Thursday, June 23, 2016

Post Game: The Wild Hunt

So the game went well. By the end, my players were very interested in buying their own copies of Savage Worlds Deluxe. One of them was a Call of Cthulu player who was on the fence about getting Realms of Cthulu. Now he's ready to make the jump.

By the end of The Wild Hunt, the characters were beaten, bloody, and one had been torn limb from limb by 5 Huntsmen. There were also a few moments where Hindrances earned the players bennies. However, during the entire game only one Joker got pulled and it was for the villains. I've never gone through nearly a whole deck without pulling Jokers before but it happened twice last night.

So as I said everyone had fun. There were just a few problems, some do to it having been so long since I had a chance to play Savage Worlds.

  1. I wasn't as prepped as I thought I was and forgot about a surprise scene that would have showcased one of the character's Danger Sense edge. No one noticed though.
  2. The Hounds Howl ability uses the Test of Wills rules, which aren't included in the Test Drive. It's not a big deal for me but for new GMs using this as their intro to Savage Worlds, it is a problem.
  3. I had a hard time keeping track of who was Shaken.

Regarding number 3, this was a big issue since there were so many Extras and it meant the difference between who was up and who was gone after a semi successful attack. In the early days of playing savage worlds, I used tokens to represent heroes, villains, and innocent bystanders. One side was clear and the opposite side had a red ring to indicate Shaken. 

All I had to do was flip the token whenever someone got Shaken, but that was not an option with Pathfinder style pawns (or standees). So now I am facing the hard question of staying with pawns or going back to tokens. Tokens also have the virtue of not getting blown over everytime I exhale over the table.

Pawns have a bit more immersion than tokens by standing up and showing the full character. And both are easy to make and to transport. I took some time to Google how status is marked when using pawns or miniatures in other games. The options didn't thrill me.

Pinnacle has status chips. However leaning chips against the pawn or mini gets difficult when there is more than one status or when a character is surrounded by enemies (as happened last night, twice). Giving them to the player as a reminder is not an option as they are easily ignored in the mess and paperwork. Here's a Link to those chips in the Pinnacle store.

Another option is color coded disks that get placed below the mini/pawn, like those offered by Alea Tools. I'm not keen on this idea either as I would be constantly swapping the Shaken disk in and out, which again could get problematic when enemies are all bunched up.

The third option is to drop plastic rings or pipe-cleaner loops on to the minis, but that looks silly and again I would have a pain pulling them off of a bunched up group.

I'm interested in your thoughts or solutions. Do you think I should go back to tokens or does the verisimilitude of pawns outweigh the negative issues, in your opinion?


  1. I play in one Savage Worlds game where the GM simply uses a die to represent each foe (and their primary skill) thus we immediately know the difference between common mooks and really skilled mooks. He simply turns the die so it shows the "1" if that foe is haken. He also just tips the Wild Cards on their side (or lays them down) if they are shaken. Works well in both cases.

  2. I also run a game where we use colored plastic squares (yellow for shaken, red for wounds, green for fatigue, blue for other status effects) and we put them under the affected figure. It works well too, but is a little more fiddly, especially if figures move. The plastic 1" squares are from a teaching supply store where they sold them as counting squares.

  3. We usually have figurines and figure flats at cons some times. Sticking small colored stones/gems nearby works for us, yellow shaken, red wounds, orange fatigued... I like how a severely wounded person has this trail of red 'drops' following them around. Even in cluster battles it is easy enough to keep them sorted out.

  4. I'm thinking about why is it we have to put something on the base? Why not some sort of tag that sits on the top of the figure flat?

  5. i swear by my alea tools markers. i've had them since before they offered the savage worlds edge markers. i generally just use white for shaken, red for wounds, and black for fatigue. other colors can fill in for any other status i wanna mark but nothing else has really been common enough for me to cement the color i use.

    they are pricey. and i got mine during a (seemingly rare) sale. but they work great at my table. and i've been using them long enough now i feel i can justify the cost.

    i just got (as in they were only delivered today) some pathfinder pawn stands. i'm hoping a tri-fold style figure flat printed on card stock and folded up accordion style with all 3 layers will provide something thick enough for them to latch onto. once i've got that sorted my next step will be figuring out which magnetic stickers work for them. i'll probably order those from alea tools. you can find them on amazon but the quality of both the adhesive and the magnet can vary wildly. :(

    when i do things token style i can still use my alea tools by gluing 1-inch circles into these "flattened bottle caps."

    i'm not sure how obvious the magnetic nature of alea tools may be. but i think that's what makes them the most useful. if you've got your token or base set up right any status markers stuck to the figure will come along when you move the figure around.


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