[SW] Is Savage fast?

#1
Player in a Savage Rules one shot. Introductory scenario investigating strange goings on at a run-down theatre in an unsalubrious part of town. Good GM and a fun scenario reminiscent of a Call of Cthulhu adventure but...it's been a few years since I've played SW and I still don't like it as a ruleset, especially combat which drags on for ever.
 
#2
Player in a Savage Rules one shot. Introductory scenario investigating strange goings on at a run-down theatre in an unsalubrious part of town. Good GM and a fun scenario reminiscent of a Call of Cthulhu adventure but...it's been a few years since I've played SW and I still don't like it as a ruleset, especially combat which drags on for ever.
Savage Worlds originated as a lighter alternative to D&D 3e - that is, it was designed to be a tactical skirmish game, and you could see many of the Edges and Feats connected. I haven't seen the new edition, but I imagine it still has that focus of an external rather than internal game. (Ed, to complete the thought: which means that the thing SW is interested in detailing is combat.)
 
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#4
I've played it 3 times and on 2 occasions combat has been slow, slow, slow. Per Tim's post I'd heard that it grew from a tactical skirmish game and the shaken/recover mechanic does strike me as more appropriate to combat formations than individual player characters. Seems to take forever to do serious damage even with the exploding dice causing the occasional critical type hit.

The GM was good and I liked the occult detective setting so if there's a campaign in prospect I'd still be willing to give it a go.
 

Brass Jester

Acolyte
Staff member
#5
We play SW a lot and our combats are usually very fast as well. If your GM is throwing only Wild Cards at you them this will slow it down; but the average Extra will go down with two hits (they have a Toughness of 5, most guns do 2d6 damage and hit on 4+). First hit will on average cause them to be Shaken, second hit that does 5+ damage will take them out (second Shaken result = Wound). Double-tap used to be an automatic feature of any semi-auto weapon; it's now been made a Feat because it was so effective against Extras.
 

First Age

D&D h@ck3r and Hopepunk
Staff member
#9
I've run several SW campaigns and never had an issue where combat has dragged on. The odd Wild Card villain may make the fight longer, but it was never a grind.
Dragged on? I agree with that. Haven't found it particularly blistering fast either, though I reflect I haven't played that much of it, but with very good GMs. Not a grind slouch, and I may have been expecting lightning one roll resolution. Maybe it was the initiative palaver, even with a monkey?
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#11
I have managed two large multi actor battles with allies in a three hour game. I find player inaction is the biggest problem like all RPGs. Important also GM remember to just chuck 6d4 when you have a squad of mooks BUT also, use Edges and team tactics against the players and EXPLAIN what you are doing, since 80% of players just never seem to learn tactics unless you example them. Gang up, Shake, Kill.
It does NOT reward dull hit--hit--hit tactics.
Oh and for god's sake, roll your damage dice with your hit dice... Sigh
@First Age with all due respect, why are the cards for initiative a palaver? They are a good immediate on the table guide to who goes when..
 
#13
I've seen faster, I've seen slower. I'm hardly a savage Worlds expert, but I'd say it's efficient. It supports a fair amount of tactical and colorful options with at low cost in terms of speed of play and record keeping. There are always trade offs, and I always think good game design delivers a lot of value for a smallest possible footprint.
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#14
It's fast - when both the players and the GM know what they are doing.

Like any other game with options and interactions (rather than just hit, miss, hit, damage) really
Exactly, in fact although it's not FATE at all, it shares the characteristics that one needs to plan, work co-operatively and tactically to tilt the battle in your favour and then when the odds are stacked in your favour: deliver the killing blow. In FATE this is littering the table wit free tags to pound down the +2s, in Savage it's largely (although) not wholly using Edges to get an opponent Shaken and then using that leverage to take them off the table.

Both use very small modifiers that matter a lot, +1/+2 is worth having in both, +3 is virtually overkill in Savage. One has a very narrative approach to building the conlict wave, one is very much a minis game IMHO.

I tend to not play without minis with Savage conflicts, but some people are quite happy with ith, but I find a lot of the Edges make more sense with a hex map (at first), However SWADE has some good 'very fast combat' rules, and I think @Sablemage has blogged about that a few times.

IMHO it's three times as fast as D&D with the same number of actors on the table, but I usually can't resist adding a few more, so twice as fast in practice.

The low book-keeping for the GM is just a delight.

Now.. when I first ran Savage I just didn't get it, but I really wanted to, so I kept tweaking and reading the forums, and looking at combat hardness formulae, and I got it. FATE, I couldn't get it so I gave up for mebbe 15 years? Then I learnt it at the table with others who knew it very well, and it clicked.. Goes to show the advantage of learning by doing in RPGs to my mind.
 
#15
I've played it 3 times and on 2 occasions combat has been slow, slow, slow. The GM was good and I liked the occult detective setting so if there's a campaign in prospect I'd still be willing to give it a go.
This rings true for me—I think I've played it twice at a Garri-Con and once with my local group (Guy Milner was running that one). GM good; adventure engaging. Savage Worlds itself, not lighting my fire at all. Certainly not the slick, action-orientated engine I'd heard about.
 

First Age

D&D h@ck3r and Hopepunk
Staff member
#16
@First Age with all due respect, why are the cards for initiative a palaver? They are a good immediate on the table guide to who goes when..
@Guvnor with effervescent courtesy, it just seemed to take a lot of time. Collecting the cards, dealing them out, remembering who has two, the reveal (which is fun), and the fact that you do that every round (unless you don't and I misremember and embellishing my memory for how long it took).

Maybe not that much of a palaver then. Certainly added to the fun.

Savage is just as fast as other systems with mook rules, I'll give you that.

Maybe I've just never warmed to it? Perhaps should give it another go.
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#17
@First Age with deepest humility and reverence, don't collect the cards, let the players remember if they need two cards. Why wait to reveal them? It's not in the rules. Flop em out. Every round is a bit of an overhead. It's not so much that the opponents are mooks, but that they require no book-keeping but can be quite interesting by the simple application of a unit Edge.
Like FATE, it's best to roll and then interpret.
 

Brass Jester

Acolyte
Staff member
#18
With absolute arrogance and falling towards apotheosis. The HOG love the SW card initiative system. Once acted, we discard to a central box (REM: you only shuffle when a Joker is drawn.) There is a lot of planning that can happen around the lines of 'if you go before me'. Also, there is a real buzz round the table when the cards fall right.
As a GM; I don't think it's any slower than Games where you roll Initiative each turn; also you can (as a GM) introduce other effects (e.g. Rock Fall! Anyone drawing a Club has to test Agility or take 1d6+2 damage)
 
#19
When one uses miniatures for a tactical skirmish game when it comes to combat, it's fast relative to other RPGs I've played where combat is a tactical skirmish game. But with theatre of the mind combat, it's not really any quicker than lots of other games, and slower than some.

Don't get me wrong, I find it perfectly decent, but it's not a personal favourite.
 
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