Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Short Q&A Discussing THE SIXTH GUN for Savage Worlds

Yesterday, I wrote a brief review/overview of the upcoming The Sixth Gun campaign setting for the Savage Worlds role playing game.

To make a long story short, you need to back this project or buy it as soon as it comes out. It's a great mashup of Westerns, Fantasy, and Horror that provides a wonderful sandbox for creative play.

In addition to getting an advanced look at the rules and initial adventure campaign, both of which are up to Pinnacle's high production standards, I had the opportunity to engage in a brief Q&A with the creators. 

I'd like to share my chat with Shane, Jodi, and Scott.
Shane Lacy Hensley, owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Group and creator of the award-winning Savage Worlds and Deadlands roleplaying games.

Jodi Black, COO and Managing Editor for Pinnacle Entertainment Group, and Game Club volunteer for her kids' Middle School for the past 3 years

Scott A. Woodard, author of The Sixth Gun RPG

 1) What prompted PEG to seek a license for The Sixth Gun? Are you worried about brand dilution or cannibalization from your Deadlands line?
Shane: Oni approached us, and at first I was reluctant, of course. But as I said elsewhere, I DEVOURED the graphic novels, fell in love with them, and said "Who else SHOULD do this game besides us?" No one, of course. And the fact that they'd be 100% compatible with Deadlands (and vice-versa) is a huge advantage from my point of view.

 2) The Sixth Gun looks like it might be more "kid friendly" than a straight Deadlands game, but given that there is a Gallows Tree and a horror tone what age group do you think will be most appropriate?

Jodi: I think teens and preteens will love the dark elements of The Sixth Gun--but, with a little GM editing, Deadlands fits that niche too. One age group The Sixth Gun can adapt better to is the 6-10 age range, depending of course on the child's tolerance for dark. My youngest daughter would have gleefully embraced talking to hanged men at age 6, while my oldest daughter would have needed to be 8 or so. Now that they're 13 and 15, of course, they're at the perfect age for exploring the Weird West!

3) Could you tell me a little bit about the factions (Sword of Abraham and Knights of Solomon) in the game?

Scott: Both organizations are integral to the central plot of The Sixth Gun comic series. Because of that, they simply had to be present in the game. For those unfamiliar with the series, the Knights of Solomon are an order that seeks to acquire ancient artifacts and relics in order to exploit their power for personal gain, while the Sword of Abraham stands opposed to their efforts in order to prevent Armageddon! In the roleplaying game, we present details about both factions, information on their lairs, archetypal NPC stat blocks for both, and the option to actually play representatives from either group. In the comic, Drake Sinclair was once in the employ of the Knights of Solomon, but over time, their paths diverged. Perhaps your PC shares a similar backstory...

 4) The majority of Savage Worlds settings seem to be "high concept" combinations of multiple genres, what is it about the Savage Worlds system that encourages that?
Shane: I'm not sure it's Savage Worlds so much as my personal preference for not just doing another Tolkien knockoff. From the very beginning we've only wanted to do games with a twist. Deadlands and Sixth Gun are Western horror--which didn't exist in the RPG space at the time. Lankhmar is thieves' guild fantasy. 50 Fathoms is fantasy pirates. Sometimes that keeps us from taking on a genre until we have that twist. We'd like to do a classic pulp setting, for example, but haven't found anything with a good twist yet. There are plenty of early Nazi / zeppelin / Indiana Jones style pulp games out there already. What could we do that's different and unique? We haven't figured that out yet.

5) If I wanted to run a Savage Worlds game for 7 to 10 year olds, what is one rule change you would recommend to speed up the learning curve?
Jodi: Rules for magic, regardless of system or setting, tend to be the hardest to grasp so that's always the easiest change to make: Either no magic for their characters, or help them make an easy magic-using character to run (choosing entangle instead of bolt, for example). For The Sixth Gun, I'd probably not use the Critical Failures Setting Rule either, as not all kids do well with complete failure as a plot device. I also suggest taking Hindrances they can relate to, like Impulsive and Short Temper...or maybe that's just MY experience with kids. :)

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