Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Savage Worlds of Soloman Kane

On Friday night, I was up at the Ninja Pirate and I decided to hop into a game of "The Savage World of Solomon Kane". This is a RPG based upon the Solomon Kane works of Robert Howard. It uses the "Savage Worlds" system.

I've not read the Solomon Kane books. Indeed, I was not even aware of their existence before hearing about this game. The premise of the adventure was that our group was on a journey to the New World (it is 1600) and 'weird stuff' happens. To the GM's credit, this felt like a pulp adventure as I might read in an Edgar Rice Burroughs book (most are not aware that I adore the John Carter series). The scenario was a high action mystery as one would expect of the genre. Kudos to you, Cliff!

As mentioned previously, this game uses Pinnacle Entertainment's Savage Worlds system. This is a game I've heard about quite a bit on Fear the Boot as it is Luke's favored system. It is a rather rules light system that is designed more around fast action and simplicity. The base mechanic is simply rolling a die, and trying to meet a set difficulty number. "Which die?" you ask. All of them. Your character's stats can be any of the common types of dice used in an RPG. For example, Magdalena's stats run thus

Agility - D8
Smarts - D8
Spirit - D6
Strength - D4
Vigor - D4

So, if I need to make a strength check, I'd roll a 4-sided die and try to make the target. If I need to make an Agility check, I'd roll an 8-sided die. The system even has a "critical hit" concept. If you roll the maximum on a specific die, like an 8 on a D8, you reroll and add that value to the original roll.

You also have a concept called "Bennies" that allows you to increase your chance for success. You get 3 Bennies each session. I didn't quite catch how that mechanic worked in practice and I've not read the rules yet, my apologies, dear reader.

Character creation took about 15 minutes and I had enough of the rules to be rolling in about 5 minutes. Yes, it's that simple. However, this simplicity really seemed to work to the games advantage. I'd imagine that it would be very easy to prepare a game for this system since it lends itself to allows the GM to come up with stats off of the top of his head.

I really like the Savage Worlds system. Those players who prefer a crunchier system will not like it as much, but if you prefer a system which permits you to get started in minutes and focus more on the adventure than the NPCs/Monsters, this may be the system for you. It certainly lends itself to the pulp/adventure genre.

Check it out, you might like it.

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