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What a long, strange trip it's been....

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  • Colin Braddock
    Howdy, Well, I m back after who the heck knows how long. Thought I d share that there fire a spell and maybe share with y all a few experiences I ve had out on
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 4, 2007
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      Howdy,

      Well, I'm back after who the heck knows how long. Thought I'd share
      that there fire a spell and maybe share with y'all a few experiences
      I've had out on the trails. See, I bin runnin' Classic Deadlands for
      since it came out, so near on 10 years is my reckonin'. Ain't always
      bin easy, but it's always bin fun. From my first Kent group, to the
      Loft of Legend, right up to present day, Deadlands is the game I get
      asked to run most often. Here's a few things I've gleaned from my
      experiences:

      1: If you want to get away with being a Huckster, play a coloured
      one. A sad fact of life in the Old West was that most folks didn't
      think coloured folks were too educated, so an educated spellcaster
      who was also black was destined for greatness. A great way to turn
      the sadly prevalent prejudices in on themselves, I think.

      2: Injuns are not effective melee weapons.

      3: A horde of prairie ticks ain't that scary. A single prairie tick
      in a dark room, scuttling audibly over a wooden floor? Now that's
      frightening. Think of the facehugger scene in Aliens, and you'll get
      me.

      4: Think real hard before you go letting players CREATE harrowed PCs.
      Having it happen in the course of play is fine, but a created
      harrowed can be min-maxed to perdition and back. Deadlands is a good
      system for min-maxing anyway, so throwing that kind of additional
      power into the mix is a recipe for unpleasantness in my opinion.

      5: The old West was a harsh, unforgiving environment. It's only right
      that circumstances reflect that. I recently had a player shoot a
      sheriff point-blank for asking him for his guns as he entered town. I
      told him to roll 1d6, and informed him that the number rolled was how
      many deputies and civilians he killed before his public hanging. He
      then pouted for the rest of the night because I'd punished him
      for "playing his character". I told him I was doing nothing of the
      sort; I was simply playing the setting in response. He hasn't played
      since. No big loss.

      6: The key to success in Deadlands, in my opinion, is and has always
      been this: LISTEN TO YOUR GROUP! Some of my best sessions have sprung
      up out of comments made by players partway through a session that
      I've yoinked and used later. Best of all? They usually forget it was
      their idea!

      7: Draw on as much inspiration from around you as possible. Things
      that have inspired me lately include 'Something Wicked This Way
      Comes' by Ray Bradbury, any music by Fields of the Nephilim, 'Once
      Upon a Time in the West', Vertigo's 'Hellblazer', 'Sandman'
      and 'Preacher', anything by Alfred Hitchcock, 'Firefly'
      and 'Serenity', and HBO's magnificent 'Deadwood' series. No doubt
      you'll all have been inspired by something in the past too.

      Now I realise that a lot of you will figure this is me teachin' my
      granny t' suck eggs, given that y'all are also experienced Marshals
      and players too. That's fine. These here are just my observations, to
      be ignored or utilised as y' choose. In any case, more than anythin'
      this is just me touchin' base wi' y'all again. More posts will be
      forthcomin'.

      Happy trails, amigos.

      Tod.
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