Monday, March 30, 2009

Git along, little undead doggies!

I was very pleased with Sunday's session of Deadlands. We're settling in pretty good, and the mechanics were less of a burden this time. I'm taking some liberty with the setting, but I think it's all for the best.
As the PCs have chased after Finnegan Cobb, I've established a few important trends. He's leaving some very peculiar undead in his wake. They've put down a Vampire, a skeletal coachman, 3 zombies, and some sort of pedophile werewolf miner. All of them have defied gravity to one extent or another - even those that resembled zombies were able to float in three dimensions - and they've got some insanely gory regenerative capabilities. When a PC uses a fate chip to soak a wound, we describe how they were just barely grazed, or some lucky break protected them. When I spend a fate chip to soak for one of Cobb's undead, however, I describe the awful wound the player definitely gave them, and then put some eerie twist on how it heals up. Blood baths, bone fragments, whirling revolver cylinders where the internal organs should have been, fleshy masses and flayed skulls, etc. The players have to overwhelm the monsters regenerative powers, and then burn the still quivering remains.

I've also been having the hunt grow larger. Cobb's apparently chasing his wife, but is in turn being followed by the undead he's created. There's also a ghost (or crazy man?) in a 100 year old British Officer's uniform, a creepy family from Back East, and the Necronomicon somehow tied up in everything. Eventually I'll reveal more here, but at the moment I don't want to spoil surprises for my players. It's not just random, I've got an arc planned out.

Every session starts with "story time", the tales told round the campfire. I have one prepped for each session, and the players are free to add their own. So far, I've given them tales from the point of view of Ol' Smokey, the ghost of a man who burned to death in the drunk tank when Shallow Gulch got put to the torch by Cobb. This has let me hint plot elements and character details in anticipation of the sessions, and the players have followed those leads quite nicely. Very much enjoying the avenues this opens up for the game. Finnegan and Sapphira Cobb have yet to appear "on screen", but it feels like the PCs have a real good sense of who they are from Ol' Smokey's terror-striken anecdotes and the clues they've puzzled out on the trail.

1 comment:

Jerall said...

Wow! I'm really enjoying reading about your story time session starts. This is definitely something I'd like to make use of in my future games.

- Jerall (jatori)