Strike Force 7 is a campaign setting for the Savage Worlds RPG that brings you all the stylized military action of an 80s cartoon in just over 100 pages. Plus, the author’s name is actually Savage. Do you really need a review at this point, or are you already convinced you need to get this?
Savage Worlds is an RPG designed to be fast-playing and light on rules, so both player and GM can pick it up and run a session on the fly. Thematically, it’s in the same genre as Crafty Games’ G.I. Joe homage Real American H.E.R.O.E.S., and also allows me to recycle the “knowing is half the battle” joke.
As expected, Strike Force 7 is a special ops team with a high level of autonomy that directly combats threats to American safety and freedom. Everyone gets a sweet code name, like “Bloodhound” or “Hammer,” and most of the time you fight against Skorpion, a dastardly terrorist organization with an Egyptian theme. Their weapons and upper management types all have Egyptian code names, and their leader has an intimidating Pharaoh getup. It’s a fantastic concept. There’s not much grey area in this world, just a black and white fight between American freedom and terrorist bad guys.
Since Savage Worlds is generally light on rules, Strike Force 7 doesn’t have a ton of statistics. It does offer some cool ways to make your characters distinctive, with special traits and hindrances, plus a reworked knowledge system. There are some real-world weapons, but most of this stuff is pretty sci-fi, with high-tech armored body suits, integrated computers, particle beam weapons, and a bunch of awesome vehicles which are typically bristling with missile arrays and other weaponry. They remind me of some of my favorite toys from the 80s. There’s some creepy supernatural stuff going on as well, with psychic warriors and other occult flourishes.
Don’t be fooled though, this isn’t a kid’s game. Skorpion is seriously evil and will do genuine harm to millions of people if not stopped. The whole game takes place against the backdrop of 9/11 having been a Skorpion attack, along with a purely fictional nuclear attack on Israel. There are guidelines for ways to adjust the game’s tone for different levels of action, reality and tension. I like the idea of running it as a grim and tense espionage scenario closer to the recent James Bond movies than a cartoon, but on the other hand having your SF7 operatives do ridiculous stunts at every opportunity and save the day in stunning spectacular ways has a lot of appeal.
To round out the book, you get details on the core Strike Force 7 operatives, as well as their Skorpion counterparts. Then there’s a full introductory scenario (any RPG that includes an adventure in the core book gets a huge bonus in my eyes). The adventure will carry the PCs from basic training to full-on conflict with Skorpion while introducing the members of SF7 and bringing to light a science-fiction scheme straight out of Marvel comics.
You can grab a pdf at RPGNow, and OtherWorld Creations will be debuting the print version at Gen Con.