Friday, February 10, 2012

A Savage Switch

Game night was last night. We switched from OD&D, to Savage Worlds to see how the game would run under those rules, more as an experiment, than a real plan. Actually it was quite good. It hit all the "F'"s. Fast, Furious and Fun. The players seemed to enjoy the switch and want to keep on "giving it a go".

The extra options supported by Savage Worlds; a skill list, edges, hindrances, beanies and the magic system, all seemed to suit them and what they wanted from a game (as Players). I have to say, the system is, very easy to prepare for as a GM. Management during the game is a breeze too. The hardest concept in Savage worlds is the "Shaken" condition and the players easily took it in their stride and gamed on. 

I have some small regrets leaving OD&D behind. OD&D is great from a GM's perspective, lots of support, great community, ease of preparation, all of that. House rules for OD&D is however getting quite frankly, ridiculous. While its fun to do this type of thing, its a bit of a joke keeping all the tiny tweaks for the game in line. I do share the perspective that JM shared; house rules should only be the rules used at the table. Unfortunately straight Labyrinth Lord, Original Edition D&D, Rules Cyclopaedia or OSRIC just doesn't quite get the players over the line - they want more from the character subsystems. The things above are good examples.   

To give you an idea of the breadth of our house rules, which have crept in over time,
Fighter options - sort of like "feats" see original edition delta for the same sort of concept
No Cleric class only a magic user class, a combined spell list with some spells culled
Thief skills on the Target 20 check type
Target 20 for combat
"Good At" skills based off appropriate stat bonus using Target 20

I think its happened as a result of liking many of the innovations in  3.0+ D&D. They are not a huge change to the dynamic of the game but significant enough. I wonder how D&D5 will manage these realities. Small changes to what was the 3.0 core would actually us back to the core game. Not in the direction of Pathfinder. Its to power game-ist, too ... I cant really find the words but its sort of a good example of the "wrong" direction to my way of thinking. I want a "Less is more" approach. David Bezio's X-Plorers being a great example of just how much you can do with a "just-enough" approach.  
After following a few online discussions and looking over Blogs like the The City of Iron [great blog] it seemed like savage worlds was a natural move.

I was already predisposed to Savage Worlds due to the wonderful World of Solomon Kane, Beasts & Barbarians and the splendiferous, Totems of the Dead.

My only concern now is to make Savage Worlds feel sufficiently gritty enough for a  sword and sorcery feel and I'm sure we can get that happening. To be totally honest I have some doubts about the game and its play style. For me I could try a new game every few weeks though so - mainly because I find role playing such a compelling hobby. 

I also feel Savage Worlds opens up a whole new realm of gaming for the group maybe giving them a desire to play the games listed above as well as games like Deadlands. 

So we go on with this until I get a Sci Fi game all planed out and ready to go. Who knows maybe I'll use Savage Worlds for it too.

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