We’re getting ready to play what will probably be a favorite of mine, Deadlands: Reloaded. I’ve never played anything that uses the Savage Worlds system, but it looks different, and more importantly, is easy to pick up.
The setting is what convinced me to actually try to act as game master. The year is 1897 and the Civil War has come to a stalemate. California has been ripped apart, exposing a new, and powerful, fuel source called ghost rock. With the new mineral, technology jumps in leaps and bounds. Rail barons battle to be the first to complete a transcontinental railway. If completed, this new railroad will allow ghost rock to flow from the west, back east. Whoever controls the ghost rock will control the future of the USA.
But, unbeknownst to most settlers, there have been some strange happenings in the weird west. Stories of strange, terrible monsters and the walking dead circulate from saloon to saloon. It’s up to you to decide if you’re willing risk the wild unknown for potential riches. With a six-shooter by your side, and your trusty steed, the adventures await in Deadlands.
Sounds cool, right? I’ve got a great campaign planned, but before we go into that, I’ll introduce our party.
Name: Shang Fu Ming
Archetype: Mad Scientist
Background: Shang is a Chinese, one-armed mad scientist. Instead of a stump, he’s fashioned a metal, mechanical arm to help him grip. He’s usually using it to grip the end of an opium pipe, as Shang suffers from a minor addiction. Maybe that explains his worst fear, dying alone.
Name: Wilson Askance
Background: This alcoholic coward may not believe in ghosts but that don’t mean he can’t be afraid of them. Yeah, Wilson’s worst fear is spirits, haunts and all things that go bump in the night. Somewhere out there a deadly enemy hunts for him, but maybe with his linguistics skills Wilson can talk his way out of trouble.
Archetype: Indian Brave
Background: Deyaa’s sad story begins with the decimation of her entire Apache tribe. Left alone before she even knew her name, the young girl was found by a neighboring tribe. They called her Deyaa, an Apache word for “leave,” because she was leaving the hell she knew for places unknown. She now wanders the west with her deadly tomahawk, searching for a place she can truly call home.
To set the mood before we begin, I want y’all to close your eyes, and imagine a desolate stretch of red land. Can you feel the heat radiating off the rock? Smell the dust and grit blowing about your feet? Hear a ’90s era rap song about a remake of a ’60s TV western? Oh, yeah. We’re going straight to the wild wild west.