Dylan's Savage Worlds Nerdery

Geek life and custom content for Savage Worlds

End of Deadwood Winter

My Deadwood Winter Deadlands game came to an end a few weeks ago. I really cut the game short – I wasn’t really enjoying running it as much as I was at the beginning. The plot was fun when it was focused on Deadwood, but once the group started going off and dealing with the Indian tribes in the area that were the main bad guys, it wasn’t as fun for anyone, I don’t think.

The central villain of the campaign was a Harrowed shaman from one of the Sioux tribes that had been badly hit by white encroachment. He had managed to corrupt a thunderbird, and with its weather control abilities, was able to cause winter to fall on the area early and hit Deadwood hard. He could control wendigo as well, and was pulling the strings of a couple of different groups of people to force the destruction of Deadwood. He had given power to one of the gangs in Chinatown to use as local muscle, had managed to infect the Hellstromme Industries trainyard by sending in an agent to secretly feed them human meat, and was stirring trouble with local Ravenites in the Sioux Nation to make them hate Deadwood even more.

I feel like the plot for the game was perfectly serviceable, but I didn’t convey enough about the villain or his motivations for the players to get invested. That was a mistake on my part. They hated Al Swearengen much more than they ever cared about the campaign’s villain, because he was more visible and more actively slimy than distantly evil.

Well, live and learn.

We’ve been playing board games for a few weeks since gaming during the holidays usually doesn’t go anywhere – we usually take a couple of weeks between campaigns to play board games and such. My girlfriend will be joining the Pathfinder game, so she’s finishing up her character as well.

For the past two weeks, we’ve played Red November, a Fantasy Flight game about drunken gnomes on board a sinking submarine. You play a gnome trying to survive one disaster after another long enough for rescue to arrive before burning, drowning, asphyxiating, getting blown up, getting eaten by a kraken, or drinking yourself to death. It’s quite fun, and highly recommended.


2 responses to “End of Deadwood Winter

  1. llanwyre January 7, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Aww, that’s too bad. I hate it when a game gets derailed by what seems like a minor oversight that you’ll fix over time (like not giving enough info about the villain) that then sets the PCs off in a direction that keeps you from fixing it over time! If you decide to pick this up again in the future, I hope you blog more about it!

    And as an aside, I LOVE Red November–I find it hilarious. Nobody else in my gaming group agrees with me, though. They just find its rules overly Byzantine.

    • steeldraco January 8, 2012 at 8:57 am

      Well, by that point, it was more of a conscious decision to head toward the end of the campaign. I thought about giving the PCs an adventure or two to thwart the villain more directly, but decided against it – I could feel the energy of the group wasn’t in what they were doing, and I was about ready to get the campaign over with.

      If I had done so, there would have been a few adventures with the PCs investigating the nature of the villain, discovering the slaughtered village that he came from and dealing with some of the internal strife between the Lakota tribes, the Ravenites, and the villain’s particular sub-cult of Ravenites. (Ravenites are a cult of Indians in Deadlands that serve mostly as terrorists against the whites, along with not following the religious codes that prevent most Indians from not using modern technology).

      If you’re a fan of Red November, I’ll go ahead and post something I wrote up that I was contemplating posting. It’ll be up momentarily.

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