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Deadlands Reloaded: Coffin Rock
by Stephen M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/07/2013 18:47:44

Probably the best value for RPG dollars on the market I've ever come across in 35 years of gaming. I got more than 18 3.5 to 4 hour sessions out of what is between these covers. One of the player characters went legendary in the course of that. I had only to pad out the outlines provided. Can also be played as a single adventure using the main plot in maybe 2 sessions.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deadlands Reloaded: Coffin Rock
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Hell on Earth Classic: Iron Oasis
by George T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2013 12:52:11

This module was 'okay.' I did not find as much for my campaign as I hoped but, all in all, a well written addition. I did find enough to make the cost worthwhile and some of the hooks for scenarios worked very well in my game. I have most of the "Hell on Earth" scenario packs even though I don't use the game system. They can be very useful for ideas and 'tweaking' into differing post apocalyptic games.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hell on Earth Classic: Iron Oasis
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Hell on Earth Classic: City o' Sin
by George T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2013 12:48:38

It was a good read. I don't use the 'hell on Earth' system but still enjoy to modules because there is so much I can put to good use in my own game. Lots of worthwhile 'bits' and scene 'hooks' to lead the adventurers on.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hell on Earth Classic: City o' Sin
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Hell on Earth Classic: Denver
by George T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2013 12:46:17

Grimm and dark with a tinge of hopelessness. Perfect for my game. Lots of good 'bits' to add into my scenarios.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hell on Earth Classic: Denver
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Hell on Earth Classic: Shattered Coast
by George T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2013 12:42:16

Well written. I enjoyed the back story and plan to incorporate portions of the scenario pack into my game.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hell on Earth Classic: Shattered Coast
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Deadlands Noir
by Jonas M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/12/2013 03:02:55

Deadlands Noir does not require you to be deeply immersed in Deadlands product line and history but it would surely help. This rich background with alternate history of Deadlands might make this product worth it to some though. I think the Deadlands only works well in the original western setting. Things start to fall part more you advance the alternate history, all the silliness that was fun in the western setting just starts to grate. Maybe I would have preferred if Noir would have come up with something new instead of being continuation of Deadlands franchice.

[2 of 5 Stars!]
Deadlands Noir
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Weird Wars Rome
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/01/2013 06:41:52

Originally posted at:

As seems to be the norm these days, Weird Wars Rome was a successfully Kickstarter release for the Savage Worlds system by Pinnacle Entertainment. Although not as successful as Pinnacle’s first Kickstarter project, Deadlands Noir, Weird Wars Rome did get 831 backers and raise nearly $47,000 dollars, which I would call a pretty good job on their part.

I should point out, you do need the core Savage Worlds rulebook to use Weird Wars Rome. This is just a supplement and campaign setting for the game, so if you purchase Weird Wars Rome without Savage Worlds, you can’t really use it. Keep that in mind before deciding if you want to buy this, as you’ll have to double down if you’re new to Savage Worlds.

I should also point out that Weird Wars Rome really isn’t that weird. In fact, the bulk of the book is a very dry and well written look at Rome from 753 BCE through 496 CE (although the book uses the archaic BC and AD nominations). You get a look at the world during this time frame, the military structure of Rome, a list of locations and a lot of combat mechanics for things like siege engines, shield walls, naval actions and more. This is a very intense book, but be prepared for something that reads more like a history textbook rather than your usual RPG campaign setting book. This is fine, and I personally liked how detailed and seriously Pinnacle looked at Rome, but I know that for some gamers, their eyes will glaze over and they will find the subject matter dull or boring. I have to say in terms of technical writing, Weird Wars Rome is one of the best historical fiction campaign settings I’ve ever looked through, as it addresses just about everything that could come up save for a list of various religions and how each Roman god was worshipped along with the size of the congregation. Of course, that can always be a later supplement.

Making a character for Weird Wars Rome is a little harder than in other games. The premise is you are a Roman soldier of some kind, and as such, there aren’t a lot of opportunities for female characters. It’s not that the game is being sexist; it’s simply a matter of how Roman society was and staying true to the assigned gender roles of the time. Weird Wars Rome directly addresses this issue and does try to come up with ways to insert female PCs into your games, which is a nice touch. As well, a lot of the “classes” that you have to choose from have high Vigor and Strength, which makes sense since you are fighting, so don’t expect to necessarily have a d12 (or even a d10) Spirit on your starting character. Now, not all classes require you to have a minimum d6 Strength and Vigor. For example, a Medic style character only has a D8 Smarts requirement, and an Equities Calvary character doesn’t have ANY stats requirements, but does need a d6 in the Riding and Fighting skills, along with the Equestrian Edge. So yes, while characters will probably be combat focused, there is still room for an agile or Spirit oriented character.

One area where Weird Wars Rome truly excelled was with the artwork. I have to admit, I was blown away by each piece in this book. Whether it was the cover, where a Roman soldier was trying to go one-on-one with a muck monster, to one a full page piece where two zombie legionaries were duking it out, this is one of the best looking releases of 2013, and it’s well worth picking up just for the art. Pinnacle assembled a truly excellent collection of artists for this book, and it is a coin toss between this and Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition in regards to who is going to win our “Best Art” award this year.

So here’s the big elephant in the room: why invest in Weird Wars Rome when things like Cthulhu Invictus already exist? Well, there are several reasons. The biggest is a system preference. After all, if you don’t like Call of Cthulhu‘s modified BRP system, you can just play Weird Wars Rome and throw in Mythos monsters. After all, there’s even a sanity system for WWR. In my case, even though Call of Cthulhu is my personal favorite system, I don’t really care for Cthulhu Invictus, and I feel Weird Wars Rome captured the feel of the time period better and the Savage Worlds system works better for the large amount of combat that goes on in this game. Both have their place, but I’d give the nod to Weird Wars Rome as it’s more detailed, better written and prettier.

My only one real complaint about Weird Wars Rome is the list of monsters in the back. I was hoping for a bevy of Greek and Roman mythological beasties, but there wasn’t really a lot there. You only get nine pages of creatures, and some just don’t fit. The mummies presented are far more D&D style, with rot abilities rather than being something more akin to the mummies you’d expect from a historical setting. The werewolves listed are more Hollywood Lon Chaney Jr. style ones than the actual version of lycanthropes that appear in Grecian and Roman myth. The Strigoi are closer to modern 20th century vampires than their historical counterparts. So on and so forth. I was really disappointed to see the book drop the ball with the monsters, as that’s where the WEIRD in Weird Wars Rome comes into play. Without some quality creatures, you just have a low to no fantasy Roman era RPG. That’s fine, but I really feel the monsters section could use a complete and total overhaul and that the book could have spent more time on the weird aspect, as the title is a bit misleading because of it.

Overall I’m quite happy with Weird Wars Rome. It’s highly detailed, well written and sports some gorgeous art. It has a fun adventure generator and even a Legacy Plot Point Campaign that can last centuries and give players generations of characters to play through. Fifteen dollars is a bit pricey for a PDF that’s under 100 pages, but Pinnacle does tend to be more expensive than the average publisher, so this is in line with how they do things. I won’t say you NEED to pick this one up, but it is a fun read and an excellent setting to try out. If you’re not in the need of a good Roman based setting, then you’re not missing anything by not picking up Weird Wars Rome. If however, you have wanted to try to set a game of any kind in ancient Rome, than Weird Wars Rome certainly is the best version I’ve seen so far.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Weird Wars Rome
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Deadlands Reloaded: Trail Guides, Volume 1
by Roger L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/24/2013 07:03:22

Drei Erweiterungsbände beinahe zum Preis von einem – die Trail Guides, Vol. 1 erweitern die Deadlands-Welt nach Norden und Süden. Wir haben mal nachgteforscht, ob dies- und jenseits der Grenzen für Marshals abenteuermäßig was zu holen ist.

Manchmal liegt einem ein Buch mehr am Herzen als es selbst der Inhalt vermuten lässt, und so geht es mir mit dem Werk Deadlands Reloaded – Trail Guides Volume 1 von Pinnacle. Das liegt schlicht und ergreifend daran, dass hier auch eine Gegend behandelt wird, die mich bezaubert hat: der Pazifische Nordwesten.

Reist man von Idaho nach Oregon, dann erstreckt sich jenseits der City of Trees Boise eine karge Westernwüste – leer, weit, stellenweise mit flachem Gebüsch überwuchert. Sandige Felsen und Berge thronen hier über einer Landschaft, die genauso gnadenlos wie schön sein kann. Wenn man hinauf nach Central Oregon kommt, dann durchmisst man dürre Wälder, in denen die Bäume in deutlichem Abstand stehen, eine Gegend, die wie Zunder in Flammen aufgehen kann. Das zieht sich hinauf in die High Desert und die Cascades, auf denen die Three Sisters thronen, ein Gebirgspanorama von epischer Schönheit, dass die von der Küste kommenden Regenwolken abfängt und das Land dahinter erst zur Trockenheit verdammt.

Durch die Berge winden sich Pässe, und hier sind einst die Siedler über den Oregon Trail zum Meer hin gezogen. Endlose Wälder tiefen Grüns und klare Bergseen lassen im Sommer vergessen, wie unpassierbar und unwirtlich die Gegend im Winter ist. Zur Küste hin fällt das Land ab, um Salem und Portland zu erreichen, und am Columbia Gorge an die Grenze von Washington zu stossen. Vor einem erstreckt sich der Pazifik, im Norden der Fluss, der mitteleuropäische Ströme mühelos in den Schatten stellt, im Süden der Übergang nach Nordkalifornien, wo die Sequoias irgendwann so hoch wachsen, dass sie in den Küstennebeln zu den monumentalen Redwoods werden.

Der Nordwesten ist schön, keine Frage. In diesem Band ist ihm ein Drittel gewidmet. Dann geht es weiter in die rauhen Northwest Territories – British Columbia und Alaska. Etwas unrund widmet sich dann ein Drittel dem Südwesten – Mexiko und seinen Wirren. Doch allen drei Bänden in diesem Buch ist eines gemeinsam: Jenseits dessen, was wir gemeinhin als den Westen verstehen, gibt es mehr – und dahin zieht sich der Trail in diesem dicken Erweiterungsband für das Deadlands-Setting


Was generell bei Deadlands Reloaded auffällt, ist, dass Artwork recycelt wird. Alle Bände sind schön gesetzt und haben ausreichend Illustrationen, aber ein Deja Vu ist immer wieder drin. So sind auch die Trail Guides hier keine Ausnahme.

Der Band enthält Karten zu Schlüsselorten und für den großen Überblick, und Zusatzinfos gibt es oft in Seitenleisten, was das Textbild auflockert. Wild Cards (Hauptfiguren) und Savage Tales (einzelne Abenteuer) werden entsprechend hervorgehoben, klickbare Querverweise und Bookmarks helfen denen, die gern hin- und herspringen. Die Bookmarks sind bis auf einen Schreibfehler korrekt und übersichtlich. Querverweise scheinen im ersten Teilband South o' the Border nicht so zuverlässig zu sein. Der Index wurde für alle drei Einzelwerke am Ende zusammengefasst und ist ebenfalls klickbar.


Trail Guides Volume 1 ist eigentlich ein Sammelband dreier bereits erschienener Bände: South o' the Border Trail Guide, The Great Northwest Trail Guide und dem Weird White North Trail Guide.

[box]Howdy, ihr Viehtreiber, Geisterjäger und Ghost-Rock-Sucher! Der Inhalt der Guides ist nur für den Marshal (SL) bestimmt. Wer Deadlands Reloaded lieber als Spieler erleben will, sollte nicht weiterlesen.[/box]
Für zwei der Trail Guides – Weird White North und South o' the Border – wird empfohlen, dass die Charaktere bereits den Rang Legende erreicht haben. Sie sollten also bereits 80 Erfahrungspunkte gesammelt haben – eine hohe Hürde! Aber es muss ja auch für alte Kämpen des Weird West noch was zu erreichen geben.
Jeder gegen jeden: Willkommen in Mexiko!

Wer den Rio Grande südwärts quert, der findet im trockenen Norden Mexikos eine soziale Bewegung im Aufstand, im dschungelbewachsenen Süden eine Guerillaarmee, die sich um einen General schart, und im gebirgigen zentralen Hochland dazwischen einen Kaiser von Frankreichs Gnaden. Als wenn ein saftiger Drei-Parteien-Bürgerkrieg noch nicht genug wäre, agieren schwarzmagische Mächte im Geheimen. General Santa Anna und seine Armee der Untoten haben übrigens zu diesem Zeitpunkt in der Setting-Kontinuität schon in Kalifornien das Zeitliche gesegnet. Seine Armee der Nacht wurde durch aztekische Zauberei ermöglicht, und wir lernen jetzt auch den Hauptverantwortlichen dafür kennen: Xitlan.
Xitlan ist ein uralter, untoter aztekischer Magier und Diener des Totengottes. Er ist noch viel älter als der Deadlands-Fans hinlänglich bekannte Raven. Aber während Raven der Diener (Servitor) des apokalyptischen Reiters Krieg ist, hat Xitlan eine viel begrenztere Agenda: Xitlan will durch ein Ritual Chipactli aus der Unterwelt befreien, ein großes Erdmonster in Gestalt eines Riesenkrokodils. Der alte Knilch will sich damit zum Herrscher über Mexiko aufschwingen, aber für die Reckoners zählt natürlich etwas Anderes: Sie wollen die ganze Region in ein gewaltiges Deadland verwandeln.
Xitlans verschworene Geheimorganisation, abwechselnd The Secret Empire oder The Lords of the Obsidian Blade genannt, arbeitet auf ein Ritual hin, das die Vulkane des Hochlands zum Ausbruch bringt und Cipactli in diese Welt zieht. Die Heldentruppe wird nach Süden gesandt, um beim mexikanischen Kaiser in Mexiko-Stadt vorzusprechen. Dabei wird sie im Laufe der Kampagne von Fraktion zu Fraktion weitergereicht – es gibt Berührung mit der französischen Legion an der Grenze, den Juaristas im Norden, den Kaiserlichen in der Hauptstadt und den Porfiriatistas im Dschungel des südlichen Yucatans. In Zentralmexiko betreten die Helden die gerade freigelegte Stadt der Toten, Teotihuacán, und erledigen Xitlan, bevor er die Macht der Erde wirklich entfesseln kann. Und im Süden durchquert die Gruppe einen der mystischen Cenotes und landet direkt in den Jagdgründen, um Cipactli an seiner Heimstatt unschädlich zu machen.

An der Kampagne gefallen mir mehrere Dinge nicht. Einerseits ist sie zu geradlinig – etwas, das man mit Savage Tales ja noch selber ändern kann. Noch schwerer wiegt aber, dass es schon wieder eine Kampagne ist, in der ein Ritual im Zusammenhang mit Erdbeben durchgeführt wird. Raven hat ja in der Deadlands-Kontinuität das Große Beben von '69 ausgelöst und damit Kaliforniens Küste zersplittert. In der Kampagne The Flood bemühen sich die Spieler, ein zweites Beben in Kalifornien auszulösen, um die Diener des Bösen in Lost Angels in Südkalifornien auszulöschen. Und jetzt, südlich der Grenze, gibt es mal wieder Erdbeben und Vulkane. Das Drumherum an möglichen Gegnern, Lokalkolorit und Bürgerkrieg hingegen scheint gelungen und reizt zum Spielen. Xitlans Potenzial als Gegner mit Tiefgang wird kaum bis gar nicht ausgelotet – er tritt als eines von zwei Bossmonstern auf. Und zuguterletzt tötet die Gruppe ja noch Cipactli. Das nimmt der Sache für mich irgendwie den Reiz.

Die Savage Tales des Bandes sind auch etwas unausgegoren. Ein paar sind minimal beschriebene Kampfsituationen und Bug Hunts. Die größere Geschichte The Bat God ist da ebenso keine wirkliche Abwechslung. Viel besser gefällt mir Lost Treasures, wo man mal wirklich absahnen kann. Und eine historische Querverbindung zu den Piraten Hawkins und Drake gibt es auch, sehr gut gemacht! Auch The Obispado Curse bietet viel Potenzial, ist aber im Kern nur eine Skizze oder Idee ohne Ausarbeitung – mehr noch als sonst bei Savage Tales üblich. Die Geschichte dieses Fluchs lässt sich aber zu einer Minikampagne ausarbeiten. Die Monster im Anhang sind übrigens erstklassige Bereicherungen und schreien förmlich nach eigenen Geschichten, die sich um sie drehen.
Schlagen Sie jetzt bitte ihr Buch auf auf Seite …
Eher eine Kleinigkeit, die mir aber unangenehm aufstiess, war, dass die als Montezumas Rache bekannte Verdauungserkrankung zwar explizit erwähnt wurde, aber zum Nachlesen auf das Settingbuch The Flood verwiesen wurde. Das ist mehr als schwach – konnte man diesen einzelnen Paragraphen aus einer Seitenleiste nicht einfach rüberkopieren?
[box]Montezuma’s Revenge (–4): Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, acute abdominal pain. Lasts for 1d6 days, during which the victim’s Physical Attributes (Agility, Strength, and Vigor) are all reduced by one step, to a minimum of d4. The stats recover at the rate of one die per day. (Aus: Deadlands Reloaded: The Flood)[/box]
(Zum Vergleich: Die Setting-Regeln für Hunger wurden für den The Great Northwest Trail Guide nahezu wortwörtlich aus The Flood übernommen. Die Zahl -4 scheint sich übrigens auf einen Konstitutionswurf zu beziehen, um die Ansteckung abzuwenden.)

Hunger und Krieg

Der zweite Trail Guide im Buch ist The Great Northwest. Damit ist der Pazifische Nordwesten gemeint, hier repräsentiert durch die Bundesstaaten Washington, Montana, Oregon und Idaho. In den Bergen und im Norden sind die Winter bitter, vor allem in den regelrecht unpassierbaren Cascades Mountains, die Oregon teilen. Als wäre das noch nicht schlimm genug, liegt die ganze Region im Reich eines besonders heimtückischen Reckoners: Hunger (Famine).
Wer seine Gruppe hierher führt, wird allerorts mit Hunger konfrontiert – harte Winter fordern ihren Tribut und Nahrung verdirbt schneller oder verliert ihren Nährwert. Und ein altes Menschheitsübel zeigt früher oder später sein Haupt – Kannibalimus. Wer im sonnigen Süden Kaliforniens dieser Versuchung nachgibt, wird zum Ghoul, doch im kälteren Klima finden solche Seelen ein anderes Ende – sie werden Wendigos, Menschenfresser der schlimmsten Sorte.
Die Kampagne in diesem Band konzentriert sich auf einen Kampf, der schon lange Zeit tobt: der Winter War. Er tobte eine Zeit lang im Verborgenen, denn er betraf die Sasquatches, die Schneemenschen aus Mythen und Legenden. Diese kämpfen gegen Wolflinge und Wendigos, die seit der Heimsuchung vermehrt in ihren Landen auftreten.
Die Schneemenschen haben dabei ein immer größeres Problem: Je mehr Menschen sich vom Hunger überwältigen lassen, desto mehr Wendigos gibt es zu bekämpfen. Früher halfen die Sasquatches den Menschen, doch jetzt haben böse Mächte von ihrem Oberhäuptling Besitz ergriffen, und die einst uns so wohlgesonnenen Großen Brüder töten nun Hungernde, anstatt ihnen Nahrung zu geben. Die anderen Kreaturen sehen Menschen sowieso nur als Snack oder Opfer.

In einer Kampagne, die fünf Abenteuer umfasst, müssen die Helden nun das sagenumwobene Old Glade, die Heimstatt der Schneemenschen, finden. Schaffen sie das, so können sie zumindest das unausgesprochene Bündnis zwischen Menschen und diesen Urgiganten erneuern.

Die Kampagne zieht sich von Seattle hinunter durch die Cascades bis fast nach Idaho und endet in der Nähe von Walla Walla. Am Anfang noch recht linear, bieten Episoden 3 und 5 den Spielern mehr Möglichkeiten, die Dinge ihrem Ermessen nach abzuarbeiten. Es kommt sicher keine Eintönigkeit auf, geht es doch durch die Wildnis, zu einem Eingeborenendorf, einem Minencamp, Fort Walla Walla und dem Old Glade und seinen Baumhöhlen. Insgesamt erscheint mir diese Plot-Point-Kampagne sehr gelungen.

Rauhes Wetter und weite Reisen

Darüber hinaus gibt es auch Settingregeln, die die Gefahren abdecken: Hunger, verderbende Nahrung, Stürme, Schnee, Lawinen und Erdbeben. Sehr reale Gefahren für Reisende, zumal die Wege zwischen den Siedlungen lang sind.
Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Portland und Salem sind wie Perlen an einer Kette aufgereiht entlang der Iron-Dragon-Bahnlinie nach Kalifornien. Aber östlich dieser Achse befinden sich nicht mehr viele große Siedlungen. Walla Walla wird noch für Washington erwähnt, in Idaho sind es noch Silver City und Boise im Süden, Butte City und das entlegene Helena sind es für das menschenleere Montana. Es wird beschrieben, wie man jede dieser Städte per Bahn oder per Trail erreicht, inklusive dem legendären Oregon Trail, der einst die Siedler an die Küste brachte. Wer die Entfernungen auf der Karte aus dem Marhal's Handbook abgleicht, wird eine Vorstellung davon gewinnen, wieviel an Reisen teilweise nötig sein wird, um die Region zu durchmessen.
Zur Auflockerung gibt es wie immer Ereignistabellen und Savage Tales. Das ist auch der Schwachpunkt des Great Northwest Trail Guide, weil drei von sieben Tales auf Portland entfallen und eines auf Salem – der Schwerpunkt liegt also in Oregon. Damit bleiben noch zwei Tales für Washington (Tacoma, Olympia) und eine Geschichte für Idaho (Silver City). Montana geht völlig leer aus. Ich finde, in dieser Hinsicht hat Hunger uns eine dünne Suppe angerührt, die dem Rest des Bandes nicht gerecht wird.
Noch rauheres Wetter, noch weitere Reisen

Wem der Great Northwest gefallen hat, der muss ja auf dem Weg nach Norden nicht haltmachen. British Columbia und Alaska warten Weird White North, und während im Nordwesten die Winter hart waren, hören sie hier oben schlicht gar nicht mehr auf. Eine neue Eiszeit hat die Region fest im Griff.
Als Vorboten einer Klimaerwärmung müssen sich die Protagonisten mit den Howlers anlegen, drei mächtigen elementaren Wesenheiten, die von Raven freigesetzt wurden und zumindest einen Teil des nördlichen Wetterchaos verursachen. Sehr amüsant fand ich auch die Idee, dass indianische Schamanen teilweise versucht hatten, die Ausbreitung des Winters zu stoppen. Den Spielern wird das aber erst mal nicht bewusst, weil die Naturgeister, die diese Aufgabe übernehmen, als mächtige Tornados (Twister) durch die Landschaft ziehen, also für reisende Gruppen eher als Bedrohung auftreten.
In der Plot-Point-Kampagne des Trail Guides treffen die Helden auf den Geist des Kungfumeisters, der die Howlers einst gebannt hatte, verschaffen sich Zugang zu einem Beutel voll (scheinbarem) Glück, und schlagen sich mit einem monströsen Ghost-Rock-Blob herum, bevor sie in die Revelation Mountains vordringen. Dort schließt die nur vier Abenteuer kurze Kampagne dennoch episch ab, und die Spieler können den Ewigen Winter hier im Norden erfolgreich bannen. Die Abenteuer sind gut geschrieben, werden im späteren Verlauf weniger linear, und es gibt auch mehr als einen Lösungsweg (wenn auch nur einen „einfachen“ …).
Länge wird der Kampagne aber sicher allein dadurch verliehen, dass enorme Distanzen zu überbrücken sind, und der restliche Teil des Bands vor Savage Tales regelrecht platzt. Und die haben's in sich! Denn es sind nicht nur viele, es sind auch gute. Die Ausarbeitung passt auch. Mehrere lassen sich ausgezeichnet in die Kampagne einbinden, und der Rest sorgt dafür, dass etwas zu tun ist, bevor man auf seinem Hundeschlitten wieder nach Süden fährt.
Es sind sowohl interessante Orte als auch Abenteuer vorhanden, nur das ewige Reisen könnte dann doch irgendwann eintönig werden. Wetter und Begegnungen werden hier eine größere Rolle einnehmen als in jeder anderen Region. Tatsächlich hat der Band mit drei Encounter Tables genauso viele wie die anderen zwei Teilbände zusammengenommen. Wer sich mit dieser Art zu spielen gut anfreunden kann, wird in Weird White North bestens bedient.

[box]Es gibt bis jetzt folgende Settingbücher zu Deadlands Reloaded (mit den Regionen, die sie abdecken):

• The Last Sons: Kansas, Nebraska, Dakota, Oklahoma, Nordtexas, Wyoming
• The Flood: Kalifornien (The Maze)
• The Great Northwest Trail Guide: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Washington
• Weird White North Trail Guide: Alaska und British Columbia (Kanada)
• South o' the Border Trail Guide: Mexiko

Damit fehlt nur noch der Südwesten der heutigen USA – Utah (Deseret), Nevada, Arizona, Texas und New Mexico.[/box]


Zuallererst ist Trail Guides Vol. 1 deutlich billiger als die drei zusammengefassten Bände. Nach Listenpreis kostet es weniger als die Hälfte der ursprünglichen Bände. Da verzeiht man auch gern, dass die Zusammenstellung der drei Bände etwas willkürlich erscheint. Während man bei den ursprünglichen Bänden unter den eigentlich erwartbaren 10 Seiten pro Dollar lag, hat sich damit das Verhältnis eindeutig ins Bessere verkehrt.

Da dies meiner Meinung nach solide Erweiterungsbände sind, ist das Geld auch gut angelegt. Im Gesamtband stecken 34 einzelne Savage Tales und drei Mini-Plot-Point-Kampagnen mit insgesamt 14 Abenteuern. 33 Orte sind außerdem beschrieben. Das ist mehr als ordentlich und sollte einige Abende gut füllen.


Alle drei enthaltenen Trail Guides sind jeder für sich gut genug. An The Flood reichen sie aber nicht heran – in Deadlands Reloaded gilt halt bereits ein hoher Standard.

Der Mexikoteil ist okay, hätte aber noch mehr Fleisch auf die Knochen vertragen. Ein findiger Marshal kann aber mit den Beschreibungen und Ideen hier sicher viel anfangen. The Great Northwest überzeugt mit seiner Kampagne, wäre aber auch noch ausbaufähig gewesen. Der Weird White North mag unwirtlich erscheinen, lohnt aber in Bezug auf Kampagne und Abenteuer am meisten.

Insgesamt erhält man hier sehr viel Spielmaterial, und gerade Mexiko und der Hohe Norden sind einmalige Schauplätze mit ganz eigenem Charme. Wer ein eigenes Interesse an diesen entlegenen Orten in der Deadlands-Spielwelt hat, für den lohnt sich der Kauf dieses Sammelbands allemal.


Unsere Bewertung

Erscheinungsbild 3,5/5
Qualitativ hoher Standard, wie von der Deadlands-Reloaded-Reihe gewohnt.
Inhalt 3,5/5
Die Guides sind gut, aber ich hätte noch mehr erwartet.
Preis-/Leistungsverhältnis 4/5
Haufenweise Savage Tales und drei Mini-Kampagnen. Caramba!
Gesamt 3,7/5
Mehr als nur solide, aber noch ausbaufähig.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Deadlands Reloaded: Trail Guides, Volume 1
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Deadlands Reloaded: Devil's Night
by george c. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/21/2013 11:42:31

Currently preparing to run s deadlands campaign, thanx to pinnacle and rpgnow

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deadlands Reloaded: Devil's Night
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Deadlands: Aces & Eights Soundtrack
by George C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/20/2013 15:58:38

Another great soundtrack from pinnacle entertainment
and another great price from

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deadlands: Aces & Eights Soundtrack
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Deadlands Weird Wailin's Soundtrack
by George C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/20/2013 15:57:18

Excactly as advertised, although I rarely use music during gameplay, I always listen while scenario writing.
Another excellent product from Pinnacle Entertainment and an awesome price point from

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deadlands Weird Wailin's Soundtrack
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Savage Worlds Deluxe: Explorer's Edition
by Keith (. T. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/14/2013 14:16:11

A Deluxe treatment of the Savage Worlds Core rules brings a few new elements without alienating the throngs of Savages that hold their SW Explorer's Editions as the best RPG they've ever bought. Or, at least the best value and definitively lives up to it's Fast, Furious, and Fun pulpy play goodness.

Those that have the original Savage Worlds Hardbound will notice that we're seeing the evolution of a game system that has gone from the 146 page hardbound that was a fun alternative to d20 (d20 conversion guide included), to the 160 page (and famously $10) Explorers Edition and now back to a hardbound Deluxe Edition. I believe everyone can admit that the SW:EX form factor took SW from established indie/fringe to something every gamer and podcast has talked about for the past few years. I grinned and chuckled to myself as I made my weekly game store visit many months ago and saw the DnD 4e "Essentials" format books. I thought "Oh, how the mighty have fallen!" In a way, it's one of the nicest compliments Pinnacle could have received. WOTC's 4e Gamma World rules were also in SWEX sized format but proved that the right size with crap rules is still a poor combination. That's another rant for another time. Recently, I've seen Troll Lord's 3 book, smaller than SWEX, Castles and Crusades "Digest" set that has gone a bit too far. But, you get the point, the market has changed and Pinnacle was a driver to a new and better way.

The covers of the 3 SW editions tell an evolving story. We see it visually. Originally SW is carved in stone and with the Deluxe Edition's SW logo - it's embossed gold. But for those of us who loved DnD in it's primitive days have learned, really great art doesn't a great system make, but it helps.

First Blush:
Great Art. Cover: newish logo with multiple genres telling the story. Full page ads for Pinnacle settings between the Intro and Chapter 1: Character Creation that capture the different genres nicely. The Ripper's ad with it's hunter sporting wolverine-like claws confronting a Promethean monstrosity rocks! Lots of full page great looking art sprinkled throughout.
Design Notes - as you could guess, it's a paragraph that focuses on an aspect of the game that the designers want to emphasize. Good insight from the creators!
GUTS are gone! - out of the core rules and into setting rules that need it. Makes sense.
Dramatic Tasks - adds a mechanic for when a hero is in a dramatic situation and needs to perform a task to save the day under a tight time restriction. This mechanic or element adds to the feel of the pressure.
New Setting Rules - ie "Blood & Guts: Characters can spend Bennies on damage rolls! Use this rule when you really want to up the carnage." Also, Born A Hero, Critical Failures, Fanatics, and Gritty Damage.... are some other examples. Gritty Damage sounds ALOT like the styles found in Reality Blurs: Realms of Cthulhu. Interesting! There are quite a few new ideas here that can really add a new feel to the very same adventures you've played.
Interludes - essentially using character down-time to add to character development. A simple mechanic that involves the GM picking a character and that player picks a card (Clubs-tragedy, Spades-Victory, Hearts-Love, and Diamonds-Desire). The player then tells the tale of the type chosen (tragedy, love, etc..). Assuming a moving or entertaining tale is told, a reward is given of a Benny or Adventure Card chosen by the player.
GM section - The Countdown - (a Design Note) put a limit or sense of urgency to limit those that are taking too long to make decision of what to do next. Not to be overused.
Fun new One-Sheet adventures
While not exhaustive, I think you'll agree there's quite a bit of good new stuff to add to our Savage Worlds adventures. I didn't get the feeling that the system suddenly changed but just had some additional mechanics that can add to the fun...and some stress! I think I'll go start prepping some stories for an interlude.

Here's a much longer list of features by a current GM for our 1930's Pulp Campaign, John Riggs who dug through the Pinnacle forums for this compilation:


  • Guts skill removed from core rules (but mentioned as a possible setting rule)

  • Driving is now a free action unless the character is performing a maneuver

  • Leadership Edges can be used on Wild Cards

  • Background Edges can be taken after character creation

  • Double Barrel Shotgun slightly tweaked in how it works

  • A Shaken while on Hold loses Hold Status

  • Shaken results now merely limit the character to free actions (instead of no actions) and do not halve the character's Pace

  • new Incapacitation table (including some "Bleeding Out" rules)

  • Healing can now only be attempted on each individual's fresh wounds once in the "Golden Hour." (Plus an attempt to revive if the target is Incapacitated.) They can't cause an additional wound through rolling a 1 or less however.

  • area effect attacks now get an extra 1d6 damage for a raise (like most attacks)

  • prone defenders may no longer rise to defend themselves automatically (it requires an action and takes 2" of movement)

  • new Chase rules (also, the Climb stat for aircraft works differently in this context)

  • tweaks to some powers (e.g., the Bolt power can be used for multiple bolts, or one increased damage bolt, but not both at once)


designer notes (explanations and reflections on the rules by the PEG folks)
archetypes (character templates that let you create NPCs easily on the fly, or allow new players to jump right in)
example Races (e.g., elf, dwarf, android, etc.)
race creation rules (similar to those found in the Fantasy Companion or Slipstream)
clarified rules on common knowledge v. specific knowledge
Knowledge: Language rules
about 20 new Edges (including some new combat and leadership edges)
many more vehicles included in the gear section (more similar to the old hardback SW rules than SW:EX)
some notes for playing without miniatures, including how to approximate area templates without a battle map
rules for Improvised Weapons
rules for Push (which can be used to push, shield bash, or knock someone prone)
rules for Rapid Attack (basically three attacks in one round, all at a penalty)
rules for Firing Blind
rules for Social Conflicts
rules for Dramatic Tasks (basically performing tasks with a time limit - e.g., diffusing a bomb)
rules for Interludes (sort of like little "flashback" scenarios for in between major parts of the plot)
a section on common Setting Rules (e.g., the Guts skill, gritty damage, etc.)
inclusion of a bunch of new powers (including many from from the Fantasy Companion)
inclusion of power trapping rules
Combat Ratings (notes on balancing and scaling combat encounters)
several one-sheet adventures
a character sheet

This is truly one of the best values in gaming. I played for two years in the core rule book before every buying a supplement. If you like rapid-fire combat and intuitive rules, Savage Worlds is the system for you.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Worlds Deluxe: Explorer's Edition
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Savage Worlds Horror Companion
by Keith (. T. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/14/2013 14:08:49

Review originally appeared at

Pinnacle Entertainment Group released a new member of their Companion series for the Horror genre. This work joins the Super Powers and Fantasy Companions as supplements to the Savage Worlds rules set. Like the others in the series, the Horror Companion is in the smaller Explorer’s Edition format.

One important note: this rule book does not stand on its own. It is a supplement. You must have either the Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition or Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition in order to fully utilize this product.

The Horror Companion contains generous amounts of artwork, reference tables, encounters, character additions, and equipment for all your Horror genre needs. It’s information-packed pages contain rules and setting advice to recreate Horror/Super Natural adventures in the Victorian worlds of Bram Stoker and Mary Shelly, the modern slap-stick humor of Ghostbusters, the serial action/horror adventures of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the star-spanning terror of H. P. Lovecraft's creations, or the futuristic nightmare creatures of the Alien franchise all packed in 144 pages.

Character Creation

In the Savage Worlds tradition of Fast, Furious, and Fun; the Horror Companion jumps right into character creation. Savage Worlds is one of the best game systems for replicating the theatrical adventure one finds in movies and novels. To that end, the work includes a number of customized Edges and Hindrances to allow for characters pulled straight from the movie house.

The new Edges and Hindrances for your players and NPCs include:

Bullet Magnet
Combat Shock
Doubting Thomas
Master Necromancer
Talisman Craftsman
Monster Hunter
Sound Mind
Tower of Will
One of the Chosen
If your campaign is a little more powerful, you can also have non-human characters and NPCs. Be warned, they will be distinctly more power than the humans. If you plan on running a mixed character group, you might want to consider starting humans as Seasoned while starting other races out at the Novice rank.

Character Races

Dhampyr - half vampire
Patchwork Man - like the Frankenstein Monster
Phantom - ethereal
Zombie - has a thing for fresh meat.
The Tools of the Trade

The Horror Companion equipment section was truly a joy to read. I was pleased to see Ghostbuster-style equipment present. Other equipment mimicked that found in movies series like Blade or Underworld. Below is a partial list of equipment found in this section.

Atomic Ghost Hunting Pack
Ultraviolet Grenade
Garlic Bullets
Silver Nitrate Bullets
Ultraviolet Bullets
Ghost Trap

Fear and Loathing in Gaming - Setting Rules

The Setting section adds horror tinted ideas to create custom styles of play. Your game setting might have a horrible price for magic, people splatter when killed, heightened magical effects based on the calendar day, or the fact that immoral behavior is a serial killer magnet.

For the Lovecraft fans, the Horror Companion includes a Sanity attribute which measures the character’s Spiritual toughness. It starts at half the character’s Spirit+2. Carnage, super natural terror, and forbidden knowledge lower Sanity while triumphing over evil, rest and relaxation, and psychotherapy heal it.

If a character’s Sanity drops too low, they are odd in some way and pick up a negative to their Charisma. If it drops to zero, they get the joy of rolling on the Psychosis Table. Luckily, the rules allow for Sanity healing, so your characters might be brought back from the brink.

Other setting rules include
Forbidden Lore - containing information “Man Was Not Meant to Know”
Rituals and the Price of Failure - magic in horror settings isn’t often as easy or available as fantasy settings. The Ritual rules contain some variations to simulate this in game terms. Rituals that fail carry special consequences. Depending on the setting, Villians may use Sacrifices to power their evil Rituals and spells.
Signs & Portents - Horror often includes foreshadowing from a fortune teller or dreams. The Horror Companion includes a Portents Table to help the GM determine the value of the visions or advice. Unlucky characters receiving a fortune of Doom may have their Bennies removed for the rest of the game.
Wards & Binds - an important aspect of Horror is the ability to ward against evil or bind an unstoppable being, so the Horror Companion has rules governing these aspects including how such a creature breaks free.


Much like the equipment section, the Horror Companion contains new powers to simulate popular Horror fiction. In addition, powers derived from Dark sources may drain sanity if the caster rolls a critical failure. Even if your character does not have an Arcane Background, they may still be able to cast spells via Rituals (see setting rules, above).

Some of the new powers include:
Banish Entity
Bind Entity
Consecrate Ground
Corpse Senses
Drain Years
Enhance Undead
Grave Shroud
Grave Speak
Spirit Shield
Strength of the Dead
Summon Demon
Summon Spirit
Suppress Lycanthropy
The Horror Companion also contains a list of Arcane Items for inclusion in your game. Some of these items are cursed, others are ancient and unique, while still others can be made with the proper ingredients. The items include:
Bandages of Anubis
Frankenstein’s Laboratory
Hockey Mask of Terror
Sacrificial Knife
Voodoo Dolls

What’s a Horror adventure without terrifying creatures to fight, overcome, or evade? The Horror Companion doesn’t disappoint with a list of mundane and super natural beings for encounters. They aren’t all monsters. Some are people like Vampire Slayers or Occultic Investigators that might help your characters when things go bump in the night.
Dark Man
Collector Demon
Evil Clown
Haunted Car
Haunted Portrait
Mad Scientist
Serial Killers
Stuffed Animal Fiend
Chinese Hopping Vampire
The last section on Game Mastering guides the GM through a setting creation by describing the various genres of Horror. Before starting, the GM needs to decide the Horror style to use including: Action, Greater Evil, and Dark.

Action settings involve lots of combat where the characters wade through monsters, kicking super natural butt and taking names. The heroes are more akin to fantasy settings than helpless teenagers running way from a serial killer. Fear rules are rarely used in this style of play.
Greater Evil settings feature super natural creatures as far above us as we are above ants. The human race is an insignificant speck in the universe and all their technology is useless against being of cosmic power. Heroes are normal men and women who are drawn into the dark to keep mankind safe from the greater cosmic horror. Fear and Sanity rules dominate this style of play with the characters struggling to stay sane.
Dark settings are somewhere between Action and Greater Evil settings. In this case, there may be monsters that are easily killed but others, like vampires, are difficult and take planning. Fear rules are used often but the Sanity rules are de-emphasised. Things are scary but not mind bending.

After the GM picks the style, they must decide on an era of play. Will the campaign be in a Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Modern, or Historical era.

Fantasy is a well worn path with which most gamers are familiar. It’s also likely the hardest to separate from a classic fantasy campaign. The Ravenloft modules can be easily transformed into Savage Worlds using a combination of the Fantasy and Horror Companions.
Sci-Fi campaigns are another setting players should be familiar with. Aliens or Warhammer 40K would both do well Savaged using these rules. Likewise I could see moving the Horror Companion rules into the existing Savage Worlds Necropolis setting.
Modern is another era setting that would be easy to implement. Thanks to the Internet, maps and locals are easily found and used for game purposes.
History era settings are probably the hardest to create. The GM will need to spend a good bit of time on research to get the story-telling touches down to make the players feel like they’re in the time period. That said, the Victorian time period has many game supplements available including Space 1889, Rippers, and Deadlands. Other historical settings include Weird War II, Pirates of the Spanish Main, and Solomon Kane.


I enjoyed reading this supplement cover to cover. It’s packed with ideas, statistics, and other content to help GMs and Players create a fun (or scary) Horror campaign. While the content isn’t as extensive as other Savage Worlds horror supplements like Realms of Cthulhu or Rippers, it contains more than enough to get you started on a lenghthy campaign.

As a side note, the fact that the Creature list includes Pazuzu and Dark Man entries made me wonder if Wiggy’s been in my computer since those are the creatures I used the Thomas Gunn Detective Stories of The New Moon Murders and Prescription for Revenge.

On the up side, the Horror Companion gave me lots of idea’s for my third novel. After all, isn’t the reason we game to tell good stories and have fun? That’s what the Savage Worlds Companion series is all about.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Worlds Horror Companion
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Deadlands Reloaded: The Flood
by Keith (. T. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/14/2013 13:58:34

This review originally appeared at

The Savage Troll continues its trek through Deadlands and I must admit, it's a scary journey. Those of you who read the reviews of the Player's Guide and Marshal's Handbook will be glad to know this review will ere on the side of brevity. While I believe in exhaustive reviews of rule books, adventures - such as this one - need to remain far more secretive. We don't want to give away any surprises to your posse.

Deadlands is easily the largest property in the Pinnacle Entertainment Group's product line. The 15+ year old setting has seen four RPG systems with a mountain of supplements including rule books, adventures, trail guides, and plot point campaigns. The Flood is a plot point campaign centering around the starved region of the West coast.

The campaign takes place in the 1880s and so would mesh well with other Victorian campaigns such as Rippers, Space 1889: Red Sands, or even The Kerberos Club. You could easily rip information and characters from The Flood to populate any of those settings. In fact, were I to ever run a Deadlands campaign, I suspect Ghost Rock powered ships would lead to a Space 1889-like setting with the characters encountering horrors on other planets as well.

Events Leading to The Flood

During the Quake of ‘68, California fractured as large ribbons of land dropped over fifty feet allowing the Pacific Ocean to rush in. The remaining landscape became a series of large mesas surrounded by brown, briny water flowing through canyons. The Maze, as it is now called, became a popular destination for those looking to strike it rich by mining the fundaments exposed on the new cliff faces.

Ghost Rock, the miracle mineral, is abundant in the Maze and the people and powers that make up the world are mad to have it. Ghost rock burns five times hotter and 100 times longer than coal. It’s also used in the production of Ghost Steel, which is lighter, stronger, and has a higher melting point than regular steel. On top of that, chemists and pharmaceutical makers use Ghost Rock to create all manner of potions, elixirs, and formulas for just about anything.

As the Rail Barons direct their employees to drive spikes and lay rail in order to reach the gold mine that is Ghost Rock, their soldiers and thugs fight it out in the Great Rail Wars. Greed and a thirst for power drives the Barons onwards as rail companies form the North, South, Deseret, and Shan Fan all compete to see who will reach the port city of Lost Angels first. Each company is only a few miles away from the de facto capital of California and it won’t be long before one of the biggest battles in history decides who will control the supply of Ghost Rock to the USA and/or CSA.

This is the setting for The Flood and your posse falls (literally) smack dab in the middle of it.

A Big Setting

The Flood contains a full plot point campaign centered around the Great Rail Wars, the Servitor of Famine, the Chinese Triads, Santa Anna’s undead army, and an intrepid reporter who seeks the assistance of your posse. It would be bad enough if that’s all the characters had to deal with. On top of that they must ply the dangers of the Maze which includes the effects of Famine. Food becomes a major concern on top of dodging merciless pirates, nations on the verge of war, and boom towns full of prospectors and those that prey on them.

The book has several new Edges and Hindrances and a greatly expanded selection of martial arts extras. With the city of Shan Fan and the Chinese Warlords being a major component to this supplement, the characters can expect a lot of Kung Fu action. The mafia thugs aren't the only martial artists, however. The Shaolin are present as well and work as a force for good in the area. Their hidden training ground sends out adepts to help fight the servants of the Reckoners. Mad Scientist, or New Scientist as they like to be called, should avoid this temple. The monks don't take kindly to Ghost Rock-powered devices.

The book includes all manner of waterborne vehicles. To get anywhere in the Maze you’ll need them. It also contains a nice section on Chinese fighting weapons. One word of warning, though. Due to the difficulties of getting goods into and out of the Maze, almost everything is 3-6 times more expensive than usual.

The Numbers

1 New Martial Arts Hindrance
17 Celestial Kung Fu Moves
1 New Hindrance for the non-Kung Fu types
11 New Edges
8 Martial Arts Weapons
10 New Ships
2 New Infernal Devices
27 Strange Locals

8 Plot Points in the Campaign
34 Savage Tales
12 New Critters
4 New Famine’s Servants
27 Famous Folks

That adds up to a lot of content.

To Live and Die in Lost Angels

Much of the action occurs in and around the city of Lost Angels. The Right Rev. Grimme is the ruler of this area and demands all city residents attend his church. Even without his edict, they would likely attend anyway. He has the only food in the area that satisfies the otherwise insatiable hunger people feel in Famine’s domain.

The book goes into great detail about the city and its surroundings. The characters even witness the creation of a Dealands ( Fear Level 6 ) during the adventure. This event will erase any doubt about the need for heroes to literally save the world. And that’s just in plot point two.

Your posse should be mindful of the Lost Angels laws. Violators are often sent to prison and never heard from again.

Shan Fan City, Here We Come

Shan Fan is Lost Angels equal in size and power and The Flood devotes a large section of the book to the city and its surroundings. It also adds a lot of flavor. Shan Fan is like the worlds largest Chinatown and the authors do a good job explaining what that means.

Like Lost Angels, Shan Fan is a city full of powerful personalities. You and your posse get to know the leaders of the Chinese mafias often coming into conflict with them. If you think this is all Kung Fu action you’re wrong. Most are gunslingers abandoning the ways of their ancestors for the favored weapons of the West.

Horrific Adventure Awaits

This book is chock full content. One of the problems I had was absorbing it all. Some things are stated in the Strange Locals that hop around in time. In some cases they are dependant on the plot point campaign so if you get confused, skip to the adventure then come back and read about each area.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deadlands Reloaded: The Flood
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Deadlands Reloaded: The Last Sons
by Keith (. T. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/14/2013 13:55:54

This review originally appeared at

Pinnacle continues their release of Deadlands’ plot point campaigns with Last Sons, adventures in War’s domain. The story picks up with The Flood left off taking your posse into the Disputed Territories of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and the Sioux Nation.

For those those of you not up to speed on the Deadlands setting, below is a little alternate history.

Come the Reckoning

Monsters once roamed and Magic was commonplace on the Earth until the North American Shamans sacrificed themselves to ensure humanity was safe from the evil spirits inhabiting the spirit realm they called the Hunting Grounds. The Old Ones, as the shamans were called, sealed the Hunting Grounds keeping the spirits, both good and bad, separated from the physical world. This left the Native Americans at a disadvantage when the technologically superior Europeans arrived to colonize the western hemisphere.

We all know the history. Some settlers preferred to take the land they wanted rather than look for another plot. The fact that land was inhabited by the natives was a problem solved with enough bullets and gunpowder. Several tribes were completely wiped out as the Europeans and their African slaves moved west.

One such tribe was the Susquehanna. A young, talented shaman named Raven saw his tribe wiped out by a band of white men. His hate for the white man never cooled. Raven found other natives and preached war and retribution against the white man and his evil ways. He drew others to his cause that lost their tribes to the white man’s expansion. They called themselves the Last Sons and moved Heaven and Earth (literally) in search of revenge.

The Last Sons passed into the Hunting Grounds and undid the Old Ones spiritual barrier. The spirits, both good and bad, were free to roam the Earth once more. The most powerful evil spirits, called the Reckoners, took on the form and function of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and sought to turn Earth into a mirror image of their home, the Deadlands.

To accomplish this task, the Reckoners spread fear across the world. The power from that emotion allows them to Terrorform sections of the physical realm into Deadlands. Once enough has been Terrorformed, they can walk the Earth and collect the fear personally.

On July 3rd, 1863 the Battle of Gettysburg was in full swing. The Last Sons emerged from the Hunting Grounds victorious and the spirits were released from their bonds. General Lee lost the battle, as he did in our history, except the dead rose from the battlefield covering his retreat. The Reckoners, especially War, knew a continued Civil War was in their best interests and so they kept either side from a decisive victory. In the world of Deadlands, USA and CSA exists with an uneasy ceasefire with large swaths of the Americas remaining as ‘Disupted Territories’. This is War’s Domain.

Return to the Old Ways

Once the spirits were released, the Native Americans had access to their nature spirits again. Shamanistic magic flowed granting the Indians powerful weapons to use against those who would take their land. They congregated in two areas.

The Sioux Nation formed to the North in the Dakotas after the Battle of Washington in 1872. Since the Union had other troubles, they decided to let the Sioux have their territory and entered into the Deadwood Creek Treaty. No one tribe or chief could unite all the Sioux so the Wicasa Yatapickas, or tribal council was formed. There are four Wicasas appointed by the tribes to speak for the Sioux Nation.

The Wicasas insisted their people keep to the old ways foregoing the white man’s technology. There are many who consider this insane and believe the Nation needs guns and other technology to survive in the white man’s world but they don’t say this loud or often unless they want to be expelled.

The Coyote Confederation formed in Oklahoma under the mysterious, hooded war chief known only as Coyote. The Confederation consists of multiple tribes and is generally on good terms with the CSA. The Old Ways aren’t as popular in the Confederation since some of the tribes still war upon one another.

The Disputed Territory

Kansas, Colorado, and the part of Oklahoma that’s not part of the Coyote Confederation make up the Disputed Territory. After the Civil War ended, both USA and CSA agreed to withdraw troops from those areas until the populace decided which country to join.

Bloody Kansas had an active guerrilla war even before the Civil War started with Confederate “Border Ruffians” from Missouri fought Unionist Jayhawkers for the hearts and minds of the Kansas settlers before the war to get the state to side with either the North or South. Far too often this battle turned into an actual shooting war between the two groups. That pattern continues during the Last Sons’ plot point campaign. Dodge City is the primary local in Bloody Kansas.

Colorado is a little different. They don’t really see the need to join either side and can take care of their own business, thank you. Both nations claim Colorado as their state but neither is in much of a position to do anything about. Things would be pretty calm if not for the Great Rail Wars.

Denver is the center point to many destinations and at least four separate rail lines are attempting to make their way out to the Ghost Rock mines in California. Colorado lies right in the path.

Another Big Piece to a Big Setting

Last Sons is another gargantuan volume in the Deadlands setting. Much like The Flood, it takes one of the Reckoner’s Domains and sets the characters against the plots and plans of that Reckoner. In this case it’s War.

Since you’re in War’s Domain, you need to understand that peace and understanding aren’t the norm. As the Marshal, you’ll have to force conflicts a bit more than usual. That Persuasion roll just might be a little harder in the Disputed Territories or the Indian Nations.

Also intolerance is everywhere. Whether you’re a white man in the Indian Nations or a Johnny Reb in a Union controlled area, you’d better expect folks of different persuasions to be unfriendly. Likewise the Disputed Territories are ground zero for the Great Rail Wars. Expect the Rail Barons heavy hands everywhere.

Whereas The Flood covered new ground for the Chinese martial artists, Last Sons covers the Native Americans. Your campaign will be greatly assisted if at least one of your characters is either an Indian or sympathetic to their cause. To that end, the book gives you several options for Indian characters and lots of information about the various Indian tribes found throughout America in the 1880s. You have your choice of the following archetypes.

Berdache - you’re a male but dress in women’s clothing and are usually an artisan.
Chief - you’re the leader of a village or tribe. You’ll have the Noble hindrance.
Priest - you’re a caretaker of your people and holy relics and places
Medicine Man - like a priest but your specialty is courting favors from spirits and embarking on vision quests to solve problems.
Scout - you’re fast, stealthy, and wise in the ways of survival. Your skills are in high demand just about everywhere in the Weird West.
War Leader - Part Shaman and part Warrior you specialize in the spirit magic of battlefield victory.
The Hunting Grounds are another large part of this work. Last Sons gives full stats for the spirit critters you’ll likely encounter along with setting rules particular to the dimension. Much like the Christian concept of Heaven and Hell, the World Tree can be pleasant or downright dangerous depending on where you go.

There’s another large section on the Union and Confederate Secret Service (Agents and Texas Rangers) including large sections containing new equipment. Getting that equipment is free but it’s far from easy and is often greatly depending on Rank.

The Plot Point Campaign

There are 9 plot points to the Last Sons’ campaign and, much like The Flood, Last Sons is a BIG story. It helps to have Legendary characters at the end for the last big battle but not to worry. If you’re starting out with a Novice posse there are plenty of Savage Tales to help with their advancement before the end.

As mentioned before, many of the principle characters, both good and bad, are Indians so you’ll need to coax your posse into adopting a kindly attitude toward the Red Man. If not they’re in for problems. Of course, nothing says the the journey to the land of tolerance can’t be part of the posse’s adventure.

The only odd thing to the plot point is the epilogue. While you're told you don't need to run it, it's in there and seems a little odd. The players participate in the end of Rail War II which is important to the setting but a little out of place in the overall adventure. If your posse made it through The Flood, you'll find the Rail War adventure eerily familiar.

By the Numbers

Last Sons has the following attributes for those of you just judge a product’s worth by size of its content.

337 Pages filled with
More information about American Indian tribes, territory, and equipment than you ever wanted to know
1 New Hindrance
7 New Edges
1 New Power (and a very important one at that)
9 Point Campaign
36 Savage Tales
21 Strange Locals
15 Corporeal Nasties
21 Spirits (both good and bad)
5 new Human encounter types
9 Servants of War
31 Notable Folks

That’s a lot of content!


If you want to play an epic campaign, Last Sons is the book for you. You’ll also want to pick it up if you place an Indian or Secret Service character in Deadlands. The Savage Tales can be used in any Deadlands campaign if you’re not interested in the Last Sons Plot Point.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deadlands Reloaded: The Last Sons
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