Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Savage Scooby Doo!

This year for Halloween I ran a modern horror Savage Worlds game at the local game store, and I thought it would be great fun to use the Scooby Doo gang. As a starting point I used the work David Baymiller did a few years ago for his Scooby Doo...F'taghn! writeup, though I tried some different stats for the Gang. The link below includes mystery guest star, Officer Don Knotts!

Note: The artwork was found online, and was not my creation. This is a fan creation and not meant to challenge the copyright of the artist, but I'll be happy to remove it.


The adventure was entitled, "Night of a Thousand Pumpkins." The gang from Mystery, Inc. has been invited to a relaxing Halloween weekend Shaggy's great aunt, who runs a bed & breakfast in Darke's Hollow, Connecticut. But something ominous is stalking the night, and the silent town is filled with eerie jack-o'-lanterns...

(full adventure without pregens)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Blood of Dracula

Just in time for Halloween, I have put together a horror one-shot based on the classic novel Dracula, by Bram Stoker, called The Blood of Dracula.

The players take on the roles of the six heroes of that classic literary work as they struggle to fight back against the growing threat of Count Dracula.

• Jonathan Harker: a legal solicitor and survivor of the Count and his fiendish Brides
• Mina Harker: Jonathan Harker's wife, under the thrall of the Count
• Abraham van Helsing: A straight-talking Dutch scholar on the trail of the nosferatu
• Dr. Jack Seward: Director of an asylum located near Carfax Abbey, Count Dracula's ruinous London abode
• Sir Arthur Holmwood: Former fiance of Lucy Westenra, forced to confront the fact that she has been turned by Count Dracula into one of his vampire Brides
• Quincey Morris: A brash Texan who joins the hunt to avenge Lucy's death

Split into three chapters, the adventure first pits the heroes against the foul creature that was once Lucy Westenra, risen from her grave to prey upon the children of Hampstead. From there, they descend upon Carfax Abbey and Dracula's hideouts around London to consecrate the crates containing his foul Transylvanian soil. Finally, they travel to the Count's homeland and to his crumbling castle to put an end to his evil for all time. However, it will take cunning and perseverance to defeat this ancient vampire. This adventure is designed to be challenging!

Full Art Version

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Simple Character Sheet

A while ago, I needed a simple character sheet I could use for quick games and one-shots. I had a few simple criteria:

• Easy to read -- intuitive layout that makes it simple to find information
• Attractive -- I like color, but not too much color, and it needs to look okay in grayscale
• Simple -- not a lot of extra data, and clean layout with lots of white space
• One page -- Landscape format seems to work great for new players
• A place for a picture -- for some reason I like to have an image of the character, even if it's just a close approximation. This is remarkably rare in character sheets these days!
• Generic -- easily applicable to most settings

Unable to find anything that met all these needs, I made my own. The original file was made in OpenOffice, but here is a PDF of it. Sadly, I don't have the tools or knowhow to make it form-fillable. If someone out there knows how, please feel free and send it back to me!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Savage Torg Version 4 -- Now More Torgy!

Torg was a wonderful cross-genre game that came out in 1990 by West End Games. Since it ceased publication in 1995, it has remained a fan favorite. Most everyone who has ever had the chance to play it remembers it fondly. Players have the opportunity to play nearly anything they desire: gunslingers, wizards, cybered-out street samurai, rocketpack heroes, ninjas, swashbucklers, even primitive lizard men. Torg's unique axiom rules allowed characters with different levels of magic, tech, miracles, and even social advancement interact in a balanced and exciting way.

In 2007 I initially undertook to convert Torg to Savage Worlds. In many ways, Torg is actually ideal for adaptation into the Savage Worlds system – in fact, Savage Worlds is a direct protegĂ© of Torg. Both games are highly “cinematic” in structure and tone. Torg possibilities are very similar to Savage Worlds Bennies. Player characters in both games are able to shake off damage easier than NPCs. Both use cards in ways integral to the system. People used to Torg's game play should find Savage Worlds a natural fit.

This fan conversion is based on the author's campaign, so several changes have been made which are not “core.” Feel free to modify or ignore any changes that do not fit your own campaign. The Living Land has been merged with the Land Below. Tharkold and The Space Gods have been eliminated, the Cyberpapacy expanded, and Orrorsh and Aysle have moved, and there are three optional new realms. World Laws have been dropped so that every realm offers exactly one World Law as a setting rule. And last, all sorts of the flavor of the classic game has been expressed in Savage Worlds terms, such as Edges and Hindrances, and in some cases given new mechanics.

At the time of this writing, the rights to Torg have passed to a German company and its plans to update or rerelease Torg are unknown. Until such a time as Torg is rereleased, the old sourcebooks from Torg's original print run will be necessary for play.

Savage Torg has long been my pet project, and will always be a work in progress. Early version dating back to 2007 are still floating around the internet. My hope is that these rules can help keep the enjoyable, exciting Torg universe alive. Please don't hesitate to contact me with suggestions, ideas, or other feedback. This new, longer version of Savage Torg updates some of the rules, and adds equipment, some new Powers, and an adventure.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Eagle is Down

The Eagle is Down is an adventure for Savage Torg. Designed for a new party of Novice characters, it sets the characters in a race against time through the Living Land to rescue the President and other passengers of the downed Air Force One.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Savage Wheel of Time

Robert Jordan's epic fantasy series is easily one of the best in the genre. I played the d20 game a while ago, but since that is no longer supported (and the concept of classes and levels rubs me the wrong way in general) I decided to try my hand at converting the Wheel of Time for Savage Worlds.

I own the rights to none of this material. It is a fan conversion only and not meant for profit.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Character Sheet for Savage Worlds

My goal in creating this sheet was to present a pleasing, complete character sheet that has everything one might need on one single side of the paper, including an area for a character picture (something I always crave). When trying to fit all that information on one page, it can be a challenge to find room enough for all the Powers, equipment, etc. one might have. Space was further limited by my decision to present all the skills instead of just leave a few blank fields to be filled in by the user. To me it just seems more formal that way.

Designing this sheet took me about six hours from start to finish, using an old Mac program called Appleworks v.6. I wanted to be as conservative with space as possible, so you'll find smaller fonts and less white space than in some other sheets. I hope the end result is pleasing.

Try eight different designs:


As usual, the character sheet is copyright Brian Reeves 2008. Please feel free to host them elsewhere as long as they are not altered and are given my attribution. Thanks!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Savage V-Mods

"V-Mods" stands for vehicle mods, additions and adaptations that can be added to vehicles to give
them new capabilities. A mod could be added to cars to make them more armored, for example, or to add the ability to leave smoke screens or have hidden storage areas. Each modifier costs a money based on the overall cost of the vehicle.

Any kind of vehicle can be added on in this way, things from cars and trucks to planes and boats. Even bicycles or skateboards could be "modded," if the choices make sense? Drop this into your Savage Worlds game to provide your players with some new stuff to spend their money on, or to give vehicle-driving villains some new, surprising goodies.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Graduated Powers

This is a work in progress, and is in need of some review.

The Powers system in Savage Worlds is great because it is very versatile, allowing characters with spells, psionics, weird science, etc. to choose from a unified list. It makes sense and there is something very orderly about it. However, the lack of an ability to improve upon those powers is something I've always wished could be implemented.

Below is a document in rough draft form that takes the basic Powers and expands them so that each Power has an effect that grows more powerful as the caster increases in Rank. Thus, depending on what Rank you are, your use of (for example) Bolt will change, getting better as you gain experience.

To do this, I've expanded out all the Powers, including ones not normally available to Novices, so that someone of any Rank can take them and use them to some degree. Here's a quick example of what I mean:

Novice: Cost 1, Range Touch, Duration 3 (1/round). Allows character to hover in place. Cannot move in any direction under own volition, but can be blown or pushed.
Seasoned: Cost 2, Range Touch, Duration 3 (1/round). Allows character to levitate up or down at Pace. Cannot move laterally, but can be blown or pushed.
Veteran: Cost 3, Range Touch, Duration 3 (1/round). Allows character to fly at Pace, or Pace x2 for double Power Point cost.
Heroic: Cost 4, Range Touch, Duration 3 (1/round). Allows character to fly at Pace x2, or Pace x4 for double Power Point cost.
Legendary: Cost 5, Range Touch, Duration 3 (1/round). Allows character to fly at Pace x4, or Pace x8 for double Power Point cost.

It does make them a little more powerful, especially at Legendary, but here are a couple other things to consider:

• With this system, it becomes much easier for gamemasters to limit magic for low-magic worlds. Just say spells can't be cast beyond Novice or Seasoned.
• A graduated system like this solves one of the problems with superpowers, namely that they don't get better as the character gains experience. Now, a superhero with the ability to create fire (Elemental Manipulation) will see his potency, and what he can do with his Power, increase as time goes on.
• It collapses a couple spells together that should be together anyway, like Healing and Greater Healing, making the list a little cleaner.
• It gives more options for those who are taking Powers.
• It makes some Powers, like Elemental Manipulation, more useful.
• It doesn't require a new mechanic, new rule, or new Edge to work.

Since this document is still being tested, I especially welcome observations about Powers being balanced or the rate of advancement for them.


Island Magic

As a fan of mixtures of horror, magic, and pirates (such as Tim Powers' excellent novel, On Stranger Tides, soon to be made into the sequel to the Pirates of the Caribbean movies), the one thing I felt has been missing from the Pirates of the Spanish Main Savage Setting is some sort of dark magic. It was left out of the sourcebook intentionally, as traditional spellcasting doesn't fit the setting well. I agree, though when I found Clint Black's article on Rituals in Shark Bytes #2, I realized here was a great way of introducing the supernatural.

Island Magic takes a look at vodoun (voodoo, as it is commonly known) and obeah, a type of folk magic from the Caribbean, with a similar pedigree to voodoo and Santeria. These rules are designed specifically for Pirates of the Spanish Main, but they can work for any game that uses low-level magic focusing on curses and small effects, especially those that take place in the Caribbean or have characters from the West Indies.

More basic information on obeah can be found on Wikipedia.


Welcome to Get Savaged!

I love Savage Worlds. I like it's relative simplicity, speed, and versatility. For years, I've languished in d20 hell, trying in vain to tinker with the system to make it match my own needs, and being thwarted at every turn. Frankly, the d20 system is too complex and interlocking. Change one thing, like armor as DR instead of AC, and you suddenly find it interfering with feats and spells, and then change those to be more accommodating and the new changes cause problems of their own.

When I discovered Savage Worlds, it was like moving from a crowded city into a small town. Still plenty to see and do, lots of people to meet, but without the pollution and cramped quarters. And so, as a longtime gamer and a writer, I did what comes naturally -- I started to write my own material. The thing about Savage Worlds is, it is modular enough and robust enough that it is possible to tinker in one area without disrupting the overall balance.

This "blog" exists not to capture a lone writer's moods and give them an audience, but to host material I've made for the Savage Worlds roleplaying game. This isn't a regularly-updated web site, but rather a storehouse for the documents and files I have created. Nothing more. I recommend anyone interested in the game check out the discussion boards to see the kind of community built around this solid game. Also, download the free Test Drive rules to see what this game is all about.

And get Savaged!