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Friday, November 15, 2013

Savage Worlds - Dracula

This month's game landed squarely on Halloween and I opted to run a game instead of finding something else to do.  It was also our first time at Guardian Games.  They are in a new location and I love the new store, so I had to try gaming there.  I got a big, private room to play in, but their hours are shorter than our other venue, so some time management came into effect.

My friend and co-GM Brian (AKA HawaiianBrian on various Savage Worlds forums) wrote up an adventure based on the classic story of Dracula. The PCs were Jonathan Harker, Mina Harker (Jonathan Harker's wife), Abraham van Helsing, Dr. Jack Seward, Sir Arthur Holmwood, and Quincey Morris.

If you are familiar with the classic story, the game starts before Mina is enthralled by Dracula, but the second act is during the time when she is starting to be influenced by the vampire.

Throughout the adventure, there are journal entries that are used to set up the next scene.  I thought this was a great way to introduce the next scene - some of which are weeks apart.  I took it a step further and had the player read the journal entries for their character. The players enjoyed that, too.

Before I detail out the game, I will highlight the best part of the night: right before the scene where the characters approach Lucy's tomb, there was quite a in-character discussion (yes, role playing!) about whether or not there are such things as vampires and about Dracula, his three brides and, potentially, Lucy.  This may have cut into our time, but I would not have had it any other way; the players enjoyed the in-character debate.

Act I
The first act is after the death of the group's friend, Lucy.  Van Helsing is trying to prove to the rest of the group of the existence of vampires, and most of the group is skeptical.  The plan is to go into the crypt at night and if her body is in the coffin, then Van Helsing will have to find another way to prove his claims.  If, however, the body is not there, that is some proof to his story.  As it turns out, the group shows up in the daytime and obviously the body is there.  They wait around until dark, and the body rises out of its grave.  A battle ensues with the characters fighting a vampire and the vampire attempting to get away.

The casket is open; Lucy walks!

The burst template shows the influence of a cross being used against the vampire.

The party all gangs up on Lucy to pin her to the ground and ultimately stake her.
Act II
This act is primarily a search and destroy mission.  Dracula has brought large crates of dirt from Transylvania and the characters decide to consecrate the earth so that Dracula does not have a refuge in England.  They find all but one box.  Due to time, I had to really speed this act up, but the flavor was still there.

The last act is to follow Dracula to his castle in Transylvania and, hopefully, destroy the creature.  There are several scenes in here that include a chase scene (wolves chasing the carriage) and some gypsy protectors who attempt to prevent the heroes from gaining entrance to the castle.  Once they are in the castle, the characters search for the Nosferatu, and encountering either his three brides, or himself.  Hopefully not all at the same time.  As it turns out, the party managed to get into the castle during the day, surprising the three wives, but their screams and deaths alert Dracula.  The final battle was fairly fast as Savage Worlds exploding damage dice sometimes shortcuts drama to an exciting quick end.

Final showdown in the brides' chamber with Dracula
Thanks for reading and watch for another posting chronicling my games.