[Let's Read] Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition

Lazarus

Esoom G Noj
Validated User
I'm taking this idea from Grubman's RMX thread, but just taking it as a thoughts-as-go for Savage World's Explorer's Edition, which I picked up today (I've never touched SW before this, by the way, so this is newcomer's thoughts).

Quick Overview
The book is 126-or-so pages, all full-colour, with some great illustrations (seen on flipping through the book, to get an impression of it) and the covers are excellent - designed to look like a travel journal with pictures attached to it. Overall, a very attractive package.

Table of Contents
I'm going to actually mention the ToC, because it's actually quite attractive, and seems very complete. It takes two pages, and seems to have all the important headings, so things can be easily found.

Intro
The book then has a one-page introduction to the game, outlining what's necessary, and what the game's all about. For the record, it claims to easily blend rpg and wargame stylings with not much bookkeeping allowing for large group battles. Everyone needs a set of polyhedral RPG dice, and the group needs a deck of playing cards.

Next up, character creation!

Laz
 

Lazarus

Esoom G Noj
Validated User
Make a battle mage!
Sure, once I figure out how :p I'm sure that'll become clear in time.

Chapter One: Character Creation
So, we start the character creation process. And, given that the primary process is given in two pages, pretty much immediately finish the process. Pretty much, you use the same process as other RPGs: choose Race, then Traits (here, both Stats and Skills are combined under the umbrella term of Trait, and are both rated in dice size terms, from d4 to d12), then pick up advantages and disadvantages (called "Edges" and "Hindrances" here, buy gear, and then finish things off.

I'd link to the character sheet here, but I can't find it: peg's website is one of the worst I've ever seen, for this. Specifically, because the "download" link goes apparently to a news archive, which is completely not what I'm trying to look for.

Anwyay, there are five Stats: Agility, Smarts, Spirit, Strength, and Vigor. They govern what they sound like they govern (I hope that will hold true for the rest of the things, I like using common definitions for stuff :p). There's also a pile of Skills to select, but an important part about this game is that only the Knowledge skill has "specialties" or "sub-skills" - that is, you only ever use the Fighting skill to do melee fighting, and likewise Thrown covers all thrown, and Shooting is all things that need shooing (guns, bows, all of that).

How many points do you have for all of this? You have 5 points for Stats, which all start at d4, and raising a die size always costs 1 point. You have 15 points for Skills, which are bought at 1 point per die type up to the governing stat rating, and 2 points per after that. I can't tell if Skills start at 0 or at d4 (specifically, it doesn't say each way), but I'm going to guess that it starts at 0, and 1 point buys the d4.

There are some derived statistics: Pace, which is 6 for humans; Parry, which is 2 + half the die size of your Fighting skill (essentially, 2 + average, but note that static bonuses are also divided by two and floored, so a d12 + 2 has a parry of 2 + 6 + 1 = 9); Charisma, which starts at 0 and is modified through Edges and Hindrances; and Toughness, which seems to be soak, which is 2 + half Vigor (same calculation with Vigor as Parry is with Fighting).

You can then take Hindrances to give you extra points. You can take up to one Major Hindrance for 2 points, and two Minor Hindrances for 1 point each. Importantly, you can retroactively spend these points before your skill purchasing. For 2 points, you can get an Edge, and for 1 point you can double your starting cash.

The rest of the process is easy: buy gear, and finish personality, background, and stuff.

Skills
Next up is a list of skills. This lasts for 6 pages, including a 1-page sidebar about Common Knowledge (essentially, your Smarts stat governs things that you know based on your culture and upbringing). The skills generally have a small blurb of "see some upcoming chapter for full rules", but occasionally includes rules information here (I've managed to glean from some of these that the default target number is 4).

Next Up: Hindrances, Edges, and an attempt to build a character

Laz
 

mitchw

Viral Marketing Shill?
Validated User
I can't tell if Skills start at 0 or at d4 (specifically, it doesn't say each way), but I'm going to guess that it starts at 0, and 1 point buys the d4.
Hmm, I never even considered that skills might start at a d4. The 2nd sentence in the 2nd paragraph under skills on page 6 says "Each die type cost 1 point...". I guess, looking at it again from a first timer's perspective, I can see how it could be less than cut-and-dry. :)

Mitch
 

Lazarus

Esoom G Noj
Validated User
Hmm, I never even considered that skills might start at a d4. The 2nd sentence in the 2nd paragraph under skills on page 6 says "Each die type cost 1 point...". I guess, looking at it again from a first timer's perspective, I can see how it could be less than cut-and-dry. :)
it's just that they made a big deal of stats and skills operating the same (or rated the same, whatever) and explicitly mentioning that stats start at d4, but no mention on the skill side. With a d6 average on skills, that's 48 points to be average in everything, when you only start with 15 ... I suppose that Savage Worlds is thus a world of many people with rating 0, and a bunch of people at d10 and d12, and a few people at d4-d8 (the only real way to get an average of d6 without allowing it ...). Also, giving a d4 on all skills makes each PC competent (even if below averagely so) at anything they might want to do, which fits the Pulp kind of styling I've seen so far from the game.

On the other hand, I've seen some character sheets that look reasonably close to White Wolf sheets, so I'm taking it from those that the intention is that skills are meant to start at 0.

Laz
 

mitchw

Viral Marketing Shill?
Validated User
With a d6 average on skills, that's 48 points to be average in everything, when you only start with 15 ... I suppose that Savage Worlds is thus a world of many people with rating 0, and a bunch of people at d10 and d12, and a few people at d4-d8 (the only real way to get an average of d6 without allowing it ...). Also, giving a d4 on all skills makes each PC competent (even if below averagely so)

Well, the default skill is d4 - 2 and when this is used by a wild card it becomes the best of d4 - 2 and the wild die (d6 - 2). That covers the basics for everyone without having to give them extra starting levels. (You will read about the wild die and unskilled rolls on page 56.;))

Mitch
 

Jorjowsky

Registered User
Validated User
I'm taking this idea from Grubman's RMX thread, but just taking it as a thoughts-as-go for Savage World's Explorer's Edition, which I picked up today (I've never touched SW before this, by the way, so this is newcomer's thoughts).
Cool! I'm finding these threads quite enjoyable. :) I admit Savage Worlds isn't my cup of tea, but I find it interesting to read any kinds of "thoughts-as-go" threads (more than regular reviews, actually), so I'm looking forward to this one too.

I actually started my own some time ago for Anima (which I called "progressive review", here), but at the end abandoned it because of my goddamned gamer ADD. :( Here's hoping you fare better!

Maybe I should try again with a smaller book. Hmm.
 

El Guapo

Retired User
I'm also enjoying this thread. I recently picked up SW:Ex and thought it was great for the price. I'm not sure if I'm sold on SW yet, though. I really like the combat system, but I think that character generation lacks a little depth. I mean, what's the point of making a kung fu master when he can just pick up a sword and have the same Fighting skill? I suspect that a lot of setting-specific Edges could go a long way toward fixing this though. Anyway, I'm curious to read your thoughts on chargen and combat when you get to them.
 

TrvShane

Stumblin' around the net...
Validated User
I mean, what's the point of making a kung fu master when he can just pick up a sword and have the same Fighting skill?
Thing is, in the wuxia films the good and bad guys go back and forth from unarmed to weapons at the drop of a hat, so this could be a strength here.


Shane
 
Top Bottom