Thursday, September 13, 2012

Game Reflections: Deadlands

We had a spectacular "season finale" to Deadlands last night.  I'll leave the summarising to M'Colleague, as he has been doing a spectacular job of it thus far, and I would hate to steal his thunder.

But yes, I do tend to think of some games in terms of TV show series.  I've been lucky in that a lot of the GMs (DMs, STs, whatever the given system calls them) with whom I play have a keen knack for knowing when to call a session for optimal cliff-hanger suspense, how to build that suspense in the first place, and how to craft a damn fine story world in which to play.  This Deadlands campaign has been no different.

M'Colleague (some of you know him as S.P. although he goes by many names) and I have reflected that this game and our player/character group is very Whedon-esque, to its great credit.  We've got a Priest with a Past, a Wealthy Boy Journalist, a Fallen Southern Belle, a Ne'er-Do-Well Drifter, a Mountain Boy with Too Many Guns (no such thing), and a Rough Lady Butcher (that's a woman who is a butcher, not Jack the Ripper).  We have a great group dynamic, and are able to banter with ease.

Or had. Father Seward, Rufina the butcher, and Jake the drifter died spectacularly last night while we attempted, and succeeded, at stopping the apocalypse.  I'm sure it won't be the last time, but it does give one a certain sense of accomplishment going into the tail end of a hellacious work week.  Though the players themselves aren't leaving the game for good, I wonder how we will recover when half our party is suddenly replaced with a few well placed newcomers.

I'm not normally one to get terribly attached to characters that aren't my own (and even then only so much), but I have found myself reflecting on our group's loss throughout the day today.  It occurred to me that this hit me just as hard as when a favourite character snuffs it in a TV show I've become invested in.  You know the feeling (Spoilers ahead):  Charlie on LOST, Wash at the end of Serenity, Ianto in Torchwood.  Which is to say, not very hard hitting in the grand scheme of things, but that's emotionally-invested fandom for you.

My character, Ruby "Not Scarlet O'Hara" O'Flahertie, lost both a father figure and a would-be lover in a matter of minutes, without actually saying goodbye.  Not to mention vampire thing that was her brother, long thought to be dead.  As a properly helpless woman of her time and upbringing, to have lost two protectors is a devastating blow.  Them's the breaks in the Victorian apocalypse, of course.  Though her heart is thrice broken, I'm very pleased at the new level of characterisation that this will allow me to bring to the table.  I thrive on this sort of method acting crap.

And I'm a little glad that our illustrious GM has pretty much exhausted any remaining family dear Ruby could have had left.  Of course, if we're headed where I think we are next, she's about to confront her estranged philandering husband.

Oh, won't that be a laugh?


  1. Damn, Father Seward! I've been following your Deadlands adventure for a while now and I liked that character. Emotionally-invested fandom, indeed.
    I'm glad Ruby survived and I'm looking forward to reading how it all played out.

    1. I think you'll be well pleased at the way it all played out, though. Father Seward could not have gone any better way, methinks.

  2. Heh, this really was "Whatever you love Ruby, it shall be ripped away from you," wasn't it?

    I'm hoping we can manage to stabilize the party equilibrium.

    1. It really was. Of course, as "David Hood" and I discussed last night, he also had his family annihilated, and his home town essentially destroyed. It is all about perspective.

      As super-devastating as it is to the party, I am very excited to see what Bartlett does with us next, especially since he has promised a few "light-hearted" sessions following the grim dark that was Boston.