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[Actual Play Podcast] The World's Most Wondrous Year, a Savage Worlds Pulp Adventure

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  • [Actual Play Podcast] The World's Most Wondrous Year, a Savage Worlds Pulp Adventure

    For those out there who enjoy Actual Play audio podcasts, we have been recording our Savage Worlds sessions, and these are now available to download as MP3 files from Google Drive. Enjoy!

    Sugar Fuelled Gamers presents The World's Most Wondrous Year, a Savage Worlds Pulp Adventure. This thread is to serve as the new episode update, and general discussion thread for anyone who wants to comment!

    It is 1899, the turn of the 20th Century. 23 years after extraordinary British scientist Phileas Fogg went around the World in 80 Days, he now seeks to better his own feat – to travel to any seven destinations on the planet, no matter how far, within the year. Fogg will then justifiably become the head of the Royal Academy of Science. There’s just one problem. Phileas Fogg is a cad, philander, murderer, and monster. Only a small group of heroes know the truth, and only they can stop him in an adventurous race around the world!

    This is a pulp adventure in the style of Indiana Jones, with our heroes travelling the world and facing adventures from a variety of different pulp-filtered genres, from Mystery, Mummies, Pulp Archeology (death-traps!), light Horror, Espionage, Time Travel and Dinosaur Safari.

    Link to Audio Downloads

    • Jared as the GM
    • Helen as 'Pittsburgh' Pete Morrison, square jawed American hero
    • Miriam as Dr Johnathan Hannah, renowned mummy-phobic Egyptologist with shifty eyes
    • Susan as Dr Amanda Strange, rich dillentante, occultist, scientist, and general eccentric who believes her cat can talk to her, and is inhabited by her dead husband's spirit.
    • Mara Priscilla Mimieax, time travelling 10 year old Eloi girl from the ruined future.
    • Grant as Bernard Pendlebury / James Fogg, allegedly a simply butler, but secretly Phileas Fogg's thought-murdered brother.
    • Jan as Jeremy Wright, mad clockwork scientist
    • Yerin as Special Investigator Rosemary Darling, British police officer.

    System: Savage Worlds, Pulp Edition
    Special Notes: This is a slightly homebrewed version of Savage Worlds, set up for Pulp rules and based on the Thrilling Tales sourcebook. We've made some skill changes and added a travel system, but it's mostly Savage Worlds in all it's glory.
    Frequency of sessions: 3 sessions in a month, very consistently
    Length of sessions: Around 2.5 - 3 hours, consistently.
    Special Thanks To:
    • Pinnacle Entertainment Group (PEG), makers of Savage Worlds.
    • Intro music "Jade" by Scott Buckley used with permission under Creative Commons License.
    • Our Egyptian Adventure "The Strange Expedition and... The Secrets of Sekhmet!" is strongly inspired by The Shadows of Sekhmet, an Any-System Key Scenario by Peter Schweighofer.
    • Our Transylvanian Adventure "The Strange Expedition vs... The True Terrors of Transylvania!" is an adaption of The Trial of the Beast, Paizo's second book of the Carrion Crown Adventure Path.
    • Our Amazon Adventure "The Strange Expedition vs... The Crocodile Cult!" is an adaption of PEG's free pulp Savage Worlds adventure, The Eye of Kilquato.

    Episode Synopses
    For those of you who like episode synopses, here they are (In the absence of spoiler tags on the forum - for those who don't want to read the episode content in advance - these are in white text, highlight to view)

    Episode 1: In which we see our Heroes prologues, and how they came to oppose Phileas Fogg.

    Episode 2: In which our Heroes take up Fogg’s challenge, and the World’s Most Wondrous Year begins.

    Episode 3: In which our Heroes travel to Egypt, take tea with a contact, many arguments are had, and the social combat rules break out.

    Episode 4: In which our Heroes speak with the spirits of the dead *cue spooky music*

    Episode 5: In which our Heroes encounter crocodile imps attempting to abduct Mrs Whittingham

    Episode 6: In which our Heroes explore a long-lost pyramid

    Episode 7: In which an ancient mummy awakens to destroy Cairo! Why does this happen every time Johnathan visits Egypt!

    Episode 8: In which our Heroes travel to Translyvania.

    Episode 9: In which our Heroes are accosted by the various monsters and freaks that make their home in Translyvania.

    Episode 10: In which our Heroes spend the night in Castle Dracula, and a investigation begins against the clock!

    Episode 11: In which our Heroes investigate the village of idiots, a graveyard, and Day 1 on the trial takes place.

    Episode 12: In which our Heroes begin to understand Fogg’s true purpose in the trial, investigate the missing children, and of course, there are witches.

    Episode 13: In which Day 2 of the trial takes place.

    Episode 14: In which Pete and Johnathan split the party and investigate the Chymic Works.

    Episode 15: In which Day 3 of the Trial takes place. Is the Beast guilty, or innocent?

    Episode 14: In which Pete and Johnathan split the party and investigate the Chymic Works.

    Episode 16: In which our Heroes depart Transylvania, and a new spin-off show is formed!

    Episode 17: In which the Shades explore the lost city and encounter a menace to their minds.

    Episode 18: In which the Shades face off with the mad king Decabulus and the product of his greed. The conclusion of the Shades spin-off.

    Episode 19: In which our true Heroes return, Bernard is Lost in Time and Space, and we head for New York City.

    Episode 20: In which our Heroes party with the politicians in New York, love is in the air, and a simple job becomes complicated.

    Episode 21: In which a sniper takes a shot at our Heroes, and bad French accents for all!

    Episode 22: In which our Heroes badly play the game of espionage, and arrange a trade.

    Episode 23: In which liberty and justice are under threat when a wedding is interrupted by an attack on the Statue of Liberty!

    Episode 24: In which our Heroes repel the attack on the Statue of Liberty, and conclude A Simple Job

    Episode 25: In which our Heroes exit New York, head for the Amazon jungle, and experience a unique method of travel.

    Episode 26: In which our Heroes meet Dr Amelia Hunt, amazon explorer, and shockingly discover danger in the jungle!

    Episode 27: In which our Heroes travel the harrowing Amazon river to find the way to the secret village of the Kilquato Cult – but Phileas Fogg is ahead of them!

    Episode 28: In which our Heroes sneak their way into the Temple of Kilquato, discover the Fogg Expedition’s fate, and call for Kilquato – Kilquato comes!

    Episode 29: In which our Heroes face a sinister deathtrap, the Test of the Body.

    Episode 30: In which our Heroes face more deathtraps, and sight the Eye of Kilquato.

    Episode 31: In which our Heroes conclude “The Strange Expedition… vs The Crocodile Cult!” with an encounter with a god!

    Episode 32: In which a new Hero, S.I Rosemary Darling is introduced, and a train journey heads into an orphanage fire.

    Episode 33: In which our Heroes encounter Dr Mikhail, time travel scientist, and deal with the problems on the train.

    Episode 34: In which jet-pack flying Thule Society soldiers attack the train. Mass combat ensues… and that’s just the beginnings of the chaos as this train heads for the World of Tomorrow!

    Episode 35: In which our Heroes meet the Patriots of Kakarov, and hear of the prophecy and the Holy Land.

    Episode 36: In which our Heroes learn of the doom that overtook the world, and head for the factory to fix their problems.

    Episode 37:In which our Heroes face the Test Protocol, complete with deathtraps, and learn what secrets lurk in Elsa's dreams.

    Episode 38:In which our Heroes face Emmaline St Claire - wherever she may hide! Can they overcome the devastating power of the Elsas unleashed?

    Episode 39:In which our Heroes travel for Antarctica, but first must face the Running of the Bulls in Spain!
    Last edited by Reverse; 09-13-2017, 10:39 PM.

  • #2
    Episode 40 now uploaded.

    The Strange Expedition in... The Lost World (Part 2).
    Synopsis (highlight to view):
    In which our Heroes find a lost world within Antarctica, and face a terrible fall from grace!


    • #3
      This is ongoing? I thought it was complete!
      Theses are a lot of fun, I've burned through the first 15 already. I might have to slow down...


      • #4
        This is ongoing (it's our current campaign). We're presently playing at Adventure 6 of 7. At a wild-*** guess, I'd estimate around 55 episodes total, so around 15 more still to play through. Usually 3 sessions a month.


        • #5
          Is there anywhere you have your house rules up? I'm interested in seeing the social combat and resolve rules, something I think Savage Worlds is lacking.


          • #6
            I made them into a large PDF file for my group - I'll PM you. It's extensive enough to almost be it's own rulebook rather than a string of house rules - among other things, we added Social Combat, changed a number of the skills (condensing them, primarily, and then giving out a few less skill points), changed the Chase rules, added a Resources skill for a no-money-tracking system, zone-based movement instead of squares, and added a string of 'pulp genre' rules.

            For social combat, we primarily stole a page from the FATE system and made it as close to the existing combat as possible. It's definitely a 'patch' rather than a great system in it's own right, but I think it lands the line nicely between being useful enough without being enough of a separation from the existing SW rules. As bonus, it also enabled us to do 'mental damage' to people, when extra-dimensional horrors attack your mind.

            Sometimes you need to settle things with words, rather than with actions. Most of the time, affecting a situation with your words is a simple matter of an Intimidation or aPersuasion test. A full on social combat takes place only when it’s a pivotal outcome. The rule of thumb is that the more personally emotionally invested the characters are in a situation, the more likely social combat is applicable. When set upon in a barfight by some unknown toughs, why would they listen to the Heroes, or be interested in engaging in social combat? But when trying to talk an old trusted professor from using the Staff of Life to bring back his dead wife at the cost of wiping out Cairo, trying to talk your criminal father into turning himself in while he tries to convince you to embrace a life of crime, or convincing an evil company to stop exploiting the local native tribe, that’s the setup for a juicy social combat!

            There are several similarities between physical and social combat.
            Rounds and Initiative: Initiative cards are drawn as usual. Edges like Quick also affect social combat.
            Making A Basic Attack: Social combat generally ignores range, cover, zone movement, and other such complexities. Attacks are done by Intimidation or Persuasion, trying to equal or exceed the target’s Grace (2 + half their Empathy) just as if it were a Parry score.
            Damage: If a social attack hits, roll damage and compare it against the target’s Resolve. If an attack hits with a raise, as normal, add +1d6 to the damage. The damage is determined by the force and value of your argument.
            • A weak argument: 1d6+1. The target has no reason to listen to you, or believe you. Montana Smith argues that Professor Karibou should just put down the Staff of Life, because it’s bad.
            • A standard argument: 2d6+1. The target may not agree, but has some reason to listen. Montana tells the Professor that as a learned Egyptologist, he should know he is meddling with forces he cannot control.
            • A strong argument: 2d8+1. Montana asks the Professor to consider what his dead wife would want.
            • An incontrovertible argument: 3d8+1. Montana produces a letter written to him by the professor’s wife, fearing her husband will commit a great evil, and that her greatest wish is that Montana will stop him.

            Getting Hurt: As the damage equals or exceeds the target’s Resolve, characters become Shaken and take Social Wounds. Wounds may be Soaked with Hero Points as normal. Penalties from Social Wounds stack with penalties from physical wounds. When a character cannot take any more Wounds, they are incapacitated. A target who would be “unconscious” accepts that he cannot win the argument and is removed from social combat. A target who would be “killed” is utterly convinced by their opponent’s argument, changing their nature accordingly. A target who would be “injured” picks up an appropriate Social or Mental Hindrance to reflect the argument’s change in their personality.
            Healing: Wounds are Healed by the Empathy skill during the ‘Golden Hour’, then by Spirit rolls every few days.
            Teamwork: Heroes may make co-operative rolls to work together on convincing a target.
            Extras: Normally, a social conflict would end when the villain decides to abandon his plan, ordering all of his minions to stand down. In practice, this means Heroes will invariably ‘focus-fire’ on the boss and ignore the minions – not very dramatic! For gameplay’s sake, in a social combat where the opponent has Extras on his side, until they are all taken out (physically or socially), the boss opponent can only be shaken, not wounded. The Professor isn’t likely to back down while the Cult of the Staff is still on his side, after all!
            Social and Physical Combat: It’s possible to mix social and physical combat together, arguing for the Professor to put the staff down, while simultaneously fist-fighting the snake monsters pouring out of the abyss. That’s the Pulp Universe for you!
            Appealing to a Third Party: In some cases, the social conflict may be two groups endeavoring to win the support of a third party (such as two groups arguing for the king’s support). Since both groups dealing the King social wounds to take him out is counter-intuitive, this scene is better served as a social chase (using Persuasion and Intimidation as the main rolls) or a series of opposed rolls.
            Last edited by Reverse; 09-16-2017, 09:11 PM.


            • #7
              Episode 41 now uploaded.

              The Strange Expedition in... The Lost World (Part 3).
              Synopsis (highlight to view):
              In which our Heroes face off against Procompsognathus, Triceratops, and Velociraptors. Must be the dinosaur adventure...


              • #8
                Episode 42 now uploaded.

                The Strange Expedition in... The Lost World (Part 4).
                In which our Heroes find that they are not the only people in the lost world.


                • #9
                  Episode 43 now uploaded.

                  The Strange Expedition in... The Lost World (Part 5).
                  In which our Heroes find a pulp village of attractive young women with superb dental work. They must face the trials of the Ixa'Ness if their menfolk are to escape the Forgotten Valley.


                  • #10
                    Episode 44 now uploaded.

                    The Strange Expedition in... The Lost World (Part 6).
                    In which our Heroes test their wisdom, then come face to face with the power of the Thunder Lizard of the Forgotten Valley.


                    • #11
                      Episode 45 now uploaded.

                      The Strange Expedition in... The Lost World (Final Part) / Dr Morrow's Excellent Adventure Through Time and Space
                      In which our Heroes face down an epic monster, and elsewhere in time Dr Morrow's Excellent Adventure begins.


                      • #12
                        Episode 46 now uploaded.

                        A Time Travelling Band of Leftovers in... Dr Morrow's Excellent Adventure Through Time and Space (Part 2)
                        In which our the Travellers are reassured the Strange Expedition will be saved by parachute, Cracker Jack takes his pants off (again) and the true history of Gaston Lavache is revealed.
                        Last edited by Reverse; 11-05-2017, 10:50 PM.


                        • #13
                          Episode 47 now uploaded.

                          A Time Travelling Band of Leftovers in... Dr Morrow's Excellent Adventure Through Time and Space (Part 3)
                          In which the Travellers blow up a mountain, raid an Egyptian palace, and meet somebody who absolutely isn't a vampire. Just another day in the life of the Time Travellers.


                          • #14
                            Episode 48 now uploaded.

                            A Time Travelling Band of Leftovers in... Dr Morrow's Excellent Adventure Through Time and Space (Final Part)
                            Synopsis: In which the Travellers throw down with an Elder God, and meet some all-too-familiar circumstances...


                            • #15
                              Episodes 49, 50, and 51 now uploaded.

                              The Strange Expedition in... The Race To The Finish! (Grand Finale, Parts 1,2, and Final Episode)
                              This brings us to the conclusion of the Worlds Most Wondrous Year. Thank you very much for listening through - hope you enjoyed it half as much as we enjoyed playing it!

                              Episode 49: The Strange Expedition in... The Race To The Finish! (Grand Finale, Part 1) - In which our Heroes make their escape from jail, and finally confront Phileas, Maxwell, and Elsa. Who is on whose side in this final battle with the future at stake?

                              Episode 50: The Strange Expedition in... The Race To The Finish! (Grand Finale, Part 2) - In which our Heroes confront Phileas Fogg, Maxwell Von Braun, and the minions of the Thule Society. True midnight, 1900, and the end of the Worlds Most Wondrous Year – and the world itself - ticks ever closer…

                              Episode 51: The Strange Expedition in... The Race To The Finish! (Grand Finale, Final Part) - In which our Heroes bring the light of hope against Despair, the ultimate battle concludes, and endings – happy and otherwise – abound for all our characters.