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Deadlands with no magic, is this Sidewinder?

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  • Deadlands with no magic, is this Sidewinder?

    My group recently asked me to run some "Deadlands" and while I love westerns as a genre, am not very fond of the whole "weird" west approach that deadlands took. I was wondering, if I ran a low to no magic game, would it still work with Deadlands? Should I look at other settings like Fort Griffin Savaged by Dog House Rules? Maybe I just run it with the SWADE core book alone? Am looking for a gritty setting closer to "True Grit" rather than Wild wild west... Any feedback would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Perfectly acceptable to run without the weird. I started my campaigns like that.
    Like what you have read in someone's post? Hit that like button and let everyone know.

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

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    • #3
      There are some Hindrances and Edges in Deadlands that you could still port over. For Hindrances, I'd recommend Ailin', Heavy Sleeper, Lyin' Eyes, Tenderfoot, and maybe Old Ways Oath (although the Vow Hindrance could work fine in its place). For Edges, I'd go with Gallows Humor, Don't Get 'im Riled!, Duelist, Fan the Hammer and its Improved version, Quick Draw, Born in the Saddle, Card Sharp, Scout, the altered version of Soldier, Territorial Ranger (probably renamed Texas Ranger), Reputation, Fast as Lightning, and U.S. Marshal from the Companion.

      I also highly recommend almost the entirety of Chapters 2 through 4, as well as the Favors table on Page 53 for US Marshals and Texas Rangers. A lot of generic NPCs and Famous Folks should be useful too.

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      • #4
        It's for an older version of the Savage Worlds rules, but if you don't mind doing a little conversion work The Guns of Megiddo is a straight Western without too much weird.

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        • #5
          Respectfully, if your group asked you to run Deadlands, isn’t it safe to assume that *they* want the Weird…?

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          • #6
            Welcome to the forum!
            Originally posted by Bigotes2212 View Post
            My group recently asked me to run some "Deadlands"
            Great! Good taste all around.
            Originally posted by Bigotes2212 View Post
            and while I love westerns as a genre, am not very fond of the whole "weird" west approach that deadlands took. I was wondering, if I ran a low to no magic game, would it still work with Deadlands?
            With Deadlands? Sure.
            With your group? Maybe, maybe not. Best to discuss it with them. They may have had their hearts set on playing a gambler that literally gambles with evil spirits for magic, or a steampunk mad scientist, or a gruff lawman that shoots monsters more than bad men, or a preacher actually able to call forth miracles, or a native shaman with the favor of the spirits, or a martial artist with magical kung fu; not letting them do such could be a bad time for some (or all) of the folks playing and that would be bad.
            Originally posted by Bigotes2212 View Post
            Am looking for a gritty setting closer to "True Grit" rather than Wild wild west...
            If everyone is onboard with that style then you absolutely can. Deadlands can easily handle True Grit, Shane, or 3:10 to Yuma without blinking; and if you find that you also want to sometimes have ghosts, werewolves, murderous trees, zombies, black magic, or evil cultists then it can do that too.

            The thing that keeps pulling me back to Deadlands is that you do not have to use the Weird stuff. It is there, and can be downright over-the-top if you want it to be, but most of the time you can just be playing a mundane western. That is arguably the best way to play, since it means the supernatural is more surprising and horrifying when it does show up.

            Good luck, Marshal.
            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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            • #7
              As a follow-up and to close the thread, I've been running Deadlands for 3 sessions now. No arcane backgrounds, no power points, no weird edges; gritty damage and encumbrance rules being used. It's going a lot better than I expected.

              and if you find that you also want to sometimes have ghosts, werewolves, murderous trees, zombies, black magic, or evil cultists then it can do that too.
              While no weirdness has appeared as of yet, I love how easy it would be to go all Evil Dead Army of Darkness on my players in the blink of an eye

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