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Stone or Los Diablos?

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  • Stone or Los Diablos?

    So the game's been going for a fair bit, your posse's been gettin' to be a burr under the Reckoners saddles and being seen as heroes by the people. So naturally the big evil nasties start thinking about the best way to deal with these pesky upstarts. So here's the question...how do they know who to send? Or more, how would a Marshal decide how to best threaten a posse? How does one pick between Stone or Los Diablos or any of the Reckoners other posse killing baddies?

  • #2
    Easy.

    If you want to slaughter everyone who can’t miraculously escape, use Stone.

    If you’re giving the heroes a fighting chance, Los Diablos all the way.

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    • #3
      The one time my posse faced Stone (Stone and a Hard Place but we never got to finish it) the party realized it was in trouble just after a called shot to the head netting 20+ damage and Stone just growled. The voodooist decided the best option was to run so he cast Burrow on everyone he could reach. He then maintained them as long as he could while they ran away underground.

      On the other hand when they faced the Black Coachman (Devil's Night one sheet) the Chi Master threw a rock through his head (not a called shot just that much damage) and dropped him in one shot. They had burned most of his bennies by then but still were actually able to defeat him with good tactics and decent die rolls.
      I have way too much time but do not always edit myself properly. Please do not take offense.

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      • ValhallaGH
        ValhallaGH commented
        Editing a comment
        The sad thing is that Stone can also burrow through the ground, thanks to the Burrow harrowed edge. So no getting away unless he's got something more interesting to do.
        It was kind of you to let them escape that way.

      • Erolat
        Erolat commented
        Editing a comment
        SPOILER SPOILER

        Actually he did have something better to do. Killing the Erps and Doc so he could collect their badges. When he went to collect Wyatt's badge and got burned he looked towards where the party had surfaced. They freaked out and started running away so Stone just shrugged and went on his own way. (Plus the PP wants the players to get away at that point.)

    • #4
      Generally, don't use Stone unless you already have a good plot thought out. He's a walking TPK, and there's not really anything interesting for the players to do with him when they're put on the spot. They can't defeat him, they generally can't convince him to let them live, and odds are good they aren't going to be able to run away (he's faster than they are, after all). He just shows up and kills them. It's basically "Rocks fall, everyone dies." This isn't to say that Stone can't be interesting or played with (as evidenced by Stone and a Hard Place), just that you can't throw him randomly in and expect it to do anything other than end the game.

      The Servitors shouldn't just be tossed out willy-nilly. Old Deadlands used them that way, but Old Deadlands was a very different game. It was made back in the 90's, when RPGs tended to be metaplot-driven, with an emphasis on making sure players couldn't affect the setting.

      New Deadlands uses them much more carefully, making sure they're major threats and players, but also making sure that players have plenty of room to actually go out and do cool stuff.

      Go with Los Diablos if you want to just toss something at them to make them panic a bit and have to think and scramble. They're tough, but beatable. If you want to use Stone, you need to plan it out so that something interesting happens, not just "Stone shows up, draw initiative. We have to figure out which order you die in."

      Or better yet, make up a villain. Tailor them to the players. Someone who can be a major threat and thorn in their sides, but can't just TPK the party at will. Make it a fight, not a slaughter.

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      • #5
        Originally posted by JackMann View Post
        Generally, don't use Stone unless you already have a good plot thought out. He's a walking TPK, and there's not really anything interesting for the players to do with him when they're put on the spot. ... This isn't to say that Stone can't be interesting or played with (as evidenced by Stone and a Hard Place), just that you can't throw him randomly in and expect it to do anything other than end the game.
        You can use him quite well.
        Years ago, during a Hell On Earth campaign my friend ran, the Heroic Librarian (Simon) had stopped being heroic. He got cagey and silent, started killing monsters and disappearing without ever explaining things, and accidentally making the places he passed through even scarier than they already were.

        The posse rode into a new town and went to get a drink at the local watering hole. A man in a long coat and old hat walked up behind Simon, clapped him on the shoulder and said, "We're real proud of you Simon. Keep up the good work." The drifter then walked across the saloon, shot a grizzled veteran at the bar, and walked out of the saloon. As the ex-survivor's friend ran out for bloody vengeance (and a horrible death), the player and character were freaking out because Stone had come for him, and congratulated him.

        It was a glorious gut-check, and an elegant use of the Servitor of Death to not murder the entire posse.
        I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

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        • #6
          If you're looking for something a bit different, El Diablo Rojo and Diablo Negro? My possie that competed Gammorah was at the point of not really worrying about Los Diablos anymore, having killled a bunch already, but were not in getting killed by Stone territory, so i sent those two at them. The monster horse and evil shaman wiped the floor with them, three times, thanks to the Blessed burning two divine interventions to rewind time. However the possie did not change their tactics and all three times ended up as TPKs. I'd hoped to knock them out of their over confidence, but their hubris got them triple killed...

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          • #7
            Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post

            You can use him quite well.
            Years ago, during a Hell On Earth campaign my friend ran, the Heroic Librarian (Simon) had stopped being heroic. He got cagey and silent, started killing monsters and disappearing without ever explaining things, and accidentally making the places he passed through even scarier than they already were.

            The posse rode into a new town and went to get a drink at the local watering hole. A man in a long coat and old hat walked up behind Simon, clapped him on the shoulder and said, "We're real proud of you Simon. Keep up the good work." The drifter then walked across the saloon, shot a grizzled veteran at the bar, and walked out of the saloon. As the ex-survivor's friend ran out for bloody vengeance (and a horrible death), the player and character were freaking out because Stone had come for him, and congratulated him.

            It was a glorious gut-check, and an elegant use of the Servitor of Death to not murder the entire posse.
            Exactly. If you have a good plan in place for why Stone doesn't just kill the posse, it's possible to do some interesting things with him. But if you just toss him in as a random fight, then the players' characters are probably just going to die. By the book, there's just not much they can do about it if they haven't prepared specifically for it.

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