Monday, September 9, 2013

Accursed Savages

With few exceptions, the posts to this blog have focused entirely upon the world setting for Accursed. Ross, Jason, and I have been thrilled to watch the setting develop, and we're very excited to share it with anyone willing to listen or read the details. Today, we wanted to take a moment to step back and discuss the things from a different perspective. Instead of talking about the setting, we wanted to make sure we remembered to talk about the game.

When we started collaborating on the setting, our highest priority was world building. We decided from the very start that we wanted to make sure that the setting was thoroughly examined, consistent, and—most importantly—a fun place to set an extended RPG campaign. In our minds, at that point, the system was absolutely secondary to the world design. The seed of the setting idea was absolutely Ross's, and he presented it to us with a very strong vision. Over a series of months, the three of us grew that vision into the world that we've been blogging about and for which we are now preparing to launch a crowd funding campaign. It was only when we had already designed the world and decided how the heroes would interact with it that we really entered into the discussion about which game system to use. This wasn't because the game system was less important. Rather, it was because we wanted to make sure that we chose the system whose tone was best suited to the world we were designing.

When the time finally did come to sit down and compare and contrast our setting materials with different game system options, our answer had become obvious. Though we had not intended to do so, it was very clear to us that Accursed was functionally well-suited to be a Savage Worlds setting. Key to the game world is the fact that we had intended a heroic and cinematic tone. The characters needed to be central figures in the game world's story line. It was essential that they had the potential to transform the world. Wild Cards, preferably with a generous pile of Bennies, seemed to be an optimal solution for expressing that approach.

Similarly, we loved the idea of experienced heroes fighting there way through hordes of minions to reach a commander. We wanted to have commanders who had followers that eagerly accepted their every request. We also really wanted to be able to see a character's progression over the course of an extended campaign. It was important to us that the player characters would overshadow mortal humans from the beginning, but we still needed to see ways that they could develop through game play. Every time that we encountered an issue with one of these elements, the Savage Worlds rules had a solution already in place.

That's not to say that other systems couldn't work. It's also not to say that we weren't willing to develop our own game system if it seemed the best solution. Rather it's to say that Savage Worlds was a great fit for our purposes. While the core team had varying levels of familiarity with the game system, it was soon clear that we all agreed with many elements of its design philosophy. Other key elements that drove our decision included the opportunity to take advantage of a mature game system with well-established tool kits, the fact that the game had a passionate audience, and, of course, the fact that a license was available from Pinnacle. We also love FFF! The heroes of Accursed are trying to save a ravaged world from tyrants. They don't have time to stand by idly, and we thought the system really conveyed that sense.


  1. Will Accursed be a stand alone product or will we need to pick up a copy of the Savage Worlds rule book?

    1. Since we're a licensee, you'll need the Savage Worlds Core Rulebook from Pinnacle. You'll also want a copy of the Horror Companion for Savage Worlds, in order to find a few additional rule sections.