View Full Version : Hywel's play review: Disaster at Gran Atomica

January 25th, 2021, 20:06
(New year's resolution: contribute some more to FG community. I'm going to do play reviews of stuff as I run or play it. Hope people find it useful. There will be minor spoilers).

I wanted a one-off scenario to introduce my long-time group to Savage Worlds (having had a masterful introduction to it myself as a player courtesy of Doswelk).

I looked through and picked out Disaster at Gran Atomica as a good place to start. It has a modern setting, so easy to get to grips with and to showcase the fact that SWADE plays fast with light-duty superpowers and pistols, even for complete newbies.


The FG conversion contains everything that is in the original scenario PDF, but there are a few things missing for optimal VTT play. A few more tokens would be helpful but anything modern will do. A more significant omission for our group was maps because modern maps are in pretty short supply.

Can't really complain for the $4.99 that the FG scenario costs!

But be aware that to run on VTT getting a few extra modern maps is a must. I'd recommend a street or alleyway, a scientific lab or offices, and something for inside the reactor. I used this one, which almost doubled the cost to run the game but was well worth it IMO:

The setting is good - easy to understand for a one-off game. "Low power superheroes with one simple power each, but you're not invulnerable to bullets so be careful" is a very easy elevator pitch so everyone got the idea right away. The supplied characters were interesting enough and it was easy for me to generate an extra couple despite being a first-time SWADE GM. It would be very easy to lead first-time players through character generation as well if you wanted them to make their own heroes.

The scenario is quite linear, but it was easy enough to anticipate the main things I thought my group would jump on - sure enough they went to the NPC scientist much earlier in the timeline than the scenario assumed, which is why I wanted a scientific lab map on hand. I just brought the accompanying fight forward in the timeline too.

Then the trickiest bit which I'm sure won't be a problem for other groups- the freeform bit about trying to get into a nuclear power plant. The only problem is that one of my players is actually in charge of a nuclear reactor, and one of the others did an MSc in Nuclear Reactor Physics. Fortunately I'm a particle physicist myself, so I just had to spend the evening before reading up on my nuclear reactor designs and plant layouts before I ran the game! You will be able to blag it much more easily, I suspect :)

Our group had a LOT of fun shouting at the overconfident character acting like he was in an action movie whilst the rest of them played it cautiously.

In retrospect I should have added a few minions in the final battle to even out the action economy, but I don't think the PLAYERS felt like they had got too easy a ride.

We enjoyed it a lot, that group of players are keen to play some more SWADE, I found it a good place to start as GM despite needing a few extra resources to run it online. So all in all a thumbs-up from us.

Oh and if you haven't tried it, SWADE in Fantasy Grounds has absolutely awesome automation features. Ikael has done a great job there for sure.

Cheers, Hywel