I have long touted myself as a devout d20 system player, and never for the life of me could I imagine straying away from the rule-set when it comes to running a game. Sure, I’m completely open to trying new systems out as a Player, but as a GM, it might be safe to assume that sticking with the rule-set you know best is likely to garner the most success when it comes to running a campaign. Well, boys and girls, in my quasi-masochistic journey of redefining myself as a GM and Gamer in general, I have decided to break ties with the d20 system I know and love and venture into rules of a more “savage” variety…
When it comes to homebrewing a game, I’ve slowly come to realize that less is more. When it comes to my Society of Odin game, I am in the continuous process of crafting a Steampunky, Cthulhuesque, Alternate History world for myself to run and my Players to interact with, and it has been a long road of self-discovery for me to understand the way I really want to approach the game. I’ve written past articles on my “GMing Renaissance” as Karen has termed it, and I came to realize that the good old d20 system was really standing in the way of what my true goal is, and that it to tell an engaging story with the group. In order to do this, I have decided to turn to the Savage Worlds rule system in order to better accomplish my goal.
Initially, I was really apprehensive about changing systems. Sure I had played World of Darkness, Mouse Guard, and others, but by and far the bulk of my gaming and GMing had been in d20. However, I really began to feel in terms of the world and game I had created I was cutting off my nose to spite my face. I had willingly accepted the system because it was what I knew, but I found myself continuously pulling bits and pieces of other systems, other settings, or out of thin air to try to force them to work in my game. However, I found myself getting too bogged down in mechanics when the story is what’s important, so I decided to make a change, but Savage Worlds wasn’t my first pick.
Victoriana almost won out in the battle of the rule-sets, in no small part due to the awesome actual play podcasts produced by Gamerstable. However, the more research I did on the system, AND with a new edition on the horizon sometime after GenCon, I realized that I was going to be paying for a rule-set/setting that I was going to strip down and sidestep anyways, seeing as it has a definite fantasy slant to it. Why waste money on a rule-system (that I have no doubt is awesome in of itself) when I’m not going to utilize 75% of it? And that is when Savage Worlds entered my internal conversation.
First off, it’s a generic system. If you’ve read my posts the past few weeks, you’ve probably noticed that I’m eager to get my hands on just about any manner of setting possible. The fact that this rule-set is capable of crossing all genres was a huge selling point for me. Second, I wanted to reduce “crunch,” particularly for the Players. While I will put them through the process of re-creating their d20 characters in the Savage Worlds setting, I think there will be a lot less for them to look at on a character sheet, thus creating more leeway for them as Players. Third, in looking through the book, I immediately felt a weight lifted off of my shoulders. The system is streamlined in order to help focus on telling a story while at the same time has aspects familiar enough to d20 that I don’t feel like I’ll be climbing a mountain in trying to understand.
I think Savage Worlds and I are going to get along just fine, and after seeing the Weird War II setting there is, I’ve already got ideas turning over in my head. Let’s roll some dice!!