2013 has been a pretty cruddy year for me in many, many ways. Financial problems, illness, serious family drama, and the accompanying writer’s block have kept me away from the blog. I’ve missed writing, but I’m not even sure what to write about anymore.
I’ve been feeling a bit disconnected from Savage Worlds in the last few months. The Savage Worlds blogosphere is far from the vital, interconnected RPG community that the OSR represents. The community is found almost exclusively at Pinnacle’s forums and I’m just not a forum kind of guy. While Savage Worlds is still nominally my system of choice, Robin and I have spent most of the last month’s worth of duet games not even getting out the character sheets and dice.
Admittedly, the problem there is that we’re telling the kind of story Savage Worlds just isn’t able to handle: a literal apotheosis. Our story is set in the world of Mythika (home to the awesome but equally unsuitable faux-old school game Mazes and Minotaurs) where Nyssa of Peleos, daughter of the god Dionysus and the warrior-woman Ariadne (lazily named after the Minoan princess but not the same person), is ascending from mere superhuman demigod to true divine splendor as the goddess of liberation. Savage Worlds does superheroes and Savage Suzerain does demigods, but neither of them does cosmic. Mystical Throne Entertainment’s port of the Italian RPG Mythos sounds almost exactly like the kind of game I wanted to run, but it doesn’t come out until the end of July.
(I know I should be using Scion, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever run a campaign like this again so buying a new system seems like a waste of money. Of course, I actually ran a game like this before years ago using first edition Exalted -- Robin’s character was a clone of Amaterasu being raised as a modern super-goddess in a near-future Japan – so maybe I really should be thinking about investing in a game that handles big and mythic better. I might be an atheist, but I’ve loved mythology as long as I’ve swashbuckling and I might surprise myself with another turn toward “high-level” play yet again.)
The fact that I want something from Mystical Throne actually surprises me. I signed up for the playtest for Faith and Demons and was so unimpressed with the initial playtest documents that I just gave up on it there and then. I really, really hate introducing scores of new Edges to Savage Worlds in third-party settings. While a dozen to a score of new Edges will help give a unique identity to a setting, including 60+ Edges (especially unique Edges for specific weapons) just narrows characters into specialists instead of broadening players’ options. Unfortunately, this seems to be the trend in Savage Worlds supplements and settings, and it deepens my dissatisfaction with the system. It’s the decadence of the d20 era all over again.
Anyway, right now the game consists of freeform storytelling. It’s sometimes dissatisfying because we don’t have a real resolution mechanic so it’s all just GM fiat, but it works for the moment. Perhaps some of the upcoming Savage Worlds publications will reignite my interest in the system; I plan on buying Mythos even though this current campaign will probably be over by then, and Clockwork Dreams from Savage Mojo looks interesting. The free primer certainly makes Clockwork Dreams seem like a very gentle and whimsical setting. I’m curious to see how that translates into Savage Worlds; it might even inspire me to get back to work on the Regency setting.
I could certainly use the inspiration.