Grade the Savage Worlds System

How do you feel about the Savage Worlds game system?

  • I love it.

    Votes: 32 27.1%
  • It's pretty good.

    Votes: 32 27.1%
  • It's alright I guess.

    Votes: 22 18.6%
  • It's pretty bad.

    Votes: 5 4.2%
  • I hate it.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I've never played it.

    Votes: 26 22.0%
  • I've never even heard of it.

    Votes: 1 0.8%


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MGibster

Legend
I feel like people are overstating the potential for "carefully planned encounters to end with one hit." First of all,your BBEG has Bennies, too. And there are wound caps. And they have minions. And toughness. What I mean is if the PCs one shot the BBEG, the encounter was not, in fact, carefully planned.
This was more of a problem in earlier editions of SW when there weren't caps on damage. At least caps on damage weren't a standard part of the rules.
 

kronovan

Adventurer
...It's been 4 years or so since I've read the core rules, though, so I'm not sure how I'd do it. There really just needs to be some combination of additional condition statuses / flow that makes every combat check more meaningful.

When they introduced distracted and vulnerable as conditions in SWADE, I thought they missed an opportunity to have a tighter, interlocking mechanism between shaken, distracted, and vulnerable to make fights more strategic and less reliant on just rolling high numbers

Frankly, I'd probably just bite the bullet and implement something along the lines of the way Genesys does it with separate fatigue track equal to the character's spirit+vigor, and then a "crit" table to cause wounds once the fatigue track reaches zero. Fatigue reduces = damage rolled on all attacks that don't cause a shaken condition or wound...
I recall discussions by PEG staff where they mentioned a reluctance to adding conditions to SW. When they 1st started to form SWEX, D&D 3e was still fresh which had many conditions (you could argue an overabundance of them) and they apparently didn't want to go in that direction. One of the reasons for adding a few new conditions in SWADE among other things, was to fix a very broken suppression fire play mechanic.

There currently is a fatigue track in SWADE; it's 3, or 3 fatique and you're down/incapacitated. Most PCs in my experience start with a d6 in Spirit and Vigor, so making fatigue equal to a sum of those attributes would have a radical impact on how some of the play mechanics work. Unless of course you meaning to add a 3rd track that's works like the fatigue in Genesys?

My personal experience is that some Extras that are truly tough and exploding damage dice is part and parcel with the system. IMO you sort of have to like it or leave it. That said, I have played using the Savage Showdown edition of the rules for tabletop miniatures, where there were tweaks/restrictions on exploding damage dice and the effectiveness of armor, as well as a few houseruled conditions. Some worked OK, some didn't. The rules are quite flexible, so nothing wrong with houseruling and testing it with a group.
 

One possible solution might be a third condition that lowers Toighness by -2, -4 on a Raise. Call it Wide Open or Exposed. Make it applicable by a Test, the same way Vulnerable and Distracted are. It’s simple. It fits with what SW already does. It allows non-combat characters to further influence combat. You can use it in multiple action turns, when you take them.

You could create an Edge [Big Game Hunter or whatever] that allows the condition to be applied if you don’t want to make it universal, you could add an improved version to increase the result (-2 to -4) (-4 to -6).

Another way to go about it would be to change about 25% of a creatures native toughness to armor and allow AP to work.

A third option might be to apply the gang bonus to both attack and damage rolls.
 

Overall it is probably my favorite "generic" system and is a go-to when I want to run a genre that doesn't already have a strong rule set (I did Savage Gamma World a few years ago and it worked great). It does big fights really well and has fast, yet robust character creation.

But there are definitely some clunky bits. As others have said it can be very swingy. It does not do boss monsters well as PCs often need to get damage dice to explode in order to hurt tough creatures and fights go on for 20 rounds. I don't like the cards for initiave, but it is hard to substitute dice because some special rules depend on the cards. None of these things are really dealbreakers though.
 

Reynard

Legend
I forgot to mention: SWADE is the only "generic" game I have ever encountered that does OT Star Wars directly out of the core book with no supplements or house rules needed. (Note I am not including toolkits like Hero.where you have to.build everything yourself.)
 

jdrakeh

Front Range Warlock
It's alright, I guess. My only major complaint with the current edition (SWADE) is the same complaint I've had with all editions to date - the powers system is painfully generic (i.e. all powers are really just the same mechanically with a different coat of paint for a given setting/genre).
 

kronovan

Adventurer
...My only major complaint with the current edition (SWADE) is the same complaint I've had with all editions to date - the powers system is painfully generic (i.e. all powers are really just the same mechanically with a different coat of paint for a given setting/genre).
While I'd agree that they all require an activation roll, have time durations and point costs and a good number have ranges, but the similarities end there. As all the powers have different functionality and effects. It's true they're designed to support multiple genres and if the GM or player doesn't create trappings for them, they can seem fairly plain vanilla. This is the reason I was dissapointed to see PEG not follow through with power trappings in SWADE and expand upon them. In SWD, the 8 they included added some nice recipricol effects and benefits that suited the thematic trapping.

As a SW GM, I've always insisted that my players create trappings for any Power their PC acquires. Or have put in a good amount of effort to thematically define trappings for some of my homebrewed settings.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I forgot to mention: SWADE is the only "generic" game I have ever encountered that does OT Star Wars directly out of the core book with no supplements or house rules needed. (Note I am not including toolkits like Hero.where you have to.build everything yourself.)
I’ve run and played Star Wars using Fate Accelerated using only the book. It was the second best game I’ve found for running Star Wars. The first of course being WEG Star Wars.
 

As a SW GM, I've always insisted that my players create trappings for any Power their PC acquires. Or have put in a good amount of effort to thematically define trappings for some of my homebrewed settings.
This is the way. Depending on the campaign I'll let players define trappings, or pick from pre-defined 'spells'. I'm on-again off-again working on some Savage Symbaroum and will be defining all of the magic for that game. It's a way to thematically control what powers are present.

In Coroilis I'd probably define the mysticism in that setting use street level super heroes or very selectively limit what powers are available.

There's a document that was made available to backers during the Savage Pathfinder KS, that basically took a bunch of PF1 spells and defined them in Savage Pathfinder just to make sure they could. I think the document is available from PEG for $4-5.00. Anyhow they took something Acid Arrow and statted it out in Savage Worlds terms:
1694038413846.png


There's no reason you couldn't build out traditional D&D magic for your setting using that document as a guideline. I believe it was an internal testing document, and it was called Arcane Conversions.
 

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