Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Brave (Savage) New World

My, it has been a while. I see I have another follower now. Welcome, Josh, if you're still here. The delay in posting was caused by my house burning down. My wife and kids are safe, but pretty much everything else was lost. That is a much better arrangement than the alternative.
Anyway, if you take my last post, add in a healthy dose of time (4 months since the fire), you get my mind onto another game. GURPS is too much like 3.5/Pathfinder to me, in that there are highly detailed rules for everything that could possibly come up. Great fun to read on a rainy afternoon, but a nightmare to keep track of at the table. Plus the fact that no matter how much I love GURPS on paper (which I do), once it comes time to develop settings/adventures, or decide on published ones, I can't get rid of the vanilla taste. So GURPS is no longer on my mind or my shelf.
I had a serious thing going with Swords & Wizardry Core. Then, I decided I wanted me some good old sword-and-sorcery style gaming. Despite my 35 year love affair with D&D, and Mr. Gygax's obvious affection for the works of REH, D&D is not suited to s&s, out of the box. It requires a complete re-tooling of magic and magic-users. There are virtually no "cleric" in s&s literature, and absolutely none of the "combat medic" sort that D&D clerics are. So, my mind continued to wander. . .
There was a stop with Barbarians of Lemuria. A cool little game, most definitely. Characters are broadly defined, mechanically, leaving the players' imagination fee reign. But, the setting (which is tied somewhat loosely to the rules) didn't excite me. It was a little too alien and unfamiliar.
There was Jaws of the Six Serpents. Incidentally, you can't read about BoL in forums without running into posts about JotSS, or vice versa. Jaws is wide-open, as most narrativistic designs are. The problem for me is that (in my opinion) narrativistic games actively encourage a disconnect between player and character. I don't want anybody wigging out like Tom Hanks in Mazes and Monsters but I do want my players snuggly wrapped in character. When rules encourage (mechanically) players to use their characters to manipulate the direction of the "story", they lose me.
Enter Savage Worlds. I've dabbled with the Explorer's Edition for about a year now. Then I discovered a little gem called Legends of Steel: Savage Worlds Edition, which is a swords&sorcery setting for SW. Coincidentally, a brand new edition of SW just came out. So, I'm in.
OK, this is long enough. I'll go a little more into SW next time. For now, if you're interested: