Dylan's Savage Worlds Nerdery

Geek life and custom content for Savage Worlds

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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2 responses to “Deadlands Game Getting Started

  1. Journeyman GM January 22, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Sounds like a lot of fun! The Deadlands Classic Marshal’s Handbook had a brief report from Lacy O’Malley about what was going on in the rest of the world, but you’ve definitely got a huge amount of freedom to do whatever you want!

  2. steeldraco January 24, 2012 at 8:22 am

    I’m going to be using a couple of those tidbits – southern Africa shows up in Masks, along with Egypt, Hong Kong, and Australia. I’ll probably add one or two other locations as important – I’m currently thinking Angkor Wat and maybe somewhere in South or Central America. Probably an aquatic episode somewhere under the Pacific, too.

    London is going to be a very steampunk city, with a strong divide between the lower-class laborers and the wealthy owners. It’ll be similar to how Salt Lake City is depicted, but with more of a British class divide rather than religious. The place is going to be a massive pile of conflicting conspiracies, too.

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