log in or register to remove this ad

 

Sell me on Savage Worlds

MGibster

Legend
Agreed. I'm not really a fan of systems or games that are into almost needless "equipment porn." It seems to run contrary to the spirit of the rest of the game.
Some of this might be in the eye of the beholder, but I don't think Savage Worlds is a game where players are overburdened with keeping track of equipment. There are some exceptions, Rifts of course, and Interface Zero (cyberpunk setting), but in most campaigns I've participated in equipment hasn't been a source of frustration. In many games a character's equipment list might not change significantly over the course of the campaign.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Some of this might be in the eye of the beholder, but I don't think Savage Worlds is a game where players are overburdened with keeping track of equipment. There are some exceptions, Rifts of course, and Interface Zero (cyberpunk setting), but in most campaigns I've participated in equipment hasn't been a source of frustration. In many games a character's equipment list might not change significantly over the course of the campaign.

It's more how the equipment works (via combat) which is antithetical to the games premise of 'fast, furious and fun'.

See also:

I said it before, if the players aren't willing to dig in to the rules and really get a handle on the action / resolution feedback loop, combat can devolve into a slog. It's not about the raw addition/subtraction of the numbers; it's the ability of the players to conceive what the numbers are doing and how they maximize their results working as a team.

Choosing from a list of 20 different combat actions (rapid attack, 3RB, Autofire, multi-actions, called shots, taunt etc) from a sheet, then calculating modfiers (-2 for each action, autofire penalties, called shot penalty, range penalties, wound penalties, offset by rangefinders, lasers etc), rolling multiple dice vs the modified TN, calculating successes and raises, rolling damage on exploding dice, calcutating that, then subtracting your opponents toughness and armor (less the AP value of your gun) and dividing that result by 4 to determine how many wounds you inflict (then them rolling to soak that damage) is completely antithetical to a game designed to be 'fast, furious and fun' and also to the abstract skills and ability score rules that precede it.

Im not saying there is anything fundamentally wrong with such a system; it's just completely at odds with the simplistic, abstract and fast rules for skills and abilitiy scores that precede it, and also at odds with the core premise of the game.
 

MGibster

Legend
Choosing from a list of 20 different combat actions (rapid attack, 3RB, Autofire, multi-actions, called shots, taunt etc) from a sheet, then calculating modfiers (-2 for each action, autofire penalties, called shot penalty, range penalties, wound penalties, offset by rangefinders, lasers etc), rolling multiple dice vs the modified TN, calculating successes and raises, rolling damage on exploding dice, calcutating that, then subtracting your opponents toughness and armor (less the AP value of your gun) and dividing that result by 4 to determine how many wounds you inflict (then them rolling to soak that damage) is completely antithetical to a game designed to be 'fast, furious and fun' and also to the abstract skills and ability score rules that precede it.

Aside from new players (and trying to play Rifts), I've never seen anyone have a particularly difficult time with the combat options in Savage Worlds. It's not like most players are concerned with all the options from round-to-round. If a character doesn't have Taunt the player is unlikely to try to use it, if armed with a revolver they're not concerned with 3 round bursts, wound penalties are trivially easy to keep track of, and even rolling damage and comparing it to toughness is fairly simple. Combat in Savage Worlds is much, much quicker than it is in most other RPGs I play.
 

Aside from new players (and trying to play Rifts), I've never seen anyone have a particularly difficult time with the combat options in Savage Worlds. It's not like most players are concerned with all the options from round-to-round. If a character doesn't have Taunt the player is unlikely to try to use it, if armed with a revolver they're not concerned with 3 round bursts, wound penalties are trivially easy to keep track of, and even rolling damage and comparing it to toughness is fairly simple. Combat in Savage Worlds is much, much quicker than it is in most other RPGs I play.

Agreed.

The only players I've seen have trouble with it are the ones who doggedly refuse, month after month, to just take the 30-60 minutes needed to read through and try to comprehend the available combat options.

It would be much the same as a D&D player who never bothered to look at their class abilities, then continuously shows up for 6 months of play and has to ask his fellow players, "So, what should my character be doing right now?"
 

Aside from new players (and trying to play Rifts), I've never seen anyone have a particularly difficult time with the combat options in Savage Worlds. It's not like most players are concerned with all the options from round-to-round.

https://silentmaskrpg.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/combat-survival-guide-swade-v5.pdf

The above PDF summarises just the basic combat options.

The below flowchart primarily summarises the combat resolution mechanic:

1611303467358.png



Combat in Savage Worlds is much, much quicker than it is in most other RPGs I play.

How can you say that?
-------------
Firing a automatic bust in Star Wars Saga Edition: If your weapon is capable of autofire, you make a single attack roll (1d20+bonus) vs TN of 10 to hit an area of 4 squares. Every target in those squares takes half damage (if your attack roll is less than their Reflex defence) or full damage if the attack equals or exceeds their Reflex defence. You then roll damage, and subtract from HP.

One roll to hit on a d20+mods. One roll to damage. Done.
-------------
Firing an automatic burst in SWADE: You check the ROF of your weapon (2-4 usually) and then roll 1 Shooting die for every single point of ROF (and a single Wild die, the latter of which can replace the roll of one of your Shooting die). All die can explode, and may trigger a raise if you roll 4 higher than your DC, adding +1d6 to the damage roll (or 'hitting innocent bystanders' on rolls of 1, and also with 1's on the Wild die and the Shooting die leading to a catastrophic failure of some kind.). You then roll damage (taking into account raises on those Shooting rolls) for each of those Shooting die that hit separately (on exploding dice), sum that total, and then compare this total to a value equal to [your targets Toughness plus Armor, less the AP value of the weapon you're shooting]. For every 4 full points left over, you cause a wound to your target.

Repeat this per shot in your burst that hit your target(s) (i.e. 2-4 times)

Your target(s) now may then roll to Soak those wounds, by rolling a Toughness die (and a Wild die) that explode, and taking the best result, with every 4 points reducing a wound.
-----------------

Mate, I know you love the system but those mechanics aren't even close to comparable, and I know which one is the more complex, time consuming, math heavy and a total pain to use.

The Savage Worlds rules for combat are stripped right from a 1980's or 90's fantasy (gun porn) heartbreaker. Weirdly super crunchy, hard to understand, mathy, and ultra-simulationist... for a game that elsewhere is incredibly abstract, and easy to use and understand.

Its a jarring disconnect; it's almost like they slapped two totally different games together.
 
Last edited:

Aldarc

Legend
Agreed.

The only players I've seen have trouble with it are the ones who doggedly refuse, month after month, to just take the 30-60 minutes needed to read through and try to comprehend the available combat options.

It would be much the same as a D&D player who never bothered to look at their class abilities, then continuously shows up for 6 months of play and has to ask his fellow players, "So, what should my character be doing right now?"
I think that Flamestrike's main thrust here is that the "30-60 minutes needed to read through and try to comprehend the available combat options" could have easily been reduced to 10-15 minutes to make it more consistent with the otherwise fast/fun parts of the game.

Reading through SWADE honestly reminds me a lot of reading through 3e D&D, both of which were born from a similar simulationist heavy era out of the preceding '90s. SWADE may have been fast by 2003 standards, but system processors have improved their processing speeds considerably since then.
 

I think that Flamestrike's main thrust here is that the "30-60 minutes needed to read through and try to comprehend the available combat options" could have easily been reduced to 10-15 minutes to make it more consistent with the otherwise fast/fun parts of the game.

Reading through SWADE honestly reminds me a lot of reading through 3e D&D, both of which were born from a similar simulationist heavy era out of the preceding '90s. SWADE may have been fast by 2003 standards, but system processors have improved their processing speeds considerably since then.
A simple 'stance' mode (elect on your turn offensive or defensive), plus single action turns + possible bonus action (depending on Edges etc), and 'one roll' action resolution would have been so much better.

Something that is fast, furious and fun (as advertised).

I dont find crunching the math on the various combat actions to be any of those three things. I can literally do something as complex as fly a spaceship with a single roll in the game, but firing a burst at a creature requires multiple rolls, a unique subsystem, addition, subtraction, division and multiplication.

If I cant explain the various options to a 12 year old inside of 5 minutes, and have them understand them and be able to process them and perform to a competent level, it's too complex. I could teach a child to drive a car faster than I could teach them the various options available for them in combat in that game.

I can quickly explain the rules and action resolution with attributes, skills, traits and edges. Combat OTOH requires a real grasp of the many options, multiple decision points (with 3 actions per turn) and math.

Its like comparing Pathfinder 2Es action economy and crunch with 5E's simplicity.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. Its just I find half the game appeals to the guys that like abstraction and simplicity, and the other half appeals to guys that like hard core simulationism and math.
 

MGibster

Legend
The only players I've seen have trouble with it are the ones who doggedly refuse, month after month, to just take the 30-60 minutes needed to read through and try to comprehend the available combat options.

My group has been playing Savage Worlds on and off for almost a decade now and I still get a player who sometimes asks if he needs to roll a Wild die when making a Vigor check.
 

MGibster

Legend
How can you say that?
I tend to use D&D as my gold standard and combat in Savage Worlds typically runs much, much quicker. When running D&D, I have to keep track of hit points for each NPC or creature, their abilities, spell lists, conditions, etc., etc. It's just much easier and quicker to run combat in Savage Worlds. Again, Rifts being one of the notable exceptions.
 

MGibster

Legend
Actually, we hardly ever use vehicles in Savage Worlds because, as one of my players put it, vehicle rules in that game are stupid. Vehicles often have stupid high Toughness scores and correspondingly stupid high armor. A Abrams tank has a 57 Toughness with 37 of that being armor. And a TOW missile has an armor piercing value of 34. With vehicles, it does get ridiculous calculating armor piercing.
 

Retreater

Legend
Actually, we hardly ever use vehicles in Savage Worlds because, as one of my players put it, vehicle rules in that game are stupid. Vehicles often have stupid high Toughness scores and correspondingly stupid high armor. A Abrams tank has a 57 Toughness with 37 of that being armor. And a TOW missile has an armor piercing value of 34. With vehicles, it does get ridiculous calculating armor piercing.
Imagine GMing a massive combat in Savage Rifts with various vehicles, power armor, mechs, psychic powers, weapons of all kinds imaginable, etc, and you'll see the source of my frustrations.
 


I know it's very popular and I'm considering the plunge with the new Savage Pathfinder Kickstarter.

So, tell me about Savage Worlds!
I've sat in on a few sessions; the swinginess was very evident.
The "fast" part was utterly absent from the group I was sitting in on... But they were having fun.

The big slowdown was the damage mechanics and the massive whif-factor.

One of these days, I'm going to actually run it.

IMO, the setting books are generally much more setting than rules, save for the genre books.
 

MGibster

Legend
I've sat in on a few sessions; the swinginess was very evident.
The "fast" part was utterly absent from the group I was sitting in on... But they were having fun.
Oh, yeah, it's swingy as all get out. I still remember a game of Deadlands where the PCs encountered a few alligators in what I thought would be an easy fight for them. It almost ended with a total party kill because my rolls were phenomenal with multiple raises to hit them and acing when rolling for damage. And in my sword & sandals campaign my big bad of the campaign was downed with one lucky shot to the face when the PC rolled 30+ damage on 2d6.
 

Retreater

Legend
Oh, yeah, it's swingy as all get out. I still remember a game of Deadlands where the PCs encountered a few alligators in what I thought would be an easy fight for them. It almost ended with a total party kill because my rolls were phenomenal with multiple raises to hit them and acing when rolling for damage. And in my sword & sandals campaign my big bad of the campaign was downed with one lucky shot to the face when the PC rolled 30+ damage on 2d6.
Egg-actly. It seems to work fine for gritty fantasy one shots. I think the odds of a character surviving more than one adventure in a Paizo style AP are basically nil unless there's a massive overhaul to SWADE.
That said, I'm still following the project and will likely back it once I see the Monster math.
 

MGibster

Legend
Egg-actly. It seems to work fine for gritty fantasy one shots. I think the odds of a character surviving more than one adventure in a Paizo style AP are basically nil unless there's a massive overhaul to SWADE.
That said, I'm still following the project and will likely back it once I see the Monster math.
At the start of every session for my Deadlands campaign, I played a little Power Point I created to mimic the opening credits to a 1960s western with Go, Go Cactus Man playing. I used quite a diverse array of photos to represent the PCs including the Iron Warrior (pro wrestler), Jackie Chan, and Dr. Steel. At the conclusion of the campaign, I set up an end credit sequence focusing on all the characters who had died set to Drop Kick me Jesus. Good times.
 

Egg-actly. It seems to work fine for gritty fantasy one shots. I think the odds of a character surviving more than one adventure in a Paizo style AP are basically nil unless there's a massive overhaul to SWADE.

I've found that barring a TPK, as long as a party has access to the Healing power they're usually OK after most battles.

It's actually pretty hard to die in SWADE.
 

My experience will definitely be colored by the fact that we've played Savage Worlds in the fantasy genre 95% of the time. To say nothing of the fact that whatever psychological makeup derives enjoyment from "gear porn", I'm on the far, far opposite end of spectrum.

To the point that I actually get annoyed when players start asking for "lewt upgrades."

Player: "Hey innerdude, can I upgrade my armor? Can't I go to the blacksmith and get some lighter / stronger armor? Can't I go to the magic shop and get some special Arrows of Whizbangyness?"

Me: ** rolls eyes ** "Whatever."
 

My experience will definitely be colored by the fact that we've played Savage Worlds in the fantasy genre 95% of the time. To say nothing of the fact that whatever psychological makeup derives enjoyment from "gear porn", I'm on the far, far opposite end of spectrum.

Which is probably why SW's abstract base rules appealed to you.

Its in the equipment and gear section where the game radically shifts to simlationist mathy crunch.
 

I personally have to agree that, while you can make an argument that the overall options can be large in SW, in practice, most people aren't going to use a wide enough variety of them for keeping track to be much of an issue. I'm not qualified to judge what's "fast" to other people, but SW is probably the fastest game on a round-to-round basis I've played in decades. I also concur that the degree the gear distinctions are actually likely to be bothersome to someone largely turns on what kind of campaign it is.

On the other hand, if you're bothered by swinginess, I also absolutely concur its going to probably bother you; open ended die systems where comparison to a target number has strong effects (which is absolutely what SW is in combat) are intrinsically swingy.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top