The product I’m looking at here is the setting primer by Palewolf Publishing. Currently free to download from RPGNow, but that shows it as discounted from $4.99, so that may not always be true. It’s an 8 page PDF.
So, what do we have here? Olympian Breed is a setting for Savage Worlds. It assumes you have the Deluxe Edition of the basic Savage Worlds rules, the Super Powers Companion, and the Fantasy Companion. I understand not wanting to repeat the core rules in each setting, but I would prefer not to have to buy the two Companions as well. Maybe that’s just me. Anyway…
This product is the initial offering in a series of scenarios – scenario 0, if you will – which can be played independently or linked together. The setting is Mycenaean Greece, but with the gods and monsters all real; Perseus recently offed Medusa, but the Minotaur is still alive and goring.
The PCs are demigods, offspring of one human and one divine parent – this is a neat way of explaining their Wild Card status.
There’s a short description of the world, a nice full page map (sepia overlaid with coloured borders for the city-states, if my history serves me).
Then we’re into character creation; this requires the Super Powers Companion, which I don’t have, but it looks like there is a new Edge and a new Hindrance.
- Blessing of the Gods replaces Arcane Background: Super Powers as an Edge; it’s basically the same, except that it has fewer power points, and gives enhanced senses (whenever the GM thinks it should) and the use of Spirit to perform one type of check – in my PDF viewer, which type of check is overtyped by something else to the point where I can’t read it, sadly.
- Destiny (Major) is presumably a Hindrance – I know AB is an Edge, so Blessing must be one too, but the document doesn’t specify which is the Edge and which the Hindrance. If you’re familiar with the rules that won’t hold you up more than a few seconds; there are no Major Edges, only Major Hindrances, so this must be a Hindrance. Anyway, Destiny means you are marked for the attention of the gods and for great deeds.
There’s a short armour and weapons table, with statistics and descriptions for a handful of common Greek weapons of the period.
Then comes a list of questions the players should answer in defining their hero’s background – the crucial ones to my mind are which divinity is your parent, and do you know that?
The document closes with a two-page character sheet.
This could be an outstanding setting if done properly; how much more heroic can you get than Greek myth? The setting primer doesn’t give me a lot of evidence either way about whether the authors can pull that off; I’ve no reason to suppose they can’t, but in my current lazy and parsimonious mood I need to be seriously impressed to add to my collection of “shelfware”, and I fear I’m not seriously impressed.
If I’d paid $5 for this, I’d feel cheated, but you can’t argue with “free”. I’d have to get one or two of the adventures to be sure – the first one is available now – but I have enough of those already to keep me going to the end of the year.
I’ll keep an eye on the series, but more for love of Greek myth than because the initial product hooked me. I have no idea how typical my tastes are, but if they are, that could be a problem for Palewolf; the purpose of the “test drive” is to induce me to buy more of the line, and in this case, it didn’t.