Tuesday, March 17, 2020

World Builder & Game Master's Guide Review

I picked up this little book because I'm interested in building campaign worlds; three years ago I ran a Pathfinder space fantasy game in my own setting, and looked for tips about how to do it. With that in mind, I have to say that the name of this book doesn't reflect its contents very well. It does have a lot of good information for GMs who are planning events, especially for gaming clubs and conventions. It doesn't have a lot for those who are developing home-brewed settings for their own private home campaigns. 

Presented below is a quick summary of each chapter in the book, including what I liked or didn't like about each of them.
  • Part 1, “World Building,” provides information about just what it says. It was particularly interesting for me to see suggestions for what other people think should or should not go into content for Savage Worlds.
  • On a side note, it became very apparent to me that I write content for this blog differently from how a lot of SW content is created.
  • Part 2 is “Savage Worlds for All Ages.” It provides lots of suggestions for running club-related games, which is something that I really enjoyed doing back in college. As a teacher, I've considered the idea of starting a gaming club at school, but have not yet tried to do so.
  • Part 3, “Risks and Reversals,” is an interesting look at one style of adventure design. It gave some good insight into how the GM can inject dramatic turnarounds into the game.
  • “High-Powered Games,” Part 4, had what I think is some good advice, but it's of less interest to me because I tend to start a campaign at the beginning of the school year and finish it by the end, meaning that campaigcharacters don't become that high in power.
  • Part 5, “Building Your Tribe,” was perhaps the most interesting article for me. It focuses on running games at conventions, which is something I really enjoy doing. There was lots of good advice for doing so in this one.
  • “Turning Your Ideas into SWAG” is Part 6. I found this one interesting, too, as I've thought about that idea in the past, but it's not something that I'm ready to try doing yet.
  • Part 7, “The Long Game,” has some interesting history of Deadlands, and suggestions for managing development when running multiple campaigns that all build up a combines history of the setting.
  • Parts 8 and 9, “Anecdotes” and “Under the Hood,” are more of a hodgepodge, with bits about many different elements of the game. They were interesting, too.

All in all, I enjoyed reading this book, but I think the name could be more accurate. At $19.99, I'm satisfied with my purchase.


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