Author Topic: Actual Play: Savage Worlds Necessary Evil!  (Read 4446 times)

Mr_Pleasington

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Actual Play: Savage Worlds Necessary Evil!
« on: May 02, 2006, 03:12:35 AM »
This is going to be long because I'm still in my post-game adrenaline rush.

Caution, as NE spoilers follow. What follows is a short account of my group's NE game with highlights as to why Savage Worlds proves, again and again, to be the game best suited to my style of play.

First, this was my first plot point game. I didn't know exactly how it would work out, as I wasn't sure what was provided would actually be enough in case my group got off track, but it has proved marvelous. I'm given all the background and stats that I need but still have plenty of room to maneuver and work in my own subplots and themes as needed. It basically does all the work for you and frees you up to create all the fun stuff that gets campaigns remembered.

Our first session began with character creation. I have two SW veterans and one newbie to the system. They come up with concepts quickly and decide they want an Asia themed crew. They create:

Kirin Khan "The Warlord" - A super-soldier genetically engineered from the gene stock of Ghengis and Kubla Khan. He's bent on retaking to world so he can rule it in the style of his ancestors. Mean, but honorable. He's the party's tank with high toughness and a huge axe. He's also the member who took the Gloater hindrance, which has been no end of fun.

Dr. Lee Fong "The Progenitor" - A Korean super-genius. He's the support character with enough levels of invent to fill just about any gap. He's got a lair and recently picked up a minion.

Nicholas Karamov "Baron Iceblock" - An Iceman-like villain dedicated to raising a communist state to rule the world. His icewall generation has become a key factor in combat, allowing them to isolate pockets of enemies. He also has an undewater iceberg lair not far off the Star City coast.

Together they are The Eastern Bloc!

We then immediately proceeded into Ep 1: Jailbreak. I created some other villains for them to chat with before Dr. D rescued them. Several of which have showed back up in the campaign. They, of course, agree to the terms of their release and immediately assault the prison compound freeing everyone there (including a few more villains who have shown up). One character I added was someone called The Magnificent Martin, a joke of a super-villain who became the laughing-stock after not agreeing to Dr. D's terms as he dropped from the ship. He survived and made his way to the Undergrounder's lair with Ramirez. He becomes important later.


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Re: Actual Play: Savage Worlds Necessary Evil!
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2006, 03:12:46 AM »
Episode 2 was next and The Eastern Bloc made good use of their powers to get the generator into the sewers. No one was strong enough to lift it so Baron Iceblock created an icepath for it to be pushed along. After hours of searching they find the Undergrounders without incident. Ramirez welcomes her rescuers whole-heartedly. The players are shown around th caverns an see what sorry shape the resistance is in. Ramirez will happily lead them to the Generator but would like a favor before they go.

The Resistance needs weapons and an opportunity has arisen, though they don't have the means to take advantage of it. A mole has provided them intel that SOCORP is establishing a new outpost in Southpoint and shortly they will be transporting weapons to the armory their. They have the timetable and location of the armored transport, but no means of assaulting it. The EB agree to help....they'll hijack the truck. They're given the help of a young man named Wheels who is reportedly a fantastic driver.

They decide to assault the transport Downtown, much to my surprise. The ambush they set up actually works, as the icewalls the Baron throws up stop the transport from moving far. For his trouble, the Baron is heavily wounded by a SOCORP soldier and The Progenitor hurt by a botched grenade toss. Still, they manage to take the transport and let Wheels do his thing while they fire at their pursuers from every possible port.

It's a merry chase through the streets of Star City as Wheels drives as fast as humanly possible towards the rendezvous point in Carter Tunnel. The climax of the chase comes when they are free of all pursuit except of a flying M'Buna that they just can't shake. As the laser blasts get closer and closer to the transport, The Warlord raids the weaponry for a LAW launcher and then gets on top the van. With an amazing roll and a called shot to an exhaust port the M'Buna goes down and our interpid villains get away.

Some weapons they keep, but most go to the Resistance. Ramirez leads them to the terminal where a viscous fight with the robot almost decimates the party before they pull out the win. Progenitor recovers the robot in hopes of reprogramming and repairing it.

At this point, the player are noticeably bucking under the thumb of Dr. D. They already want him dead as they know that if they drive the V'Sori off that he'll take over the world before they can. As such, I decided to introduce a few more NPCs who were tapped into the happenings enough to introduce missions, if it came to it.

The next issue was Vendetta where The EB met both the American Anvil and his friend Lexington, who seemingly runs a printing press. It doesn't take long to find that Lexington is more than he seems as he has powerful telepathy and seemingly utter control over the inside of his shop. Fortunately, he's on the side of the good guys.

The EB and American Anvil manage to rescue the Hammer without violence. The Progenitor begins working on cybernetic braces to help the Anvil get around.

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Re: Actual Play: Savage Worlds Necessary Evil!
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2006, 03:13:22 AM »
The next few issues were run almost straight out of the book.

Issue 4 - Midnight in the Garden of Dr. Devolution: The EB were almost destroyed by the inhabitants of the lab, but just pulled through due to some lucky rolls. They released a number of grown super-soldiers from the birthing chambers in the lab, recovered a mostly intact nullifier, and escaped in a homebuilt flying machine. They then used telepathy to basically make 4 of the 6 super-soldiers sleeper agents and gave them to Dr. D - to be activated to rise against him when the time came. The other two they kept for themselves.

Issue 5 - Cult of the Space Gods - Lexington contacted the group to remove the threat of the Cult. He suggested that they had planted moles in many key resistance cells along with their campaign of terror. The EB decide to follow that lead hoping it will lead them to the Cult's base of operations. They travel to the Undergrounder's lair and tell Ramirez what they know.

They devise a plan to find any mole by having the Warlord teach combat tactics in small groups. While they're focused on the exercises, The Progenitor will telepathically scan them to find any traitors. It's a win-win situation. It only takes a few groups before the mole is found. Through torture and telepathy the mole is broken and reveals the locations of the Cult's secret base.

During this visit, The EB also learn that The Magnificent Martin has become a psuedo-respected advisor to Ramirez. They humiliate him and expose him as th buffoon they know him as. His stock plummets, again. We also see the continuation of the running joke of The Progenitor and Baron Iceblock being recognized by most folks since they were in operation before the invasion while nobody knows The Warlord (since he was grown post-invasion).

Not much for subtelty, The Eastern Bloc assault the Cult's base head-on. Eighteen opponents and one completely trashed building later they claim the head of the Cult's leader. This is also the issue where we learn of Baron Iceblock's hatred of all things Atlantean.

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Re: Actual Play: Savage Worlds Necessary Evil!
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2006, 03:14:14 AM »
Issue 6 - Episode 3: The First Family - The next plot point and first big strike agains the V'Sori. There was no pulling punches here. The EB was given the mission and got right to work. They decided they need all their assets to save the President's family so they loaded up the van with the two super soldiers and a partially-functioning Terron's robot.

First, they took out a power station near the Generator in order to black out Westpoint and then they began their assault on the barracks. The Warlord hot-wired an El Camino which he drove right through the front gates (again frontal assualt) followed by the team's loaded van. A Fin in the barracks guard tower raked the El Camino with blaster fire causing The Warlord to lose control as it crashed into the building, taking out a few drones in the process. The rest of the crew unloaded near the Manta and M'Buna and took out the K'tharen Elite Guard.

The Progenitor tried to fly the M'Buna to use its guns to their advantage, but lost control (no Pilot skill, duh!) and crashed the ship into the fray killing a Fin and injuring a super-soldier. Once the crew mopped up the forces outside, they rushed in through the hole the El Camino made and tore through the first wave of drones and fins.

Then, no opposition approached them. Fearing the rest of the forces were preparing and ambush (which they were), the group decided to take the road less travellled and began just busting down walls. Save one attack from a fusion grenade carrying Fin, this plan got them through the building nearly unscathed.

Knowing they'd have to fight their way through a fortified position if they went for the cells head on, they broke through the floor into the basement and proceeded to tunning into the cells and rescue the First Family. The remaining V'sori weren't stanind idly by, however, as 18 drones, 5 fins, and Shavak rushed into the pitch-black basement.

It looked bleak for a long while, and even I didn't think they were going to make it for a while...but keen use of icewalls, The Warlord's sweep, and some botched grenade throws saw The Eastern Bloc again conquering their foes. Shavak, critically wounded, activated his warp shunt.

The First Family in tow, The Eastern Bloc hijacked the M'Buna (disabling the V'sori transponder) and escaped!

At this point they hit Seasoned. The Warlord increased his Vigor by several steps and The Progenitor put more points into Invent. Baron Iceblock picked up teleport, which would be crucial in the next battle.
.

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Re: Actual Play: Savage Worlds Necessary Evil!
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2006, 03:14:36 AM »

Issue 7 - Episode 4: The Hanged Man - This adventure opened with open defiance of Dr. D. The Progenitor scanned The First Family in order to find out what they knew that was so important. They found out...the location of Hydra's base in Newfoundland. Instead of delivering them to Dr. D they give them to the Undergrounders where they can inspire morale.

To their surprise, Dr. D. isn't too upset about this. He just wants to know the location of Hydra's base. The EB hold out until he tells them why and then they agree to accept the mission to go to Hydra's lair to recover the teleportation tube. He tells them to wait a few days and he'll have some recon intel to share. As The EB move about and do their own things, I manage to set the seeds for several future Savage Tales, which is nice.


This is also the adventure where I introduced the SW Adventure Deck with NE cards added in. The players loved them! Most notably, The Progenitor was able to make his newly created ninja/research minion into a Sidekick. That really helped turn the tide of this mission.

When Dr. D gets back in touch he recommends they seek the help of a disgraced V'sori commander, which they do, before they set out for the assault. He confirms that the Hydra's Eyrie is a palatial estate now taken over by the V'sori Warlord Shavak and his personal battalion. Shavak just happens to be the V'sori The EB fought when they resuced the First Family. In exchange for helping him enact some revenge, the renegade V'sori commander agrees to blackout communication so Shavak can't radio for aid.

The EB then recruit the help of some of the Undergrounders that the Warlord trained and everyone piles into the stolen M'Buna and head, underwater, for the Hydra's Eyrie. Once near, they narrowly avoide being tagged by some active mines and are able to fly the M'Buna such that The Eastern Bloc are able to get out literally on the back porch...or back veranda in this case.

Though surprised, a fierce battle erupts as The EB are surrounded by War Spheres, Drones, and Fins. The M'Buna is also assaulted and quickly is taken bout by Drones who leaped onto it. It plunges into the sea below where the remaining mines seal the fate of those inside.

The Eastern Bloc, surrounded by the bodies of their foes but badly wounded from the fighting, reach a standoff with the remaining Fins inside the mansion. Then, just as it seems the Fins have the upper hand, they retreat through the front door. This worries everyone.

As well it should have as Shavak appears on his personal skiff hovering roughly where the down M'Buna originally landed. He has several elite K'tharens with him, one about to fire a rocket launcher directly at the bunched group!

Acting on a joker, The Warlord grabs the nearest blaster rifle and makes a called shot to the rocket launcher. Using a benny, he hits and destroys it, saving the group from a grisly death. The Eastern Bloc breathe a sigh of relief...until the turret-mounted cannon start raking them with fire.

They flee to the cover of the mansion entryway where they are about to leave through the front door. As The Warlord open it, I smile.

"What?" the player asks, "are those fleeing fins there holding an action to stirke?"

"Better," I say, as I place a Barracuda ( a light tank) just outside the front door...it's cannon bearing down on The Warlord.

It fires.

Three shots to The Warlords chest doing 3d6+2. He miraculously only takes 3 wounds...and soaks two of them.

He replies in kind by jumping onto the tank and chopping off the main cannon.

The rest of the Eastern Bloc fight off the remaining Fins and Drones until it comes down to just them and Shavak's skiff, which hovers about 60 feet above them and continously sprays them with laser fire. All of the EB are heavily wounded and for a moment a retreat is considered. Throwing caution to the wind, Baron Iceblock uses his new teleportation power to teleport himself and The Warlord above the skiff. He drops The Warlord directly into the middle of the Fins and Shavak, getting The Drop.

In one mighty sweeping blow, The Warlord hits everone aboard the skiff knocking everyone over the edge to their doom except Shavak who is killed from the damage outright.

The battle is over. The day is won.

This truly epic superpowered battle in which everyone had a blast took only an hour and fifteen minutes. In that time, The Eastern Bloc and one sidekick slew 15 Drones, 10 Warspheres, 6 Fins, a V'Sori Warlord, and a Barracuda light tank. It was freaking amazing!

They then take what they came from from Hydra's lab along with Shavak's personal computer. They are able to hack it and find files on several secret projects (I used the oportunity to set up more Savage Tales in case they stop following Dr. D.). Most notably, they investiagate a file marked "Project Deep Sleep" and find that their is a V'sori program creating sleeper agents.

One of which is The Magnificent Martin who was still with the Undergrounders when they left Star City. The Undergrounders...where they dropped off the First Family.

They take Hydra's sub and make for Star City at full speed, hoping they're not too late...

Entsuropi

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Re: Actual Play: Savage Worlds Necessary Evil!
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2006, 08:02:36 AM »
ENVY!

Sounds great. Good to see your not using the random missions generator, which I hated the idea of.

Are SW fights really that quick? 1 hours 15 is pretty fast, it takes around 5 - 15 minutes a round for D&D I've guesstimated.
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Re: Actual Play: Savage Worlds Necessary Evil!
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2006, 12:06:52 PM »
That sounds very cool. I particularly want to hear more about the cards you mentioned.
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Re: Actual Play: Savage Worlds Necessary Evil!
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2006, 12:48:08 AM »
The cards are  called the Savage Worlds Adventure Deck.  It's a large stack of cards that each have different benefits on them.  Each player gets one per rank and may spend one per game.

There's the generic deck which you have to buy and print out and then there are free downloads for setting specific ones on the PEG website.

Some examples:

"Adrenaline Surge" - The character gets an immediate extra turn (including new movement).

"Windfall" - Play when your hero searches the area for treasure, loots a body, etc.  He automatically finds any and all treasure that can be looted.  If there's a random table he automatically gets the best roll.

"Turncoat" - Your hero automatically convinces a minor foe to perform a small favor -such as helping the her escape, revealing the location of the boss, etc.

"Last Stand" - Your hero and any adjacent allies get +2 Parry and Toughness.  Allies who move into contact after the card is played get the bonus as well.  The effect ends when a joker is dealt.

"Epiphany" - Your hero gains a d6 rank in a skill he does not possess for the duration of the game session.

Just some examples.  Many of them are pretty powerful, but all of them are fun.  We really enjoyed them in our last session.

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Re: Actual Play: Savage Worlds Necessary Evil!
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2006, 12:54:07 AM »
Quote
ENVY!

Sounds great. Good to see your not using the random missions generator, which I hated the idea of.

Are SW fights really that quick? 1 hours 15 is pretty fast, it takes around 5 - 15 minutes a round for D&D I've guesstimated.


Actually, the random generator can give you the skeleton of a good mission if you're stumped.  Haven't needed to use it yet, though.

And SW is fast once your players get to know the system (which doesn't take long).  It's designed to be fast and to let you have all your allies and enemies on teh table running as opposed to D&D where sometimes you have to assume the battle your fight in is just part of a bigger fight since it would take too long to run the NPCs.  Not so in SW!

The combat doesn't lose much in the way of detail or tactics either.  

The only thing that can slow it down is an opponent with high parry or toughness.  A lot of time clever strategy can get around this, but sometimes you just need really good rolls.  

The biggest problem I've seen new players deal with is that even attacks that hit don't always seem to do anything as opposed to D&D where you're always doing some damage.  It's not a hard bump to get over though.

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Re: Actual Play: Savage Worlds Necessary Evil!
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2006, 12:03:08 PM »
That's cool. I had an idea for a deck like that, but I'm glad to see someone already did it. It doesn't come with the core game--you have to buy it separately?
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Mr_Pleasington

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Re: Actual Play: Savage Worlds Necessary Evil!
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2006, 03:40:47 PM »
Yeah, it's a pdf download from their site.  It's a little overpriced in my opinion, but it was worth it for me.

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Re: Actual Play: Savage Worlds Necessary Evil!
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2006, 07:29:01 PM »
I've always been kind of vaguely interested in Savage Worlds, just because I really liked Deadlands, but the deck idea is amazing. It's suddenly very tempting.
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Re: Actual Play: Savage Worlds Necessary Evil!
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2006, 07:56:18 PM »
I love the adventure deck and they have expansion cards for the settings too... which is cool.
heres an example of some cards from rippers their gothic monster hunter setting.

http://peginc.com/Games/Savage%20Worlds/Downloads/Rippers/AdventureDeckRIP.pdf
oh and Fell Deadlands reloaded is coming soon... more of a reason to jump in and check it out.

Test Drive rules are free here...

http://peginc.com/Games/Savage%20Worlds/Downloads/SW%20Rev/TestDrive4.pdf
« Last Edit: May 03, 2006, 08:01:29 PM by ElJeffe »
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Re: Actual Play: Savage Worlds Necessary Evil!
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2006, 11:40:04 PM »
Quote
I've always been kind of vaguely interested in Savage Worlds, just because I really liked Deadlands, but the deck idea is amazing. It's suddenly very tempting.


Given how much I've raved about Savage Worlds in the forum and in reviews I'm surprised you haven't checked it out yet.  It's my favorite system, hands down.  What more recomendation do you need?

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Re: Actual Play: Savage Worlds Necessary Evil!
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2006, 12:00:20 PM »
Oh, it's about as highly recommended as they come, so it's not that. I just don't tend to get interested in new games until they tickle my innovation bone--by itself Savage Worlds sounds like a great system, but I'm not really looking for a new system. I am looking for really clever ideas, however, and an adventure deck really fits the bill.

As my kids grow up and want to play more and more games with me, I've been trying to come up with some kind of very basic roleplaying system that they would understand and enjoy. Sometime last year I got the idea of using cards instead of character sheets, kind of like the spell cards from the Heroquest board game, and I've since been mulling that over and experimenting with it. Adding in the concept of an adventure deck, you could do some very interesting things with a fully card-based RPG system, which would be very easy for kids (and spouses) to learn and play.
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