Game: A
From 842 reviews

Savage Worlds

Adventure Edition

A modern generic RPG system with a "pulp" feel

Publisher Description

Savage Worlds is a Fast! Furious! and Fun! rules system for any genre of roleplaying game.

Create your own setting, convert an existing one, or pick up one of our amazing settings like DeadlandsRippers, or 50 Fathoms. The rules give players plenty of depth to create their characters and keep bookkeeping to a minimum for the Game Master. If you’re looking for a game that’s fast and easy to set up, run, and play, Savage Worlds is for you!


Savage Worlds is a generic RPG system from Pinnacle Entertainment Group.  As a “D20 system”, the main mechanic for checking success involves rolling a twenty-sided die, but the game also uses the full complement of gaming dice (d4-d20), as well as a deck of standard playing cards for its initiative system.

Savage Worlds ranks among the top 25 highest systems on RPG Geek, and is extremely popular. It's also still actively developed by its parent company, with a major rules update release at the end of 2018 (which wasn't so much a “2.0” version of the previous rules, as it was a “1.2” version of them).

Great Cinematic/Pulpy Feel Possible [ edit ]

Savage Worlds also has a slight “pulpy” or “cinematic” feel to its rules.  For instance, it has an “exploding dice” mechanic, where dice that roll their maximum value can be re-rolled, and players can also use “bennies” (benefits earned through good role-playing) to re-roll dice.

Furthermore, Savage Worlds offers a set of “setting rules” that can be applied to make the rules fit the setting.  For instance, the optional “Fanatics” setting rule, which let's any meaningful enemy who gets hit in combat to instead choose to have one of their minions dive in front of the attack, can give GMs a way to keep recurring villains safe while still feeling cinematic.

All this makes Savage Worlds a perfect system to use to re-create Indiana Jones-like pulp adventures!

Resources [ edit ]

Because Savage Worlds is a popular rules system for Indiana Jones campaigns, you can find some free resources available for it online, including:

However, it's worth noting that the free adventure above is for an older edition of Savage Worlds. If don't want to have to update it yourself, you'll want to pay $10 for the current edition's version.

Savage Worlds also has a number of other paid supplements that can be useful for running an Indiana Jones campaign, such as:

  • the Achtung! Cthulhu! setting - essentially Indiana Jones ... with Cthulu-esque monsters
  • Thrilling Tales - now in it's second editon, this sourcebook offers everything you need to play in the 1930's, from a basic timeline, pulp-era weapons & vehicles, and stats for villains like Nazis and the Thugee.

Recommendation [ edit ]

Although it's a generic system, Savage Worlds was clearly designed to support great Indiana Jones-themed "pulp" adventures.  Not only is the RPG still in production, it's incredibly popular, continuing to receive new products and updates.  At the present time, Savage Worlds is Goblin Crafted's top recommendation for any Indiana Jones campaign.

We specifically recommend the game's latest "Adventure Edition" (2018) of the rules.  This single book is all you need to play Savage Worlds, and it's a slightly improved/tuned version of the very popular "Explorer Edition" (2011).

Although products from either edition can mostly be used interchangeably, a few details (eg. handling of Charisma) will require (simple/easy) updates. Pinnacle publishes free updates for many of their products, although some (eg. updates for their Savage Rifts books) aren't publicly available on Pinnacle's site.