After buying some new diceGaming geeks can never have too many dice, so I picked up a full set of polyhedrons: black and red w/gold numbers. I also grabbed a black-and-red velvet dice bag. Gus bought a new set, too, but I was disappointed that he didn’t spring for the hematite set; is forty bucks too much to spend for seven or eight dice? this morning, we stumbled on a game of Savage Worlds in progress and combat had just begun.
Initiative is determined by a deck of standard playing cards, with the Joker being wild (the player who is dealt the Joker can go whenever he wants, even if it means interrupting another player or NPC). This seems to work pretty well and saves the Game Master the hassle of having to keep track of each player’s initiative; a quick looks around the table (cards are dealt face up) tells him who goes next.
Combat was handled very quickly, and soon lead was flying every which way. The Englishman sauntered to the center of the bar and whipped out his twin pistols, putting down two of Val Resnick’s goons before their guns cleared their holsters. Sledge and The Swede burst in the back door, and soon the barking of the six guns was joined by the thunder of a shotgun and the rapid tattoo of a Thompson machine gun.
Each time a gun was fired, the player rolled two dice—his attack roll and a six-sided “wild die”—and used the higher result of the two. Any time a die rolled its maximum value, that die was re-rolled and the new value was added to the total. The base target is 4, and a successful hit may have one or more “raises” depending upon how well the attacker rolled (every 4 points over the target results in a raise). These raises may cause additional damage and certain Feats add attack and damage bonuses or even allow multiple attacks in a single round (e.g., Double Tap). The result was usually quite dramatic as bullets and buckshot peppered the gangsters and their foes alike.
The whole thing was fun to watch, and each player added his own cinematic flair to the gunplay, be it a snappy comment, a twirling pistol, or even offering a helpless, trussed up accountant a cigarette. I walked away with a good feeling for how the Savage Worlds system works and a strong desire to have my grizzled gumshoe kick some ass.