Oct 022015
 

All right, gather round. It’s time to meet this posse.

Grace Elizabeth “Tens” McCall – Urchin Inventor
Played by RC.
The 16 year old daughter of Professor Elijah McCall. When her father wasn’t teaching, he was tinkering in his lab. Grace would listen as she worked and sometimes even assist him. She learned about science and inventions from an early age. When she was 11 or 12, she was sent on a summer vacation at an aunt’s house. While at Aunt Polly’s, she got word that her father had been imprisoned and she rushed back home. She was in time to see a bunch of men in suits clearing out her father’s lab. She was only able to get away with his secret stash of notes. From then on she was an urchin and picked up the trade from a young boy named Zack. He taught her the trade and she started tinkering on her own. Now 16, she’s joined up with the Posse because there’s strength in numbers. That and maybe they can help her with getting her father freed. Grace is now a Mad Sane Scientist of her own. She wears a kinetic gauntlet that can shoot blasts of kinetic energy, speed her up, or slow others down. And unlike other mad science inventions, this device isn’t powered by ghost rock.

+Digression: RC was having trouble with a character, but then she found this portrait and it just clicked. Tens is sort of a mash up of a thief and a mad scientist. Only she has Born on All Hallows Eve, which has let her avoid any dementia’s. RC and I are working on the idea that her father was way big into alternative fuels. He might know something about ghost rock. Anyway, this gal is fun!

Name: Grace Elizabeth “Tens” McCall
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d10, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d8
Skills: Climbing d6, Fighting d4, Guts d4, Knowledge: Chemistry d6, Knowledge: Physics d6, Lockpicking d6, Notice d6, Persuasion d4, Repair d8, Shooting d6, Stealth d6, Streetwise d4, Taunt d4, Weird Science (Arcane) d8
Pace: 8, Parry: 5, Toughness: 6, Charisma: 0, Grit: 1
Languages: English, Latin, Mandarin, Spanish
Gear: Kinetic Amplifier d4 (Str+d6), Unarmed Strike d4 (Str), Colt Lightning d6 (2d6, 12/24/48), Backpack, Bedroll, Blanket, Boots, Canteen, Derby, Ghost Rock Detector, Gun Belt, Hammer, Horse, Lantern, Lockpicks, Mess Kit, Quick-Draw Holster, Rope (per 50′), Saddle, Saddlebags, Shirt/Blouse, work, Trousers/Skirt
Special Abilities:
• Curious: Must check out everything and solve all mysteries
• Heroic: Never says no to a person in need
• Loyal: Will never leave a man behind
• Trouble Magnet: Nothing goes right for the hero
• Arcane Weird Science: Gain the Weird Science arcane background
• Fleet-Footed: +2 Pace; Roll d10 when running
• Gadgeteer: Create one-shot gizmo with half Power Points (1/sess)
• Knack: Born on All Hallow’s Eve: See text.
Arcane Powers:
• Bolt: Single bolt 2d6 damage; Up to 3 bolts at 1pt per bolt; 2pts does one 3d6 bolt
• Entangle: Restrained target suffers -2 Pace and skills linked to Agi and Str; Break free with Str or Agi; Single target costs 2 points, Medium Burst Template costs 4
• Speed: Doubles target’s Pace; Running is free with raise

Juan Tomas Longknife – Hexslinging Ranger
Played by MJ
Juan Tomas is the son of a Spanish Aristocrat and his Navajo wife. His father fell in love with his mother in his travels and decided to stay with the tribe. Juan Tomas spent his early life among a small tribe of Navajo, but then they were attacked and killed by some strange force. Juan Tomas was one of the few survivors and was taken to a Christian orphanage. But it wasn’t long before his uncle heard word of the tragedy, and he came to claim his Nephew. Juan Tomas then spent the remainder of his youth under the tutelage of his uncles in their villa down in Texas. From one he learned about the law. And from another he learned the power of the Hexslinger. Eventually Juan Tomas joined up with the Texas Rangers, who have put him on extended assignment to deal with “Native problems.” He’s a steady hand and a good shot.

+Digression: I love this character. A lot. He’s sort of a cross between the Man with No Name and Rick Standing Bear from Longmire. And he’s a single gun hip shooter, which I love far more than the two gun Joe bullshit.

Name: Juan Tomas Longknife
Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d8, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d6, Gambling d6, Guts d6, Hexslinging d8, Intimidation d4, Notice d6, Persuasion d4, Riding d6, Shooting d8, Stealth d4, Streetwise d6, Survival d6, Tracking d6
Pace: 6, Parry: 5, Toughness: 6, Charisma: 2, Grit: 1
Languages: English, Navajo, Spanish
Gear: Colt Peacemaker (SA) d10 (2d6+1, 12/24/48), Unarmed Strike d6 (Str), Colt Revolving Rifle d10 (2d8, 24/48/96), Backpack, Bedroll, Blanket, Boots, (50x) Bullets, .45 Pistol, (50x) Bullets, .56 Rifle, Canteen, Chaps, Coup Stick, Duster, Fugitives from Justice in the Confederacy, Handcuffs, Horse, Lockpicks, Playing Cards, Quick-Draw Holster, Rifle Boot, Rope (per 50′), Saddle, Saddlebags, Shirt/Blouse, work, Stetson, Tobacco, smoking (pouch), Trousers/Skirt
Special Abilities:
• Coup Counter: Always tries to count coup on an enemy before entering combat
• Heroic: Never says no to a person in need
• Loyal: Will never leave a man behind
• Trouble Magnet: Nothing goes right for the hero
• Arcane Magic: Gain the Hexslinger arcane background
• Hip-Shooting: Only suffers a -2 penalty when Fannin’ the Hammer.
• Marksman: If no movement, gain Aim maneuver; Max ROF is 1
• Noble: +2 Charisma; Rich; Obligations to uphold
• Rich: Three times starting funds; High annual salary
• Texas Ranger: You work full time for the Texas Rangers.
Arcane Powers:
• Aim: Called shot penalties are reduced by 1 for a success, and by 2 for a raise.
• Shootist: Carve secret runes on bullets, creating a variety of effects. See text for details.
• Smite: Target weapon gains +2 damage (+4 with raise)

Sister Mary Katherine – Blessed Nun Sharpshooter
Played by JAZ
What can you say about Sister Mary Katherine? She was once engaged to a brave young Yankee soldier. But that all ended when he she was informed that he was killed in the war. Obsessed with the death, Sister Mary soon learned that he wasn’t killed in the war. No, he was killed by some creature of darkness. And so she decided to give herself to God. But she didn’t fit in at the first monastery, as they were much more about fighting things like drinking rather than monsters. But luckily for her, she was found by a member of the Nox Custos, an order of nuns dedicated to fighting evil in a more tangible way. And so she worked with them for a time. Then the monastery was attacked by a VAMPIRE! It hurt many of the sisters, but eventually they were able to kill it. But the sire is still out there. And so the sisters outfitted their most skilled sister, Sister Mary Katherine. She was given Auroraculat, the blessed rifle, and sent on her way.

+Digression: We all call her Sister Mary Machine Gun. The rifle she carries is modeled on Quiqley’s Sharps Rifle. It’s a total beast. She might only get one shot a round, but damn if that shot doesn’t take things down. Within the posse, Sister Mary works mostly as a buffer and healer. That and she has a gun that can “shoot through schools”, as MJ puts it.

Name: Sister Mary Katherine
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d8
Skills: Climbing d4, Faith (Arcane) d8, Fighting d6, Guts d8, Healing d6, Intimidation d4, Knowledge: Occult d6, Notice d6, Persuasion d4, Riding d4, Shooting d8, Stealth d4, Survival d6, Tracking d4
Pace: 6, Parry: 5, Toughness: 6, Charisma: 2, Grit: 1
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Gear: Unarmed Strike d6 (Str), Auroraculat d8+1 (2d8+2, 60/120/240), Backpack, Bedroll, Bible, Blanket, (100x) Bullets, .45 Rifle, Canteen, Horse, Iron Skillet, Lantern, Mess Kit, Nun’s Habit, Rifle Boot, Rope (per 50′), Rosary Beads, Saddle
Special Abilities:
• Enemy (Vampire’s Sire): Someone is out to kill you
• Heroic: Never says no to a person in need
• Lyin’ Eyes: -2 to Intimidation and Persuasion when he lies; -2 to Gamblin’ when Bluffin’
• Vow (Holy Orders): Vow causes problems
• Arcane Miracles: Gain the Miracles arcane background
• Conviction: Reduce power cost by 1 PP (Min 0).
• Marksman: If no movement, gain Aim maneuver; Max ROF is 1
• Speed Load: Reload and shoot without the -2 penalty, or reduce reload time.
Arcane Powers:
• Boost/Lower Trait: Raise/lower a trait by one die-type (or two with raise)
• Deflection: Attacks are at -2 (or -4 with raise); Serves as Armor against area effect weapons
• Healing: Heal wounds within one hour (2 with raise); Cure poison and disease within 10 minutes
• Inspiration: Gain +2 (+4 with raise) to Persuasion roll to reduce the local Fear Level.
• Stun: All within Medium Burst Template roll Vigor or Shaken (-2 with raise)

T. Saint John – The Ginger Giant
Played by JE
T. Saint John is a Northern muckraker and investigator. A native of Boston, he grew up rough and tumble. He also grew up big. Really, really big. His career as a journalist was going rather well, until he reported on the death of the son of one of the local rail barons. The ghastly man had been killing prostitutes by slitting their throats and cutting up their bellies. And T. Saint John helped track him down. And he was there when the man was hanged and buried. But a few days later, T. Saint John spotted him…up and walking around! But no one would believe him. And so now he’s looking for clues about the supernatural and trying to find this member of the “walking dead.”

+Digression: T. Saint John is just a straight up bruiser. Only he’s smarter than he looks. He runs right into the fray, swinging fists and punching for justice. According to JE, the T stands for Tiberius. Yeah, he’s pretty much playing Kirk, if Kirk were a brick.

Name: T. Saint John
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d8, Spirit d6, Strength d10, Vigor d8
Skills: Climbing d4, Fighting d8, Guts d6, Healing d4, Investigation d8+2, Knowledge: Journalism d6, Notice d8, Persuasion d6, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d4, Streetwise d8+2, Throwing d6
Pace: 9, Parry: 6, Toughness: 7, Charisma: 0, Grit: 1
Languages: English, Latin, Spanish
Gear: Unarmed Strike d8 (Str+d6+2), Double-Barrel d4+2 (1-3d6, 12/24/48), (20x) 12g Shotgun, Backpack, Bedroll, Blanket, Camera, Derby, Horse, Lantern, Lockpicks, Matches (box of 100), Mess Kit, Pipe, Saddle, Shoes, Shotgun Thong, Suit/Fancy Dress, Tobacco, smoking (pouch)
Special Abilities:
• Curious: Must check out everything and solve all mysteries
• Heroic: Never says no to a person in need
• Loyal: Will never leave a man behind
• Vow (Get story at all costs): Vow causes problems
• Boxer: Considered armed, +d6 unarmed dmg
• Brawler: +2 to unarmed damage rolls
• Brawny: +1 Tough; Load limit is 8 times Str
• Investigator: +2 Investigation & Streetwise; +2 Notice with evidence

And there you have it. That’s the posse, as of character creation. I may do updated stat blocks every rank or so.

Oct 022015
 

Welcome, gentle reader, to what will hopefully be my ongoing actual play of my home Deadlands: Reloaded game. Because for the last year or so I’ve really been in a DMing funk. Nothing has really gelled, piqued my interest, or otherwise caught fire. But we’re now three sessions into this game and it appears to be going swimmingly. Even better, I’m excited about it. I’m actually taking a few notes and posting things on our G+ group. And since I’m going to have to write recaps for that anyway, I figured why not do an actual play. But first I’m gonna ramble at y’all just a bit.

I’ve been a big fan of Deadlands for a long while now. It was one of the first non Shadowrun or D&D games I got my hands on as a youth. And I was drawn in by the promise of undead cowboys and six shooters. I don’t think this was an accident, as one of the fondest memories of my grandfather was watching Westerns with him. Or reading Louie L’amour novels. Or even just walking out on his 100+ acre farm with a pistol, shooting at stumps and sometimes a small critter or two. And then from mom’s side I got to hang out with my Uncle Arnold, who taught me how to make salmon hooks, or build a birch bark canoe, or other tribal stuff. In short, I was born to this genre. And I still love it to this day. So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that this game is going well.

I’m also blessed with an extraordinary good group. This group of folks is more than willing to try new things, to stay in character, to generally put as much in themselves as the GM does. Which is just great. We’ve been gaming together for years now, and so the trust is pretty darn high. I’m really lucky and I know it. And so sometimes you might see things flying that wouldn’t work in other groups. But I’ve never worried about overpowering folks or the like. A quick rundown of the group. I’m just gonna use initials, even though I know most of them don’t care.

  • Me: Your humble Marshal for this game. Y’all should know me, at least a little bit.
  • JAZ: My wife of 13 years, and a veteran roleplayer. JAZ is less concerned with mechanics and tends to lean on me for mechanical advice. She does, however, know and quite like the Savage Worlds system. She’s a newbie to the Western Genre, though wants to see more. Favorite Western: Tombstone.
  • JE: A veteran roleplayer and purveyor of terrible, terrible, puns. I’m serious. They’re awful and we continually threaten to put him on the porch, but still he persists. Within the group, JE is the one most likely to try oddball or out there concepts. He’s a relative newbie to Savage Worlds and utterly new to Deadlands. Favorite Western: Open Range
  • MJ: Longtime veteran player and my drinking buddy. A great guy to have at the table, enthusiastic and willing to go with the flow. MJ is decently familiar with Savage Worlds and a bit familiar with Deadlands. He’s good at herding cats and getting the group to focus when needs be. Favorite Western: Unforgiven; Favorite Beer (for now): Pelican Brewery Flock Wave (at least right now).
  • RC: RC is veteran player, though I think she’s the one who’s played the “least” (where least is measured in years, instead of decades). RC is a lovely gal who is utterly unfamiliar with Savage Worlds and only passingly familiar with Deadlands. RC tends to be a bit quieter at times. She also runs a mean game of Dragon Age. She also paints miniatures really, really, really well. If I start posting pictures of them, know that she more than likely did them. She has a fun tumblr here!
  • JC: Another veteran roleplayer and new(ish) father. A great storyteller and a good artist, too. He’s currently not playing with us, as he and his wife welcomed their second boy into the world a while back. We hope to see him again.

That’s the group, such as we are. As for this game, I have a rough idea of what I want to do. This game is going to be a mix of random stuff and plot points. My vague idea is that I’m going to run them through Coffin Rock on the way to doing the Flood. Then it’ll probably be The Lost Sons, into Stone and a Hard Place, and then finishing up with whatever they do for Hellestromme. In short, I’m gonna give my PCs a chance to off all four of the harbringers. Along with other stuff.

And for those playing along at home, I am running this game with some house rules and modified character creation rules.
My House Rules
Character Creation Rules: I’m running what I like to call “Big Damn Hero” mode. The characters are starting out potent. But because my group is awesome, no one has really min-maxed or anything.

Sep 292011
 

Tinkering on my Savage Fallout setting continues and I think I’ve come up with a rather clever brainstorm. In the Fallout universe ghouls and super mutants are really just mutated humans. So why not ditch normal races and instead treat those two variants as a small series of background edges? Everyone starts as human but if you want to play something different you take the background edge that then opens up additional racial edges. This allows a player to invest in their race to their own preference. For some folks race is little more than window dressing and they’d rather have fewer racial hindrances. For others race is important and this allows them really exemplify their own race.

Here’s the short list of what I have now:

Ghoul
Requirements: Human
Your character is immune to the effects and hazards of radiation. If he is exposed to large amounts of radiation he may, at GM discretion, become a glowing one or feral ghoul. In addition, the character is completely sterile and practically immortal. You may not take the Attractive edge.
Suggested Hindrances: Chem Resistant, Decrepit, Elderly, and Ugly.

Cast Iron Stomach
Requirements: Ghoul or Super Mutant
Your character can survive on material others wouldn’t even throw away. He is immune to food and water-born diseases and poisons. He also rolls Survival at +2 when foraging for his own food and water.

Enhanced Healing
Requirements: Ghoul or Super Mutant
Your character heals much more quickly than usual. He may make Natural Healing rolls once per day, instead of once every five days as normal.

Rad Regeneration
Requirements: Ghoul
Your character really has that healthy glow about him. He may make Natural Healing rolls once per hour in areas of low radiation and once every 10 minutes in areas of high radiation.

 

Super Mutant
Requirements: Human
Your character is immune to the effects and hazards of radiation and disease. In addition, the character is completely sterile and practically immortal. You may not take the Attractive edge.
Suggested Hindrances: All Thumbs, Arrogant, Delusional, Mean, Outsider, Overconfident, Ugly, Vengeful. Nightkin all possess the Addiction (Stealthboy) and most also suffer from Delusions.

Cast Iron Stomach
Requirements: Ghoul or Super Mutant
Your character can survive on material others wouldn’t even throw away. He is immune to food and water-born diseases and poisons. He also rolls Survival at +2 when foraging for his own food and water.

Enhanced Healing
Requirements: Ghoul or Super Mutant
Your character heals much more quickly than usual. He may make Natural Healing rolls once per day, instead of once every five days as normal.

Large and in Charge
Requirements: Super Mutant
Your character is especially large and knows how to throw his weight around. He gains a +1 to Size (which also increases Toughness) and his Load Limit is doubled.

Mutant Cunning
Requirements: Super Mutant
Your character’s intellect has been improved by his exposure to FEV. He gains a +1 bonus on all Smarts-linked skill tests.

Mutant Physique
Requirements: Super Mutant
Your character is an especially strong and vigorous specimen. His Strength and Vigor are increased by one die. Unfortunately these physical gifts have come with a downside: you must choose one additional Major hindrance. You do not receive any benefits for taking this hindrance.

Sep 212011
 

I’ve been chatting with a friend and fellow gamemaster about an upcoming Savage Fallout game I’ve been working on. He expressed dismay that the races were so restrictive and fixed compared to humans. Which got me thinking: why can’t you design races in Savage Worlds to be a lot more modular? If the points work out what’s the difference? The key here is that you need to balance out the races to a heftier starting bonus than the standard +2 assumed by Savage Worlds. But that’s fine with me, as I like beefier starting characters.

To put the theory into practice, here are the three major fallout races done in a more À la carte style.

 

Human

Adaptable: All humans begin play with a bonus edge of their choice.

Flex Benefits: Humans may select any two of the following options listed below. An option may be taken more than than once.

  • Adroit: Begin play with one additional Attribute point.
  • Aquatic: You hail from Vault 6 (commonly known as Deep Six). You cannot drown in water, move at full Swimming skill when underwater, and start with a free d6 in Swimming.
  • Fortunate:  Draw one additional Benny per game session. This may be combined with the Luck and Great Luck Edges.
  • Grit: Increase your Toughness by +1.
  • Scrapper: Increase your Parry by +1.
  • Skilled: Being play with 2 additional skill points.

 

Ghoul

Rad Immunity: Ghouls have already suffered the worst that radiation can offer. They are immune to the effects and hazards of radiation. Ghoul characters exposed to large amounts of radiation over a large period of time may, at GM discretion, become glowing ones or feral ghouls. In addition, ghouls are practically immortal but are also completely sterile.

Rotten Visage: A ghoul’s flesh is constantly rotting off, appearing very raw and discolored from necrosis. They begin play with the Ugly hindrance and may not select the Attractive edge.

Flex Benefits: Ghouls may select any two of the following options listed below. An option may be taken more than than once.

  • Adaptable: Begin play with one additional Novice edge of your choice.
  • Fortunate:  Draw one additional Benny per game session. This may be combined with the Luck and Great Luck Edges.
  • Ghoulish Vigor: Begin play with a d6 Vigor, instead of a d4.
  • Old School Ghoul: You begin play with a free d6 in Knowledge (History) and gain a +2 bonus to Common Knowledge checks related to bygone days.
  • Pretty Fly for a Dead Guy: You suffer no Charisma penalty for Rotten Visage and may purchase the Attractive Edge. In addition your outgoing nature grants you a +1 bonus to Charisma.
  • Skilled: Being play with 2 additional skill points.

 

Super Mutant

Rad Immunity: Super mutants have already suffered the worst that radiation can offer. They are immune to the effects and hazards of radiation. In addition, they are immune to disease and practically immortal but are also completely sterile.

Disliked: Super mutants are generally distrusted and many shoot them on sight. They begin play with the Outsider hindrance.

Flex Benefits: Super mutants may select any two of the following options listed below. An option may be taken more than than once.

  • Adaptable: Begin play with one additional Novice edge of your choice.
  • Big: Your Size (and Toughness) increase by +1.
  • Brawny: Begin play with a d6 Strength, instead of a d4. You also gain Brawny as a bonus edge but your Parry is reduced by 1 due to your bulk.
  • Nightkin: Begin play with a d6 Agility, instead of a d4. You also begin play with a free d6 in Stealth but suffer from Delusions (Minor) due to excessive Stealth Boy use.
  • One of the Good Ones: You no longer have the Outsider hindrance. In fact, you’re so well known that you gain a +1 to Charisma instead.
  • Smart: Begin play with a d6 Smarts, instead of a d4.
  • Skilled: Being play with 2 additional skill points.