Monday, July 11, 2016

Admiring Savage Worlds' Combat for a Moment

This weekend I ran a Savage World Sci Fi adventure (in Savage Space, of course!) and I just wanted to comment that this may be the only role playing game out now where I could comfortably manage a battle between 6 PCs and 140 monsters (no wild cards, though!) in an hour or less.

Savage Worlds does a lot of core stuff "right" in ways that (once you adjust to SW's sensibilities) make you look askew at other game systems. I now wonder why EVERY game system out there doesn't have mook rules, for example. In defense of other game systems, a few which do offer such eloquent systems include....

13th Age (where Mooks have a marginal # of hit points and can be treated like a "pool" for damage purposes)
D&D 4E (which had the awesome minion rules)
Feng Shui: Action Role Playing (which to the best of my understanding may have invented the concept as a mechanic)

Sometime's it's just great for book-keeping to be able to divide out foes in terms of their survivability, but honestly....any game with an eye toward cinematic explosiveness should have rules like this.

Anyway, my weekend with Savage Worlds has (once again) reminded me of how much I like that system when it's actually in process. Expect this to mean more Savage Worlds content for the blog soon!

This weekend's Savage Worlds game was a lot like this scene,
but with pinker, more garish cephalopod aliens

I also really liked the initiative process. Not because it was too horribly special, but after three sessions of Runequest 6 combat, going to the card method of Savage Worlds was so smooth and simple by comparison. Even D&D 5E combat could benefit from this simplicity. It's one of the reasons I also love White Star combat with its solitary D6 roll, then go around the table.

Sometimes, you don't need a lot of mechanical clutter to get the same (or an even better) effect in play. Savage Worlds really exemplifies this concept in design.

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