-Sided Die

Sold on Savage Worlds

Posted Wednesday November 05, 2008 at 08:31 AM

I went and bought a copy of Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition from my FLGS today just before tonight's session[1. The session was an extraordinarily great game. I managed to induce in one player, unintentionally, by turns claustrophobia and visceral terror with the atmosphere I gave the dungeon. The other players reported being pretty creeped out. There were two cliffhangers, one midway and one just after the big reveal that inspired the aforementioned terror, and both had us all dialed way up. Much of it was even improvised.] of the Edge of Empire campaign, and I'm impressed.

I haven't had the chance to do more than flip through it, though I already know the meat of the rules from its epitext[2. A work's epitext is all the stuff socially attached to it that isn't physically part of it: reviews, previews, discourse about or derived from the text, references to it in other cultural artefacts, celebrity endorsements, and so on. I'm just taking the excuse to use a neat word I learned earlier today]. What impresses me most on casual inspection is that, at CDN$13 + tax, Pinnacle could afford to make it a full-colour, glossy, heavy-stock book. At 160 approximately A5-sized pages that's a phenomenal achievement. The art is also very good and plentiful. This is a quality production. My only complaint is that they chose a slightly-too-saturated yellow as the background colour for every page, and only then because it evokes the feel of the 1st edition Warzone rulebook, giving me some nostalgia-induced dissonance.

Wait! I can use Savage Worlds to run a Warzone/Mutant Chronicles campaign. Hot damn. (I feel a one-shot session featuring a Mishima infiltration of a Cybertronic outpost in the caves of Mercury coming on...)

Yeah. So, I'm looking forward to having the time to sit down and absorb it. I might do more than this mini-review then.

Comments (6)

Dr. Checkmate

Wednesday November 05, 2008 at 02:26 PM

That is a neat word. Thanks.

Also, as a Savage my self I have one word for you: Necropolis. That's your Warzone/Mutant Chronicles game right there :D


Wednesday November 05, 2008 at 02:48 PM

Last night I sat down and read the bulk of the Savage Worlds Explorer Edition book, which I've had for some months but never really done more than flip through. It's interesting and I see how it could be run very quickly, but it's very alien to me for some reason.

I think part of the problem is that I can sit down and sketch out a map and populate it mentally on the fly using something vaguely D&D-esque, but SW is very different. I think I just don't have a feel for what the characters could and couldn't handle, even with the sample monsters in the back.

Do you know of any good conversions of old B/X or 1e modules to Savage Worlds? That'd give me more of an idea of the necessary scaling, since I could do a side-by-side comparison.


Wednesday November 05, 2008 at 05:12 PM

Welcome, Restless. I don't know of any. I'm currently writing a review of the free PDF UncleBear linked to me in the comments of my last post, Advanced Dungeons & Savages, which is a 1e rules conversion for SW. It doesn't have monster conversions but it does have guidelines for doing conversions. It also refers to another PDF, Savage Beasts, which does have AD&D monster conversions (among other things, like MiB aliens). That's not quite as good as an adventure conversion, but it should give a starting point to compare monsters you're familiar with to their SW equivalents. If I do find any 0e or 1e modules converted for SW I'll be sure to post about them. I might even end up converting some of the B/G/D modules myself, but that's beyond my planning horizon still.

I think I'll need to run a few one-shot adventures (Pinnacle has one for download on their site I'm going to try) before I get a feel for the combat system and develop decent judgement for how challenging a particular opponent would be in combat, especially with the variety of combat manœuvers SW offers. Failing that, the reviewers I've read all made the mistake of starting out too tough and advised, in hindsight, to just start way easier than you think you should and gently ramp it up from there. Easy combats are especially good when the players are still learning the rules, and still satisfying because the unfamiliar rules provides sufficient difficulty to make victory an achievement.

My good Doctor, thanks for the pointer! I noticed a mention of Necropolis in one of your posts but I haven't read anything about it yet. I don't see any reviews online anywhere. (Care to write one? :) )

There's also a fan conversion of Mutant Chronicles hosted at I suspect that both together would give a nice, complete toolkit: I could use Necropolis to really flesh out the horror of the battlefield fronts with the Dark Legion and the Citadels during a Doomtrooper raid, and the material from the fan conversion for the corporate/civilian/political side of the setting.

Tim Jensen

Thursday November 06, 2008 at 12:56 AM

Another conversion effort you may want to check out is Savage Dungeons & Dragons:


Thursday November 06, 2008 at 01:46 AM

Mutant Chronicles. Cool, that brings back lots of good memories except when I tried to do a Gurps conversion of it.


Thursday November 06, 2008 at 05:15 AM

There's a useful thread on the Pinnacle forum that offers some rules of thumb for assessing the toughness of monsters vs. the players.