Paradigm Shift 2: All Killer, No Filler

Posted: 3 August 2012 in Reflections

Just as my players hadn’t fully made the mental shift from D&D to Savage Worlds, I realise I have been trying to emulate parts of D&D in my games; so I need to make a similar shift, and after discussion with the friendly Savages on the Pinnacle forum and a bit of thought, here’s what I came up with.

  • I can’t hide behind time-consuming and unnecessary fights, or a monster of the week with exotic abilities. Adventures need a plot, and every encounter or fight must move it forward.
  • Opponents’ abilities matter less than numbers and tactics. The NPCs have to fight dirty, making full use of combat options, or the PCs will wipe them out in short order; the PCs’ Wild Dice and Bennies give them a killing edge in a "fair" fight.

The necessary shift will be easy to make, since the approach I need is much like the one I used for Classic Traveller and 2300AD in the 1980s and 1990s. In my experience, this moves the focus of adventures away from combat, towards mystery and intrigue.

  1. i have also found that the foe’s tactics are essential in Savage Worlds. Many time in my campaigns weaker foes with good tactics have given the characters a hard time. This is especially when the foes use missile weapons, which only need a 4 for a hit. The players definitely don’t take any fight for granted.

  2. I have one more point. Because the players realize the seriousness of combat, they have also worked harder to develop their own good tactics. They also use more of their skills, such as Stealth, to gain an advantage. I think this makes it more fun for everyone; we all enjoy seeing good tactics in action. i don’t get enjoyment from character death, but I do enjoy the syccess they earn.

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