The Weird West
The world of Deadlands was much like our own up until July 4th, 1863. It is rumored that something supernaturally powerful was unleashed that day, and it changed the world forever. It was most noticeably changed in western North America better known as the Wild West. The American Civil war continued for decades finally ending in an uneasy cease fire around 1876 between the two factions (Union and Confederacy) and the successfully separation of the Confederate States of America in 1879.
In 1868, a great earthquake shook the California coast so violently as to have much of fall into the sea creating the Great Maze that now exists where the coast once was. From tragedy comes opportunity, as Ghost Rock a previously undiscovered super material and fuel was discovered. This Ghost Rock catapulted the world’s technology with wondrous inventions and awesome weapons by these popularly named mad scientists.
With the war protracted and so costly in men and resources, the long oppressed Indians of the west could resist placement on small out of the way reservations. Many of the Indian tribes banded together and formed the Sioux Nations in the Dakota Territories and Coyote Confederation out of most of Oklahoma. With their success many tribes are returning to the Old Way before the white man’s steel and gunpowder. These Indians eschew technology more advanced that what they great grandfathers had.
Many preachers and other blessed claim to be able to perform miracles including healing the sick and injured. Even some practitioners the ancient martial arts of Kung Fu claim to have mastered their chi, or life force, to the point they can do things no normal man can do.
Out west there are also tales of strange abominations and monsters. There are a multitude of fauna never seen by biologists that have recently been discovered of west from the huge Mohave Ratter to the small and enigmatic jackalope. There are stories stranger still about walking dead men and creatures straight out of nightmares. Some say that even the land itself can become a place with darker shadows of morbid and creepifying surroundings. Fear is becoming almost a phyiscal thing as these stories of the macabre increase.
However, there are few men and women who dare stand up to the darkness and fear. They tell tales of their struggles with the supernatural, and how they fought back against the fear and won. They prove that this terror can be battled and even beaten. Now at of them survive the fight with evil, but they die knowing their sacrifice was not in vein to make the world a brighter place.
You are one of them..
System and Characters
We will be playing using the Deadlands Classic rules; the ones that later became Savage Worlds. We will likely swap Judges around a bit, and have different people playing on different nights. We’ll create initial characters at our first session and then later anytime anyone wants to, using the standard classic method of drawing cards for stats.
I have a number of different adventures ready to play (maybe twenty or so?), so my thought is that we will use them, moving forward in time (starting in 1875) and adding in any extra home-made modules as any Judge sees fit.
The premise of the campaign is that you play a character who is either a member of, or happy to work for, a shadowy government organization devoted to hunting down and destroying weirdness. No matter what style of character you play, if the order comes to go to X and solve a problem, you will do it.
Genre and Tone
The game will be pretty episodic, with adventures of differing lengths, and characters can change between sessions. Imagine a pool of available agents, which get dispatched at will. Of course, there may be side adventure and longer-running plots, but in general, characters will not need to have played anything previous to have fun in a game.
As always, though, since the purpose is to have fun, if we find any rules that prevent fun, we’ll adjust on the fly.