Category Archives: Other Systems

Pirates are playing in the sandbox

This saturday, we concluded our first Pirates of the Spanish Main adventure. I used the adventure that was printed in the back of the book, added some things and made some minor changes to the characters. I also built up the Baron Pettigrew to become a recurring villain.
And instead of going to plan another adventure I will now prepare for a sandbox campaign, where the players fully decide what they want to do. I will of course always have some single-sheet adventures ready, but for the most time I will try to avoid “rail-roading” the players.
In my opinion the Spanish Main is perfectly suited for that kind of campaign. But hey, what do I mean when I talk about a sandbox campaign? I am talking about a open-ended campaign where the player’s decide the course of action not a pre-planned adventure. If the player’s want to go plundering, it’s fine with me, if the want to do trading, it’s their call.
As a GM I will set the background and once in a while drop in some hints on some things I’ve planned in the past. Just like the “sub-quests” in some computer games. But there’s no epic “rescue the world from utter destruction” plot that forces me to railroad the players to some climatic fight at the end. If they want to bring down the evil Baron Pettigrew, it’s their decision not mine. But I have some ideas on how the world will change around them even without them doing anything. After all, even the Spanish Main in the 17th century was not a static place.

“Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition” Review

Savage Worlds is a multi-genre roleplaying game created by Pinnacle Entertainment. So it’s no coincidence that the Savage Worlds rules have some similarities with the classic Deadlands rules. But other than Deadlands which comes with an original background, the Savage World rules are suited for any campaign. And if you don’t want to create your own campaign there are quite a few SW campaign settings available at your FLGS and you can get dozens of “one-sheet adventures” at the official PegInc site for free!

The “Explorer’s Edition”
The SWEE is the newest edition of the SW rules. It’s a 160 pages paperback book and of smaller size than usual roleplaying game rules. The advantage is that you can easily carry the book around and check out the rules with ease instead of hauling around a whole library of books. And in most cases you don’t need anything more than this book, your campaign, dice, and a deck of poker cards to play or run SW.
Continue reading “Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition” Review

Superhero campaigns

Although I am no avid fan I like superhero comics, movies and computer games. I also own “Mutants & Masterminds“, the superhero RPG by Green Ronin. But I’ve never actually played in or even run a superhero campaign. Especially after watching “Dr. Horrible” I would like to run a short superheroes campaign perhaps using Savage Worlds or the beforementioned M&M. But I am still unsure how I should pull it off.

  • Homebrew setting or an already existing universe?
    Shall I create my own setting or shall I go with some preexisting world like the Marvel Universe? The problem with the latter is that shall the players play their favorite heroes from the comics or original characters?
  • Silly or serious?
    I mentioned “Dr. Horrible” before. The “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” was a superhero musical in three episodes by Joss Whedon (you’ve probably seen it). “Dr. Horrible” is great comedy. Creating a campaign following the “Dr. Horrible” route would probably allow funny characters and a lot of laughs. But you also could take the genre more serious and create something like the recent Batman movies. I always had some trouble with running “funny” campaigns, so I would probably run a darker campaign.

What are your thoughts on superhero roleplaying campaigns? Please share your experiences in the comments. I would love to read your ideas on the subject!