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Last Sons Help [Spoilers]

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  • Last Sons Help [Spoilers]

    I’m starting the Last Sons PP campaign with three players this week. Two have decided to play Indians (one northern Cheyenne and one southern) and one a gunslinger. The opening plot point plot hook, traveling by stage to deadwood from Bismarck seems very strange. I could see the gunslinger doing that but why would any Indian, especially an old ways Indian choose that?

    The plot point suggests at least one character being an Indian and at first that was cool but as I’m now thinking about it, why would any Indian travel through the Sioux Nations with a bunch of white men in a white mans device? They would just ride on horseback. The stage is the only viable way in for non-Indians because of the treaty. I can’t see a reason why Indians would use it. Why would Indians want to go to Deadwood without the motivation of the Ghost Dancers anyway? What did you all do about it?

    I was thinking about having the Indians randomly be riding by at the robbery attempt and help thwart it. Then they would all go and help the Paiutes. I thought that would be a cool way to bring the party together. But then I realized, how does the party continue on their journey to Deadwood? They couldn’t really join the stage. How would Indians, not in the stage, deal with Custer’s occupying force? Would they be let in or shot as attackers?

    I feel a little stuck so I figured I’d try to ask here for advice from others who’ve done it. What have you all done to bring a mixed party of Indians and non-Indians together in this plot point?

  • #2
    I'd do something like you're planning to : the Indians rescue the stagecoach, and then the non-Indians rescuing them when faced by Custer's troops ("No, don't shoot'em, they're on our side !").

    This way, each "side" of your posse owes the other one a favor.


    • #3
      About 8 months ago I wrote a detailed review of the Last Sons (along with the other 3 Servitor Plot Points). The campaign doesn't out and out say it, but it really works best if the PCs were Sioux Nation citizens, and the whole "anonymous drifters passing through" doesn't do the adventure any favors. In fact, General Custer's invasion and the vague hints for the PCs to go on are a pretty large weakness in the series. In my review I addressed various aspects of things I'd change.

      Beginning the Adventure: For starters, the PCs could just as easily be braves on patrol as stagecoach travelers, or as two groups combined into one due to shared trouble. Furthermore, I would make Sky Hawk a Paiute rather than Shoshone and fluent in one of the PCs’ tongues. I would also not have Wovoka infodump so much; I’d have him tell the PCs about the white calf and the Ghost Dance Movement, but not about the Reckoning, Raven’s motivation, or the Order of the Raven. I’d lead into the Ravenites’ plots slowly, by having Sky Hawk mistake the Ravenites for members of the Crow tribe due to seeing a Raven tattoo he mistook for a Crow symbol. A raven’s tail appears wedge-shaped, a crow’s is shaped like a fan.

      Later on I’d insert a friendly Sioux NPC who will help the party in Savage Tales around the Nations, only to have him appear in Kang’s illegal mining camp to uphold the “guns for ghost rock” deal. The party has a chance to notice that very same tattoo on him, or survivors of the initial fight with the Ravenites among him. Not only would this feel personal, it would put the Order of the Raven firmly in the bad guy camp for willfully participating in large-scale desecration of the Black Hills. It will also demonstration said Order’s initially understandable motivation. The United States has superior numbers and steampunk technology, and if they’re coming for the ghost rock they figure they may as well use it to fight for their lands.

      Custer's Invasion: The arrival of Custer’s joint army in Deadwood feels off. It seems strange that the PCs will be able to come and go as they please given that the adventure does not mention any complications or difficulty in entering and leaving the town. McKeever’s mad rush seems to suggest that a blockade would happen, although it’s possible in-character for an NPC to be wrong, so...

      Personally speaking I’d have it so that the army shows up sometime after the PCs escape Dusky Jewel and reunite with Charley Bull, ideally after they had several opportunities to pursue some local Savage Tales. In combination with my idea of the Ravenite-traitor present this will show the PCs that there’s a conspiracy going on to plunge the Sioux Nations into war. Once the Union and irregular soldiers start marching on Deadwood, it’s not out of the question for someone to assume that the weapons shipments in exchange for desecrating the Black Hills cannot be a coincidence.

      There’s also the fact that if the PCs are committed to the cause of Native autonomy like the adventure suggests, there’s a very real chance that the party will prioritize Custer’s invasion over some shifty trade deals and look for ways to stymie and sabotage the army. Disappointingly the adventure provides no room for this, either in the Plot Point or in Savage Tales.

      Devil's Tower: I’d first change the rationale for why the PCs are heading to Devil’s Tower. The existence of Dusky Jewel will soon be found out, and when push comes to shove the Sioux Nations will accept the aid of Kang’s forces in Plot Point 8 to fight the invading US thanks to the new Garfield Administration. I’d make it so that a Ghost Dance member sometime after Deadwood’s occupation approaches the party, and have Jordrava appear in visions before Plot Point 3 here and there.* The Ghost Dance member would speak of how one of their number knows of a way to repel the invading forces, but said person is within the world of spirits. Jordrava’s description would match his account, and thus the PCs would have a strong incentive to check out Devil’s Tower. I’d also have it so that a scouting legion of Custer’s forces are camping near the Tower based on word of the Indians gaining supplies from outside aid, who may or may not have dealt with Kang’s forces at the entrance already.

      *the book mentions doing this already, but only at one point during Plot Point 1 when the PCs are fighting the Ravenites, and only see his face and nothing else.

      As for the Devil’s Tower interior, it all depends on the makeup of my potential party. This Plot Point can become combat-heavy, and the number of Crossbreed fought can vary wildly due to encounter die rolls. I would change the Kachina encounter to either not happen, have them attack the party immediately upon possession, or provide some “out” for other party members to figure out the PCs’ status.

      I do further explanations on how I'd change about the further adventures, but that's just to start you off. Happy trails, pardner!


      • #4
        Thanks for your input. There are a few things that did seem out place. I like not having the invasion happen yet. Without the invasion then the party being split up and arriving separately to Deadwood would be no problem. The Shoshone issue is duly noted too. Thanks for the hard work you put into your review. I read a good portion of it and will probably refer to some of your other ideas as we get further into the campaign. I like the idea of cutting the info dump too. That seemed over done. Having a traitor Sioux NPC that is a Ravenite is cool too but I’m not sure how they would meet him before dusky jewel. I’ll have to think on that.
        Last edited by GregAlso; 09-11-2019, 08:48 PM. Reason: Spelling mistakes and word omitted fixed