Saturday, December 26, 2015

Shadow of the Demon Lord Impressions

This isn't much a review, it's a blog about my impressions of this new tabletop RPG. I haven't read the whole book yet. I decided to take a pause amidst my frantic devouring of pages and pages of this book to share my enthusiasm with you. It has no structure, just impressions randomly tossed in.
Above is what appears to be a live recording of a seminar the author of the book was a guest at last summer.
I must say I haven't had that much fun reading a RPG core rules book in a long time. This really talks to me and the realistic expectations of running a campaign. It's structured to be 11 sessions (adventures) of 3-4 hours in length. Your character is defined as your group goes up in level.
I love the Warhammer Fantasy influence. WHFRP 1st edition was one of the first RPGs I played and he really captured the feel.
I really like +Robert Schwalb's design decisions with this game. Because my experience with D&D was really short I don't care how the designer seem to define his game in relation to the world's favorite game in the video. Perhaps it was simply because of people in the audience that participated in the Q&A. I think the fact that he was part of the design team for many editions of that game but decided to go a different way with SotdL speaks for itself.
I'd like to see how he would do Sword & Sorcery for D&D 5e. I think he would respect the tropes mechanically much better than Sasquatch Games did with Primeval Thule.
Anyway, if you're looking for a dark fantasy RPG that feels like d&d and Warhammer Fantasy but without the bullshit; if you want a tight design, a modern game that caters to old school gamers; if you want a professional looking book with a great layout and awesome artwork; if you want a game you can easily digest, this is the game for you! I mean this game is badass! What other games do you know of that your character can become so insane he decides to gouge his own eyes out? Cthulhu maybe but it's a different genre with different tropes where such terrible fate is expected for your character.
The only minor quibble I have so far is that there are too many Afflictions (Conditions) to keep track of. Compared to D&D this is standard. Compared to other games I like such as Savage Worlds, Gumshoe, AGE or AW this is a problem for me. The less time I spend looking up rules when I'm trying to run a game, the better.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Making a Star Wars hack for Savage Worlds

So of course, with The Force Awakens out I'm thinking of running some Star Wars. Though it may be tempting to outlaw Jedi knights from the game because the lightsaber alone is kind of an "I win" button, I'm fully aware Jedi are part of the appeal and I'd be taking away what makes it Star Wars.
From a Clint Black advice, I decided to take a look at the Super Powers Companion. SWD stats a lightsaber at Str+d6+8 AP 12. Ok cool.

Now let's take a look at the "Attack, Melee" power. 

  • Armor piercing mod. It costs 6 points to give it AP 12. 
  • Lethal mod removes one point so we're at a 5 pts cost so far.

Now with the actual damage. It's 2 pts per level, each level is +1d6 damage. So 2 more points for the d6. The +8 damage has got me baffled though. How many more level do you think this represents?

And here's another question. If you were playing in a game and someone other than you played the Jedi, would you feel your character isn't as cool as a Jedi because of lack of lightsaber? Would you want to be compensated for that disparity?
Okay, that was two questions. :)