[DLR] Help a new GM out with his first Deadlands campaign

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pointyman2000
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[DLR] Help a new GM out with his first Deadlands campaign

#1 Postby pointyman2000 » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:46 pm

Hey guys,

I've just been put into a position to run Deadlands Reloaded! for my gaming group, and I've got all of this month to plan for it (while I'm wrapping up Mage: the Awakening for the year.)

That said, I'm a fan of Westerns, and I'm trying to think up of a good campaign. So far, the players seem enamored by Firefly's take on a "Quirky Western Crew" so I figure having the campaign revolve around a Steamboat that travels the length of the Mississippi river.

I've done some preliminary research and the locations along or near the river seem to be fairly diverse, and it traverses through several CSA territories, giving ample opportunities to meet diverse threats. I've also heard of river pirates that hide out in the islands of the river during that age as well.

Given this setup, do you guys have any good plot hooks and story ideas that you could contribute? This is literally my first time to run Deadlands so any and all help you could provide would be incredibly valuable to me.

Thanks!

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C.A.Pryde
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#2 Postby C.A.Pryde » Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:11 am

I know that it is irritating to be directed elsewhere, but the "Bloody Ol' Muddy" sourcebook was incredibly useful to me in running a DL:R game on the Mississippi. Also the "Skinners" adventure takes place on a Mississippi riverboat. Both of these are materials written for the Classic version of Deadlands, but I had no problem converting stuff for use with Reloaded.

As a secondary note, I co-Marshaled a campaign that went for the Firefly vibe that you are talking about. Here is an idea that might be worth considering. My posse was a team working for the "Wild West Transport (later the "Black Coach") Transport Service"--sort of a pony express competitor that specialized in quick delivery of sensitive items across dangerous terrain. This hook worked incredibly well, giving me and the other Marshal a ready-made excuse to send the posse into all sorts of dangerous and crazy locations. It also helped to make the game more episodic; we could logically end old adventures and begin new ones because "the job was done" (the package was delivered) and a new job would come along. It was, hands down, my Best Hook Ever.

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#3 Postby Lord Skudley » Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:18 am

Both these hooks are great!!! *yoink*

That being done, C.A. has a great idea, applying it to a River Boat crew is quite simple {I am stating the obvious here but don't stop me as I'm on a roll}.

Riverboats are expensive to own and run. You gotta make a profit or you won't be able to afford the coal, repairs and upgrades {not to mention the cool new ghostrock boiler...} you need to operate the boat!
-Your Hook-
The crew can take on passengers {there's always that "romantic couple" out to rob the other passengers and crew blind, or the strange millionaire looking to go where brave men fear to tread}, cargo to be delivered to "Kill-Me-Now-Island" {yes that is what my Posse has named an island in my game}, cattle to be delivered, scouting mission, troupe transport… Not to mention the assorted beasties the roam those waters {Rascals Varmints & Critters 1 and 2}. There’s also the sand bars, sunken trees avd assorted water hazards, the Mississippi was notoriously difficult to pilot {you may want to read Mark Twain’s book “Life on the Mississipp”}.

The possibilities are nearly endless.

A few questions you need to answer:
1) Does the Posse own the boat or do they work for the “Black Water Lines”?
2) Are they going to fill all the crew posts? I would suggest they fill at least these three: Riverboat pilot, engineer, captain as they are too important to assign to NPC’s.
3) What will happen if they get tired of traversing the same ol river again and again {probably not going to be a problem}?
4) How many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
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#4 Postby Piotr Korys » Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:31 am

C.A.Pryde wrote:I know that it is irritating to be directed elsewhere, but the "Bloody Ol' Muddy" sourcebook


You`re sure about Bloody Ol` Muddy? Not River o` Blood? Afair. BoM took place near Miss, but not exactly on that river :)
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#5 Postby Sitting Duck » Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:32 am

C.A.Pryde wrote:I know that it is irritating to be directed elsewhere, but the "Bloody Ol' Muddy" sourcebook was incredibly useful to me in running a DL:R game on the Mississippi.


IIRC Bloody Ol' Muddy was an adventure. The boxed set that focused on the Mighty Miss' is called River o' Blood.
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pointyman2000
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#6 Postby pointyman2000 » Tue Dec 09, 2008 6:37 pm

Thanks for the input so far guys!

While River O' Blood sounds interesting, I'm a little wary about plunking cash for a supplement that I'd have to convert to Savage Worlds, even if its in PDF format. Maybe after I've run a few more sessions and gotten the hang of DLR (as well as felt for a pulse if the players are into it enough for the investment)

The mention of Mark Twain's "Life on the Mississippi" was genuinely helpful, and his first hand accounts of how difficult it was to navigate the river was certainly food for thought.

Something tells me I need to re-watch Firefly again, the transport group and options are all handy and might end up being the best reusable source of plot hooks I might have for this campaign.

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C.A.Pryde
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#7 Postby C.A.Pryde » Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:06 pm

Doh! You guys are exactly right about the proper name of supplements.

One angle to consider exploring, Pointyman, is thinking about some Confederate vs. Union intrigue. Since the Mississippi connects the two nations, smuggling is a definite possibility, as is all sorts of folks moving back and forth between the two areas on shady business...

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MarCazm
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#8 Postby MarCazm » Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:06 am

pointyman2000 wrote:Something tells me I need to re-watch Firefly again, the transport group and options are all handy and might end up being the best reusable source of plot hooks I might have for this campaign.


It's never wrong to watch Firefly over and over again. :mrgreen:

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#9 Postby pointyman2000 » Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:41 pm

MarCazm wrote:
It's never wrong to watch Firefly over and over again. :mrgreen:


I completely agree. :-D

Still I suspect this is the usual New Game jitters for running something that isn't part of the games I've run before (and are used to running like HERO or nWoD)


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