Deal with the Devil you know? #RPG #Deadlands

Meeting with DrH tomorrow <STOP> Trail of C brothers lost <STOP> SLC a marvel of engineering <STOP> Pursuit of package still top priority <STOP> Package reported up for auction by C brothers <STOP> Unable to report in for a time <STOP>

The trail of this package and the Chadwick gang has become very confused since we reached Salt Lake City. Our pursuit has been derailed by the authorities here. I attempted to bluff my way past the possession of the lightning rifles but was unable to.

Ms. Montgomery and I had picked up the trail of the Chadwick brothers in a bar in the less reputable part of town here. Just as we were about to get more details on the thieves and their operation our contacts were assassinated. I managed to wound one and kill another of the assassins before we fled the premises of the bar in order to avoid being seized by the authorities again.

Things became far more intriguing and difficult to understand when we met with Doctor Hellstromme. In that meeting he made it clear that our covers were completely blown, he knew exactly who we were. But that did not bother or concern him. Instead, he was focused on our knowledge of the package and the trail.

According to him, the package contains an extremely dangerous material. Material that could at a minimum change the balance of power on  our continent and at it’s worst place the fate of all living things in danger. This does fall in line with the dying words of our contact. He wishes us to continue our pursuit of the Chadwicks, to keep the pursuit somewhat quiet, and retrieve the package. His stated intention to then destroy the material within it.

We have agreed to do this. Receiving some fine materials from him, and supplies. In addition, he is sending one of his colleagues along to help when the material is retrieved. We have the use of many technological marvels to aid us in this pursuit.

I cannot help but wonder at the motives here. Will his colleague truly help us or is he just another of the mad scientists who helped create these dangerous items? Since the Chadwick brothers have reputedly put the package up for sale at an auction why doesn’t Hellstromme just purchase the item? Why hire Pinkerton agents whose loyalties would at least be questionable?

I will find this material. I will make sure that the Chadwick brothers are brought to justice for the many lives they have already taken. What I will do once the material is retrieved is a question I cannot answer at this time. I do not know if this material truly is what everyone says it is. And if it is, will Dr. Hellstromme truly destroy it? Or, if it is so powerful, should it not be placed in the hands of the government so they can end this war once and for all? At this time I have far more questions than I have answers. So the journey continues.

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A narrow escape, into the City O’ Gloom #RPG #Deadlands

Still pursuing Chadwick Gang STOP Crossed Salt Flats STOP Entered Salt Lake City STOP Meeting with Doctor H STOP Investigating ties between VH and H STOP Will keep apprised of developments STOP

My posse traveled across the Salt Flats. Not prepared for the journey we were still able to make camp. Only to be attacked at dawn by a group of young Salt Worms.

Odd creatures, with long tentacles, and the ability to apparently sense movement above ground. Not invulnerable to gunfire thankfully, although I did have to empty my entire weapon into one just to force it back underground. We did lose our pack horse before we were rescued by a land ship of worm hunters.

Maxwell proved his worth as he was able to haul an entire worm out of the ground before it swallowed another horse. He is a man of extremely rare strength. I think that with some training and experience he could become a very useful companion.

Our rescuers were very hospitable, providing food and shelter to go with transport into the City of Gloom. I have learned that city has definitely earned that appellation. It is an oppressive atmosphere, with the sky in perpetual gloom, and the building built up so high as to restrict what view there is of the gray sky.

While hospitable our rescuer, Captain William Jennings, was suspicious of our cargo. Going so far as to open the crates of lightning guns that came from Van Helsing Arms. Which altered my initial story. I was forced to adopt a posture of complete innocence, claiming we must have grabbed the wrong crates when we forced off the train. For now, I am operating under the guise of a journalist for the Belleville Democrat.

Captain Jennings brought us to the authorities, who then asked that we come to a meeting with Dr. Helstromme himself. In my attempts to gather if anyone had any dealings with the Chadwick brothers, I have so far been unsuccessful. That name has not struck any chord in any of those I have spoken to.

This makes me glad that I will be put into contact with Dr. Hellstromme. This will give me the chance to either determine f he is at the heart of this theft. Or if it is his material that was stolen. Which could lead us farther west in our journey. Or South into Confederate lands if my suspicions prove true.

Who knows what this meeting will bring? Or what we might uncover if we take the time in Salt Lake City to chase down the elusive Chadwick Brothers? I believe that there are still deeper plots involved in all of this.

The pursuit continues, the plot thickens #RPG #Deadlands

Still chasing Chadwick Gang <STOP> Trail leading to Deseret City <STOP> Gang now has fresh supplies <STOP> Suspect pool deepens <STOP>

After a fresh re-supply from the grateful citizens of Briar Gulch, I continued my chase of the Chadwick brothers gang. I had hoped that we would actually gain on them. They were down to just horses, with some of them terribly overloaded. They were using their horses so poorly that we came across one that had been ridden to death, and it was still a few hours fresh.

We came out of the mountains near the Wasatch railway and picked up the trail there. As we rode I formally introduced myself to the other two and deputized them as my posse. As it turns out Claire also works for a different branch of our agency. And the Russian is pretty ignorant of what all this means but is capable of keeping his mouth shut.

After picking up their trail we followed them to a railroad camp. The Gang had ridden right through the camp, killing a few of the workers and then ridden for a rock outcropping to the north. The road boss, Jefferson Dain, was cooperative without asking for our credentials. He said that the gang had head into the rocks, and asked us to pursue them and find out what was in those rocks.

Apparently, the workers had become convinced that there was a ‘Dragon’ living in a cave among the rocks. Two groups had been sent into the rocks and while there was one sighting of this dragon no one had returned since the first sighting. As this was a chinee work crew they refused to go where the dragon was.

We followed the gang’s trail into the rocks and through a bit of a maze. Until we came to the ravine where the trail ended. The first sight we saw was the head of some enormous creature looking out of the cave. After first securing ourselves and verifying that the gang’s trail headed into the ravine I took it upon myself to explore further.

I was able to determine that this was in fact not a dragon, but instead was a creation of wood, canvas, and some steam technology. Clearly constructed to prevent anyone from using the mine tunnel.

While we were looking to move down the mine tunnel two large wolves came out of the tunnel. They appeared intent on taking down the Russian. So Claire and I took it upon ourselves to disable them with our weapons. After they were knocked out they transformed from wolves into human form. Apparently, they were cursed by some form of lycanthropy.

We moved deeper into the mine tunnel, following it all the way through the rock until it came out the other side. There we came upon an unoccupied cabin, several worn out horses, some destroyed wagons and some tracks leading west again. Further investigation revealed that this was a Union Blue outpost. The outpost was clearly here to disrupt the progress of the Wasatch railroad work.

Unfortunately, the Chadwick brothers gang now had a wagon and fresh horses to transport all of their ill-gotten goods. I regret to inform you that my chase has fallen behind. But I will continue the pursuit.

I do wonder, though. How did the gang now about this outpost? It is clearly not on the path they were following. How were they able to know to avoid the ‘dragon’ and then know that the mine was actually a tunnel? At first, it would seem that they might be Union Blue operatives. If this was the case why destroy the operation here? As this pursuit goes on I have more questions than answers about it all. We now head to Deseret City, where I hope to at least get some answers, even if I do not corner the gang.

A promising return #RPG #Deadlands

Tonight my role playing hiatus is finally coming to an end. It has been 3 weeks since I played at all. It has been quite a while since I was gaming at a rate I would consider acceptable.

But this week I think all of that will be coming to an end. I have Deadlands tonight. I am running D&D for the boys on Saturday. Pathfinder follows on Sunday. That is three games in a week. Based on my calendar I should be getting close to a rate of at least 1 game a week after this week is over.

For tonight I will be playing Deadlands, returning to my Robin McMurphy character. I am looking forward to this. I told one of the players that my character will be trying to find a way to bring the other players into his loop. Make them closer to an official ‘posse’. Find ways to make their skills more useful in his job and quest.

I really enjoyed our last session, it was close to a classic X-Files kind of episode. I have hopes that this next episode will be just as cool and an extension of that quest.

When you become one #DND #RPG #Deadlands

The past two role playing sessions I have had the pleasure of playing in I have been able to show off by becoming one with my character. That is truly when role playing is the most fun as a player. And why being a GM can be difficult for some people.

In my last Pathfinder game, I ran a temporary character. The character I played is a member of the Mob and is assigned to the party to help them retrieve my normal character. But for this last session and the next couple of sessions I had the chance to role play as someone I almost never get to play: a connected mafia type. One of my many pleasures has been a life long interest in organized crime. I soak up mafia type movies all the time. I am a sucker for the History Channel shows on the Mafia. And one of the few non-fiction type of books I do read will often have something to do with organized crime. I have no good reason for this interest, it is not part of my life or even my heritage. I just find it interesting.

I do not like to play bad guys as a rule. I want to play heroic characters. I just do not enjoy playing the bad guy for too long (as the player, not as the GM.) But I really enjoyed doing this as a one-off type of scenario. I know I will not be playing this role for long. But because of my knowledge of the character type and everything I discussed above, I was able to step into the role very easily. I was even scaring the other players a little bit with how my character was posing potential problems. The gnome sorcerers family jewelry shop getting marked for ‘protection’. Discussing construction ‘delays’ for the Priest’s Stronghold. I really became one with the character.

Last night for my Deadlands game I had the chance to really dive into my character concept. I am playing a Pinkerton Agent, who is just a little too curious and prone to falling for the most exotic explanations of an issue. I envisioned a variation on Fox Mulder from the X-Files. I do not know if it was on purpose but last night’s session fell perfectly into that kind of mystery session. With a lot of time spent in interviews, and coming to oddball conclusions.

And the final scene was almost straight out of an X-Files episode. As my character went head first into the house of the bad guys, without backup, because he suspected something strange. And then was able to luck into solving the problem by doing so. As the restless vengeful spirits that had been harassing the town claimed the bad guys and were able to rest easier, thus saving the town. It was really cool and very satisfying as a player.

Both games were great examples of being able to portray the character I created pretty much exactly the way I  imagined them. That does not happen often enough. And really feels great when it does happen.

The case of 2 young lovers #RPG #Deadlands

Still in pursuit of Chadwick Brothers Gang STOP Please look into El Diablo Trading STOP Provided illicit supplies to Chadwick et al STOP Pursuit continues west to Deseret STOP

My pursuit of the Chadwick brothers gang and their theft of materials from the Wasatch Railway Company continues. After a nights rest out of doors, we followed their trail west until we came to the rather curious town of Briar Gulch.

The town was affected by a localized storm of sorts that took the form of 2 large dust devils that appeared each night. The wind force was strong enough to lift and carry buckboard wagons and other large items like rain barrels. When we arrived this phenomenon had been going on for five nights. It was also clear that the buildings of the town could not take another night or more of the sustained attacks.

I took it upon myself to investigate the matter. I had the continued assistance of the two people from the train. Although it is still unclear what role they are playing I shall keep them as seconded to my investigations until informed differently.

We spent the day looking into the events in the town. Focusing on the deaths of two young people. After much talk to numerous folk, and some investigation of their rather mysterious death I was able to piece together a rough timeline of events.

Sometime in the past the town’s undertaker, a Hollis Wilcox, who also served as the local physician, had become infatuated with the young lady. The now deceased Daisy Pettigrew. As an older married man, this infatuation on the part of Mr. Wilcox was neither welcomed or returned by Ms. Pettigrew.

More recently Mr. Wilcox engaged the services of the young man, Mr. Ronnie Shaw. Asking for materials he could turn into his stock in trade. When the material did not meet the requested specifications Mr. Wilcox refused to pay. At which point Mr. Shaw responded by simply burning what he had created. It is unclear if the resulting ill will was compounded by the very public courtship of Mr. Shaw and Ms. Pettigrew, or if the ill will existed beforehand.

This brings us to the events of a week ago. The young couple had gone for a ride and picnic on their buckboard wagon. On this ride the wagon was overturned, throwing the young couple from the wagon and breaking their necks. It was left to Mr. Wilcox to perform his professional duties as town undertaker.

While no one noticed it at the time, apparently Mr. Wilcox did not handle his duties properly. This led to the spirits of the young people being unable to rest properly. Their restlessness manifested in the large dust devils that plagued the town.

I was able to piece this together over the course of the days investigation. As the storm began I chose to go to the Wilcox household to confront them with the facts of their conduct. Given the urgency of the storm, I deemed it necessary to make a forced entry. In the process, I was knocked on the head and lost consciousness. I came to as the Wilcox’s were trying to throw me out into the storm. I was forced to draw my weapon. The storm at that point picked up in intensity and drew both the husband and wife out of the building and into the storm.

At this point, the storm ceased. A trip to the cemetery revealed that the graves of the young couple were now freshly cleaned up. The spirits of the young couple were now at rest. Ending their reign of terror over the town. The bodies of the Wilcox family were not found.

Questions remain. Who attacked the young couple in their wagon originally? It had to be someone or something strong enough to lift the buckboard wagon. The attack took place on land claimed by the Hellstromme mining company, was there a warning there? Unfortunately, the matter of the pursuit of the Chadwick brother gang takes precedence over these questions, so they will remain unanswered for now. I will just have to rest easy knowing that the spirits of the two young lovers are now at rest and the peace of the town is restored.

 

In a real happy place #DnD #RPG #Deadlands

Tonight I get to return to the Deadlands campaign. I am happy to get to this. I am also looking forward to playing a different style game. I am definitely in a happy place as far as my role playing right now.

If I want to murder hobo, and just visit strange and exotic new lands, meet strange and exotic new people and creatures I have our Pathfinder game. If I want to be in charge and craft wondrous adventures and play with the many monsters that are out there I can run D&D for the boys. And if I want some more mature, quiet, investigative work then I have my Deadlands game.

That is a pretty great space to be in. I should never be bored with doing the same thing over and over and over again. Be it wandering from one location to the next, killing or destroying everything there. Or throwing darts at the list of monsters from the Monster Manual to see what monsters the boys will face this week. Or if I want to be cautious, almost never use a weapon, and only kill as a last result.

In an ideal world with the ultimate GM and a great group, you could get all of that from the same campaign. Critical Role seems to do that for the most part. But that is a very rare thing in my experience. My experience is that things usually work very differently. Which is why I am happy with my options now.

Gonna go Old School to recapture attention #DND #RPG

I know that I need to inject some life back into my D&D game. To do that I need to take an honest look at who I am running the game for. Playing in the Deadlands game the other night has me thinking about the audience for games. Because the players are the audience, and just like how a play or TV show will end if no one watches it, the same will happen to a game if I do not capture the players attention.

I am not terribly worried about the boys leaving the game. I have that advantage. However, if I want them to actually pay attention and play honestly then I need to do certain things.

In my Deadlands game the other night we almost never picked up the dice. We did not draw any chips, and no cards were ever drawn for initiative. Yet we all had a good time and are looking forward to the next session. Because that group of players does not need constant action to remain focused. That is that group’s audience.

In my Pathfinder game, it is almost wall to wall combat. Because the group comes to play a game like that. They are not necessarily there to play at a long-term political intrigue. Or care much about solving any real deep mysteries. The audience there wants the diversion of intense, tactical combat where role playing choices manifest in the resource management and combat choices and approaches.

The audience in my D&D game is the boys, teenagers. They do not really desire deep tactical combat for the most part. Jimmy wants that, but the rest are content to roll the dice and declare:

BbzoOxMCEAA3yDi.jpg

That is my audience. They do not really come for the story. They come to kick some monsters ass and then pick up the loot. I can try all I want to get them to think beyond that. To remind them that they are not just playing a glorified game of Munchkin. But, in the end, that is what they really want.

Which means that I need to plan accordingly. Not get overly wrapped in long in-depth story arcs. They don’t much attention to that anyway. Fortunately, thanks to my discovery last week, I can very easily go back to some Old School Role Playing with very little effort. And mix in just enough flavor to keep things interesting for me.

Dispatches from the frontier #RPG #Deadlands

TRAIN STOPPED BETWEEN COLVILLE AND DESERET STOP ATTACKED BY CHADWICK BROTHERS GANG STOP FREIGHT CAR BLOWN OPEN STOP SAFE BLOWN OPEN STOP NO MONEY TAKEN STOP TWO CIVILIAN DEATHS STOP AM PURSUING GANG INTO HILLS STOP

My journey into the West was interrupted by an attack between the town of Colville and city of Deseret. There was one explosion on the tracks ahead of the train, causing the train to stop. That was followed by fire from a wagon-mounted Gatling gun. Which was then followed by an explosion behind the train, destroying the tracks behind us, preventing any escape by reversing the train.

The Engineer and stoker were tied up in the engine. One civilian, Doctor Phineas Mangold, was shot in the burst of fire from the Gatling gun across the passenger car. There followed some warning fire from a long range rifle to keep the passengers low. A porter named Elias was killed by one of these shots.

The passenger train was then boarded by 3 members of the gang, who only warned the passengers to remain put and not to leave the car. At no time did they demand anything of any of the passengers. After two more explosions and an exchange of gunfire three more members boarded the car from the rear. One was wounded and they asked the passengers to assist. We provided some limited bandaging to the criminals wound. The gang then left with the demand that no passengers leave the train for 5 minutes. 

I investigated the freight car after the 5 minutes had elapsed. Discovering that the car was blown open and the safe as well. And no guards were left alive. I took the money left in the safe and turned it over to the Engineer. My next mission was clear, I was to follow the gang into the mountains. I was accompanied by 2 passengers, a Russian circus performer and a young woman, whom I temporarily seconded as troubleshooters.

There are some serious questions that need answering.

One, what exactly was taken by the Gang? What could be more important and of more value than the rather large sum of money that was left behind?

Two, the Conductor and Engineer seemed awfully well informed as to the nature of the stolen cargo, is this a normal procedure?

Three, if this cargo was some sort of scientific or occult artifact, why was our government turning it over to Doctor Von Hellstromme? What could prove so powerful or dangerous that our Agency would work with the Doctor?

Four, how did this gang know so much about our train? Which train was to be attacked, which car to hit, and then only break open the safe and take only the item in that safe. This was highly unusual in my view.

My current thinking is that perhaps this gang was affiliated with the Confederacy. Or, is there some other group that is seeking to prevent these items from getting into the hands of the Doctor Von Hellstromme. There are many questions to be asked and answered before this is all done.

Continue reading “Dispatches from the frontier #RPG #Deadlands”

The tale of Robin McMurphey, a study #Deadlands #RPG

I have been invited to join a Deadlands game. And I thought that since this is a new campaign with new characters it might be interesting to break down all the choices I make when creating the character.

When I get the invite or the urge to play a role playing game the first thing to do is create a character. When I create a character the first thing I do is come up with a concept. Who the character is, what do they do, why do they do it? Where did they come from? I always try to start with this because it will effect pretty much everything else that I do. In an ideal world, a lot of this gets answered as part of a Session Zero. Because in that session, everyone in the party comes up with their characters together. This takes care of any issues with redundancy, or incompatibility.

Once the party considerations are taken care of it is time to get to those questions. Who, what, why, where. When I was asked to join the Deadlands game a while back I wrote up a number of these concepts. It took a while to get the game rolling (pun intended.) And now it turns out that for life reasons I will not be able to attend the Session Zero. The GM will reveal these concepts to the group and ask them which ones they want me to play when I join them. This is their choice.

The party came out with a Circus Strongman, Scientist, and Blessed. So they lacked someone good with a gun and a talker. I decided that the best fit would be one of the concepts I had written up before. Meet Robin McMurphey, Pinkerton Investigator.

Deadlands is  a game that takes place in what is called the Weird West. Picture the old American west of spaghetti westerns, mixed with the Wild Wild West, and then throw in magic and the occult. There is a real presence of the occult and weird things happening in this world. There are Ghost Dancers, Hucksters casting hexes, zombies walking the earth and other weird monsters like actual jackalopes.

In the world of Deadlands, the governments have special organizations that are focused on the dealing with the Occult. The Union has the Pinkertons, a cross between the Secret Service and FBI, without the enforcement powers. They are the ones who show up when something odd happens and fulfill the function of the Men in Black, finding out what happened, then covering up and obscuring the truth.

I came up with a character who would be the Pinkerton equivalent of Fox Mulder from the X-Files. He is the believer, the investigator for whom no story is too outlandish to investigate. He is curious to a fault, and a Law Man, but a tinhorn from the East who will believe anything.

He is very good with his Gatling pistol, and nothing much fazes him. And he would be here to find out if all the stories in the penny dreadfuls are real. And compiling a long dossier of files on his investigations, one that possibly implicates a shadowy conspiracy.

Attributes

One of the cool things in Deadlands is the character creation process. Some games roll dice to make their characters. And others use point buying systems. But Deadlands uses the drawing of a hand of cards to determine your attributes. You draw 12 cards for 10 attributes and drop the worst 2 cards. The attributes are dice types ranging from 12 to 4 sides, with the number of dice per attribute being based on the Suit. The  favorability of the suits being Spade, Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs. Here was my draw:

IMG_9004.JPG

That was a good draw. Not great, not bad or even average, just good. That picture shows them grouped by Dice type. One side note is that when you draw a Joker it is treated as an Ace of the next card drawn and that could be something good or bad depending on that draw. That works out to:

Red Joker – 3 Clubs – 1D12
Ace of Hearts – 3D12
Jack, 9 of hearts – 3D8
9 Clubs – 1D8
6, 3 Spades – 4D6
8 Hearts – 3D6
To be Spread amongst the following attributes:
Cognition: This is a measure of awareness, senses
Knowledge: Book learning and training
Mien: The social skills and abilities
Smarts: Native wits, common sense
Spirit: Your internal faith and guts
Deftness: Hand-eye coordination
Nimbleness: Speed and agility
Strength: enough said
Quickness: Reaction time
Vigor: Your wind and conditioning
Looking at what my character is I prioritized Deftness and Cognition, to reflect his training as an agent of the Pinkertons. Then Knowledge, Quickness, and Nimbleness came next. Everything else got D6 in various amounts. As this is a Skill based system I also made sure that at least 2 of the abilities that contribute to Skill points got a good dice type. Leading to this:
Cognition 1D12
Deftness 3D12
Knowledge 3D8
Mien 4D6
Nimbleness 1D8
Quickness 3D8
Smarts 2D6
Spirit 2D6
Strength 4D6
Vigor 3D6
Skills
The way the Skills work in this system is that you have a number of dice to roll using the ability the skill is under. You get a number of points to spread out amongst the skills equal to the sum of the dice types for Cognition, Knowledge, and Smarts. And our GM gave us an additional 6 points. In addition, I get another 2 points from my net of Advantages and Disadvantages. Which ends up with a total of 34 points.
The next step was to look at the skills and figure out which ones I might need or fit my character. I sat down and made a list of the following:
Scrutinize 3
Search 3
Tracking 3
Academia: occult 2
Academia: History 2
Language: Spanish 2
Professional: law 2
Shootin’ Pistol 3
Shootin’ Rifle 2
Horse Ridin’ 2
Speed Load 1
Sneak 2
Persuasion 3
Faith 2
Guts 2
Fightin’ Boxing 2
I started with 14 Skills. And I evenly split my points among the skills I get 2 points for each skill, with 6 left over to add to a few of the chosen skills. This is a good mix. Very few clues will ever escape his eyes. He is well read with a diverse knowledge. He is fast and very accurate with his pistol. He is trained in the arts of persuasion but is not a smooth talker. And then I altered them around a little based on some of his Edges and Hindrances.
Edges and Hindrances
I mentioned that you can have Edges and Hindrances in this system. Edges are helpful abilities or social attributes. Hindrances cause problems and give the GM tools for stories, but they can give points back for Skills. As you can tell, the choices you make here are a big part of the character building process because these really tell you a lot about your character.
Edges
Law Man:
As a Pinkerton Agent, Robin has authority to investigate certain matters, specifically odd things like the occult. But no real authority.
 
Level Headed:
This means I can effectively get a re-roll on my slowest action in order to move faster when I choose to. I chose this to reflect his training as a Pinkerton.
 
Disadvantages
Curious:
Like I said earlier, think of this character as a Fox Mulder. He cannot help himself when it comes to trying to solve a mystery. It also can get him into trouble.
 
Law O’ the West:
My character has a code. Unlike Han Solo, he will never draw first. He never shoots a man in the back. Basically, he’s a ‘good guy’.
 
Tinhorn:
Robin ain’t from around here. He is from back east, having grown up reading about the West in penny dreadfuls. He has his training from the Pinkertons, but everything he runs into out here is new to him.
Equipment and others
This is where I might spend a lot of time on equipment and special stuff. But in Deadlands, as a Pinkerton, Robin will not be a player that is centered around his stuff. With a different character type, I might have to worry about spell choice or what kind of science experiment I would be focused on. In a D&D game. I would be thinking about what weapons, armor, other such things.
Because you can get a lot of character expression from what stuff you carry around. Are you dressed in fancy clothes or rags? Is your equipment the best available or the equivalent of dollar store issue? If you are artistically inclined you might even draw a picture of your character (sadly I am not.) But I do like to use figures when possible to illustrate what my character looks like or is dressed up as.
Your Deadlands character starts with $250 (thankfully this game uses US dollars, instead of something odd or the D&D gold pieces so the values make sense.) As a Pinkerton I get my Gatling repeater pistol issued to me, so I only have to buy ammo. And of course I will need a horse and tack, and then clothes.
Horse: $150
Tack: $30
Clothes (fancy): $44.50 (5 sets, watch, new stetson, boots, chaps)
Notebooks: $2
Remaining cash $23.50
Robin would come riding into whatever town the group starts in, with saddle bags with neatly folded clothes, in a new suit, and shiny new hat. Fresh from his Pinkerton training which followed his time at University.
The last part of any character creation process is to create a basic back story.
Robin McMurphey of the Boston McMurpheys was the first in his family to attend college. A Southie through and through, who escaped his poor upbringing to get a superior education. Orphaned when his father was killed in the war, he grew up with a second family that valued his education and made sure he went to school. He is determined to exceed his family roots.
While attending college he came to the notice of some recruiters from the Pinkerton Agency. His family background and his father’s honorable death would help him as he would work very hard to prove himself. Right after graduation he was taken to Pinkerton headquarters where he received rudimentary training. He proved himself very capable and his instructors recommended him for advanced duty.
However, he soon gained a reputation for never stopping when he discovered any mystery. And when working with a secretive organization this caused problems with his superiors. His incessant digging forced his instructors to recommend that he not be assigned to important field work. Instead, he was given instructions to just go out and investigate stories from the penny dreadfuls he loves so much and report back. So Robin finds himself out in the West, with his issued equipment, a set of expensive notebooks and pencils, and a handful of the latest stories, in search of mystery and adventure.
Because of the horror aspects of the Deadlands setting, I also have to write out his worst nightmare.
I am given the job to go investigate reports of odd happenings in the Union Army in Virginia. Where I report to the local commander.
‘The troops have been reporting that a haunted creature has been wandering the forests around here. We need you to find out what it is.’
I dutifully go out into the woods at night. I spend some time wandering until I find a set of tracks. Some creature has found someone and taken it into the woods, dragging it along the ground. I follow the now easy to follow tracks. I track deeper into the woods, until I find a clearing. Lit by pale moonlight there are two figures.
One is laying on the ground, with the other crouched over it. The prone figure struggles briefly and then stops. I pull my pistol, step into the clearing and say,
‘Leave that person be and raise your hands!’
The creature slowly releases the creature on the ground. Rises from the ground, and turns revealing a pale face that I realize is my father, thought dead for many years, but is now an undead creature of evil.
Here is the finished character sheet:
Robin Picture
This has been a lot of fun. Showing how to come up with a character. All the thinking that I put into the process. And it gives me a better sense of how I will play this character.