GM Spotlight: Dylan Ramsey’s Towering Tales

The Pizza Party by Dylan Ramsey. All rights reserved.

While the Savage Eberron community is still a small one, it continues to slowly but surely grow. Since 2019, gamemaster Dylan Ramsey and the Pizza Party have been doing their part with an epic, evolving story that’s taken them all across Khorvaire and beyond, with Savage Worlds Adventure Edition helping them get there. Dylan is an accomplished GM, skilled storyteller, incredibly talented artist, and this past year he has twice lent his voice and acting chops to portray plain, simple tailor Deven Sar’kaas in the collaborative campaign hosted by Eberron creator Keith Baker for his Patreon supporters. I had a chat with Dylan about our mutual love of Savage Worlds, the adventures of the Pizza Party, and a slightly distressing coincidence of sorts involving an eel. Enjoy!

Dylan, which came first in your life, Eberron or Savage Worlds (and how did you get from one to the other)?

DR: Oh, Eberron, for sure! I’ve been an Eberron fan since I was in elementary school and remember carrying around that original campaign book just about everywhere. Granted, I never PLAYED a game in Eberron until after I discovered Savage Worlds (via the actual plays of Saving Throw Show). After my group finished up our last campaign in 2019, I was glad they decided to give a new system and a new world a shot with me for Towering Tales.

Excellent. It hooked you in pretty quick, then! So, why do you love Savage Worlds as a vehicle for Eberron so much?

DR: The mechanics really do it for me on a lot of levels. Edges and hindrances help get across that pulp-noir feel of Eberron (no hero is perfect), and are just a great foundation to build characters off of in general. You can really mix and match them and make just about any character you can imagine – and there are A LOT of characters you can imagine in a setting like Eberron. Bennies and exploding dice are also some of my favorite game mechanics ever. I love being able to reward players in a meaningful way and for the dice to be able to REALLY tell a story when they decide to keep on acing (or critically fail)!

You have been running and chronicling a Savage Eberron campaign called Towering Tales for over a year now. How would you describe Towering Tales in five sentences or less?

DR: Oh gosh, over TWO years at this point–where did the time go?! Towering Tales is an odyssey of love, war, and hijinks, all tying back to a conspiracy of nightmare spirits pulling the strings of the waking world to try and save their own from utter annihilation. Over the course of the campaign, the Pizza Party have encountered everything from pint-sized velociraptor luchadors and flumph-based vigilantes, to dancing leprechaun slavedrivers and a warforged detective who goes off on monologues at the drop of a hat. I love blending drama and silliness to really get players invested in the world, and it’s definitely worked out! So if that sounds like your cup of tal, get ready to laugh, cry, and lie awake at night wondering how in the world my players get away with some of these ideas.

What’s the hands-down best thing that’s ever happened in Towering Tales? I guess if you have to you can pick more than one moment. But it’s okay to say you have a favourite. I won’t tell your players, I swear.

DR: Dramatic: picture a runaway lightning rail emerging from the dead-gray mist of the Mournland. A warforged boxer named Crown is locked in combat with warforged fanatics atop the speeding car, electricity arcing all around them; while inside, Waxillium d’Cannith (whiskey-loving lawman and team dad) tries to defuse bombs rigged to explode when the train hits Vathirond station! I ask Wax’s player to make a Vigor roll. CRITICAL FAILURE! I read verbatim from the book: Wax WILL die by session’s end. His friend, the drow fashion designer Lana, swoops in to try and help him as he begins bleeding profusely from the toxin the Lord of Blades injected him with, but he asks her to give his final regards to their friends and pushes her off the train. Wax takes one last swig of whiskey and tells his dead wife that they’ll be together again soon as he derails the train at the last possible second and saves the city. A sobbing Lana is silhouetted against the explosion, vowing never to let this happen again.

Silly: probably that time they yanked an eel out of an undead fishman’s butt and then shoved a staff up there, which they promptly used to summon a couatl INSIDE the dude, causing the necromancer to explode in a burst of radiant energy! I guess you could say they rekt ‘im.

Okay, first of all, I’m just gonna point out that my very first TTRPG was Jason Statham’s Big Vacation, and one of the random complications you can roll for a scene is eels. So while I am kind of grossed out by this story, I also feel a strange connection to it. Anyways, last question: where can people find the full and continuing adventures of the Pizza Party? Shamelessly advertise yourself, my friend. I’m here for it.

DR: A scene with eels is such an oddly specific complication… But hey, here’s a handy-dandy link to the main session directory. That page includes links to every session recap, as well as to the player character pages, which list their edges, hindrances, advances, etc. We play pretty much every Friday, and I usually have new recaps done by Monday. I foresee things getting even more insane as we speed on towards session 100 and the fate that awaits the Pizza Party at the end of this road, so stay tuned. Whether you pick things up at session 1, 21, 65, or anywhere in between, I hope you all enjoy reading about whatever happens NEXT TIME ON TOWERING TALES!

That’s all for now, folks! Keep your eyes on this space later this week for more pre-campaign planning…and a very exciting announcement.

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