Iltis wrote:Perhaps you can help me. I wanna buy some Adventures -
Bloody Ol' Muddy, Canyon o' Doom and Ghost Busters - can you give me a rating how good they are? Perhaps some short commentary about it?
I have run a lot of the prewritten stuff over the years. Here is my
opinion of them (Rated 1 for poor to 10 Excellent). This list is in
chronological order according to when I played them. BTW, not all of them are in hard copy: I will try to give you the best info I can on where
they can be located. And to anybody else: if you have the online
locations for some of these I'd really appreciate it! Finally, posse members should keep from reading these – they are spoiler filled.
Special thanks to Marshal Lambert’s
for researching where I got this stuff. In addition, I would really
like to thank Marshal Black for his invaluable input and suggestions,
especially when pointing out gaps in my reviews. Several of his excellent
ideas and thoughts appear here as he is much smarter than I!
Session time: Refers to an approximation of how long it can take
a posse to complete the scenario. This is ballpark, people, not
Rating: My opinion on a scale from 1 (unplayable) to 10
Focus: The major aims of the adventure: what the posse will be
Fear Level: A horror rating loosely based on the most excellent
of Mine by Kenneth Hite (pp. 11-14). Horror levels range
from none, little, some, or much.
Synopsis: A very brief introduction to the adventure itself.
Review: My opinions of the scenario and what makes it bleed.
Results: How did my posse do and what did I do to make it a
success for my group?
A brief disclaimer: I in no way intend on
presuming that I am qualified to give a professional opinion regarding
the works of other authors. All ratings are based on playability, ease
of use, consistent editing, and all around “coolness.” In other words:
don’t take my word for it: buy them all and form your own opinion! Of
course, all materials listed here are the sole property of their
authors and of PEG, Inc. Finally, these reviews do not reflect the official
views of the authors or PEG, Inc. I hope that covers
This Harrowed Ground
Author: John R. Hopler
Location: 1009 Marshal Law Screen
Session time: 6-12 hours
Focus: Mystery, Combat
Fear Level: No terror, a little dread, a little gore.
Synopsis: Revenge is a dish best served cold. Your posse
arrives in Pawnee Rock, a town on the verge of its 10th anniversary
celebration. The celebration is soon marred by several murders of the town’s
more notable citizens. Is a returning group of murderous bandits to
blame, or do the town’s founders have a dark secret that’s come back to
Review: This is an excellent little scenario. A copious amount
of background information and a nice variety of NPC’s give this
adventure a meaty role-playing texture, providing a great amount of plot hooks
for a creative GM. The mystery involved can be dense though – you
might need to create and hand out more clues for a posse having trouble
putting the story together. In addition, the dearth of interesting
characters and background information can be a bit daunting to new Marshals.
The climax of the piece provides for a possible TPK if the posse has
not solved the important parts of the mystery. Without good support from
the Marshal, especially in the mystery aspect, an inexperienced or
clueless posse will die, or worse.
Results: My posse needed a little creative “extra” help in
solving the mystery. We were all a bit new then, so the story did not
culminate logically and was anti-climactic. However, it is remembered
fondly and was a great “outing.”
No Thanks, I’m Stuffed
Author: Tom Cashman
Location: Internet Location:
Website (Formatted Word Document)
Session time: 4-6 hours
Focus: Mystery, Combat
Fear Level: Some terror (a real good moment of horror), little
dread, little gore.
Synopsis: Never bite off more than you can chew – you could end
up stuffed! An angry mountain lion is the slightly offbeat
introduction to just another small boring town in the middle of nowhere, or is it?
The posse members have their plates full when one of their own is
selected for special treatment.
Review: A nice little scenario meant for a single night’s
playing. A quick hook of combat is followed by a strange little mystery that
quickly degenerates into one of the more “disturbing” adventures we’ve
played. If you play things right, the climax should be a horrific
money shot. The story is a bit short on background and location, and the
NPC’s come off a bit like cardboard if you’re not prepared. This is a
nice little adventure to pop in anywhere where you need some extra
gristle to liven things up a bit.
Results: My posse came back to this one twice: they missed the
mystery the first time entirely! Poor NPC playing on my part did not
help, but they were dense to start out. When they came back to a
deserted town, they were hooked! The climax of this adventure is still spoken
of to this day, and it induced a few nightmares as well. Now that is a
Author: PA Posse
Website (Formatted Word Document) OR
Session time: 4 hours
Focus: Mystery, Combat
Fear Level: Some terror (a real good moment of horror), much
dread, some gore.
Synopsis: You can try to bury your troubles, but in Deadlands
your troubles will bury you. When a terrible storm hits the area, the
posse is trapped in an abandoned mining complex. The posse must
investigate strange disappearances and, in turn, learn the true meaning of
being ticked off!
Review: An excellent little tale, also meant for a single
night’s playing. If you’ve seen any Aliens movie, then this scenario
should be familiar to you. With little background information and no
NPC’s to speak of, this adventure could have left one gagging for it.
However, simplicity of design leaves a lot for a creative GM to fill in
and makes it ultimately flexible for the posse’s needs. A fairly
strait-forward climax makes the payoff a little dull, but creativity will
win the day.
Results: We played this one in the dark with oil lamps. If you
use the first horse right, you will go a long way to building up the
necessary dread in this adventure. Keep your antagonist hidden until the
very last possible moment. If your posse is willing, like mine was, it
will be a creep-fest with an explosive ending! To flesh out the
background, I borrowed several mundane items from PEG’s Dime Novel,
Perdition’s Daughter. Additionally, I made the final lair a ghost rock
repository with Fear Level 5 connotations.
All That Shimmers… (Parts I and II)
Author: Dylan Craig
Internet PEG Library
Session time: 5-8 hours
Focus: Travel, Mystery, Combat, Save the Damsel
Fear Level: Little terror, some dread, some gore.
Synopsis: The love of money is the root of all evil, but power
is certainly a close second. The posse investigates the theft of a
device that could make anyone rich! The mystery takes them from Boulder
to Denver and on to Aspen. Along the way, the posse learns that the
thieves want something more than money and will stop at nothing to get it.
It is a race against time, and the posse does not have much.
Review: An excellent adventure centered around the environs of
Denver, Colorado – The Queen of the West. Meant for at least two
sessions, All That Shimmers… runs along at a great pace and offers a
broad selection of NPC’s and locations to keep the action rolling. The
antagonists are excellent, and it is a shame that we do not get to
spend much time with them. But, at least it is quality time. The build up
to the climax mixes dread and foreboding in nice portions, culminating
in a harrowing underground escape that should leave burn scars for any
self-respecting posse member.
Results: Getting all the background information into this one
was a bit tricky at first, but the results were great. The posse ended
up saving the day, but was not able to save the hostage – a terrible
tragedy that I hammered them with repeatedly. The escape was the best
portion of the adventure for us, but there was a copious amount of
role-playing possibilities to keep the persuasion rolls interesting.
Comin’ Round the Mountain
Author: John Goff
Location: 1101 Marshal’s Handbook
Session time: 4 hours
Focus: Traveling, Mystery, Protection, Combat
Fear Level: Some terror, some dread, little gore.
Synopsis: In Deadlands, if something bad is going to happen,
then it seems to happen invariably on a train. The posse takes a
non-descript wintertime train trip over the Rockies. The train, which happens
to be filled to the brim with interesting passengers (including the
infamous “Satan’s Cabana Boys” and Allen Seyberth’s cameo appearance), is
attacked and disabled by a group of hard up bandits. This is bad, but
things get worse when an Agency pet project goes AWOL. Mayhem ensues.
Review: Good for a single night’s playing, or a couple of
sessions. The scenario provides a bountiful assortment of NPC’s for players
to interact with and protect, while providing the GM with either red
shirt fodder or reappearing plot hooks. With little background, the
adventure is easily plopped into any travel plans from one side of the
Rockies to the other, before or after the Cauldron. However, the scenario
suffers from a weak climax due to a lack of dread (extra work for the
GM) and a relatively powerless fear monger. John Goff did provide
updated information for the Husker, but I am not sure if it is still on the
net. If you are interested in getting it, I can email it upon request.
Results: Since my posse wanted to go West before I wanted them
to, (see: Abracadabra, and an Arab Cadaver this adventure offered
the perfect opportunity to cause them trouble and get them back to
Denver. The NPC’s were interesting, but difficult to handle at all times.
Also, it was a fun challenge to create the necessary level of ongoing
dread that needed to accompany the mystery. The climax was a terrible
mess with an underpowered critter that lasted a mere round of combat.
Abracadabra, and an Arab Cadaver
Author: Tony Lee
Location: 1005 Hucksters & Hexes
Session time: 4-6 hours
Focus: Travel, Protect the Artifact, Combat
Fear Level: Little terror, little dread, no gore.
Synopsis: A wealthy fop, a train of priceless artifacts, and an
angry Arab sorcerer – a recipe for fun. The posse is hired to protect
the famous Dillenger Museum Train. After a botched robbery, things go
smoothly until they arrive at the little town of Red Rock. Dillenger’s
desire to “bring social enlightenment to the masses” and other events
(Arab zealots, the walking dead, a Salt Rattler angry about its
nickname) conspire to make the posse’s life difficult. At the end, all Hades
breaks loose as the posse tries to keep Dillenger alive and a certain
relic out of a very bad man’s hands.
Review: First off, hats off to one of the most creatively named
scenarios in the lot. An interesting adventure with some potential, it
has an open ending that can be tricky if not prepared for. Of course,
an unprepared posse, or low-power characters, will be nailed at some
point of the climax due to high-powered antagonists. There is a mystery,
but a single good roll can deduce its essential information – not a lot
of Scooby Action there. Also, there’s not a lot of life off the train,
but a creative GM can use this as an excellent opportunity to allow
posse members to get from “point A to point B” in an interesting manner.
A sprinkling of NPC’s and locations make this an average, if ho-hum,
role-playing opportunity. Dillenger, by the way, makes for a great
recurring NPC “guest star”, as he shows up in Canyon of Doom.
Results: The action was fierce enough to keep my posse
interested. Getting them on the train proved to be very difficult (we
interrupted it with Comin’ Round the Mountain), so they returned to
finish the adventure after initially meeting Dillenger, making it a two-part
thing. It was shallow role-playing, but allowed me to introduce
Dillenger as a long-term NPC.
Author: John Goff
Location: 9002 Night Train
Session time: 4-6 hours
Focus: Mystery, Combat, SURVIVAL!
Fear Level: Much terror, some dread, Major gore.
Synopsis: Ask not for whom the train toots, it toots for thee!
This is it, the legendary and dreaded PC Train of Death, the
penultimate über-PC destruction scenario guaranteed to separate the quick and the
dead. The posse comes across the deserted Barlowe Station. Clues from
there lead them on to Varney Flats, a small town in the middle of the
wide open nowhere. Just as the PC’s begin to piece together what is
happening, “what’s happening” happens to them! If there happens to be any
survivors, there is the Weird West version of a car chase, followed by
the hijinks of fighting the sanguinivorous minions of the Reckoning.
Review: In the first heyday of Deadlands, there were the dime
novels. They were published and gamers knew they were good. Perhaps the
most well-known and legendary of all the dime novels was Night
Train, and this legend is well deserved. This scenario can work for a
long single night’s playing or wreak a bloody two-part punch over a
couple of sessions. There a few NPC’s (mainly for chumming purposes), but
the beauty of the scenario is the setting and mood. For those who like
their adventures a shade of dark crimson, like their coffee, this can
be a veritable waking nightmare, the blood splatter reigning supreme
over namby-pamby role-playing. Once the action starts, it does not stop
until the story is drained dry. The adventure itself has strong
background inferences, especially for the Rail Wars in the Disputed Lands, and
lends itself strongly to supporting any continuing Rail War based plot.
However, all is not well in the dark: this adventure is high-powered to
say the least – weak characters or inexperienced players will be in for
a serious world of hurt. Again, the mystery surrounding the true
nature of the vampire threat itself can be very dense, leaving posses
groping for ways to effectively deal with the antagonists. Marshals would do
well to clue in naive posses who need extra help, unless the players
really love to draw new characters every session or two.
Results: My posse dreaded this adventure – they heard of it
before I ever pulled it from my bookshelf. A funny fact is that they
actually played it twice. You see, they missed the train the first time.
It whistled into town while they were well outside of the place.
Needless to say, I could not leave it like that, so I tried it some time
after. They all survived the adventure the second time, but that was my
fault in that I liked them too much. GM’s will need to gauge the power
of their posses to handle this thing – unless, of course, you want a
TPK! Again, I tried to make the climax interesting by building dread, but
heck, you can not go wrong with vampires!
Author: Tim Brown
Location: 9006 Forbidden God
Session time: 5-8 hours
Focus: Mystery, Combat
Fear Level: Some terror, much dread, little gore.
Synopsis: There are some things in the world that man was meant
to meddle with, but it seems that some people are not taking the hint.
The posse is hired by a mad scientist to investigate several murders
that have taken place on his new-fangled automatic transit steam wagon.
Bandits perhaps, but that seems insane in the middle of the Great Salt
Flats. Things take an ugly twist when the posse’s curiosity leaves
them stranded in the desert and a long-dead injustice resurfaces.
Review: A nice little Dime Novel, Forbidden God allows
the posse to experience one of the most inhospitable locations in
Deadlands: Salt Lake City and the Great Salt Flats. However, it suffers from
several weak points: a creative Marshal will need to do some work to
get it all to roll. A quick sweep of a hook, few NPC’s, and limited
background moves the posse from role-playing right into the middle of the
action, assuming you have a willing posse. This adventure could be
short-lived by a group who is unwilling to stake their lives on a piece of
new science – but they can’t be gullible all of the time. Timing the
events (which are defaulted to the late night or early hours) can be a
pain if the posse is a logical thinking group. Marshals should be
prepared with a better explanation provided by the text.
Once the action starts, claustrophobia and the long-dead undead (and
not just humans, by the way) serve to pack a fairly strong one-two
combination of fear and pain. That is, of course, if the Marshal is willing
to do some creative redesigns of the undead bit-players. Be sure to
keep the Swarm rules from the RVCII book close to your hands.
Again, the adventure is very setting oriented – the sense of dread derives
not from NPC/PC relations but from the vastness of the trouble the
posse finds itself in. Another group of possible plot holes are the
Spanish-oriented clues – unless you have a posse member able to read or speak
Spanish, then much of the flavor of the work is lost. Marshals will
need to crutch the players if this is the case. However, the climax is a
knockdown drag-out battle royal fit for any rough and tumble group
frustrated by such pathetic concerns.
Results: We had a pretty grand time with this one. First off,
the red herring of the lightening gun was pretty much ignored – they did
not really bother with it. Then, after our resident harrowed got
gnawed on – a relatively rare occurrence – things progressed into what
appeared to the posse to be the standard dungeon crawl. Silly posse! The
climax was satisfying, but I twisted the trip back to Salt Lake City by
destroying the conveyance. That was one long walk/crawl back home, but
offered a great opportunity to have fun with salt rattlers!
Author: John Wick & Hal Mangold
Location: 9007 Adios A-Mi-Go
Session time: 5-8 hours
Focus: Mystery, Combat
Fear Level: Much terror (several moments of horror), much dread,
Synopsis: A wise man once said that things seem darkest before
they go pitch black. This is yet another entry in the Dime Novel
adventures by PEG, Inc., but this time the posse is treated to a crossover
made in Hades. Call of Cthulhu has long been known as the
premiere setting in horror genre RPG’s, and mixing it with Deadlands
offered a unique and invigorating opportunity for Deadlands players and
marshals alike. A temporal rift traps the posse in the little town of
New Jerusalem, a place that is farther from no place than any place has
ever been. Its residents, as charming as melted milk duds during the
day, become downright unwelcoming when the sun goes down, forcing the
posse seek out what has caused such a transformation of both the town and
its residents. With the help of a couple
people-who-aren’t-what-they-seem types, they make a discovery that spans the dimensions beyond our
world and the Hunting Grounds.
Review: If you like a dark and disturbing scenario, this is your
adventure, baby! It has it all the ingredients that Hite and co. (see:
Nightmares of Mine) suggest for horror role-playing: familiar
tropes such as the bad place, the grotesque, the thing from beyond, the
zombie, along with the requisite dread, terror, and gore. You name it
you got it! As a plus, it is a much darker place to visit than your
typical Deadlands romp (with the possible exceptions of Skinners or
The Mission) which offers a superb amount of grist for the
horror-style marshal’s mill. The posse trips into New Jerusalem with no
hint of trouble, and there is not much in the way of background. This
makes the adventure ultimately flexible: it can be placed anywhere and
anytime you feel the wicked desire to put your posse through Hades. It
also offers the additional bonus of placing a surviving posse anywhere
and in anytime you want them at the end of the adventure. The
antagonists, as the CoC label suggests, are truly horror-inspiring minions of
darkness: they are meant to be feared rather than destroyed. Oh, and let
us not forget those juicy brain-canisters.
Still, the text has one annoying fault. There are several glitches in
the “bad people’s” stats that can make this a frustrating exercise for
a Marshal. All antagonists have 1 die of Quickness – they are often
relegated to standing and drooling (I, myself, just cheated and pumped up
Results: We still talk about this one, three years after playing
it. Developing the sense of helplessness and hopelessness was the key
to our outing, and that really stuck in the player’s minds. Dread and
terror are hand in glove with this adventure, and the NPC’s creepy
back-stories should help convey the nihilistic role the posse’s existence
encompasses. And, playing it with only a little candlelight in the dark
really helped the mood on this one.
Author: Chris Snyder & Matt Forbeck
Location: 9001 Independence Day
Session time: 4-8 hours
Focus: Mystery, Avoiding Bloodshed, Uphold the Law, Combat
Fear Level: Some terror, some dread, some gore.
Synopsis: The Fourth of July and a Centennial Celebration: two
great reasons for going all to pieces with excitement, or horror if you
happen to be celebrating in the Deadlands. This Dime Novel/Scenario
takes place a few days preceding July 4, 1876 in the Disputed Lands
(Dodge City, Kansas). The posse is hired by that well-known law enforcement
duo: Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson. It seems that the tensions from
the protracted Civil War might just be a little more raw during the big
celebration, and they need the extra guns to keep them from boiling
over. However, annoying Temperance ladies and dumb-as-rocks Civil War
antagonists take a back seat when a legendary killer known only as “The
Butcher” goes on the rampage.
Review: The greatest challenge to this adventure is to figure
out if you can get your posse to hit its mark on July 4th, 1876. While
important to the story, though, it is really only essential that the
holiday itself be in the mix. The year is quite inconsequential as
Confederates and Unionists in Kansas really do not need too logical of an
excuse to kick each other’s cans. There are many colorful NPC’s to
provide story background and rich role-playing opportunities, especially when
free-gunning PC’s must rise above violence to solve their problems.
Red herrings practically swim upstream in this adventure, and the mystery
to be solved can be a doozy for a posse who shoots first and asks
questions later. The scenario may be a bit too open for players, in that
there may be too many choices for some. All this aside, this is a strong
little firecracker of an adventure that introduces the perfect
recurring villain in the Butcher, as well as providing other NPC’s from the
fiction section (Hank Ketchum and/or Ronan Lynch).
Results: My posse had a difficult time at first, but with
Ronan’s help were able to get right on track. Otherwise, it was an
unremarkable adventure for us.
Devil’s Tower Trilogy: I. Road to Hell
Author: Paul Beakley and John Hopler
Location: 1016 Road to Hell
Session time: 6-12 hours
Focus: Mystery/Investigation, Combat, Chase the Relic
Fear Level: No terror, little dread, little gore.
Synopsis: That which is begun is half done. While in Salt Lake
City, the posse is hired by Darius Hellstrome, head of Hellstrome
Industries, to find the stolen diamond known as the Heart of Darkness. When
the posse investigates, and they do not really have a choice, they find
suspects galore from the shadowy Danites to a group of big-time
criminals known as the Tremendez Gang. When the cards are all finally dealt,
the posse learns that there might be even greater forces vying for the
coveted black diamond.
Review: The first volume of the epic Devil’s Tower
trilogy is a heavy investigation and role-playing smorgasbord. It is here
where the posse gets to experience the seamy underside of Junkyard and
Salt Lake City, running into the Danites, the Navoo Legion, the local
“Mormon Law,” rogue Indians, dangerous hucksters, insane scientists, a
lady assassin with a wickedly bad sense of humor, and machine/human
combinations that make Frankenstein look like Barney Fife. It is highly
advisable to utilize the City O’ Gloom boxed set to really get the
feel for the place, especially if the posse insists on returning time
Ultimately, the posse is introduced to the joys of the McGuffin as the
Heart is no longer in SLC but has gone to the mysterious Stone in Lost
Angels. What this volume lacks in blood-chilling horror it more than
makes up for in an intricate web of suspects all tied to the diamond.
Role-playing is a definite must here, with gun-happy posses shut out in
the early innings. The whole thing climaxes in a bloody battle to find
the final clues, however. Overall, it is a strong way to start an epic
Results: My posse kept it together pretty well, with a great
battle at the end. Leaving some of the Tremendez gang alive provided
another recurring set of villains that still haunt the players to this day.
Devil’s Tower Trilogy: II. Heart of Darkness
Author: Hal Mangold
Location: 1017 Road to Hell
Session time: 6-12 hours
Focus: Mystery/Investigation, Combat, Rescue Attempt, Chase the
Fear Level: Much terror, Much dread, Much gore.
Synopsis: Nothing but a small fish in a big pond. Following
the clues found in the Tremendez Gang’s hideout, the posse embarks for
the famine-wracked city of Lost Angels for a meeting with the mysterious
Stone. However, they are thrown a curve when they find that Mr. Stone
is no longer a free man. After some investigation and with a little
help from a friend, the posse must enter the maximum-security prison
known as The Rock to rescue Stone and the Heart of Darkness. Upon
returning to the mainland, the future of the Maze and the Heart become much
darker as a double-cross ruins the party.
Review: The second volume of the Devil’s Tower trilogy is
strongest entry of the three. It is here that the posse has the
opportunity to be thrown into the middle of the big events of the Deadlands
meta-plot. They meet Stone for the first time. They get to explore the
bowels of the true heart of darkness known as Rock Island Prison.
Finally, they bear witness to the pandemonium of Bloody Sunday, perhaps one
of the most significant events in the Deadlands history to date.
The city of Lost Angels is possibly the most potentially sinister of
locales in the milieu, offering a bleak combination of religious zealotry
and abject misery, and this adventure makes good use of several key
facets of it. If you do not happen to own a copy of The City of Lost
Angels(1019), this scenario will still shine, but not to its fullest
dread-inducting measure. NPC’s abound, making role-playing an integral
part of the story. Investigation balances well with action, and all
aspects of horror can be found here in abundance. A savage bloodletting
and vicious plot twist ends the adventure with that same sense of bleak
loss that any good “middle” section of a trilogy should.
The only real problem is Stone himself. If the posse has ever heard of
or dealt with him, they will no doubt be very hesitant to assist anyone
in freeing him. Playing off the herring that he might not be harrowed
at the beginning of the adventure might hook broad-minded posses.
Overall, this is a great yarn that will be remembered for some time.
Results: Due to a couple of absences, I only had two players
take part in this scenario in one long sitting (12 hours). It was a
session loaded with dread, punctuated by moments of terror, which was
perhaps one of the best I have ever had the opportunity to participate in.
Dread is a key element in this scenario: with the proper application of
dread, the horror elements were punctuated and enhanced. There were
several scary moments that left the players a little shaken and off
balance throughout. Through skillful role-playing, and a bit of good luck,
they managed to get into and through most of The Rock with little
trouble. The ending was brilliant, as they were not expecting the plot
Devil’s Tower Trilogy: III. Fortress of Fear
Author: Matt Forbeck
Location: 1012 Fortress o’ Fear
Session time: 6-12 hours
Focus: Sneak n’ Peek, Combat, Chase the Relic, Meta-Plot
Fear Level: little terror, some dread, little gore.
Synopsis: Have gun, will travel through time. Dejected at
losing the Heart of Darkness to treachery, the posse soon learns that their
troubles might not be just their own. A gun-toting law dog from the
future shows up to drop one of the biggest bombshells of the milieu: the
identities of the Reckoners and foreknowledge of their insidious plans
for the world. Armed with a new-found sense of purpose, and a really
big gun from the future, the group chases down Stone on a moving train,
where shooting the hostage take on a whole new dimension. Then, it is
off to Devil’s Tower in the Sioux Nations to return the Heart of
Darkness to a place where it will not cause trouble. Of course, Devil’s
Tower is the Deadlands equivalent of the Roach Motel: characters check in,
but they don’t check out. Other-worldly critters stand in the way of
the posse’s plans, and Stone reappears to make the final moments of the
trilogy – several hundred feet above the ground – a nail-biting
Review: After the buildup of the previous two installments, the
final volume of the epic Devil’s Tower trilogy serves as a
sluggish ending. Background and role-playing opportunities present
themselves regularly, especially with the meta-plot-busting Jackie Wells,
gunslinger of the future. The information she carries is a
paradigm-shifting experience for the players, so GM’s need to consider how much they
want to let out of the bag.
The chases are fun, as is sense of impending doom, but the main
weakness is the alien culture in the Devil’s Tower itself. Depending on how
the posse members enter the monolith, the scenario can really bog down,
degenerating in an extended and sometimes dull dungeon crawl. The fact
the aliens look like a bunch of Uruk-Hai does not help matters much,
giving the place a Keep on the Borderlands feel to it. A creative
GM can develop the feeling of the place beyond the text with a little
work. The climax occurs at the top of the mesa, pitting Stone against
the posse for the Heart. If played to the logical conclusion (Stone
being nigh indestructible), the players should be drawing for new
characters by evening’s end. Overall, it is a functional, but not brilliant,
Results: Again, my posse kept it together pretty well, with a
great cliffhanger of battle at the end. I was left flat with this
scenario, especially with the often dull “dungeon levels,” annoying aliens,
and a flaccid denouement. However, my players enjoyed it and have
several fond memories.
Well, this ends part one of my reviews post. I’ll get another out as
time permits. When it does come out, you can expect to see the
The Canyon o’ Doom
Thanks for reading!