My very own copy of Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition plopped through the mailbox today. This is a game that I’ve played once or twice, read Vulcan Stev‘s and Uncle Bear‘s posts about the game with interested curiosity (or should that be curious interest?), read the Test Drive and soaked up as much information as one body can possibly take without actually owning the game.
And now its mine! Bwahahahaha, etc.
These are my first impressions of the game, looking at it with a completely clean “new book” mind.
It’s so small!
It’s half the size of the 4e D&D Player’s Handbook in every way. If you could fold the PHB in half top-to-bottom, you’ve got the dimensions of the SWEE, and it weighs in at just 160 pages. That’s about a squillionth the size of the D&D Core Books put together. True.
It’s so big!
Despite the lack of stature, it’s also feature complete. This one teeny tiny bookette includes character generation, combat, special abilities (magic, super-powers, psionics), mass combat, GM information and even an adventure. Phew!
What’s more, none of it feels rushed or crowded. The layout is superb, especially if you’re an…. ahhhh…. older gamer whose eyesight is starting to fail. Big font, clean layout, and a wide variety of images from various genres. I like.
It might be complete, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it’s comprehensive. As a superhero RPG fan, the super-powers section was one of the first I turned to, and there’s more than enough abilities to tickle the imagination, but Mutants & Masterminds this ain’t.
I’d say it compares very well to both GURPS 4e and d20 Modern, and could easily replace both as either a solid generic engine and/or as a modern-day game for episodic action. That’s my first impression anyhow. I’ll let you know how that translates right at the game table.
Novice means just that
When I’ve played before, we used pre-generated Seasoned characters, so creating my first Novice baseline guy was a bit of an eye-opener. Your starting character in SWEE is very, very low-powered, to the point where I actually feel constrained by the character generation rules. That’s not a Good Thing, imho. In M&M terms, this feels roughly on a par with Power Level 3, but with just 30 points to play with. Or, to put it another way, take a 4e D&D character, remove all the powers and deduct 5 from all the stats.
I know the Wild Dice mechanic makes a big difference between your heroes and the rest of the world in play, but that doesn’t help at chargen where what you want to be able to do is create a character with options right there on the sheet.
Do people actually play at Novice level? Even the Pregenerated Characters from Pinnacle’s Downloads section are all Seasoned or higher.
Hopefully, that feeling is something which will go as I learn my way around the system some more. Any help or advice appreciated!
Damn this image turned out dark. Ah well. Let’s call it ‘moody’.
Brett is a Chicago homicide detective with a chequered past (don’t they all?). His refusal to help the local Mafia led to his wife’s murder, and he’s more than a little obsessed with finding her killer once and for all. He’s convinced that his bosses know more than they let on, and his curious nature has got him into trouble more than once. He’s not the brightest ‘dick on the force, but he’s the one you want by your side when bullets and fists start flying.
Detective Brett Gudrun
Agility d4, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d8
Pace 6, Parry 5, Tough 9 (Kevlar Vest), Cha 0
Driving d4, Fighting d6, Guts d6, Investigation d6, KS:Law d4, Notice d6, Shooting d8, Stealth d4, Streetwise d6
Brawny, Curious, Deathwish (Find wife’s killer), Delusional (Minor:Convinced superiors know more than they let on)
Glock, Kevlar Vest
Now….. what would you do differently?