Savage Worlds is the RPG that plays like a comic book!
Hello you fat, bearded, bespectacled virgins! Not only do you love comic books, you love role-playing games. That’s why you come to me. HAHA, man that stereotype is so LAME! I mean, it’s 2017, nerds run the world now! Besides, nobody really fits into that stereotype type anyway. Wait a minute…fat, bearded, bespectacled, my wife…YEA! Three out of four, suckas! LAME!
If you are reading this there is a good chance you love comic books. I might have completely misunderstood the purpose of this website, but that almost never happens anymore. Assuming you do, that’s good because comic books are rad. The art, the action, the stories all feel so alive, exciting, and they move along at a rapid clip. Authors can tell a tale in just one issue that a novelist would take a chapter to tell, a boring talky chapter with scenic descriptions and exposition and half a dose of Nyquil. But comics get you fast, they keep the plot going and don’t let you get bored. Action is on the menu and usually you are getting your fill and enough leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch. They are a kinetic art form.
Many of you may also be fans of role-playing games. My research has shown that there is some crossover in these communities, and I’m never wrong. See, I can say things like this because my wife firmly supports my writing by never reading it. Anyway, moving along like a comic book, it seems to me that many of the role-playing games which I’ve taken part in over the past 40 years have lacked that dynamic quality that comics have. Some are downright accounting exercises. You will simply have trouble using a game system meant for ‘dragons and elves’ or ‘marines and aliens’ for the pulpier world of superheroes. Even generic systems must usually undergo big modifications to make that rule system fit. Ok, in fairness, there have been more than a few superhero specific role-playing games published. About half of them lived up to the genre and were kick-ass. But like the Fantastic Four, role-playing games have evolved. Some of the best of them are decades old now, and their age shows. Everyone remembers Crisis on Infinite Earths and it was cool and all, but thank God they’ve moved on and now everything in the multiverse is stable. Huh, what? Convergence? Man, I’m busy here, tell me later.
So where does one find a role-playing game that has that same quality and yet doesn’t sacrifice any of the role-playey goodness? Where can I find a game that is…fast, furious, and fun? What was the title of this article again?
Enter Savage Worlds!
SW, as it’s known by all the cool kids, is an RPG, as they’re known by all the cool kids who want to stop typing so many damn letters over and over, that has those three words as its credo. They are the ethos not only of the game’s design, but of its play. It’s a system that let’s you get pulpy, let’s you get dramatic, let’s you get as epic and as grandiose as you could ever want to be. Yet it is also grounded in the familiar RPG conventions that can bring about the gritty moments that you crave. And it does it all for just 99 cents! (Don’t quote me on that price as I just made it up and it is not real).
What I meant to say was that all you need to play is the main rule book, a set of polyhedral dice, a regular deck of cards, and a group of nerds to get together and mess shit up. In fantasy-land. Sweet, sweet fantasy-land. The rule book is available on their website, www.peginc.com, and the PDF retails for a measly $9.99. That’s unbelievably cheap for all the hours of fun you are gonna get out of that, and that’s a real price that I didn’t make up. If I was to average it out, like say for this article, and do my usual faultless supermath, Pinnacle has actually paid me $4.36 an hour to play this game over the years. That’s right, it’s gone into the negative. Uh, math’s not really my thing. Honestly though, like comic books, RPGs are an expenditure that keeps giving. Seventy dollars later and I’m returning Call of Duty XXVI to GameStop for three dollars credit, but those comic books and those RPGS? Those guys get play forever. “THAT’S value for dollar there, sonny,” as Grandma used to say. Grandma grew up in The Great Depression and she knew a good deal when she saw one. Also, she was cheap.
The company that publishes SW has run 16 different Kickstarters. Each of them has been delivered on time, with a ton of extra goodies, and been received with great fanfare by the community. Their products have gotten nothing but excellent reviews far and wide throughout the kingdom, and they are a benchmark for quality.
Next Up: The father of all our Jedi!
I mention this because right now they are running a Kickstarter and that was the impetus for this article. No big deal it’s just FLASH FREAKING GORDON!! It’s Flash! It’s Flash! It’s the first superhero comic! It’s the one! It’s the originator of spandex! It’s the father of all of our Jedi! It’s the progenitor from whence we all sprang! Oh my God, I’m freaking out!
Ok, deep breath. Seriously, calmly, I will (hopefully) be writing an article about this Kickstarter in the next few days, which Chuck will (hopefully) link in this word here, which will go more into Flash the comic and its legacy, and if you are reading this in the future you can find it on my author’s page and the Astros won the world series this year. Sweet! Soon I’ll have all that time paradox money rolling in, heh-heh.
The Flash Gordon Kickstarter is gorgeous, and SW is the perfect game to bring this IP to life. SW is ‘Son of the Pulps’, and as the ‘Father of the Pulps’, Flash is finally coming home to join you and your noble friends as you dodge, parry, thrust, spin, and leap your way to freeing Mongo from that a-hole Ming. It’s going to be RPG heaven. I’ve wanted this game since 1980 and Brian Blessed and I don’t know whether I’m laughing or crying. YEA!
So, if you are looking to get into RPGs, or are already into them and want to play a little Flash Gordon, or are a Flash fan and want some books with collected material and information about the meta, I highly suggest you take a look at this system and the Kickstarter. Savage Worlds is the type of game that let’s you have a little face time with the villain, fight a battle with his minions, defuse the bomb, and fly that spaceship right into his torso, all in one night’s session. Just like the comics we all love, it is fast, furious, and fun. But I should probably shut up now, because nothing I say could ever sum up Savage Worlds as well as Vultan did:
“Oh well, who wants to live forever? Hahaha! DIVE!!”
And THAT’S Savage Worlds!