Why Savage Worlds? A brief history of SWADE and me

In which I wax poetic about why Savage Eberron is my favourite Eberron. And what the heck is an Eberron, anyways?

If you’ve found your way here, that probably means that you know about Savage Worlds, you know about Eberron, or you have had the pleasure of combining the two already. But in case a piece of the puzzle is missing, consider this the Coles Notes version!

Eberron began life as the winner of a Dungeons & Dragons setting search contest hosted by Wizards of the Coast in the early 00s. Created by game designer Keith Baker, Eberron is a world where magic is wide, motivations are rarely cut and dried, and everyone from the kings and queens of the Five Nations to the lowliest beggar is feeling the effects of a recently ended, hundred-year war that tore the continent of Khorvaire apart. It prides itself on being a great setting for both pulp adventure and noir intrigue, two areas in which Savage Worlds (we’re playing the Adventure Edition, or SWADE for short) excels.

And what is Savage Worlds? It’s a setting-agnostic tabletop roleplaying system, and you can preview the rules for free here. Official Savage Worlds settings include supernatural-infused versions of the Old West and ancient Rome, sci-fi adventures, and strange goings-on in a college town. What does any of this have to do with Eberron, you ask? Well, it just kind of…does. Mechanics like the wild die, bennies, and exploding dice help heroes succeed at seemingly impossible tasks, narrowly cheat death, and even know things they’re not supposed to know. The GM makes you roll that common knowledge check at a -4, but you get a dice explosion? Turns out that rumour you once heard in a tavern while three sheets to the wind was true after all! Top that off with a system of graduated success – and failure – and you get some dice that have the potential to tell stories of heroes who beat the odds by the skin of their teeth…or get into more than they bargained for.

Anyways, like I said in my last post, I stumbled across Savage Worlds courtesy of an LFG on the official Eberron Discord. And while I was anxious about learning a new system at first, having been used to 5e – the freeform character creation was surprisingly hard to wrap my head around – I quickly fell in love with it, and wouldn’t have my Eberron any other way.

Early on in our first campaign together, I started writing detailed, cinematic recaps of our sessions. At first it was just for fun, then I started sharing them at the behest of one of my fellow players. But they garnered a little attention, enough for some people to start asking me when I’d share our adventures for more people to read. So here I am.

Our current campaign is a home conversion of the D&D 4e adventure Seekers of the Ashen Crown, converted to Savage Worlds and tailored to our party by our trusty GM. It starts in media res as I didn’t start my recaps until week three, but don’t worry, I’ll bring you up to speed. 🙂 In my next post, I’ll introduce the party, and from there, the adventure begins!

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