New Player - What to Buy

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gamehermit
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New Player - What to Buy

#1 Postby gamehermit » Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:44 pm

Hey Everyone. I'm an old school gamer and am looking for a new Fantasy game for my players (I refuse to give Hasbro my money). Anyway, I've heard great things about SW but am not really sure what books I need to buy. I want to run a high fantasy setting but just need some advice on starting books and a good adventure to run to learn the rules.

Thanks,

Jack

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#2 Postby Takeda » Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:27 pm

Start with the Savage Worlds Explorer's Handbook ... and perhaps the Fantasy Companion. There a ton of free resources on Pinnacle and a lot of other stuff at Savagepedia and Savage Heroes and Sharkbytes
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#3 Postby TommyBrownell » Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:28 pm

Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition is the base rules set...shouldn't have to pay more than $10 for that.

You can download the Wizards & Warriors add-on off the Pinnacle website to get your basic fantasy races.

From there the Fantasy Companion will hit most of your sweet spots for making your own setting with Savage Worlds. If you want an actual published setting, instead of making your own, go with Shaintar.
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#4 Postby Tavis » Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:40 pm

If you want to make your own setting, then the Fantasy companion is the way forward - if not, Shaintar is a very cool (imo) High Fantasy setting, with a TON of support online.
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#5 Postby Sherman » Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:42 pm

For learning the rules, use any of the adventures on the Pinacle website. Doesn't have to be fantasy for a learning session. Try running a horror game for Halloween. Nice thing is there are a ton of pre-made characters out there so all you have to do is print some stuff out and start playing...

"Roll your skill and an extra d6, take the better of the two, try to get a 4" and "These are your bennies, they let you reroll" is about all the information people need to start playing.
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Re: New Player - What to Buy

#6 Postby blusponge » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:13 pm

gamehermit wrote:Hey Everyone. I'm an old school gamer and am looking for a new Fantasy game for my players (I refuse to give Hasbro my money). Anyway, I've heard great things about SW but am not really sure what books I need to buy. I want to run a high fantasy setting but just need some advice on starting books and a good adventure to run to learn the rules.


High fantasy?

You want the Savage Worlds Explorers Edition, without a doubt.

You could get the Fantasy Companion, but I would just jump in and grab Shaintar! I think you'll be much happier with that combination, even if you just loot Shaintar's stuff for your own fantasy world.

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#7 Postby GreenTongue » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:02 pm

Depending on how You define High Fantasy, you might find Hellfrost http://www.tripleacegames.com/HellFrost.php to your liking.

===
An endless winter is coming...

500 years ago: From the frozen far north, beyond the civilized lands with their rolling hills and forests, arose a mighty army of frost giants, ice devils, Hellfrost dragons, and fearsome orcs, servants all of the ice god Thrym. So began the terrible Blizzard War and the downfall of the mighty empires of man

Today: The races of the southern lands may have won the war, but they suffer its legacy still. For five centuries the winters have grown steadily longer and colder. Huge swathes of the land of Rassilon are permanently covered in ice and snow, and even the temperate lands are not spared the misery of failed harvests, deadly winters, and the dreaded Hellfrost wind.

But winter is not the only danger. A mere 30 years ago, magic, once the civilized races’ most potent weapon, suddenly began to fail. The Siphoning, an effect of unknown origin, has made magic an unpredictable ally.

Welcome to the world of Rassilon. Welcome to the Hellfrost!
=

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#8 Postby SlasherEpoch » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:19 pm

I'd grab 50 Fathoms, actually. Sundered Skies is also pretty good, as far as monsters, magic, and ideas go. And it's a pretty good setting.

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#9 Postby Dont Die » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:39 pm

Buy everything! Just kidding. Welcome to the forums. Yep, start with SW:EX. Hellfrost and Shaintar are both fine fantasy settings. I really do suggestion the Fantasy Companion too. It's got good stuff no matter what fantasy setting you decide on using.
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#10 Postby tylermo » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:40 pm

Welcome aboard, Game Hermit. A lot of good suggestions have been given. Definately need the main rules, and the Fantasy Companion wouldn't hurt either. As for fantasy settings, you can't go wrong with any of them. Sounds like Shaintar would probably be the one for you. Hellfrost could be a great choice as well. 50 Fathoms was mentioned, but that's more like pirate fantasy, and not straight fantasy. Either way, I highly recommend it. Nothing wrong with Sundered Skies, or Evernight either.

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Thanks for all the great input!

#11 Postby gamehermit » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:41 pm

Wow...you know a game has to be pretty good to get this kind of feedback so quickly! It's cool to know that there is a community to bounce questions and ideas off of. Now I have a place to start.

I was looking at the RuneQuest system....but was always drawn back to SW.

So The Shaintar and Hellfrost setting both look cool.

In ya'lls experience...how has the combat and character customization been for you?

Thanks for taking the time to get back to me with all the great advice.

Jack

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#12 Postby tylermo » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:01 pm

Most of my opinion about Hellfrost and Shaintar is based on reading the books. Not so much actual play at this point. Shaintar has a story arc or plot point(depend upon what you want to call it)ready to play. Not to mention (hope I'm getting this right without the book in front of me) a modular adventure creation system? that utilizes a deck of cards. Lots of folks love Shaintar for that alone. Sean Patrick Fannon wrote Shaintar, and he's a great guy. Would probably be happy to answer all your questions. Shaintar is offered in pdf, and softcover.

As for Hellfrost, it's written by one of Pinnacle Entertainment's great former writers, Paul "Wiggy" Wade-Williams. He's one prolific guy, and bangs out more settings, adventures, etc. than you can shake a stick at. The Hellfrost Player's Guide is available in hardcover and pdf. It's a beautiful book, and the production values are fantastic. Two more hardcovers are forthcoming in November. HF Beastiary, and HF Gazeteer. There is no plot point for Hellfrost, and(according to Wiggy)that's by design. That said, there are at least 6 or 7 pdf adventures(available from Triple Ace Games), with more to follow.

Send Wiggy and Sean pm's for more info.

You'll find a lot of feedback here at the Pinnacle forums. I'm probably biased, but the game is GOOD! I've been roleplaying since 82 or 83, and it's my single favorite system to play. Stay in touch, and let us know what you go with.

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Re: New Player - What to Buy

#13 Postby UmbraLux » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:02 pm

gamehermit wrote:Hey Everyone. I'm an old school gamer and am looking for a new Fantasy game for my players (I refuse to give Hasbro my money). Anyway, I've heard great things about SW but am not really sure what books I need to buy. I want to run a high fantasy setting but just need some advice on starting books and a good adventure to run to learn the rules.

Thanks,

Jack
Welcome to the forums!

As for which book(s) to purchase, that really depends on what type of game you're looking for and how much support you want. Are you looking for something specific?

Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition (SWEE) is the central part of the rules...but it won't give you trappings or any setting information.

Savage Worlds of Solomon Kane is a beautiful book with a complete set of rules (no need for SWEE) set in Howard's Kane universe. Personally, I'm not fond of the adventure it includes but YMMV. I do like the magic system and alternate history setting.

Pirates of the Spanish Main is also a complete book (no need for SWEE) set in the age of piracy. Magic is not part of the setting though superstition is rampant. It has some great additions for a swashbuckling game.

Deadlands: Reloaded is the last of the complete books (AFAIK). It's a horror / weird west setting. If you include the original Deadlands material, it probably has the most support of any single SW setting.

Other settings require SWEE as well as the setting book. They include:
- Necessary Evil, a super heroes (or villains) setting.
- 50 Fathoms, a fantasy setting with the best (IMO) plot point campaign I've seen. It also has a good elemental magic system.
- Hellfrost, a darker fantasy system with potentially debilitating magic. (Reminiscent of WFRP.)
- Tour of Darkness (Vietnam) and Weird War 2 (WW2 - don't have this one yet) both add supernatural horror to the horror of war.
- Necropolis is a future apocalypse warring against undead.
- Runepunk is a magipunk / steampunk vision of a dystopian city being torn apart by various forces and organizations.
- Shaintar is probably the nearest to a "high fantasy" setting though either 50 Fathoms or Hellfrost might qualify - depending on your definition.

That covers most of the settings I've picked up though not near all the settings available. :)

Regarding the tool kits and genre companions - buy those if you're converting or creating a setting. For the most part they won't have any setting information of their own.

To get an idea of the rules, pick up the Test Drive from here. May also grab the Training Wheels Character Sheet, the Combat Survival Guide, and the Making of Savage Worlds to peruse while you're there. They'll give you some ideas of both the rules and how the game plays.

Enjoy!

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#14 Postby Dylan S » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:06 pm

I'm going to restate for clarity that all you need to play Savage Worlds in any setting is the SW:EX book. It contains all the rules of the game, decent amounts of 'generic' equipment and spells befitting several time periods, as well as a 'generic' bestiary which can be modified to monstrous results. If you're inventive and independent in your GMing, then SW:EX is all you would ever really need.

That said, the Fantasy Companion gives a few more Edges to flesh out Bards, Paladins, etc.; it shows stats for common races, as well as a system for creating your own; it gives new spells and customizable spell trappings; but most importantly, it adds an extensive magic treasure section and expanded fantasy bestiary.

As for combat and character customization, heck, that's what sold me on the game. Classes and proficiencies are eliminated, yet I've never felt more able to create the character I want. Hitpoints and awkward combat penalties are gone, allowing players to improvise more freely in a fight.

I dunno... I sound like a Pinnacle shill these days. I can't say the system is flawless, but it's helped to reinject some (deceptive) simplicity and novelty into my games when they needed it badly.

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Re: Thanks for all the great input!

#15 Postby UmbraLux » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:16 pm

gamehermit wrote:In ya'lls experience...how has the combat and character customization been for you?
Coming from D&D, you'll have a potential shock. Attributes and skills matter far less than edges for customizing characters. As an example, look at a character with identical Agility and Stealth skills. You may think "they look the same" but the Thief edge gives a flat +2 bonus to Stealth (among other skills) which is worth at least two die steps. Basically, SWEE swaps the importance of edges / feats and attributes when comparing to D&D 3.x.

As for combat, it flows fairly quickly while you're learning and very quickly once you've all learned the system. It's very tactical (check out the Combat Survival Guide for some options) and can cover group and individual combat quite easily. This is another area I've seen D&D players have trouble with though. :wink: Charging straight in to combat is likely to get characters hurt and possibly killed. Pass the survival guide out to all your players before starting. :)

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I'm really looking forward to SW!!!

#16 Postby gamehermit » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:16 pm

Man, this really sounds like a well thought out game that doesn't try to bog play down with "rules" but provides enough depth for even the most experienced gamer. I'm sure that at first it will be a bit of a culture shock to my 3.5 players but I've been playing since 1982 and loved the simplicity of D&D 1st and 2nd ED. We didn't have to have a Rules Lawyer to help the game play.

I've been searching for a new system for quite a while... I tried Castles and Crusades...and while the concept is there....there are still a LOT of inconsistencies...and they just keep pumping out book after book. I'm not interested in buying book after book just to get a complete rules that should have been thought out in the first place.

What intrigues me about SW is that once I learn the core rules....we can jump to a hole new game genre (horror, steam, etc.) and not have to learn everything from scratch.

Because of time constraints, I think I'm leaning towards the Hell Frost setting...mainly because of the availability of the modules. So I guess I'll pick up the core rules, the Fantasy Companion (for reference), and the campaign setting.

My long term goal is to develop a Dark Fae based campaign....I've been working on the story line for some time now but haven't really found the game system to house it in. I think that SW just might be the game for me :-)

A quick question on Shaintar... Are there premade adventures for it...I didn't see them on the site. (I probably overlooked them). That setting looked cool as well. For that matter, most of the settings did :-)

I like the idea of the combat survival guide....

Thanks again for the help...you guys are great.

- Jack

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#17 Postby Pariah74 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:20 pm

I recently ran the Tomb of Terrors at a local and I was really pleasantly surprised at how smooth it went. First of all it was a con setting (kinda loud), I had all newbies, and a couple were the under 18 types that don't always pay attention too well, if you know what I'm saying.

The game was awesome! I don't usually care for minis on grids in my role playing games, but SW:EX just runs so smooth and fast that it actually makes it better.

I would recommend SW:EX plus the Wizards & Warriors free download for any and all of your dungeon crawling needs.
If you want to break free of the dungeon, it works well for that too. When I'm not using minis I just convert all the inches to feet by multiplying by 10.* And the system works like a charm outside the dungeon as well. It's got a great system for social interactions and roleplaying.


I was honestly skeptical about SW's ability to do fantasy since I consider it a "pulp" system rather than a generic system...but it passes with flying colors. Get the SW:EX for $10 and download the Wizards & Warriors supplement and you'll have a great time.

(I know it's 12, but 10 x 24" is fast, furious & fun while 12 x 24" is math.)
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#18 Postby Spence » Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:54 pm

Hey gamehermit.

I am and old gamer like you and a recent convert to the Savage Worlds fold too. I have been GMing/playing since the very first RPG back in the day and when I finally got disgusted with the straight jacket of classes, levels and other hooey started playing a universal system. Recently my system of choice, the one I had been playing on and off since '82, and then exclusively since 90, 'updated' to a new version that fundamentally changed some of the core concepts of the game. I just don't have the time to completely relearn a system, not to mention it is still close enough that 25+ years of habit is near impossible to break.

So I started looking for a new system with a few criteria.

#1 It must be simple, I just don't have the time I did when I was young to devote reading and memorizing 1000 splat books.

#2 It cannot be so simple everything becomes basically flipping a coin or GM fiat.

#3 it must be able to handle all genres.

#4 It must be available to the market and the FLGS. These days I like to run at a FLGS and cons. If I run at a game shop they have to be able to get it for sales.

After looking all over and reading/trying several systems I had sorted them down to two. Savage Worlds and Mutants & Masterminds. Both are fairly simple and yet still have meat on their bones. Since I am a avid fan of the old serial Pulps and that is the kind of game I will be running, Savage Worlds looks like the winner for me.

I am building up an adventure right now and the part I always liked least of all, stat'ing everything out, is almost as easy as the fun part, outlining the adventure. The rules make sense and fall into place so easily the adventure is practically writing itself.

If you plan to homebrew, I suggest picking up one of the supplements that is nearest your interest just so you can get an additional yard stick to use when creating vehicles, equipment and weapons.

If I had to pick something that is I have as a problem with SW's, I'd have to say it is too easy. After all those years with the other system I tend to WAY overthink things.

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#19 Postby UmbraLux » Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:00 pm

Pariah74 wrote:If you want to break free of the dungeon, it works well for that too. When I'm not using minis I just convert all the inches to feet by multiplying by 10.* And the system works like a charm outside the dungeon as well.
I'm confused...but not about the 10 vs 12. The inches I remember from SWEE (don't have it in front of me at the moment) are meta-game / out of game inches used to measure range on the miniatures' scale. Each inch is equivalent to 2 yards (or two meters, but yards by the book) in game terms. Which inches are you converting to feet?

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#20 Postby Pariah74 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:33 pm

UmbraLux wrote:
Pariah74 wrote:If you want to break free of the dungeon, it works well for that too. When I'm not using minis I just convert all the inches to feet by multiplying by 10.* And the system works like a charm outside the dungeon as well.
I'm confused...but not about the 10 vs 12. The inches I remember from SWEE (don't have it in front of me at the moment) are meta-game / out of game inches used to measure range on the miniatures' scale. Each inch is equivalent to 2 yards (or two meters, but yards by the book) in game terms. Which inches are you converting to feet?


D'oh! :lol: See?! Math is bad for art types. I had a long day.
I meant to write 6 feet. 2 yards = 6 feet, but I use 10 feet for the simplicity.
I could use 5, but 5 * 48 is still hard to figure on the fly. So I multiply all inches by ten and call it feet, unless we're on the grid.

Off the grid it's all just arbitrarily thrown out there by the GM (me) anyway.
GM "Some bad guys come running and shooting at you from down the street."
Player "How far away is the closest guy?"
GM <Instead of saying "I want you to have a penalty on shooting for a round or two, so he's in your medium range." I say: "Uh...150 feet."

See what I mean?
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