Saturday, July 21, 2007
Nowadays what usually happens when it comes to role-playing, is a buddy and I get together, create some characters in whatever RPG we’re gonna’ play, and then maybe run one adventure. That’s it. We never get together again and the momentum for any kind of campaign is lost. I can’t tell you how many times this has happened and how many games that I’ve GM’d that went nowhere. It’s frustrating when you’ve put a lot time and effort prepping.
Last weekend I finally got the chance to do some gamming again and this time it was quite satisfying. I wasn’t the GM though, thank goodness, Dean Wormer fulfilled that role quite nicely. Flashback to several months ago, when overdroid was briefly in town, we played the opening chapter of the Savage Worlds setting Necessary Evil. I really wanted to continue this campaign, but I’ve been busy. Well, last week things worked out and Dean and I had a great time playing the next chapter. Dean jr. also joined us which made everything that much more fun.
I’ve always wanted to play in a superhero RPG campaign, but sadly most folks don’t seem to enjoy this kind of gamming, and until recently there wasn’t any system I was really happy with. Mutant and Masterminds is a great game because it really emulates the 4-color world very well (that Freedom City book is terrific), but I haven’t the time or the energy to wade through the rules, and I own it. I think I need to play M&M a few times rather than be the GM to get the hang of it. That’s just the way my brain works. Well, Dean has gotten into Savage Worlds. It’s a generic rules set that sprung out of Deadlands and The Great Rail War miniatures game. This RPG can incorporate settings that have additional rules that plug into the main rules set. It’s like D20 in that respect but it’s much more simple. Basically, the nice thing about Savage Worlds is that it’s easy to just jump into it and just play.
Well, the Necessary Evil setting book is about super-heroics and superpowers but with a twist. Aliens have conquered the earth through deceit and most, if not all, of the world’s Superheroes and leaders are dead. The entire planet has been subjugated, and humans aren’t much more than slaves. But there is a small glimmer of hope. There are still a few powerful enough to resist and maybe even force the aliens out… the supervillains! That’s right the players are supervillains. This time only the bad guys can drive the invaders away. It’s really a fantastic concept for a supers game. The characters have to be careful though; the adventures can be deadly, as the supervillains are essentially partisans.
This type of superpowered campaign has several advantages. One of the big ones is the deadly encounters. The adventures are truly exciting because the threats are very dangerous as a hit and run war should be. Another is due to the fact that the players really get to be both villainous and heroic. Something that really isn’t available in most superhero RPGs. The overarching storyline is engaging as well. Can the supervillains make it to the end of the campaign without being killed, let alone save the planet? And what are they going to do if they win anyway? They’re villains after all.
Necessary Evil via Savage Worlds is a lotta’ fun and a nice change from the usual superhero adventure since that stakes are so high. Check it out if you want a system and a campaign that’s easy to jump into.
You know this would make a great read for a comic story too. It should be adapted someday.