Sunday, June 10, 2018

Tommy's Take on Vigilantes: Rise of the Powerless

Let's do a quick Savage Worlds review. Anyone in?


This is Vigilantes: Rise of the Powerless by Tricky Troll Games, a Savage Worlds Setting Kit, about normal folks who are sick of the crap and rising up to make a difference in the world.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Swords & Sorcery Six-Pack

Inspired by the adventure generators in the Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells RPG by Old Skull Publishing, I generated a half dozen Swords & Sorcery adventure seeds. These aren't full adventures, so you'd need to flesh them out with your own stats and stuff, but I love playing around with random generators, and I thought I'd share them with you all.

Heck, if you changed out some of the names, you could probably drop them in Lankhmar (the DCC or Savage Worlds versions) easy enough.
 And pick up Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells. It's a rules-light swords & sorcery RPG that is Pay What You Want right now on RPGNow. Can't beat that price.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Legendary Edges in Necessary Evil

No, this isn't a general, all-purpose fan thread about suitable Legendary Edges for Necessary Evil. This is about the Legendary Edges that I gave my PCs and their NPC teammates when the campaign reached Legendary. Had some folks ask me about it, found the notes recently, thought I'd post them.

Since there are spoilers for Necessary Evil, the Edges are after the jump so no one gets it spoiled for them on the front page of the blog.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Tommy's Take on Amazing Adventures

Dungeons & Dragons begat Castles & Crusades, and Castles & Crusades begat Amazing Adventures, a "Siege Engine Game for The Pulp Era".


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Wiseguys Demo Kit and Forces of Light: The Savage Guide to Heaven and The Wild Die Podcast

Hey guys,

I have some RPG News, and it's all kind of having to do with me, at least in part.

Two new Savage Worlds products were recently released, and I had a hand in both of them. So, y'know, I thought I'd mention them to you and encourage you to check them out if they tickle your fancy.



First up is the Wiseguys Demo Kit from Just Insert Imagination. This one is completely free, and has a sample adventure and pregenerated characters for playing Savage gangsters in a Las Vegas that never quite was. Again, at that price, why not check it out? It's getting some strong praise over on RPGnow. Wiseguys was written by Eric Lamoureux and edited by me, and the Kickstarter for the full setting should be coming later this year.



Forces of Light: The Savage Guide to Heaven is published by Gun Metal Games. It is the companion piece to, and stretch goal from, the Codex Infernus: The Savage Guide to Hell sourcebook that was funded on Kickstarter. I edited this as well, and contributed to the writing, including the Streets of Bedlam-style heroic archetypes. Hell is a scary place, so Heaven's warriors need to be ready for it. PDF is only $5.99, and the POD version is coming soon.



Lastly, I was on The Wild Die Podcast with Eric Lamoureux, Harrison Hunt, Manuel Sambs and Gary McCallum, discussing making and playing interesting characters. It'll be my last podcast for a while, as the next day I had all but three of my teeth extracted, and am now struggling through life with dentures at the ripe old age of 39.

So anyway, check those things out!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Tommy's Take on Lankhmar: Savage Seas of Nehwon

Pinnacle has a new Lankhmar book on Kickstarter, with a couple of days left to go. They asked me to take a look and provide an honest review, and I'm, always down for cracking into a new Savage Worlds book, so here we go.



Saturday, May 5, 2018

Happy Free Comic Book Day! Chronicles of Rachel Strand: Double Cross Free Today Only!

Hey all,

In honor of Free Comic Book Day, we just released a one shot from our back catalog for free (digitally) over at IndyPlanet. This will run for about another 12 hours or so, give or take. Feel free to download it and let me know what you think. The comic is "Double Cross" an 8 page flashback one shot from our Chronicles of Rachel Strand series, written by me and drawn by Johnnie Johnson.

Enjoy!


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Savaging Pendragon


So, ever since I've read The Great Pendragon Campaign, I've wanted to run it. However, as many of you know, my group plays a LOT of Savage Worlds, with detours to Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, so The Great Pendragon Campaign in the King Arthur Pendragon system was...unlikely.

And then I sent out the new poll to my players and, to my surprise, this was the runaway winner.

I got to work wrapping my head around the system and getting prepared, devouring as much of the game as I could, and the more I read, the more I thought the system was seriously going to clash with my group's playstyle.

And then I watched Guy Ritchie's King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and joked to one of my players that I should just convert it to Savage Worlds. He was all in.

The main thing that really pushed me in the Savage direction is that the bookkeeping seemed...a bit much, at least for half my group. Plus, I read something that said mass battles in Pendragon took *hours* and I didn't want to find out for myself. So I called an audible and decided to convert to Savage Worlds. After all, my group loves Savage Worlds, and - all presumptions to the contrary aside - it is a malleable system that can achieve multiple feels. Plus, mass battles in Savage Worlds take minutes, and I know this from experience (any additional time comes from narrating it to make it epic).

And so I set to work on adapting King Arthur Pendragon to Savage Worlds. Since some of you have asked, here's a breakdown of my notes.

What I Swiped

First, I let other people do the work for me, and I borrowed liberally from other sources.

From Rippers I took Status, as it serves a similar function as Honor does in Pendragon. Mechanically, it functions as it does in Rippers, allowing a PC to throw their weight around on social rolls at the risk of losing Status if they fail. From Pendragon, it also has the effect of causing the PC to potentially lose their station if their Status falls too low. To compensate, I started the PCs with higher Status than in Rippers.

The next trait carried over from another book is Glory, from Hellfrost. Aside from tweaking it away from vikings and more towards knights, it was again a pretty straightforward port.

The next, and biggest, resource I swiped was the Hellfrost Resource Management book (see a theme here, Wiggy Wade-Williams does great work) to replace the Manor/Estate system from Pendragon. It's as close to a Fast! Furious! Fun! set of rules for running a guild/kingdom/barony/anything as you can get, and there's not so much going on that I can't help my players along that are apt to struggle with such a thing.

As of the first session, I also used the Jousting rules from Daring Tales of Chivalry, and I'll likely use the Petitioning rules as well. My players loved the Jousting rules, by the way.

What I Changed

I switched around the skill list a bit. I used the new Athletics, Thievery and Perform skills from Flash Gordon, and added an Animal Handling skill. I also revised the Knowledge skills a bit, to focus on things the players were likely to need. Lastly, as a flavor thing, I renamed Streetwise into Intrigue, because they'll be spending a lot of time in various courts.

I won't get into all the changes to the Edges and Hindrances list, but I did a massive revision, adding a bunch of Edges from multiple sources (especially Hellfrost) and trimming ones I didn't think would work.

Setting Rules I Adopted

From the Savage Worlds core I found a few Setting Rules to use:

No Power Points seems to fit, even though Arcane Backgrounds are so rare that PCs may likely not ever have one anyway.

Critical Failures is one we use in most games anyway.

I also opted for Gritty Damage, as combat in Pendragon is meant to be pretty harsh. This won't be that harsh, but will still be rough.

New Rules

Two big ones:

Pendragon is a generational game. To emulate that, I adapted the Pendragon aging rules to Savage Worlds, so they face a chance of Attributes fading once they hit age 35.

The other, huge rule is Virtues and Vices. So I took the Traits from Pendragon and adapted them into Virtues and Vices. Each character must take a Virtue and must take a Vice, and they can't take the Virtue and Vice paired opposite each other in the list (like Chaste and Lustful). In-game, they are like supercharged Hindrances. If I, as the GM, invoke the trait in a situation, they can only act against it by spending a benny. However, if they argue that the trait can help them in a situation, and I agree, they can spend a benny on the relevant roll and add 1d6 to the result, based on how the trait fuels them in the situation.

Character Creation

Character creation was a mix of regular Savage Worlds creation, the family lineage rules from the Pendragon RPG, and the Savagely Useful character creation tool by Sean Patrick Fannon. The ultimately wind up a little stouter this way in normal creation, but it probably works as the required skills for a successful knight are a lot bigger.

And that's it, a breakdown of the tweaks I made to Savage Worlds to get Savage Pendragon!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Savage Worlds...and Why I Keep Coming Back

Started a new Savage Worlds campaign last night. This one, to the surprise and apprehension of many, is an adaptation of Greg Stafford's classic RPG King Arthur Pendragon.

Yep, I went there. Been hard at work on an adaptation that captures the cooler elements of Pendragon while still providing the same mechanics and gameplay my group has known and loved for years.

But, y'know, why?

Why adapt King Arthur Pendragon?

I mean, Savage Worlds is one of my two favorite in-print game systems (with Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition) and one of my three favorite games of all time (with 5e and Marvel SAGA), but still...

Why go back to Savage Worlds again, for a medieval fantasy game, with domain management at that? It's not like Savage Worlds can do that. Savage Worlds is for crazy pulp action and tactical skirmishes, not political intrigue and knights being driven by their personal values.

We'll get back to that in a minute.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Interview with Sean Patrick Fannon (Freedom Squadron)

Freedom Squadron throwing down with VENOM

Hey guys,

I had a chance to have an email chat with Sean Patrick Fannon, writer of the upcoming Freedom Squadron Savage Setting currently on Kickstarter. I'm pretty excited about this book, being a fan of the Deckbuilding Game by Spyglass games that it's based off of (Venom Assault).

I'm a terrible interviewer, but I wanted to do a bit more than just say "Hey guys, check out this Kickstarter!" and, as a fan of Venom Assault, wanted to ask a few questions about the game anyway.

With that said, let's get to the interview.