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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.

      Comment


      • #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...

          Comment


          • #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.

            Comment


            • #8
              So what gets me is that Stone is only “unkillable” due to railroading. He is actually quite easy to kill in several circumstances in Classic. Number one he is chained up and drained of power in Heart O Darkness. Our party found out who he was by the shaman casting “Ask the Spirits “ and open ending a lot. We ambushed him while he was still chained up.

              he is so one track minded(kill party, kill law men) as to be boringly easy to goad into a fight. In another game we got him to come fight us and we had the whole building rigged with dynamite. Took him out. We died too, but it was the end of the campaign.

              Another super easy way is to have a Blessed use a miracle point to just Resurrect him. Boom. No more powers. Kill him and destroy the head with acid. 5 wounds to the head or guts is 5 wounds.

              He can always come back over and over again like Grimme or Raven, but having an NPC that just kills the party outright “cuz I said so” is both lame and lazy story telling. Anyone can get lucky dice rolls, and players should be rewarded for creative thinking.

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by Calfret View Post
                So what gets me is that Stone is only “unkillable” due to railroading. He is actually quite easy to kill in several circumstances in Classic.
                Classic Stone has no stats. None. You cannot kill him in the rules.
                You can only kill him by story because he only exists as a story point.
                Find him bound, weak, and vulnerable? That's a story point that you can exploit to attack him and possibly hurt him, though you would be better served fleeing.
                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.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Yes, I gathered that is how he was written which emphasizes my point. However, he does have rules. By story, he was a person who became harrowed. It also states that he has all Harrowed powers at level 4 and "monstrous stats". Even if he is rolling 12d12+27 for every single stat, it is possible for him to roll mostly ones, and it is possible for a player to draw a red Joker. I'm not fond of "angry DM NPCs". Maybe I'm the only one. That's ok.

                  Comment


                  • ValhallaGH
                    ValhallaGH commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Sure, but without a Size how is the Marshal supposed to resolve damage? By assuming a Size? You mean by making up rules for the character? Fancy that.

                  • Calfret
                    Calfret commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Well he is obviously size 6. He was a standard human before his transformation, and nothing indicates he was either scrawny or brawny. I think at the end of the day GM's should always be fair. And that means using rules to build out their bad guys. It is common for campaign writers and GM's to get flustered and refuse to let their storyline NPC get bested. A good GM will allow sly players to celebrate their victory while finding a clever way to keep the storyline on track. Even if the major villains get defeated, the Reckoners have the ability to generate new "aspects" as is evidenced by the formation of Grimme. Sure the heroes blow Stone up, or resurrect him then dissolve his newly mortal form in acid. What then? The fear of Stone still exists all over the Weird West and they generate a new aspect of Stone. This conflicts with the posse's Tale Tellin' and rumors abound and fear increases when Stone walks through a town despite sources claiming he was destroyed. The end result is that the writers get to keep their god NPCs without the party just being vaporized by any encounter with said NPCs. Until the posse solves the problem of fear, they cannot solve the problem of the Servitors.

                  • ValhallaGH
                    ValhallaGH commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Calfret While I generally agree with you, Classic Stone didn't use the rules by design. Player's weren't every supposed to be able to kill him, so they didn't give him stats, and then told the Marshal exactly that.
                    As an aside, how did you manage to get Stone to hold still for the day or more required for a Ghost Dance?

                • #11
                  Originally posted by Calfret View Post
                  I'm not fond of "angry DM NPCs". Maybe I'm the only one. That's ok.
                  You're not the only one. Not by a long shot. That was probably a factor in why he has full stats in Reloaded - he even follows the player character rules (excluding Invulnerability).
                  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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                  • #12
                    My posse met him once. After nearly sh*tting themselves when they understood who they were facing, they blew the bridge he was on.
                    He didn't suffer any damage but he fell in a river, allowing the posse to vamoose.

                    I was pretty satisfied with this way of dealing with his deathly invulnerability plot Armor.

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