I’ve been planning a few posts about the Italian settings for Savage Worlds, and considering the Enescentia kickstarter is about to launch, why not beging with the first Savage setting developed for the Italian market?
It might help a few gamers to go and shell out some cash.
But first, a disclaimer – I know the author of Enascentia, he’s my friend and we both work with Savage Worlds Italia and GGStudios, the publishers of Savage Worlds in our country.
So my opinion will be somewhat biased.
Or maybe not, because, you see…
When I first saw Enascentia, I was pretty cold about it.
This, for two main reasons – first, it looked like the sort of high magic, high strangeness campaign that is not my favorite sort of fantasy setting.
I tend to go for rougher sword & sorcery settings,
Secondly, it reminded me of Exalted, a game I played extensively but that always left me with mixed feelings.
Both my impressions were wrong – but it took me some time to realize.
Just like Exalted, Enascentia turns all its dials up to eleven – but instead of going for the more So, for starters, yes, Enascentia is a high magic, high weirdness, high power setting – but not the usual *more schticks, more damage, more mayhem sort of thing.
Enascentia goes over the top, but holding tight a core concept – this is a game about mystery.
It is so much a game about mystery, that the characters themselves are part of the mystery they will have to solve.
They come into the world fully-formed, they are virtually immortal, they become part of the complex – and fun – social system, and they will have to run, and think, and fight, to keep one step ahead of enemies that are out to get them.
The world is highly detailed and yet – as it usually happens with Savage Settings – it leaves ample space for exploration and for invention on the part of the game keeper.
And it’s growing, this world – Edoardo Dalla Via, who dreamed up Enascentia in the first place, is developing new material, and some has already been published.
And really, knowing him, I can really imagine him, as he developed this setting, musing how can I make this more mysterious, more exotic and more surprising?
So, yes, this is a high magic, high weirdness sort of setting – and the gorgeous artwork only goes to enhance the experience of the strangeness underlying the whole universe.
And yes, it has its dials turned up to eleven like the old Exalted.
But it’s more nuanced, more textured than the old White Wolf fantasy – it’s more of a thinking man’s take on hi-power fantasy, one in which player choices count and in which role playing is encouraged.
So, yes, all in all I like it a lot.
One final element that makes Enascentia – despite my original misgivings – my kind of game, is the fact that the setting truly makes the Savage Worlds engine shine.
I know it was not done on purpose, and it’s just the result of some brilliant design, but Enascentia is a setting that uses all of the Savage World rulebook, and uses it with smarts and elegance.
It supports a variety of gaming styles and of adventures – from dungen-delving to political games.
The rest – about the races and the tribes (keep an eye out for the tribes), the new edges and hindrances and all that, you’ll probably get from the Kickstarter pages.
What I’d like to stress here and now is that Enascentia is a beautifully designed, intelligently constructed universe, which will please most players – even those that, like me, don’t go for hi-power games as a rule.