Dusting off the Borderlands

Last Sunday we discussed what campaigns to run going forward, now that Russell is back in San Diego until next September.

The consensus was that we’d continue with the alternating week campaigns (so that Mike would consistently be in a particular campaign), with Dan running his Warhammer 40K Inquisition campaign (does it have a name?) and me running another…and filling in when there wasn’t a quorum with Basic D&D and one-shots.

For my campaign, while there was some enthusiasm for returning to Neng, the upshot was that we’d give Borderlands another go, although I forgot to mention reviving the Midnight Special Weird West game as a possibility. I know Wendy really liked that setting….

Anyway, in prepping to run Borderlands again I’ve been thinking about switching the system to Savage Worlds.

Savage Worlds is from the designers of Deadlands (which we used for our first Weird West campaign, Clock-Stoppers). It’s a bit like a simplified Deadlands, and a bit like the home-brew system I’ve been using. You can download a “Test Drive”

version of the system here.

Basically it’s a stat or skill vs. target number system, much like what we’ve been using, though instead of rating the tasks at various difficulties it tends to use a single Target Number of 4, applying pluses and minuses to the roll for harder or easier tasks. The advantage over what we’ve been doing that I see with it is it has a simpler way of tracking wounds, treats most npcs as “mooks” who can be taken out by a single wound, and has some nice rules for allowing not-particularly combat-skilled PCs make a significant contribution to combat by taunting or intimidating opponents, distracting them at strategic moments. Even if we don’t adopt the rules wholesale, I plan on stealing that bit.

Even if we do switch over, I plan on keeping the setting-specific rules about accumulating and spending Mojo (the reward for doing cool, cinematic stuff) and the Mundane Tricks (the plot-tricks that non-powered PCs can do to influence the scene without supernatural powers).

I’m going to see if I can get together with Doug and maybe Paul before I really try running Borderlands under Savage Worlds and run through a couple of test combats to see if it’s as fast and smooth in practice as it appears to be in the rules. Anybody who wants to download that pdf and take a look and weigh in with comments is encouraged to do so.