Monday, July 13, 2015

Theater of the Savage Mind, Part One


It's no secret that Savage Worlds is my favorite system. I've always had one gripe with it though—it's written with tactical maps and miniatures in mind. The design is reasonable, especially considering it was derived from a tactical miniatures game.

When Pinnacle released Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition (SWD), I was elated to see there were rules added for games without miniatures, but really this short sidebar section of the book was more of a nod than a solution to my problem. The range section was still too granular for me (just using real measurements), and while the template conversion rules were welcome, they were really just a good start, as far as I'm concerned.

Since Savage Worlds has refused to stop being my favorite game (I think it's just addicted to me), I've decided to take some of my favorite "theater of the mind" gaming experiences from other games and use them to fully convert Savage Worlds into the game I wish it was. In thinking about design goals, I've settled on the following:
  1. The rules will cleave as closely as possible to the overall paradigm of what one might expect from Savage Worlds
  2. The rules will remain Fast, Furious, and Fun—I've no interest in making the exclusion of tactical maps and minis more complicated than using them
  3. The rules will allow for any existing Savage Worlds character to be used with nearly zero modification
 As I've been thinking about how deep a conversion should go, here's where I will concentrate my efforts, at least initially:
  1. Expanding on the template rules presented in SWD
  2. Replacing the original range rules
  3. Modifying affected Hindrances, Edges, and Powers in SWD
It's worth mentioning that theater of the mind rules need not be miniature nor map free. Minis and maps are great way to keep gaming groups on the same page in combat. I'm simply not interested in counting squares or hexes, or using a tape measure to move characters or determine things like range or line of sight—at least not in my roleplaying games.

It's my intention to post updates on this topic on Mondays, until I feel the rules are complete—or until my ideas go down in burning flames of bad design, whichever comes first. Stay tuned!