Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ennie Voting Is Open

Please take time and go to the Ennie voting site to show your appreciation for your favorite games.

TftST choices are:

  • Best Adventure - The Sense of the Sleight-of-Hand Man (Arc Dream Publishing)
  • Best Art, Interior -Deadlands Noir (Pinnacle Entertainment Group)
  • Best Cartography - Deadlands Noir Map: New Orleans & Hexaco (Pinnacle Entertainment Group)
  • Best Electronic Book - Shaintar: Legends Unleashed (Evil Beagle Games)
  • Best Family Game - Hobbit Tales from the Green Dragon Inn (Cubicle 7 Entertainment)
  • Best Free Product - Super Powers Companion Villain Supplement (Pinnacle Entertainment Group) followed by Rocket Age - The Lost City of the Ancients (Cubicle 7 Entertainment)
  • Best Miniatures Product - Weird Wars Rome Enemies of Rome Figure Flats (Pinnacle Entertainment Group)
  • Best Setting - Deadlands Noir (Pinnacle Entertainment Group)
  • Best Supplement - Deadlands Noir Companion (Pinnacle Entertainment Group)
  • Product of the Year - Deadland Noir
  • Fan's Favorite - Pinnacle, Triple Ace Games, Cubicle 7
You can check out all the nominees on DriveThruRPG for preview.

Vote early, vote often :)

Savage Worlds: Fast, Furious, and Fun! - Available Now @

Monday, June 9, 2014

Nova Praxis for Savage Worlds Kickstarter - 2 days left

Nova Praxis for Savage Worlds Kickstarter Updated: Last 7 hours
It's funded and only 2 days left for add ons!

by Mike McConnell of Voidstarstudios

Review by Derek Brown, Savage Duck

UPDATE: Nova Praxis has had it's Stretch Goals reset so many more are already achieved ! With 7 hours to go, at $11k+, the following Goals are DONE: the Augmented PDF, GM Screen, Ghosts in Darkness (adventure) Work Hazards (alien/creature book), and Nova Praxis Cards (custom Init Cards that will be released on DriveThruCards). Evolved backers will get all the stretch goals for free! 

My Kickstarter addiction comes and goes largely based on Savage Worlds settings offered. Two are ending this week, the first of which I'm writing about now: Nova Praxis. A Savaged Trans-Human SF setting originally released for Fate, Nova Praxis gives us a setting for post-earth post-singularity evolved humanity taken to the stars.

a few more points from Void Star Studios:
…a relatively "hard sci-fi" setting that takes place in the aftermath of a short lived technological singularity
…an exploration of the tropes of transhuman sci-fi. Mind uploading, resleeving, AI characters, and body augmentation. 
…an exploration of the societal impact of a reputation based post-scarcity economy. 
…a game in which players play characters who know how to slip between the cracks of civilization and perform the jobs their patrons would rather keep off the books.
... a setting full of conflict. The Houses wage a secret Shadow War against each other, purist and transhuman ideologies erupt in violence, and apostates lash out against the oppression of the Coalition government.
...home to railguns, powered armor, star ships, security drones, bipedal war frames, swarms of nanomachines, kill-sats, and the horrors of accelerated evolution gone wrong.
New Art: Olympus. Received last week to give us some mind candy and get things percolating.
Since the launch we've received an "alpha" edition to begin the crowd sourced approach to editing...and a fun jump into the setting. Nice! In that alpha edition's first paragraph is a link to a preview that, it turns out, is also linked on the main Nova Praxis Kickstarter page but was well hidden as a graphic. Here's a short-cut if you're looking on the main KS page, it's the large "Download a Preview" graphic just above the Stretch Goal section.
Also, Sean Patrick Fannon is involved and helping with this Kickstarter. He talks about it on his May 18th Vlog.
A little preview from the alpha cut:
Apotheosis - The main thing that sets Nova Praxis characters apart from characters from most
other sci-fi fiction is a process called Apotheosis. When it comes to PCs, whether or not you are Apotheosized is a huge deal.

States – Instead of different races, characters exist in different States.  They are:
  • Pure – You are a normal human. Roughly 70% of people are still Pure. You can choose to undergo Apotheosis and become Sleeved or a SIM, but you can never again become Pure.
  • Sleeved – You were once a normal human, but you decided to undergo Apotheosis. You may now transfer your mind into different artificial bodies called “sleeves”. Sleeves can be biological, or synthetic. You can choose to become a SIM.
  • SIM – You underwent Apotheosis, but have not sleeved into a new body. You essentially exist as a disembodied AI. You can choose to become Sleeved.
For those of us familiar with the "trans-human" genre, I think getting "Sleeved" will be a blast. I can also see the SIM aspect leading to some wild adventures. If this all sounds interesting to you, jump in. If this is your first trans-human SF setting, it should be a good one. 
Lastly, this KS project takes an interesting tack with the "print" edition being thru DrivethruRPG's print on demand. At my level, I'll get a coupon for the book (pdf) but I'll pay an additional $7.50 to $16.50 to get a softcover print edition and then shipping. 
Stay Savage!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Virtual Table Top Interview - Savage Worlds Crept In

Gaming Ballistic interviewed R. K. Athey (aka The Savage Troll) concerning Virtual Tabletops and MapTool.  It was a wide-ranging discussion about communities, products, and Chaos Lord Zack.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mobile Google Docs for Play-By-Post

I posted in a previous article how to use Google Docs (Drive) for a play by post game. For some reason, I expected people to post at their desktop. I was wrong. Almost everyone used a mobile device of some sort.

I'm organizing the game by Acts which contain Scenes which contain Rounds. I do one Drive document per Scene with the Rounds as Headings so I can generate a table of contents for easy navigation on a mobile device. Images use a sub-heading so they show up in the ToC as well. The players 'follow link' to any particular section.

First thing I had to figure out was how to take a screen shot. Don't laugh. I've never had to do this before. On my Note 2, I went to Settings->My Device->Motion and checked 'Palm Swipe to Capture'. To take a screen shot you act like you're going to karate chop your phone on one edge of the screen then swipe the edge of your hand from left to right or right to left. It takes some practice.

I then edit the photo in my favorite image editor, Sketch. It allows me to easily draw arrows and annotate. I can't say enough good things about that simple but powerful tool.

So, first thing I asked them to do is make sure they have Drive, Google+, and GMail.

I had previously shared the Drive document but it wasn't all that obvious to new users how to find that. 

The next problem was adding comments. Again, not that obvious to new users of the Drive Mobile App.

The results of this is a Savage Worlds game using MapTool. The maps are small on the screen but Drive allows a pinch motion on the image to expand for exploration.

I'm pleased with the results of using Drive on a mobile device. My only complaint so far is that when pinching the image above you often enter edit mode which covers some screen real estate with the touch keyboard.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Using Google Docs for Play-by-Post

Recently I started a new Savage Worlds play-by-post (PbP) game utilizing the Science Fiction Companion. I've attempted this a few times but have run into problems. Basically people don't want to create another account on any of the PbP sites and not everyone is on Google. My solution is to utilize Google Docs (aka Drive) with a link that allows folks to comment.

Comments can be activated one of two ways.

Method 1
1) The first is to select a region of text.

2) Next, right click on that selection to bring up a pop-up menu and select 'Comment'.

3) A box will appear on the right side of the document to let you enter however much text you like.

Method 2
The second method involves using the Google Docs Menu.

Place your cursor in the document you want to discuss. Select 'Insert' from the main menu, then 'Comment'.

The comment box will appear as in step 3.

I'm going to give this a try. Ideally the characters will comment on the section of test. For rounds I'll put in their initiative order then let the comment on the character's name. I'll then 'Resolve' the comments as I continue the narrative inside the doc.

I'll post back here to let you know how it goes.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Savage Worlds Science Fiction Companion and The World of Grey

Pinnacle Entertainment Group released the Science Fiction Companion to an eager audience looking for Savage adventures in the far future. It contains new races, Edges and Hindrances, Setting Rules, gear, cyberware, and numerous new races and creature. It also includes rules for players and Game Masters to create their own robots, power armor, vehicles, starships, walkers.

PEG packs a lot into 98 pages making it will worth the PDF price of $14.99. I was curious how well it handled custom settings. I recently released a science fiction novella titled World of Grey and was curious as to how well the ships, characters, gear, and races of that book translated into the new rule set.


The Green Dawn is a Seminole class Assault Scout that exists somewhere between the Medium and Large ship types presented in the SFC. It but most closely matches the Medium template. I inferred a bit between the two sets of stats.

Medium Green Dawn Large
Size 8 9 10
Acc 45 43 40
TS 600 550 500
Climb 2 2 1
Toughness 25 27 30
Armor 6 6 7
Mods 25 27 30
Crew 5 15 50

I used our Ship Builder spreadsheet from a previous post to generate the Dawn. Here's the result.

Ship Name Green Dawn
Size Medium/Large
Acc/TS 43/550
Climb 2
Toughness 27(6)
Mods Remaining 2
Crew 15
Energy Store 200
Cost $26,540,000.00
Systems AI, Atmospheric, Deflector Screens, FTL, Hanger, Sensor Suite Galactic, Shields, Targeting System,
Weapons 2XLight Lasers (2X Linked), 2XMedium Lasers (2X Fixed and Linked), Torpedo 1XLauncher with 8xLight (1X Fixed),

The Dawn has the characteristic of Large ships in that it can take a maximum of 2 wounds per attack due to air-tight compartments. It also has a Marauder Drop Shuttle attached to the airlock behind engineering. Its meant to sneak past detection, survive a landing, and provide some direct fire support of the Hellhound squad.

Ship Name Marauder Drop Shuttle
Size Small
Acc/TS 50/700
Climb 3
Toughness 20(9)
Mods Remaining 0
Crew 1
Passengers 10

Energy Story 25
Cost $3,165,000.00
Systems AMCM, 2xArmor, Atmospheric, Deflector Screens, Passenger Pod, Sensor Suite Planetary, Shields, Stealth,
Weapons 1XLight Lasers (1X Fixed), 1XHeavy Slug Throwers,

Sarge's Hellhounds encounter a Slug ship during the story. Slugs are technologically advanced. I manifested this by giving them 50% more mod spaces on Blasphore's ship.

Ship Name Blashphor's 'Freighter'
Size Huge
Acc/TS 35/400
Climb 0
Toughness 35(8)
Mods Remaining 27
Crew 300
Passengers 0

Energy Story 500
Cost $89,280,000.00
Systems AMCM, Deflector Screens, FTL, Sensor Suite Galactic, Shields, Tractor Beam,
Weapons 8XLight Lasers (8X Linked), 4XSuper Heavy Lasers (4X Fixed and Linked), Torpedo 2XLauncher with 16xLight 4xHeavy (2X Fixed),

The slug ship used 20 of the mod spaces for this adventure with two superstructures. You'll have to read the story to find out what they were. 

So, with a little GM fiat, I was able to represent the ships fairly well using the base rules. The SFC applies a logarithmic curve to ship sizing so getting exactly what I wrote took a bit of fudging.


Next, I tried to interpret the characters.

Doc is a cyborg who was once a doctor at a colonial hospital. An attack left a third of her body destroyed. I was interested to see how she would translate. Here's how she turned out as a seasoned character.

Agility d8 Parry 4
Smarts d8 Toughness 8(2)
Spirit d8 Charisma -2
Strength d12 Pace 6
Vigor d8


Mean Minor –2 to his Charisma for ill-temper
Quirk Minor Flares cybereye during conversation
Vow Major To protect the Dawn
Bad Luck Major 1 less bennie per session


Cyborg Doubles Cyber Allowed
Healer +2 Healing
Ace +2 Boating, Driving, Piloting - Can make craft soaks


Driving d4+2

Fighting d4

Healing d8+4

K – Astrogation d6+2

K – Biology d6

K – Electronics d6+2

K – French d4

Notice d6+2

Persuasion d4

Piloting d10+4

Repair d4

Shooting d4

Throwing d4


3xStrength(6), 1xAgility(2), Improved Vision(1), Improved Hearing(1), Trait Bonus -Piloting(1), Healing(1), Piloting(2), Knowledge (Electronics)(1), Knowledge (Astrogation)(1)


Smart Suit, Laser Pistol, Comlink, Personal Data Device


Arvins are a race of lagomorphs (rabbits) from the planet Arv. They've been conquered a number of times so being taken over by the Federation was nothing new. In fact, they considered a real step up from being conquered by the Kurr, who used them as game animals.

What most races call cowardice, Arvins see has just plain common sense. They are one of the few non-human races that are seen throughout the Federation.

  • Fleet Footed(+1) - Arvins have a base pace of 8 and a running die of d10
  • Enhanced Hearing(+1) - +2 to hearing based Notice Checks
  • Leaper(+1) - Doubles normal jumping ability.
  • Night Eyes (+1) - ignores penalties for bad lighting
  • Yellow (-2) - All Fear checks made at -2


I was able to easily convert my fictional universe from World of Grey into Savage Worlds. I was quite impressed by how little work it took. All the concepts seem to flow easily into the the new ruleset.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Science Fiction Companion Ship Builder

I created a quick spreadsheet to help you design custom ships for the new Savage Worlds Science Fiction Companion much like the one I did for Space 1889: Red Sands.

It has protection and validation rules in place to keep erroneous data to a minimum. Let me know if you find any bugs. You can find the spreadsheet on drop box.

Thus Far I've enjoyed the Science Fiction Companion a great deal. Hope to have a full review out soon. In the meantime I'm going to give a shot at transferring characters, races, and ships from World of Grey into Savage Worlds.