So I just finished reading the PDF of the Good Intentions Plot Point Campaign and I wanted to write down some of my thoughts on it. I will not go into any details on the Good Intentions chapter and the Savage Tales Chapter to avoid spoiling any of the scenarios.
We begin the book with a section from the Tombstone Epitaph like we do all the other Deadlands Reloaded books that gives you an overview of what is going on in the setting at the time with a focus on current events and characters in the region that the book covers. In this case Deseret or Utah as we would know it.
This is the first of the two character focused chapters in the book. It starts with a bunch of new edges including a revamping of the Blessed Arcane Background and the new Metal Mage Arcane Background. The changes to the Blessed include now having to use Power Points like all of the other arcane backgrounds and having to choose powers. They also have special rules for Crisis o’ Faith, Sinnin’, and Miracles. Overall this puts them on the same level as the rest of the arcane backgrounds instead of in many ways more powerful than the others. If you have been following the Pinnacle Entertainment Group social media content that these changes where coming to Deadlands, I do find it unclear based on the reading of these changes if they should be applied to all Deadlands campaigns or just this plot point campaign. We also see the introduction of a new set of powers, Divine Interventions that the Blessed get to use now. These are higher potency powers that are harder pull off and require a Legend chip to activate. We also get information on the new Metal Mage. I find them particularly fascinating as a combination of Huckster and Mad Scientist. They seem to have a good selection of powers. They suffer from the Backfire table if they roll snake eyes on their activation roll, they get a really cool application of an alternate version of the Gadgeteer edge. They also have the ability to make refined, shaped cores from raw ghost rock, and may take edges requiring the Weird Science arcane background. All in all, I find them to be pretty cool and flexible.
This chapter mostly covers augmentations which are steam-powered artificial limbs produced with ghost rock and weird science. If you have The 1880 Smith & Robards Catalog, you have this information already. While it is nice to have the steam-driven cybernetic limbs in the setting, and they don’t impact any of the arcane backgrounds which is definitely a change of pace from most settings with cybernetics. Other than the augmentations, we get two pages with tables of ranged weapons, melee weapons, and vehicles that can be purchased.
This chapter contains a little bit about Pestilence and how to give the impression that your group is in Pestilence’s realm while in Deseret. We also get a lot of information about Darius Hellstromme’s history, why he is doing what he is doing, and how he set this campaign in motion accidentally. This is all really good information especially if you want to give the main character in these events the depth needed to be engaging. After that we get a brief overview of the various rail companies still in the game and the outlaws that the characters could interact with. Finally we get a breakdown of the various potential allies and sympathizers that the party could get on their side in this region.
This chapter starts with a reminder about not just needing to defeat the abominations, but to also spread the tale of your defeat of them so that they will not come back. We follow that up with more rules on the acquiring side of augmentations. In Deseret, you can also get “blacklisted” for behaving poorly at least according to the Mormon population and what that means for social interactions and the Blessed’s faith rolls. We also get some detailed rules on Ghost Rock Fever (I am not sure that this has ever been documented before). We also get a list of relic items from Deseret. We finish this chapter off with rules for playing Skullchucker (one of the blood sports in the area. It is kind of cross between football and basketball) and Soot for all of the pollution in the air in and around the City o’ Gloom
This chapter starts off with an overview of the nation of Deseret, then drills down to cover the City o’ Gloom (Salt Lake City). We then drill down further to the Junkyard neighborhood of Salt Lake City. After that we get some locations around Salt Lake City like the Smith & Robards Compound, the Hellstromme Compound, and a few other smaller areas. We then get some of the towns and places of interest in Deseret such as Corrine, Devil’s Canyon, Fort Bridger, Kanab, and more. I particularly liked Mouth o’ Hell which is a Ghost Rock Mine and smelting location that had an accident and everyone inside at the time was coated in molten metal. Another of the locations that I particularly liked was Skull Canyon. All in all a nice useful chapter that is limited to what is probably the smallest region of any of the plot point campaigns.
Adventures in Deseret
This chapter covers random adventure generation tables for adding extra adventures in the region when the party is not doing either one of the plot point campaign adventures, or one of the provided savage tales. There are also some rules for generating random Smith & Robards delivery adventures for a party that works for that company.
This is the meat of this book. It covers the over-arching plot of the players stopping Hellstromme’s plans before he brings about the end of the world. I actually think this is my favorite of the four plot point campaigns1 for Deadlands Reloaded. Most of the adventures are located in Deseret, and it would be easy to set Salt Lake City as the party’s home base making thing easier if you have a Mad Scientist in the group. The other thing that is nice with this campaign is that it seems like it could be easily blended with the Stone and a Hard Place campaign to make something even bigger and more dramatic which is something that I have thought about doing2. One thing to be aware of is that there are a couple of these adventures that need for the characters to have access to something that can work against a creature with Heavy Armor. One of the things that I particularly like about this and need to go back and check on the other plot point campaigns is that each of these adventures has a side bar that covers things that are going on during the time between when you finish the adventure and the start of the next plot point adventure.
These are the interlude missions that your group can do between the plot points and for the most part they are just okay. A few of them do allow the posse to influence events in the setting, but for the most part, they don’t really inspire me.
This is the chapter of new abominations that you could throw at your party. A lot of them seem to be various types of automatons, from the disguised mannikin to the Alleycat (a fad toy that has gone rogue. We also get a number of different types of rats. All in all I like a number of them quite a bit, and I wish that they had made more use of my favorite one Sludge in the rest of the book. We finish off with some human templates for various character types that you are likely to encounter in Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas. This chapter ends with the famous people who your posse might need to interact with as well as some of the ones that they definitely will interact with.
All in all, I did like this campaign a lot. It helped mitigate some of the issues I would worry about for Mad Scientists due to the in general restricted area that the posse will be in and the ability to set up a main base in Salt Lake City or more accurately Junkyard.
- The Flood, The Last Sons, Stone and a Hard Place, Good Intentions. ↩
- I like the idea of not forcing the party to choose just one, plot point campaign, but being able to interact with more than one, but some of the events and setting changes especially with The Flood and The Last Sons would make that difficult ↩