Displaying items by tag: Deadwood
Andy's game is postponed due to Andy moving. Several games have cropped up, mostly using the Savage Worlds ruleset. Deadwoods is one of these subsets that uses Savage Worlds. Brian is kind enough to run a campaign through this dry time. Paul also has a Savage Worlds campaign running, however, I do not know enough about his game to publish anything. Jon will also be running Fantasy Trip as a side game. Anyone is welcome to post on this site about their game and if they want help filling out blogs or pages regarding their game I will be happy to lend a hand.
Game 3 - 5/22/2020
We switched back to the old Fantasy Grounds since it seemed like FGU wasn’t quite ready. Brian said that Jon’s character (Virgil Bowden) was the religious man that was on the train previously. I’m not sure why he’s joined us exactly but I suspect we’ll find trouble soon enough and he’ll pitch in. We figured he stayed with the train when we fought the spiders. We did a little rehashing of the past events but got going pretty fast. Slim had noticed supplies associate with a new spur a ways back and figured that would be the easiest path towards Coffin Rock. So we headed that way at an angle. A good tracking roll from Thomas later and we were on the path. We didn’t have any trouble and soon found ourselves on the Coffin Rock map.
We heard gunfire and saw a riderless horse running toward us. The Doc managed to grab it. Others ran forward and saw a woman being attacked by two men that didn’t look quite human. One of them seemed to shoot something from his hand but it was hard to tell at that distance. Despite the range and the risk of hitting her, they were dropped soon enough. She was dress as a person at home in the wilderness. She was the daughter of the man who used to own a large portion of the town. He was killed when his mansion burned down. She returned from her boarding school back east for the funeral. She claims the town Sheriff had cheated her out of her inheritance and advised us to avoid him. Some of her friends/employees (a group of similarly equipped ladies) arrived. Despite the fact that they avoided the town, they agreed to help us and our innocents get there. She said we could contact her by leaving notes under a rock by the town sign so it must really mean she avoids the sheriff. We made it into town without further issue.
We headed to the hotel first to get the wounded woman settled in. Phoebe-Ann ran ahead to fetch the town doctor and Virgil headed to the nearby church. They had reservations under Slim and Phoebe-Ann and despite our unexpected numbers, they managed to find a place for everyone. There was no telegraph or mail service beyond the stagecoach so the train people might be here a while. The owner said his wife has been feeling poorly (we should have our doctor check that out) so he wouldn’t be able to serve the meals he normally would have. The railroad cook offered to take over. Buster heard faint crying but the sound seemed to move about and he was unable to pinpoint it. Big John and Slim noticed their reflections in the windows looked more worried than their actual faces. That was just the tip of the weirdness we were about to find.
Virgil went over to the church. We noticed that the bell kept ringing, even during the service. He noticed that there were no kids in attendance. He noticed that those in the sun, looked bruised and battered and those on the other side did not. When he sat with them, he too looked battered but when he moved over, he did not. The kids were sent over to keep them busy while their injured mother was examined by the town doctor. The sermon was so boring, one of them fell asleep on the floor. Virgil sent them back afterward. Once it was over, no one seemed to leave. He questioned the deacon who was standing in for Reverend Cheval. The Reverend was out in the area, “gathering” more to their flock. They call themselves the Brethren of the New Covent. The deacon was very proud that people from other states were coming in to be part of what was going on in the town. Virgil asked about the Blood Men but got nothing. Basically, he admitted that things were strange but claim that it was a sign of great things coming to the town. Virgil returned to the hotel with that bell still ringing.
Phoebe-Ann made it to the doctor. The office seemed worn but organized. The doctor seemed concerned for her health but with her urging, she got him moving. He moved slow due to his heavyweight but came eventually. Phoebe-Ann checked into her princess suite on the top floor and took a bath. Our Doc said that the town doctor was competent. Meanwhile Buster, Thomas, and Slim went to the sheriff’s office. Thomas noticed a red welt around his neck (i.e. from a noose) in his reflection from the sheriff’s badge hanging outside. The Marshal was not there but there were plenty of tough-looking deputies. Buster wanted to check in with the local law, told them about the attack of the Blood Men, and about the train wreck. They said it was likely the Archer gang however they had never hit anything that big and were thought to have around 6 men which were way too small. Thomas looked that their wanted posters and didn’t notice a match. It did seem to be a large number of deputies for such a small town. Slim asked Deputy Wilbur about that and got a steely stare back. That conversion escalated and Slim was in danger of getting into trouble so he left. He went next door to the bank and found that it had been cleared out. As they headed back to the hotel, Hawthorne and Phoebe decided to go to the church and investigate the bell. They slipped up the stairs and Hawthorne boosted her up into the bell tower. She found that the bell was moving without any rope, mechanism or person. She cut the leather strap and removed the clacker. Hawthorne tossed it into a barrel of water they found up there and they exited.
We regrouped at the hotel and compared notes. We tried to come up with a plan of action but there were still lots of buildings and people to check out so the best plan we could come up with was to split up and just start working on the list with the hour of daylight left.
Slim, Virgil, and Hawthorne went to the Assay office. It still seemed in business, unlike the bank, but currently closed despite it still being within operating hours posted on the door. Their reflections had a look of greed to them. After vigorous knocking, Slim picked the lock and went in. With the others standing guard, he did a critical failure on his research roll to search the papers but then used a red chip to get a better roll. About then, 2 deputies came down the street and the other two stalled them. They said they had business at the salon next door and they went in with them. These windows were too dirty to show reflections. They found the mayor, drinking heavily. He said that the town had been going downhill since Mr. Pearl was killed in that fire and he felt responsible. There was also an invention in the corner, just sitting there. The inventor had disappeared. The kept eyeing the deputies and talked to the mayor. The bell had been ringing so long, he didn’t even notice it anymore. The Reverend Cheval showed up a few months before the fire. He said maybe it’s a good thing as they were growing the town although they mostly stayed to themselves. Meanwhile, back at the assayer’s office Slim found that the last transaction was 5 months ago which seemed odd for a mining town. Either the mines had dried up or they weren’t using the town anymore. He then tried to pick lock on the back room and did another critical failure. But he was out of chips. Two more deputies got the drop on him and he had no choice but to drop his gun. He tried to claimed that he’d seen a ghost in here but they didn’t buy it and cuffed him. About this time, Phoebe-Ann happened to be going by. She tried to support his crazy ghost story with a persuasion roll. She rolled well enough to come along to make a statement but not near good enough to get him off the hook. Meanwhile, back in the salon, Hawthorne asked whether Mr. Pearl had any relatives. He said he had a daughter back east who came for the funeral but then left as far as he knew. He assumed she was rich since she should now own half the town. They went to his office and he had records that showed it.
Buster, Thomas, and the NPC report went to the burnt-out mansion but there was not much left. They could tell it happened a few months ago, but nothing else. They stopped at the Newspaper office on the way back. In their eagerness to get in before the other, the newspaper folks burst into the building, only to fall through the weakened floor and into the basement. That unleashed a swarm of rats that, unless dealt with, would increase the fear level in town. They got out without issue and returned to the hotel. Meanwhile, Big John and Phoebe went to the Theater. The madame offered to sell Phoebe-Ann a beer which pleased her to finally be treated as an adult. Given her rural upbringing, she was impressed by the fancy theater which was actually pretty shabby. The fact that it was a brothel seemed to elude her. John went upstairs to check that out but the rooms were closed. He was then propositioned but her persuasion roll was low. Brian spent a GM chip and did a bit better. For $10, he got two girls but what happened after that, occurred off-camera. Phoebe-Ann talked to the madame. She said that people were leaving because the mines were running dry. She claimed to know nothing about Blood Men. Eventually Phoebe-Ann got creeped out by the looks she was getting by the patrons and left. She had her little encounter with the law and headed back to the hotel by way of the graveyard.
Andy had to leave so we tried to shut down for the night but Dave wanted to play his adventure card before he lost it. It was a Contacts one. So, it turns out he knew the Marshal as he used to work for the railroad too. They got along because both were mean SOBs. Slim knew he was greedy and figured that with enough cash, maybe he could get out of this. Marshal claimed he owned half the town. He was not worried about the weirdness and figured once the Reverend got things turned around, he’d make a killing. He asked for $50 dollars toward a steak dinner in Denver like they used to have in the old days. Slim agreed and invited him to join us for dinner. So, as we sat at dinner trying to figure out what to do about Slim being arrested, he showed up arm in arm with the Marshal. That might be troublesome since he’s likely one of the two villains in this story, along with the Reverend. We stopped there with the impending threat of the creepy graveyard at sunset and the promise of some action.
Game 2 - 5/15/2020
We started with plenty to do. But first we had to tend to the wounded. Thomas and Buster went down into the gully to find the engineer and coalman dead. They brought the bodies up. The passengers were collected into the dining car which took the least damage and was the warmest. Slim was consulted as to how long it would be before we could expect a rescue party. Days to a week, depending. We were in the snowy mountains but we had shelter, food, heaters, and plenty of coal. We debated, staying and waiting, going a couple of days along the tracks to Denver, or due north overland into Coffin Rock. Regardless of the various merits and risks, we were steered toward the adventure and that was Coffin Rock. Although it took some time to get everyone on board. We talked about gathering the bandit bodies but it was pointed out by an NPC that if we wanted to get down to the baggage car and back before dark, we had no time to waste. After some attempts to leave some characters behind, we all ended up going along with that reporter NPC. I believe the NPCs were told to at least gather the guns although it seemed like anybody that could shoot, had a gun.
Due to the hexes that appeared, we approached with caution but we found nothing alive. We did find that a crate had been ripped open from the inside. Its label said it belonged to that missing collector from the museum in Boston. There were holes in it so evidently it once held something that was alive. That probably explained why he kept going back here with the conductor. The doors to the car also seemed to have been ripped open from the inside. There was a lot of blood and Thomas could see that several bodies had been dragged into the forest. However there didn’t seem to be any animal tracks, just strange silt like tracks in the snow. Various Notice rolls were made to try to reconstruct the order of events but the bottom line was that all 4 train men were gone, likely dead and dragged off.
Again, the course of action was encouraged in that night was soon falling. If we wanted to make it back to the train before dark, we could not go tracking into the woods. We grabbed what we could before heading back. Packable food and warm clothes were prioritized. In addition, we found and returned Phoebe’s gun and Thomas found a Gatlin pistol which no one claimed. We went back to the train without issue. We posted guards. During the night several heard something but nothing was found. However, in the morning, the bandit bodies were noticed to be gone. The same stilt tracks were found. The reporter said she was very concerned about the escaped creature. Most wanted to head to Coffin Rock and deal with whatever may come. But then she offered a reward it was obvious Brian was pushing us to do it. So eventually the players headed off to investigate, leaving the cook to gather supplies and such so we could set out the next day.
We started at the baggage car, figuring that would be the easiest trail to follow. Despite a skill of d6, Thomas managed to make several tracking rolls, and eventually the spooky forest gave way to a clearing with hexes. We could see patches of cleared snow where the earth had recently been dug. Once we got close enough a bunch of zombies emerged from the grave. Everyone had to make Guts rolls or be frightened. (Are you sure this isn’t Cthulhu?) The Doc, the NPC, and Slim missed their rolls and had to spend their actions moving away. The zombies only moved 4 but Brian rolled very well on their run rolls so they closed pretty quick for zombies. Most fired and then backed up. Big John is a melee guy and stood his ground. That got him surrounded by 3 and attacked by more since he ended up being the only one within reach. Again, the first attack was a massive exploder and he had to use his chips to keep from dying. The first hit on a zombie seemed to do a lot of damage but since it was already dead, it didn’t fall. It wasn’t clear if that was damage resistance or something else. The next shot was a call headshot which dropped it. When another was dropped something strange happened.
The zombies pitched over and stopped moving. From the back of their neck jumped hand-sized spider-like insects. (Now we knew the reason for all those Notice rolls Big John kept missing.) These things were small so hard to hit, had a bite or spit poison that caused blindness. Those that were hit by that and didn’t save, used chips to avoid it. And they moved 8 so the backing up plan wasn’t going to work anymore. The other thing that happened was that they drew a Joker and since they all went as one, they all got +2. That made them seem unstoppable for that round. Somehow, tough guy, John managed to stay upright. Buster ran out of chips and was blinded. Things were looking dire but then the Doc finally made his Guts roll. He used his two guns, hit one, and used a card to do double damage and then hit another with a raise and did enough to drop it too. Then Slim, learning his lesson from the previous round where he shot twice, missing both due to the -2, shot 3 times and managed to kill 2 more. And that quick, it was over.
The Doc attempted first aid but could do nothing for blind Buster. (It’ll just take time.) We searched around. The zombies were the missing train guys plus some bandits. Soon enough we found a cave. Despite everyone looking for a giant spider on the ceiling, when it attacked those that failed a Notice roll, were surprised. Again, surprised Big John was attacked and ripped apart. This mother spider was very tough and some shots were bouncing off it. When Thomas got to go on round two, he used a card to retrieve Doc’s double damage card. He hit and did 12 on 2d8 then added 5 with a chip and then doubled it for 34. That was enough to kill it. So heroic but a bit of a let down since it ended the combat “early”.
The bodies of the men and the insects were burned. There is no “treasure” in this system however Thomas searched the museum guy for a journal in hopes of figuring out where this thing came from. All he found was and ID and badge from something called the “Agency” that no one had ever heard of. We made it back to the train and got our $100 reward. She was very relieved and it was obvious to us, although no one could really best her deception, that she knew more than she let on. The night passed and we’re poised to head overland to Coffin Rock. An advancement was granted. It sounded like everyone was taking an Edge or bumping a skill or stat so that they could qualify for an Edge next time.
“Slim” Rickets: A railroad man who worked his way up in the ranks to become a one-eyed inspector. A hard-nosed law and order kind of guy.
Big John Reid: A bodyguard whose interest in the up and coming weird scientist has put him in charge of guarding various scientists and engineers. His last charge disappeared mysteriously and he’s looking to get to the bottom of it.
“Doc” Hawthorne Mills: A retired doctor who now travels the rails, making a living playing cards.
Thomas Gray Wolf: A Sioux orphaned as a child and raised by Christians. He ended up a mix of both but not at home in either. He makes a living as a guide/scout/tracker in Western Colorado.
Buster Clemens: A newspaperman whose mission is to debunk the various mystical con artists that prey on the foolish.
Phoebe-Ann Mosey: A “liberated” 16-year-old girl who is determined to make her own way through life, unencumbered by the stereotypes of women in society.
Virgil Bowden: A former gunslinger who has put down his shooting irons and picked up the good book. For now.
Game 1 - 5/8/2020
The first order of business was to somehow tie all these characters into the plot Brian had to run. The Denver and Pacific railroad were looking to expand into the mining town of Coffin Rock, named for the coffin-like outcropping overlooking it. They tasked railroad inspector, Slim Rickets (Shimota) with putting together a team to assess the feasibility of doing so although known only to Slim, the decision has already been made and he’s really been tasked to pave the way. Slim brought in Buster Clemens (Paul), a noted investigative journalist, to help him. Buster knew Thomas Gray Wolf (DG) as a local expert and brought him in. The D&P executive also had a niece by the name of Phoebe Ann Mosey (Brian) whom was looking for adventure. He asked that she be included, figuring she’d be relatively safe and at least working in the family business. To ensure her safety, they hired Big John Reid (Dan) to act as a bodyguard plus an extra bit of muscle couldn’t help. Lastly Slim knew a doctor by the name of Doc Hawthorne Mills (Andy) and figured a doctor would always be handy to have. (Jon) did not attend so we’ll have to figure out how to add him when he does. They were to be paid $40 dollars for a week’s work plus expenses in Coffin Rock and train fare to Denver where the overland trip was to begin. It was also stressed to keep a low profile and not reveal that they worked for the D&P for fear of tipping off the other railroads.
Somehow, we all ended up on a train heading east from Salt Lake to Denver but we didn’t worry about the why’s on that. We all got a sleeping berth, with food and drinks paid for. The first half of the adventure was interacting with the various passengers on the train. Some of those interactions were more memorable than others. In no particular order. Doc and Buster got into a card game with a guy who happened to have a treasure map to an Indian burial ground. (Too bad Thomas was not in the car for he would have told them Sioux chiefs were not buried with “treasure”.) Unfortunately, the guy rolled great on his persuasion and Andy felt obligated (in a role-playing sense) to believe him even though the players did not. (We noticed a lot of double and triple exploder rolls throughout the night which seemed statistically unlikely.) He talked him into gambling the map against the $100 price tag but unfortunately, he blew Doc’s gambling roll away. Andy spent several chips but could not alter that outcome. Then Buster offered $5 to get a peek at it and a good Smarts roll revealed that it was in fact a page torn from a book of myths of the west that he helped edit. He raised a stink and got his $5, Doc’s $100 and $5 more from others in the room to keep it quiet.
Phoebe drew the scorn of a couple of tough looking twins. When she offered to best them in a shooting contest, they dismissed her, claiming they’d give her $5 if she could even lift a gun. She went back to her luggage, got her pistol and showed them some fancy gun twirls. “One of you owes me $5.” They declined and she offered double of nothing on a shooting contest but they declined. When one got up to teach her a lesson, Slim got involved. He admonished her for pulling a gun on a train and for not keeping a low profile. The conductor showed up and confiscated her gun. Not the outcome Brian had hoped for. There was a lady on her way to marry a farmer but she was looking to upgrade to say a retired doctor. A missionary from Salt Lake who tried to save some souls. Slim crunched up his pamphlet and threw it out the window. A newspaper lady who asked a lot of questions. Some brat kids and their tired parents. A couple of railroad employees. About the only possible “clue” was the fact that one guy went into baggage area with the conductor a couple of times but railroad guy Slim that that was “reasonable”.
Several days passed. Then one day on a steep incline, the brakes were urgently applied. Slim and Buster headed to the engine to see what was going on. Phoebe and Big John climbed on the roof of a car, looking for robbers. Thomas and Doc stayed in the middle car to watch those thug twins. As Buster and Slim climbed over the coal car to get to the engine, they noticed the baggage cars had been detached and were being left behind. And then there was an explosion and the bridge up ahead was blown. The engine and the coal car plunged into a gully and the rest of the train plowed into them. Those who were outside were given an Athletics roll to jump from the train and lessen their damage. Phoebe had a Free Runner edge which allowed her to run towards the back as it was happening. Unfortunately, Slim was still stuck between the coal car and the engine and went down with the train. (Like a good train man should.) Thomas had the same edge and manage to reduce his damage as well. The damage was rolled. Those that jumped, took enough to be Shaken but not damaged. Slim and the Doc took more damage but used chips and take less damage. It took some time to figure out how to take damage, how to avoid damage and how to do it all in FGU. The passenger’s fates varied.
So then Brian switched maps. He used a new FGU option that limited each player’s view of what his character could see. With doors and windows, it was a neat effect but it was crippling to the program to render. It also had an animated snow effect. Eventually Brian gave up on both so that he could actually do things. So people were placed in various locations, the NPCs were also in play and there were about a dozen bandits out in the trees. About the first thing that happened was that Big John who was flung into a bush was triple exploded for so much damage that he would have been killed if he hadn’t used up some chips. He didn’t get to do much after that. Doc attempted to help the mother of the kids who happened to be lying near him. It took several rounds but he did save her but it also kept him from helping with the fight until the end. Phoebe had grabbed her rifle and once she got on the roof, she blew the crap out of them. Buster went for his shotgun in the sleeper car but didn’t get a chance to take many shots because there are no double moves in this system so it took a couple of rounds. Thomas also went for his rifle but took several shots out the windows with his pistol as he went. Slim did pretty well with his pistol, even at medium range. Some of the NPCs also helped. But ultimately, we had cover in the train and they did not so they started to drop. Once their leader fell after 3-4 rounds, they started fleeing but it took hours with all those actors (players, bandits and NPCs) and figuring out the rules and the program.
They got away and managed to take all the horses with them. We stopped there at 1:30 AM. There’s plenty to do. Help the injured including the engineer in the gully. Sort and stack the bodies of the bandits. We’re in the middle of the mountains and it’s snowing but as long as we stay with the train cars, survival shouldn’t be an issue. But how long will it take to be noticed as overdue and expect help? And is another attack coming? And we’re still not even in Denver so the adventure hasn’t really even started.