Deadlands Noir Session 1 Notes

Session Recap

We start the first session with Katarina Salvatore1 getting a call from Greyson Slade2, the PI she hired to find her father’s bodyguard and chauffeur Harold Priestly. Mr. Priestly disappeared the same night that her father was killed in a car accident. Katarina, suspicious of the accident since his trusted driver was not also in the car was looking into what happened that night three weeks ago.

Katarina calls Ada Verne3 and Jake Devereaux4 to let them know the news, and they decide head out to the Hooverville.  Mean while Katarina, her driver, Adelaide Devereux5, and Stefanie Lovelace6 drive out to the Blue Star Dinner to pick up Greyson so that he can take them out to the Hooverville where Mr. Priestly was seen.

Katarina, Adelaide, Stefanie, and Greyson arrive first and split up into pairs to search the camp. Of course the first person each group asks about Mr. Priestly immediately points them to the tent where those in need of medical care stay. Katarina and Adelaide both enter the tent while Greyson and Stefanie lurk just outside the tent looking in.

Inside the tent is a doctor who lost everything over the last couple of years by the name of James Browdski who is treating four patients. All of the patients look like their skin is flaking off, but Harold is by far the worst off. He is emaciated, barely able to move, his thin brown hair is falling out in clumps and his skin is cracked and flaking.

Katarina approaches Harold who does recognize her and starts trying to pump him for information about what happened the night that her father died. His responses only come out in a barely understandable whisper his throat dry. She hears him say “It was not an accident”, but not much else. Katarina has Adelaide give him a drink from her flask of whiskey, and he slowly starts disintegrating as his flesh breaks down into ever smaller flakes starting with his mouth and everywhere else the liquid touched. His pained gasps coming out as whispers. Until nothing is left of him but his clothes wrapped around fine ash-like powder.

Needless to say this terrified everyone in the tent Greyson and Adelaide fled the tent, while Katarina was frozen in terror. Stefanie though came off the worst developing an eye twitch that never went away7.

After everyone calms down Greyson starts to work on collecting evidence from the body and finds four golf ball sized crystalline objects, sort of like gallstones, but more jagged. He puts these in an empty tin can and searches the clothes for any other clues and comes up with nothing else.

Katarina finds out from the Dr. Browdski, that he just showed up in camp one morning about three weeks ago, already pretty far gone with whatever this is that is happening to all the residents of the camp. Whatever the “illness” is, though he did not bring it to the camp since it had been going around for a while before he showed up. Whatever it is, he was farthest along in the progression.

When asked if anything else had been going on around the camp, they find out that the lady sleeping in the cot, and the only one that didn’t witness the event claimed to see four “faceless men” last night one of them was holding a monkey and when the man holding it made the “monkey sing” everyone went to sleep. She was quite hysterical and woke everyone up this morning and the only way the could calm her down was by applying a judicious amount of alcohol until she passed out.

As they are thinking about this a frantic woman by the name of Molly Freyn comes rushing into the tent, her daughter Ester and the orphan Billy who she looks after disappeared last night. At this point everyone heads out to start searching. Near where the group slept, the only thing found that was out-of-place was shoe print from what appeared to be a very un-worn shoe unlike the those worn by the rest of the inhabitants of the camp. Further searching around the edges of the camp led to the finding of a trail of similar prints leading out to the road where there were tire tracks on the side of the road. Presumably a car might have been parked there last night.

At this point Jake stays at the camp while the rest pile into the car and drive back to the Blue Star Dinner to see if anyone there might have noticed anything.

At the dinner, Katarina, who could probably charm a crocodile, makes friends with Ida who is the waitress and owner and asks if she has seen anything unusual lately. Ida informs them that she saw a fancy black car belonging to Roscoe Molloy, a local well to do business man, drive out towards the camp at around 2 AM last night while she was closing the dinner. She thought it was an odd time to start a trip out-of-town, and that was why she remembered it. Katerina tips Ida very well for the information.

Greyson then remembered hearing about Roscoe Molloy being part of some social group known as the “Midas Circle” with three other men. They also found out that Roscoe owned a clothing factory on the outskirts of Jefferson Parish, so they decided to go and visit the factory.

By the time they found out where the factory was, everyone had already left for the evening. So after looking around, Stefanie climbed in through an unlocked window and looked around, came back to the window to get some lock picks from Katarina, and then broke into the upstairs office.

She quickly glanced through some of the file cabinets, finding lots of accounts receivable and accounts payable paperwork. Quickly going cross-eyed, she hears Greyson lightly and Ada much more spectacularly banging on the door. She came back down and let everyone else in. After a little more searching, they discarded the theory that this factory was being operated by child slave labor. While going through the paper work, they marvel at how phenomenally lucky Roscoe has been over the last several years, and all without any signs of “cooking the books”. The last clue they find is a note on his desk calendar about a charity event that Roscoe is scheduled to attend that night.

Looking through the factory Katarina finds an appropriate dress that fits her and gets changed to crash the party. Then they take Ada and Stefanie to the camp. Stefanie really wants to find this “singing monkey”, and Ada is worried about potential radiation issues and inhaling something that she shouldn’t, spends the evening building something that will work as a gas mask as Jake looks on making the occasional off-color remark.

Meanwhile Adelaide, Greyson, and Katarina go to the party. Katarina and Adelaide go in bribing the guy at the door while Greyson sits in the car.

Katarina works her way through the crowd in her element now and eventually gets introduced to the Midas Circle learning their names. The members are Roscoe Molloy, Alex Rossetti, who she has a nagging suspicion that she knows but doesn’t know why, Casper Brinck, and Theodore Sedgwick who appears to be sick, constantly sniffling and coughing while keeping his face covered with a white silk kerchief.

Katarina tries to get information out of them, but she doesn’t really know what to ask and fails to shock them into revealing anything, unfortunately she does alert them that she is snooping around their business.

Of the Midas Circle, Theodore leaves first seeing as how he is sick, Alex follows shortly after. Katarina and Adelaide leave next and when Roscoe leaves, they follow him home. After he has gone inside Katarina pops the lock on the trunk of his car breaking her lock picks in the process, and finds that the bottom of the trunk is covered with cardboard, presumably to keep it from getting dirty. The cardboard had signs of having something wet on it. Looking inside the car they see nothing, but they don’t try to break into it. After that they head back to the camp.

At the camp Jake, Stefanie and Ada kept an eye on things as do the residents with their own people making the rounds and keeping watch.

When morning came, they all decided to do some research. Greyson hits the library and does some digging, while Katarina calls some contacts in the Black Hand8, and Ada takes the objects found in the body to a Tulane University to see if they are radioactive, and to try to find out what they are.

Katarina finds out that Alex Rossetti, is the youngest son of the head of the Rossetti crime family in New York. In other words very well-connected in the Five Families Mafia. Greyson finds out the most with how each of the members of the Midas Circle seem to have unbelievable good fortune in business. Never seeming to make a wrong step with any decision that they make. He also finds out that Roscoe bought the clothing factory from a previous owner John Lee, who seemed to have had a run of bad luck just before he lost the factory.

Ada, finds out that the objects were not radioactive, and when one of the scientists tries to chip a piece off to examine under a microscope, they instead end up breaking it open finding that it is hollow. Briefly after it is opened there seems to be something translucent inside, but as they look closer they can’t find anything.

Notes

And that was where we ended the first session. It was my first time running a game in over a year, and my first time running a Deadlands Noir game ever. I had fun doing it, and I am looking forward to see how they resolve the issues in this first case. I started things off with a semi in media res scene, since I knew from character creation that Katarina’s father was dead under mysterious circumstances and that she was hunting for whoever might be responsible.

To be fair this story is a bit of a bait and switch with the implied intention versus what they will actually be working resolving. I knew that finding the driver wasn’t going to get them anything for their stated goals other than embroiled in what was going on at the shanty town. Though there are clues to the main mystery, that of who killed Katarina’s father.

The things that I feel the need to work on are managing such a large group. With six players, I need to make sure that I am sharing the spot light amongst them all equally which I don’t feel like I did a very good job of, and making sure that who is in which group when the party splits up and make sure that no one jumps between groups. I don’t know if this happened last night, but I have a feeling that it might have accidentally.


  1. You can find the characters in the game here
  2. You can find the characters in the game here
  3. You can find the characters in the game here
  4. You can find the characters in the game here
  5. You can find the characters in the game here
  6. You can find the characters in the game here
  7. This was their first Fight test and with the Fear level it made quite the impression on the characters. There were no modified rolls of higher than a 2, and while I didn’t think about it at the time, I also get the impression that we are supposed to add the Fear level to the d20 result on the fright table. If I had done so, we would have had a heart attack in the medical tent. 
  8. You can find more about the factions in play here 
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Author: Hours without Sleep

I am a professional software tester, who has an interest in programming, computers, role-playing games, history, and reading in general. This is my third attempt at keeping a blog, and I am going to try putting all of my thoughts in one place, and see how it goes.

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