Monday, July 4, 2011

Was True20 Green Ronin's Attempt to Put Out a "Savage Worlds"-type RPG?

I ask this because I was very enthused about True20when it was released and the micro-settings that went along with it.  Of course, that was me with little Savage Worlds experience.  Now that I am reading Savage Worlds, I'm beginning to see some thematic similarities.

Now, I know neither one is the first attempt at trying to put out a "universal" RPG.  I do believe GURPS was  the first commercial success.  You could also peg the Hero System as one of the big boys.  The thing is, True20 and Savage Worlds try to make the universal aspect user friendly - the previous two games are  crunch heavy.

True20 seems to be the barely living dead these days, with Green Ronin's DC Adventures and Dragon's Age RPGs taking the front and center positions.  I thought I read somewhere that the rules designed for Dragon's Age are going to be Green Ronin's next "go to" ruleset.  Which kinda leaves True20 pushed to the curb.

Does anyone have experience with both True20 and Savage Worlds?  Are they both aiming for the same type of player base (although True20's roots in 3e may be seen as a strength for some and a curse for others)?  Any preference between the two?


  1. I personally run them both and enjoy them equally and I agree, True20 is pretty similar to Savage Worlds in theme and style. True20 satisfies any of my players who prefer a much crunchier game while Savage Worlds tends to appeal to those who want to worry less about the game and mechanical mastery while as a GM I like True20 because it's more inclusive out of the box and Savage Worlds because it's far more flexible (because of how simple the rules are) to write in anything you need for a setting.

  2. I have done alot of SW ... I think SW has its "generic" side and that appeals to some. But many of the settings for SW are pretty unique and draw a totally different crowd (think Deadlands and Solomon Kane or the Weird War stuff). I honestly can't compare SW to True 20 as I've never done true 20.

  3. I played in a True 20 mini-campaign about five or six years ago, along with John from Roll Dice and Kick Ass. Strangely enough, the DM was Games Workshop author and independant games designer Bill King.
    Bill used to wax enthuisiastic about the system, but I was never all that impressed.
    In fact, I'm fairly certain he started up a blog about it. Let me have a root around and I'll see if I can find it for you.

  4. I've run campaigns with both SW and True20, and was a huge fan of both when I first got into them.

    I think they are trying to fill a pretty similar niche. One difference I found (though perhaps this is a product of the prevalent attitude on the games' respective forums, rather than the rulesets themselves) was that True20 seems to be very conducive for houseruling, for use a a toolkit of sorts, whereas Savage Worlds seems to be more "works out of the box". I think that's a sign that there are some core areas of True20 that just don't work very well out of the box (the damage system, which is outrageously complicated, and the powers system, for example).

    In the end I found True20 too complex and nit-picky (in that special d20 way) for my taste. I prefer Savage Worlds... the rules seem simultaneously simpler, more robust and more flexible. However I still by far prefer good old simple B/X D&D to either of these new-fangled games ;)

  5. I prefer True20 over Savage worlds, but I know that puts me in the minority.

    I liked the streamline style of True 20 and felt it was one of the best d20 like games out there.

  6. I prefer True20 over Savage worlds, but I know that puts me in the minority.

    I liked the streamline style of True 20 and felt it was one of the best d20 like games out there.

  7. thanks for the comments so far. i've always liked the True20 settings, less so the rules. decisions decisions

  8. If you're thinking you want to play one of the two, I'd say it comes down to whether you're into D&D 3.5 / d20 system or not. If you really like it then True20 might be good to go for, as it really has that familiar d20 feel.

    Another factor to bear in mind is that True20 seems pretty dead now, in terms of new products coming out and in terms of the level of community around it. SW, on the other hand, has both new products and a thriving community. This may or may not be relevant for you, but it's worth considering.

  9. Gavin - although I have a huge collection of 3x stuff, my active gaming ended with ad&d 2e. So for me it's OSR stuff for comfort.

    SW is beginning to look like a good choice tho, with a very active community


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