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What's in this bog? [D12]

Swamplands and bogs, while seemingly full of life, with all it's frogs, snakes and mosquitoes, don't have much to offer for an adventuring party apart from the wet, sticky and smelly obstacle of the swamp itself. But this time, the party stumbled upon something.

What's in this bog? [D12]
1A magical abomination covers the whole bog bed, it's tentacles look like vines.
2A group of partially submerged swampfolk preying on unsuspecting travelers.
3A creature, covered in decomposing bandages, releasing spores everywhere.
4Nothing apart from the really bad smell that makes you gag (disease?)
5A cyst covered bog witch collecting ingredients for her potions.
6Nutritious looking mushroom covering every tree, some have bite marks.
7An altar to some long forgotten gods, swarming with fireflies and mosquitos.
8A boat-sized hollow log filled with green-glowing frog egg-like things.
9A body of a trapper, covered in maggots, his equipment mostly intact.
10An abandoned rowboat in decent shape. With a lantern still lit sitting in it?
11A hermit. He can aid the party, if they promise that to leave him alone.
12Sealed barrels with rusted chains, they must have been anchored here.

Savage Witcher - free mini supplement in progress

Being Polish, I had access to the Witcher saga long before the pc/xbox games came into existence. There was a big Witcher boom in Poland about in the 2000s. I have read loved the short stories (they are also available in english) and (only) liked the saga. Unfortunately it turned more into politics later on, and lost it's focus on action and exploring Geralt's story, but it was a good read nevertheless... but I digress.
Apart from the books, there was a tabletop roleplaying game, a movie and a TV series released in Poland. While the RPG was decent, the movie and the TV series was generally shunned by the fans, and it's nothing to write about. 
Now, thanks to the PC/Xbox games, the idea of Witchers was introduced to an English speaking world, and by extent was introduced into tabletop RPGs. I have read many Witcher conversions for various systems, but all of them where somehow lacking or missing the point of Witchers. With this in mind I decided to introduce the Witcher to Savage Worlds system, in a form of a free pdf supplement - the Savage Witcher.

The Savage Witcher mini-supplement will be mainly based on the books and the pc/xbox games. I will take some cues from the official tabletop rpg as well, and I will try to stay as true to the original material as possible.

This is what you can expect in the near(by) future from the Savage Witcher pdf:

Witcher Baground - Fluff chapter explaining what witchers are, their place in the world and how to include them in your game.
Witcher race - yes, a race, because of how witchers are "created", they require their own race for Savage Worlds.
Witcher Edges - the witchers in stories are an experienced lot. So it is understandable that most of their skills comes from training and experience. The edges will be available only to witchers and will cover such aspects like making and using elixirs, witcher signs, and monster hunting. This way, players can create different types of Witchers, and even start as a Novice Witcher.
Witcher Signs - a new arcane background adapting witcher signs to the Savage Worlds system.
Witcher Equipment - Few paragraphs on the equipment used by witchers. Especially weapons and elixirs.
Creatures from the World of Witcher - A bestiary like chapter about creatures and monsters from the book and games. It will include new and revised monsters.

This post was originally created some time ago. Soon after I have lost interest in blogging and the idea of creating this mini-supplement fell into oblivion. But now, after my blog-come-back, and with the Witcher 3 at the horizon, I am giving this pdf another shot.
Any words of encouragements would greatly help me to finish this thing, so please, don't be afraid to post a comment, even just saying that you would like to see the final pdf.

Remembering TheForge.pl

So, here's something you probably don't know:

There was a company, started by few amazing artists, that created high quality system-agnostic, fantasy RPG products. It was known as TheForge.

TheForge was usually releasing products describing locales, from towns to taverns, and everything in between. The pdfs were full of very atmospheric pencil drawings, showing vistas, items and floor plans of the described places (that you could use and handouts during session). Each product was loaded with adventure hooks, and simply perfect for low/no-prep gaming - just drop the players into one of those locales and let them explore. I have used their products heavily during my Savage Worlds Fantasy campaign and in early 2000s even done some writing for them. 

Sadly, this company is no more. Well, they still have an RPGnow store running with some of their work (mostly art to use in your games, not the good stuff) - but that's it - no website, no contact with the original creators. Maybe they have moved with their lives, maybe the market wasn't ready for their products, who knows? But TheForge had released some awesome products. Best of all? Their best pdfs were free!

Why am I writing this? Because I want to share and showcase their work. The website is still accessible trough the wayback machine - not all of it, but enough to get your hands on some of those awesome and FREE pdfs! And maybe, just maybe, someone out there will read this and find a way to contact the original creators - because quite frankly, I would be privileged to team up with them and write products like that in the future. And with OSR on the rise, I bet, that pdfs like that would be popular.

So head to TheForge.pl wayback machine and grab yourself some of those awesome products; you and your players won't be disappointed! Start with Fish Side and go from there - many of the pdfs describing buildings, are about places from Fish Side. All of them combined make for a fine mini-setting.
And if you like what you see - go to their RPGnow store and buy something as a thank you, even if they don't know why, I am sure they will appreciate it greatly!

I tip my hat to the guys from TheForge.pl

Where does the blood trail lead to? [2D6]

Doesn't matter if it's in the wilderness, city or some gods forgotten dungeon - it is easy to miss a small blood trail. But, when you found one, you know that it leads to something interesting.

Where does the blood trail lead to? [2D6]
2 A ferocious monster finishing eating it's last victim. It's still hungry!
3 Straight into bandit ambush. They clearly outnumber you.
4 A blood covered obelisk, it's starts to siphon your blood as you get closer.
5 A harmless looking woman covered in fresh eldritch scars. She's got a knife.
6 An Unconscious messenger with a crude arrow in his knee. His bag is gone.
7 Dead peasants, they where clearly attacked by some kind of animal.
8 A strange creature, not native to this land; died here of a poisoned arrow.
9 A family is hiding here, they rush you to get down and stay quiet.
10 A blood stained magic tome on the ground. The trail ends here.
11 A dying adventurer – his plan to slay [wandering monster] has gone south.
12 A wounded nobleman. He will do anything in exchange for your help!

What are those bandits doing? [D10]

Bandits have lives too, they don't just wait around to attack everybody they encounter. 
Roll D10 to see what are they doing as you notice them:

What are those bandits doing? [D10]
1 Sleeping? Nope – it is an elaborate ambush!
2 Looking angrily back at you, their weapons drawn.
3 Guarding the camp and waiting for rest of the band to come back.
4 Preparing an ambush you up ahead, there is still time to back away.
5 Just a off day at the camp – talking, resting, washing clothes.
6 Unloading some heavy loot from a stolen cart.
7 Getting ready to leave the camp, leaving only few sentries behind.
8 Drinking heavily from barrels full of wine and dancing half-naked.
9 Treat their wounded after a recent robbery.
10 Fighting among each other for loot from a recent robbery.

Introducing Randomday

NEW! As seen on the Internet! Saves Times and Money! 

RANDOMDAY RANDOM TABLES

What?
Randomday is a random table "feature" of this blog that will take place on a random day at least once a week. It even has a tag and everything - so you know it is official and professional. Randomday is a place for system agnostic tables for role-playing games spanning across different genres... but will probably start with generic fantasy.

While OSR in it's nature, I believe that even non OSR games can benefit from some fine narrative randomizer (as written here). I will try to create each random table based on a question that can show up during play, and make results interesting enough that they'll spawn at least an interesting scene. I am using tables like that to add some fluff and detail to my games, but feel free to use them as you wish.

How?
The rules are simple. You have a detail that needs filling, either for a pre-planned scenario, or something that came up on the spot. You get a random table that has a question/topic that you need, you check the die/dice needed for it, roll them and you get your detail! ...or you can just choose whatever you fancy. The rule of thumb is, that high results are good for the players and low are bad.
BUT WAIT! That's not all! You can use the tables as inspiration for your games, maybe scene/adventure seeds, maybe idea for a magic item, or an NPC? Use it in any game you want, as the tables are supposed to be a narrative and system-agnostic fuel.

Why?
I decided to create Randomday for many reasons; because I feel random tables (when used correctly) create great RPG experiences, because I appreciate your readership and something like random tables is a quick way for me to give something to you that you can use during your games, and because I want to keep myself motivated to post more often. I have few big('ish) projects going on now and it would take weeks, if not months, before I can deliver something worth sharing... so in the meantime, I will make myself create some random fluff for RPGs, hopefully you'll find Randomday tables as much fun to read and use, as I have them to read.

I like it! What should I do?
Feedback is always a great reward, comments make me happy and motivated, but if you would like to help, drop a comment with a topic idea for a random table - the more eclectic collection of random tables we will have, the better; I am also planning on periodically releasing a free Randomday pdf, collecting those tables - so you will be able to see your name/nickname in a electronic booklet that will probably reach tens, if not dozens, of readers!

So check-in on a random day each week, for some random fun!

HEI$T_ACES - Power 19

This is another in a series of posts about my free RPG/Story Game - HEI$T_ACES (available now on the sidebar near you). This time we will look at Power 19 for the game. Power 19 is a series of questions meant to help guide game designers. I am using it for HEI$T_ACES to give more info about the game and focus the design for the upcoming expanded rulebook.

 As always, comments and questions are more then welcome.

1.) What is your game about?
It is a narrative heist simulator set in not so distant future. Game focuses on both planning and running aspects of a heist job.

2.) What do the characters do?
Characters are members of a team of specialists working for a shadowy organization. They plan and pull off elaborate heists for the organization in exchange for money and power.

3.) What do the players (including the GM if there is one) do?
Players first research their job by drawing from a deck of cards and narrating their "findings" - basically collaborate within the game's mechanics to create the adventure/scenario outline. After that they follow standard RPG player roles. 
GM (called GM_OPERATOR) follows standard GM role.

4.) How does your setting (or lack thereof) reinforce what your game is about?
The game has an implied setting of near future, but what the future holds is for each group to decide. The lack of setting was inspired by old school dungeon-crawls - near future can be as "magical" as a fantasy setting and can accommodate creative ideas (robot guards, spy drones etc.) better than a modern setting and by extent make the story more interesting

5.) How does the Character Creation of your game reinforce what your game is about?
Players choose 5 FATE-like aspects for their characters (one for each card suit and one random). This is supposed to show that all of the characters are specialists of more or less the same skill level.

6.) What types of behaviors/styles of play does your game reward (and punish if necessary)?
The fact that the game uses a single deck of cards, where outcome may be predicted to some extent, encourages some gamist behaviors and attempts to "game the system" are considered fair play. But the game is mainly narrative.

7.) How are behaviors and styles of play rewarded or punished in your game?
Being a team player is rewarded by lowering the amount of cards the GM can play against you, but on the other hand, being selfish will improve your character.

8.) How are the responsibilities of narration and credibility divided in your game?
Players have more narration rights than in a standard RPG formula. After a task is successfully resolved, they have the right to narrate the outcome. They also create the adventure outline in-game, taking it away from the GM.
GM is there mainly to narrate and oversee the game. He can introduce new obstacles, but only by playing a card from their hand. GM retains the rights to narrate outcomes of partial success and failure, as well as interprets and narrates, the player-created, obstacles

9.) What does your game do to command the players' attention, engagement, and participation? (i.e. What does the game do to make them care?)
Apart from giving the players the tools to create a fun heist/caper story, players have the opportunity to improve their character after each job by adding new aspects.

10.) What are the resolution mechanics of your game like?
Game uses a deck of cards as a resolution mechanic. Only the card suit is used in game, each suit has a narrative approach attached to it. 
Players draw amount of cards equal to the amount of aspects used in their narration and must match the suit to the obstacle's card suit. They can also use a card of the same color (red or black) for partial success. If they can't do any of the above, the task fails. 

11.) How do the resolution mechanics reinforce what your game is about?
The card suits have narrative approach attached to them, that limit players' way to narrate the outcomes of a task. Approaches are themed (ghost, fixer, mastermind, enforcer) which reinforces the heist atmosphere.

12.) Do characters in your game advance? If so, how?
While HEI$T_ACES is planned to be played as a single-session pick-up game, a simple advance system is provided for those who are interested in more campaign-style play.
During play, you can keep obstacle cards for scoring and after the heist, you can spend those cards to add new aspects to your character. You need 1 card per aspect in a suit, to create a new aspect (so if you have 2 aspects in Fixer, you need 2 Fixer cards to create a 3rd aspect).

13.) How does the character advancement (or lack thereof) reinforce what your game is about?
The focus of the game is a thrill of pulling of a heist, so character advancement is not too important, but scoring cards can represent extra in-game income, so players can compare who got the most "money" out of this heist.

14.) What sort of product or effect do you want your game to produce in or for the players?
Heist games of any kind (RPGs, board or even video games) are too few and far in between, so this game aims to fill in a niche for those who want to experience planing and running a heist.
Also, it was designed as a small pick-up game, that can be played without any preparation when you can't run your planned game.

15.) What areas of your game receive extra attention and color? Why?
Because of the limited space nature of the pocketmod a lot of attention has gone into graphic-design and wording used in the game. Both of those aim to highlight the theme of the game without stating it right out.

16.) Which part of your game are you most excited about or interested in? Why?
Forced narration based on a theme/approach. I am a firm believer that constrains spark creativity and I would like others to experience it in practice.
Also, planning and running your own heist is a lot of fun for me.

17.) Where does your game take the players that other games can’t, don’t, or won’t?
Heists - as mentioned before, very few game exist that focus on running heists. Anything from planned bank robbery, thru rescuing a target from a high security prison, to overthrowing distopian government can be planned and run as heist - and this is what this game can do that others can't.

18.) What are your publishing goals for your game?
The first version of the pocketmod is already available for free on 1km1kt.net website, but I am planning on releasing free (or pay-what-you-want) bundle of updated pocketmod and expanded rulebook pdfs. I have no plans in producing a printed copy at this time, but I might self-produce some limited edition copies and donate it to some RPG themed contests in the future.

19.) Who is your target audience?
People who want to play a heist game are my target audience: fans of caper movies and people who enjoy planning missions in detail. 
So far, some prior knowledge of indie/story games terms is required, but this no longer should be true once the expanded rulebook is produced.

If anything of what you read sparked your interest in this game - check it out and tell me what you think, send me your ideas and I will try to incorporate them in the expanded rulebook.

HEI$T_ACES - a free narrative heist-crawl RPG

So... I wrote a game for the 1km1kt.net 's “Harder than Granite” 24 hour RPG competition and NaGaDeMon2013I started it on the evening of Nov 10 and finished on the afternoon of Nov 11. 

And that's a big thing for me, because this is the first game of any kind that I actually finished (even that I started more than a dozen of games) and motivated me enough to come back to blogging. So without further ado...

HEI$T_ACES takes place in near future, where a group of skilled agents plans and executes an elaborate heist. The game borrows heavily from both story games (narrative at the center of the game) and dungeon-crawls (resolving problems "room-by-room"), and is a low/no-prep game. All you need to play it is the rules, a deck of cards, some post-its, pens and the heist's target. 

If it sounds like something you might be interested in - get the rules from 1km1kt.net and tell me what you think - I plan on working on it a bit more and giving it an expanded (no-pocketmod) rulebook soon. 

Stay tuned for more posts about HEI$T_ACES.

The Session Achievement Alternative.

The previous trick - The Supply Uncertainty Principle - proved itself quite popular, so I decided to share more of my GMing tricks with the community. I even decided to give this little segment its own tag, and a, somehow scientific, naming convention - so the readers can spot, and find those entries more easily.
Without further ado - I present you with another trick - this time we will look at giving XP to the players.
Disclaimer: Same as before- this trick was used solely in my Savage Worlds campaigns, but can be used easily in other games.

Experience Points (XP), in one form or another, are a staple of RPGs. Nowadays most of XP given to the players are either points for killing enemies or fulfilling "quests". There, are alternatives, like the XP for gold spent in OSR games and even XP for hosting the game or bringing snacks in PDQ system.

Savage Worlds system, has its own approach, awarding XP depending on roughly how much of the planned adventure was accomplished during the session. I find this approach a little lacking, especially, when I am running no-prep games, where I have no idea what the game will be about. I needed something more, some kind of alternative...

Inspired by the video games' achievements, I devised a small system that gives a lot of fun to the players, and allows the GM to point the game in the direction he wants, without the feeling of railroading.
Let me introduce you to the Session Achievement Alternative.


Before every session, get some post-it notes - one per player to be exact. Write  3-4, character specific, tasks on each of them and hand them to the players. If a player accomplished his task he gets 1XP (1XP is 20% of a "level" in Savage Worlds) there and then. It is that simple.

The tasks can be anything you want: from something that is linked to the adventure at hand, trough a "side quest", to acting in character. Even a meta-gaming task will work here. It is a good practice to try to get one of each type of tasks to a player. Create enough, so the player can choose his tasks and will not be punished for not fulfilling all of them during one session. Unresolved (or even some resolved and/or ongoing) tasks can be used in the future. 

You can either collect the post-its, or leave them to the players as a souvenir. But make sure, that you have a set of new tasks per player for each session, and that, the players are aware that they can only get XP from "this week's" post-it.
Look at some Steam/Xbox achievements online for inspiration. Think of what the player would enjoy doing and what his character would do during the game (those might be two drastically different things). Think of a rumor in the game world and make exploring it one of the tasks. Don't be afraid of adding some tasks that will be difficult to achieve, or would require some out of the box thinking - players have a habit of surprising GMs.
Personally, I had a great experiences with this trick - so did my players. One player, kept it a secret, that he is a secret agent, trough a whole Deadlands campaign, getting 1 bonus XP every session. Another player took a "boss monster" 1on1 just because he would get extra points. This little change to awarding XP, allowed me and my players to explore the characters and the game world in a new way.
When used correctly, this trick can create some memorable moments in your game. Even if you are playing a game where you need to keep the character progression at bay (like D&D 3e for example) try  it - just make the awards smaller (5-10% XP needed to "level up" per task) - the idea of "extra" XP will make the players do things you wouldn't normally expect from them.

Roleplayers! Don't be afraid to Rollplay!

Disclaimer: Before we get to the topic at hand, I feel the need to highlight that I have not grown up in USA and I might have a different view on RPGs' trends and history. For example, D&D was never that popular in Poland. There where far fewer players of DnD, than of Warhammer, World of Darkness or Call of Cthulhu. Because of that, Polish roleplaying scene in the 90s and early 2000s was more saturated with dark and grim motives, and more narrative play, than leveling up and overcoming powerful enemies. So, while the statements about RPG fandom might not be true where you live, the rest of the article can still be of use to you.


There seems to be an understanding, that rollplaying (having your game centered around the dice rolls) is somehow lesser to focusing on the story and acting in character - in other words - roleplaying. But, the fact is, that rolling the dice and having unpredictable results is a big, fun generating, chunk of any RPG session... and was for ages. In the old-timey times of RPGs (so 70s and early 80s) rolling dice to generate the narrative was a normal thing to do. With the advent of TSR products (especially adventures), gamers abandoned this method and turned to more scripted way of playing - something that, the mainstream experiences to this day. Don't get me wrong - I am glad we have this approach - producing adventures and expansions for RPGs allowed the publishers to stay afloat, allowed gamers everywhere to experience narrative ideas of other people and expanded our hobby in new and exciting ways. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, we, as gamers,  lost the ability to skillfully benefit from random dice rolls in a narrative way. This article aims to bring back some of that old-school charm, show you the benefits of using some random fun in your game.

A BIG thank you to Fantasy Flight Games

If you ever played the "designer" or "strategy" board games, you probably heard about FFG or Fantasy Fligh Games. It is one of the biggest board game companies out there, always delivering high quality products, amazing artwork and overall great Ameritrash games.

But few days ago, FFG surprised me in a very positive manner!
As you might know, recently I moved from UK to US. Because of shipping costs, I sold most of my boardgaming library, and only shipped my favorites and some small games. 
Well, my favorite game up to date is Arkham Horror - a cthulhu inspired cooperative game, just oozing with theme and giving it's players (or at least me) great immersion. I love it so much, that I started making a custom case for it and all of it's expansions out of a 1920 suitcase (something that I will write about in more detail, once I will have a chance to finish it). So I shipped the secured suitcase with almost all the components (and this game has a lot of components).


Because I had all the cardboard counters stored in the original box, I have put them in a Ziploc bag and put it in a different, cardboard box. Long story short, the shipping company managed to rip this box and lose all my counters.
So I contacted FFG if there is a any chance I can buy only the counters for the game and expansions I have. This is what they came back with:
"We are more than happy to help you with your request and will send the requested replacement at no cost to you."
Wow! Just to be clear - this is a lot of counters. Counters that people on ebay charge good money for replacements. 


Thank you Fantasy Flight, you are sure that I will go out of my way now, to support your company.

The Supply Uncertainty Principle

This time I will share a little trick I used in many of my game sessions. While I used it mostly in  my Savage Worlds games, it is generic enough to use in any RPG game.

So what is it about? More or less, uncertainty of survival when depending on various resources.
Survival can be an interesting part of a game session. If done right can keep players on their toes, uncertain of their character's fate. Will they have enough fuel to reach the next city in this post apocalyptic wasteland? Will they find enough food and water before the rescue arrives? Will the damaged generator have enough power to keep the life support for the whole ship?

Sadly in all the RPGs that I encountered, tension was spoiled, by existence of items like iron rations (you have food for 3 days) and/or a dice roll to find water, food whatever other resource you might need for the day. Set numbers like that kill the feeling of uncertainty in the game - and this is fine in most of the games, but sometimes you might want to highlight the survival aspect during the session. 

While skilled GM can create tension even without the mechanics, it is always easier to do so, with a specific rule behind it. And this is less than a rule... it is a little trick GMs can use to create the looming fear of running out of "stuff".

This is how I do it:
When the need arises (let's say characters got trapped in a cave complex, or they are fighting off enemy fighter-ships in a heavy damaged derelict space base), certain resources get a numeric value next to it (e.g Food 20, Generators 45).  Sometimes I tell the players to roll some dice depending on what resources they had before the encounter, and tell them to add the results, at other times I will asign the number myself. This is their amount this resource for the remaining scene/act what-have-you.

Each time a character uses this resource (eating for food, driving for fuel, sustaining and using  the ships systems etc.) GM asks that player to roll some dice (dice number/size depends on the action, travelling for few hours by car can take off 2d10, eating enough food for a day, a d6). The result is subtracted from the value of the resource. 

The opposite goes for gathering supplies. The character makes a Survival roll, and for each success and rise, they can roll a die (or dice depending on the "lushness" of the terrain) and add the result to their supply.

This way, players and the GM can anticipate roughly how much "stuff" will they need or have, but will never be 100% sure how long it will last.

So what will happen when the characters will run out of certain resource? This depends on the narrative. Not eating food can make them weak (Rolling for Vigor in Savage Worlds to avoid being exhausted), having no fuel for the car will make them stuck in the middle of nowhere etc. 

You don't want to bog down the game that much tracking food, water and other supplies all the time. But when used at the right time, this little trick can really make your players worry.

I have used this trick many times, in many different scenarios. It was used for remaining energy in a mech (roll d6 each turn) during a battle, for fuel in post apocalyptic scenario (leaking fuel tank, roll d6 every hour of driving and d4 every day), even first-aid supplies in grim and gritty fantasy game for the whole game. It was a blast each time, sometimes leading to intersting improvised adventures.

If you will ever use this little trick, let me know, in the comments, what you used it for. Even if it is years from this post - necromancy (as in reviving old posts and entries) is encouraged here.


Kudos to EnWorld for including this post in their community news

Savage Worlds and Lego

Surprisingly, this entry is not about using Lego bricks in tabletop roleplaying. Nor, it's about roleplaying in the Lego universe using Savage Worlds rules. It's about the way I use Savage Worlds for my gaming needs and it's similarities to how I used to use Lego bricks.
***
Savage Worlds has been my go-to RPG system since it's first print run. I fell in love with it's Fast, Furious & Fun approach to gaming and the fact, that it was an easily adaptable, generic rules system. I could write a whole article (and probably, will) about why I enjoy Savage Worlds so much, but this time I want to look at only one aspect of this system. An aspect that Savage Worlds shares with the famous Lego bricks. 

As far as I know, there aren't many "mainstream" generic RPGs on the market. Off the top of my head I can only name a few: GURPS, Fudge and to some extent, D20 and BRP (while they have capabilities of being generic systems, the main focus is on a certain game like D&D or Call of Cthulhu). The majority of RPGs available, and this is especially true in brick and mortar gaming stores, are complete games: rules + setting. 
What I am aiming at is, that the average or a new roleplayer is only familiar with the "ready made product" approach. And by this extent, when they are using Savage Worlds, they only use it to play certain games (Deadlands, Beasts & Barbarians and what-not). While there is nothing wrong with this approach, Savage Worlds has an extra wild card in it's sleeve: You can use this game the same way you would use Lego bricks.

Let me explain...
Remember when you used to play with Lego? I do. I had a box with all the components needed to build a plane, pirate ship or a moon buggy. I dumped all this stuff on the floor, and with the instructions in my hand, started building the toy shown on the box. Once I played with it enough, I built something else from those bricks. The plane was turned into a helicopter and pirate ship into an scurvy island fortress. The next step was to mix the sets. Making a pirate plane, or space pirates!
I have a very similar approach to Savage Worlds. The Wild Card I was talking about before is "compatibility". Just like all Lego bricks can connect to one another, so can Savage Worlds setting books. Each book is like a box of Lego bricks. And there is a ton of those boxes out there! On the Savage Insider website you can find a list of all the official and licensed settings. This does not include all the fan projects that you can find. That's a lot of "boxes", each with a set of interesting "bricks". No matter what type of game you fancy playing - cowboy vs aliens, xcom rpg, urban fantasy - you can find boxes or just the bricks that will fit your needs.
There is a lot more to it, than just genre-mashing. Sometimes you can add a single "brick" to change the entire feel of the game (like adding Gritty Damage to a High Fantasy game). Want more variety? An Edge or a Hindrance from a different setting, maybe particular equipment or magic variant strikes your fancy? Why not add it to your game? As long as the rest of the group is fine with it, it can lead only to more fun.

Go and check places like Savagepedia or Savage Heros. Don't be afraid to experiment. Find what you like and play something you will enjoy.

I know that this approach is nothing new for many gamers, but I hope that some of you might find it interesting and worth trying.

Hello World...

Welcome to Level 27 Human Geek, a blog about tabletop gaming with some indie/small publisher video gaming mixed in.

Recently, I moved from UK to a small-town US, where gaming is virtually unheard of. Instead of moping about the fact that I can't indulge in tabletop gaming as much as I want, I decided to use this time to finally write down my musings and, hopefully, finish some of my tabletop projects.