In a previous post here, I asked what is it about Deadlands Classic that people like better than Deadlands Reloaded. The only response I got to this question, which really matches what I seem to see in other places is the lack of flavor in Reloaded. So I thought I would put together some ideas of how to add some of that flavor back in. I am going to group these ideas into various sections based on how mechanically intrusive the change is.
The simplest changes would be to just re-name the various attributes and skills to bring back some of the flavor. In fact the Deadlands Conversion Guide could help with that. For example, I might change Agility to Deftness or Nimbleness and change Smarts to Cognition1.
Again we can do similar things with the skills renaming them to something that sounds more like the vernacular. The translated names could go something like this Riding to Horse Ridin’, Climbing to Climbin’, Taunt to Ridicule, Healing to Medicine, and Shooting to Shootin’. There are other skills that you could change the names on to fit better with the genre.
A similar exercise could be performed on the various powers just changing the names and making the trappings match up for the desired effect. For example Teleport to Shadow Walk and Bolt to Shadow Blast.
All of these changes in no way impact the way the game is played, you just have to remember to call things by their new name instead of the generic name2.
The next option again deals with skills, but in this case we use the optional rules for Skill Specialization found in the Savage Worlds Deluxe Explorer’s Edition. So instead of having just having a Shootin’ skill, you could have a Shootin’ skill with the Pistol & Rifle specializations which would mean you get a -2 penalty if you are using a Shotgun.
The last set of changes will have a much further reaching impact.
The first option is a set of rules from Pinnacle Entertainment Group to use cards to generate starting attributes and skill points. You can find a pdf of the rules here
The second option is to reduce the number of power points that Hucksters get (possibly down to 0) to encourage them to Deal with the Devil. I don’t know how this will impact play, because I have never tried it, but it certainly would bring a bunch of what made a Huckster special back to Reloaded.
Anyway these are just a couple of changes to increase the amount of Classic flavor in the Reloaded rules all while keeping what I feel are the improved Savage Worlds rules. I may revisit this topic again in the future with more ideas as I have them especially for the Mad Scientist.