Wednesday, February 13, 2019


When is the last time you used the Gambling skill in your Savage Worlds game?

Chances are that unless you're playing Deadlands, opportunities to use that skill never come up.

In Wiseguys, America's gambling capital; Las Vegas is front and center. The temptation to test your luck and beat the house is everywhere. However, it isn't all you can do with the Gambling skill.

Want to run your own casino or bookmaking business? That's Gambling. You can look at it as a knowledge skill. You know how to set the odds of a wager, how comping works, and what measures are set in place to stop cheating and how to defeat them. Which casino has the best winning odds in town?

In most cases, this would be a use of Common Knowledge but when it involves gambling, the Gambling skill is a valid choice.

Is that gambler over there cheating? Where is the accomplice? Which scam are they working on? Notice can definitely be used in those circumstances but Gambling is also a perfect fit.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Take Care of Your Friends

I've played a lot of Shadowrun over the years. To some, it was about the gear, to others it was to stick it to the Man, or various other reasons. To me, it was about the Contacts. In Shadowrun, every Contacts has ratings that indicated how loyal and helpful they are, along with a short bio. I was fascinated by the effects these relationships my character had on the campaign.

I wanted Wiseguys to give the players one more reason to interact with the colorful nonplayer characters and cultivate relationships with them so I designed the Friends of Ours Setting Rule that you could use in any setting.

Contacts aren't sitting by the phone waiting for you to call them and do you a favor. They are as much a part of the Underworld as you are and have their own agendas.

In Savage Worlds, Contacts are handled through the Connections Edge. Wiseguys builds upon that by making the interaction between the player characters and their Contacts more dynamic. In Savage Worlds, the Persuasion skill provides guidelines to the Reaction Level of nonplayer characters. This a nonplayer character's attitude toward your character. Each Contact is given a Reaction Level by the Don. This attitude is subject to change through the course of the campaign. Let the attitude fall down to Hostile and this Contact may turn on you. Improve it to Helpful and new services open up to you. You learn that the drive-thru clerk at your favorite local fast food joint is also a biochemistry student and she can provide you with venom or anti-venom doses. The labor union leader you've been in business with likes you enough to declare a strike the day you want to rob the joint. Your personal tailor who always makes you look your best now has access to a bulletproof fabric and can make you a nice suit. Wiseguys contains over 50 such Contacts that you can use out of the box along with guidelines for the Don and the players to create their own.

At the beginning of each session, the Don may ask a player whose character has a contact to draw a card from the Action Deck. Certain cards trigger an event that the wise guy must deal with. The outcome of this event is going to change the relationship between the wise guy and his Contact for better or worse. Wiseguys is a world full with betrayal and unlikely alliances!

Monday, February 4, 2019

We Don’t Need Another Setting

I own enough Savage Worlds settings for a lifetime of weekly campaigns.
When I started designing Wiseguys I set myself two goals. First, I wanted a compelling and original setting with interesting and colorful characters at the core of it. Second, I wanted this book to be THE resource for organized crime for Savage Worlds.
I’m a big fan of Codex Infernus: The infernal guide to hell and Agents of Oblivion because of the practical applications beyond the default settings they were created for. In the former, you found a hellish bestiary, rules for possession, and a plethora of Edges and Hindrances among other things. In the latter, a framework for agency-based campaigns was set in place, again with several edges to support it.
In my previous article, I discussed how you can use Wiseguys to spice up your campaign by using the extensive information on the Mafia, 1% Motorcycle Clubs, Drug Cartels or Chinese Triads to create memorable adversaries.
I’d like to share with you some of the character abilities you can find in Wiseguys that can be used by both the player characters and the antagonists.


Hostage Taker

Requirements: Novice, Intimidation d8+

When the lead starts flying and you must make your way out of a tough spot, it’s good to have someone else take a bullet for you. Even if they are unwilling.

You need one hand free to hold the hostage. Anyone attempting to shoot you while you're holding a hostage must use the Innocent Bystander rule (if they miss and roll 1 on the trait die, they hit your hostage). Furthermore, if you suffer one or more wounds, you can spend a Benny to redirect all the damage to your hostage. Most hostages won't try to fight back or escape; you can just grab them and drag them around.


Monstrous abilities are for monsters. Gangsters and the denizens of the Underworld use Street Abilities instead. Yes, some of them are also monsters, but that’s beside the point. Don’t get smart with me!

Lackey: This Extra possesses a unique skill set that makes him valuable. They roll a Wild Die with every Trait roll.

In the following articles, I want to talk to you about the Friends Of Ours Setting Rules that builds on the Connections Edge to establish a dynamic network of contacts for your character.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Halfling Mafia

While the default campaign setting for Wiseguys involves playing gangsters and scoundrels looking to get rich in Las Vegas, it was also designed to be an organized crime toolkit for Savage Worlds.

That's right! Just Insert Imagination understands that not everybody is interested in playing the bad guys. So what is it to you and your heroic campaign? Sooner or later your campaign is going to need a villain. Crime syndicates make fantastic villainous organizations to oppose the heroes. Wiseguys not only has extensive information on the Italian-America Mafia, but primers on the Drug Cartels, 1% Motorcycle Clubs, and the Chinese Triads. These primers include history, rites of passage, hierarchy, modus operandi, and a lexicon.

Imagine your campaign world with a halfling mafia where the gangsters cook stews instead of pasta? They sure know how to protect the neighborhood! Imagine an outlaw realm that smuggles necromantic artifact into a lawful realm with the help of an organization modeled after the Juarez Drug Cartel? Imagine a group of half-orc mercenary on horses profiting from the war by dealing weapons to the armies? You get the picture?

It's more than just a concept. Wiseguys contains over 35 new Edges and 15 new Hindrances to help give these characters more bite. Coupled with one of the most complete modern bestiaries with over 50 NPC stat blocks, you are sure to have more than enough tools to design a campaign you and your group will remember for years to come!

Next up, we'll share more information on these new edges, hindrances and Setting Rules that you can use in any campaign regardless of the genre. Don't forget to "like" Just Insert Imagination.

The Wiseguys Jumpstart is now available for free on DrivethruRpg!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

What is Wiseguys?

Wiseguys is our love letter to mafia and heist movies of the 90s. In Wiseguys, you play colorful Las Vegas characters building their criminal empire. Perform daring casino heists, clean up bloodbaths before the cops lock you up, take part in adrenaline-fueled chases, hunt down rats, and evade state-of-the-art surveillance.

Wiseguys is fully compatible with the latest Savage Worlds Adventure Edition. Look out for the upcoming Jump Start! Next year, Just Insert Imagination will launch a crowdfunding campaign to finance the production of Wiseguys. We want to fill the book with more art like this. We hope you will join us on this adventure. Don’t forget to bring a shovel. There may be many holes to dig out in the Nevada desert.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Just Insert Imagination Wiseguys JumpStart

Just Insert Imagination Wiseguys JumpStart

Just Insert Imagination is proud to participate in the Savage Worlds Adventure Edition Kickstarter campaign once again. Last month, a Jump Start of our flagship line Winter Eternal was announced. Today, we announce that we are producing another JumpStart for Wiseguys, our American mafia, and homage to 90s gangster movies setting. The JumpStart will include a primer, new Edges and Hindrances, pre-generated characters, and a Mob Tale. All of that fully compatible with SWADE!
Like the Just Insert Imagination page to follow the development of this exciting setting!

Also, next weekend at Con on the Cob in Richfield, Ohio Eric is running a demo of Wiseguys. Come say hi!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Wiseguys Update and SWADE

Hard at work on #Wiseguys after reading the new Savage Worlds rules!
After spending the last 18 months design mechanics to make Savage Worlds a more narrative system, thisnew edition is making my life much easier. Yet, I can't help but feel some of my efforts were wasted.
This is the way it goes.
If anything, the last year and a half has taught me the value of play testing and that I was on the right track since a few of the mechanics I designed for it are coincidentally changes to SW. Very uncanny.
Art by Ania JarmoĊ‚owska Art
Logo by Karl Keesler