Olympus, Inc. (Savage Worlds)
Reviewed by: Ron McClung
Olympus, Inc. is a new RPG Core Setting book from Fabled Environments .
Urban fantasy and horror is a very popular type of setting these days, and with shows like American Gods or books like the Percy Jackson series, the subject of classic mythical gods is in the forefront. Out with the classic urban horror of vampires, elves and werewolves, in with the forgotten gods and their kin. Fabled Environments has recently published (through Kickstarter) a new Savage Worlds setting book called Olympus, Inc. that is a new entry into the subgenre of “gods on Earth.”
From page #4: So…been through a lot have you? Motor vehicle accident, total humiliation, family murdered? No? Ah…a bunch of guys tried to kill you. I figured it was something like that or we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
Olympus, Inc. is a game of godly power on Earth and the players play awakened demi-gods. Deeply rooted in Greek mythology, the background is a twisted web of gods, titans, cyclops and giants mixed with jealousy, betrayal and heroism. The Olympians were born, ruled and continue to do so in the modern age. Constant conflict and intrigue between the Olympians, the imprisoned Titans, their advocate Gaia and mortals create the world as we know it today. Finally, through one single effort by Gaia and her allies, the Titans were freed from Tartarus. They brought about the downfall of the Olympians and their eventual banishment to mortal Earth.
Forgotten by mortals and struggling to survive, the Olympians found ways to preserve the immortality. Historical events throughout history are revealed to be covert actions within the war between Olympians and Titans, including both World Wars. It was at that point, it was decided by the Olympians to unite under one banner – Olympu, Inc.
Under Olympus Inc. and its very important subsidiary Delphi Group (and later Delphi Corporation), the gods vye for power against the Titans. Delphi, on the behalf of Olympus, fights the forces of the Titans and their allies. Operating like a multi-national intelligence operations, it’s agents all over the world seek out natural and supernatural signs of their enemies and attempt to stop them. They also seek out magical and technological items that will help them in their fight. Recruiting the help of demigods and demihumans, Delphi’s mission is the eventual return of the Olympians to their once position of power.
Olympus Inc. today operates the Delphi Corporation covertly, while spreading out into multiple corporations run by various Olympians. Each subsidiary operates according to the Olympians interests. For example, Apollo runs The Auroral Group, a conglomerate of energy, medical and music corporations. Ares runs a military contractor. Aphrodite runs a beauty and fashion conglomerate. These are just a few. All are supposed to be working to the central goals of Olympus Inc., but of course, not all Olympians get along all the time.
Opposing them is Titan Corp and their terrorist like covert organization called the National Liberation Front. Titan Corp has several allies in their efforts against the Olympians as well, including Peace Initiative, Moneta, and Tethyon. A complex web of intrigue, corporate espionage, and supernatural power struggles between all these entities create the world of Olympus Inc.
From page #4: I’m Caleb. Some folks might call me an angel. No, not the kind with the wings and the glow; that’s just what they call us folks who help new demigods make the transition.
Conceptually, characters fall into one of four groups – corporate employees of Olympus Inc., agents of Delphi, members of FT or Freelance Teams used by Olympus Inc, or “Ghosts” – supernatural beings with no true allegiance, just a need for profit or something other vice. It is stressed to each player character that the the veil of reality for mundane humans or Sleepers must be maintained, and this is enforced the the goddess Nemesis. She is in charge of keeping the Sleepers asleep and ignorant of the divine world and its powers.
Characters are created using standard Savage Worlds rules except that they must choose a Race as well. These races include two types of Demigods (Paragon and Protean) or Demihumans (Minospawns, descended from minotaurs and Satyrs, descended from Pan). My first thought is that there’s so much more potential in a world like this that more races are inevitable in future supplements.
Paragon Demigods have Bloodline trait that spawns a setting specific Arcane Background as well as some other Edges and Hindrances. Protean demigods are a little less pure than Paragons and have their own Bloodline. Demihumans on the other hand do not get access to these powers but have access to some of their own powers. They are also shapeshifters to blend into the modern age and have other extraordinary abilities in relation to their race.
The new Arcane Backgrounds (replacing the core Arcane Backgrounds) allow access to several powers that are related to the type of Bloodline that was chosen. For instance, you can choose the Apollo bloodline and the powers the character gains access to are related to light and healing. Or the Zeus bloodline, which gives your character access to flying as well as weather related powers. In total, there are 6 Bloodlines listed – Apollo, Zeus, Dionysus, Ares, Hermes, and Aphrodite. That leaves six or seven more to introduced in future supplements. Some powers reference back to the Savage Worlds Super Power Companion sourcebook and all are treated like the Super Powers in that supplement.
The setting add a number if Hindrances and Edges, more than I have seen in other setting books. Hindrances include things like Impulsive, Quarrelsome, and Tragic Doom. Edges include a number of general Background Edges as well as a few Combat, Power, Professional, Racial, and Weird. There are also a number of prohibited Hindrances and Edges from the Core book. Additionally, the skill list is slightly modified from the core – Lockpicking is dropped and replaced by Intrusion. I prefer more generic skills names. There is also a Hacking skill.
The setting rules include (for those familiar with Savage Worlds setting rules) I’ve Got Plenty and Worldly. The former references ammo and the fact that a player does not have to keep track of it. The latter gives each player access to the Logos language – the language of the gods. Logos is not a spoken language but is now used as a set of tags placed on buildings. Humans see them as useless graffiti but to the divine eye of a demigod, it can denote friendly or not so friendly locations.
Gear includes several weapons, which are more than the generic versions found in the core rulebook. In a world of divine corporate espionage, it makes a difference if you are holding a Starbrite Firearms PM -33 or a Red Anvil VRS-22. There is also a wide variety of imaginative gear for use in the kind of work the corporate demi-being agent may be involved with.
Alchemy is used in this setting a little different than one would imagine. I tis not treated as magic and is more like a strange (but not weird) science. With these skills, once can create various items and potions that give bonuses or edges. Slosi denotes items imbued with divine Olympian power before their fall. Some items are well known, like the Shield of Achilles while others are still hunted. The text lists several Slosi as well.
The book ends with two final sections, the largest of which is the list of adversaries and allies called Cast of Characters. A good variety of characters, villains, and a few creatures are provided. It ends with a section called Adventure Oracle. Common to many Savage Worlds setting books, this section helps a GM generate a plot for a short adventure if he finds himself short of ideas. Unlike some other Savage Worlds setting books, a plot point campaign is not included.
In conclusion, Olympus Inc. is an amazingly imaginative and engaging setting. I love the new twists on powers and races. It is a great mix of urban fantasy and corporate espionage. It sort of reminds me of a cross between Delta Green and Shadowrun, with a strong Greek mythology influence. I would highly recommend this setting to anyone into the urban fantasy type setting. It has a lot of potential for adventure as well as growth. What about other mythologies? Why just the Olympians? The potential is endless.
For more details on Fabled Environments and their new RPG Core Setting book “Olympus, Inc” check them out at their website http://www.fabledenvironments.com/, and at all of your local game stores.
Codex Rating: 18
From: Fabled Environments
Type of Game: RPG Core Setting book
Written by Gilbert Gallo and Charles White
Editing and Development by Aaron T. Huss
Additional Editing by Darren Miller
Additional Assistance by Krista White
Layout By Rick Hershey
Art by Michele Barone, Simon Bray, Rick Hershey, Karl Kessler, Marina Mundo, Mirco Paganessi, Niko Perrini, Simon Powel, Adam Schmidt, Je Shields and Krista White
Additional art courtesy of Vecteezy (Vecteezy.com)
Game Components Included: Full color core setting PDF
Game Components Not Included: Savage Worlds Core rulebook, Savage Worlds Super Powers Companion.
Number of Pages: 128
Reviewed by: Ron McClung