Savage Rifts Playtest Update: Too Many BUGS!

Sean and I went down to one of our many gaming stores -- Court of Gamers -- to run a playtest of Savage Rifts. Gathered around the table were 5 members of the San Antonio Savages, my long-time friend Tomas, Sean, and myself. We tested out all of the new adult Xiticix, several new Iconic Frameworks, and an adventure. It was a good learning experience.

The game was pretty straight-forward. The Tomorrow Legion headed out into the Dakotas to help refugees from Tolkeen. New settlements risked invasion by expanding Xiticix Hives.

When they reached a village, a group of Deathbringer Tribe Psi-Stalkers and their necromancer -- Shizuka Kun -- asked for their help to take out a new hive nearby. Of course, they accepedt the challenge.

They rested the night in the village. Kun shared information garnered from reconnaissance into the hive. The Vampire in the group turned to mist and checked it out himself, bringing back more info. The heroes' Ethical Necromancer spent time communing with the dead and raised a security detail of six skeletons and two zombies

In the morning just as they began to head out, a young boy and some horses came racing into the village. A patrol of Xiticix followed close behind. A few members targeted the Xiticix Super Warrior leading the patrol, and others sought out the Warriors. It did not take long for them to realize the Super Warrior was their greatest threat; their Rahu-Man Cyberknight took on the task alone but found himself lacking. The Vampire used fear and sent over half of the Xiticix Warriors running, freeing up team members to help fight the main threat. After a long arduous battle, they defeated all of the Xitcix and were on their way.

Lucky for them, Shizuka Kun had time to dismantle the Xiticix. She provided Xiticix armor and scent. This proved useful when the heroes chose to sneak into the hive, evading the guards. That was until the Xiticix caught wind of the Rahu-Man who had been sprayed by one of the Xiticix. A tough battle ensued as some on the outside took on the guards (lead by the Necromancer and Knight of the White Rose. The others--including the Rahu-Man, Vampire, Wilderness Scout, Zapper, and Cyber-Horseman--took on those in the main shaft. It was a slog, but they made it through.

The Vampire made it through first. Using his wiles, and desire to be out of the sunlight, he sunk deep into the hive. There he kept the Young Queen's small guard busy until others joined him below. And in a single swing, the Queen was dead and the Xiticix were running.

I learned 4 lessons as I ran that game:

Lesson 1: Xiticix are tough! The Super Warriors are serious business, but they should be. The Workers, Diggers, and Leapers are a reasonable challenges without being a pain. Nannies and Queens may need some work.

Lesson 2: Clarify some material for the Iconic Frameworks. We tried out quite a few, and for the most part, they worked. There are kinks, but they are looking good. The Ethical Necromancer has lots of potential, and our player really helped show that. The Vampire is REALLY complicated. Thankfully, Sean played that character. That one is going to be tough.

Lesson 3: Novices cannot take on a hive, no matter how new. Small bands of Xitcix work. Equal number of Warriors or Hunters is fine. If a Super Warrior is thrown in, the fight must be carefully choreographed. I think I may have figured that out though. The other less combat oriented are good fodder to make a party feel good -- but for the most part, they should be.

Lesson 4: People are really looking forward to Savage Rifts. So our deep drives back into the books is a good thing. Hopefully, we can have more options that players are looking for.

Now on to the next playtest. Sean and I get to run Savage rifts as long as we want for Free RPG day at Multiverse Games. We will definitely be running a revised vampire game, as for the others with a new MARS package. As for the others, who knows.


  1. Great thanks for the update. And you are right a lot of us are very excited to see this project on our shelves.

    I noticed you said the vampire PC was a bit complicated, but then said Sean was the one using it.
    Perhaps to get a better fell have a stranger use it. The disadvantage of Sean using it is that you and he may have had many chats not documented on the sheets aligning your thinking so stuff may come up that he sails through. While it would stop an outside like myself or another player cold looking for answers.


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