Savage Worlds Adventure Edition Review

Rob Kalajian review, tabletop Leave a Comment

Savage Worlds Adventure Edition - Pinnacle $9.99
Savage Worlds Adventure Edition Review - Cover

Game title: Savage Worlds Adventure Edition

Game description: Savage Worlds is the core ruleset for all of Pinnacle’s current roleplaying games, including Deadlands, 50 Fathoms, Necessary Evil, The Last Parsec, Weird Wars, and more. It has everything you need to play narrative or miniature-based games, with quick, simple, yet comprehensive rules for everything from combat to Dramatic Tasks, Chases, and Interludes. The emphasis is on less bookkeeping for the Game Master so she can quickly and easily create worlds and adventures for any setting, and focus on the players and their actions during frenetic combat.

Overall
3.3
  • Play (Mechanics)
  • Presentation (Art/Quality)
  • Plan (Rules)

Summary

Delving back into the world of RPGs has been both overwhelming and absolutely enlightening. Savage Worlds presented me with a system that was amazingly fluid and modular, yet still a bit crunchy like the RPGs I remember growing up with. While I’m not familiar with any other edition of Savage Worlds other than this latest one, it has quickly made me realize that there’s so much more to explore in the world of tabletop, pencil-and-paper roleplaying games.

Pros

Great price for digital edition

Interesting card-based initiative system

Fluid and flexible character advancement

Cons

Might be a bit too crunchy for new players

Lots of different products make for confusing entry

Inconsistent artwork quality

Full Savage Worlds Adventure Edition Review

Delving back into the world of RPGs has been both overwhelming and absolutely enlightening. Savage Worlds presented me with a system that was amazingly fluid and modular, yet still a bit crunchy like the RPGs from the ’80s that entertained me. While I am not familiar with any other edition of Savage Worlds other than this latest one, it has quickly made me realize that there is so much more to explore in the world of tabletop, pencil-and-paper roleplaying games.

Savage Worlds has you create a fully fleshed-out character, complete with Edge (buffs) and Hindrances (flaws), Core Skills, Common Knowledge, and specialized Skills. The game provides a flexible and modular system for “leveling up” your character over the course of a campaign. This is a fairly large departure from class-based leveling found in the most popular RPGs. I dig it.

Savage Worlds Adventure Edition Review - Kids on Bikes
Kids on bikes running from a tentacled monster. Stranger Things have been seen in RPGs.

Savage Worlds covers everything a good Core Rulebook should: character creation, skill checks, combat, item tables, magic, etc… It is a system that uses d4s for all starting stats and has players “upgrade” their skills by moving to the next die up. This is the point where the system gets a bit crunchy. There is a lot to take into account with each type of die, Bennies (tokens used for rerolling dice, etc…), Wild Dice (used by characters and important NPCs), and a card-based combat initiative system.

Conclusion

A few things Savage Worlds does not do very well are things like consistent quality with its artwork. There are some great pieces in there. There are also some not great pieces. While I do love the bit of crunchiness the system provides, other, newer RPG players may not. Lastly, the wealth of Savage Worlds products out there may prove a barrier to entry to new players.

Savage Worlds Adventure Edition Review - Artwork
Some of the game’s artwork just doesn’t jive with me

These core rules are very enjoyable to read. The book is very well laid out, easy to read, and even has some fun margin notes from “players” of the game and their GM. The character advancement system, Wild Dice mechanics, and card-based initiative are all very different from mainstream RPGs. This makes Savage Worlds feel refreshing and worth the time to explore.

A PDF copy of the Savage Worlds Adventure Edition Core Rules was provided by Pinnacle for this review

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