Necessary Evil.   Posted by Belirahc.Group: 0
Belirahc
 GM, 8 posts
 Where savage fans go
 for savage discussions.
Wed 3 Jan 2007
at 20:29
Necessary Evil
A favorite of mine.  Discuss the setting here, and imagine if evil was the only thing you had left to rely on.
hairyheretic
 player, 1 post
Wed 14 Mar 2007
at 14:20
Re: Necessary Evil
I should hopefully be starting a campaign of this soon, my first with the Savage Worlds system, so I wouldn't mind hearing from other Evil Genius's as to how theirs ran.
Willis
 player, 1 post
Wed 2 May 2007
at 09:17
Re: Necessary Evil
I'd love to play in a savage supers game.  It'd be very easy just to use the NE book as a framework and let folks play heroes.

Anyone feel like running?
Belirahc
 GM, 96 posts
 
 Anime Otaku!
Wed 2 May 2007
at 11:38
Re: Necessary Evil
I may run one, if there is enough interest, but it won't happen for a few weeks, as life has me by the throat right now.
Willis
 player, 2 posts
Wed 2 May 2007
at 12:21
Re: Necessary Evil
Well I'm definitely interested, so count me in.
Emiricol
 player, 12 posts
Fri 25 May 2007
at 12:00
Re: Necessary Evil
How would a heroic game work (as opposed to the default villainous)?  Has anyone done it that way?
hairyheretic
 player, 2 posts
Thu 21 Jun 2007
at 15:54
Re: Necessary Evil
A quick word of advice ... having one villian who spends a lot of time invisable, and one who runs at Mach 1 is not a good combination in enclosed spaces, like rooms and tunnels :)

3 missions, 2 pile ups so far. Still, it keeps the rest of the group entertained.
SmilinJack
 player, 4 posts
Sat 25 Aug 2007
at 07:00
Re: Necessary Evil
Perhaps not villains, but antiheroes/flawed heroes. Or something along the lines of Mystery Men.
kturock
 player, 3 posts
Mon 14 Apr 2008
at 17:05
Re: Necessary Evil
i've read the entier book. i started to tun a campaign in RL and 2 groups online at rondaks portal.com.  RL got in the way and i had to discontinue both.
if anyone's running a game and has opening LMK. i have a coupkle different characters.
TheRiddler
 player, 7 posts
Tue 7 Jul 2009
at 10:07
Re: Necessary Evil
If anyone's interested, I'm starting a game of NE:

link to another game

It's going to follow the Campaign in the book, as I'm using it to get experience at GMing.
Strickland5
 player, 40 posts
Tue 7 Jul 2009
at 12:27
Re: Necessary Evil
I make up a villain for you! I don't have the explorer edition NE though.
grandmaster_cain
 player, 12 posts
Tue 7 Jul 2009
at 18:07
Re: Necessary Evil
I'm interested!  I'll see if I can dig out my old villan.
TheRiddler
 player, 8 posts
Wed 8 Jul 2009
at 08:19
Re: Necessary Evil
Ok, we have 3 players so far, plus Grandmaster is 4.

Looking for 1 or maybe 2 others - any interest?
Cloth Frog
 player, 36 posts
Wed 8 Jul 2009
at 15:21
Re: Necessary Evil
I'm in. I'll send my character to you today.
TheRiddler
 player, 9 posts
Fri 10 Jul 2009
at 07:27
Re: Necessary Evil
Ok we've got 4 players - hoping to start this on Monday, and still got room for 1/2 more.

Grandmaster you still up for this?
grandmaster_cain
 player, 13 posts
Fri 10 Jul 2009
at 18:38
Re: Necessary Evil
You know it!  I'll have a character to you by Monday.
kturock
 player, 11 posts
Tue 21 Jul 2009
at 18:16
Re: Necessary Evil
Is this still open?
Strickland5
 player, 158 posts
 I'm in a few games
Wed 9 Nov 2011
at 16:21
Re: Necessary Evil
I know Cripple X's NE game has more or less stopped and a new one by DrTachyon just started... but I'm curious if anyone is up for playing this ever loved Savage Worlds favorite?
drewalt
 player, 13 posts
Mon 2 Jan 2017
at 18:13
Re: Necessary Evil
So as a self Christmas present, I decided to finally get Necessary Evil (which has been revised a bit to try to true it up to the 2e Supers Companion as well as the ending being expanded) as well as its prequel campaign: Breakout.

Value:

Pretty good, not overly costly, physical editions have good production values.  No padding.  Index is very short, but having the pdf version mitigates this.

Setting:

Pros:  I do like the idea of the setting.  I especially like that they went with what I feel like is an underexplored use of alien invaders in the supers genre and left a lot of implications hanging out there that these threats aren't the only problems by a long shot.  Relatively simple idea leading to very complex implications is generally a good way to go.  There's a lot you could do with the setting.

Cons: If you canít swallow the idea that all of Earth's superheroes can be killed en masse through careful planning, you wonít be able to wrap your head around it.

Also, in the Original Necessary Evil campaign, the details in certain localities are too scant imho.

Premise: 

Interesting but flawed.  Look I've played evil characters before, but generally there's only a few kinds of evil that are playable.  Norman Osbornís schizophrenia is not playable.  The Joker, unless it's the really camp version, isn't playable.

I think most people would self-regulate themselves to villains which are evil, but not monstrously so, for the sake of the players being able to stomach playing that character, so you can't really explore the idea of villains.  Ergo, an interesting idea, but not one fully realizable imho.

The Campaigns: 

It's a little hard to evaluate Plot Point campaigns from the perspective that Pinnacle takes this approach of ďhere's the bare bones now improvise!Ē but Iíll try.  To me, the main things are:

  • A) Does it work?  For whatever that means.
  • B) Is it interesting enough to want to resolve it?
  • C) Does it do enough heavy lifting it's worth my time to buy and use this because I'm too busy to be completely original?
  • D) Optional:  Does this give me some ideas even if I never run this exact campaign as written?


I would say yes to all four for both campaigns, except for C, I would say it does a LOT of heavy lifting but not quite as much as I'd like.  I will get into that later in the Mechanical Parts section.

Also, in the original Necessary Evil, Star City isn't really that detailed.  The prequel campaign generally does a better job of this since you only have NYC to worry about and they cleverly use Google maps as a game aid, so that helps a lot.  But more detailed maps of the world are needed imho depending on exactly what one wants to do with these products.  So perhaps 3.5 out of 4.

So generally thumbs up.  But I do have some general remarks:

You are going to have to set some very, very firm ground rules with the players and enforce a healthy respect for the metagame.  In particular the core conceit of Breakout is pretty thin.  You have to get strong player buy in for these campaigns  The books are pretty clear about this I think.

(Vague Spoiler)

Spoiler text: (Highlight or hover over the text to view)
There's a little of bit of Deus Ex Machina in the original Necessary Evil.  It could be actually be done in a way thatís clever, but the campaign as written does not set it up enough.  So be aware of that.


Finally, I will mention that the original Necessary Evil campaign is a lot easier to pad out.  Breakout!  However is really narrow in terms of the time the characters have.  It's not a worse kind of story it's just a different kind of story.

The Mechanical Parts: 

Okay, this is mostly related to the original Necessary Evil.  Although they updated it, you can still tell that the original NE is relatively old.  I would have to rework and recalculate some things because they just make me unhappy.

Also the whole archetype system is archaic now.  I wouldn't use the rules as written in NE at all.  I'd just give players the 2E companion and tell them to make characters from there.

I feel like they should let fans re-do a lot of the stat blocks in both campaigns, honestly.  That may just be me, but a lot of these I read and go "Really?  My players would chew through that in a round."

Other than that, while I do like the 2nd edition Super Powers companion a lot, it suffers from certain flaws that I will not go into here for the sake of brevity and because my squabbles with the mechanics are arcane and me just being a nerd.  In practice there is really a rock, paper scissors balance system going on here when you look at the system holistically.

Just because a character is a "combat god" doesn't mean the character is going to be unstoppable or dominant.  Necessary Evil, even the prequel, like most Supers games seems to involve extensive information acquisition just to figure out what is happening.  There's a lot of situations where it just doesn't matter how good you are at X, what you need is Y.  The GM should feel free to put characters in bizarre situations where utility powers could easily trump butt kicking powers.

Why do I mention this? I feel like that last part of having more scenarios where the players have to use a wide variety of abilities is a little weaker than Iíd like them to be in these campaigns.  I mean they have some nice spots where the PCs are really going to have to think and improvise, but a lot of the points/tales seem way too straightforward to me.

One of the problems youíll have to overcome is there's a central threat in the form of the aliens, whose abilities don't really change or vary that much just using that's provided to you.  When your central antagonists are static and unvaried in a Supers Game, thatís really a problem.  And there are "spots" in these campaigns that are supposed to be big, pivotal moments that could easily be rendered trivial if just one character has certain capabilities.

Major Spoilage

Spoiler text: (Highlight or hover over the text to view)
Seriously the epic climax fight in one juncture of the original Necessary Evil is just ludicrous imho.  It needs to be waaaaay more tailored than that.


Itís not that itís badly done or that there's no antagonist or scenario variety at all, but I think this is going to take a fair bit of work to make it really pop.  The prequel Breakout is better about using a variety of threats imho.

My thoughts or TL DR:

I think I like the prequel campaign a little better designed, but it did come later.  I think however both together is best:  what's good about having them both is you could run the prequel and then run the sequel and that would actually be pretty cool.  It would work best if you made Omega something like a kind of Suicide-Squad type bureau under Dr. Destruction (who would be Amanda Waller in this scenario).

Also, by starting with the "Escape from New York" scenario, I think the creators missed a trick there because the PCs don't have to be established super villains.  The possibilities are much more interesting this way; They could be anybody who was trapped in NYC.  Maybe the characters are the "Mystery Men" heroes who weren't worth killing. They could even be ordinary people who have developed/are developing super powers using the Rising Stars rules.

I'm a little disappointed the material isn't a little beefier in the variety of pre-generated threats, but you know what, I've gotten pretty decent at the SW supers system and it's not a difficult one to improvise in.  It's not THAT hard to rework a weak power profile, add something, etc.

Where it's more disappointing is that in the original NE some key places like Star City just aren't that well detailed.  New York City gets a better treatment imho, and they were even clever enough to tell you how to use Google Maps to really fill in the holes.  I realize Star City doesn't actually exist so they can't do that, but they could have detailed it out quite a bit more and probably should have.

If there's ever a third NE book, I'd like a world book that discusses other cities/continents/etc., gives more GM resources like maps, monsters and other antagonists, suggests other possible campaigns and Savage Tales, and goes on about the world after these campaigns end.   The revised version of the original Necessary Evil gets into this just a little bit and I thought that was ripe for expansion, so if thereís ever more to come Iíd like to see it go in that direction.

From the perspective reading it gives me a lot of ideas, even if I donít like everything as written, I have to say itís overall a good product.