JP On Gaming

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Echoes of Origins: Shaintar, the Kinda-Organized Play

On Friday morning, my table not having gone off, and not wanting to join a table of seven players (I never play with 7, preferring to withdraw), I decided to head out and look for a random game needing players.

So as I roamed the halls, I happened on a table that had a nice display using dungeon tiles and only two players (both of whom I knew). It was a table of Shaintar, a D&D-like setting for Savage Worlds. Now I like Savage Worlds, because it does what it promises: a fast-paced game with minimal fuss (at least it has been my experience with it). I agreed to sit down and play, thus helping the table happen.

There are four things I have to say about it.

First, the setting is a Europe-like setting with each nation mapping to a rough fantasy equivalent. Not very novel, but fairly effective. New players can immediately assume stereotypes about a nation. It's fine. The adventure we played had us patrolling an area near "Russia" in an area ruled by a necromancer and the undead. The setting was easy to understand and get the feel of the place.

Second, the adventure itself was fairly straightforward. This was perhaps the weakest point for me. We had a basic plan "go investigate" and we spent most of our time fighting on the cool dungeon-tile maps. But there really was nothing more: no moral choice, no decision, no significant interaction with any NPCs. We got info-dumped after the fighting parts. I understand that we were in a kinda-war zone, but having some noteworthy information would have elevated the adventure for me. As it was, it felt really dry.

Third, the kinda-organized play part was something that intrigued me. From 2011-12, I ran what would become Legacies pretty much the same way. So I thought it was a cool idea. I may be tempted to add these events to my list of games for Origins next year. I'm undecided but keep those events in mind.

Fourth, playing D&D with Savage Worlds. As much as they don't want to say it, that is pretty much the basic of this setting. I play an elf sorcerer and quickly got the hang of it. now I will admit, I did not have many spell casting options on this character, and my melee skills... well they sucked. Still with my basic knowledge of SW (I am by no means an expert on the topic), I quickly understood what to do and how to do it. Then again, it is one of the great things about the system, that you know one you pretty much know all.

So overall, a positive experience. There are things I would do differently (obviously), but the actual offering is quite good. I would like to see more interaction and less "just combat" but I could skip past that.


PS: After writing this, I realized that I did NOT have a Savage Worlds label for posts. A Crime I say. I thought I had already written about that game. Alas I had not. I need to get some more SW in my playing rotation!


  1. And with your Savage Worlds label being added, I've added your blog to the SBN feed! ( Looking forward to more posts in the future!

  2. Woohoo! Now I just have to find some more savages in Nashville!