Friday, April 29, 2011

Announcement: Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition

Pinnacle Entertainment Group recently announced the printing of Savage Worlds Deluxe, a full-size, hard-bound edition of its award winning rule set. Available this August, the 160 page book expands, clarifies, and corrects the original Savage Worlds: Explorers Edition.

Priced at $29.99, the Deluxe Edition includes:
  • Design notes from the creators
  • All new One Sheet adventures
  • Expanded Setting Rules and designer notes on how to apply them in your game
  • New Situation Rules such as Interludes and Dramatic Tasks ( i.e. bomb defusing )
  • A complete rework of the Chase Rules
  • New Spells and changes to existing Spells
  • New Social 'combat' rules for things like debates and trials
  • Errata and rule updates
The Savage Worlds Deluxe edition is completely compatible with SW:EX (see note from Shane for details). All new rules will be made available free on the Pinnacle web site within a few weeks.

Pinnacle Entertainment Group could have come out with a new edition, changed more for the rules, and slapped a 2e on the cover forcing everyone to either continue playing SW:EX or switch over to the new edition. Instead, (and this one of the reasons I love Savage Worlds and the Pinnacle Entertainment Group) they produced the hard-cover rule book many of their fans requested AND released the new rules to the web free of charge. That's one of the many reasons its our go-to system for time-crunched gaming here at The Savage Troll.

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    Wednesday, April 27, 2011

    Review: Nevermore Manor

    Product: Battlemaps: Nevermore Manor
    From: Emerald Press
    Price: $1.00

    This is a nice map for your fantasy campaign to use as the home of a well-to-do wizard on the outskirts of town. The manor house has three levels complete with libraries, wizardly laboratories, and secret chambers. It's missing some detail that would be in an actual manor but that's easy to overlook since this is, after all, fantasy.

    It's well worth the $1.00 asking price.

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    Frank Chadwick's Space 1889 Blog

    Regular readers of The Savage Troll know of our affection for the Victorian genre. The Kerberos Club ranks high in our favored Steam Punk settings but the first such game to capture our imagination was Space: 1889. The concept of colonial, Victorian England in space and Liftwood ships over Mars was too juicy to pass over.

    I discovered the original book 25 years ago. Its blue cover  featured a Victorian Era British soldier on the cover fighting off gold-skinned ape men with fin ears. The logo had "SPACE" drawn as riveted metal with a stylized "1889" below it. I picked up the blue book and read the back cover.
    Role-Playing In A More Civilized Time. Everything Jules Verne should have written. Everything H. G. Wells could have written. Everything A. Conan Doyle thought of, but never published because it was too fantastic. Everything you need for adventures of the century! The Space 1889 role-playing game covers the exciting background of Victorian science fiction: ether fliers and Martian cloud ships, the canals and ancient civilizations of the red planet, Venus' swamps and dinosaurs, the honeycombed interior of Luna, and the thrills of inventions and inventors; the driving force behind Victoria's multi-world empire!
    I was hooked. Through Space: 1889 I discovered period of time which was as rich in history and change as it was in literature and invention. The War of 1812, The American Civil War, and the Crimean War changed forever the way nation fought nation while inventions like the railroad, telegraph, photography, gas light, cars and even aircraft changed the very fabric of society. Science grew into the discipline we know today with Universities and companies devoting ever increasing resources to new discoveries. Occultism and Secret Societies became popular as it seemed there was no limit to what man could understand and do and no mystery too deep to uncover.

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    Planned Changes for MapTool 1.4 - Part 2

    This is the second half of the MapTool 1.4 interview with Frank, Craig, and Bill the project leaders for MapTool.

    In part one, we discussed the user interface changes planned for 1.4. In this portion, we focus on Macros, underlying architecture changes, JavaScript, third part tool integration, and MapTool plug-ins.

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    Review: The Cliff Queen’s Court (Free)

    Product: The Cliffs Queen's Court
    Rule System: Savage Worlds
    From: GRAmel Publishing
    Price: Free
    Author: Umberto Pignatelli, Dave Blewer
    Artist: Magdalena Partyka, Michael Hammes, Philip Reed, Rick Hershey, Ireneusz Winnicki

    Savage Worlds is a generic system with a reputation for pulp gaming. While SW does pulp well, it also excels at fantasy settings like Beasts & Barbarians from the Polish game company GRAmel Publishing. The Cliff Queen's Court is a five page, one-shot fantasy adventure featuring two possible combat scenes and a dramatic final chase. The adventure is easily playable in one evening as a stand alone adventure or incorporated into an ongoing campaign as a random, seaside encounter.

    The adventure includes no maps and is fairly predictable to anyone familiar with Homer's The Odyssey. But even knowing what's coming shouldn't prevent the players from having a great time escaping The Cliff Queen's Court during the dramatic end of the adventure. I suspect some of the choices and trials during the last thirty minutes of play will be some of the scenario's most memorable moments as the characters run for their lives.

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    Planned Changes for MapTool 1.4 - Part 1

    MapTool is a free, open source Virtual Table Top (VTT) used to connect gamers of all stripes. MapTool includes powerful map creation, token management, light and sight, and initiative tracking functionality in an easy-to-use package that a user can pack with customizations to speed game play.

    It is The Savage Troll's go to technology for time-crunched gaming since it removes much of the setup and travel time required for our favorite hobby. You simply drop a map onto the screen, create a few tokens to represent PC and NPCs, start your MapTool server, and play.

    The 1.3 version of MapTool is in Release Candidate mode which means the developers are tidying up a few final bits and pieces before all work on 1.3 stops. At that point the developers rip the code apart and do major modifications and upgrades to the existing code base while adding a slew of new functionality. This leads to the inevitable question regarding what's changing, what's staying, and what's leaving in terms of MapTool form and functionality.

    The current project leads for MapTool ( Frank, Craig, and Bill ) took the time to answer a few questions regarding MapTool 1.4. Luckily for us they had a lot to say so we broke the interview into two sections. The first, Planned UI Changes for MapTool 1.4, is presented below. The follow-on interview regarding macros and other functionality should follow in one week's time.

    Saturday, April 2, 2011

    Review: 100 Deathtraps

    Product: 100 Deathtraps
    From Second Rat Games
    Price: $1.99
    Author: Erik A. Dewey
    Artist: Donald G. Dennis

    If you love putting your players in deathtraps (and what GM doesn't?) but dislike the tedium of actually creating inescapable doom, then 100 Deathtraps by Second Rat Games may be the product for you.

    All the traps are system and genre neutral containing no magic or super powered components and no MSG. The traps leave enough time for a character to possibly figure their way out to fight another day but all are designed to kill the character and not simply maim them. You can use the traps as an idea book or randomly decide between 100 forms of mental anguish to heap upon your players as their favorite character faces near-certain death.

    Now that's what I call a good time.