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Impact of CSA falling in 1871 to new Deadlands settings

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  • Impact of CSA falling in 1871 to new Deadlands settings

    So the news today is that the timeline is going to be revised so that the CSA falls in 1871, and I think I’m fine with that. In the Weird West you can still have railroad companies fighting each other, and with it being the West, I never really focused on the Civil War continuing on. The role of the Texas Rangers may be impacted, but in the real world the Texas Rangers survived the end of the Civil War. Perhaps in the new timeline the federal government has given them special permission to roam the West. Also makes it easier to have a posse that includes both Texas Rangers and the Men in Black. You can still have vampiric ex-confederates as bad guys (thinking about the painting that inspired Shane to write Deadlands to begin with), they just don’t have any connections to an existing confederate government anymore.

    Deadlands Noir was never focused on the North/South conflict so I don’t see any real issues there. Same for Lost Colony.

    However, it seems to me that Hell on Earth may need some major revision to how the apocalypse came about. Do all the ghost rock bombs falling on the US now come from Russia?

    We don’t know many details yet, but does anyone else have any thoughts on this?

  • #2
    Yea it was always in the back in my games, not really an issue. I think pretty much every thing will be the same. The staunch confederates will still hate the union, maybe even more so now. I guess there is no need for the Twilight Protocol any more.

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    • #3
      Given that the CSA is supposed to fall after the Battle of Washington in 1871, I'm surprised it's not the Union which falls.

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      • ValhallaGH
        ValhallaGH commented
        Editing a comment
        Nah, the Union had all the advantages in that war. Even losing D.C. would just be a morale hit, not a meaningful tactical or strategic loss. See the War of 1812 for an example.
        The interview segment of the HoE book Waste Warriors had a great interview with a CSA SpecOps Col. Even he admitted that the CSA should have lost the second American revolution.

      • Jounichi
        Jounichi commented
        Editing a comment
        Then I wonder if they'll permanently relocate the capital and leave what's left of D.C. as a proper deadland.

    • #4
      With the CSA now ending in 1871 the Deadlands timeline doesn’t have to worry with how both USA and CSA acted during later major events such as the World Wars. I know the old canon was that they cooperated for many decades, but that never made a lot of sense to me. I think this change can open up the Weird War series to being more compatible (in not outright merged) into the new Deadlands timeline. I’m usually not a fan of retcons, but I see potential here.

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      • #5
        What does this mean for the California vote for independence? Without three options, now they would be voting for secession outright, right? Or does it just not happen and California is just another U.S. territory? If it is just a U.S. territory, does Santa Anna still attack it as that would be an act of war against the whole U.S. not just independent California?
        Do we lose the Rebel Yell edge?
        Does this change the Great Rail Wars, at least the set-up if not the players? With no CSA, is there still a Dixie Rails?
        Are the British still invading or occupying Detroit?
        How are Roswell and Fort 51 going to change, or is Roswell just going to fall away in favor of Fort 51?
        This change opens up a ton of questions/plot holes. I kind of understand why they are doing it (though, to be fair, I often used Deadlands as an example of how a Confederate win didn't always result in a racist slave nation), but given that the CSA in Deadlands had abolished slavery and didn't seem to have the same Jim Crow laws as the real reconstructionist south, not to mention that post Dead Presidents (1879) it really only mattered that the CSA existed for GRW and HoE... just saying, it seems like an unnecessary, even if understandable, change...

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        • #6
          It likely means a lot of the above will be changed around, but given the time and passion the Pinnacle writers have had in making a story going on for 20+ years I am sure they have ways of handling the above.

          It's a necessary change not so much for the "in-universe lore" so much as the out-of-universe implications. Without getting too far into politics, Back East: the South was the most pre-eminent sourcebook on the country in the setting. The book more or less relayed a lot of unfortunate implications on both an in-universe and meta-level. For one example, it had the Confederacy explicitly fight for slavery and thus white supremacy without so much as a mention of states' rights anywhere in the tome. While also having the Abrahamic God explicitly grant His divine powers to chaplains in the Confederate army before said nation even contemplated manumission.

          But all in all, I'm very happy for this change. I've both personally witnessed in online gaming spaces and among personal friends who say that they're more willing to check out Deadlands due to this. In all my years as a Savage Worlds fan this was the largest barrier of entry for new gamers. Most gamers don't care about the in-game metaplot politics that result from this so much as the big grey elephant in the room that is the above.
          Last edited by Libertad!; 09-18-2019, 05:51 AM.

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          • #7
            Originally posted by wmarshal View Post
            With the CSA now ending in 1871 the Deadlands timeline doesn’t have to worry with how both USA and CSA acted during later major events such as the World Wars. I know the old canon was that they cooperated for many decades, but that never made a lot of sense to me.
            It's not as implausible as all that. Consider how Britain and France have been allies since WWI, yet had previously been the bitterest of enemies for centuries prior to that.
            You're rational, sir. It's only us crazy people who get to swap out realities on a whim.

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            • #8
              Hm, while I do agree that none of the Deadlands settings relied too heavily on the ongoing war between the North and the South - at least as for the actual impact on our gaming groups - I still think that it's an integral part of the setting as it is one of the basic premises of it all. Of course, a retcon in the Deadlands universe can be incoporated pretty easily, what with different timelines etc. Nevertheless, it's still a fictional game merely based on our real world from over 150 years ago, but deviating fast from this and being filled with purely fictional monsters and magic.
              I'm a big fan of alternate history settings like in The Man in the High Castle or Crimson Skies and also enjoy some over-the-top crazy stuff like Iron Sky or Hellboy. In this regard, retconning the Deadlands setting and ending the Civil War takes one of the - at least for me - iconic background details from the game... I fear that the impact of this change affects far more of the setting than all the questions of SamHain and the others combined.
              But if this change attracts more players to the game I'm happy for them and every Marshal who now has more players to join his/her game.
              Please refrain from tweeting my posts or posting them on facebook. I dislike those services and would rather keep my contributions contained in this special interest forum. Thanks.

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              • #9
                The changes (Dixie Rails, Twilight protocol and so on) are interesting but what I do Wonder about us if the PC of my players that have completed Dead Presidents will be retconned too, or if they'll somehow remember the events of an hypotethical plot point campaign

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by Meister View Post
                  The changes (Dixie Rails, Twilight protocol and so on) are interesting but what I do Wonder about us if the PC of my players that have completed Dead Presidents will be retconned too, or if they'll somehow remember the events of an hypotethical plot point campaign
                  I'd expect the cognitive dissonance of two memories to be a new Hindrance. Some folks still remember part of the previous world, and that knowledge mostly distracts and confuses - though sometimes it provides insights that can be very helpful.

                  I'd also expect that the overwhelming majority of folks (if not everyone) just remember the new world.
                  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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                  • #11
                    Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post

                    I'd expect the cognitive dissonance of two memories to be a new Hindrance. Some folks still remember part of the previous world, and that knowledge mostly distracts and confuses - though sometimes it provides insights that can be very helpful.

                    I'd also expect that the overwhelming majority of folks (if not everyone) just remember the new world.
                    The way I hope it will happen, there will be a PP where the PC go back in 71 and do whatever needed to end the War. They'll then be stuck in a new timeline, with all the memories of the old one (and maybe a new Hindrance, I love this idea) and everyone else around them clueless about the sacrifice they did.

                    Comment


                    • The Stray
                      The Stray commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Oh, that would be awesome! Please, please make this a reality!

                  • #12
                    I'm of 2 minds about the change from an in-universe logic perspective:
                    1. The many various nations of Deadlands would seem to have more trouble being founded. The idea that the Civil War either didn't end, or ended with a Union loss makes the creation of the Sioux Nations, Deseret, the Coyote Confederation and the Republic of California much more reasonable. To me, that all fit together seamlessly, and it will take some justification to say the North won the Civil War, and kept the south from leaving, but then let a bunch of other states leave.

                    2. A major part of the feel of the West to me is the disaffected soldiers (especially confederates), the ex-soldiers, the outlaws, etc. When you consider historical examples like the James gang, it seems weird to have them in Deadlands at all, wouldn't they just be active Confederate soldiers? Where did all these ex-soldiers come from when there's an active war going on a few states over? It's part of the historical west because the Civil War ended...having that aspect of the West with an active Civil War is trying to have your cake and eat it to. So, ending the Civil War makes that all much more reasonable.

                    Anyways, I recognize that it needed to happen, and hopefully the existence of various other factions make sense in this new world, because I really like that aspect of the setting for whatever reason.

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