Open Letter to a Terrible Savage Worlds Roleplayer

Photo Credit: Tom Coates

Photo Credit: Tom Coates

Dear X,

I’m so sorry it’s come to this. It’s not you. It’s me.

My apologies if I’m being overly dramatic, but that’s kind of the point. I like running high-drama, fast-action, cinematic Savage Worlds campaigns where players really immerse themselves into their characters.

The rest of the group seems to be down with that. They’ve developed back-stories for their characters over time. Every chance they get, they’re playing their character Hindrances to the hilt (yes, even when it puts them at a disadvantage — maybe even risks their death). They’re following up on clues, making alliances with NPCs, agonizing over moral choices and generally trying to get their characters’ story arcs to proceed to their dramatic conclusions. Read the rest of this entry »


What Do You Do with Your Old Homebrew Campaigns?

Freeport: The Buccaneers of the SkiesInglourious Basterds meets the Lord of the Rings. That pretty much sums up how my latest Savage Worlds campaign played out. Savage WW2 combat, magic, changelings and epic battles involving Nazi clones and twelve-foot tall Gray Elves — awesome stuff. I enjoyed the campaign immensely and my Players did too.

I’ve now run probably 6 or 7 or so Savage Worlds campaigns over maybe 25 sessions. I’ve got a lot of RPG stuff in various files backed up in Google Drive. I was thinking of throwing together some downloadable PDFs of them to share — but then I figured, why not make some money from them?

My next thought was — am I willing to put in the effort to make these — and market them? I don’t actually run a gaming company (though I do run a web copywriting company). I know that it’s not just about making stuff, but getting the products out to people who will buy them.


Soundtrack to a Savage WW2-Fantasy Campaign

UntitledJust finished Part 7 of what was supposed to be a 3 or 4-session Savage Worlds campaign that’s sort of a Weird Wars-Changeling WoD mashup. The number of Player Wild Cards and NPCs is getting pretty crazy. To help keep track of their various personalities and motivations, I’ve decided to give each character their own song (akin to my article a little while back, Story and Soundtrack to a Savage World of Darkness). Here goes:

Max Graff, Weird Scientist and Jewish-Czech resistance leader (Player). An analytical mind combined with some anger-management issues when it comes to Fascists. Read the rest of this entry »

Story and Soundtrack to a Savage World of Darkness

Music to play vampire RPGs by

Photo Credit: Michael D. Dunn

I’m pleased to report that a 5-Part Savage Worlds campaign inspired by WoD Vampires went about as well as I could have imagined. (In no particular order) Brian, Christoph, Lisa, Ian & Rhys, please congratulate yourselves on some epic roleplaying.

I’m not doing a full plot point recap or short story based on the sessions, but I am providing some notes below to remember some of the good stuff that went into this. Here goes…

The Big Idea I Had for this Chronicle: Interview with a Vampire meets Memento Read the rest of this entry »

Collaborative Storytelling

When I GM, I want to create epic stories — with the help of the Players. In recent games, I’ve seen the epic-ness happen, as in my latest campaign. The Players are listening to me and each other and bouncing off each other in interesting ways.

I’ve also seen games go off the rails spectacularly when the Players aren’t cooperating. I called it quits on an intricately-designed campaign after just an hour and a half into the first session. I wanted to run an action-packed gothic horror campaign, but my first Player wanted his Character to run into the woods and be a hermit about ten minutes in; the second Player wanted to run a hamburger stand for the Undead. It just didn’t gel, to the point that I was so annoyed I nearly quit gaming altogether. Read the rest of this entry »