Thread: Why SW?

  1. #1
    computertrucker's Avatar
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    Why SW?

    Just curious as to what people like most about SW and why they chose to go that route.. At least on Fantasy grounds?.

    I am currently running a 4E game (with several house rules) using Fantasy grounds but thinking about maybe looking to make the switch due to the fact that SW looks like it is actually supported. So opinions on SW please.. thanks.

  2. #2
    phantomwhale's Avatar
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    Heck yes it's supported

    Disclaimer : I've never played 4E. My face-to-face group consisted of a mix of gamers, and we played 3.5E from level 1 to 20. And I've got to say, the fun started to drop around level 6 and never quite came back up again. The joy of new toys and super-powers helped keep us going, but all those numbers and extra attacks...

    So we tried SW. We tried it for Pulp gaming. Then a little Fantasy gaming. And then finally Deadlands: Reloaded. And we're now just having a lot more fun, and getting more done each session ! It truly has been Fast! Fun! and Furious! (tm) for us.

    Problems I think SW has "fixed" for my group are:
    • People who are bad at maths can actually understand the rolls. No more adding up buckets of dice, or modifying several D20 all with different amounts to add onto them.
    • Combat never goes over 2 hours, even via FGII. We used to lose a whole session to a high level encounter.
    • SW has encouraged my "non-hardcore" gamers to develop rounded characters a little more, rather then walking piles of numbers which we used to have
    • Running games online is hard work. Preparing is hard work. Thank god SW lets me bluff most encounters with very little preparation work.

    Like I say, a lot of this is why we went Savage instead of 3.5E (face-to-face) - and the Deadlands campaign setting just cemented it in for us; I can't get them to play anything else !

    And this is why Savage can now claim to be well supported; I emigrated to Australia 6 months ago, and realizing this could become the end of our campaign. We all tried FGII with SW before I left and realised it was good, but it didn't support Deadlands, and we really wanted it to be GREAT, not good. Well, GMing and coding are my two passions in life, so I got in touch with Smiteworks and can proudly say Savage Worlds is under my stewardship, and Deadlands extension is so close to release that I'm losing sleep with excitement...

  3. #3
    Savage Worlds is an awesome game. It really holds up to it's tagline: Fast! Fun and Furious!

    It is a very rules light game, which emphasizes keeping things simple and keeping the action flowing. As a reference point, it plays more like 1e D&D vice 3e or 4e, in terms of lower amount of rules and speed of play.

    Having made that comparison though, I should explain that it has virtually nothing else whatsoever in common with D&D of any type or era, so you shouldn't expect it to be able to be a substitute for it.

    Savage Worlds is a level-less system and uses a point buy system. Where D&D has an exponential power curve where characters get major improvements every level and the difference between 1st level and 10th level is huge, Savage Worlds is a more linear progression with minor improvements in power as the characters progress. It's a much more flattened progression and there aren't huge differences in the actual power level of a brand new character and one thats been played for awhile.

    So, what does Savage Worlds do really well? Tons of things. It's awesome for horror, sci-fi, superpower, pulp action, and many other genres. There are a great deal of various settings that you can get for it, all of which are very well done.

    It's also very inexpensive. The core rulebook (known as the explorer's guide) is only $10. Setting books are about $30 each. All you need to GM for it is an explorer's guide and the one setting book you plan to run.

    The basic mechanics of Savage Worlds have a very pulpy feel to them. It uses exploding dice which can end up giving some very fun and exciting results.

    It can do fine for Fantasy also, as long as you aren't expecting a D&D-like experience. For the most part, D&D does D&D best. When it comes to doing the classic dungeon crawling for gold and treasure against an ever increasing range of diverse and ever increasingly powerful opponents, there is just no substitute for D&D.

    Due to the flatness of the progression system of Savage Worlds, it is difficult to translate a D&D type adventure into a Savage Worlds campaign and have it maintain anything like the feel of epic fantasy. Savage Worlds handles humans very well. It starts to break down some when your trying to translate monsters into the system.

    The primary reason for this is that you have a more limited range of power to work with. All stats and skills in the game are matched to a dice type. You start out with a d4. As you increase the stat or skill, it progresses to d6, d8, d10, d12 and then after that, d12+1, d12+2 etc. With such a limited range, it becomes tough to stat out monsterous creatures on a scale that was originally designed to only handle humans. Not impossible, mind you, just tougher to do.

    Having said that, there are a couple decent fantasy settings for Savage Worlds that you might like. Helfrost is a good one. Sundered Skies is another one to take a look at. They tend to have more humanoid interaction and fewer monsterous creatures, but some people prefer those types of fantasy games anyways.

    There are just so many other cool SW settings, I couldn't even begin to list them for you. My favorites are Thrilling Tales, Realms of Cthulu and Day After Ragnarok. Deadlands also looks awesome, though I haven't tried it yet.

  4. #4
    VenomousFiligree's Avatar
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    I've played and GMed many systems and always come back to SW.

    Its quick and easy to learn, very adaptable, reasonably quick to play (even on FG) and is easy on the GM prep wise.

    Pinnacle Entertainment has also given Doug permission to convert all their material.

    Previously: MurghBpurn

  5. #5
    computertrucker's Avatar
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    It sounds very interesting. I will say that Our DnD campaign is anything but classic. While yes it does have a touch of classic DnD here and there. I am currently running it in the Iron Kingdoms Setting (im a huge warmachine fan). For those that dont know what that is.

    Take high fantasy, mix in a little bit of Van Helsing style gunplay, Add Magically Enhanced Steam/Coal Power complete with 10 foot tall Steam/coal burning Robots known as Jacks and there you go.

    Im probably going to go ahead and Purchase a Copy of the Main Ruleset tomorrow after I settle on my current load today (truck driver owner op here, hence the reason I use FG2 to run my games).

    One question. IF I purchase the FG2 version it does come complete with the actual rules so I can read them? Or do I need to hold off untill I get home next weekend so I can get a hard copy as well to go with it?

    Thanks
    Gotta get rdy to roll.

  6. #6
    VenomousFiligree's Avatar
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    The SWEX rules are included as modules within FG, so you will need to read them from within FG.

    Previously: MurghBpurn

  7. #7
    Iron Kingdoms, eh? Yes, I am familiar with Hordes/Warmachine.

    If that is your campaign material, you might well indeed get a better effect with Savage Worlds than you would with D&D.

    I might suggest looking at Rippers Setting for some good stuff on the Gothic Horror/Van Helsing aspect and Runepunk for the Steampunk Fantasy aspect. Both are good settings in their own right, but could be mined for use in your custom campaign.

    Rippers is available in the FG store or pdf or hardback. Runepunk is available in pdf or hardback format, but not currently converted to FG.

    The way SW is designed is that the SWEX guide gives you the core generic rules (the SWEX guide is the one included for free with the FG Ruleset and is only $10 if you want a hard copy). Then you pick a setting guide, which will give you specific rules for the specific genre and setting. So, for example, SWEX would tell you how to make a character that could use a gun and sword and how combat works etc. Rippers would tell you the specs for a werewolf in the gothic horror setting.

    Regardless, SW is one of the least expensive and easiest games to get into and it's extremely flexible for the sorts of stories you can tell with it.
    Last edited by vodokar; May 2nd, 2011 at 21:21.

  8. #8
    computertrucker's Avatar
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    One last question. Do I need to buy the EX guide in the store? Or can I just click the link on the log in screen? Are they different editions?

  9. #9
    The Savage World's Explorer's Guide (SWEX) comes as a built in module in the ruleset. The ruleset is Savage Worlds version 3.1 in the FG store.

    That's what you'll need, as a minimum, however, I would highly recommend getting at least a pdf copy of the Explorer's guide on top of the one thats available in FG. While not mandatory, it's much more convenient for general reading and it's cheap.

    That gives you the ruleset and the core rulebook to play Savage Worlds, in general.

    From there, however, you'll likely want to peruse some of the different setting books available. I mentioned a few; only a very small subset that is available.

    There are several which are available as library modules in the FG store, but there are many more which haven't been converted yet (but hopefully will be).

    Setting books are available generally for about $20 in FG format or pdf format or about $30 in hardback. They contain the setting for a campaign, any additional rules or modifications of the SWEX rules that tailor the game to that particular campaign and genre, and usually have an entire campaign long preplanned adventure path and side-treks ready for you to run. You get a lot of value in these books. If they are in FG format, all the maps, enemies, npc's, encounters and everything will already be predone for you and waiting for you to sit down and run it.

    Some websites you'll find useful in learning about the different settings available and general information on SW are www.peginc.com , www.tripleacegames.com , www.realityblurs.com and of course, www.rpgdrivethru.com.

    There's a big and fun Savage World out there. Have fun exploring it and may it always be Fast, Furious and Fun.
    Last edited by vodokar; May 3rd, 2011 at 05:55.

  10. #10
    VenomousFiligree's Avatar
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    You can see the official settings here and the fan made conversions here.

    Previously: MurghBpurn

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