When we first switched from Dragon Warriors to Savage Worlds three years ago, the kids were quite a bit younger (9 years old). I think we played with the Savage Worlds Adventure Deck once and it wasn’t a great success. We were all still getting to know the new rules and the deck was more of a distraction than a game aid.
Yesterday Hermann brought his pack along, and it worked brilliantly. The party is presently in a rainy fortified northern town where they’re trying to find the location of a powerful artefact – the spirit of an angel trapped in an orb. They came to a strange city with no contacts, little context and a lot freer game setup than they were used to: no spoon-feeding information or tips – they had to do all the legwork themselves. Find a tavern for gossip, check out the town square, put their ears to the ground, establish some contactsand work out their strategy. The previous session had seen them exploring the streets, looking for an angle and information. Yesterday’s time was spent forming a plan and implementing it.
They’d already established that the geriatric head of the town temple was being poisoned – probably by his prior – and decided to poke their fingers in this particular wasps’ nest to see what reaction they could provoke. Whilst they were ensuring that the Heirophant was getting the medical care he needed, the prior headed into town to raise a rabble of local zealots to drive them out of town. Returning to the temple, the prior demanded that the zealots throw the party out as interfering foreigners who were making the Heirophant sick. Sir Elathan (my 12-year old son’s knight PC) threw the ‘Peace‘ card into the fray, giving them a chance to turn the tables. Using Gnome Stew’s High or Low game dynamic (which went down very well and we will definitely be making regular use of) we determined that the Heirophant had rallied enough in his sick bed to address the rabble. Not only did the Prior end up being unceremoniously booted out of the temple, the party now has a willing bunch of stooges who are prepared to follow them to hell and back.
They then managed to bleed a load of information from one of the castellan’s ‘eyes on the street’ using the ‘Spill the Beans‘ card, making me give away a spoiler that I was hoping to spring on them later, namely that the rumour that the gargoyles bedecking the fortress came to life at night to watch the battlements really was just that – a rumour set in motion by the castellan to dissuade unwanted intrusions.
A night-time ambush of a patrol of soldiers with the help of the zealots from the temple has now enabled them to get kitted out with a disguise to get into the fortress.
Two other points I was quite please with from a GM point of view:
- I managed to start and end the session on groan-earning cliff-hangers. We’d left off last time with one of the dwarves just noticing that he was being followed down the street on leaving the temple. This time we left it that the knight had just donned his disguise before attempting to breach the fortress security. Part of the uniform is a ring with a spike that bites into the wearer’s finger (it’s part of some nasty blood magic being used by the castellan). He’d spent ages humming and hawing about whether or not he should wear the ring or just break the spike off. He’s just put the ring on with the spike piercing his finger and felt a foreign presence trying to contact his mind. Dun dun duuun!
- I was particularly pleased that I was on top of things enough to throw a bit of colour into the game, describing the results of actions in combat instead of the regular “You cause one wound. Next!”