Sunday, November 7, 2010

Review: Misfit Studios and Savage Worlds

It's Sunday and that means it's time for some reviews, and since we're focusing on Savage Worlds this November I'll be taking a look at some offerings from Misfit Studios.

Misfit Studios is one of the myriad of small press publishers that came about in the wake of d20.  The company built a reputation putting out solid d20 products for fantasy, modern, and Mutants & Masterminds Superlink, as well as teaming up with Green Ronin to present its SpirosBlaak setting.  Recently Misfit's repertoire has expanded to systems including ICONS and Savage Worlds, and the products continue to live up to expectations.

First up is 10 Fantasy Traps ($1.55), a virtual must-have for anyone interested in running D&D-style fantasy in Savage Worlds (and great for a game like Relic Hunters, too).  The PDF includes a system for finding traps, and each trap's writeup includes not only the typical to hit and damage values, but also a stealth rating, typical trigger method, the skill used to disarm the device (as well as a description of how it might work) and the cost (in case intrepid players want to use these themselves). The traps detailed are all classics: traps that launch arrows or needles, beast traps with spring-loaded jaws, a variety of blades, barriers, and the ever-popular pit.  Mechanically, all are sound and fit right in with the Savage Worlds ethos of Fast, Furious, Fun.

But traps imply that you're going to some length to protect something from someone.  Expanded Professions: The Thief ($1.55) covers the other side of the coin.  The PDF is a collection of Edges that expand on the rogueish arts, allowing thieves to focus on burglary, pickpocketing, or trap removal.  The danger in any collection of this sort is that you'll wander into either creating Edges for things that anybody should be able to attempt, or you'll wind up with a collection so specific that they will be unlikely to be taken.  This product skirts the edge of those pitfalls a couple of times, but overall does a good job avoiding them.  The biggest problem along those lines is the Cutpurse edge, which lets a player "use the Stealth skill to pilfer money from a crowd."  Pickpocketing is already specifically part of the Stealth skill.  The Edge does a nice job of presenting a rules system to handle this sort of thing, but it should be a new use for Stealth, not part of an Edge. Aside from that minor misstep, the Thief pamphlet is well done and presents some good options for a PC burglar - or Relic Hunter.

Both products share a clear, easy-to-read layout and come with a full color and printer-friently version.  I was impressed enough by the review copies of Misfit products I received that I went back and bought the rest of the catalogue: they're a good value for the price point, and invaluable for a classic fantasy-style game.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the heads up on two very useful looking products. Honestly, I would likely have never found them on my own. I really like that you are focusing on SW for all of November.