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[DLR] House Ruled South

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  • [DLR] House Ruled South

    Has anyone house ruled their South to work less like they are in the canon (clearly the good guys) and more like the bad guys of the Kerberos Club.


  • #2
    I generally do so. The idea that the Confederacy would have given up slavery flies in the face of everything they wrote about during the years of the war. They weren't shy about letting people know they were rebelling specifically to defend slavery. The Lost Cause myth just isn't tenable anymore.

    EDIT: Also, look at The Sixth Gun for another savage setting that firmly puts the South as villains.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Archivist View Post
      ... (clearly the good guys) ...
      They aren't the Good Guys. They're equal to, but no better than, the North. Both governments are alternating allies and antagonists, with their own goals and guidelines that can easily explain why they'd both support and try to eliminate the posse.
      And neither government is good. They're both morally gray, stopping evil about as often as they cause it.

      JackMann It's noteworthy that many of the authors of those papers were killed and replaced by shapeshifting monsters. After the monsters were uncovered and destroyed, the positions those individuals championed were significantly weakened.
      And while the rejection of slavery was of dubious justification, the goal was pretty clearly to a) remove slavery as an issue from the setting, b) establish the stalemate status quo, and c) minimize in-setting racism. The choice succeeds.

      Also of note, nothing about Deadlands apologizes for, mitigates, or endorses the horrific evil that was American slavery. When it addresses the topic, the books are intensely critical of slavery.
      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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      • Jounichi
        Jounichi commented
        Editing a comment
        Happen to recall which book(s) have info on who was a shapechanger and when they were killed? I've always had trouble reconciling how the CSA abandoned slavery so easily. I imagine knowledge of the monsters being public would go a long way.

      • ValhallaGH
        ValhallaGH commented
        Editing a comment
        Jounichi Not off hand. I think it was the Dead Presidents adventure; whichever adventure starts by blowing up R.E. Lee.
        It wasn't exhaustive, nothing in Classic was, but it certainly had a bunch.

    • #4
      Can't say i've ever used the South or the North as villains, i mean, the Reconers are right there...

      On the general subject though, the whole "Evil Southern Slavers" thing has never come up in any game i've run or played in, the setting makes it clear that it isn't a major issue and everyone is quite happy with that.

      As for the South being the Good Guys, this does tend to happen but i see it mainly as a refection of how the average possie interacts with the government. Most of the time it'll be the Agency or a Ranger turning up, and given a choice between the tightly wound Bureaucrats in Black and the more fluid Shoot or Recruit Rangers, 99% go with a Ranger. The South may have been infiltrated by evil shape shifters, but the Agency actually causes fear the way it operates. I generally have individual agents and rangers working across the lines to try and solve the problems without being bogged down.

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      • #5
        I prefer a Kerberos style CSA too. Feels better. Which isn't to say you can't have good southerners or bad Northerners

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        • #6
          The rationale for slavery not being a part of the Deadlands South is that one of the alternate history bits involves Patrick Cleburne being successful in his emancipation proposal.
          You're rational, sir. It's only us crazy people who get to swap out realities on a whim.

          Comment


          • #7
            I haven't really worked out all the details, but I too was working on a Kerberos-ian alternate take on the CSA. The problem I ran into was that I wanted to keep the cool and fun bits of the Deadlands CSA (specifically the Rangers and a voodoo-drenched Louisiana) while still hanging onto the idea that the CSA are the bad guys. And while I haven't written anything up (or at least, I won't until my group expresses an interest in Deadlands) the basic idea was this:

            * At some point after Gettysburg, the Rangers and a cabal led by Marie Leveaux realize there's something Really Really Wrong going on.
            * With their influence, the CSA splits again, with everything west of the Mississippi now calling itself the Free Republic of Texas.
            * At some point after that, the CSA declares that they too have abolished slavery, but they're also kicking out anyone who doesn't meet certain levels of "purity". There was initially a large refugee problem but by the time the campaign starts it's mostly settled. (And who does the work that slaves used to do? Well, they claim to be using New Science Automatons but it's really just lots and lots of zombies.)

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            • ValhallaGH
              ValhallaGH commented
              Editing a comment
              Those kinds of divisions would have been crippling during an ongoing war. The FRT and CSA would have both been overrun by the Union, barring lots of black magic and monsters - roughly double the amount that was actually used to keep the CSA from being overrun by the Union.

            • Rick J'onzz
              Rick J'onzz commented
              Editing a comment
              Yeah, I was going to use black magic as the handwave there. But then I run into the problem that magic and such is supposed to be a secret until it bites a PC. Deadlands is amazing in how all the pieces fit together.

              So in the end, I'd just emphasize that my campaign is more "Brisco County Jr vs Evil Dead" and not "Deadwood vs the Walking Dead". It's really more about the myth of the old west over the reality anyway.

          • #8
            Another alternate history bit (described in Tales o' Terror) is that John Bell Hood had fallen victim to the Butcher at Gettysburg and was unable to continue military service as a result. Hood, you may or may not recall, in our timeline had made a complete hash of the Atlanta Campaign. In the Deadlands timeline, Cleburne was in command and proved more successful, which boosted his influence as regards his emancipation proposal.
            You're rational, sir. It's only us crazy people who get to swap out realities on a whim.

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            • #9
              Lots of great ideas

              Comment


              • #10
                I can't find evidence of it to back up my understanding, perhaps historians or google-fu experts can find such, but I thought in real history Britain was willing to help the confederacy on the condition they abolished slavery. In Deadlands, once the south does so, Britain begins actively helping them, most notably with an invasion of Detroit through Canada.

                I thought the in-world reason was a political move to gain foreign allies and to bolster troop ranks.

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                • #11
                  One final note. Some may question how much difference it would have made to have another general in command. After all, wouldn't Sherman have just bulldozed over them regardless? An important point to consider is that Sherman and Hood attended West Point at the same time. So the former knew how to press the buttons of the latter so as to provoke him into doing stupid things. Cleburne's officer training occurred at Hard Knox, and earlier in the war proved quite adapt at stymieing Sherman in Tennessee.
                  You're rational, sir. It's only us crazy people who get to swap out realities on a whim.

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Originally posted by Hannigan Rex View Post
                    I can't find evidence of it to back up my understanding, perhaps historians or google-fu experts can find such, but I thought in real history Britain was willing to help the confederacy on the condition they abolished slavery. In Deadlands, once the south does so, Britain begins actively helping them, most notably with an invasion of Detroit through Canada.

                    I thought the in-world reason was a political move to gain foreign allies and to bolster troop ranks.
                    It's a bit more complicated than that. The UK did recognize the CSA as a belligerent, but not as a sovereign country, and officially maintained a stance of neutrality. The USA warned France that officially recognizing the CSA would mean a declaration of war. Napoleon III didn't want to get involved without support from the UK, and he was (rightly) concerned about the Prussians.

                    Though there were French commanders on both sides, they came of their own volition (or were already here when war broke out) and acted independently of the French government.

                    As an aside, Lee canonically marched on D.C. with flamethrowers and steam tanks barely a month after the Franco-Pussian War had ended in our timeline. It's not a stretch to believe the war was prolonged (or even won for the French) by assistance from the CSA in return for recognition. Which would have brought Britain into the fight as well, though later than canon officially states.

                    That's always been a weird sticking point for me. There's just no good reason for France or Great Britain to stick their noses in the war; let alone as early as they do.
                    Last edited by Jounichi; 01-17-2019, 09:40 PM. Reason: The Franco-Prussian War

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                    • #13
                      There's a very well-regarded "alternate alt-history" rewrite for a Deadlands' Southern region known as the Dead South, and used it in my own games. You can find it on this RPGnet thread provided in the link below. It basically turns the former Confederacy into a Reckoner-ravaged horror show with a few desperate holdouts, an independent Republic of Texas, and a huckster-ruled New Orleans among other things.

                      As for an evil and racist expansionist Confederacy like the planned Tropical Empire, I find that far preferable to the Lost Cause Mythos, although it can be hard to game on account that handling real-world racism is a very touchy subject in gaming groups. An alternate Deadlands where successful slave revolts carved out "free nation" microstates can allow for African-American characters to have a dignified place worth fighting for, while also providing an alternative to "you're all slaves or the bottom rung of society" that the former and a realistic Reconstruction South would otherwise give.
                      So, in the Deadlands Kickstarter thread I mentioned that I used an alternate history for Deadlands where the CSA collapsed and the Deep South has fallen...
                      Last edited by Libertad!; 01-31-2019, 05:17 AM.

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