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Savage Rifts

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I mentioned this in another thread, but thought I'd put it here for all to see.

 

For those of you who loved the Rifts setting but couldn't stand the wildly-unbalanced mechanics, Hero alum Sean Fannon has republished Rifts for the Savage Worlds system. Wired has a good review:

 

https://www.wired.com/2017/05/geeks-guide-rifts/

 

I haven't picked up the book(s) myself yet (lack of funds), but I got to play a game at a convention a few months ago and it was a hoot. And I've heard several people say it captures the feel of the original Rifts but with a smooth, playable system.

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Quick question about Savage Worlds. I haven't played it in years, but it didn't scale very well. A system built for pulp style action adventure really didn't work well for Supers, even though I loved the Necessary Evil concept. For example: PCs vs. a tank. Yes, it would be a major deal for a party of typical SW adventurers to take on an alien war tank, when you have a team of supposedly powerful supervillains who can't even damage the tank due to "logical" armor levels, that was really frustrating. Essentially, to have characters powerful enough to hurt a tank that was scaled to be "realistic" vs. typical SW characters, the PCs would be brokenly powerful to anything else.

​The reason I ask, is that Rifts has the "anything and everything" concept that is basically what a supers world is like... so how does it scale, say, one person playing a cowboy and someone else playing a power-armored space soldier, and a third playing Thor?  That kind of thing seemed to break SW in my experience.

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I only played the one short game, so I can't really say. I do agree that SW suffers from scale problems on the high end generally.

 

(Tho in NE remember the tanks were supposed to be super-advanced alien tanks that had already killed off all of Earth's superheroes, so they weren't exactly meant to be mooks.)

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​The reason I ask, is that Rifts has the "anything and everything" concept that is basically what a supers world is like... so how does it scale, say, one person playing a cowboy and someone else playing a power-armored space soldier, and a third playing Thor?  That kind of thing seemed to break SW in my experience.

 

To be fair, having characters of vastly differing power levels will give any simulationist system (including Hero) problems. Dramatic systems (Such as Fate) handle those situations better.

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To be fair, having characters of vastly differing power levels will give any simulationist system (including Hero) problems. Dramatic systems (Such as Fate) handle those situations better.

As I understood it, I think RDU Neil's question was less about party balance and more about can the system handle both low-level and high-level powered characters. There aren't really that many game systems that scale well at those extremes.

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There aren't really that many game systems that scale well at those extremes.

 

Yeah, no kidding. Outside of superhero RPGs it is nearly unheard of for a game system to scale up to cosmic-level extremes and still work. And not all superhero RPGs do it well, even. On the other hand, the price you usually pay for smooth scaling to such high power levels is a lack of granularity at the lower power levels, but for a game like Rifts I don't think that's of much concern.

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Quick question about Savage Worlds. I haven't played it in years, but it didn't scale very well. A system built for pulp style action adventure really didn't work well for Supers, even though I loved the Necessary Evil concept. For example: PCs vs. a tank. Yes, it would be a major deal for a party of typical SW adventurers to take on an alien war tank, when you have a team of supposedly powerful supervillains who can't even damage the tank due to "logical" armor levels, that was really frustrating. Essentially, to have characters powerful enough to hurt a tank that was scaled to be "realistic" vs. typical SW characters, the PCs would be brokenly powerful to anything else.

​The reason I ask, is that Rifts has the "anything and everything" concept that is basically what a supers world is like... so how does it scale, say, one person playing a cowboy and someone else playing a power-armored space soldier, and a third playing Thor? That kind of thing seemed to break SW in my experience.

Superheroes is one of the few genres I don't particularly like with Savage Worlds.

That being said, the issue you bring up sounds more like a setting issue than a game system issue.

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