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Do you use minis or not when playing Savage Worlds?

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  • Do you use minis or not when playing Savage Worlds?

    Came up recently, so figured I'd ask in a poll while we've got the most people coming in to the forums.

    I know we have folks who play "theatre of the mind" and on the old forums we had a cool thread on using Fate zones with SW, but I want to see how it really breaks down.

    Note, this isn't a case of "I sometimes play without maps and minis," that's expected (and part of the impetus for the Quick Combat system). Nope, this is for folks who never use minis.

    So let's see if it breaks down like I think it does or if I'll be surprised!

    Thanks all!
    I do use miniatures and maps in some way with Savage Worlds.
    I purely play "theatre of the mind" completely without miniatures.
    Clint Black
    Forum Admin & Rules Answer Guy
    Savage Worlds Brand Manager

  • #2
    Definitely like my maps and minis for combat, for it helps my players (and myself) agree what is where and doing what tactically. Any other time, theatre of the mind with the exception of an odd drawing or sketch to describe a location or feature.
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    • #3
      Much more often than not, I play "theatre of the mind" style-- particularly for my convention games (I can't be bothered to bring lots of minis and maps to the cons that I attend). It's my personally preferred method of play.

      But I do run a home game of Deadlands with a group that loves their minis, so I break down and use them from time to time-- mostly for complex battles with lots of individual participants. I use the "stack chips beneath Wild Cards to represent wounds" and "up/down/or off the table for the Extras" rules when I DO use minis.

      As a player, I'm fine with whatever method the GM prefers, whether it's "minis" or "minds" style.

      I'm very pleased that Savage Worlds can be played with or without minis and creates no problems either way. That's a sign of great game design to me.
      Last edited by MightyMicK; 08-09-2017, 03:17 AM.


      • #4
        I'd like to get off using minis for the most part, except for big battles. Any tips for a new GM?
        Apologies if I am a little brusque, I'm not meaning to be rude.


        • #5
          99% of the time I'm running theater of the mind. If I'm online using Roll20 I'll throw mini's up on a map or at the table I'll throw some mini's down purely for a quick reference point. The thing is when I do I'm not using a grid or anything to scale, more just this token is in room A this in room B or these 2 are within melee of the big bad for tracking gang up and even then only in either big maps where remembering which room everyone is in is difficult or big fights that are spread out.


          • #6
            Both in my table top and on Fantasy Grounds games I use miniatures and maps during combat scenes and sometimes to depict positions in other scenes, game depending.


            • #7
              I tend to prefer using minis but my collection was destroyed in an accident a few years ago. I have some paper minis but it just does not feel quite the same.
              I have way too much time but do not always edit myself properly. Please do not take offense.


              • #8
                My group uses minis and a battlemat. City-scale or larger maps occasionally come into play, but more as a prop than a useable resource.


                • #9
                  When I run games, it's theater of the mind 99% of the time (only using minis for non-game stuff like battle royales and stuff, or one shots), but other GMs in my group are huge proponents of using Roll20 figures and minis for our games.
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                  • #10
                    Most of the time it's all in my head and I just have to hope the players can keep up. I will break out the wipe board and minis if I think it will help the combat go quicker.
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                    • #11
                      Does someone have a link to any of the "how to use Fate-style Zones with savage worlds"?


                      • #12
                        The way I tend to run games is mostly gridless- using dice or other things to vaguely represent where people are in the fight. I haven't tried using zones yet, though I might test it out and see how it goes.


                        • #13

                          I think that for some players mini's can help their immersion with the game. It only takes one player who cannot cope with theatre of mind for it to become a chore with the back and forth clarifications.

                          As we only play campaigns of 50 sessions length or more, selecting a mini to represent their PC is taken very seriously, the mini is the avatar of that PC for the next 2-3 years.

                          Even if they are not needed the mini is always there on the table, a focal point and tactile prop for both player and GM to use for effect.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Archivist View Post
                            Does someone have a link to any of the "how to use Fate-style Zones with savage worlds"?
                            This should be it...

                            Clint Black
                            Forum Admin & Rules Answer Guy
                            Savage Worlds Brand Manager


                            • #15
                              Well, I use a VTT and tokens, but it adds up to the same thing. Mind you, I do that with any game that cares about positioning at all (whether from line of effect rules, area effects or whatever) as my spatial memory and imagination is terrible.