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Savage Rifts & Savage Explorer Essentials

Savage Rifts & Savage Explorer Essentials

Monday 7 December 2020
In December 2020 we presented two new offers highlighting the past and present of the fast-furious-fun Savage Worlds system from Pinnacle Entertainment. The all-new Savage Rifts® Bundle presented Rifts® for Savage Worlds, Pinnacle’s adaptation for the 2019 Savage Worlds Adventure Edition (SWADE) rules of Kevin Siembieda’s Rifts® RPG from Palladium Books. And we also looked back to the 2007 Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition (SWEX) with Savage Explorer Essentials, featuring many SWEX rules companions and Savage Settings.


Barreling toward its third decade, Savage Worlds holds pride of place among medium-crunch traditional RPG systems. For its large and devoted community, few other systems match Savage Worlds for cinematic fightin’ action. Its exploding step-dice task resolution makes gameplay more flexible than d20 and lighter than GURPS. Savage Worlds characters start out broadly competent and get moreso, but never rise to omnipotence. The many “Savage Settings” offer long lists of generic powers you can customize as you wish. Combat scales smoothly, moving right along whether for six combatants or 20 — and fighting, though fair, is always a risk, no matter your skill. (The webcomic Up to 4 Players teaches Savage Worlds rules.)

Adapting ideas he introduced in the 1997 Deadlands miniatures game The Great Rail Wars, Pinnacle’s Shane Lacy Hensley published the first edition of Savage Worlds in 2003, then Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition (SWEX) in 2007. The Bundle of Holding has presented many SWEX campaign settings, including Deadlands Reloaded, Rippers, East Texas University, The Last Parsec, Solomon Kane, Weird War I and II, Flash Gordon, and more. This Savage Explorer Essentials offer gathered all the SWEX rules companions for fantasy, horror, science fiction, and superheroics, along with some of the earliest and best-loved settings like 50 Fathoms.

There were six titles in this offer’s Rules Collection (retail value $53) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete Savage Worlds Deluxe Explorer’s Edition rulebook (also presented in many past Savage offers), plus all the SWEX rules companions: Savage Worlds Fantasy Companion, Super Powers Companion Second Edition, the Horror Companion (previously in our Bundle of Nerves 3, Oct 2015), and the Science Fiction Companion (previously in The Last Parsec, May 2019). We round out this Rules Collection with the Savage Worlds GM Screen Inserts.

Those who paid more than this offer’s threshold (average) price also got this offer’s entire Settings Collection — an additional $114 retail value — with fourteen more titles for four wide-ranging Savage Settings:


Kevin Siembieda‘s Rifts is set on a future Earth shattered by countless otherworldly invasions. Magic energy has flooded back to Earth, fracturing space, tearing through reality, and opening doors to supernatural realms, strange dimensions, and alien worlds. From these portals emerge mythical gods and Elemental creatures, hordes of demons and monsters, dragons and creatures of magic, Shadow Beasts and the undead from dimensions of darkness, and aliens from countless realms.

Earth itself has become an alien landscape where the people, cultures, technologies, and madness of countless alien worlds and realities collide with our own. It is an environment simultaneously familiar and alien, wondrous and horrifying. The magical, supernatural, and alien may come to you, or you may find them. Technology and science co-exist and clash with magic and psychic power. Robot warriors and power-armored troops battle dragons, demons, and magicians. The setting is one of constant change, conflict, horror, wonderment, magic, and endless possibilities.

Pinnacle’s April 2016 Rifts for Savage Worlds Kickstarter campaign grossed US$438K from 4,238 backers, the company’s most successful campaign to that time. Savage Rifts duly appeared in 2018 for the Explorer’s Edition rules — and when the October 2018 Savage Worlds Adventure Edition Kickstarter campaign shattered the previous record ($524K, 5,289 backers), the company quickly updated the entire Savage Rifts line to the SWADE rules. This offer presents the revised line masterminded by Sean Roberson. These new versions better integrate the setting and rules, tweak character Edges, and add new rules like Support/Test. The new SWADE versions in this Savage Rifts Bundle can work with the Explorer’s Edition, but the new edition offers a superior experience.

There were five titles in this offer’s Starter Collection (retail value $53), including the complete Tomorrow Legion Player’s Guide and Game Master’s Handbook, the Tomorrow Legion Field Manual character sourcebook, the Mega Power List, and the six pregenerated player characters in Savage Rifts Archetypes Set 1.

This offer’s Bonus Collection added nine more titles worth an additional $44, including Savage Foes of North America; the full-length adventure Garnet Town Gambit; six full-color Combat Maps (Castle Refuge, Forest Glade, Ley Line, Nexus Point, North America (Revised), and Wasteland); and the Savage Rifts GM Screen Inserts.  

Ten percent of each payment (after gateway fees) for these two Savage Worlds offers went to the charity chosen by Pinnacle’s Shane Hensley and Palladium’s Kevin Siembieda, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The Center provides services, resources, and technical assistance to child victims of abduction and sexual exploitation, their families, and the professionals who serve them.   “Rifts” and “Megaverse” are registered trademarks of Palladium Books, Inc. All character names and likenesses are copyright and trademarks owned by Palladium Books, Inc. and used under license.