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After completing a first draft, Hensley flew in two friends and game designers, Greg Gorden and Matt Forbeck ; they both liked what they saw and asked to buy into Pinnacle. The canonical year for the first edition of Deadlands is The second edition of Deadlands uses the updated backstory of as the canonical starting point. Deadlands: Reloaded further updates the backstory and advances the canonical starting point to The basic rules provide for characters and settings that could be expected to appear in the " Wild West " genre of movies and pulp fiction , and most of the in-game action is presumed to occur in the wild frontiers of the American West, or in barely tamed frontier towns like Tombstone, Arizona or Dodge City, Kansas.
However, later supplements expanded the in-game adventuring area to include places such as the Deep South , the Mississippi River , Mexico , and the Northeastern United States. The canonical, basic setting is referred to as the " Weird West " due to the juxtaposition of the Western setting with the horrific and fantastical elements of the game. The history of the Weird West is identical to real-world history, up until July 3, On this date in the game, a group of American Indians from various tribes, led by a Sioux shaman known as "Raven," performed a ritual in an effort to drive out the European settlers.
This ritual created a conduit to a spiritual realm populated by powerful malicious entities known as the "Reckoners. Sufficient levels of fear in the population of a given location allow the Reckoners to begin subtly altering the environment of that location: the sun shines a little less brightly, trees become stunted and "evil" looking, rock formations take on the appearance of corpses or monsters, and so on.
The more powerful the fear, the greater the environmental changes. The ultimate goal of the Reckoners is to turn the entire Earth into an evil, haunted wasteland — literally a Hell on Earth.
To this end, they use their powers to create monsters, madmen, zombies, and other creatures and villains that will sow fear and terror throughout the land.
The first instance of this occurred on July 4, , at the site of the Battle of Gettysburg that had just ended; dead soldiers from both sides of the conflict rose from the battlefield and began indiscriminately attacking the surviving soldiers and civilians.
Since then, undead gunslingers, hostile Indian spirits, strange cults, and deadly creatures have begun terrorizing the world. The American Civil War drags on thanks to the machinations of the Reckoners, and the country remains divided into U. Seismic upheavals have pushed much of California into the ocean, creating a badlands area known as "the Great Maze. The unleashing of the Reckoners has had a number of important side effects. Magic was revealed to be real, although it involves challenging otherworldly spirits, "manitous", in contests that are either viewed as a negotiation or a test of will.
These same manitous can possess a recently deceased body and reanimate it, creating a "Harrowed". Harrowed beings are sometimes under the control of the spirit which uses the opportunity to spread fear and sometimes under the control of the deceased being. Scientific progress rapidly advances as the Reckoners support experimental designs that normally would not work.
This progress drives the technological level of Deadlands from historical levels to a " steampunk " setting. Players take on the role of various mundane or arcane character types, including Gunfighters , Lawmen such as U. Marshals or local sheriffs , Hucksters magic users , Shamans , Blessed those of faith , and Mad Scientists in an attempt to learn about the Reckoning and the mysterious beings behind it.
System[ edit ] Deadlands features a unique way of creating playing characters for the game. The game also uses polyhedral dice d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20 which are referred to as the "Bones", and a set of white, red, and blue poker chips called "Fate Chips" . To perform an action a player rolls for successes with a handful of dice and hopes that at least one of the dice rolls the Target Number or higher. Rolling the highest possible number on any of the dice is known as "rolling an ace", and that die may be re-rolled, with the total being added to the initial roll value.
When attempting to quickly reload a gun, each raise allows another round of ammunition to be loaded in a single action. A successful skill check allows the player to draw five or more cards and makes the best possible poker hand with those cards.
The strength of the hand determines not only whether the hex was successfully cast, but also the strength of its effects. In the game world, this mechanic is explained as the huckster literally gambling with a magical spirit in order to get it to do his or her bidding — a high ranking poker hand means the huckster has won, and the spirit casts the hex as desired; a low ranking poker hand results in failure.
Both jokers are present and wild, increasing the chance of a good hand, but the black joker means that the spirit does something harmful to the huckster. Blessed characters can use their faith to invoke miracles —they pray for their patron to grant their request.
The miracles are usually protective or restorative in nature, although there are some for attack. The difficulty of a given miracle the amount of faith required by the patron for their assistance can vary. For example, a priest seeking to heal a gunshot to the stomach would require more faith than if he were trying to mend a broken arm. Although the basic miracle set is predominantly Christian in nature, one of the extension sourcebooks includes miracles from other religions , and some of those are not permitted to Christian player characters.
Native American shamans cast spells by making deals with spirits. This happens in three stages: the shaman asks for a favor, performs the ritual that tradition demands for that favor, and then his skill is tested by the spirit. If he succeeds all three, he earns "appeasement points" according to how well he succeeded.
If he earned enough points for the favor, it is granted. If not, his work was in vain. The Marshal then calls out card values, starting from Aces and going all the way down to Deuces.
Fate Chips[ edit ] Along with Bones and Cards, characters get Fate Chips which are typically poker chips, although colored stones or coins can also be used.
These are drawn from a hat or some other container that the player blindly chooses at the beginning of play. Each player draws a certain number of Fate Chips at the beginning of the game from the Fate Pot, modified according to player actions and Marshal preference. Fate chips can be spent for in-game bonuses such as bonus dice to use during certain rolls, or the prevention of physical damage.
The Marshal can draw chips as well for enemies to use. Bounties[ edit ] At the end of a gaming session, players can cash in unused Fate Chips for Bounty Points. These are like Experience Points in other systems and are used to improve Traits and Aptitudes.
The Marshal may also award additional Bounty Points at the end of the session for completing the mission objectives and any exceptional role-playing by players. Instant rewards for roleplaying[ edit ] Marshals are also encouraged to reward players with instantaneous rewards for good role-playing. During character creation players can choose "Hindrances" disadvantages such as Big Britches, Bloodthirsty, or Big Mouth.
When a player role-plays this Hindrance well, the Marshal can reward them instantly with a Fate Chip. This has the effect of promoting and encouraging role-playing. Spinoff games[ edit ] The "Weird West" mark is used to distinguish the primary game setting from the various other settings: Deadlands: The Great Rail Wars — a tabletop wargame with miniature figures. Doomtown — a collectible card game. A sourcebook for the town described in the game was released under the title Doomtown or Bust!.
A secondary sourcebook, detailing the town after the events of the CCG, was released under the title The Black Circle. A third sourcebook titled The Collegium, detailing the Mad Scientist faction of the same name, was also released.
Range Wars — a tabletop wargame that used collectible cardboard disks instead of miniatures. As much a spin-off from Doomtown as Deadlands, it used many of the same factions. It is based on the Disk Wars game. Material from this game was incorporated into the Black Circle sourcebook. Deadlands: Hell on Earth — a role-playing game set in one possible future of the Weird West, where the Reckoners succeeded in turning the entire Earth into a haunted wasteland.
This game features elements from the Western genre as well as elements from Mad Max -esque post-apocalyptic fiction and, of course, horror. Deadlands: Lost Colony — a role-playing game set in the same future as Deadlands: Hell on Earth, except on another planet. This game features sci-fi , Western, and horror elements. Deadlands — a cancelled video game developed by Headfirst Productions for the PC. Doomtown: Reloaded is basically the same game as the older version, now referred to as Classic with a number of rule revisions that have streamlined and simplified the game.
The basics are the same, with minor differences. This new edition, written by Shane Lacy Hensley and B. The page setting book updates the canonical setting to and includes information on the events of the past year, as well as new rules.
Among the most drastic changes to the basic Savage Worlds rules was "The Way of the Brave" rule, which revamped the way combat works in the system, making it more dangerous and deadly for characters and increasing the effectiveness of melee combat. This book also updated Fate Chips to work with the Savage Worlds system. This book marked a first for Great White Games in that it is the first setting book published without a scripted or plot point campaign.
The publisher has hinted that four complete plot point campaign books will be released for Deadlands: Reloaded, each focusing on certain regions and events in the metaplot of the game.
In the first of these campaigns, The Flood, was released. In , the second of these campaigns, The Last Sons, was released. The Hell on Earth update was released in Exists also in hardcover and leatherbound collector editions. Replaced with second edition in Replaced with Savage Worlds based system in Supported for several years.
May - Deadlands 20th Anniversary Edition is published after a successful crowdfunding campaign in The content is the same as the edition. Cities, villages, places to explore — practically none. It strikes a masterful balance between high camp and high adventure. It has a great cover.
DEADLANDS RELOADED SMITH AND ROBARDS PDF
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Deadlands Conversion Guide