A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Alaska
    Gender
    Male

    Default Deadlands: Questions

    All right, so, I just acquired a copy of Deadlands and some of the rules are thoroughly confusing me, so I'm going to see if The Playground can help me out.

    1) When combat begins and you make a quickness roll and get your cards, do you do that again at the beginning of the next round, or just keep using the same cards?

    2) For flamethrowers, in the description it says you can choose to fire from one to six shots, however in the table it says the rate of fire is 1d6, which is it?

    3) The book seems pretty clear that when you roll for most things you only take the highest die, but in some of the examples it seems extremely implausible that is what they are doing (rolling a 27, for instance). Any idea?

    Probably more questions to come as I read more of it.

    Any help is appreciated.


    -Suzuro
    Teach me, Please
    I need the abilities to live
    Silly me, I tried to measure it by what I could give




    "There are nights when the wolves are silent, And only the moon howls...."
    -George Carlin

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Midwest, not Middle East
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    Male

    Default Re: Deadlands: Questions

    1: You redraw cards each combat round. You only reshuffle the deck when someone gets a Joker, iirc.

    2: I dunno lol.

    3: Dice explode. So if you roll a 6 on a d6, for example, you roll it again and add your result to 6. If you roll another 6... this is a fun mechanic because it makes it unlikely but not impossible for almost anything to happen.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Darrin's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
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    Male

    Default Re: Deadlands: Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Suzuro View Post
    All right, so, I just acquired a copy of Deadlands and some of the rules are thoroughly confusing me, so I'm going to see if The Playground can help me out.
    Which version? Classic, D20, or Savage Worlds? Well, now, pardner, it's been a long spell, but yer makin' me crack open muh Wall o' Orange...

    Quote Originally Posted by Suzuro View Post
    1) When combat begins and you make a quickness roll and get your cards, do you do that again at the beginning of the next round, or just keep using the same cards?
    You draw new cards at the beginning of each round. After you act on a card, it goes to the discard pile. If you're not sure what you want to do, you can save an unused card as an "Ace in the hole" to act out of turn later. If someone draws the Black Joker from the deck, they discard it along with their highest card (which may be their hole card), and that deck gets reshuffled at the end of the round. There are two action decks: one collective deck for the players, and one for the Marshall/bad guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suzuro View Post
    2) For flamethrowers, in the description it says you can choose to fire from one to six shots, however in the table it says the rate of fire is 1d6, which is it?
    The basic version of the flamethrower in the main rulebook rolls 1d6 to determine the ROF. I'm not sure which rulebook you're looking at... but Mad Scientist Gizmos are supposed to be unpredictable and unreliable.

    There is a fancier version of the flamethrower in the Smiths & Robards book that has a "Select-a-Shot" dial that can more precisely measure the amount of fuel released to a predetermined ROF. The S&R version is more expensive, but has slightly better reliability (19 instead of 18).

    If you have a Mad Scientist character make his own, then of course encourage him to add his own modifications, special features, or quirks ("Smith & Robards? Imbeciles! Tinhorn Carpetbagger Crackpots!").

    Quote Originally Posted by Suzuro View Post
    3) The book seems pretty clear that when you roll for most things you only take the highest die, but in some of the examples it seems extremely implausible that is what they are doing (rolling a 27, for instance). Any idea?
    Almost all rolls in Deadlands explode on an "Ace" (that is, when a die rolls its maximum value, reroll and add). So even a cowpoke with a pitiful 1d4 can, with a lot of luck, roll a "27". For example, let's say you roll 4d10 for your Shootin': Pistol and get a 1, 3, 10, 8. That "10" explodes, so you roll again, get another 10. Roll it again, and you get a 7. 10 + 10 + 7 = 27. It's not unusual for starting characters to max out their best or most important skill with 5d12, which can get up there pretty quick on a couple aces. Highest roll I've seen was... 54, I think. Rolled a 46 myself once.

    One thing we missed early on in the rules is Damage, Wind, and Terror checks explode just like skill checks.

    Deadlands is an RPG that succeeds largely in spite of its klunky mechanics, mostly on its flavor and unique atmosphere. There are some bits of it that don't work as well as they should, but a little bit of spit'n'polish and the occasional house rule can keep things moseyin' along. Some things you want to watch out for (some of these are addressed in the Quick and the Dead sourcebook):

    Massive Damage rules. The original rules in the main rulebook were a little too forgiving... I think later on they changed it so that each wound caused by an explosion hits all of a cowpoke's hit locations simultaneously, which wasn't exactly an ideal solution because it's easier to negate the damage down to zero by spending chips. The range is also wonky... no matter how many sticks of dynamite you add to a bunch, the damage drops off to zero once you're outside of 30 yards or so. You may need to tweak the rules to make sure the players have a very healthy fear of explosives.

    Movement rules. The original rules tried to split your total movement between however many cards you drew, but this allowed cowpokes with lower Quickness to appear to move faster, since they got their full movement on only one or two cards. I think they revised this so you can move up to your full movement on any of your actions, and after that you have to spend actions on Pickin' Up the Pace if you want to move further.

    Terror Table/Scart checks are weighted (what with exploding aces and all) towards the really nasty end of the table, so much so that pretty much everything in the Weird West that's even vaguely supernatural starts at a TN 9. You're supposed to add the Fear level to all Guts check target numbers, but this means new characters with no Grit skip almost all of the not-so-bad results and go directly to Heart Attack just for stumbling across a couple of cannon-fodder zombies. You have to be careful when starting out to scale down the Terror TNs to a level where at least some of the party members will still be functional on an average Guts check (most of the Archetypes start with only 2d6 Guts). Sometimes its easier to just pick a Scart result that seems dramatically appropriate than to pay any attention to the results of the Scart roll.

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