Lacking Natural Simplicity

Random musings on books, code, and tabletop games.

Actual Play: T.A.'s Savage Worlds Game, Part 1


T.A. has been coming up with maps and ideas for roleplaying games for a while now, and earlier this week while we were talking about RPGs he said he had a Savage Worlds game he wanted to run. I suggested we do it today, Saturday, in the afteroon, and that's what we did.

His sister E.A. and brother M.A were the only ones of the kids around, and they both wanted to play. We decided to play outside, at a small picnic table in the shade, on top of a large blanket so dropped dice would be easy to find. (T.A.'s idea, and a very good one.) It took a while to get everything set up, and the kids were a little impatient; I can't blame them. But we finally got going. I brought up my Savage Worlds GM Screen and my Flip-Mats and dry-erase pens. E.A. and I got an extra benny each for shuffling cards, and M.A. got a benny for helping set up the table.

T.A. had made several pregenerated characters, so we had a good selection to choose from. E.A. went for a healer again, M.A. picked a wizard, and I picked out a theif and combat mage. E.A. came up with a name for her character, Eureka, but M.A. was stuck, so I asked if he wanted help, and he did. We ended up naming his wizard Ragnar, so I stuck with that for a theme and named my thief Loki and my fire-themed combat mage Surt.

T.A. had made a map of a cavern/dungeon and decided on the monster stats and locations, but beyond that hadn't written anything down. He had thought about what he wanted a lot, though, and had it all in his head.

Actual Play

T.A. told us that our characters had seen notices posted that a small, nearby village was seeking adventurers to help with deal with goblin raiders. A short time later were were talking with the headman of the village, who after some talking promised us 50 gp each in advance and another 50 gp each after the job was done. A short time later we were headed out to the trail the goblins took after their raids.

The trail eventually lead up to the base of a hill and an cavern entrance.

E.A. aced Eureka's Notice roll as we snuck into the entrance and noticed something weird about the wall. It turned out to be a secret door, leading down a short passage and through another secret door into a room with a giant spider just settling down for a nap. Luckily, Loki had eased the 2nd secret door open quietly, so Ragnar tried to cast a Bolt at the spider. Unfortunately, M.A. rolled snake eyes (ones on both his Spellcasting and his Wild Die), and woke the spell up. Next round he spent a benny to get rid of the shaken and aced his Spellcasting roll, aced the damage roll, and so much for the spider.

After that we worked our way through a guardroom and a kitchen, each with goblins and dire wolves. As it turned out, the guards had screamed loud enough for the cook to hear something, but we sent in Ragnar in rat form and he saw the layout of the room and reported back to us. We burst in the door, catching the dire wolf with it and stunning it. The cook died fast, but the dire wolf took forever to kill due to some really lucky rolls. We had it stunned at least 3 times, but could never land another until Surt got the Joker, took a multi-action penalty to cast the spell smite and attack in the same round and aced his Spellcasting roll, killing the dire wolf with one massive blow. He immediately set about skinning the wolf, to take the hide back and have it tanned. And that's were we stopped.


T.A. did several neat things. Whenever a PC made a really good search roll and found something magical, T.A. rolled to see which PC the magic item would best suit, then made up a nifty magic item on the spot for that character. The healer got a Staff of Healing that couldn't be used for attacking, but would give the healer a bonus on any healing related roll. The combat mage ended up with a longsword that added a bonus to the damage for his Smite power. Later, when Surt wanted the hide of the dire wolf that he finally killed after it had given the party a long fight, T.A. said that when it was tanned it would give him +1 Armor to attacks from the back. Neither the rolling for who the magic item would suit nor the making up the magic items on the spot was anything he'd seen me do, but it worked well, he came up with nifty magic items that weren't overpowering, and it was neat: no boring “you find a +1 sword” here. In some ways I think it was very “Old School”, in a good way. (I'll talk about “Old School” some other time.)

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