Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Review: Space 1889 - Red Sands (Savage Worlds)

Another very quick side-step from Ubiquity to look at another version of Space: 1889.

Space 1889: Red Sands

This is the Savage Worlds update to the classic Space 1899. Like it's fore-bearer this is a game where brave men and women from Earth brave the Ether to travel to a dying Mars or a Venus covered in lush jungles and dinosaurs. Loosely based on the works of Burroughs and Verne this is a space travel game with a twist. There is plenty of room for adventure and the opportunity to plant the flag of the British Empire on a new world or even find adventure of your own.

It is the Savage World rules and you need the core rules to play this. It is great fun and it is to date the best reason given to me to play Savage Worlds.
The only downside to this is that there is no conversion notes from the old Space 1899 to the new system. But that is minor compared to all the material you get here.

The book itself is 193 full color pages.
The "value add" for this book is that it focuses completely on the Space: 1889 universe.  The character creation rules, combat and the rest are all in the main Savage Worlds book.
This leaves room for the "Savage Tales" chapter which is full of adventure hook, ideas and mini-scenarios. Note: There is nothing stopping you from using these with any other edition of Space: 1889 you might own.

This is also a time to address the Pachycephalosaurus in the room.  Why choose Ubiquity over Savage Worlds?

Ubiquity vs. Savage Worlds

Both systems are designed to "generic" systems.  I also associate both system with Pulp-era action.  In fact I might have even said here at some point in the past that Savage Worlds was my "go to" system for Pulp Era Action, but I think I have to give that nod to Ubiquity now.

Though both seem, on paper anyway, of handling the the type of adventure found in Space: 1889.  The Space: 1889 - The Strange Land adventure even comes in both flavors, Ubiquity and Savage Worlds.
I suppose then it is a matter of taste.  Savage Worlds gives you access to things like Rippers and Gaslight.  But Ubiquity gives you access to things like Hollow Earth Expedition.

1 comment:

Steve said...

I’ve been running the Red Sand setting for several years now (once a month sessions) and I’ve found it to be a very engaging and exciting experience for both the players and the GM.

That said, there simply is not enough information about Frank Chadwick’s Mars in the Red Sands setting for a sustained campaign to be totally immersive, and the wise GM would obtain a copy of the original (now published by Heliograph) for the background not reproduced in the Red Sands book - though the buyer of a pdf will find there are no bookmarks. It seems the digital copy is optimized for tablet, search-oriented use.

The physical build of the Red Sands book also suffers from a fragile spine, completely unworthy of the gorgeous graphic design of the pages. Treat carefully.

That said, the Savage Worlds engine is a really great way to game in the Space 1889 milieu, and I recommend it to any would-be Victorian Steampunk gamer group.