Friday, September 4, 2009

Hellfrost - Savage Worlds

After playing Dungeons & Dragons for so many years, I kinda got tired of playing your typical high fantasy campaign setting. A lot of the ones I've played seemed too derivative of King Arthur or J. R. R. Tolkien (not that it's necessarily bad, it's just been done to death). Plus, I got real tired of elves and dwarves, for some reason - I don't know. That's the reason why I'm more interested in the sword & sorcery genre. That being said, it takes something special for me to be interested in a high fantasy RPG. Obviously, that's what Hellfrost has, because I find myself wanting to play it. Hellfrost was made by Triple Ace Games, which is headed by Paul "Wiggy" Wade-Williams, who created Savage Worlds campaign books for Pinnacle Entertainment before making his own company. While it does have the elves and dwarves and lots of magic, Hellfrost does high fantasy in a way I can appreciate. The campaign setting doesn't fall back on trying too hard to be Lord of the Rings or any typical generic fantasy. Instead, it draws inspiration from what a lot of good fantasy relies on: ancient mythology (in this case, norse mythology). It's rich with nordic influence, which weaves beautifully with the setting. Sure, there are orcs, goblins, dragons, etc., but it doesn't feel like the same old fantasy world I've been playing over and over again. The story helps give the world it's flavor. Five centuries ago, the continent of Rassilon was locked in a devastating war. All manner of monsters from the frozen wastes of the north swept south through the land, leaving destruction in their wake. Though the failing nations eventually drove back the icy horde, the world slowly became colder over the countless years. An eternal winter is threatening the people of Rassilon, and the north has turned into a forbidding wasteland called, of course, Hellfrost. This game also sports a highly robust magic system that overhauls the system in the Savage Worlds corebook. I haven't gotten through the entire player's guide, but I like what I see. For me, Hellfrost is the best high fantasy setting for Savage Worlds (at the very least). You can pick up the player's guide, along with some adventure modules at the Triple Ace Games website. In November, they're releasing the other core books for Hellfrost: The Bestiary and The Gazetteer. While you're there, check out their other products, such as the awesome pulp action of Daring Tales of Adventure and the sci-fi/military/horror setting Necropolis 2350. Kaiser out

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