Monday, 4 April 2016

Envoys of S.A.V.E.

S.A.V.E. - The Societas Albae Viae Eternitata (Eternal Society of the White Way) - were the secret organisation which the characters in the wonderful 1980s role-playing game 'Chill' worked for. Chill was a game of supernatural monster-hunting, with the characters being people from all walks of life united in their desire to seek out and destroy evil supernatural beasties. It was an early game to use a task resolution system which gave degrees of success instead of just 'suceed/fail' or 'hit/miss', and it had creatures with class; many of the monsters could only be thwarted, destroyed or dispelled in very specific ways, and often a mission was about researching those methods after, of course, discovering the nature of your adversary. There's a nice short overview of the game HERE.

I had a great deal of fun with Chill, both as a player and as a GM. As a player I was part of groups which confronted a shape-changing monster from the mythology of Ancient Egypt, zombies in the Louisiana swamps, French werewolves and a descendent of Baron Frankenstein. As a GM I can remember pitting the players against a vampire (of course), a vengeful Saxon ghost in an Essex village, a vampiric plant and a Djinn brought to London from India by an ex-soldier on a mission of vengeance.

SAVE (I'll drop the full-stops) was founded in 1844, which gave scope for setting games in a number of historical periods. Because of my love of Sherlock Holmes, we ended up setting all of our games in the Victorian era. Let's face it, as an era for gaming it has class. And, because the action sometimes demanded it, we used figures. Which explains why I have a few small boxes with various Victorian horror figures in them, none of which have seen the light of day for decades.

Until the other day ...

Having put together my Japanese goblin warband for Battlesworn, it came to me that SAVE would make a wonderfully different opponent for them, and I had the figures ready to hand.

So here they are. This is a a portion of my collection; I can swap other characters in and out as needed. Indeed I am only a couple of policemen away from being able to put together a Scotland Yard force led by Sherlock Holmes. But for a basic game they would do.

The figures are all from Citadel's Gothic Horror range, with a few head-swaps and conversions to make them look less 1920s and more 1880s.

Every warband in Battlesworn need four Fighters, and here they are - hired muscle. They look pretty dubious, but regardless of background SAVE envoys are devoted to the cause of opposing Evil.

As well as hired muscle there are two hired guns - Shooters.

The remaining slots are taken up by characters. Firstly, here's the Reverend Philips. Actually I can't recall if he was actually called the Reverend Philips, but I remember a player running a vicar as a character, and this was the figure. I just made up a suitable name. The original was killed by a vampire.

The Reverend Philips is a Healer/Warmage. In Chill every character has a low-level psychic/magical ability. I didn't try to represent this for every character in my warband, but it seemed to suit the good Reverend. I know I could run him as a Priest from 'Knights and Knaves', but at this stage I didn't want to complicate my life with too many classes from the supplement, especially as the Priest has a bit of a shopping list of abilities.

Baron Adler never appeared as a player character. As The Baron he did appear as the villain in a steampunk/Victorian superhero game I ran solo using the Mythic GM Emulator (the results of which are buried deep in the archives of, but he was never a SAVE envoy. However I love the figure, and wanted to use him.

Baron Adler is a master swordsman, so is classed as a Brute/Chaos Warrior. The latter classification (taken from 'Knights and Knaves') may seem a bit odd, but it does give him the ability to be unpredictable in a fight, which suits him well. I did consider making him a Brute/Leader. You may agree.

And finally ... Josephine Carfax. I couldn't put together a warband without her, as she was my first, and favourite, Chill character. A respectable lady of independent means to all who knew her, she had a secret life as a burglar, specialising in unique or very rare objects. She had an uncanny ability to size up the value and provenance of antiques and curiosities; think Lovejoy in a frock, with a great big dollop of A.J.Raffles and you have her. In addition she was an expert shot with a pistol. She was a great character to play, although I recall she got into a certain amount of trouble with SAVE for using the missions to feather her own nest with 'liberated' valuables.

Miss Carfax is a Sniper/Rogue. The original figure was a lot more 1920s. I lengthened her skirt (of course, and made her a hat, thus adding a much-needed level of modesty and respectability.

In the next post you will see this gallant band of heroes in action against the sinister Yokai!


  1. Chill... that was an interesting looking game although it always lost playtime in my circles to Call of Cthulhu. Your minis look great!

  2. I was killed by the Vampire Vine!


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