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My group was looking for a new system recently, and someone proposed Savage Worlds. Since we were thinking of a sci-fi setting, I proposed Apocalypse World since I was under the impression that was basically a post-apocalyptic version of Savage Worlds. Someone else said no, it was significantly different, but neither of us knew for sure and we didn't have any books for either yet, so we were left wondering.

What's different between Savage Worlds & Apocalypse World, and what's the same? Or are they so different that any similarities are largely coincidence?

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up vote 17 down vote accepted

The games are entirely different, the only similarity is in the name.

Savage Worlds is a generic high-action game with simple yet deterministic mechanics.

Apocalypse World (and other games that use its engine such as Dungeon World, tremulus, etc.) is a narrative game with a focus on GM improvisation.

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+1 Yeah, they literally have nothing except "printed on paper" in common. –  mxyzplk Nov 19 '13 at 3:14
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OK, so the moral of this story is that my brain is unreliable and absolutely not to be trusted. –  Oblivious Sage Nov 19 '13 at 3:16
    
You may have confused Apocalypse World with Darwin's World, a post-apoc setting with a Savage Worlds version. There's plenty of AW and Powered-by-the-Apocalypse information here, and we are all happy to answer more questions about the game if you have any. I have run both SW and AW (and its derivatives) and they are both good games - just totally different. –  gomad Nov 19 '13 at 11:20
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Savage Worlds and Apocalypse World are completely different games.

Savage Worlds is a generic system that uses several dice (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12) and the basic difficulty for a given task is usually 4. There are many games powered by the Savage World engine (rules).

Apocalypse World is a game (setting+rules) that uses just 2d6 and the basic difficulty for a given task is 7. There are some games that use an adaptation of the Apocalypse World engine, but Apocalypse World is not designed as a generic game like Savage Worlds.

Savage Worlds is more simulationist in spirit, and tactical thinking is important in combats. Apocalypse World is more narrative in spirit, with fewer "mechanical" rules.

I proposed Apocalypse World since I was under the impression that was basically a post-apocalyptic version of Savage Worlds.

One of the settings for Savage Worlds is Deadlands: Hell of Earth - Reloaded. Maybe you had this in mind?

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As a sidenote, the Savage Worlds system was not created from scratch, it evolved from the system originally used in Deadlands. –  sergut Nov 21 '13 at 13:35
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