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Kenny Johnson
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So last night my group sat down and played Savage Rifts. We are playing ‘The Garnet Town Gamit’ which is like the Magnificent Seven meets Savage Rifts. Our session got started with making characters which for those of you that haven’t played Savage Worlds before doesn’t take very long (especially compared to Palladium Rifts). It took the four players about 30 minutes to get their characters made and I don’t know how that compares to normal Savage Worlds/Rifts character creation but since this was our first session I’m sure it took longer. Our group ended up being a Leyline Walker, a Cyber Knight, a City Rat, and a Juicer. The McGuffin for Savage Rifts is that the PCs are all members of this group called the ‘Tomorrow Legion’ which is kind of like the PostMen from the movie The Postman. They go around North America trying to put society back together and do battle against the forces of evil (the Collalition) and other baddies. I’ll get to my thoughts on the treatment of the Rifts lore a little bit later.

A big thing for us is that my group has been pretty happy with playing Palladium and GURPS for years. We have the Megaversal System to a way that we like. It’s like an old pair of shoes that we can slip on, get the support we need, and when are done they slip right off. With Savage Worlds we’ve never played and we don’t watch other people play games on YouTube so we can in very fresh with the books. What we liked was how fast and light the system is without being shallow like some other modern games. There is enough crunch with Savage Worlds that you feel like the chassis is going to fall apart. The Attribute/Skill system is very easy for me to explain to n00bs as a referee. So I dind’t have to spend a lot of time explaining how character creation “works” if you get me. Just spend your points buying the die for your given attribute and then buy up skills up to that die with points. Simply explained. Also because the game takes a less complex approach to skills that are used as more broad categories compared to the Megaversal system we didn’t get lost in the weeds of an unorganized book trying to calculate skill percentages. (Which is something we enjoy but for a new game it’s nice to get up and playing within an hour)

The advantages/disadanvtage system was easy for us to navigate and works like they do in other games we’ve played. The die system where players roll their given skill/attribute die and the D6 against a TN is simple. I really don’t understand the need for exploading dice for the game. Running the adventure the TN was usually 4, so I’m not sure if it is designed for very hard challenges that probably have a low success rate (Bard firing the black arrow to fell Smaug) and the Benefit system with poker chips we didn’t use at all and couldn’t see any impact on the game from our very limited experience. I guess it’s designed for players to be able to help keep their characters alive or do more damage through play but they forgot about them or never saw a need for it. The referee is encouraged to reward “good role playing” with more poker chips and I thought the reward for good role playing was a more fun game. I’m playing in a Savage Rifts game at the Palladium Open House and I’ll see how they are used there. I’m a little agains these sort of meta game systems kind of on principle but I need to see how they play out before I decry the end of Western Civilization due to meta games rules.

I want to speak briefly on the Rifts part of Savage Rifts. The first thing is that the art that PEG users isn’t nearly as good as the Palladium artists. I really hope for Wave 2 they can license the art from Palladium or hire some of the artists and have them do some (or more?) art for Savage Rifts. Savage Worlds isn’t a toolkit system the way the Megaversal system is and for Savage Rifts they are really playing up what the cool kids call the “gonzo” aspects of the world. What’s funny is once my group got out of high school we kind of stopped playing Rifts as some crazy game and we run it as a smaller more intimate game. We love that Rifts is a kitchen sink setting that allows one group to run high powered games and another group to run street level, low power, small and intimate adventures. Savage Rifts is geared to players being really powerful and doing the crazy over the top stuff in the campaign world. I don’t know with the brand if that is what they were just going for with the first products out of the gate or it is something they have decided is “Rifts” and will be that way going forward. Erin Tarn is featured in Savage Rifts and that made me very happy. The tone of the writer is quite different than Kevin but I think he is trying to write similar (or he normally does I don’t know not familiar with the authors other games) and have the books read more conversational.

My complaints about Savage Worlds are less then I thought going in. I think what I’ve learned is that the rules system really, for us, isn’t that important. As long as we are able to get our heads around the rules and contextualize how the system is supposed to work, the system offers enough weight to stay grounded to how we like to play, we really don’t care about the system. To my group it’s more important about the campaign world and the adventure than the rules system. To me, that’s a great thing about Savage Worlds it melts into the background of the game and we didn’t think about it. The Megaversal System does that for us as well but we’ve been using it since the 1980’s so we know how it works. I think for folks less experienced or familiar with the Megaversal system would probably find Savage Worlds something that would allow them to get in, play in one of the more exciting (but Palladium Fantasy is a better setting) campaign worlds ever produced.

We completed the adventure which took about 4 hours. The GM’s handbook includes random tables for adventure generation and I am a big fan of tables. I’m hoping further products include a lot more maps to go with the tables. I didn’t use them. I basically just read the SW rules and the Savage Rifts books prior to the session. We showed up, made characters, started to play, and got through a pre packaged adventure. My players all had fun and are totally down for continuing to play Savage Rifts. We are going to be on hold for a couple weeks due to being an accountant and all and then I’m going to the open house but when I get back I think we might make the move. I have so many Palladium sourcebooks that I could easily fit the Savage World system with core Rifts and just play like we have always played but with a lighter system.

I do like that Savage Worlds is a generic system. I’m not that smart. I need something that allows me to play in many different worlds without having to learn a new rule system or deal with somebody trying to be too clever by half with their new game. I can tell you that I went online to PEG’s website and ordered the Savage World of Solomon Kane product line and the Lhankmar box set. I love those two properties and having a rules system that would allow us to quickly jump from one setting to another setting is right up my ally.

I don’t think Savage Worlds will replace the Palladium house system for us because we love Palladium Fantasy and the ability to run Dead Reign around Halloween but if PEG got the rights to do Savage Palladia....that might do it.

Did they release a pdf for converting Palladium content to Savage Worlds during the Kickstarter?

I was on another forum and somebody posted that but I didn’t back the Kickstarter so I cannot see the content they posted. I’m going to run the game in Mexico with the Vampire Kingdoms books and wanted to know if the wheel is out there so I’m not reinventing it.

Hi all,

I’m an old Palladium player and I ordered the Savage Rifts box set from PEG and I’ve never played Savage Worlds but it sounds like I need to buy a core rulebook for the Savage Rifts box set? Are all the rules included or is there a separate rulebook?

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Guess what showed up today! I'm 36/400!
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I wrote a review of the Discworld Roleplaying game. Very nervous sharing it because I'm not a writer (I'm good at the maths) and I wanted to get some miles under my belt writing before I really started promoting my stuff. But, because the game is new, I thought I'd share it.

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I got my books!
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