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  1. #301
    Network Hub egg651's Avatar
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    I may not be there this evening, it depends on how quickly I get away from my mate's house. I'm not there on time, don't brother waiting around.
    Unacosamedarisa: Egg, kiss me, you're beautiful.

  2. #302
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus LowKey's Avatar
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    Defiantly wont be there sorry, have fun cow-pokes!

  3. #303
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus President Weasel's Avatar
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    So we're down somewhere between 3 and 5? We've got Harlander, probably X-kot, maybe Palindrome, and maybe Egg?

  4. #304
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Screwie's Avatar
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    Actually X_kot said he couldn't make it earlier in the thread, although you probably know that by now.

    And sorry!

  5. #305
    Network Hub egg651's Avatar
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    I'm here just in time! You can all stop crying now.
    Unacosamedarisa: Egg, kiss me, you're beautiful.

  6. #306
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus President Weasel's Avatar
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    Exciting Side Adventure after action report, 26th May

    Under something of a cloud after the "Mormon Spy Kerfuffle", Sutter has been unable to sell any of his cattle to the Dixie Rails company, or to the Confederate Troops at Roswell. Instead he's been forced to hit the trail again; he'd only planned to get this far and he's been unable to arrange resupply in Roswell as the Lazy S crew are very much personae non grata. With the party short of supplies, Sutter has asked for three of our posse to take a detour to a small town a couple of days' ride off the cattle drive's route to see if they can buy some sacks of rice and beans (for Javier's famous creation "beans and rice".)

    Egg Shen, Micky Kannavagh and Erasmus Jennings, inventor extraordinaire, volounteered for the task and are soon riding across the dusty plains through the spring sunshine towards the small town of Eastman's Creek.

    Arriving in Eastman's Creek they discover a town in the grip of fear. There's nobody on the streets, and they could almost imagine the town was entirely deserted were it not for the occasional twitching curtain. The town feels a little wrong, too - Kannavagh dismisses it as his imagination, but Shen and Jennings can tell there's a little more fear, and a little less right, in this town than out on the plains.

    Pulling up to the saloon along around sunset (Kannavagh and Shen have both noticed Jennings gets twitchy around this time of day) they eventually manage to get the saloonkeeper to stop staring nervously out of the window and serve them - and tell them what the hell has everyone so darned spooked: mysterious hangings!

    Recently some-body has been breaking into ranchers’ houses, dragging the occupants to an old tree and hanging them. At first the towns-folk thought outlaws were responsible, but as time went on they became less sure that human hands were behind the murders.The first murders took place nearly two weeks ago. Somebody, or something, smashed its way into a homestead during the night and dragged the childless couple who lived there, to the tree. Three nights later an old rancher was also dragged to his death. It happened again two nights ago. The town has no lawman of its own, but relies on a marshal who tours the area. A telegram has been sent to his office, but it will be days before he arrives. A posse of townsfolk have scoured the countryside, but no sign of the varmints who are doing this has been discovered.
    To make matters worse, the very land seems to be conspiring against the town. Shadows are deeper and more disturbing, and the plains around the town are menacing in their emptiness. The townsfolk have been seized with such fear that most don’t even leave their homes during the daytime, let alone after sunset. They cower in their beds wondering if they will be next.

    Our intrepid three take it upon themselves to investigate these goings on, and maybe put a stop to them. But first, sleep - no point blundering around in the night. Egg Shen bravely stands guard all night, but not a damn thing happens - tomorrow they're going to do a proper rota.

    None of them are much good at trackin', but they're a hell of a bunch for noticin' stuff. They notice that nothing seems to have been stolen from the houses of the victims (two lived in the first house, one each in the succeeding two, for a total of four hanged victims so far). They notice that, like the saloonkeeper said, there's no horse tracks like you'd expect if a large number of bandits had attacked the houses. They notice that the house of the first victims is all smashed up, as if by a large number of men wielding sledgehammers or a battering ram or something, while the other two houses look more like they were stormed by a handful of men - but there are bullet holes in the last house as though the occupant had fought back and achieved nothing. They notice that the dirt around the tree is loose, but some digging by Egg Shen (and some light racism from Jennings) finds nothing. They also notice that it is spooky as hell in the area around the Hanging Tree and the house of the first victims, which is the closest ranch to the tree.

    They return to the saloon and prepare to stand watch. Kannavagh takes first watch and his keen ears detect the sounds of approaching... approachers? It's dark. He hears it again - it's the hanging victims, risen from the grave and looking to add another body to the tree!
    Our three protagonists have seen the dead walk before, and four more walkin' corpses ain't going to faze 'em, even ones whose hanged necks are stretched and whose heads are grotesquely flopping down their backs. (actually, I should have made Kannavagh roll fear here. Oops). Much gunfire ensues, as the zombies attempt to reach the saloonkeeper's room, and the party attempts to stall them. Stall them with bullets and mad science! Pretty soon the hanged ones are permanently stalled - Plan A never fails.

    Our heroes manage to persuade the saloonkeeper to move the furniture away from his door and come check out the bodies. One of them was struck with ridiculous amounts of electricity by Erasmus "putting the 'Mad' in Mad Science" Jennings and is unrecognisable, but the other three are clearly the previous hanging victims, so Crispy Crispin on the stairs almost certainly is too.

    So if these revenants are responsible for the second and third attacks - who or what was responsible for the first one?

    A god-damned walking tree, that's what. It lurches out of the darkness towards the saloon, determined to get its own victims if its zombies aren't going to do the job. By rights our three protagonists should run screaming into the night - but they don't*. Time for Plan A.
    Bullets barely faze it, and even the galvanic marvels of electricity cannot scratch it - Plan A has failed? Things are looking pretty bad for our heroes, but Egg Shen's a man who is always thinking about the best way to hurt things. Trees... fire... trees don't like fire! Kill it with fire!

    The saloonkeeper is paralyzed with fear, but Egg leans into him and says a few words. We'll never know what those words were, but we do know they were somehow far more intimidating than the sight of a giant walking tree bearing down on your saloon determined to hang you and suck out your precious bodily fluids. "Lamps! Right, lamps! Definitely! I'll get them for you, sir, get them all!" he squeaks, and spends the next few minutes grabbing every lamp in the place, lighting them, and placing them on the bar in easy reach for grabbin' and hurlin'.

    Grabbin' and hurlin' ensues. Trees, it turns out, do not like fire. Not even walking trees with magical nooses. Speaking of magical nooses, Egg Shen is grabbed around the neck and whisked up into the branches, and the tree starts sucking his spinal fluid! He manages to shoot himself free just before unconsciousness as the tree busies itself trying to smash Kannavagh's head open with its branches (merely stunned) and has a couple of shots of 'ring a Jennings' with its nooses (it's a tricky shot, and the tree does not win a goldfish).
    Our heroes are close to despair at their inability to damage the tree with bullets and electrickery but continue to hurl lamps (and occasionally try gunfire and electricity again in case they've started working) and hope the fire will do the job they can't - and after a few desperate rounds it eventually spreads far enough and does enough damage to kill the tree for good.

    The fire also spreads to the saloon, and Jennings' fumbling attempts to put it out only serve to spread it. Micky Kannavagh shoots the burning door off its hinges and kicks it into the street, and Jennings finally manages to beat out the fire spreading up the wall, just as Egg Shen rushes in and throws a bucket of water all over him.

    In the morning the townsfolk and our heroes watch the tree, now completely ash, turn to powder and blow away on the breeze.

    (That reminds me, there's a rule about telling a story about vanquishing a bad thing, and lowering the fear level of the area - remind me to run that at the start of the next session, before we segue three days of ridin' back to the cattle drive, bringing a story ain't nobody's going to believe).

    *two of them aced their fear rolls, and Harlander said "you're not giving me another phobia, I am using my bennies

    Thanks for playing, gents. This one was fun!
    Last edited by President Weasel; 27-05-2013 at 12:49 AM.

  7. #307
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus President Weasel's Avatar
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    I believe these are the sessions so far, and the number of points you should have gained from them:

    We meet the characters, they do some cowboy stuff, the Unbreakable Horse is set free to go and have its own spinoff, spider attack/combat tutorial: 2 points

    In town with Miss Abby. Bartholomew Phelps picks a fight, and there is a firefight!: 3 points

    Ambush on the trail, Bayou Vermillion and walking dead men (also gunfire): 3 points

    River crossing, SNAKES!, jet pack, Mormon Spy Kerfuffle (also gunfire): 3 points

    side adventure (Hanging Tree): 3 points


    If you weren't there for a session then I'm afraid you don't get that session's points, but if you're Palindrome and gave it a good try but were ultimately defeated by technology you can get a couple of points for each session you sort of made it to.

  8. #308
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Screwie's Avatar
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    Great write up PW, sounds like it was a good one.

  9. #309
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus LowKey's Avatar
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    Aye sounds like it was a good one!

  10. #310
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    Sorry I couldn't be there, folks--I was literally driving all day. Sounds like it was a great time; top notch AAR, PW. I think I'll be free this weekend.

  11. #311
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus President Weasel's Avatar
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    Hey, wait a minute - "Blast" is a seasoned power, how come Jessie Odenkirk is using it?

  12. #312
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Screwie's Avatar
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    Who is this Jessie Odenkirk? I only know of a Jesse Odenkirk!

    Let me check the powers...

    EDIT: Balls, I didn't notice it was Seasoned somehow. Sorry about that :/ Well I feel dumb now. I think I must've got Blast and Burst muddled up in my head since first reading the list. Shall I pick another power?
    Last edited by Screwie; 29-05-2013 at 02:05 AM.

  13. #313
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus President Weasel's Avatar
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    If you don't mind. Also, take a level of fatigue for the next session because your character overreached his powers. Start of the next session we can work out how to get the cone template into roll20.

  14. #314
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Screwie's Avatar
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    Fair enough.

    Haha, that template will be 'fun'. Effectively you could make it a 1.5" radius circular blast at a point 7.5" away, and also hits everything in between the caster and the template... Or I might save us some headaches and just pick a whole different novice power instead. (Entangle looks kinda good.)

  15. #315
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus President Weasel's Avatar
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    I'm building a hex powers guy for the other group I am planning to GM this campaign with (yes, you guys are the test bed), and I took confusion and heal as well as blast. There's nothing I can find in DL or SW rules that say a hexer can't take heal (unless I missed something), but confusion is "pass a smarts roll at -2 (-4 if the caster aces) or be shaken" which seems pretty useful - up to 5 targets for 1 power point per target, and after a few weeks of playing I realise that making enemies shaken is pretty damn useful - they can't attack you next turn without throwing away a bennie or acing their spirit roll, for starters, plus if they're mooks they're one damage away from death.
    Last edited by President Weasel; 29-05-2013 at 12:04 PM.

  16. #316
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Screwie's Avatar
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    Under the Trappings for each power, it will say "not available" if they can't use it. For example, Huckster's can't take Smite or Shapechange, or some other things probably.

    Trappings is weird as it's sort of flavour text and alternative names for powers but often includes modifications to their rules too. For example Shao Lin guys get a terrible variation on Burst (crappy and nonlethal damage) but a pretty amazing Deflection (catch the missile and throw it back!).

    After looking over the Deadlands guide it says Hucksters can't take Healing, and I can't find the Confusion power at all. Are you looking in the other book or something?

    Regardless, shaken sounds ace but 5 points per target is extremely expensive. There are alternatives:

    Entangle costs 4 for a medium blast template and causes -2 to Agility, Strength and Pace for those afflicted - ie. conveniently everything fighting related. A raise prevents them using skills related to those traits AT ALL.

    Windstorm is also crazy good - 3 points to blind targets in a medium blast and disrupt shooting through the area. It can be moved, is extremely long ranged, and victims must also pass Vigor rolls or be shaken each round. Downside is it is a concentration power, but that is rather a lot of oomph for a Novice power.

    Not sure which power I'll take for Jesse yet. Either of the above would be super effective but I am drawn to giving him something completely non-combat as his luck has comically swung the other way. I might write up a little story as to what suddenly happened to his powers.

  17. #317
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus President Weasel's Avatar
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    Interesting, I was using the Savage Worlds rules - I didn't see the DL section for powers. I guess it's no healy power for "Fats" Nelson then. Looks like they haven't copied over confusion from the core rules either, but it is in Deadlands Deluxified, which I just put into the dropbox.

  18. #318
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Screwie's Avatar
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    Yeah our SW and DL books have been for different versions (I remember the whole Guts thing being obsoleted in SW was a cause for confusion). Will check out the deluxified version and see if there are any other new things I should be aware of!

    EDIT: Aha I see Confusion's cost now. 5 for 5 targets is fine. Blind is very similar to Confusion in effect but plays out in a medium or large blast template.
    Last edited by Screwie; 29-05-2013 at 01:33 PM.

  19. #319
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Screwie's Avatar
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    It was the dead of night when Jesse Odenkirk, whisky flask in hand, stumbled past the dying embers of the campfire and walked out into the desert. He paused, returned for a half-burnt branch, and set out to find a nearby rocky peak.

    The manitous had visited him again. Five nights in a row. He'd seen their twisted faces in the fire the evening prior, and that only meant one thing - the jokers wanted another game with the huckster. For the fifth night in a row.

    It was no coincidence. Five days ago Jesse had bet big, and won big. He'd taken a much bigger slice of their power than they were expecting, probably bigger than they expected he could even handle. Probably thought he'd blow his dealing hand off with that explosive hex. Joke was on the jokers though - not only had he managed to cradle the impressive power, he'd mastered it - and it had saved the hides of his sorry ass and those of his companions twice already. So of course, now the manitous wanted their hocus pocus back.

    As Jesse ascended a rocky slope, he reflected what he needed to do. Make a small fire, bust it into a ring shape and then put an open deck in the heart of it. Then the game was on. The rules differed every night, but it was always cards. Like an old-time duel in Europe, one guy chose the weapons, the other chose the rules. Jesse always chose the weapons.

    After he created the ring of flames, Jesse pulled from his coat pocket a pack of cards and his dog-eared copy of Hoyle's. He sat cross-legged with the book in his lap and took one last, reassuring swig of courage before tossing the opened pack into the centre of the circle.

    Immediately, shapes crept out of the shadows beyond the flames. Visible only through the licking screen of fire stood a child-sized, red-skinned horror. The lone manitou sat down opposite Jesse across the circle.

    "You're new," Jesse noted. The creature merely shrugged and grinned.

    ---

    Jesse awoke in the desert, not even five feet from the small pyre he'd made of his cards. It was only ashes now, he'd blacked out and let it burn too long. His whole body stung like a raw wound and the dawn sunlight felt colder than it should. Then he remembered - he'd lost.

    Those jokers had clawed back the power he'd fought so hard to keep. In its place, he'd reclaimed some petty sideshow tricks, nothing like the rocket fire he'd launched against the Bayou Vermilion boys.

    But that wasn't all, Jesse knew. His aching body was testament to that. He'd felt this miserable just one time before in his life... the last time a game with the manitous had cost him a piece of his soul.

    "Those cunning bastards," he grumbled.

    He thumbed through his copy of Hoyle's Book of Games. Flipping to the end of the appendices, he took a pencil and pushed the pages flat against his knee. Under the column marked, "Them", he carefully added another line for the tally. Then he scanned across the page to the "Me" column and recounted the tally there. Smiling, he returned the book to his coat pocket.

    Jesse stood, dusted himself off and returned to camp.

  20. #320
    Lesser Hivemind Node Harlander's Avatar
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    Man, I hadn't read this before. Nice.

    Some pretty good storytelling coming out of this campaign; Egg's tale of the Hanging Tree was cool even if I made fun of his choice of accent ;)

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