Dylan's Savage Worlds Nerdery

Geek life and custom content for Savage Worlds

Monthly Archives: January 2012

Deadlands Game Getting Started

I’m happy to report that my Deadlands Masks of Nyarlathotep game is getting off the ground.

The basic concept of the game, which I’m just loosely basing on the Chaosium Masks of Nyarlathotep mega-campaign at this point, is that the characters are going to be helping write the Tombstone Epitaph’s Gazetteer of the World. The Epitaph is a newspaper in the Deadlands setting that covers the weird and unexplained – think the National Inquirer if all the stuff they reported was real, and they were the only ones that got around the government Men in Black to actually publish anything.

The Epitaph has cocommissioned a zeppelin from Smith & Robards to travel the world and write about what’s going on in other parts of the world, since news has been hard to come by in the last two decades or so. These have been years of upheaval across the world, but most people only know what’s happened in the Americas. The PCs will be part of this team, traveling the world and maybe (just possibly) getting wind of a massive conspiracy that threatens the future of everyone.

The world of Deadlands outside the North American continent is pretty undefined, which allows me to have quite a bit of fun with what might be happening over the next horizon. I have some ideas already – I’ll be posting them on this blog as I write them up.

We had a session of character creation last weekend, and will be playing every two weeks starting in mid-February. So far the concepts I have are…

  • An Irish-American member of the Agency, recruited after the events of my Deadwood Winter campaign and looking for her brother, who has departed for foreign lands. The player liked her character well enough that she wants to continue her story.
  • A weird scientist focused on the biological sciences, using galvanic principles to heal and revive dead tissue. He’s also studied the cutting-edge idea of forensic science, and occasionally has acted as a consultant to help local constabulary solve particularly difficult cases. Rumors suggest that he can animate the dead and force him to tell their secrets, but who listens to rumors?
  • The scientist’s lovely assistant and an occasional contributor to the Tombstone Epitaph. She is a bit of an intrepid reporter, known to either charm or sneak her way to where she needs to be. Somewhat the Watson to the scientist’s Sherlock Holmes – most of her Epitaph contributions have been write-ups of forensic investigations that the doctor worked on.
  • A British lord, known for his interest in naturalism and the occult. Known to be a recluse for most of his life, he has recently come out of his self-imposed solitary life to act as a naturalist for the Tombstone Epitaph’s gazetteer.

I’m excited – I have a good group of players, and not having a huge eight-person group is going to help give everybody a chance to have the spotlight. I’m a bit concerned that we won’t have that much time for each session, but we’ll see how it works out.

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Red November Variant – Characters

Red November is a fun board game by Fantasy Flight Games (see here) about gnomes stuck on a sinking submarine, trying to survive. The game has a feel somewhere between Jules Verne steampunkiness and black comedy depictions of World War I. It’s quite fun, as you run around the sub trying to prevent one disaster after another before your gnome is killed.

Our gaming group tends to play a lot of this kind of game, and there’s one thing I immediately thought was missing in Red November – distinct characters! Most cooperative games I’ve played (Arkham Horror, Shadows Over Camelot, Last Night on Earth, etc) have each player controlling someone with a unique special ability.

To that end, I came up with this: Red November Characters.

(That’s a PDF – if that doesn’t work quite right, use this instead – it’s a .docx file and the font I used. This is what I printed from, to 3″x5″ index cards. It worked well.)

Here are a couple of them, as a preview.