Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Someone Is Not Getting It...

I ran another session of my Deadlands: Reloaded - the Last Sons campaign last night, and I figured I should at least give a rundown of what has happened thus far...

[WARNING: There will be spoilers, so if you end up playing in this game, don't say I didn't warn you.]

When the group starts out, they are in an armored stagecoach travelling from Bismarck, Dakota to Deadwood in the Sioux Nation. Well, some of the group is in the coach. Three others had actually purchased horses, and so were traveling with the coach as and for protection. There's safety in numbers, don't ya know.

As the group is travelling, the front wheels of the coach hit a trench that's been dug across the road. The front wheels of the coach break as the horses go running off in the darkness. Here is one of my disconnects with this initial adventure. How did the horses miss the trench? Individual horses I can see gracefully stepping over with the possibility of their rider not noticing anything because the animal adjusted and did it in stride. A team of horses attached to stagecoach, though? Not so much. They'd stop in their tracks at the very least. Anyway, the horses run off, the coach flips onto its side, and the group is accosted by the infamous "Oblivious" Sam Bass (see an earlier blog post for references on how Mr. Bass gained the "oblivious" tag. Our posse deals with Blind Sammy and his crew, and then the settle to assess damage and go after the horses for the coach. Never mind the horses the outlaws had... *sigh*

Levi and Walker (two of our intrepid posses) go to retrieve the horses from the coach. When they catch up to the animals, they here a train whistle in the distance and the squeal of rail brakes. Taking the horses back to the coach and consulting with the rest of the group, the posse decides to investigate. The crest a hill rise to see a dim train lantern about a mile or so. Better eyes notice the symbol for the Iron Dragon rail line, which makes sense as Kang has the only non-Native American train lines allowed to Deadwood, or anywhere else in the Sioux Nation.

While they are on the hill crest, one of the smarter players lays his horse on his side to cut his silhouette. Meanwhile, another one of the characters (an Chinese guy by the name of Vegeta (yes, we are working on a non-Dragonball Z name for him) has heard the slow clop-clopping of a horse approaching from the posse's left. Vegeta stealths off well enough that the rest of the posse has no clue where he is, so Levi begins calling for him... ...loudly. This pretty much defeats the purpose of Walker's trying to be sneaky with the horse.

Investigating the approaching horse, Vegeta finds an Appaloosa with a gravely wounded Indian on its back. Stopping the horse and helping the wounded slide off, Vegeta calls for Doc (the posse's Mad Scientist) to come help. Small problem with this... Doc hates Injuns. After some harassing from the rest of the posse, Doc reluctantly helps "the heathen" and manages to keep him from dying. Once the posse brings him around, the Indian brave reveals that his name is Sky Hawk. He is of the Paiute tribe and is one of the attendants for Wovoka, chief of the Paiutes and leader of the Ghost Dance. Sky Hawk explains that he and his group were ambushed as they slept, and he attempted to leave to get help, but was shot multiple times as he left.

Sky Hawk asks the posse for help, and they agree to do so (Doc is *VERY* reluctant). As they ride west, the air becomes still and the landscape desolate. In the near distance, some members hear sharp, high-pitched sounds, and looking up, see large, bird-like shapes silhouetted against the starry sky. The party continues slowly, and that's when the Devil Bats attack. Five Devil Bats versus five Wild Card posse members and one (heavily) wounded Indian brave, makes for a pretty quick fight in favor of the heroes. The heroes did not come out unscathed, though.

Levi, who was still carrying a wound from the tussle with Sam Bass and his boys, acquired another wound, bring him to two. Doc and Axum Jennings (the Dude from back east) each ended up with two wounds at the end; one from the devil bats and the other from where Doc's Lightning Generator blew up spectacularly in an electrical conflagration. Out of it all, only Doc ended up with any positive healing to bring him to only one would total.

Currently, only Vegeta and Walker are unhurt, and the posse is walking into a nasty situation in an effort to help Wovoka and the Paiutes with three hurt people (two badly) and being slightly underarmed (Doc's contraption will take him 3 to 6 hours to fix, and that's time they don't have).

There are a couple of things I need to read up on before the fight they are heading into. I am just wondering how dead this group is going to be due to one player's seemingly constant need to be contrary and willfully do things with his character that hamper the rest of the group and places the survival of all the characters in jeopardy.

Thing is, I knew this going in, and by agreeing to run this game, I was accepting the challenge. I am just wondering how I am going to approach this when things hit the fan.

-- GopherDave


  1. Very interesting. I've found that when a group has a"contrary" character that the other members usually take care of him or her, which can make for a bad situation. I've actually played in a game where one of the players was asked to leave by the other (no, not THAT game).


  2. I have a house rule that you have to make a character that wants to go adventuring, and wants to cooperate with the other characters.

    If that failed I'd resolve arguments by opposed charisma rolls, so that the players aren't arguing even if the characters are.

  3. Apologies for the off-topic comment, but I couldn't find a contact email for you.

    A while ago I put out an ebook of my writing, called The New Death and others. It's mostly short stories, with some obvious gamer-interest material. For example I have a story inspired by OD&D elves, as well as poems which retell Robert E Howard's King Kull story The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune and HP Lovecraft's Under the Pyramids.

    I was wondering if you'd be interested in doing a review on your blog (either a normal book review, or a review of its suitability as gaming inspiration).

    If so, please email me: Let me know what file format is easiest for you, and I'll send you a free copy.

    You can download a sample from Smashwords:

    I'll also link to your review from my blog.


  4. @Tom: Contrary characters can be taken care of. Contrary players are a whole other matter. Plus, there extenuating circumstances to just kicking him out that make it difficult to make happen.

    @anarchist: I tried a rule like that years ago. It flew like a lead brick. Now, I just let players make what they want and let the chips (and dice) fall where they may. Stupidity kills in my games once I feel I have gotten you up to snuff with the system and the setting. Vulgar stupidity kills everyone and makes one no friends. As for the e-book reading/review? Sure, I'll stare at the letters and hope they form coherent thoughts. =P Drop me a PDF (or a link to one I can download)...

  5. @GopherDave: Will do, but I need your email address (email me at if you don't want to post it here).

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