RPG and Music

Music and RPG

Manage music

Say Hello to the SonicSpider, I give you the stats for such a dangerous creature at the end of the article 😉


Music can be an important part of a role-playing game session.

Music helps a lot to set the mood either for an entire session or for a precise moment, for example when your players are entering into a tavern or a cold dungeon.

But music can also disturb your players or bother you. Either the music is not appropriate with what your players are doing, or you can have to switch too often to get the right music, so you are less willing to improvise or listen to your players.

Here are my different advice to manage music during your game:

  • Sometimes no music is better than the wrong one, don’t feel obliged to put music
  • The most important is to be able to speak, so don’t let the music become annoying
  • If you want to stay attentive and able to improvise, choose a playlist as the background for the entire game
  • Choose your music before the game if you want to manage it precisely, but keep in mind that you have to be ready to improvise and put your playlist aside
  • You can let a player manage music if it isn’t really important to set the mood
  • About sound effects, it is really a pain in the neck to manage, even with a good app, so leave them

What kind of music?

After my general advice, I will now share with you some playlists than seems good to me according to the world you are playing in.

Space Opera

A space opera game needs a background ambiant music allowing reverie. Your players must feel that everything is possible and that they are tiny living beings in a huge universe.

Epicuros – Interstellar / Cosmos – Volume 1 / Space Ambiant Mix 1

Cyberpunk

For a cyberpunk game, you need a more violent music, like minimal techno or dubstep. The music has to get real the dynamism and bustle of these huge megalopolis leading the world.

Dark Cybergoth Mix / Future Underground / Cyberpunk Music Mix

Cthulhu

An investigation about some dark hidden Gods needs some creepy music. You have to set a tense, disturbing or even morbid mood. Your players must feel that they are not in security and that dangerous threats are hidden in the dark.

Nyarlathotep 1 / Cthulhu / Jazz Playlist

Crime and Gangs

If you play a game in a mafia style, choose italian or russian mafia movies soundtracks. The mood needs to be calm, the traitors are coldly assassinated.

The Godfather II / Gangster Hits / Eastern Promises / Leon

If you play in a modern era, for example a Grand Theft Auto like game, choose gangsta rap and trap music, you need an agressive music. Your players are not here to negotiate but to Get Rich or Die Tryin’!

Stitches / Gangsta Trap mix / Best Rap

Fantazy

Dragons, fairies, elves, dwarfs… A lot of music are possible for a fantazy game. Try to have a music for a landscape (moutains, plains, oceans…) and/or for a kingdom (elves, orcs, humans, devils…).

Elves Lord of the Ring / Dwarf music / Ocean / Fantazy / Fantazy music / Witch / Celtic / Desert / Asia / Fairy

Demonic

The demonic world is violent, cruel, bloody and bloodthirsty. It is also the kingdom of fire and lava. You need an ambiant music which is also violent and dark. Your players should feel unconfortable.

Devil amongst us / Angel music

Youtube channels

Here a good Youtube channel to have music for a special moment or a particular place.

Peter Crowley Fantasy Dream

And another for all your creepy needs.

Cryo Chamber


SonicSpider

The SonicSpider is a technological monster which paralyzes and kills its enemies with sonic waves. You can encounter it in high-security labs, military secret bases or even in the ruins of antique lost worlds.

Attributes: Agility d12, Smarts d6, Spirit d4, Strenght d6, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d10, Notice d12, Shooting d10
Charisma: 0; Pace: 10; Parry: 7; Toughness: 8 (2)
Special abilities: Armor 2, Construct, Fearless, Sensors (halve penalties for darkness, detect sounds), Wall Walker (Pace 10), Stun (-2 penalty)
Sonic attack: 
Range: 12/24/48
Damage: 2d8 for the first target, then 2d6 for the next, then 2d4 for the third and finally 1d4 for the last.
RoF: 1
Shots: infinite
Notes: The sonic attack ignores armor and bounces on walls which are then considered as a target. For example, in a L-shaped corridor, the sonic wave could attack and hit the first target, then bounces two times and hit the hidden second target with 1d4.
Claws: Str+d6

Some thoughts about RPG 3

What means RPG

What is a roleplaying game ?

First, let define what is a game!

A game is an activity where you seek entertainment, but you can also seek competition, like in e-sport.
You can play Starcraft for fun or to win, even to live if you earn enough money.
So, you always learn something in a game because you try to achieve something.
But, a game can be more or less competitive depending on what is at stake.

For a roleplaying game, the pen-and-paper version makes you sit at a table with your friends or strangers, one of you being the game master.
The game master will tell the story, arbitrate the rules and try to satisfy everyone.
The players will play their character, follow the rules, and try to take up the challenges that happen.

You will learn a lot about yourself (depending on the character you play, and if you are the game master, on the kind of story you imagine) and about others for the same reasons. However, it is not really a competitive game, no money or reward to win, only a good moment to share and a character to upgrade.

But even if a game is competitive and is your every day job, I think we can easily distinguish it from a job by the enjoyment you feel doing it, you have chosen it. Some moments may be boring or annoying, but most of time you are happy. We can compare play with art about this point, it is passion, not a day job.

Roleplaying game

So, a roleplaying game is not a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) like this one 😉

Rocket Propelled Grenade

A roleplaying game is a game where you are all involved in a story created by the game master.
A player not only plays his character like in a video game, he will also contributes to the story. The actions of his character will influence the next part of the game.
A good game master is able to modify his story, or make believe it is different, so the players stay involved. But at the same time he knows where he leads them, it is sometimes quite hard to keep all this balanced.

The players have playable characters who will evolve during the game. They quite always become more and more powerful/skilled, but they also change or deepen their personalities.

A roleplaying game is fun, offers a giant playground to your imagination (far more than the video games), allows you to share a good moment with your friends (or to make new friends), and is also quite good for your relationship skills and your smartness.

In our society where everyone is in a hurry, it is also the opportunity to take a moment, 4, 6 or even 8 hours, and go in another world. It helps to put things into perspective.

I will now explain four different types of roleplaying games so you can understand all its aspects.

Adventure game

An adventure game is close to a roleplaying game but at the same time very different because you can’t modify your environment.

In a adventure game like Zelda, which is a video game on the Nintendo consoles, you are free of your action but limited by a framework.
Roleplaying games with a lot of rules like Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder can easily become adventure games.
You play your character and try to take up the challenges given by the game master. Your aim is to succeed, get experience and gold pieces…
You will modify the world but only at the margins.

In a roleplaying game, you can modify everything. You don’t want to explore this dungeon but instead want to spy the local lord, it’s ok.
Maybe you want to meet the Gods and create a new world, why not, as long as your game master is ok with it.

Often, the more detailed is the rule system of your game, the more you can tend to an adventure game, which is not an inconvenient but only something to keep in mind.
In a game where you have 250 pages of rules and play with miniatures, it is quite hard for the game master to allow you everything you want, he has not a quad-core I7 processor in his brain 😉

About Savage Worlds, I would say it allows both way of playing, more adventure or more roleplay. You can play with miniatures and with all the rules, or you can play without miniatures and only use the essential rules, as you want.

Therapeutic RPG

Therapeutic roleplaying games aim to improve you in relational situations.
For example, you don’t know how to speak to your boss and it hinders you to get a promotion, a psychologist can help you with a therapeutic rolepaying game.

After having understood the problem, the psychologist creates a simulation where himself or another person will play your boss, and you will try to overcome your fear or mental block.
The simulation aims to be the closer possible to your real life, so you can use this training when confronted with your problem.

What is the link between hobby roleplaying games and therapeutic ones, you play a role and learn about yourself.
In a hobby RPG, you play a fictional character in a fictional world, and will learn a little bit about yourself.
Maybe you always play someone quite violent, no matter whether it be an elve archer or a nordic barbarian…
Maybe you always play a cunning character because you may be cunning yourself and don’t really know it.

In a therapeutic RPG, you play a role to learn, other persons play a role to help you, all this to modify your life in the real world, so you learn a lot about yourself. The objective is not to entertain yourself, so apart from the name, the link is quite tenuous between the two roleplaying games.

Serious games

A rolepaying game for the professional world is also not about entertainment even if it is a good moment.
The objective can be closer to the therapeutic game, for example to help a boss, by playing the role of an employee, to better know how to manage his team, or closer to a hobby game, for example to strengthen a team with a collective game.

In both cases, we are anyway quite far from the hobby game because you have the constraints of time and usefulness. It needs to be quite short and productive for the company.

Erotic roleplaying game

I couldn’t write this article without bringing up the erotic RPG, you know, when you wear a plumber suit and your partner a nurse one… Yes, be a plumber is really dangerous 🙂

The erotic roleplaying games were surely the first ones in the history, even though they don’t have any link with the previous games I have written about.

An advice, if you write on your CV that your hobby is the roleplaying game, put a picture of a dice or precise that it is the hobby one, because the employer could think that you like to… ahem… 🙂


The world of the roleplaying games is a one of vast landscapes with an infinite horizon.
The hobby one is the most known and can be more or less an adventure one. It is split between video and tabletop games (real or virtual). The video games tend to be more adventure ones, but some tried to give you the feeling of a real roleplaying game like Baldur’s Gate.

The professional ones (therapeutic and for office) are not really known as roleplaying games. Few will link the both to the hobby roleplaying game, and as a consequence the hobby is seen as a useless activity, maybe below the video game which brings a lot of money, while he has several positive consequences for the people who do it. You can read my article « Why I play tabletop role-playing games? » about it.

So, I encourage you to play because we don’t stop playing when growing older, we become old when we stop playing 😉


Savage Worlds

I will not give you rules, but some ideas to make deeper characters for your game, and also think a little bit about yourself as a player.

If you want to add personality traits for your character, you can read these two articles: (Link1) (Link2).

You can also use the alignments of Dungeons & Dragons, which are useful to give a line to your character.

The edges and hindrances of Savage Worlds are good, and I believe you can think about it when you have already created several characters, and try to analyze your way of playing.
What kind of character do you like to play? And Why? In what kind of world?
How do play apart from your character abilities?

As for me, I prefer science-fiction worlds, I love technology, space exploration, aliens, post-apo…
No matter whether I play a smart, a strong or a dextrous character, I will alway tend to be quite direct, even hard, and will try to be important in the world where the story takes place.
In the real life, I am also quite direct and hard, so, behind a different character’s background, abilities and personality, there is my own mind which influences my way of playing.

Think about it the next time you create and play a character 😉

Dice & Role-playing game

Old Dice

After all these articles about roleplaying game, I had to make one about our favorite and most precious item (my precioussss), the die, all the dice with which we share our lives.

As you can see on the picture above, the dice are very old, they are part of the first tools of humanity. In those days, you were not rolling your dice with a glass of Coca-Cola in the other hand, in a warm room, with your buddies, no, you would have surely rolled it while looking around you to prevent the strike of a carnivore.

The first objects, around 8,000 years back, that were used as dice were fruit pits, pebbles and seashells.
Because life was hard, it is still for a lot, but it was for nearly everyone at that time, the first dice were not used to play but by shamans for divination. Will I have a son to perpetuate my reign?
Chance has always been a way to tell the future, and is also a way to organize political institutions, look at the Ancient Greeks Kleroterion.

Senet, a game of the Ancient Egypt, was played with dice 3,000 years ago.
Romans were also passionate gamblers, an expression was used: « aleam ludere = to play at dice ».
The dice were also used in India, as well as in China from which are originated the dominoes and playing cards.

The D6 which is a cube was the first one to be crafted, but archeologists have found in Egypt D20 (icosahedron) made from serpentine, which are dated back around 300 to 30 B.C.

So, the dice are not something new, but there were not a lot of games back at that time, and some were surely quite expensive. Buy an ivory die 2,000 B.C was surely like buying a Lamborghini nowadays.


So, as you can see, when you roll a dice, you are aligned with a very old tradition spread all around the world.

What about nowadays, with all our modern tools and materials, what sort of dice can we use ?

Modern Dice

Modern dice are mostly done with plastic, and colorants are injected to make them more appealing.
Some, for the true warriors, are made of metal. You know you got a critical success when the table break in two parts because of their power 😉

You can buy the traditionnal and eternal D6, the one used in casinos. But you can also buy a four-sided die (D4), a D8, D10, D12, D14, D16, D18, D20, D22… D100.

The dice can have dots to show the number, or quite simply, numbers. They can also have images or letters.

You can also boy stange dice, like a D5 die!

The usefulness of a certain type of dice depends of the rules you are using for your game.
If you play Savage Worlds (if not, you should 😉 ), then you need a D4, two D6, a D8, a D10 and a D12.
If you play D&D, you will need all these dice, plus the sacred and deified D20 which will decide of your life!

Some RPGs don’t need any dice, yeah I know, sound like incredible, a table with an honest gamemaster and players, but it seems to exist.


What about the probabilities?

I am not a mathematician, so I will keep it simple.

On a D6, you have around 16% chance to get each face.
With 2D6, you have 16% chance to get 7, so the average result is not 6 (12/2).
You have also less than 3% chance to get a critical failure (1 & 1) or a critical success (6 & 6).
With more than 4 dice, you can in principle forget your dream to have 6 on each die.

It is important to check all this when you are creating a rules system for your next great adventure.
And in addition to that, the roleplaying games systems use different logics.

Does it allow you to roll again your die when you get the best face?
Does it use critical failure and success, and how ? By comparing with a difficulty level or only when you got only the worst or the best faces of your die?
Do you have modifiers to your roll like bonuses and penalties, or do you rely only on your luck?

A good mechanic will allow the player to feel the universe of your game. You want something gritty, make gritty rules, you want something heroic, allow them to make amazing actions.

The dice are our best friends but are here to help us have fun, don’t let them ruin your game because your players are disappointed. The entertainment is more important than the rule system, so don’t hesitate to change a rule if it doesn’t suit your table. However, if everyone agree on the rule, the result must be respected, otherwise, you no longer have any frame and no one will know what to do the next time.

And because a picture is always better than a text to explain something, I let you read this table to understand how probabilities work 😉

Dice Stats


Savage Worlds

Here some ideas to modify your use of the dice in Savage Worlds.

Initiative

Personally, I don’t really like using cards, too slow, and when you play SW, you use all the dice except the D20, and I don’t like resting dice 😉

So, an initiative based upon the D20 is simple:

  • The highest number is the first to play
  • 20 = a Joker
  • Quick: you roll again if your score is lower or equal to 5
  • Level-headed: you roll twice the D20 and keep the best score
  • Improved Level Headed: the same but you roll the D20 three times

If a player has Level-headed and Quick as edges, he rolls the die two or three times, depending on his asset, then keep the best number and uses if he needs the edge Quick.

Wild Die

Some ideas to modify your game and the power of your PC.

You want to give more importance to the attributes:

  • Use the die of the attribute linked to the skill as the wild die. For an attribute roll, roll twice the die.

It can gets quite powerful, but don’t your PC are heroes in Savage Worlds?

You want the grittiest setting for your players: NO wild die.
You want something worse: No bennies!

If you want something gritty but not a nightmare for your players, use a D4 as the wild die.

Some thoughts about RPG 2

qwertee_fellowship-of-the-critical-failure_1464819177-full

I continue with my thought about role-playing games, this time about metagaming and the players.

Metagaming is more or less part of every role-playing games, whether you want it or not. You can’t ask your players (or only to really good players or to the ones who easily put themselves into their character and into the story) to forget their own personality and their relations with the other players.

Some games also promote metagaming, for instance if you have bennies or cards that give advantage, so you can help an other player. These bennies and cards are clearly metagaming tools, because we can’t justify with roleplay that a character have given a benny to another. He or she should help, by doing something during his/her turn, the other character in question.

Often, some players, because RPGs are about fun and friendship, want to play a cheap trick to another, even if there are no reasons to do it in the game by only taking into account the relations between their characters.

As a game master, you also do metagaming. You know the players (or you will know them after some sessions), and you try to create a story good enough for everyone, the one who loves fight and strategy, the one who love diplomacy… It is not only a story for the characters because you need to entertain yourself and all your players.

For me, both way of playings are good, with a lot of metagaming or with the less possible. However, I prefer when the players help each others with their characters, by doing actions to win the fight or succeed the challenge.


My thought are now based upon a French article which define three types of players : the gamer, the storyteller and the actor.

The gamer loves when there are fights, to win them and to push his character at his maximum.
The storyteller loves to create a good story with everyone around the table even if it kills his character.
The actor wants a complex simulation, to feel what feels his character and to know all the rules of this world.

To remind you about my previous article, I wrote that low-level rules allow you to be close to your character while high-level create a distance.
And there are light and complex systems for both types of rules, traditionally divided between simulationist (time consuming) and narrativist (ofter easy to learn) systems.

If I take Savage Worlds, it is a really good system for gamers who want to confront monsters and take up challenges. Of course, you also can create a good story and a detailed world with this system, but it favors the gamers.
It is also a system who promotes metagaming with the bennies.

I agree with this distinction of three player types defined in this French article. Metagaming is often liked by gamers, while storytellers and actors are less interested in it.

A gamer wants to create a story by doing things, killing monsters, exploring new lands. As a game master, you need to be a gamer yourself and to improvise quickly with such players. I have a lot of gamers at my tables and I like this way of playing.

A storyteller wants the game master to create a deep story, a detailed world, to make extensive explanations of each new situation. As a gamemaster, you need to be a good teller and to prepare your game, because it can quite hard to improvise detailed enemies or cities.

An actor wants also a detailed world but with detailed rules, not only the speech of the game master. As a gamemaster, I think it is the more challenging type of player but you can live really good sessions if everything work fine.

Of course, each player is a little bit the three types of players, but tend to be more one type.
Personally, as a GM, I like to be free to improvise quickly and efficiently, so I prefer quite light systems with rules to have a frame but without being paralyzed by them.
I think I unconsciously promote the gaming style with my players, because I like action and heroic or hard decisions. For me, the roleplay is more about what you do than what you say or wrote on your character sheet, even if it is useful to know what to do. So I like deep characters only if the actions follow the background.

If you have something to say about it, don’t hesitate to leave a reply, and tell me what kind of player you are 😉

Some thoughts about RPG

RPG Games

Because I am a great fan of tabletop role-playing games, I wanted to share with you some thoughts about it.

Maybe I already said it, but I play RPGs for a long time, since 8, at that time I played only with a pen, a D6 and a sheet of paper. No books, no accessories, only my imagination and it worked great !

I tried the big books and the complicated game systems, but it didn’t work for me, I love too much simplicity to spend hours trying to understand how a wizard can cast a spell, recover his mana, or how a hacker can enter the matrice and disable all its defense programs.

I came upon Savage Worlds of Pinnacle Entertainment and it brought me back into tabletop RPGs. Easy to learn, easy to play and fun, all I ever wanted. Now I make settings you can find on my blog which use these rules, but I am also working on an easier system for one-shot or very narrative games.

It made me think about the systems we use to play RPGs. Depending on the system you are using, your game will not have the same taste, no matter what you do, the rules bring their own logic.
For example with Savage Worlds, you will have a good atmosphere, your players will try stupid or heroic actions, as a game master, you will put on their way some tough foes, some really dangerous events which require audacious actions.
The D20 system is more about mechanics, learn how to play your abilities, how to combine them with your teammates…
Basic is a harsh system, no second chance, the voice of the percentage lead the game.

There are so many other game systems, but I will now think globally and try to understand the deep differences. It is really a personal thought, you may not agree, I will anyway cast a dominate person spell 🙂

To compare with programming languages where you have some low-level languages (close to the computer architecture) and a lot high-level languages (easier to understand and use), I think there are low and high-level RPGs game systems, but unlike the programming ones, the difference is not about complexity.

A low-level game system is close to the player. You play your character as you would act yourself in real life. You can play a barbarian with an incredible strenght, but you will not be able to rely on luck to succeed. You have to play smart and not forget that your character can die.
A low-level system would also take into account the traumatic experiences of your character, so you can’t say, ok, no problem with the giant spider, I will jump on her abdomen and ride her.
It is as if the system would influence the player. Your character is scarred, vou will not be able to do as you want.

A high-level game system is close to the game. You play as the game allows you to play with its rules with no link to the real world. You play a barbarian, go fight the dragon 1 vs 1, jump from the cliff to stab it… You can play heroic, brave, you may also do risky choices because you can rely on luck (cards, tokens, bonus points to spend…).
There is a distance between you and your character, you will never be able to do what he is doing, and you are not limited by real effects such as fear, cowardice…

For example, a quite easy high-level game system is Savage Worlds, it can be more low-level if you want.
A complex quite low/high level is D20 from Dungeons & Dragons.
A quite complex low-level is Basic for Call of Cthulhu.

I think no system is only low or high level, you always have a low-level rule in a high-level system, and vice versa.

I would add that often, simulation rules tend to be low-level, while narrative rules tend to be high-leve. But if you take Savage Worlds, it is between simulation and narration, and at the same time it is low and high level. It makes this system flexible and universal, perfect for me.

By the way, I am currently working on an easy low-level game system of which I will tell you about later.

This was a thought, maybe it is not relevant, maybe it is. I am curious to know what you think about this, I am sure a lot of you know far more RPGs  than me, so don’t forget to write a comment 😉

Why I play tabletop role-playing games?

Tabletop role-playing game

I play tabletop RPGS since 8 years old, i am 29 !

So, why have I spent 20 years of my life on this hobby ?

For a lot of reasons I will share with you in this article.

  • I am very inventive, I need to think about useless things because they are essential to me. I am bored at work, lets go, I am thinking about my next game, what I could create for my players.
    I am also a writer, so I really spend a lot of time far away from the real world !
  • I love games, cards games, board games, video games and of course role-playing games. I think people don’t play enough. This world is too much serious, too much about money, work, property, and other important but quite boring things.
    You want to reduce stress, anxiety, sadness, come and play !
    The play isn’t only a childhood luxury before a life of slavery ! We are not ants, and we have not yet encounter an alien species, so why do we put pressure so much on ourself, on our world ?
  • You want to socialize, play tabletop RPGs. You meet new people, you often share a meal or sweet things and you laugh a lot. What is best to have a good moment ? I don’t know.
    Moreover, tabletop RPGs are great for people who have behavior problems. You can play characters different from you from which you will learn about yourself. If you are with friends or good new people, you are in a bubble of no judgement, so feel comfortable.
    Yes, i believe that tabletop RPGs can help people who have for example language problems or an inclination towards violence.
  • Tabletop RPGs, because you play with your head, are also great to do sums and understand rules. They also are good for memory, you have to learn and recall the rules and to know and recall the data about your character and the characters of the other players.
    You also have to write down the key informations given by the Game Master (GM) and use them when it is right.
  • Tabletop RPGs are also a lot about respect. Respect of the rules, respect of yourself (you don’t commit suicide with your character), respect of the other players and respect of the GM, the one who is telling the story and waiting for your choices.
    You have to wait your term, listen to the others, sometimes stand up for yourself if you really feel that your group is doing shit, listen to the GM, and even deal with your frustration when you fail, above all if it is not your fault or if the dice are against you (every player knows that sometimes the dice hate you !).

So, all these reasons explain why I love tabletop RPGs and why I keep spending a lot of time on this hobby, which I hope will be a professional activity one day.
Video role-playing games are good, but even with a mic you don’t get the feeling of a real table full of players and beverages, and you don’t have the same freedom of thought.

So, try tabletop RPGs. It is easy, friendly and a much better way to take a break from the restrictions of real life that alcohol, tobacco or drug.

And if you want a proof that it is not a hobby only for nerds, watch this video and have a good game 😉

Dungeons & Dragons 5th (En)

Dungeons & Dragons 5th

Dungeons & Dragons, the legendary roleplaying game, the compass of the gamer, the founding father…

For real, I first tried D&D with the fifth edition !

Not really, because I played for long hours Baldur’s Gate II : Shadows of Amn. I also played, less, Neverwinter’s Night.

So for me, D&D, to make it simple, it’s Baldur’s Gate and Akhkatla, with very powerful magic stuff beyond reach, monsters boosted with testosterone and a med-fan atmosphere made of inns and strange people in back alleys (thiefs, ghouls…).

Dungeon crawling, I never really knew it thanks to the quality of the Baldur’s Gate’s quests.

As a consequence, I was never interested to play D&D 4th because I knew it was more a miniatures than a roleplaying game. For me, a roleplaying game is above all a good story and interesting player characters who take initiatives, who are living in an open-world.

D&D 3.5, I didn’t play with professional roleplaying games when I was a teenager. A sheet of paper, a pencil, a die and I made a story. This has not really changed and it explains why I prefer a rules-system like Savage Worlds.

D&D 5th, I tried it because my players wanted to.

When I first read it, I was pleasantly surprised ; the rules-system is not so complex, I even remarked some common points with Savage Worlds (inspiration, the general system which tends toward heroism).

Really good page layout, a deep system easy to understand. We often look for an information in the books, above all for the spells, but we do not read ten times the same sentence to understand what it means. The game needs to do some efforts and give it time, but will not waste your time with badly written, unclear or contradicting rules.

When playing, rolling only a D20 quicken the game. But there are so many informations about the different classes that it is really hard to remember and use them at the right time.

The fights are enjoyable because you have several options, however when you get used to Savage Worlds, the turns of combat are not as fun and furious as you would. The player characters have many skills, as their ennemis, let’s just say you have to be patient or a gifted person.

It is hard to quickly create a monster. You can do it but the chance is high that your players guess it. I had some difficulties to get confident with D&D about improvisation, but after some sessions, I learned to get free from these rules, especially since my players are not rules addicts.

Of course, D&D opens your world on a lot of additional products and dedicated websites. We really can create an interesting campaign. For a Med-fan story, if, like me, you like The Lord of the Rings, Baldur’s Gate, classical Med-fan worlds, this is the best roleplaying game. The possibilities given in the Dungeon Master’s Guide about black-powder or modern guns are interesting to imagine a steampunk world.

However, a big problem of this game is that you can’t modify the rules.  The game is well-balanced but doesn’t stand any modification. The system is easy to break with the addition of even a minor rule (except the integrated optional rules). I gave up creating my own rules, prefering the creation of new monsters and objets.

Another problem is the exponential progression of the characters. The characters get powerful skills in addition to the progression of their different bonuses, and the monsters can quickly become ridiculous. On this point Savage Worlds is better balanced, the legendary characters are not demigod, don’t become superheros.

To conclude, I like the numerous possibilities given by D&D and this 5th edition is great for fantasy campaigns. But I prefer Savage Worlds which I love because it allows me to be close to my players, their characters, my non-player characters, and to improvise what I want when I want.

Savage Worlds (En)

Savage Worlds

Savage Words, this rules system made me like again the role-playing games, no less !

I play RPGs since my childhood and I only bought at that time the Shadowrun 2nd book. I never really liked the main RPGs books. Many complicated rules systems often promoting competition between the players and nitpicking about the rules

And one day, by a miracle, I  came upon this appealing short book in a RPGs store.

Energy, simplicity, wish to play, creativity, not expensive, user-friendly size, these are all the good points that came in my mind when I first read this book.

This rules system was and is still a terrific tool to create my settings and get my friends to discover the RPG. Around the table, this system promotes fun, laughs, heroism, while giving a large choice of evolution for the characters. The players are happy and everyone plays without a headache.

This rule system is really fun and easy to use. It uses the d4-d6-d8-d10-d12, which is really fun and not repetitive. The rules are really adjustable even by improvising and it is really easy to give your players what they want.
About probabilities, this rule system makes the job even if people in fond of mathematics might consider it a little bit unbalanced. The most important is that it brings fun and adventure, and this is what I expect from a RPG.

About improvisation Savage Worlds is a fantastic system for me who really like to improvise. You are not limited by technical points and with a few numbers you just have created what you wanted : a non-player character, an object, an enemy…
If you need to read a rule it is done in less than 5 minutes. If you don’t find what you were looking for or if the rule really doesn’t satisfy your players, in 5 minutes you should be able to create the good rule.

Of course the ruleset book will quickly shows its limits for a particular setting, but Pinnacle Entertainment has published a huge amount of settings and you will surely find what you need.
Like I already said, you will more over be able to adapt with ease you favored movie, video game or book by creating your own gear, characters and rules. You will also find a lot of free stuff on internet, you could start by looking on my website 😉

As for me, all my RPGs are played with the Savage Worlds’ rules. I am also the dungeon master on a D&D5th table and I am working on my own system, mainly thought like Savage Worlds but with a lot of modifications to satisfy my own way of playing a RPG. I will make an article on it when it will be done and it will allow me to create my own games, not only settings.

The last word : you want to try, give another chance or simplify the RPGs, buy Savage Worlds !