Afternoon Gaming with “House Call”

So, as luck should have it, I was able to run a couple afternoon gaming sessions this week thanks in part to the semester coming to an end at our local university, thus freeing up some schedules for a couple friends of mine (as well as my fiancee.) Considering this week’s D&D game is held off due to one of the regulars having to work Friday evening, as well as my plans to go out of town, I jumped on this opportunity to get some more play time in with Savage Worlds.

This was also our first big gaming sessions here at our new place, which was double awesome. I made sure we were fully stocked on a variety of snacks and sodas for both days. The first session I ran of both Savage Worlds and Deadlands: Reloaded consisted of pre-made characters and the Buffalo Soldiers One-Sheet adventure from the PEG website.  This week I stuck to using the One-Sheet adventures, but made the players roll up their own characters. The first session I ran them as complete Novices; the second session I bumped them up to Seasoned-level characters to explore the advancement options a bit better.

Cast of Characters

  • Jack Clayton, aka “Jack of Spades”: A southern Gunslinger, illiterate and quick to shoot. Jack is an aspiring Texas Ranger, and despite his handicap is rather resourceful and lives to hunt out the various oddities of the Weird West.
  • Clint: Gambler, Gentleman, and Huckster. Born of a Rich family, but is troubled with a shady past and a bit of bad luck. Has a tendency to accidentally bring death and misfortune to those around him. Reluctantly, he has been recruited by Jack to assist him (and read for him) in his tours of Texas as he hunts down supernatural threats.
  • Dr. Sieben Metzger: The Seventh Son of a prominent man from Germany, Dr. Metzger fled to the Confederate States after an investigation of his questionable practices. After setting up an office in Neu-Braunfels, TX, he would begin experimenting with a new, portable device intended to help gunshot victims out in the field. Jack and Clint would recruit him upon finding his ad requesting “assistants” for field research for this device. The device itself is quite frightening, since it involves clamping the wounded area followed by a simultaneous “sucking” of the bullets while injecting a metallic spring which seems to burrow its way through the body, sewing up the wound regardless of the complexity. Luckily, the device also seems to inject some narcotics for pain killers….

What follows is some rough accounts of the two days of gaming that transpired this week. I recommend that anyone who is planning on playing in any of the Deadlands: Reloaded One Sheets to stop reading now, as these will contain some spoilers.

Monday’s Game: House Call (link)

deadlands reloadedBegan the game in Neu-Braunfels, TX, with Jack and Clint meeting Dr. Metzger at his office. After some fun RP’ing of the characters being introduced to Metzger’s Healing device (from henceforth referred to as “The Device”), a bothered woman entered the office asking for some assistance from the doctor. She tells them her husband, Dr. Sawyer (the Doctor from the adventure) had left her a year prior for the small town of Purity in order to conduct some “much needed research.” He had been corresponding with her via weekly letters, but now his letters have stopped. She ends up offering the Posse a small reward if they would travel to Purity in search of her husband, just to check on him and make sure all is well.

I made the Journey well over a day’s travel on Horseback, but it made for a good excuse for a night time encounter. As the Posse setup camp for the night, they quickly spotted blood stains on the dusty ground. They wound up tracking the stains all the way to a small, isolated cemetery which, you guessed it, I turned into a zombie fight. This whole encounter was ad-lib but I felt it was a fun way to introduce the players to the Savage Worlds combat system.

The fight was brief but there were some intense moments. The Huckster took the “Grim Servant o’ Death” hindrance, which means he deals extra damage at the risk of having his fumbles hitting allies. While tossing multiple spell blasts at various zombies, he wound up exploding one of his magic cards in the poor doctor’s face (luckily, it was just a Shaken.) The Doctor at this point would storm off to let them handle it on their own, but would calm down enough to pick up his device in case it was needed. (Fun part was my fiancee, playing the doctor, storming off from the fight yelling “WORDS IN GERMAN!” in an exaggerated accent.)

They arrived in Purity the next day, with a towns folk all nervous-like and reluctant to help them. I played it different from the One Sheet just to give the vibe that something is wrong. They would walk into the Saloon, and the Bartender would ask them if they were with Smith & Robards on a delivery. He advised them to just leave “the packages” with the Sheriff and get out of town. Of course, they rode on up to the mansion and began to snoop around, wondering what the Townsfolk weren’t telling them.

As they began to creep their way through the front door, they heard the sound of something scattering away. As they slowly walked in to the front foyer of the mansion, the Doctor would knock in a “tap-tap, tap-tap” fashion. They would hear the response of “Knock-Knock, Knock-Knock.” The Huckster would then do the “Shave and a Haircut” knock, which was responded with “Knock-Knock.”  “HEY! You hear that!?” he yelled in excitement. The Doctor rolled his eyes “They ver doing that anyways!”

At this point, I had the first of the four Severed Hands attack the Gunslinger, catching him off guard as he was being strangled. Every round they were dealing with the hands, I added another one to the mix, to add a sense of growing urgency. In the end, one was thrown down and crushed with the butt of a Shotgun. Another was blown off Jack’s shoulder at point blank range with a pistol (this resulted in Jack going def in that ear for the rest of the adventure.) The other two were captured while trying to strangle the players by taking “The Device” in mid choke and “Sucking” them off the intended victim. Although this did involve injecting narcotics in the hand and a weird, animated suture wire usually boring through the player characters. ((I loved the idea of a weird-science suture spring that behaved almost like a metallic worm than a stitch. Creepy.)) After restraining the hands as they were doped up, they were put in Mason Jars for further examination by Dr. Metzger.

The next scene, the players would investigate the house and then proceed down into the basement, where they would find Dr. Sawyer dead on the Examination table, as well as his Patchwork Frankenstein monster, Max. Max would come screaming out of the darkness at the players, resulting in some AWESOME fear roll failures. The Doctor would scream with half his hair turned stark white, the Huckster would walk away from the ordeal with a Minor Phobia of dead corpses of any kind. But, to the Huckster’s merit, he would manage to single handed drop the Monster by blowing all of his remaining Power Points to multi-blast the beast with increased damage.

I would later kick my own self in the ass for realizing I should’ve blown bennies on the monster to make the fight last longer. Oh well, live and learn. The session ended with the players returning to Neu-Braunfels and regretfully informing Mrs. Sawyer that she’s now a widow. Despite her loss, she paid the Posse for their troubles. As we packed things up, my fiancee informed me of her plans for the Doctor: He would attempt to seduce the Widow in hopes that she inherits her husband’s estate, letting him have access to his research. Oh dear.

Tune in next post when the Posse Saves Christmas!

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