This is a short campaign that I am running trying out the new Adventure Edition rules set in the Deadlands world. You can find my player facing notes here which I will keep updated. This campaign is only expected to last about ten sessions. I am looking forward to the release of the updated Deadlands rules for the new system, but until then, I will muddle through with my own conversion. Though some of these conversions would not be used in a longer term campaign.
We started off the session with the posse noticing John Hoover leaving his saloon through a side exit as they exited the Marshal’s office. Lefty also noticed that he was moving without his normal limp. Between this fact, and the suspicion that Marshal Cornell threw upon him, the posse decides that Lefty and Greyeyes will follow him while Mongo and Reverend Graves will get the horses.
As Lefty and Greyeyes follow him up the mountain, they spot him going behind some bushes up against a cliff face and disappear from sight. After a waiting a bit, the two break cover and move to see where he went. Behind the bushes they find an old boarded up mining tunnel. And after a brief look around see that his tracks lead strait up to the entrance and disappear.
At this point Lefty and Greyeyes wait for the others to catch up and loaded with lanterns, they pry off some of the boards and enter the mine to try and figure out what is going on. Inside, they find a passage that goes in about thirty feet or so, and then ends in a shaft that descends deeper into the mountain.
After working the wench, they raise the elevator, and after examining it, realize that it’s sturdy enough for them and they descend in two groups to the bottom of the mine. Lefty, Mongo, and Greyeyes are holding lanterns while Reverend Graves has his shotgun out expecting trouble.
At the bottom of the shaft, they find four tunnels with push cart tracks heading deeper into the mine. The posse heres the sounds of rocks moving and tapping sounds echoing throughout the mine down here. Lefty also notices that they are standing on what looks like a very old blood stain. Following a set of recent boot prints, they head down one of the passage ways and eventually come to what must have been the end of the vein of ore that was mined here. They notice that the tracks here just stop in the middle of the shaft. They also notice a eye sitting on a shelf of rock. The eye occasionally uses the stub of its optic nerve to switch positions as they move. They then hear John Hoover say they shouldn’t have followed him down here, and there lanterns all go out.
Reverend Graves calls forth a blessing and his cross ingites in flame so that they can all see the small, large headed creatures that step out of the walls and attack them. Mongo grabs the eye and crushes it in his hand releasing a foul rotting stench and triggering a screem of pain. The creatures viciously claw Lefty and to a lesser extent Mongo, but the posse eventually forces them to flee after they have killed nine of them. But during the fight, they heard what they assumed was John Hoover taking the elevator back to the surface, leaving them to die in the mine.
Mongo decided to climb up after the retreating elevator to bring it back down to the rest of the posse, and with great effort, manages to climb back up the shaft where he sees John Hoover waiting for him pistol draw. John tells him he shouldn’t have done that and shoots Mongo.
This causes the rest of the posse to start climbing the shaft in the hopes of getting up to Mongo to help. Mongo though, as tough as he is, shrugs of the gun shot and charges in and clobbers John Hoover injuring him. John then pulls out a match and flicks it to life with his fingernail and the lamp glowing from Reverend Graves’ blessing earlier, but still full of oil explodes in flame igniting John Hoover, but not Mongo. Then John Hoover reaches out to set Mongo a flame as well. Mongo ignoring his burning body just like John Hoover was, continues to punch John Hoover. Hoover is eventually wounded and realizing he is no match for Mongo tries desperately to escape eventually managing to turn insubstantial and walk through a wall and away, but not before Mongo lands another good couple of blows on him.
At this point Mongo puts himself out and the rest of the posse makes it to the top of the shaft. They look for any further signs of John Hoover, but finding none, they return to town and warn the town that John Hoover is an inhuman monster that they need to be careful of.
And that is where we ended our story, with the posse driving out the Harrowed John J Hoover, even if they didn’t manage to kill him. To be fair the last round of combat between John and Mongo involved two Jokers. Mongo getting the black Joker and John getting the Red Joker. John already wounded and out of bennies, had been trying to access his Ghost power for two rounds to get away and failing each time. Mongo for the most part was just failing to do enough damage to wound him again. John was shaken and needed to spend the benny he got from the Jocker to unshake and got lucky with the following Spirit roll to activate his power and escape.
I have continued to use the house rule that I introduced a couple of weeks ago about table bennies, and I asked the players how they liked the rule. Especially since I am bad about give bennies for hindrances. They enjoyed having the rule and made a lot of use of the table bennies during the fight with the tommyknockers because that was a tougher fight than anyone expected. My only problem with the way I had originally set the rule up really restricts how I can influence the story. So I may end up tweaking it a little bit further. I also just realized that I haven’t written a post about it yet like I was intending to, so I will get that done this week.
I ran this session a bit differently from my previous sessions trying to focus the action a bit more based on some of the things that I have been thinking about since the last session I ran for my work game. I think it went well, and I intend to continue the pattern with the work game next week. Also I really hope I get my Savage Worlds Adventure Edition kickstarter rewards before my next session, because that will really make things easier for me (running a game with the rules on a tablet is just not as seamless for me).
Finally, I am going to tweak the town slightly based on these experiences, or more accurately make some of the threats optionally supernatural or mundane. I really didn’t need the Marshall as a supernatural threat, and having done so didn’t impact the game because the posse never found out. Though they could have if Reverend Graves had ever used his edge that allowed him to spot hidden supernatural creatures.