Savage Insider (Issue 7 - Jan 2013)
avage Insider Issue 7: End of Days is all about survival after the apocalypse. The pillar article Technology Lost discusses what conveniences and technology would be lost depending on how the apocalypse affected the world while Religion in a Post-Apocalyptic Age presents information about how the faithful are able to practice their religion in a world without some of our modern conveniences.
End of Days is a post-apocalyptic issue with content placed in an age where life on the new Earth is much different than that which we know today. This issue concentrates more on options and content for post-apocalyptic game play while offering a short adventure and fictional piece that can be interpreted onto your tabletop.
A More Cinematic Generic RPG [ edit ]
Savage Worlds, like GURPS, is a generic RPG, which means that you can use it to create (or re-create) any post-apocalyptic setting that you can imagine. While both systems are "generic", GURPS tends towards more realistic rules, while Savage Worlds instead leans towards a more "cinematic" or pulpy style with its rules.
GURPS vs. Savage Worlds [ edit ]
For instance, GURPS uses a 3d6 system that results in a far more predictable and "average" distribution of outcomes. Savage Worlds instead uses a mix of d4s-d12s, where the character's skill determines what die they roll. An expert climber might roll a d12 to climb a difficult wall, while a novice would roll a d4. In addition they also roll a "wild die", of a d6, and can use its result instead if they prefer.
On top of that, Savage Worlds has "exploding dice": if you roll the maximum number on the die it "explodes" and you roll it again, adding the results together. For instance, if you rolled a d4 and got a 4, you would roll again and add 4. Thus, you might roll 4, 4, and 2, to get a result of 10.
On top of that, Savage Worlds also has "bennies" (rewards for good role-playing), which players can spend to re-roll an (important) failed check. Collectively all of these different mechanics make for a much more cinematic feel to Savage Worlds.
Also, Savage Worlds character creation is far simpler. Similar to GURPS each character has attributes, skills, edges (advantages) and hindrances (disadvantages), but there are far fewer to choose from, and instead of points characters simply get a fixed number of attribute increases/skill points/edges. A Savage Worlds character won't have the detail of a GURPS character, but they won't take nearly as long to make either.
Tons of Post-Apocalyptic Material [ edit ]
Pinnacle Entertainment Group (PEG) also has many official post-apocalyptic products to offer.
First off there's Protomen of the Black Bog, anadventure where the players must rescue a village from a nearby horror in a post-apocalyptic setting. Second, there's Children of the Apocalypse, a high fantasy post-apocalyptic setting with blackpowder-era technology.
Third, there's an issue of the Savage Insider ("#7: End of Days"), which PEG offers complete for free! It features a couple of articles about technology and religions in post-apocalyptic setting, plus some stats for near gear for such a setting.
Fourth, other publishers also make Savage Worlds post-apocalyptic content. In fact, Modiphius (publisher of Fallout Wasteland Warriors) has their own Mad Max-esque world, Devil's Run (you can download a free quickstart version).
Two Beloved Apocalyptic Settings [ edit ]
On top of all that PEG has also taken two incredibly rich post-apocalyptic settings from other RPGs, the worlds of Deadlands and Rifts, and converted them to Savage Worlds. Both of these settings can of course still be played with their original rules, but are arguably better with Savage Worlds rules. Incidentally, those rules were themselves derived from the original Deadlands rules.
We'll look at both of these settings in detail below.
Another Great Generic Option [ edit ]
As you can see, Savage Worlds is another really great option for a post-apocalyptic campaign, with lots of published products and fun settings to explore. The only reason to consider GURPS instead is if you're looking for a grittier campaign, more detailed characters, or rules that lean more towards realism.
But if you're torn between the two, consider one last thing: at the time of writing (November 2020) GURPS was in the top 100 on RPG Geek ... but Savage Worlds was in the top 25. Both systems are beloved and have a huge amount of fans, but Savage Worlds is definitely the system with far more momentum in the industry right now.