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How do you like (or don't like) the Savage Worlds rpg?

jdrakeh

Adventurer
My two dislikes are powers and the way Spirit works. Re: powers. There's a generic list of core powers and it's really just re-skinned for different settings/genres. It's all very same-y and it didn't spark my imagination at all. Re: Spirit. You'll want to buy that up, big time, or you'll get knocked out of combat quickly and often. It's too vital to making an effective character, IMO.
 

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Though I should note that Shaken is not nearly as big an issue as it was in older versions of the game; these days even a middlin' Spirit will allow a Wild Card (which includes all PCs) to recover and act on their next action 75% of the time.
 

Retreater

Legend
Cards are way faster in my experience, especially if you get card holders so you can look around and just see who is next.
Not doubting your experience, but with how I handle initiative with D&D it's very quick. Every player who has gone on to DM after being at my table later adopted this method.
You start with one player and ask their initiative score. Put their pin on the numbered strip at the top of your DM Screen. Go through all the players around the table and then add your NPCs. Takes like a minute and then you're set for the whole combat.
With a varied initiative system like SW, you're doing essentially the same thing every round. I can't imagine it being quicker, but sure, it's going to be more dynamic if the trade off is worth it.
 

MGibster

Legend
My two dislikes are powers and the way Spirit works. Re: powers. There's a generic list of core powers and it's really just re-skinned for different settings/genres. It's all very same-y and it didn't spark my imagination at all. Re: Spirit. You'll want to buy that up, big time, or you'll get knocked out of combat quickly and often. It's too vital to making an effective character, IMO.
They changed the way recovering from being Shaken works. Originally, when your character was Shaken, you made a Spirit roll to recover but you still couldn't act unless you got a raise on the roll (you rolled 4 over the target number). These days you still get to act once you make your Spirit check to get out of being Shaken. And since you've got that d6 Wild Die in addition to whatever Spirit die you have it's usually not too hard to get out of being Shaken. Though I myself have fallen victim to and seen other people fall victim to the swingy dice and remain Shaken for 2-3 rounds.

You're right that Powers are fairy generic and it's often up to the players to figure out what Trappings they have. i.e. Is their Blast Power a fireball, a concussive force similar to a grenade, or something else. I know I frequently fail to ask my players what the Trappings of their powers are and that's just poor GMing on my part.
 

Aldarc

Legend
IMO, Savage World feels highly rooted in the 3e D&D and GURPS era with lots of rules for minutiae ,and it also suffers from "gun porn" when it comes to what feels like unnecessarily extensive equipment tables. So when I look at the overall game, it feels like a "fast" game that's running on an outdated processor with lots of unnecessary added apps and junk slowing it down. YMMV.
 

You're right that Powers are fairy generic and it's often up to the players to figure out what Trappings they have. i.e. Is their Blast Power a fireball, a concussive force similar to a grenade, or something else. I know I frequently fail to ask my players what the Trappings of their powers are and that's just poor GMing on my part.

Even with trappings I don't think there's enough variation, honestly.
 

IMO, Savage World feels highly rooted in the 3e D&D and GURPS era with lots of rules for minutiae ,and it also suffers from "gun porn" when it comes to what feels like unnecessarily extensive equipment tables. So when I look at the overall game, it feels like a "fast" game that's running on an outdated processor with lots of unnecessary added apps and junk slowing it down. YMMV.

Acknowledging your final word there, the fact that it isn't excessively stripped down (by my standards) is one of its virtues.
 

MGibster

Legend
Even with trappings I don't think there's enough variation, honestly.
That's fair. I think there's a lack of utility spells that probably don't deserve a full blown Power as they're not effective in combat but might provide certain quality of life benefits. Something like D&D's prestidigitation for example.
 

thullgrim

Explorer
That's fair. I think there's a lack of utility spells that probably don't deserve a full blown Power as they're not effective in combat but might provide certain quality of life benefits. Something like D&D's prestidigitation for example.
I think the Savage Pathfinder adaptation will solve some of the utility spell issues.

I really wish there was a solid setting of ritual casting rules. I guess I could hack something with the dramatic task rules.

I think the Fast, Furious, Fun tag line was true when the game was published. It wa and remains a rules medium game that scratches a particular itch. In the ensuing years game design has gotten noticeably lighter in general. I’d argue in many ways 5e is a lighter game than Savage Worlds.

That said it fills a nice niche between a heavy system from the 3x family and lighter rules games like cypher, fitd, pbta, and so on. it’s easier to manage and run than GURPS or Hero and it’s good for any kind of high action game you want to run.
 

Helpful NPC Thom

Adventurer
IMO, Savage World feels highly rooted in the 3e D&D and GURPS era with lots of rules for minutiae ,and it also suffers from "gun porn" when it comes to what feels like unnecessarily extensive equipment tables. So when I look at the overall game, it feels like a "fast" game that's running on an outdated processor with lots of unnecessary added apps and junk slowing it down. YMMV.
The rules provided facilitate the game as the designers intended ("it's a feature, not a bug"), but I agree that there is some cruft that could be stripped away--some of the Hindrances and Edges should be revised and the list curated per-campaign--but the vast majority of rules exist to support the game's genre. Although it's marketed as a generic system, it's really "wild west cowboys and Indians" with a coat of paint to make it tenable for multiple genres. I would suggest that the core game could be improved by admitting that the core game is Wild West Cowboys and Indians / Deadlands, writing the rules around that, then revising and tweaking the options in splatbooks for specific settings and genres.

That said it fills a nice niche between a heavy system from the 3x family and lighter rules games like cypher, fitd, pbta, and so on. it’s easier to manage and run than GURPS or Hero and it’s good for any kind of high action game you want to run.

Bingo. My draw to the game is that it provides a balance of crunch that satisfies both the character builder and the lazy ass GM (I'm both). Is it "lightweight" compared to something like Apocalypse World? Absolutely not. But Apocalypse World is designed to tell specific stories, not throw dice and fan the hammer at a bunch of dastardly good-for-nothings who wandered into the wrong saloon.
 

MGibster

Legend
So far the only Savage Worlds games I've played where I felt like there was an overabundance of equipment was Interface Zero which is a cyberpunk setting. Between all the armor, weapons, and cyberwear available for purchase it just got to be a bit overwhelming.
 

Retreater

Legend
So far the only Savage Worlds games I've played where I felt like there was an overabundance of equipment was Interface Zero which is a cyberpunk setting. Between all the armor, weapons, and cyberwear available for purchase it just got to be a bit overwhelming.
I definitely felt overwhelmed by all the options in Rifts. If my mind could be focused on it, I'm sure it would be great having all that stuff. But since I don't have the mind I did when I was younger (or - maybe more accurately - the free time) it's just too much.
 

That's fair. I think there's a lack of utility spells that probably don't deserve a full blown Power as they're not effective in combat but might provide certain quality of life benefits. Something like D&D's prestidigitation for example.
The problem is deeper than that.

The SW list would work okay for individual low-magic like RuneQuest battle magic (though obviously a little more oomphy since you have some attack spells that are halfway serious), but the farther you get away from wanting something like that, the less they work. And the fact there's no in-system way to vary how to cast, where its skill based or not, or a bunch of other things doesn't really make it well suited to representing anything else.

As I mentioned earlier, there's two ways you can get around this kind of problem; have a bunch of different bespoke "magic" systems that are varied enough one of them will probably work (the GURPS approach) or have an extensive build-a-power-system approach (the Hero approach). SW doesn't really do either; its more like the approach GURPS had early in its lifespan where they tried to use the magic system they had in the corebook for everything (and sometimes it really, really stuck out how badly it worked for it), and don't seem to have much gone beyond that. Even third parties have mostly just made minor tweaks to the extent system (usually by limiting what spells were available doing custom botch consequences, though SWADE seems to have moved away from that).

Honestly, the magic system is the biggest reasons I don't use the system more; its just really inadequate for a lot of purposes.
 

That said it fills a nice niche between a heavy system from the 3x family and lighter rules games like cypher, fitd, pbta, and so on. it’s easier to manage and run than GURPS or Hero and it’s good for any kind of high action game you want to run.

Well, with the caveat I give about the magic system (and different problems with the SPC powers) I generally agree.
 


I'm aware but it's still not fixed enough for me. Even as it currently stands, you really need a high Spirit rating to stay on your feet in combat.


Can you give an example of how? Honestly, short of getting a massive damage raise, I don't think I've ever seen anyone go down in combat, and like I said, an average Spirit will let any wild card throw off a Shaken most of the time. Is there something you're thinking of I'm missing?
 

jdrakeh

Adventurer
Can you give an example of how? Honestly, short of getting a massive damage raise, I don't think I've ever seen anyone go down in combat, and like I said, an average Spirit will let any wild card throw off a Shaken most of the time. Is there something you're thinking of I'm missing?

Just having to roll a successful Spirit check to throw off a Shaken status. I've seen characters with low to average Spirit scores blow a lot of these rolls. Sometimes right in a row. One character in particular got taken out of the action a lot, because he built his character for... well, character, instead of mechanical optimization (he shortchanged himself on Spirit and paid the cost).
 

Just having to roll a successful Spirit check to throw off a Shaken status. I've seen characters with low to average Spirit scores blow a lot of these rolls. Sometimes right in a row. One character in particular got taken out of the action a lot, because he built his character for... well, character, instead of mechanical optimization (he shortchanged himself on Spirit and paid the cost).

Honestly, I have to write that off to dice roll aberrations. A typical Wild Card has a Spirit of a D6, and a Wild Die of a D6; he needs to roll at least one of those with a total of 4 or greater to be unshaken. That's a 75% chance. If someone can't do that on any kind of regular basis, its hard to see that as a system problem.
 

MGibster

Legend
I definitely felt overwhelmed by all the options in Rifts. If my mind could be focused on it, I'm sure it would be great having all that stuff. But since I don't have the mind I did when I was younger (or - maybe more accurately - the free time) it's just too much.
Okay, I forgot about Rifts probably because I ran it and didn't play it. But, yeah, I think Rifts might take the cake there.
 

Ixal

Adventurer
Unless they're minions, which have 1 HP.
Which is imo also a problem, that you only have minions and "bosses". There is not much room for "not pushover enemies which are not special". Nor can you have different levels of bosses because the thoughness system breaks down at higher levels (already a problem in Rifts)

And I initially forgot until someone mentioned it, the entire power/spell system is much too generic.
 
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