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Author Topic: D&D Players: Why you might like Savage Worlds  (Read 1775 times)

Shrieking Banshee

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D&D Players: Why you might like Savage Worlds
« on: October 10, 2021, 01:18:47 PM »
Well I talked about Savage Worlds (Or SW for short) merits before, but I have not talked about them in a D&D context.
So below is presented why you might like SW if your coming off of D&D. Im not gonna focus HOW it does these things (that might be better served for Q&A), but I wanted to focus on stuff that bugged me as a GM and D&D player, and wanted a fix for. This is more D&D 3e-5e players. If you want your 0D&D style gameplay, then thats your thing.

Dodging is Dodging - Armor is Armor
In SW armor subtracts from damage, and how well you evade hits is a separate thing. If your the kind of person thats annoyed by armor making you harder to hit, and then requiring a whole new thing of 'Damage Reduction/ Resistance' to take the place of a mechanical equivalent, this gets rid of that problem.
Conditions are not abnoxious
In D&D (except 4e I guess), conditions are abnoxious. They can take you out of the fight in one bad roll. And so your healer has to keep up with an ever increasing list of healing spells to get you back into the fight. But at the same time an increasing amount of monsters with level are just made immune to conditions YOU can throw out.
This game has no condition thats just instant death effectively (unless it does the equivalent amount of effort to a regular kill). You can be mind controlled, frozen, spooked, stunned, grappled, excetera, but there generally are no save or sucks.
Called Shots - We got em
If you like staking the vampire in the heart, or shooting somebody in the face because they don't wear a helmet, this has it. Stab that dragon in the eye!
The Undumping of Stats
Charisma has just been culled completly and made into a edge (a feat equivalent). In general, you can't just avoid dumping stats without really feeling the sting. Even something like STR, which is usually the next dump stat after charisma (Well 5e has its own dump list) is required for better armor and weapons.
But in general, because of how skills work in this game, you don't want to just spike 1 ability at the expense of everything else.
Smaller Quantity of more useful abilities
I like having my character feel distinct both thematically, and mechanically. SW lets you make characters that feel distinct without drowing you in tons of micro-options each level (+2 to will saves on a tuesday if your alergic to nuts). Instead you get fewer options each level, but they are generally more significant. A +2 in SW is more important than in D&D.
Progression without Cosmic crabs & +3 Clubs
Characters do most certainly become more powerful with levels. But it doesn't create a logic where they progress so much only the next tier of challenges are evan a question. You don't reach what I call the 'Cosmic Crab' effect, where you fight crab at level 2, and then elemental crabs at level 8, and then diabolic crabs at level 15.
Unified Math Logic
This is especially true for those coming off of D&D 3e, but SW has unified resolution tracks. Not one thing for saves, one thing for attack rolls, one thing for hit points, and another thing for skills. Everything follows the same mechanical resolution formula.
Even for 5e, Mages have a different logic track for damage vs martial classes. Mages get more powerful spells, and warriors get more attacks. In SW magic and attacks follow the same action and damage rules.
A mix of point-buy and Freebuild / Level & Class
SW has a bit of the best of both worlds when it comes to levels vs point buy.
It is point buy, so you can spec your character in whatever you want. But it also separates abilities by level in place of cost sink. So as you gain 'levels' you gain more points, and you can use those points on whatever you want. But instead of what many point based games do and gate powerful abilities behind a massive point sink, they instead cost about the same always, and instead only 'open up' at higher levels effectively.
Unreliably reliable
The core resolution system is reliable....But unreliably. In D&D at a certain point unless you roll a 1 or a 20, you always succeed. And somebody rolling a 20 against you might not really matter even with a crit if you have like 100 HP. But here you will in general slaughter scores of peasants, but at the same time there is always a chance of one taking you down. This changes how you aproach things.
Magic is Customizable, not a daily resource & doesn't dominate martials
Magic is focused on a core set of powers you customize yourself. There is no fireball, lightningball, iceball, ballball. Just a un-fluffed 'blast' that you then fluff yourself. The fluff, or 'trappings' are actually important. If your fireball hits a straw-man they will combust and it will deal more damage. And you can make whatever trappings you want. So making a 'fire mage' is really easy.
Magic is also an hourly resource instead of a daily one. Fuck spell slots. You get less of it, but it recharges quicker.
In addition, mages don't just get pages and pages of stuff they can do while a martial is just getting 1 extra attack. Mage abilities are balanced by you getting 1-2 new options (but customizable ones) at a time (but the options are powered by the resource pool), compared to 1 always online martial thing.
As an example, I was concerned about how it handled shapeshifting. SW just lets you turn into powerful creatures and get all their physical abilities. I was certain that with this, shapeshifting would dominate martials. To my suprise, a martials combat edges are really what made them stand out. So while a shapeshifted bear can kick some peasants, against a dedicated combatant they will fail quickly.

Godfather Punk

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Re: D&D Players: Why you might like Savage Worlds
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2021, 01:45:43 PM »
Conditions are not obnoxious unless we're talking about 'Shaken', which (in the older versions of the rules; didn't use Deluxe yet) could put your character on Pause for a while, if you failed your Spirit checks a few times in a row (and are OoB).

Our group played SW for a few years (Shiantar, Rippers, Pulp, Cyberpunk, Deadlands, Spanish Main, Slipstream) and the first Edge Everybody! Always! took was Combat Reflexes.

Plotinus

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Re: D&D Players: Why you might like Savage Worlds
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2021, 02:02:45 PM »
I feel like there's been a noticeable increase in shilling for Savage Worlds on this board recently, and honestly I'm here for it.

Conditions are not obnoxious unless we're talking about 'Shaken', which (in the older versions of the rules; didn't use Deluxe yet) could put your character on Pause for a while, if you failed your Spirit checks a few times in a row (and are OoB).

Our group played SW for a few years (Shiantar, Rippers, Pulp, Cyberpunk, Deadlands, Spanish Main, Slipstream) and the first Edge Everybody! Always! took was Combat Reflexes.

They nerfed Shaken halfway through the Deluxe edition so it doesn't take away your turn nearly as often. So that's standard now in the current edition.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2021, 06:40:59 PM by Plotinus »

Shrieking Banshee

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Re: D&D Players: Why you might like Savage Worlds
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2021, 02:14:43 PM »
Conditions are not obnoxious unless we're talking about 'Shaken', which (in the older versions of the rules; didn't use Deluxe yet) could put your character on Pause for a while, if you failed your Spirit checks a few times in a row (and are OoB).

Im talking about Adventure Edition, and I meant it more in the sense that there are no effects that just make you Petrified for 8 hours until your healer could prepare a stone to flesh spell.

tenbones

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Re: D&D Players: Why you might like Savage Worlds
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2021, 11:42:08 AM »
Scalability - Savage Worlds goes from normal people doing normal stuff against normal people, to PC's fighting Godzilla city-level threats (or even greater) using the exact same system without any slow-down.

Mult-Genre - Yes D&D is fantasy. But within the context of fantasy, there are different stripes and flavors. You can run Savage Worlds sword-and-sorcery style, High Fantasy, Exalted level crazy over the top. The system is modular and made to tweak easily between the subtle and vast differences with *zero* impact to the core task-resolution mechanics. And - if you want to cross genres they got you easily covered if you wanna pull some Gamma World or Star Frontiers into your D&D-style game and go full Barrier Peaks mode.

Sub-Systems Galore -  If you're the king of GM that doesn't want to get mired down in lots of 'fiddly' which prevents you from doing scenes like chases, mass-combat, capital-ship/ship-scale combat, or even social "combat" like canvasing a neighborhood/city for info gathering, for fear of bogging the game down, Savage Worlds has you covered. They have little sub-systems you can use to emulate nearly any scenario in a fun manner to execute these kinds of scenes complete with random wrench-throwing into the mix that allows the PC's to do really heroic (or knuckletightening) antics. They're excellent for drawing in those players that need a little goosing to get their RP wheels turning, and they're open enough to let veteran players really fly off the leash and go for it. And they're all designed to be tweaked up/down/sideways to allow you to customize them specifically to your table's needs. Mass Combat in particular has been a blast for my games. It lets PC's shine while actually allowing for nearly any and every dramatic possibility (including random elements) to give you the feel of a true ebb/flow of combat. This is supported with in-game Skills and Edges that can make such encounters really give the PC's an advantage, while reinforcing their wheelhouse (yes, a Fighter that leads an actual army against their enemies with skills that back it up!).

All of these systems can seamlessly flow between the sub-system and normal play without dropping a beat. So you could have the battles raging on different fronts, while one or more PC's have single combat against real opponents (which has impact on the enemy forces if their leaders drop).

Degrees of Success - Success matters! More success matters more! Yes, all you need to succeed is to land a 4. But for every increment of 4 over your TN you land it's a Raise. Raises = more win and more damage on an attack. More = Better.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2021, 11:46:53 AM by tenbones »

Trond

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Re: D&D Players: Why you might like Savage Worlds
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2021, 07:30:49 PM »
Years ago I ran few rules-light games. We had some fun with SW, but felt that BRP was even easier. Still I’d be willing to give it another try.

Shasarak

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Re: D&D Players: Why you might like Savage Worlds
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2021, 10:23:25 PM »
I support Shrieking Banshees right to shill for Savage Worlds.

On the other hand the lack of ballball spell means I am out.
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Shrieking Banshee

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Re: D&D Players: Why you might like Savage Worlds
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2021, 11:17:04 PM »
On the other hand the lack of ballball spell means I am out.

People only like it because its overpowered. Cutting it was good for the game. Same reaosn they havily nerfed the humpty-dump in 5e.

palaeomerus

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Re: D&D Players: Why you might like Savage Worlds
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2021, 02:17:33 AM »
I know it was a typo, and I make plenty of those myself but I loved seeing abnoxious.

Being abnoxious is a gym thing where someone keeps going out of the way to show off their abs to someone else while working out to the point that it is obvious what they are doing, either to impress someone usually of the opposite sex, or to piss off a rival who has less impressive abs.

It's a real thing. Love seeing it pop up here.
Emery

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Re: D&D Players: Why you might like Savage Worlds
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2021, 06:52:01 AM »
I’m thinking maybe someone should post this to the various dnd Reddits.  Spread the word. :)

I’d add that SW doesn’t try to push any real world agendas or try to make its players think a certain way (or seem attractive to those who already think a certain way) but that might start a different conversation and the point about SW being flat-out better than 5e might get lost.

Chainsaw Surgeon

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Re: D&D Players: Why you might like Savage Worlds
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2021, 09:22:19 AM »


Sub-Systems Galore -  If you're the king of GM that doesn't want to get mired down in lots of 'fiddly' which prevents you from doing scenes like chases, mass-combat, capital-ship/ship-scale combat, or even social "combat" like canvasing a neighborhood/city for info gathering, for fear of bogging the game down, Savage Worlds has you covered. They have little sub-systems you can use to emulate nearly any scenario in a fun manner to execute these kinds of scenes complete with random wrench-throwing into the mix that allows the PC's to do really heroic (or knuckletightening) antics. They're excellent for drawing in those players that need a little goosing to get their RP wheels turning, and they're open enough to let veteran players really fly off the leash and go for it. And they're all designed to be tweaked up/down/sideways to allow you to customize them specifically to your table's needs. Mass Combat in particular has been a blast for my games. It lets PC's shine while actually allowing for nearly any and every dramatic possibility (including random elements) to give you the feel of a true ebb/flow of combat. This is supported with in-game Skills and Edges that can make such encounters really give the PC's an advantage, while reinforcing their wheelhouse (yes, a Fighter that leads an actual army against their enemies with skills that back it up!).

All of these systems can seamlessly flow between the sub-system and normal play without dropping a beat. So you could have the battles raging on different fronts, while one or more PC's have single combat against real opponents (which has impact on the enemy forces if their leaders drop).


These sub-systems also can handle the other 'pillars' of play that the current crop of DnD players clamor for.  Exploration: Check.  Puzzles and Traps: Check.  Social: Check.   

oggsmash

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Re: D&D Players: Why you might like Savage Worlds
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2021, 09:27:57 AM »
 I watched a video a few years ago about the SW creator and his point of view I found to be very similar to mine.   I remember specifically one of the points he made, was that when he played Dungeons and dragons (I can not remember if he was a 1st or 2nd edition player) that once his character got a certain AC, he was essentially invulnerable to attacks from lower end creatures, like a horde of zombies for example.  I like that SW has rules where even if you are legendary status, you have some level of concern when you wade into a horde of enemies, BUT you also have edges and game mechanics than can allow that legendary character to look legendary in a horde.   

    I think there are some points where it can bend a bit in play, but for a game that is default pulp, and can be tweaked to be more on the 4 color comics scale, or back over to grim and gritty fairly easily, Savage Worlds is very, very hard to beat with regard to a system.   I think the other thing they do very, very well, much better than the producers of other Universal rules systems, is tweaking their rules and making specific settings within the frameworks of their rules.   They can emulate a more rigid class structure, or a very open ended character progression.   Other systems can do this, but IMO do no make specific settings and situations where the work is done, essentially producing a full game in one package.   Savage Rifts and now Savage Pathfinder are the most recent examples of this, and I think there may be a chance for Pinnacle to really rise in the market share over the next few years.   They just need to fund a few good looking people with nice voices to play their game on a huge youtube or twitch channel (because I honestly think that has had more to do with D&D rising than anything else).

Godsmonkey

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Re: D&D Players: Why you might like Savage Worlds
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2021, 10:04:04 AM »
I watched a video a few years ago about the SW creator and his point of view I found to be very similar to mine.   I remember specifically one of the points he made, was that when he played Dungeons and dragons (I can not remember if he was a 1st or 2nd edition player) that once his character got a certain AC, he was essentially invulnerable to attacks from lower end creatures, like a horde of zombies for example.  I like that SW has rules where even if you are legendary status, you have some level of concern when you wade into a horde of enemies, BUT you also have edges and game mechanics than can allow that legendary character to look legendary in a horde.   

    I think there are some points where it can bend a bit in play, but for a game that is default pulp, and can be tweaked to be more on the 4 color comics scale, or back over to grim and gritty fairly easily, Savage Worlds is very, very hard to beat with regard to a system.   I think the other thing they do very, very well, much better than the producers of other Universal rules systems, is tweaking their rules and making specific settings within the frameworks of their rules.   They can emulate a more rigid class structure, or a very open ended character progression.   Other systems can do this, but IMO do no make specific settings and situations where the work is done, essentially producing a full game in one package.   Savage Rifts and now Savage Pathfinder are the most recent examples of this, and I think there may be a chance for Pinnacle to really rise in the market share over the next few years.   They just need to fund a few good looking people with nice voices to play their game on a huge youtube or twitch channel (because I honestly think that has had more to do with D&D rising than anything else).

In late 2019, Critical role did a 3 or 4 part "Undeadwood" game featuring Savage Worlds version of Deadland. Each episode got over a million views. I wonder if there was a bump in sales after?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEIGOY6WDoA

oggsmash

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Re: D&D Players: Why you might like Savage Worlds
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2021, 02:41:21 PM »
I watched a video a few years ago about the SW creator and his point of view I found to be very similar to mine.   I remember specifically one of the points he made, was that when he played Dungeons and dragons (I can not remember if he was a 1st or 2nd edition player) that once his character got a certain AC, he was essentially invulnerable to attacks from lower end creatures, like a horde of zombies for example.  I like that SW has rules where even if you are legendary status, you have some level of concern when you wade into a horde of enemies, BUT you also have edges and game mechanics than can allow that legendary character to look legendary in a horde.   

    I think there are some points where it can bend a bit in play, but for a game that is default pulp, and can be tweaked to be more on the 4 color comics scale, or back over to grim and gritty fairly easily, Savage Worlds is very, very hard to beat with regard to a system.   I think the other thing they do very, very well, much better than the producers of other Universal rules systems, is tweaking their rules and making specific settings within the frameworks of their rules.   They can emulate a more rigid class structure, or a very open ended character progression.   Other systems can do this, but IMO do no make specific settings and situations where the work is done, essentially producing a full game in one package.   Savage Rifts and now Savage Pathfinder are the most recent examples of this, and I think there may be a chance for Pinnacle to really rise in the market share over the next few years.   They just need to fund a few good looking people with nice voices to play their game on a huge youtube or twitch channel (because I honestly think that has had more to do with D&D rising than anything else).

In late 2019, Critical role did a 3 or 4 part "Undeadwood" game featuring Savage Worlds version of Deadland. Each episode got over a million views. I wonder if there was a bump in sales after?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEIGOY6WDoA

  I would think it takes a bit longer to get that sales needle moving, as I think the new purveyors of ads feel a customer needs to see one somewhere between 16-25 times to take action (thanks to decades of being bombarded from all sides in all ways by sales ads from all senses) but I really have no idea.   

Shrieking Banshee

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Re: D&D Players: Why you might like Savage Worlds
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2021, 02:49:46 PM »
I think pinnacle is doing the right thing with SW by trying to get these licenses. But its a tricky act because the more public the license is, the more money it has to make and if it asks for too much it will backfire like Genysis and star wars.

Thats why I think they made Savage Pathfinder before a fantasy companion.