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May (Day) and Savage Mars

May 1st. A new month. Time for a bit of renewal, and the approach of Summer.

Happy May Day to everyone!

Last night, being the 30th of April and a Friday, was the first time in about a month that my Friday gaming group met to play a game that wasn't a demo or playtest or some such. Yes, they actually got back to campaign play! :)

While the Friday gaming group has enjoyed their play of the Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space rpg, the fact that the UNIT source material, "Defenders of the Earth", has been delayed several times (it was originally scheduled for April) has put them off a bit, since they didn't want to get too deep in the campaign lest there were all manner of character modifications that might have to be made once the boxed set comes out. Thus, they have decided to put their DW: AiTaS game on hold until the UNIT boxed set comes out (with luck in July or so). While I don't necessarily feel the same way about this as they do, I can see where they are coming from on this, and thus have agreed to do this.

So that left them having to decide what they wanted to play last night. Fortunately, they had talked about this during the course of the week, and decided that they want to do a bit of planetary romance, so the Friday night gaming group started last night with the Savage Mars game that I have been planning to run. We started the game with character generation last night, the five players and my goddaughter creating their characters. (I'll be posting about the player characters they created in a separate journal entry, if anyone wants to know.) We then proceeded to go through some samples of how to roll the dice, a couple of sample combats, and a few other things (notably some background on the Mars of the game).

The players commented that they had a pretty good time with the system, and found the Savage Worlds game mechanics to be a bit more complex than what we've been doing the last few years, but that it was relatively easy to get a handle on once one got down to it. The most interesting observation about the game mechanics was the fact that the game used the five most basic types of dice - d4, d6, d8, d10, and d12 - to determine Attributes and Skills, and had an interesting balance check between Attributes and Skills, one that made Attributes in the system just as important as the Skills. In terms of the game setting, they really like the game environment of the world - not quite Barsoom, but certainly with the feel of that classic world - and found the characters seem to fit seamlessly into the planetary romance style of game.

I have a couple of scenario ideas worked out, and just need to flesh one or two things out. The real challenge for me is learning the Savage Worlds system at this point. It's not as complex as I expected it to be in some ways, but the rules are written rather unclearly in places. None of the players chose a Weird Science of Psionics option for the game (although Joanne is considering making a change in that regard to her character), but the players had a good idea for their character group, and they made some sound choices in their character creation as a whole, and took it relatively easy on me.

In any event, an interesting game session and a true challenge for me in some ways. That said, I'm really looking forward to running the campaign and all. :)

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jkahane
John Kahane

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