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Savage Fan Creations Review: Savage Dead Space


 Big List of Savage Worlds Fan Creation Reviews!
This post is a first review of free Savage Worlds fan license supplements. It is a direct followup to the Open Letter to Savage Worlds Bloggers and it will be an irregular feature on this blog. I hope that other bloggers will write similar reviews so I can add them to the Big List of Savage Worlds Fan Creation Reviews (also available trough the sidebar). While the list is far from big right now, in the future I would like it to be a go-to place for reviews of free Savage Worlds content. If you are a blogger and have a (or want to) review of a fan supllement - send it my way, I will add it to the list with the link to your review. Feel free to use the above logo in your post.

Now, without further ado, let's look into Savage Dead Space, a conversion by +John-Gunnar Nielsen Kristiansen.

SAVAGE DEAD SPACE

I have found the Savage Dead Space conversion on the +Savage Worlds G+ community back in march 2014. You can still find the original post about it here. It is a conversion of the Dead Space video game, which is sort of sci-fi survival horror. I have chosen this file to review, as apart from being a solid video game conversion, it is also one of those files that can easily be lost in the depths of the interwebs (at the time of writing, the file is not linked on either SavageHeroes or Savagepedia, and googling Savage Dead Space does not point to it). While it might not be 100% complete, there is enough here to have a good one-shot or implement parts of into a larger scope sci-fi campaign (the world of Dead Space might not be suited for long running campaign anyway).

Savage Dead Space consists of two files: rules/equipment and bestiary, both available as pdfs on google docs. I am looking at the only available version - the unfinished version 0.1. 

The biggest draw to this conversion is the bestiary. The Necromorphs are an interesting enemy and author had made sure that each one of them will "feel" different. The creatures have special abilities taken straight from this action game, which makes for some great tactical combat. After all how will you act when you are facing few Dividers (if you kill them, they will divide into 5 smaller creatures) and being lured by a crawler? The creatures in the bestiary are translated to the Savage Worlds ruleset very well. Each creature has a short description and artwork (I asume taken from the game's wiki) which add a lot of flavor to those critters. You should check it out if you need new horror, sci-fi or even fantasy creatures.

The other file gives you a little background on the game world and adds two new Edges and one Hindrance. The only other thing here is a short list of weapons. While both files are clearly unfinished, this one seems even more so. The only "saving grace" for this file are the alternate fire modes for the weapon. I would like to see the at-fire rules in more Savage Worlds settings, I think it is a great addition, especially for more tactics oriented campaigns.

Both files, while unfinished have a good one column layout, using fonts from the game. While this makes the file seem more "thematic", the font is sometimes difficult to read, especially in larger blocks of text. If this file would get finished, I would like the author to use more mundane font for the main text and stick with the thematic fonts to headers. One more thing, I bet this is not author's fault, but the graphics in the file are of a very low quality. I am not sure if this is a pdf conversion issue, or an issue with google docs. Nevertheless, the file is readable.

I would like to see this conversion finished. The author seems to have a knack at creating good tactical options for Savage Worlds players and the game has a great potential for horror/survival one-shot. It will also fit in very well into the Nemezis campaign setting. Check it out, even if you won't use the monsters and equipment you can see how you can make both of them more tactical in Savage Worlds.