Geek life and custom content for Savage Worlds
Hey hey Scavver’s Bay! Taggart here, bringin’ you all the news worth spoutin’ about.
Those of you who get out into the Gulf might be feelin’ a bit safer this week, after the raider ship known as Henson’s Revenge was captured by a group of mercs from here in the Bay. The ship was brought in and repaired before bein’ sailed back out into the gulf by her new captain, Johanna Chen, one of them mercs. Short Stack Stevens, former captain of the Revenge, has been reported as dead, along with all hands of the ship. Good riddance to a pack of raider scum. A fair few slaves were rescued from the raider camp where the ship was under repairs when the mercs found her, so if ya’ll were missing any friends or family to Gulfer raids, now might be a real good time for ya if they managed to make their way back.
Sheriff Hackwell reports that he’s lookin’ into the death of Cole Bowden, after the scavver lieutenant – an employee of Tilmont Salvage – was found dead, nailed to the outside of his home last night. All indications are pointin’ to an act of revenge by the ghouls of Charnel House for the damn grisly display that Bowden put on a few weeks ago, when he drove back into town with a live pack of ferals hangin’, shriekin’ and dyin’, off the side of his truck. Apparently they had surprised him and his team on a run and he decided it’d be a bit of fun to torture the things. While Sheriff Hackwell put a stop to it quick enough, quite a number of people in town saw, and in this reporter’s opinion it was a real fuckin’ mess. Several of the Bay’s ghoul residents called for some kind of retribution. The sheriff did fine him for disturbin’ the peace, but apparently somebody thought that weren’t enough of a punishment, as last night four masked people broke into his house, dragged him into the street, an’ nailed him to his house just like he did to them ferals. What a fuckin’ mess. Bowden is survived by his wife Nat and two boys, Tom and Mark.
In some lighter news, I got a report here that a small herd of wild horses was spotted in the Aggie’s Gate area by a Tres Viajeros caravan passin’ through. Widely considered to be extinct, this is one of several reports I’ve heard over the last few years about – oh, hold on. Joe, you can’t come in here! I’m on the damn radio! Fuck off! No, it’s locked, you assho – sorry folks. Hang on a minute.
Alright, we’re back! Sorry ’bout that, folks. Had a bit of an unexpected visitor. That was Dirty Joe, rantin’ and ravin’ about some damn fool thing. Smelled like the inside of a still. Said he was seein’ lights in the sky when he was out lookin’ for mushrooms out east of town. Bet that idjit was eatin’ whatever mushrooms he found, no wonder he’s seein’ shit and talkin’ ’bout little green men come to probe him and whatnot. That’s crazier than when he said he saw a giant stinkin’ monkey-man followin’ him out in the Piney Woods last year.
Uhhh… if you don’t feel safe from green men in the sky, you oughta stop by Diego’s! He’s got all the guns you might need to defend the world from intergalactic invaders or whatever shit you see when you drink booze made from mushrooms. Tell him Taggart sent you so he keeps payin’ me!
Doc Mercedes is askin’ for any donations you might be able to spare for the Follower’s clinic an’ school. Them Followers of the Apocalypse do a lot for our community, teachin’ the younguns and makin’ sure we don’t all die of some terrible disease. Anythin’ you can do helps. Donations are accepted at the school any time – caps, medical supplies, even just your time. It all makes a difference.
Few stories from the Republic News Network ‘fore we get back to the music.
Says here that a small farmin’ community out west of San Alamo was hit by the Children of the Serpent last week. A few guards and such were killed, but most of ’em were dragged off by the Children, who reportedly take their captives back to feed some great serpent they worship. Fuckin’ raiders, man.
The gridiron game between the Big Rocket Longhorns and the Scavver’s Bay Buccaneers was won by our local Bucks nine to six last night at Legion Field in Big Rocket. Congratulations to our boys in black, particularly game MVP Big Boy Blake, who scored four goals and three incapacitations through the game, including one crippling injury on Longhorns player Screamin’ Joe Sizemore, who will apparently be out for at least a month. If you’re wantin’ to congratulate the team, they should be arrivin’ back in town with the Crimson Sands caravan early next week.
Word is that a few people have reported roamin’ eyebots in the Scar, blarin’ out some kind of message related to somethin’ called the United States Space Administration. Not real sure what that’s about, but apparently it’s related to some pre-War government thing.
Alright, that’s about enough talkin’ for now. Little bit later I’m gonna be doin’ an interview with pre-War ghoul and former resident of the Goose Creek Poseidon Energy Station, George Gonzalez, who’ll be sharin’ his thoughts on what a shithole life is now compared to his pre-War days, but how much better it is than bein’ locked in a power plant with a pack of feral ghouls for two hundred years.
Hope ya’ll are havin’ a great day, be good to each other, and fight that good fight. Back to the music.
“Hey hey Scavver’s Bay! Taggart here with all the news I feel like sharin’.
Hope y’all noticed that the lights are glowing brighter and my signal’s coming in nice and strong. That’s thanks to the good folks over at Gunderson’s Greatest Gears, where our friend TJ reminds us that if it ain’t Triple-G it ain’t shit! Accordin’ to my sources, mostly me having a beer with TJ down at the Rusty Cog, a new group of up-and-comers in town were sent out to the fusion power plant out by Goose Creek to see if they could get it up and runnin’ again. Some Triple-G scavvers had found a Poseidon Energy protectron that had the codes for the place in it, and this here band of mercs escorted that robot out there and got the whole place up and workin’. From the sound of things they had a hell of a time of it – got in a tussle with a bunch of raiders that had set up shop, then ran into a whole mess of laser turrets and ferals down in inside the place. They managed to fight their way through and get the whole place runnin’ again, and all that without blowin’ the whole thing and all of us into a smoking crater of nuclear death. For which we’re obliged. From what TJ tells me they managed to boost power here in Scavver’s Bay nearly 40%, meanin’ we’re going to have a lot fewer power failures throughout the Bay area. So if you see them mercs, buy ’em a beer. Seems like they’ve earned it.
In related news, Gwen, daughter of the town doc Mercedes is back in town. Turns out she ain’t run off to join a caravan to San Alamo after all – she was off bein’ a raider. Doc asked these mercs to bring her back if they could, and damned if they didn’t manage it. Gwen, if you’re listenin’, I’d like to extend you an offer – love to sit down a bit and talk to you ’bout your time as a no-good thieving sack of crap. Is it true once you go raider you never go back? Do we, as honest citizens of the Republic, have any reason to trust a vicious, mildly-repentant murderer in our midst? Can you ever really be trusted again? Hopefully we can sit down and talk about it!
In a sad bit of local news, looks like Blake & Sons lost a scavvin’ team to the Green Ghost last week. They were in the Scar near the Sugar Land area doin’ a routine sweep-and-snag in what shoulda been a pretty quiet residential neighborhood. They’d bedded down for the night when one of ’em – the only survivor – took a bit of a walk ‘fore he laid down. Tommy reports, in between all the cryin’, that when he got back the Green Ghost was in the middle of the camp, tearin’ its way into a small house most of ’em had holed up in. That big ol’ deathclaw apparently reached into the front door of the house, just ripped the wall down and rushed in, clawin’ and tearin’ everywhere. A few of ’em managed to get some shots off, but it didn’t do anything to the big beast but piss it off. Tommy told me he unloaded both barrels of his shotgun into the thing’s flank, then turned and just started runnin’ when it just seemed to shrug it off. The last he heard from the rest of the team was the screamin’. He made his way back to the Bay over the course of the next week, just got back last night. Ma Blake has dropped a pile of caps into the already-sizable bounty on the head of the Green Ghost, bringin’ the total up to 6,000 caps for the confirmed death of the beast. It’s recognized by its massive size, green glow, broken left horn, an’ the fact that it is an unholy abomination causin’ nothing but death and destruction throughout the Scar. If you think you can handle a massive glowin’ alpha deathclaw that’s killed four known scavver teams and some of the best hunters in the Bay, go have a word with Ma Blake down at Blake & Sons. Best advised to make your final peace ‘fore you head that way, though.
Now a quick word from our sponsors.
Your old gun got you down? Can’t handle the threats of the Scar? Don’t feel like a real man? You need to stop by Diego’s! Best guns in Scavver’s Bay, guaranteed. His face may be rotten but his prices are always fresh!
Isabella over at the Rusty Cog would like everyone to know that they got in a new batch of moonshine from Dirty Joe, and she’s real sorry about that last batch. Anybody sufferin’ from temporary hootch-related blindness is drinkin’ on Dirty Joe’s tab this week.
Turnin’ now to the Republic News Network… looks like Road Hogs raided a Big 10 Trader’s caravan on its way from San Alamo to Big Rocket. Six dead this time, though they did manage to scare ’em off before they took out more than one vehicle, which was left behind as the rest of the caravan rabbited. Word is the caravan was led by the Chrome Banshee herself, screamin’ and singin’ over the radio at the caravan as they attacked. The Chrome Banshee is understood by the Rangers to be one of the major lieutenants of the Road Hogs, reportin’ only to the King of the Road himself.
The local sheriff up in Quarry Lake is interested in any and all information pertainin’ to a female ghoul, name unknown, who let a sizable pack of ferals in past the defenses of a local scavver baron, and is believed to be responsible for the deaths of ten people. More information on this story as it comes available.
Junker’s Attic reminds you that if you need to buy or sell anythin’ – and we do mean anythin’ – they’re the place to go. Scrap, guns, ammo, armor, or bots, Junker’s Attic has a bit of everythin’. Mention this ad an’ get a free clip or energy cell with a purchase of a hundred caps or more.
And finally, don’t forget Gunderson’s Greatest Gears, where if it ain’t Triple-G it ain’t shit!
Quick station note – I’m always happy to get any new music from any scavvers who find it. I pay good caps for any new music I ain’t already got. You find somethin’, you let me know.
This is Taggart, signin’ off for now. Ya’ll be good to each other, and don’t forget to fight that good fight. Back to the music.
So I’ve been running my Savage Iron Kingdoms game for several years now. I think the end is now in sight – I’ve given them a bunch of clues about the final battle’s locations, and they’re starting to gather allies for the big finish. Should be a good time.
I’ve not been using this blog for some time, but I do want to have this content available, so I’m posting my Savage Iron Kingdoms material that I’ve been using.
One of the characters in my Deadlands game is a student of biology and the occult, in the vein of Charles Fort and other cryptozoologists. I wrote up this professional Edge for him.
Requirements: Knowledge (Biology) d8, Knowledge (Occult) d8, Survival d4
You have made an extensive study of unusual animals that some believe don’t exist, such as the Mojave rattler, prairie ticks, and the chupacabra. You know that such strange animals exist, and have learned something about how to deal with them. You gain a +2 bonus on Knowledge (Occult) checks to identify and answer questions about supernatural creatures. As an action, you may attempt to analyze such a creature (or group of creatures of the same type) with a Knowledge (Occult) roll. On a success, gain one of the following bonuses. On a raise, allies within 6″ of you that can understand your instruction gain the same bonus.
So Pinnacle has jumped in on the whole Kickstarter phenomenon with a new Deadlands setting, Deadlands Noir. Check out the Kickstarter page here.
Honestly, I can’t say I’m that enthused, as much as I love Deadlands. I can see the appeal of Deadlands + Raymond Chandler, but if I was in the mood for Raymond Chandler-esque, I’d probably just play Dresden Files – the actual time period doesn’t interest me much. Call of Cthulhu is already set around the same time and has a lot of the same feel. I don’t see what the Noir setting really brings to the table that Call of Cthulhu or Dresden Files doesn’t already have. The main setting is New Orleans, which I’ve used several times for Dresden Files games already, so I already have a version of the city in my head that feels like “mine”.
I’ll keep an eye on it as it comes closer, and very likely pick up a copy just to mine for ideas for the city if I ever run a DF game set in N’awlins again. I have faith in the writers, after all. The Pinnacle people put out good stuff.
I’m spending the week in a virtual classroom, learning about Exchange 2010 for my job. It’s nice to be picking things up, since I started running an Exchange server without any formal training a couple of years ago. Most of it is things I’ve learned hands-on, but it’s certainly good to see what’s going to be available for our new server and get a better foundation on things I’ve mostly only inferred and read about on the Web.
In the evenings, I’ve been working on getting ahead of things a ways in my Deadlands game. I ran a fairly simple scenario last week (devil bats attack the PC’s ship and try to abduct people, PCs notice a small town also victimized by the devil bat nest, and go to help), though I was happy to get the group’s zeppelin, the Fourth Estate, mapped out. I’m going to put together a more thorough map of it, for which I’m experimenting with different mapping programs. Here’s what I drew on the board last Sunday, in order from the bottom of the gondola to the top (the engine room is actually inside the balloon part of the zeppelin; there are several cramped passageways leading out from the engine room to access the propellers and the top-mounted gun):
Obviously these are just rough maps, drawn with wet-erase markers so I could run the game. But I like the idea of putting out something nicer to look at. Along with the NPC cards, I’m trying to improve the ability of my players to visualize things, and so a nice map of their home base in the game – which will need maps here and there, since it will occasionally be involved in the action – does help.
I’m trying both Dundjinni and Campaign Cartographer for this. I’ve used CC in the past, and dug out my old CDs of it to see how well I remember it. Any other suggestions for map-making software I should use to turn these into game-usable battlemats? I’m going to try and set them up, print them at 1″ scale to 1 yard scale, and then mount that on some black foamboard I bought. I had a player do this once for a ship we were using as a home base, and I loved it – wish I still had them, it was great for a generic fantasy ship.
I’ll post what I have when I get something I feel happy with.
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…
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.
Chagha’Chante aka Frozen Heart aka Seeks the Rivers
Poisoner (Professional Edge)
Requirements: Novice, Knowledge (Poisons) d6, Stealth d6
You are adept at using poison, and know how to dose poisons efficiently and apply them to their best effect. All Vigor and Heal rolls made to resist or remove poisons you apply through weapons or subtler methods suffer a -1 penalty. You are also experienced at getting poison where it needs to go, and gain a +2 bonus on all Stealth rolls related to applying poison surreptitiously.
Min is the owner of the Lotus Blossom Theater, a high-quality brothel in Deadwood. She was trained as a courtesan and assassin from a young age by a small group of assassins in Shan Fan, taught to use her beauty to manipulate men and eliminate them. She proved very efficient at this task, though she eventually made enough enemies that she felt it best to move on to newer pastures, after she eliminated the leader of her small group of assassins after he repeatedly tried to force himself on her.
Deadwood is an unpleasant compromise, in Min’s mind. She kn0ws that if she travels to a larger town that might be more profitable and fit her tastes better, she’s also more likely to be found and eliminated by her enemies. She is in Deadwood because it has a decent Chinese population, but it’s a small and unpleasant enough location that her enemies shouldn’t think to look for her. She has managed to charm a local tough, Li Bao, so that she has some muscle if her enemies should ever catch up to her. She’s beginning to consider allying herself to Al Swearengen, who is clearly the town’s most powerful and influential citizen.
Martial Artist Thug
Something that I’m doing with my current Deadlands game that I haven’t tried before is creating index cards for NPCs. These are an image of the NPC, as well as their name and a brief description of their role. When they’re interacting with that NPC, I’ll put the card up in front of me in a card holder, so they can see it at all times. It’s something I’ve implemented to allow my players to better visualize the people they’re interacting with.
For my current Deadwood game, I found a bunch of graphite drawings of the main characters of the Deadwood TV show, which I’m using as one of my big influences. These were perfect for my NPC cards. I’ve found several web sites with other graphite portraits, so I’m trying to keep the look of them consistent. When I have to, I’ll use GIMP (a free Photoshop analogue), as well as a free sketch plugin I found, to make a photo approximate a graphite sketch, and then use that. The players seem to have really liked these, and several times they’ve asked for cards for NPCs they meet.
I think I’ll retain this idea for any future games I run – I like how it works out. There are a number of excellent sources for fantasy portraits, so any future fantasy games I run this will be easy for. I need to start finding portraits for my upcoming Deadlands Masks of Nyarlathotep game, as well.
Here’s a link to my current NPC Cards for the Deadwood game.
Anybody do anything similar to this? How do you help your players visualize NPCs?