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ArtMonkey  
#1 Posted : Thursday, August 4, 2011 11:45:24 PM(UTC)
ArtMonkey

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So, thinking about how good GM techniques can make almost any game fun, I decided to revisit Savage Worlds.  To reacquaint myself with the rules, I remade a character that I had recently built in a different system, an athasian half-giant barbarian mercenary.

Oh, crap, was that annoying!

First, unless I wanted to be a vanilla character with "average human" d6s in each stat, I had to choose to be clumsier, dumber, wimpier, weaker or more sickly than average.  I understand the idea of balance, but it sure gets things off on the wrong foot.

Then there's the skills, which pretty much do the same thing.  I suppose if I kept most of my skills at d6 or lower it wouldn't be so bad.  I guess I need to remind myself that this is a "Novice" character.  The handful of available skills are pretty bland, too.  I could spice things up with some Knowledge(Flavor) skills, but it would be a shame to waste my minimal points.

So I've got my average guy with a handful of average, bland skills.  Thankfully, Edges to the rescue!  Oh, I get just one?  Well, maybe it will be interesting.  "Brawny: +1 Toughness".  Hmm.  Nope.  Maybe I'll get another one, but to do that, I'm going to have to be "Illiterate" and "All-Thumbs" as well.  Excellent.  This guy seems cooler and cooler.

Ah, well it seems I'm saved from being an uneducated fumbler, because as a Novice with d6 stats and d4/d6 skills, there are only a handful of Edges I can take, and those just don't fit my character concept.  Oh, crap.  I guess "Command".  Illiterate fumbler and leader of men.  Awesome.

I hope I'm not just being negative here.  That might happen.  On the other hand, I've played games with less detailed characters and didn't have this problem, mostly because they were still competent.  The lack of a stat or skill on the sheet wasn't prescriptive.

Bleh.  Sad.  I mean, "ANGRY! RARR!"


Edited by user Tuesday, August 9, 2011 9:11:34 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Red Tide Campaign Log
Red Tide PCs: Walderson, San Chal, Shi Go
Torchbearer PCs: Ulrik, Gerald
Scarlet Heroes PCs: Cor Shi Go
ArtMonkey  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, August 17, 2011 4:10:29 AM(UTC)
ArtMonkey

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It has since been pointed out to me that PCs have the "Wild Die", a d6 that they roll with their skill die, taking the better of the two.  I knew this, of course, but what it means is that my "average" guy with d6s in every stat or skill isn't just "boring average", but "ACTION! average".  There's something to be said for that.

Also, that a Novice chaaracter is indeed that, though I still think he could be more interesting without being more experienced.

Finally, the somewhat cheesy, "personality" Hindrances, like "Stubborn", "Overconfident" or "Vengeful".  They're not only relatively painless, and scalable in the sense that they can often be either Minor or Major, but in theory they're Benny mines as well.

The "Wanted" Hindrance would be good for my escaped-gladiator half-giant, for example.  "All-Thumbs", while it has the same name as the flaw from "Barbarians of Lemuria", adds the random chance to break mechanical devices, which I personally think feels kind of "slapstick".  So I just shouldn't have taken that one.

So, it's not quite as bad as it seemed.  That said, it still rubs me the wrong way.  I can't tell if it's some subtle design philosphy that's bothering me or if I've got some sort of unrecognized prejudice, but there you go.

So, maybe there's hope, but if I want a fast-paced, flexible, generic system for action-adventure, maybe I'd be better off just going with the Solar System / The Shadow of Yesterday.  It's "fast, furious, fun" without being quite so... Savage Worlds.


Red Tide Campaign Log
Red Tide PCs: Walderson, San Chal, Shi Go
Torchbearer PCs: Ulrik, Gerald
Scarlet Heroes PCs: Cor Shi Go
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