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The Flood: How to run Savage Tales?

 
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archon1024
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Joined: 29 Oct 2012
Posts: 29
Location: Albuquerque, NM USA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:52 pm    Post subject: The Flood: How to run Savage Tales? Reply with quote

Hello all,

I'm an experience game master, but new to Savage Worlds and to Deadlands. I have to say, the Plot Point campaign format sounds like exactly what I've been looking for in a game book. I don't have a lot of time to prepare for my game, and the Plot Point adventures seem easy to plan, easy to run, non-linear, etc. Unfortunately, I'm not exactly sure what the best way to approach it is.

My group has just finished Plot Point 3 and has been "set loose" into the wide wonder of the Weird West. They are in the area of Lost Angles, heading to Shan Fan and the book suggests that they make a few stops along the way and encounter a Savage Tale or two. My question is: how do I know which Tales I should run without reading all of them up front?

I saw that the first few Savage Tales are specific to some of the other Plot Points, so I can skip them for now. Some of the others have fairly specific conditions like: "Run this adventure when the posse goes to Harmony
in search of Suitcase Lee." And others are tied to locations that the posse might visit. Do I need to read each Savage Tale and categorize it according to when I might use it?

How do you guys decide which Savage Tales to consider while your posse is traveling to the next destination? Should I encourage them to travel all over the map by picking a Tale effectively at random? Or should I just look at the map, find the locations between Lost Angles and Shan Fan, pick a couple of them, and look up the Tales tied to those areas?
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Clash957
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Joined: 04 Jul 2010
Posts: 231
Location: Tacoma, WA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My posse is in the exact same place in The Flood Plot Point Campaign. I think they way I'm going to deal with the Savage Tales is to 'activate' the tales in the area that the posse is in or is passing through that I think are appropriate to last Plot Point they have completed.

An important thing to know is why is the posse in California? In my posse the scrapper/mad scientist is attempting to stake a ghost rock claim and set up a mining business to give him the fuel need to move (he is half mechanical spider) and repay the company that fronted the money for the steam augmentation surgery back in Salt Lake City. The Union postman is trying to deliver an important message to a soldier up in Fort Lincoln, and the blessed has been receiving dreams about stopping a great evil that exists in the Maze (the Flood Plot Point).

Right now they are on their way to Progress heading to Fort Lincoln to deliver the letter. Because the setup for the Progress Savage Tale assumes that Plot Point #4 has been done, I've decided to generate my own adventure. After that adventure, I know the posse will continue north likely by land. They will pass close to Lion's Roar where I introduce them to Fellheimer's Folly but if they decide to keep moving north they will likely stop in Shannonsburg where I generate another adventure myself. As they continue north I will give them the, "Those Smug Bastards" adventure hook. Because Shan Fan is the next stop, the posse will likely do Plot Point #4 then.

The bigger problem I see is some of the Savage Tales are set up be available after certain Plot Point adventures. Some Savage Tales are multi-part, and some look plain difficult for lower rank/new players ( like Night of the Caretaker).

Here is my list of places the Savage Tales could be run after which plot point:

After Plot Point #3:
Fellheimer's Folly, The Rancher's Life, Groaning Man Cave, Cult o' the Dragon, The Russian Menace, Rabid Rance Rides Again!, The Creature of Archeron Bay, Wanted: Dead or Alive!, Head Full o' Nothing, Off the Grid, Ballots and Bullets, City of Omens and Zeroes, Treasure Hunters, Ghost Rot, Harriman's Legacy, Those Smug Bastards

After Plot Point #4 (Posse needs to be members of Explorer's Society):
Fort Doom, The Scientific Method

After Plot Point #5 (Posse needs to rescuced Sam Hellman):
Smash the Machines, Gettin' A Leg Up, Long Live the New Flesh!,

After Plot Point #6 (Posse needs Xp or know Born in a Bowl):
Night of the Caretaker, Flesh of the Mad Monk, The Battle o' Junction

After Plot Point #7 (Posse knows about the glyphs):
Sink the Abysmal!, Shan Fan Kumite, Spy Games, Emperor Norton, Isle of Ghost Tears, In Search of Goldnose, Famished!, Hasteli's Children

The above list is a rough draft as I haven't read through all of the Savage Tales completely and might (probably) missing some important details. Hope it helps.

Oh, and welcome to the forums
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otherdoc
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Joined: 29 Jun 2006
Posts: 269
Location: Charlotte, NC

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny, my posse is ALSO at that exact same point in the Flood. They also did decide to head up to Progress on their way to Shan Fan. I went ahead and ran The Scientific Method, adjusting things so that they didn't necessarily have to be part of the Explorers' Society yet as long as they were persuasive. I mainly wanted to run it because I thought it would make good foreshadowing for what they're eventually going to have to do in the Plot Point.

The most challenging part for me thus far has been coming up with city details on the fly. By and large I've been holding steady, but there's a lot the posse wants to accomplish - which is good! They also decided to grab some Wanted posters and hunt down some bounties, so I had to quickly use the adventure generator charts and a book of names to come up with identities and situations for the people they'll be chasing.

It's been a bit like sabre juggling, but I'm having a blast doing it. Smile
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archon1024
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Joined: 29 Oct 2012
Posts: 29
Location: Albuquerque, NM USA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great breakdown, Clash957! That's exactly what I was looking for. My posse consists of only 3.
*A Chinese immigrant and Shaolin student who is on his way to Shan Fan to meet his family and try to earn a spot in an exclusive kung fu school.
*A half-breed Sioux "new age shaman" who has rejected the Old Ways and been exiled from her people. The spirits still talk to her, though, and they draw her to California.
*An arrogant gunfighter and huckster on the run from the law.

I guess the fault here really lies with me... I need to seed their backstories with hooks to some actual places. That list and the random adventure generator (thanks, otherdoc) should give me a great place to start.
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Clash957
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Joined: 04 Jul 2010
Posts: 231
Location: Tacoma, WA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

otherdoc wrote:
The most challenging part for me thus far has been coming up with city details on the fly. By and large I've been holding steady, but there's a lot the posse wants to accomplish - which is good! They also decided to grab some Wanted posters and hunt down some bounties, so I had to quickly use the adventure generator charts and a book of names to come up with identities and situations for the people they'll be chasing


I might be able to help with Progress, California. I decided that the founders of Progress decided on a Hexagonal street layout rather than a square layout for the same advantages as using a hex map. Each street segment is usually named after local mad scientist, most posthumously.

Here are some points of interest I added to Progress:

Parts are Parts are Parts: This is a where most mad scientist get the materials for their inventions. The place is basically a junkyard inside a warehouse that has just about anything an inventor could want--if they can find it.

Black Buzzard by Air Distribution and Delivery (BBADD): An air freight company that is attempting to undercut Smith & Robards in Infernal Device delivery. They ship the inventions of Progress through the Great Maze and California. The truth is that the company is actually a criminal front to supply sky pirates in New Mexico looking to secure ghost rock for their aircraft and make a little 'honest' dinero.

Adele Labs: A stone building with a bunch of labs that are available for rent for fellow new scientists not wanting to construct their own. The labs are owned by Progress as the original owner was killed in one of the labs after a horrible accident.

Progress International Airport/Seaport: A small but busy place that is only international due to the numerous factions of California.

Church of Lost Angels Progress Chapel: While is serves as a church and is gaining numbers, it is largely a logistical center away from the shipyards where Grimme is building and amassing his fleet.

The Shipyards: More than half the slips are devoted to ship construction leaving a little room for import/exporting and private use. This has further helped Black Buzzard with their business.

The Symposium: A building that appears to be a theater but in fact is a devoted to new science as a place for mad scientists to show off their latest invention or theory.

The Merchant's Hotel: This is the one place than new science is completely forbidden. Surrounded by high blast resistance walls, the hotel caters to those that have business in Progress but don't want to get blown up because of it.

The Future is Now! Hotel:
A hotel owned by a mad scientist that believes in 10-20 years all homes will have same labor saving devices installed. At the hotel nearly everything is automated.

Eureka! Saloon: The first saloon of Progress where tradition dictates that only scientists that have finished their invention drink Progress Champagne. The rest of the drinks are non-alcoholic.

Given way to Progress Cemetery:
Not far out of town is a graveyard that honors those who have lost their lives in the name of Progress. Progress' Boot Hill is more full than it should for such a young town.

Denver-Pacific Rail depot and Smith & Robards Outlet: The depot uses the station as a show room of S&R's latest inventions. It is also here that hopeful mad scientist can submit their resumes to work for the company.

Hellstromme Industries (HI) Progress Offices: From these offices Hellstromme attempts to recruit the mad scientists that show potential. Every month there are accusations of HI stealing some mad scientist's idea.
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EricMoore
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Joined: 09 Nov 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just am new here but I find it fun and interesting.

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Last edited by EricMoore on Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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slugsabi
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Joined: 13 Aug 2011
Posts: 124

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We all have our own style and you'll adapt depending on your group. My posse are very experienced players and tend to see through to the heart of many issues so we play a different game to mot others. Indeed a lot of the guys don't realise that they plot the game, they hypothesise or guess things which, on occasion I can use further on and wrap it back into the story. That way the get a real feel that the world is 'real'.

Anyway, I would recommend doing an overview of all the tales as there are snippets hidden away that it is worth having an inkling about at the very least. Also with regards wrapping your guys into the tales I take the approach of an American tv series ala Supernatural as in an episodic approach where it doesn't matter if you jump the timeline ahead a week or two and then drop in a paper article or them to review. Cutter has put that in place (read the last chapter of PP3 again ref: Tombstone Epitaph).

Wing it. Trust me, it works. On the way to Shan Fan my chaps wandered off so I ran them through the one sheet 'Scare Crow' which added to the desperation of the area and having felt like they did something with free will.

Towns? Wing it. Describe it, theme it and when they ask for something specific deliver what they need. They don't need to know the exact street address and location, they just need to know that yes there is somewhere that can accommodate their needs, roughly were it is and go from there. As you need them, create them and then take note for next time. Or, want something more structured then take a look at Ghost Towns. My posse have done PP7 and are free roaming and look to be heading towards the Devil's Postpiles, I'm going to drop in the town Devil's Backbone, tweak it a little knowing the 'backbone' has been done.

Oh, ref PP4, before your posse gets there and you run them through it go ahead to page 135 and read the second chapter under the heading 'Backs to the Wall'. Snippet of descriptive info there that went totally against my description of the area during PP4. Wasn't a deal breaker but had to be creative...

So, with all that, wing it and enjoy.
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otherdoc
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Joined: 29 Jun 2006
Posts: 269
Location: Charlotte, NC

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clash957 wrote:
Here are some points of interest I added to Progress:

Thanks, these will help me a great deal!

I'll go ahead and add some I put together as well, in case they might help anyone. Here are a few of the places I created when they went to Progress.

The High Wire Brewery: A bar named for the large number of telegraph wires strung above it; it also has a bit of a carnival theme. This establishment is a combination saloon and telegraph office, with a number of booths from which customers can send telegrams. Some of the wires stretch across the ceiling and have been decorated with paper figures resembling acrobats. As many customers are scientists, it is assumed that the clientele will already know Morse code. If not, though, the staff are ready and willing to send telegrams for a fee.

The Map Room: This is the local claims office, where agents of the Rockies buy ghost rock. It's a combination claims office and meeting hall that is decorated with a large globe and murals of maps. When the chairs and tables aren't in use for a meeting, folks may get together, drink coffee, chat and sometimes gamble a bit.

The High-End Hotel:
Yes, that is actually the hotel's name. Not only is it a high-end hotel, but the name is also a math pun: in this case, the hotel has a geometric theme, and is decorated with pictures of charts and graphs.
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