Well now. This weekend it gonna be fun for me. I get to hang out a be really nerdy all weekend long! w00t! Yup. My friends and I are gonna get together and play D&D and Star Wars D20 RPG! I’ll also introduce them to what I hope will be the next game we all play. Deadlands! This has been around for several years. Came out in ’98 and won several prestigious awards. The game system has no levels, so D&D table lovers are kinda out cold, but it really allows the player the chance to enhance and personalize the character. Plus it has an über cool character creation system that uses playing cards instead of dice! Fun and it kinda gets ya in the mood for a RPG in the old west. I should note that if you’re a fan of the D20 rules you can still play Deadlands; Pinnicale has now released a brand spanking new edition that uses the D20 rules. For myself I really don’t care. But I really like the feel of the old Deadlands. I got the players guide in PDF format from rpgnow.com. I got it when it was free but you can still get it for 5 buxxorz. Still a steal even compared to eBay. Although you’ll have to print it out for everyone or at least give it to all your players. Plus you’ll still need to buy the Marshal’s Handbook for the GM special rules a stuffs. But you can still find those on ebay and other fine gaming stores around. I’m sure you can still order it from people too.
I’m sure you’re wondering what makes this game so great. Well you’re probably not but humor me please. This game is unique in several ways.
1. Setting: The game happens in an alternate history of the old west. It used to be the Wild West . . . but with the awakening of the Reckoners (evil spirits that haunt your nightmares and give them nightmares) and the discovery of Ghost Rock (a substance that burns hotter and longer than coal) and a giant earthquake turned the coast of California into a immense maze of islands the world has gotten a little, em . . . weird. So now it is called the Weird West. Oh did I forget to mention that the dead have been known to suddenly pop up again?Yeah. The west got a whole lot weirder. In many ways this is a blending of The X-Files, The Wild Wild West (the super TV show not that horrible movie with Will Smith), and almost any western movie you’ve ever seen. It seems kind of a strange brew but doesn’t it excite the imagination? Does it not spark the mind to come up with weird and funky western stories? To me it is just begging to be played! OOoo! Very excited. Although I’m still short the GM guide. ^^;; Heh. But as soon as I have money I’ll get it. For now I’ll just muddle my way though the introduction to my friends we may also make up some basic characters. Well they also offer 22 archetypes to work from so that may also work for the first adventure.
2. Low restrictions: The next point that separates it from others, and in some ways is rather like Modern D20, is the character creation freedom. Unlike the D20 system your ‘class’ doesn’t mean much, unless you’re a magic user. For everyone else all you have to is figure how you want the character to seem and then play them that way, and if you do well you’ll get points and fate chips, which allow you to affect the fickle hand of fate in your favor. This also means that you can ‘multi-class’ without penalty. In non-geekese that means that you can learn new skills and things without giving up the cool stuff you’ve built up to this point.
3. Character Creation: To keep this from getting much longer than I need to I’ll now talk about character creation. This is possibly my favorite part of any RPG, well short of playing that is. This system really makes me feel like I am very close to my character, course that could also be my over identification with the movies and fiction in my mind but that’s something else. The cards are just fun. I had a blast just ‘drawin’ up characters, then reshuffling the deck and doing it again. After you have the basic stats or characteristics in Deadlands speak, then you get to add aptitudes or special skills that are good for your character. Then you get to pick hindrances. A hindrance is not as bad as it may sound. Mostly because they can help you really give your character that final touch. The final customization that make them really cool. But wait it doesn’t end there! You also get to pick Edges, which are specifically special things that make you better than your standard Joe. The process is actually really enjoyable and it really gives your character a sense of depth and really give you a cool way to jump start your background story. All in all It’s a must try!
I think the best part is that this is not your standard dungeon crawl. A new spin on an old idea. So dust off your cards and dice. Get some friends together and don’t be afraid to show your inner nerd! Embrace your inner nerd they are lonely enough as it is. Go have fun!