As the morning sun shone on the final day of GenCon I arrived at my last game of the convention, a Savage Worlds game taking place in a post-apocalyptic fantasy setting called Sundered Skies. After liberating a dragon from the deathly bonds of necromancer, I returned to the exhibition hall to complete one final quest: the search for a new set of dice.
Sundered Skies was my third Savage Worlds event of the con. In this upcoming campaign setting for the game, the world has been destroyed by some unknown catastrophe that shattered the planet and set the rubble floating through the light-filled void. Gravity still works on these rocks, and arcane ships can sale the glowing spaces between then looking for war and profit. We played a group of heroes resisting an repressive elven regime which had successfully spawned a new race of slave creatures called wildlings.
After liberating one of these creatures and successfully smuggling him to our sky ship, we headed out into the Bright to face a new danger: a dragon ambushing a fellow skyship! Only after slaying the creature, and watching the other ship flee, did we realize the dragon had been fighting a necromancer … and that we’d probably killed the wrong combatant.
Realizing our mistake, we headed after the necromancer’s ship, following it to a sky-born tropical island where we heard the anguished roars of another dragon. The cries led us to a water-field canyon where a necromancer, his half-dragon minion and a host of skeletons and zombies were preparing to sacrifice an aquatic wyrm. Fortunately, we were able to storm the canyon, slay the necromancer and free the dragon, all in the nick of time.
The entire game was excellent – our GM, Evil Mike used a huge, three-dimensional canyon for the epic final battle and once again the rules felt like they were really fueling the adventure. That said, having played three games now I’m a little concerned about the “glass jaw” effect that seemed to plague the major NPCs – they were wild cards (notable characters, just like PCs) and Savage Worlds exploding dice mean that it’s possible to take down a major character with a single hit. The bennies – tokens spent to negate hits – help, but even so I think I may want to give my villains four or even five wounds to keep them in the game a little longer. It’s a minor quibble though – even when a villain goes down quickly, it still feels epic because everyone’s excited about the devastating run of exploding dice that took him or her down.
The Quest for New Dice
The quest for new dice took me to the Chessex booth, where I found an exceedingly cool set of dark blue, green and purple dice. Combined with a stack of like-colored d6s, I think of got an excellent set of villainous dice. Now I just have to hope they roll well. I also picked up a factory seconds battle mat from Chessex.
It’s double sided – squares on one side, hexes on the other – because hex based combat worked so well in the Savage Worlds games I played that I decided I wanted to do the same in my home games.
And what of Q Workshop? Their dice are beautiful, but the set I really and truly wanted – the Cthulhu dice – weren’t available at GenCon. I’m going to pre-order a set of those puppies from their web site as soon as they become available.
And that was GenCon…
And with that, I met up with Sue and we drove off to dinner with relatives in Indianapolis. It was astounding how quickly we transitioned from gamer life to family life, but that’s just part of being a geek dad. The next day we did the long drive home, with me sneaking peaks at my Burning Wheel and Battlestar Galactica books when I wasn’t driving or keeping the kids occupied.