So, since the last post I put up about bennies, there’s been a lot of discussion. Some good, some bad. Let me say that this is great. The biggest thing I wanted to get out of that post was just that- discussion. I got so much feedback on that post and it created some waves within the Savage Worlds community. And I firmly believe that is a very good thing. Even Clint Black got in the mix to tell me where he saw my mistakes. That is awesome! It’s only through these discussions that we all learn and adapt to new ways of thinking. Because if you think that the way you do it is the ONLY right way…. You’re wrong.

Now, let me say that I really hope that the last post was clear enough that I do not dislike Savage Worlds. It is easily my favorite system yet. Also, I do not dislike bennies. I just seen some issues with them.

Now, the one thing I really want to point out is the discussion Jerrod Gunning and the crew had over at the Savage Worlds GM Podcast. The post I made was enough for them to get on and do a show about it. Believe me, I am flattered that the post led to that. A super big thank you to Jerrod, Jib, David, Dustin, and Scott for the fantastic show! I was invited to come on that episode to defend myself, but, after listening to the episode, I’m glad I didn’t go on. The reason, you ask? Because if you’ve ever seen me on their show before, you know I love arguing with them. And this time around, I don’t think that would have happened. Those guys made so many good points, that I would have agreed with much of the conversation. But, do I think they got everything correct based on what I wrote? No, not at all. BUT, I blame that solely on myself and my writing abilities (or lack there of). They did make points that didn’t match up with what I was trying to say. But, I think this was misinterpretation based on the way I wrote it. I know (now) that I could have written it much better to make my point of view seen, but I am far from a pro.

Oh, and speaking of that show, I’m not your nemesis, Scott! Lol. I have to say, I really love those guys and the discussion I can have with them. Great guys. If you haven’t checked out their show yet and you play Savage Worlds, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

You can check out the episode here. I highly recommend you do. Just not at work… Or around children… Or nuns….

Let me say that with this whole discussion, I have learned A LOT about bennies. With all the feedback I got, I learned that there’s so many things that I could be doing differently. The one that stuck out to me the most was a reply that David Scott did on the original blog. The one thing that David pointed out (and I saw some feedback like this over on Facebook) is that it would seem that I am not using the rules to their full potential. There so many rules in the game that can create dice rolls (dramatic tasks, chases, etc.) that, in turn, make the benny something that would need to be used more. As soon as I read this reply, I knew where I had been making my mistakes. My players were able to hoard bennies because I was not doing enough as a GM to have them make rolls to tempt them to use them more! It’s like it all clicked in my head as soon as I read it.

Now, I never claim to be a expert on any rule system. I am far from it. I’m just a dude that enjoys playing these games and I can only see things the way I experience them. It’s that simple. So, that post did it’s job because I learned a lot from all of you on how to actually do bennies justice in my Savage Worlds games. There’s so much more that can be said from everything that all of you have said about the discussion, but what I said about David’s reply really sums up the most of it. And to get a full spectrum of a good benny discussion (and to hear those guys talk shit on me!), but sure to click the link I put to the video.

Thank you so much to everyone for the feedback and I hope you’ll follow this blog post as well as the podcast and YouTube channel for the Brewery.

Take care everyone!



3 thoughts on “The Benny Debate, Part 2

  1. Glad it helped but honestly there were a lot of valid points that were brought up that were far beyond what my small contribution was to the discussion. Frankly I think the issue partially stems from the flexibility of the system. We praise it so highly for flexibility but that also means that it can be bent so far that some aspects simply don’t work as intended.

    I’ve been accused of “One True Way”ism in the past because I make some definitive statements but frankly this is one place where the “What ever works at your table” line of thinking fails, you can make enough changes to the game that there are nearly catastrophic affects elsewhere. We saw this when the new shaken rules were introduced from PEG, that small change of requiring a success to unshake and act vs the success to unshake but an raise to act sent the whole community into a tizzy that Savage Daddy still gets teased about to this day. We can see that in your post that bennies were a symptom of you taking advantage of the flexibility and modularity of the system to a point that the issues it caused were cascading. We see it too when people talk about unnecessary or unused skills as it’s nearly always a symptom of some other issue in their game from a changed rules.

    While Savage Worlds is highly flexible it’s also extremely tightly woven. Nearly any house rule has a ripple effect on many other parts of the game, often in unforeseen ways. Almost every difference in GM style makes the game dramatically differently. One of the most controversial posts I ever made was to disagree with the Quick Combat system option rule that Shane published. Why? Because my GMing style and Shanes are vastly different. This means that the rule he suggested has ripples in my games just as the house rules or changes I would suggest would very likely have the same effect on his games.

    TL;DR: If you change something, rule or even stylistically, be prepared for it to affect many aspects of the game, sometimes in unforeseen ways due to the interwoven nature of the system.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. if a combat isn’t relevant to the story, why do you even include it? this isn’t Mathfinder where we require random wandering monsters as filler to eat up some healing wand charges, and provide experience points and magic items that merely just feed to the attrition based system.

    i mean, if you as GM really wanted to fudge things in a player’s favor, Savage Worlds lets you narrate your ability to save a character at will, even when they should have died. “you rolled snakes eyes to stop bleeding out? don’t worry about a new character, i have a fix for that.”

    “you awaken with 2 levels of fatigue in a strange bedroom, covered in bandages and gauze, it turns out the person that saved you from death did some serious reconstructive surgery to bring you back. you noticed your heart has been replaced by a hydrogen powered core, and that your body feels cold and drained, reproduction is out of the question, and you have to do a favor for the surgeon that saved your life.”

    “guess what, you have a sidequest you feel compelled to perform and you now have the undead monstrous ability.”

    Liked by 1 person

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