Doing a Dark Sun hack using Savage Worlds

MapofUrikRegionSo the consensus of my group was if they were to dip their toe into fantasy, it would be a setting far away from traditional Tolkien-like high fantasy. Likewise, I think 4E was just not in the cards. Many of the players had that ‘been there, done that’ feeling with the game. After a year and a half, it was time to try something new.

So I took the plunge into Savage Worlds. A big part of the reason was that if we got tired of our regular campaign we could jump into something else without too much of a learning curve. I wanted modularity and Savage Worlds offered that. Also, I liked the streamlined system that Savage Worlds has. GURPS is a bit clunky for me and the character creation system, while very detailed, seems a bit of a chore to dig into.

We had made a short stint with a Savage Worlds hack of Traveller but that petered out due to extended summer vacations and a bunch of new folks coming into the group. The crew of High Hopes is still wandering the stars, but put on the back burner for now. Given some of the folks were acclimated with SW, likely we would stick with that for our next campaign.

With the game system decided, the next task was the setting. Supernatural horror and campy super hero stuff was on the table. Fantasy was initially a no go however I got to worrying about adventure ideas. I did not want to craft a huge overarching campaign story like last time and keep things pretty much a sand box. This was a bit of a kink for me if we dabbled in a more modern setting, as even with fantastical elements, I’d likely hit a wall with adventure ideas. Lately, fantasy settings seem to get my creative juices flowing more.

So I thought about using Dark Sun. Fortunately there is a ton of stuff that you can find online that has used Savage Worlds rules for the setting. Armed with a lot of good resources, I was able to whip up a rules a mishmash from different sources and other conversions to get a framework together of the different races and magic system.

One thing I did tweak a bit was the rules for weapons breakage. So in my game non-metal weapons will break on a critical failure for a fighting roll. If being used against a foe wearing metal armor, a roll of 1 on either fighting die results in the weapon breaking. Metal weapons are exempt from this rule. Further, metal weapons do +1 damage to targets not wearing metal armor.

It’s a small tweak, but I wanted something simple to remember and allowed for some advantages for wearing metal armor. Definitely this is something that will creep up on my player’s wish list of gear to get.

So far the group has been having fun in the setting. They have started in Raam and are making their way to the newly freed, Tyr. I think there will be lots of exciting things for them to do. Expect more posts in the future about the game.

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