Review: Gold & Glory Upswaded

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“Gold & Glory is not your usual Savage Setting in that it is not really a setting at all, and it doesn’t want to be one. Gold & Glory is a method, and a toolbox, to enjoy the Fast, Furious and Fun rules of Savage Worlds in a game of classic dungeon exploration.” – Gold & Glory: Seven Deadly Dungeons

One of my favourite products from 2017 was Giuseppe Rotondo’s Gold & Glory: Seven Deadly Dungeons, which I reviewed here; and now the author has updated it for the new edition of Savage Worlds, or as he says “upswaded” it.

Since I’ve already reviewed this, I’ll focus on the changes; but first, what is it?

What is Gold & Glory?

Gold & Glory is an Old School dungeon crawler for Savage Worlds; it’s not a setting as such, more a set of rules mods which give SW the feel of OD&D. It does this quite elegantly with three main changes:

  • It adds an optional random character generation process; draw three cards, and these determine race, gender, edges, hindrances and ‘character class’, which is a package of skills and equipment. (I’ve used this for creating some highly entertaining NPCs in other genres, too.)
  • It adds a random dungeon generator based on card draws (which determine the map layout and are generic) and die rolls (which determine monster encounters, tricks and traps and are different for each of the seven example dungeons provided).
  • It modifies character advancement; in effect, characters have to buy advances using loot they have collected in dungeons, although they can only do so by spending that loot in specific ways – carousing, research or offerings to the Sun God. This is the most important change to the core rules.
What’s New?

  • A few minor tweaks to reflect changes to skills, edges, hindrances, gear and powers in the core rules, nothing significant in my opinion.
  • Half-Orcs have now disappeared from the Savage Worlds core rulebook, but they are still part of G&G so now they are defined here.
  • The Path of Light. Clerics of Solis the Sun God, i.e. PCs with Arcane Background (Miracles), now gain a hindrance each time they gain an advance by making offerings to their god, representing their increasing adherence to their sacred vows. To compensate, they also receive a permanent blessing with each such hindrance. This replaces the precepts and sins in the previous edition.
  • The core rules now have a Flee manoeuvre so G&G now uses that instead of the previous setting rule of the same name.
  • Loot Tokens. When the heroes find minor treasures, they now find “loot tokens” rather than specific amounts of coinage; the idea is that they just shovel it into their backpacks, and don’t count or divide it until they have escaped the dungeon, whereupon each Loot Token turns into goodies worth 1d6 x 10 gold pieces.
  • Monster Statblocks. Previously, the book listed most monsters by stating what the base creature from the core rulebook was and what changes to make to it (“Giant Lizard: Alligator, remove Aquatic.”). Now, you get a full statblock for each one. This is probably why the new edition is about a dozen pages longer.

I love this version even more than the last one. The Path of Light is a very elegant setting rule, more in tune with the core rules; it’s also nice that the more devout a cleric is in his worship, the more sacred vows and blessings he accumulates. Full monster statblocks reduce the amount of page-flipping I need to do in play, and I hate page-flipping.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5. I want to play this right away, but sadly it must wait for a gap in the schedule.

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