Friday, January 24, 2014

Savage Worlds Sci-Fi Companion and Choices, Choices, Choices...

I've read through my e-copy of the Science Fiction Companion and I've got to say that it is good. If you're looking for a good set of tools to use in your Savage Worlds sci-fi games, don't hesitate in picking this up. Not only are the rules updated to be in line with Deluxe, they are better than the first edition (not that the first SF Companion was bad). There are rules for creating new races, loads of new gear, rules for environmental hazards and salvage/trade, lots of cybergear, rules for robot creation, and a great system for building and customizing starships, mechs, and other vehicles. The bestiary section brings back the critters from the original SFC and adds a few new entries to boot. The only surprising omission was there was nothing about psionics. However, I can see how there really isn't anything you couldn't already do with the core rules as written for just about any psionic power you can think of. There's also the possibility that one could use the Super Powers Companion to further add some "oomph" to psionics if you really wanted to. All in all, I really can't recommend this book higher to anyone running a sci-fi game with Savage Worlds.

Now, this leaves me with a decision to make. I want to focus my energies on a single set of rules to write my sci-fi setting around. However, there are several systems vying for my attention right now:

Stars Without Number (My hacked up version): There's a lot here that I like. There are rules for mutations, cybernetics, armor, weapons, and so forth that even with hacking it up to remove the setting from the rules and bolting on bits and pieces from other games (rework some of the classes, add Alternity-style skills and psionics, gear and other items from D20 Modern/Future, and so on) there's not that much work that needs to be done to make it feel right for me. Plus, since it's an OSR game I can easily use a vast wealth of books to draw upon from D&D sources to virtually any of the retro-clones.

Rogue Space: It's light, easy to play, and fun to run. I would end up having to write up the most info for this game, but the rules are light enough that creating stats for races, creatures, mutations (though I suspect that the fan rules modifying Alternity mutations to the previous edition of RS would still work), and vehicles really won't be much of a chore to do so at all. I do like a little crunch in my sci-fi games though, and I just don't know that RS would have enough to keep me fully involved. I need to spend some time writing up some material for RS to find out...

Savage Worlds: The setting material I already have written was developed with the Explorer Edition in mind. There's not that many huge changes from Explorer to Deluxe, just some tweaks here and there. While I would have to create a lot of material wholecloth, I do have a lot written and there are a lot of licensed and fan resources out there to draw upon. Plus, out of the three, SW comes closest to the feel that I want from the whole package.

Decisions, decisions, decisions....

6 comments:

Brutorz Bill said...

So how are the alien creation rules for Savage Worlds? Are they an update from what was in Slipstream?

Giles Kiser said...

The essential idea is the same, though the some of the values have been tweaked and new abilities have been added. (Construct was valued at 3 in Slipstream, but is now valued at 8 in the SFC, for instance.) They also suggest using the Super Powers Companion for more powerful/off the wall type abilities. (Which is why I went ahead and picked that book up as well the other day...)

Mike said...

I am using the great Diaspora rpg to build the bones of the universe but SW to run the game. Diaspora is a FATE based system but the star system toolkit is first rate. My group struggles withe the FATE system so the SW Sci Fi supplement is made to order.

Giles Kiser said...

My group has the same struggles with FATE. I've read so many session reports of FATE games that I really want to give it a shot, but the thought of aspects just turns off the group. That said, I'm going to have to go back and check out Diaspora for the star system toolkit. Thanks for the head's up on that, Mike.

Brutorz Bill said...

I just don't get FATE, nothing against those who play it, I guess I'm not smart enough for it. Aspects confuse the heck out of me. I'd like to hear more about the Diaspora star system toolkit though, sounds very interesting! Ya'll have me ordering the Savage Worlds Deluxe edition, now to wait for the Sci Fi Companion to be available in print!

Giles Kiser said...

I *think* the new edition of FATE does a better job of explaining aspects and how they are/can be used in game, but I haven't actually read the rules yet so that may be crap. There is still some great material put out for FATE that is usable, even just as fluff, for other games though. Starblazer, Mindjammer, and Diaspora are just a few. I've used the Dresden Files games for background info in my SW Veil setting.

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