Tropicana, a new savage setting by Mauro Longo and Giuseppe Rotondo has been published by Gramel Games1.
It’s a 100 pages setting handbook, and it is fast, furious and fun as you’d expect from a game with a cover like the one you see here on the right.
This post collects my early impression, after a feverish reading of the book.
Tropicana is a game setting for Savage Worlds. The 100 pages handbook (published by Gramel) covers all the essentials for gaming in an action-adventure, contemporary pulp setting.
We are introduced to San José, a “tropical paradise” with a troubled history and a turbulent present. A bananas republic of sorts, San José is a classic “south of the border” venue filled with exoticism, adventure and danger.
As per standard SW products, the handbook also includes character creation, new edges and hindrances, a suggestive list of equipment, a very detailed game master section and a bestiary.
The introductory scenario Hot Wheels is also included.
Bottom line: one of the most plain fun settings I’ve seen in ages, this one just waits to be dropped on the table for the players to get going.
Pros: speed, a familiar-yet-exotic setting
Cons: a few more scenarios would have been nice
Crazy bit you can’t but love: the characters are supposed to have a fave musical genre… how cool is that?
Pulpy Goodness or, why I’m so taken with this baby
The sources of inspiration for Tropicana range from old James Bond movies to modern over-the-top actioneers like Fast & Furious by way of old TV series like The A-Team, but the setting has its roots in a lot of classic pulp tropes – the tropical island, sunken treasures and mysteries in the jungle, guerillas and political intrigue, caper stories, gangster stories.
The player characters are expatriates and mercenaries, innocent bystanders involved in deadly plots, adventurers and treasure hunters.
The setting and the setting rules are so solid and flexible, you can throw anything at this game, and it will run – from gritty gun-dramas to surreal and weird capers, San José can probably take on any kind of scenario, and deliver the goods.
All in all, a highly recommended addition to the Savage Worlds shelf.
- full disclosure – Mauro and Giuseppe are old friends of mine, and I hate them for creating this game before I did something similar (but probably not this good). ↩