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Tamburlain
06-24-2009, 09:29 PM
Until now I've always played Savage Worlds in home brew settings/campaigns. It's a great game, but I don't feel up to the challenge of designing another entire setting. So, I started looking at the published adventure possibilities.

Solomon Kane, Rippers, Deadlands Reloaded, Sundered Skies, Pirates of the Spanish Main, Fifty Fathoms... ?

So many to choose from... Which leads me to ask, out of all of the currently available SW settings, which ones have you played? Which are your favorites?--and why might you recommend them to someone who is just now in the market for a new Savage Worlds setting?

Webhead
06-24-2009, 10:09 PM
Excellent question. Being a fan of Savage Worlds, I'll try to offer what help I can. I'll start by listing the SW settings that I own and have read:

Deadlands: Reloaded
Pirates of the Spanish Main
Sundered Skies

As those are the only three I have any "tangible" experience with, they are the only ones I can really offer sound advice for. Of the three, I have only run Deadlands and Sundered Skies, though I would love to run PotSM at some point in the future (I have a soft-spot for "pirate" games).

Obviously, with so many different settings available, each one does something "different" and the first step is to decide which types of settings are going to be appealing to you.

Deadlands is, of course, an interesting mixture of spaghetti western, "dark" fantasy, weird science and horror. Not all of these elements need to be played up equally in your own campaign, but the potential for all of these themes to emerge and intermingle is there. Think something like Wild Wild West with an eerie "supernatural" kind of suspense lurking in every darkened corner.

Pirates of the Spanish Main is a game of swashbuckling action and adventure. Though it can (and often will) be played as a "straight" pirate setting (aka no magic or other fantasticness) there is the option of sprinkling in tiny bits of fantasy or horror should you choose to introduce such things as "ghost ships", cursed treasure or other superstitions.

Sundered Skies is a sort of "dark" or "survivalist" fantasy game that also has its share of swashbuckling adventure, though with a hearty helping of magic, monsters and ancient gods thrown in. Characters will typically have to travel via skyships to travel the world from one secluded floating island to the next. Oh, and the very sky that surrounds you threatens to turn you mad!

As you can see, each has its own "niche" and this translates into different attitudes and playstyles. Since they all use Savage Worlds, the rules all work more-or-less the same, but each setting adds its own quirks and twists to how the game is played, how characters are built and what kinds of characters make sense.

If I had to pick a favorite of the three, I would have to go for Deadlands simply because the setting is not only so familiar (who hasn't seen at least one of Tombstone, Unforgiven or A Fistfull of Dollars) and full of excitement and drama, but it has so many interesting twists to offer as well. You can be anything from a hard-boiled gunslinger to a wandering martial arts prodigy...a happy-go-lucky confidence man to a disillusioned preacher...a huckster who bends evil spirits to his will or a crackpot scientist trying to build a steam-powered flying machine.

If you haven't seen them already, I highly recommend checking out Kurt Wiegel's "Game Geeks" video reviews on Youtube. He has reviewed almost all of the different Savage Worlds settings thus far.

http://www.youtube.com/user/pugknowspro

Please feel free to ask any questions and I will do my best to offer good advice.

Tamburlain
06-25-2009, 07:01 AM
Wow. Thanks, Webhead. This is all very good to know.

I suppose you know you've got a good game on your hands when your biggest problem is figuring out which, among several interesting settings, is the best of the best. Going just by your description of these three, I'd have to say that Deadlands Reloaded sounds the most enticing. It could be that lately I just can't seem to get enough of alt-historical game worlds. Also, among the historical games that I am into, I sense there is a big empty niche for one that'd be set in what Bod Dylan called the old, weird folk America... "It's never been simple. It's weird, man, full of legend, myth, Bible and ghosts." I love that quotation.

There's a historian's blog called Old is the New New (http://www.robmacdougall.org/index.php/about/) (pretty much dedicated to documenting the history of old, weird America, circa 1776-1912) that I read from time to time--and actually your description of Deadlands reminded me of it. Maybe it's the best game to flesh out that historical niche.

And thanks also for the tip re. the 'Game Geeks' reviews. I'll check it out a bit later in the day. I want to see if he has anything to say about Savage World of Soloman Kane. As a person who's played Witch Hunter in order to capture another aspect of americana that I love, the colonial-era gothic, I wonder if there's really anything you can do in WH that you couldn't do in SWoSK. And if there isn't, then I might prefer just to use WH as a source book to supplement the mechanics of SW and translate it into an American setting.

korhal23
06-25-2009, 07:26 AM
I'm going to be playing savage worlds for the first time soon, but I've read a few of the worlds. My personal favorites are Deadlands: Reloaded, Tour of Darkness (survival horror set in Vietnam), and Pirates of the Spanish Main.

Umiushi
06-25-2009, 11:25 AM
There's a historian's blog called Old is the New New (http://www.robmacdougall.org/index.php/about/) (pretty much dedicated to documenting the history of old, weird America, circa 1776-1912) that I read from time to time--and actually your description of Deadlands reminded me of it. Maybe it's the best game to flesh out that historical niche.
That blog is like crack! I should never have set eyes upon it when I needed to be getting ready for work, this morning.

rmckee78
06-25-2009, 04:55 PM
Solomon Kane is an excellent book. It is beautifully produced and has a really good overview of the stories. I have run three settings with Savage Worlds: Star Wars, Spelljammer, and Solomon Kane. Solomon Kane just has a different feel from most RPGs, especially if you stick to the kinds of stories Howard wrote. I cannot suggest Solomon Kane enough

Webhead
06-25-2009, 09:27 PM
...I suppose you know you've got a good game on your hands when your biggest problem is figuring out which, among several interesting settings, is the best of the best...

Indeed. It's almost painful because there are still several SW settings that I don't own but want to pick up, including: Necessary Evil, Slipstream and Rippers. The problem is that I can't really afford to buy them right now! Agh!


...Going just by your description of these three, I'd have to say that Deadlands Reloaded sounds the most enticing. It could be that lately I just can't seem to get enough of alt-historical game worlds...

Agreed. I have discovered something of a soft-spot for alternate history RPGs lately which is among the reasons why Deadlands and PotSM are two games I am really anxious to run again in the near future.


...Also, among the historical games that I am into, I sense there is a big empty niche for one that'd be set in what Bod Dylan called the old, weird folk America... "It's never been simple. It's weird, man, full of legend, myth, Bible and ghosts." I love that quotation...

I'm not familiar with that quotation but I love Bob Dylan and so I am now going to officially have to find this one for myself! That basically sums up Deadlands perfectly..."weird...full of legend, myth, Bible and ghosts". I don't think you could summarize the setting any better than Mr. Dylan just did! :biggrin:


...And thanks also for the tip re. the 'Game Geeks' reviews. I'll check it out a bit later in the day. I want to see if he has anything to say about Savage World of Soloman Kane. As a person who's played Witch Hunter in order to capture another aspect of americana that I love, the colonial-era gothic, I wonder if there's really anything you can do in WH that you couldn't do in SWoSK. And if there isn't, then I might prefer just to use WH as a source book to supplement the mechanics of SW and translate it into an American setting.

Though I've not read or played SWoSK, I have heard nothing but good things about it. If you're looking for a deeper look into that game, also be sure to look at Chromemagnus' Youtube videos as he details his admiration of SWoSK as well as gives us a play-by-play of a fantastically spooky adventure that he ran for it. It should not be missed!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-m5XLPHpwRY&feature=channel_page

AND

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOWr3u0IKOg&feature=channel_page

Tamburlain
06-26-2009, 07:27 PM
Webhead, these all turned out to be great recommendations. I was so inspired by Chromemagnus' video blog description of Solomon Kane that I ran out and rented the video 'The Whole Wide World' just to brush up on my Robert E. Howard. Plan on watching it tonight. Thanks again!

Webhead
06-27-2009, 12:19 PM
Webhead, these all turned out to be great recommendations. I was so inspired by Chromemagnus' video blog description of Solomon Kane that I ran out and rented the video 'The Whole Wide World' just to brush up on my Robert E. Howard. Plan on watching it tonight. Thanks again!

Absolutely! Also, since you seem to live so close by, if you ever want to have a meet-and-greet to hash out some thoughts about Savage Worlds or to have a chance to browse the setting books that I've got, let me know. I'm always happy to turn someone on to a great game!

Let us know how it goes in the meantime.

Tamburlain
06-29-2009, 04:29 PM
I'm going to be playing savage worlds for the first time soon, but I've read a few of the worlds. My personal favorites are Deadlands: Reloaded, Tour of Darkness (survival horror set in Vietnam), and Pirates of the Spanish Main.

Hey, Korhal. Have you had a chance to play yet? I have played quite a bit of generic SW, but not one of the official releases. Deadlands Reloaded looks amazing to me. Solomon Kane, too. I think the Deadlands - The Flood release has to be what sealed the deal for me. I love the artwork on the inside covers showing the coast of California obliterated... just these bizarre mesa-like islands everywhere.

I know you're a big fan of Aces and Eights, too, which I haven't played. I suppose, despite their shared Western Americana theme, they're quite different games. After you've played DLs, if you have a mind to, tell us how you think they compare.
--- Merged from Double Post ---

That blog is like crack! I should never have set eyes upon it when I needed to be getting ready for work, this morning.

Haha. Yeah, it's one of several I have to avoid if I need to be productive with my time in the AM.

korhal23
06-29-2009, 05:03 PM
Not yet.... this week though. I'll be sure to compare them for you. I love Aces and Eights cuz it's SUPER in depth with the combat, but man do I love "Weird" games... Weird War II for d20 was totally sweet, and Tour of Darkness is a Savage Worlds one in Vietnam... so I'm torn between wanting to play Tour of Darkness or Deadlands first. I think Deadlands is what's on the agenda though.