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A short tale of a PC with no fear....

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  • A short tale of a PC with no fear....

    I've guided my party through the Flood and have maneuvered them into the asylum near Perdition. Nearly nothing is as it seems and nearly nothing is as in the book.
    At the end of our last session the party of four had been nicely split up; by their own choices and actions
    Two of them went in during the day, one a pacifist hunter and one a slightly deranged scientist
    Their pretext was looking for help for the scientist. What they didn't count on was the extreme powers of interview from the head doctor who got the scientist to spill his entire life story and his secret desire to become Nikola Tesla. Not just emulate him, become him. Needless to say the good doctor took him aside and had him committed. It was all very easy and painless. The other PC went back to the group camp and reported in.
    That night the other two, a huckster and a martial artist, entered the grounds at night.....
    They spy around, looking through windows, and see nothing out of the ordinary. Then the huckster decides to teleport inside....

    And with no effort on my part, all four party members are alone and the time for more personal horror can begin

    This is where my version differs from the book...

    The asylum is sinkhole of evil (thanks to my Ravenloft days ) and feeds on the fears of anyone present at night.

    That was last session, a couple of weeks ago.

    In the meantime I have asked each player to remind me (and therefore themselves) what their worst nightmares are. I am going to terrify these people
    Well at least three of them.

    The huckster details his story about taking on his mentor's mantle (who was a hero of the people) and he fears not being able to follow in his footsteps and help people.
    The hunter has recurring nightmares of waking and finding herself surrounded by bodies and covered in blood (this was wonderful during an episode when they had a known werewolf with them for a while).
    The scientist's revolves around being unable to trust his strongest feature - his mind. Or being trapped in a paralysed body, still fully in control of his mind but unable to do anything.
    The martial artist....

    Well.... Here's the exact whatsapp conversation:
    Me - Deadlands: what's your worst nightmare, again? In summary.
    Him - Chin [his character name] didn't have one as such from memory.
    Me - Right. You need one. It's part of the game and character creation [a key reminder of exactly that; it's part of the game!]
    Him - I think I did say at the time, that much like me there's no one thing as such, most of the time he doesn't dream. He might have a bad dream about something he's faced recently, but that would be about it.



    ARGHHHH - I am actually angry at this guy, right now.


    I have plans for the other three. I know they will advance their characters and the players will enjoy it. This last one.... I've been trying. since we started. to remind him that Deadlands blends horror with weird west and steampunk. Horror.
    He knows no fear in a world wracked by fear! Wow, just wow!

    Right now I am at a loss. I think I might put him in a sensory deprivation box and leave him there.

    But surely a man with no fear is the greatest enemy of the Reckoners and they should do all they can to kill this guy. And this little paradise of fear they have just entered is the perfect time.



    Rant over..... I'll probably just wing it, see what happens and roll with the punches. Wont be the first time I've killed a PC for being boring (for anyone who reads the blog in my sig that was when I killed Steve with a dozen cannon balls; the same player).
    Last edited by lunchmoney; 11-11-2017, 02:34 PM.
    I run Deadlands Reloaded. One of my players writes an incharacter blog here --> http://ballgownsandbattleskirts.blog...deadlands.html

  • #2
    So make something up. He is a martial artist, use that. In his nightmare every time he uses a power an innocent dies. His master shows up and beat the crap out of him because he is not practicing enough. His rival shows up and beats the crap out of him, just because. Even a simple attack hurts his hands or feet, no more breaking boards to impress the girls.

    If he won't give you something to work with use everything.
    I have way too much time but do not always edit myself properly. Please do not take offense.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes.

      There are only two types of Deadlands characters. The ones who have a Worst Nightmare, and the ones who don't ... YET.

      Comment


      • #4
        Or, depending on how well you the guy, use stuff that will freak him out, rather than the character.

        I've occasionally sprinkled a little player Nightmare Fuel into games and had good feedback, just be careful not to over egg the pudding...

        Comment


        • #5
          Here's a cheap trick that might be hard to pull off, but might work... If the actual concept of the character is that he "knows no fear" and that's what defines him, he pretty much just gave you his worst nightmare: He fears to be afraid. Maybe he fears to be seen as weak, scared and fragile. Start throwing Guts checks at him that he can't possibly pass for a short while. Have people around him think he's full of it and call him a coward no matter how hard he tries to act brave.

          Or maybe that's a terrible idea. I don't know. I'm just spitballing here.
          "Did I fire six shots, or only five? Three? Seven. Whatever." - Unkempt Harold

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          • #6
            Or, ok.. this guy fears nothing. Run with that. When he envisions his fear, that's all that's around him. Absolutely nothing. A void. Eternal. Uncaring. Empty.
            'But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked. 'Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: 'we're all mad here.'

            The Order of the Dice... OF DOOM!

            Comment


            • ValhallaGH
              ValhallaGH commented
              Editing a comment
              Thumbs up for existential dread.

          • #7
            Originally posted by Augusto Antunes View Post
            Here's a cheap trick that might be hard to pull off, but might work... If the actual concept of the character is that he "knows no fear" and that's what defines him, he pretty much just gave you his worst nightmare: He fears to be afraid. Maybe he fears to be seen as weak, scared and fragile. Start throwing Guts checks at him that he can't possibly pass for a short while. Have people around him think he's full of it and call him a coward no matter how hard he tries to act brave.

            Or maybe that's a terrible idea. I don't know. I'm just spitballing here.
            This. Holy crap this. That's brilliant!

            On the other mention of the sensory deprivation tank. I did that to a player once when I ran The Flood. But then, total sensory deprivation was his Nightmare and I tailored the sigils to be thematically tied to the party members' fears. Generally they went through encounters that took place in their minds, but still, just thought I'd share.

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by Augusto Antunes View Post
              Here's a cheap trick that might be hard to pull off, but might work... If the actual concept of the character is that he "knows no fear" and that's what defines him, he pretty much just gave you his worst nightmare: He fears to be afraid. Maybe he fears to be seen as weak, scared and fragile. Start throwing Guts checks at him that he can't possibly pass for a short while. Have people around him think he's full of it and call him a coward no matter how hard he tries to act brave.

              Or maybe that's a terrible idea. I don't know. I'm just spitballing here.
              The problem is his concept isnt "knows no fear". He has no concept.

              The session is tomorrow and I think I'll go with putting him a void. And leaving him there.
              I run Deadlands Reloaded. One of my players writes an incharacter blog here --> http://ballgownsandbattleskirts.blog...deadlands.html

              Comment


              • #9
                Everyone played and "survived" their nightmares (the scientist actually died, but this was prearranged as he was coming back as harrowed) ... Except the martial artist.

                I rotated my players in and out of the room, doing roughly 10 minute sessions with each, each time. Each player was in and out in about 3 sessions and eventually worked it out and got back together.

                The martial artist walked into his void. And every time I asked him what he was doing he just said, "mediating."
                The third time around I flat out told him, "This place is making you live your nightmares and fears. If you don't have any fears you are never leaving this void."
                Him - OK. I still don't have any fears.
                Me - Make a new character.
                I run Deadlands Reloaded. One of my players writes an incharacter blog here --> http://ballgownsandbattleskirts.blog...deadlands.html

                Comment


                • #10
                  Sounds like this guy had completely missed the concept of a role-playing game.
                  May I ask, if he's core member or a hanger-on? Or did he want to play something other than Deadlands, maybe?

                  This sounds like a real life issue, that could maybe using some talking about. Is he just not that into the game?

                  I've rather stopped dealing with these people. I prefer not to have them in the group, but if they must, I just ignore them out of combat. Then, the rest of the players get a bit more time to do what they like and I don't have to pressure anybody into something they don't want to do.
                  Just completely leave them out of the plot.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    He's a good friend, a core member of the group and has been roleplaying with me (and others) for years.

                    As a player he enjoys the admin side of characters and the combat. He is more a roll player rather than role player. Usually I tailor my plots, stories and encounters to each member of the group, so everyone gets a little action of the type they like. But there was no getting around this need for a Worst Nightmare (as it's part of the game) and I had to punish him for it (it really did feel like that).
                    This time around his new character is not getting involved until he gets a few words in that Worst Nightmare box.
                    I run Deadlands Reloaded. One of my players writes an incharacter blog here --> http://ballgownsandbattleskirts.blog...deadlands.html

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Heck, it doesnt even need to be complicated or anything existential. I had one player literally just say "Spider Blankets" for her Worst Nightmare. So I reskinned the Whately-Things in The Flood's savage tale (I forget it's name) to be giant spiders rather than the slug-creatures. It had the desired effect.

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by ArawnNox View Post
                        Heck, it doesnt even need to be complicated or anything existential. I had one player literally just say "Spider Blankets" for her Worst Nightmare. So I reskinned the Whately-Things in The Flood's savage tale (I forget it's name) to be giant spiders rather than the slug-creatures. It had the desired effect.
                        I just read that out to the wifelet (she plays and is the author of the blog in my sig) and she visible shuddered when I said "Spider Blankets"

                        I run Deadlands Reloaded. One of my players writes an incharacter blog here --> http://ballgownsandbattleskirts.blog...deadlands.html

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by lunchmoney View Post
                          Everyone played and "survived" their nightmares (the scientist actually died, but this was prearranged as he was coming back as harrowed) ... Except the martial artist.

                          I rotated my players in and out of the room, doing roughly 10 minute sessions with each, each time. Each player was in and out in about 3 sessions and eventually worked it out and got back together.

                          The martial artist walked into his void. And every time I asked him what he was doing he just said, "mediating."
                          The third time around I flat out told him, "This place is making you live your nightmares and fears. If you don't have any fears you are never leaving this void."
                          Him - OK. I still don't have any fears.
                          Me - Make a new character.
                          Seems fair enough to me. If the character is, in fact, so exceptional that they - the sole human being on earth to be so - are afraid of nothing at all (and this is really the kind of thing you should be paying Edges for, given the Guts-heavy nature of the Deadlands universe), a trap based on worst fears will interact with him in a very different fashion, probably one the trap-makers could not have accounted for.

                          "As you cannot overcome your non-existent fears, you simply cannot escape this empty void. You are trapped here for eternity, a concept that does not trouble you in the slightest. As you meditate endlessly, the posse is forced to move on."

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by Reverse View Post
                            "As you cannot overcome your non-existent fears, you simply cannot escape this empty void. You are trapped here for eternity, a concept that does not trouble you in the slightest. As you meditate endlessly, the posse is forced to move on."
                            That's basically what happened
                            I run Deadlands Reloaded. One of my players writes an incharacter blog here --> http://ballgownsandbattleskirts.blog...deadlands.html

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