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  • New group seeking answers

    My wife or I will be running a group of moderate and newer experienced players starting new years eve.
    Its our first foray into Savage Worlds, specifically Deadlands Reloaded.
    The 2 of us are very familiar with a variety of rpgs and editions of them.

    We were wondering a few things.

    1 - To play it seems we need the Savage World core book, Player's & Marshals Deadlands Reloaded books? Is there anything else we need?
    2 - a - After some reading of some of the adventure book descriptions, it seems the Four Horsemen are loose in this setting? Where does the adventure for that campaign line begin? Which books and what order?
    2 - b - Time wise which campaign/adventure book is the first one? are they all linked to each other?
    3 - Any other thing we should know or should have asked that we haven't?

    Thank you in advance
    Merry Christmas and happy new year

  • #2
    I don't have a lot of experience with Deadlands, but just to get a good idea of the setting your answer for Question 1 is you need the Core SW Book, and the Deadlands Reloaded Marshall's and Player's books. Another book that I like is the Smith and Robard's catalogue. It's got a lot of nifty gadgets and vehicles and weapons that greatly expand on the gear available in the Deadlands Player's book.
    '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!

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    • #3
      Welcome!
      Welcome to Deadlands and to this forum.

      1. Yes, you need all three of those books. You'll also need playing cards (two decks, +1 for each Huckster at the table), poker chips (White, Red, & Blue), plus the usual things (dice, pencils, paper, friends, etc.)
      2.a. Nope, they aren't "loose" in the setting. They're the evils manipulating mortal pawns into doing the evil that empowers them. They eventually get loose when they 'win' by manipulating the world into a global nuclear exchange with ghost rock enhanced bombs. If you want to hunt them down then you'll want to investigate the Deadlands: Lost Colony setting, which is currently only available in the Classic and d20 rules (all the books were dual stats).
      2.b. This is a bit trickier. All of the "Classic" Deadlands adventures happen before the Reloaded adventures. The first Reloaded campaign is The Flood, followed by Last Sons, then Stone and a Hard Place, and finally Good Intentions. All other adventures (free or purchased) can be played at any time during or between those campaigns.

      3. Deadlands is a game of Western Horror and consequences for choices.
      The tone can be pretty much anything, from the comedy of Blazing Saddles to the self-serious philosophy of Unforgiven to the romantic tone of some of John Wayne's films, but the subject matter is pretty universally Western with varying levels of Horror. The horror can be mundane, stemming from purely human evils, to overtly supernatural, but generally falls somewhere in between, as the human agents do evil either with supernatural evil or amidst it.
      Human choices matter tremendously in the setting. The Reckoning was a direct result of choices and actions, human emotions are primal power sources, and human beliefs can shape the supernatural world. Generally, heroes either have a partial victory (reducing the evil from total to moderate), or only achieve victory with a tremendous personal sacrifice.

      Good luck! I love the setting, but it does have a lot of depth to learn.
      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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      • #4
        ValhallaGH Thank you so much for that informative answer, it helped a lot.
        SavageErica Thank you also

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        • #5
          Just a couple of things to add to the good comments above:

          The four "servitor" plot points (The Flood, The Last Sons, Stone and a Hard Place, Good Intentions) are each designed to take a posse from Novice level to Legendary, so the normal practice is to create a new posse to begin one of them. However, if you just want to get your feet wet there are some other good resources, including Coffin Rock (good for several sessions and designed for beginners, at least to some extent) and the three Blood Drive adventures. In addition, elsewhere on the Pinnacle site are a number of one-sheets, which are short (typically one session) adventures which are free to download. I have to issue a caveat about those, however: I ran one of them and the players got so interested in what happened next that it spun out about 4 more adventures that I had to create for them, all because they kept pulling at the threads!

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          • #6
            I would recommend running a "One Sheet" as sort of an intro into the system and the world. When I did this I handed out pre-made characters and we spent the first-night getting use to it. My group had never played Savage Worlds (mostly D20 stuff) and had a cursory idea what Deadlands was all about. This allowed the players to understand the system and the world a little before we jumped into character creation. There are a few of them to choose from all of them are good

            https://www.peginc.com/product-category/one-sheets/

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            • #7
              I'm gonna echo a few responses here, but welcome to Savage Worlds and Deadlands. It's a boatload of fun.

              1: As Valhalla said, playing cards and poker chips (I invested in a set of clay chips of red, white, blue, green and black so I can use green for Legend Chips and Black for the free chips Wild Cards get) and dice (you'll probably want doubles of most of the die types. Only the GM will need a d20 for tables.) Also, I recommend hunting around for a better character sheet online than what are in the Savage Worlds book and the Deadlands book. Theres a good one out there thats well organized with the skills listed under each attribute and makes tracking the linked attributes a breeze.

              2a: Again, parroting here, but yeah, the 4 horsemen are still inside the Hunting Grounds (spirit world) and are sending their evil minions (manitous, an algonquine word for an evil spirit) to make the monsters that walk around the world. Their goal is to raise the fear across the world to the point that it becomes Hell on Earth. If you REALLY wanna get technical, they're not exactly the 4 horsemen. Not originally. They're 4 insanely powerful evil spirits that tied their legends to the 4 horsemen (after Raven uncorked access to the spirit realm) in order to gobble up more fear. But, at this point its really just splitting hairs.

              They actually get loose in the Deadlands: Hell on Earth campaign setting which is a more Mad Max-ian post-apocalypse style setting. I'm unfamiliar with Classic HOE but I THINK they're actively running around that setting until it or one of the Lost Colony adventures wraps it up. I can't say for sure. I came in with Reloaded (and HOE Reloaded is a lot of fun, too)

              2b: Theres a couple of different options here. The big Plot Point Campaign books (which are self contained campaigns) have an order of The Flood, Last Sons, Stone and a Hard Place, and Good Intentions. Now, that being said, The Flood and Last Sons are the only ones that really follow a strict timeline and the climax of The Flood impacts the start (in a broad sense) of Last Sons. The last two, SaaHP and GI are a bit more nebulous. You could run one or the other without much change, though Good Intentions references an event from a Graphic Novel for the rules change for the Blessed. For me, I'm just using the rules out of Good Intentions and ignoring the graphic novel since my players are brand new and haven't experienced the original Blessed rules.

              I'm getting off topic. Most of the other adventure books are just piles of Savage Tales, short adventures that showcase monsters, locations, themes, etc. The Trail Guides fill in the blank spots in the map and have some adventures to them (South o' The Boarder is specifically intended for Legendary Characters, so you could run it after one of the big Plot Point campaigns). You can generally drop the stuff from any of those books between, after or during any other campaign you may be running. Or use them when you have nothing planned for the week. They're all easy to run. The exception, though, is Return to Manitou Bluff. That one is meant to be run after the Flood for the Legendary Characters that completed it.

              I personally recommend running Coffin Rock as a good starter, though you may wanna tweak the meeting with the Shaman to make a little bit more sense. I'm running it now for a group of friends. I even have a thread here were I post about it. (sadly, game was canceled this week, so hopefully next week)

              2b: Deadlands is horror, but I bill it as "Horror in the same way that Aliens is Horror." Its action-horror. The players fight the monsters and save the people. They dont need to be altruistic heroes, but they shouldn't be contributing to the rising fear, either. That said, one thing I would recommend imparting to the players early on is that any posse serious about fighting back the Reckoners has to do more than kill the monster of the week (which is a good format for running the game, by the way). They have to tell the tale of their victory to the people and successfully lower the Fear Level. That's how those shiney Legend Chips get added to the pot.

              3: If you're new to Savage Worlds I'll emphasize a couple of points that went over my head my first time running it. Players and special villains are Wild Cards. That gives them 3 wounds and a Wild Die. Use different colored die for the Wild Die because a lot of effects depend on whether or not the Skill die ends up a 1, regardless of the Wild Die. Multiple raises on attack rolls do NOT add more damage. You only add 1d6 (this lead to a lot of Wild Card baddies being one-shot by heavily specialized players). Remember that the Huckster regenerates Power Points VERY slowly, this is to incentivise them to Deal With the Devil (and for you to cackle). Be sure to remind players they can use their Fate Chips to Soak incoming Wounds. It's easy to forget.

              If you want to get into a Weird West mood (the nickname for the setting) I recommend checking out movies like High Plains Drifter (cannot recommend this one enough), or shows like Godless and Westworld (their soundtracks are also brilliant for background music).

              I hope you guys have fun and the forums are a great place to come to for answers to your questions!

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              • #8
                thank you for the new answers.
                Sorry for the late response as I never got notifications of them.

                One more questions.
                Is the Adventure Deck a good purchase for Deadlands or more for generic Savage World?

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                • #9
                  The Adventure Deck is pretty generically Savage Worlds, but I used it with some great results in my The Flood campaign. The players really got into several of them for the story complications, like Love Interest, and several of the Deadlands specific ones (there's one that makes a character -including NPC- come back Harrowed, and they used that every session they got it).

                  If you were already considering getting it then it's worthwhile. Getting it just for Deadlands: Reloaded is a bit of a mistake, especially if you're all learning the system, may be a mistake.
                  Last edited by ValhallaGH; 01-03-2018, 02:05 PM.
                  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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                  • #10
                    I'd second ValhallaGH. The Action Deck is cool, but if you are just learning the system it can make things more difficult. However, if you do get it and use it. Its best to look through the cards and remove the ones that might break the session.

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