Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Savage Worlds Sci-Fi Resources

When Savage Worlds first hit the scene, one of the comments I regularly heard about the system was that there just wasn't enough support for the sci-fi genre. While you certainly could run a sci-fi game with the core rules, certain things like cybernetics, a good selection of high tech gear, and starship battle rules were sorely missing. Slipstream cam along and filled the gap a bit, but it was still a bit too fantasy for some people and there were still elements missing. Fans, however stepped up and filled the gap with their own rules and settings. Today, there is a wealth of sci-fi resources as the disposal of any GM wanting to run any sort of sci-fi game with Savage Worlds, both fan-made and from Pinnacle and their licensees.

As I'm currently going through my SW library, making notes on backgrounds and such, I thought I'd take some time to list the resources and the bits that I plan to use in my still currently unnamed kitchen sink space opera setting (note that most of these resources are for pre-Deluxe versions of SW, but should work just fine with just some minor tweaking in spots):

Daring Tales of the Space Lanes: I haven't picked up much of this series. However, I do have the freebies and I purchased the Extras Pack that has three pdfs (Starships of the Galaxy, Sector 01, and Combat Hazards). Triple Ace Games does great work and DTotSL is no exception, though some bits are superseded by the new Science Fiction Companion. Much of the goodies in this line come in the form of ships, gear, and new hazards. Starships of the Galaxy is full of example starships, the base Space Pulp Rules has wrist computers, Combat Hazards had a host of strange environmental effects, and there are new Edges and Hindrances in each book, for instance. Sector 01 is a great resource if you're in need of a quick planet for the night's adventures.

Daring Tales of the Sprawl: All I have is the freebie 9 page rules doc, but if all you want is some cybernetics to drop into your game, you can't go wrong here. However, with the new SFC and Interface Zero 2.0, this doc have been overshadowed by a wider selection and Deluxe stats.

Darwin's World: All I have is the Survivor's Handbook, but I go to these rules for the mutation rules for my setting. It's great. Savage Worlds makes for a much leaner and simpler way to explore the wastelands compared to the D20 Modern version, and I say that as a huge fan of the D20 version. The Campaign Guide is on my wish list, but I just haven't gotten around to picking it up yet.

High Space: I just picked up the final version of this game today actually, I'd been check out the beta rules for a while now. There's a ton of great material here from gear to ships. Their race rules group races into categories as opposed to detailing out individual races, not my preferred method, but it works.

Interface Zero 2.0: If you want cybergear, this is the place. There's a lot of setting specific information that's even tied to the cybergear, but it's not tough to strip away if that's what you want. Even the races are easily stripped out from the setting for use anywhere else you may want. Plus, if you want to play a dark and brooding Bladerunner-like game, this setting is really just simply awesome on its own.

MARS: Now, I know that Mars is much more fantasy than sci-fi, but I do use several of the races and many of the creatures, just with new backgrounds. Red Martians became Corvians, recently freed slaves and mortal enemies of the Thorpids (Grey Men).

Mass Effect: There are several fan-made savagings of Mass Effect out there. I use bits of both fan creations by Jim from Exploding Dice and by Evan Kreider. Both of these fan guides can be found at Savage Heroes.

Mercenary Breed: This setting from Mystical Throne Entertainment is another really well done sci-fi setting. I hear it's also getting updated to Deluxe, and majorly expanded this year (with a dedicated Xenobestiary), so there's even more to look forward to. One really cool thing here is that they have a random race generation system using a deck of playing cards. Just in case you really want to mix things up.

Nemezis: This setting is from the folks as GRAmel (beware that the site is in Polish), who also make the great Beasts & Barbarians fantasy setting for Savage Worlds. There's lots here from races to gear to tech. I use the races as both gengineered humans and I modified the backgrounds of the Ashe to be their own "near-human" species.

Savage SLA Industries: This is another fan-made conversion that can also be found at Savage Heroes. Lots of great info here. Just like with most converted settings, you'll want access to the original source material if you want a straight on conversion, since very few of these savaged settings have much more than scant background information. (Thanks to Brutorz Bill over at the Green Skeleton Gaming Guild for giving me a heads up on a newer version than the one I had.)

Slipstream: This is a great setting to turn to for aliens and if you want gear with a very Flash Gordon-like vibe.

Star Frontiers: This is another "savaged" take on the classic TSR game. This is a very thorough conversion as well done by Greg Bruni. The main races, much of the gear, and even a good chunk of the aliens like the Sathar. Also, make sure you check out part 3 of the Crash on Voltrunus conversion for even more creatures to add to your xenobestiary. (This conversion is also found at Savage Heroes.)

Star Wars: Wow! There are a TON of options to choose from here. My personal favorite is Savage Star Wars 6.0 by Mike Glanville (it weighs in at 102 pages, basically everything you need to run the setting), but there are bits and pieces that I use from several of the various conversions. Not to go off the rails, but I've come around to the idea that Savage Worlds may just be the perfect system to use for Star Wars. I say that as a long time roleplayer of each of the Star Wars games (D6 through the D20 games, still haven't gotten the chance to try out FFG's new system). Go check out Savage Heroes and see which one works for you.

Various Other Savaged Settings: Instead of going through each fan conversion I use, I'm going to tell you that I check out any sci-fi setting that hits Savage Heroes. Settings like Farscape, Babylon 5, and other shows where fans have done my "heavy-lifting" for me, is a huge time saver. I may not always agree with the author's take, but it's still easier to tweak than to reinvent the wheel.

I know I'm likely missing a few things, but these are some of the places I go for stats and ideas for my setting. Plus, it just goes to show that there's a LOT of support for science fiction in Savage Worlds.

Next up, I'm going to start detailing some of my evolving ideas on the background of the setting. 


Jim said...

Great List! - You can find a more current version of my Savage Mass Effect on Explodingdice.com.

Also, be sure to check out Savage Space by my friend Chaosmeister! http://chaosmeister.wordpress.com/2011/08/26/savage-worlds-savage-space-space-opera-sci-fi-supplement-pdf-release/

Giles Kiser said...

Excellent, Jim, thanks for the heads up on the new version of your excellent ME rules. Plus, thanks for reminding me about Savage Space. I can't believe I forgot to mention it!

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