Monday, May 4, 2020

Savage Worlds: Adventure Edition impressions

Also known as "Tilting at windmills: now with shinier, newer windmills!"

Got my hands on a copy of SWADE (Savage Worlds ADventure Edition), which is effectively Savage Worlds 2nd Edition. Or, I think 3rd edition now maybe, Explorer's Edition might be 2nd. Anyway. SWADE is simplified compared to SWEX (Savage Worlds EXplorer edition), to a fairly significant degree for good and ill. They made a lot of minor changes and streamlining, a little bit of flavor is lost in the translation but it seems much more usable.

Character creation: You get a lot less points for skills, but they condensed skills a TON and it makes them actually usable. There's also an alternate rule listed in the book specifically for more modern settings, where extra skills in computers or driving are to be expected, which gives a handful of extra points under the assumption that experience and information to learn new skills is easier. Still a weird disconnect between high control stat and low skill, but the ease of buying up skills now that they're not so thinly spread makes it not too huge an issue, now manageable instead of almost crippling.

Hindrances can now be stacked in whatever order you are allowed to take them in, rather than ONLY getting 1 major, 2 minor. Can have 4 minor, or 2 major, or 1 major and 2 minor.

A few things that used to be equipment features are now perks, and conversely a couple things that used to be perks are now just flat rules for using certain types of equipment in particular ways.

Gear: gear lists are much improved, and are actually remotely functional now. Some things are still weird, there's a lot of room for improvement, and it's still all but impossible to own even the cheapest of vehicles even with the Wealth edges. Non-weapon/armor gear is almost nonexistent in scope or detail.

Skills Modifiers: Gone are individual tables per skill of bonuses and maluses, everything runs on a scale of -4 to +4 for good or bad and give some examples to help the GM with gauging what modifiers. GURPS style floating modifiers win again!

Expanded rules: There were add-on free expansions for handling quick encounters in SWEX, but now they're core book (everyone rolls once or twice to handle a particular task, rather than a whole series of individual tactical rolls. For taking care of side-missions or surprise detours that aren't ready for a full on tactical fight/exploration/etc). Hazardous conditions still have hunger and thirst kill you insanely quickly, even though they specifically mention the Rule Of Threes, which none of the relevant rulesets remotely approximate, as most will kill you in a day or two unless you have phenomenal stats and/or rolls. Chase rules seem like they work better now, a bit more complicated with a timeline of cards that's kind of hard to visualize reading but sounds like it would be really nice in actual use.

Tests/support: Now tests just take a skill or attribute and use it against the controlling attribute of the target, rather than having a bunch of skills and specific stats used to defend against them. Tests target the enemy and inflict assorted penalties. Support lets you use just about anything you can justify via roleplay to give a buff to an ally, so even if you're not well suited to whatever's going on you can almost always find a way to participate.

Powers: Core powers rules remain, individual details per each trapping are removed. There are still interactions with Trappings and things that might give a bonus or penalty, but it's far less in-depth in slightly disappointing ways. It's almost not worth it to get different flavors of a particular Power. All powers use Smarts for range, even the Faith powered ones, which makes Smarts arcane backgrounds flatly superior (but easily remedied by just making Faith the range stat for Faith powers), and all use the same table for magical backlash. Ranges are also fixed, rather than range increments per ranged weapons. Gadgeteering powers have their inventions that fire them exist in a weird limbo of sort-of existence, and nobody can make items usable by others without an edge for it. Powers are now super variable by default, with a huge array of extra boosts available to swiss army knife them to a slightly OP degree. More limitations are needed than the default 2 in the book.

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