Savage Shore

Subtitle – When character creation goes weird.  So, this post isn’t very long and doesn’t break any new ground, but it’s funny and I thought I would share and see if it has happened to anyone else.

I have just started running a Savage Worlds game.  I am running a module from the ‘Daring Tales of Adventure’ series (yes, I know.  I have put down modules in the past, but I adored the story of this adventure so much that I couldn’t pass it up).  I know some of the people in my game read this blog, so I won’t detail any of the plot – but it involves Nazis and vampires – what could be more awesome?

Anyways, we’ve had two sessions so far: character creation and a ‘mock’ battle the first night, and an entire ‘Act’ on the second.  Now, I know what happens when you assume, but I expected that character creation would be a little bland: stereotypical pulp characters a la Indiana Jones, Dick Tracy or the Rocketeer.  I was partially correct: the characters created were not atypical to the setting – we have a scholar/doctor type character, a retired boxer, a charismatic gun bunny, and a loud mouth driver/gunner type character.  However, during the ‘How does the party know each other?’ phase, it got weird.  The gun bunny decided that she wanted to be a mob princess, and the group followed suit and made slight changes to their characters: they all became Italian-Americans who were at least tangentially connected to the mob.  And the group plays the part – really, the group can accurately be described as ‘Jersey Shore in 1937, fighting Nazis’.

In most games that I have run or been in, the characters have had problems connecting and creating a cohesive(ish) group, so I’m quite pleased that the group came together relatively easy.  However, the tone of the game is vastly different than I expected.

The first sessions was a blast.  There were a couple of times where the game to a screeching halt because of rules confusion (seriously, car chases in Savage Worlds are confusing and don’t seem to make much sense), but overall, the session ran smoothly.  Some of the highlights of the session were:

  • During the mock battle, I had them fight a bunch of yetis in the Himalayas.  No, I don’t know why they were there – it was mainly to get them used to encounters.  Anyways, the end result was the mob princess getting a coat made of yeti fur and the scholar bringing a yeti back for research (that the boxer had to carry).  It became a nice WTF encounter that helped the group flesh out their characters’ personalities.
  • Back in Boston, after encountering rats on a sinking ship, the Boxer was convinced that the real concern was that a plague of rabies was going to sweep through the city .  It didn’t help that a little bit later the group encountered a delusional man who was ranting and raving and had just bit a helpless lady.  The rabies thing became a running issue throughout the rest of the session (even though the scholar had dismissed the theory with a healing check).  The Boxer is more on this mission to prevent a rabies outbreak than to get the artifact.
  • The driver/gunner guy took the hindrance called ‘Cocky’ – this means that he had to spend the first round of every encounter boasting, taunting, or describing what he was going to do to his opponents.  This made all encounters very entertaining – imagine one of the guys from Jersey Shore mouthing off while gunning down Nazis.  The last encounter was the best: he decided to accelerate the car he was driving into a bunch of Nazi’s while loudly (and profanely) declaring what he was going to do to them for ruining his car’s paint.
  • They end up capturing one of the high ranking Nazis and tried to get away with him by stuffing him in the trunk and driving off from a major gun battle that occurred in front of a burning building.  The fire department and police department was there and tried to detain them.  However, the gun bunny rolled so ridiculously well on her persuasion roll that the police believed that the mobsters stuffing a Nazi officer in their trunk (in full Nazi uniform) were with the FBI (or the ‘Pinkerton’s, as the group corrected her).  After a brief and ineffective ‘torture’ session (they were still ‘good’ guys, after all, and couldn’t actually torture him), they basically shoved the Nazi back into the police’s hands and sped off.

Like I said, it’s been very entertaining, and I’m having a lot of fun – I hope my players are.  Has anyone else run a game, either a module or not, and have expectations that were totally shattered?  Or have any really weird developments happen, either in character creation, or as the game goes on that just really changes everything (not in a bad way, just makes the story/game different than expected)?

And, not having been in many games, is this where memorable games come from?  The totally unexpected?


3 responses

  1. “Has anyone else run a game, either a module or not, and have expectations that were totally shattered? Or have any really weird developments happen, either in character creation, or as the game goes on that just really changes everything (not in a bad way, just makes the story/game different than expected)?”

    Oh god… “Yes” is the short answer. The long answer would involve me rattling on for a couple hours about how my PCs do that in every game I ever run. Skip to a new plane of existence? Sure! Decide to work with the villain? Sounds cool. Ask me to set up a particular story line and then ignore it in favor of sailing to a distant continent? Absolutely.

    And yes, that’s where all my memorable games come from. Because my PCs are loons.

  2. Paul, you forgot shooting the Imperial Cleric or pulling a sentient bat out of the bag of holding.

    Yes, every game I’ve ever played in has had something which changed everything. Unless you’re playing with a stable group of players who are all in agreement on the tone, setting and everything else, someone is going to do something unexpected. It’s one of the reasons I don’t run modules as more than one-shots, because it doesn’t save me much work if I’m going to have to adapt to the players anyway. Most of my memorable moments come from the crazy shit people do in games, so it’s something to be encouraged.

    On another point, I’m thoroughly enjoying the game so far. The system is a little wonky, but no more than anything else I play and you’re doing a good job of adapting to our antics. I’m looking forward to next session.

  3. @Paul – I think that’s one of the reason new GM’s can find running games intimidating – especially if they have been those off-the-wall characters: They know that they cannot possibly account for every action that the players will come up with. And flying by the seat of your pants doesn’t always produce the best results.

    And I might be weird, but I love hearing GM war stories – so rattle on 🙂

    @Callyn – Yeah, I do agree that shorter modules seem to work better than longer ones. Not only do you have to adapt less, but for one-shots or couple-sessions shots, players are more likely to ‘go along with’ the story.

    And I’m glad you’re enjoying it 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: