It's one of the more affordable RPGs- The "Explorer's Edition" can usually be found for around ten bucks. There's an old Explorer's Edition and a newer "Savage Worlds Deluxe" one, but I only have the old so I don't know what the difference is.
The customisable GM's screen is aces and I use it for every game I run.
I think that it is a really simple system once you get the hang of it, but I think that the rulebooks are not organized as well as I would like and I found myself getting all glassy-eyed trying to read the rules. No index in the Explorer's Edition, for example, and if you run a setting book you may have to hop back and forth between the core rules and the setting book to get what you need. Kind of like GURPS in that regard, I guess. Once you get used to the terminology and such the game runs pretty smoothly, although the exploding dice thing makes rolls sometimes kind of wacky. You can die in a hurry with a bad roll.
Character generation can take a while since it's mostly skill-based and you will want to rummage around for a while to be sure you get the right skills chosen. As near as I can tell, most of the attributes are important (except for Smarts, unless you play a magic-user or someone who is supposed to be Smart) so it may be hard to pick which stats to have higher or lower when you create your character.
Lots of awesome settings to pick from. It's the only Solomon Kane RPG that I've ever seen, it has Lankhmar (so does AD&D, so will DCC RPG), it has super hero settings and horror settings and fantasy settings and almost any kind of setting you can imagine.
There used to be a section on DF for SW discussion, but those threads were released into the "General RPG" section. The download area at DF still has several SW materials, however, such as Quickplay rules (they call the "test drive" rules) and an AD&D-like setting and one for TORG and several others.
A fun game overall. Not quite as "fast and loose" as advertised, but certainly easy enough once you get used to how the system works.
Marv / Finarvyn DCC playtester (2011) S&W WhiteBox author (2009) C&C playtester (2003) Builder of the TrollBridge for T&T; Amber Diceless player since 1993 OD&D Player since 1975; Metamorphosis Alpha since 1976
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!" - Dave Arneson
Thank you Finarvyn, I am going to order the Explorer rules set this week. I've been researching it--Solomon Kane setting sounds awesome! I'm pretty inspired by Fallout by Bethesda for the setting but will likely change things up.
Basically I'm thinking about asking the group who wants to play pre-War "Rip Van Winkle" sleeper characters and who wants to play contemporary to the setting post apoc characters. If I do this, I'll run a session for the sleepers who wake up from SuspAn Biotanks in a vault room. The sleepers all have hibernation sickness and amnesia. They emerge to find themselves in a plexi-glass/steel military type chamber with a computerized voice directing post-stasis protocols. Outside in the hall through the glass they can see a mummified corpse of a security guard that died due to a high caliber gun wound and just outside the stasis chamber door they also see a dormant SecBot with armaments identifying it as the slayer of the security guard perhaps decades ago--due to the climate control system in the installation and it's anti-septic environment the body did not decompose.
Equipped and clothed only with what is in lockers inside the stasis chamber, but completely unarmed, the characters must figure out what they want to do, but venturing beyond the door they will discover that the SecBot awakens, turns to look at them with blinking eye, and then...doesn't shoot. The robot answers no queries and makes no attempt at communication but seems to focus upon one of the characters, whom it does not leave and demonstrates that it will protect at any cost. Why, they do not know.
But a cursory exploration of the vault will reveal the following facts:
There are nine other stasis chambers with biotanks containing shriveled skeletal human remains that appear to have withered like vegetable husks.
The party has Alpha level security and access clearance and will learn their names by undergoing retinal scans. However, the computer will deny access to certain installation areas and all installation files to anyone not on "Blacklist One" security clearance level.
It appears that there was a struggle inside the installation and the corpses of security personnel and blown apart SecBots are scattered throughout. The characters can arm themselves with the security weapons and armour found in lockers in accessible areas of the installation. There are various other goodies to be found.
The installation is an underground vault in the desert and they are able to activate the outer doors, emerging into the post apocalyptic wastelands...with the mysterious Secbot following behind on it's treads close at the heels of it's chosen character.
The installation could be military but it has no identifying marks as such and throughout there is a logo for a Red Shield Industries.
That will be the end of the first session, next session they will be joined by the other players by their characters meeting up.
That's the seed for the campaign, I'm excited to give it a shot! Kinda want to do some writing for it too!
A lot of people use SW to run Post-Apocalyptic games. Dig around online and you'll find some cool, useful stuff.
I personally recommend the third-party setting The Day After Ragnarok, set in a post-apocalyptic 1950's where WWII ended when Nazi mystics called down Ragnarok and America saved the world by killing the Norse doomsday dragon with an A-bomb (But not before most of the world was trashed). Ronald Reagan stars as Conan in Hollywood propaganda movies to convince kids not to join those newfangled snake cults. It's a hoot!
A little update! I was really kind of dreading this--my brother-in-law loaned me an old core rule book couple weeks ago and I'd been reading it and I was pretty sure I had it but knowing I was going to be GMing for S.W. veterans I was still nervous.
Well, he called me Friday and said a GM was demoing the game at the local game store that night and anyone who got into the game would get a free Deluxe Core Rule Book. I went and so glad I did--we played a three hour game and I left with a pretty firm grasp on the whole system, not to mention a free rules book! Also, the GM and fellow players were super nice and he ran a fantastic game.
So this past Sunday my wife's clan met up and we generated characters for "Phoenix Road", as I am calling my homebrew setting for now. We had three vault dwellers, two are humans in stasis and the third is the Android overseer of the vault. We also had a human psionicist from a tribal clan culture from the Utah desert whose mind talents make him a shaman in the nomadic, tent dwelling culture that is somewhat reminiscent of the Mongols. Then we had three Splicers--descendants of ancient genetic splicing experiments where humans were GMO'd with animal genes--and here we had a feline imperial renegade, a canine assassin,and an ursine wandering warrior woman with a death vendetta against a religious cult called the Renunciation who murdered her people because they deem them abominations.
I must say I am very happy with the S.W. system, it's something I've always kind of looked for in a rules set. I still love D&D, but I'm amazed I never played this game. Will keep you updated on the campaign.