Deadlands Fate – Session 1

Deadlands Fate
This session was recorded and can be found at
Me and a few friends just started up an online game of FAE, using as our virtual tabletop. The game is set in Deadlands, a “Weird West” alternative history of the United States, produced for the Savage Worlds system. We did a campaign creation session which started as a modern fantasy zombie apocalypse game, and then morphed its way to the “Weird West” genre. At that point we were like, “You know, this would work great in Deadlands, how about we just use that?” From there it was easy.

We have three players, across the US, my buddies Michael, Caleb, and Scott. The three PC’s are:
  • A silver-tongued Rascal, running from the law after he was framed by the Wichita Witches.
  • A gentleman Bounty Hunter chasing the Rascal all the way out West from Kansas City.
  • A tribeless Jesuit mystic, previously of the Yaqui people, until his tribe was destroyed and he ran, now doomed to wander.

The game began on a train heading from Dead End Arizona (where the bounty hunter arrested the rascal pre-game starting), on it’s way back East towards Roswell, New Mexico. The area is notorious for being truly in controlled by the local Apache. Our Indian Mystic hopped on in Phoenix, and then a whole bunch of other folks hopped on in Despair. Our Rascal was chained up in the conductor car, since the train lacked a jail. He was being watched over by the Bounty Hunter, of course. Unfortunately, the crowd in the passenger car had a nice line of sight through the windows between cars to see the fugitive chained up, and couldn’t resist gawking. Our Mystic was seated in that passenger car, and noticed that the crowd seemed to be rather sickly, coughing and hacking a lot.

Things got tense when the Mystic noticed an Apache scout on a hill, and a rider. He immediately alerted the conductor, who gathered up the few guards on the train, as well as a few capable looking fellows. The Rascal swore to not run if the Bounty Hunter unchained him, and gave him his guns so he could protect himself and the train. As the train passed by a rocky outcrop, a party of Apache warriors jumped on the train, and we ended up with battles happening at two ends of the train, with the Mystic at one end, and the other two at the other. The Mystic saw the guard he was with cut down, and then managed to throw the attacker off the train, after taking advantage of a floor covered in glass, and nearly getting thrown off himself. At the other end, a squad of Apache started slaughtering the passenger car, while the Rascal and Bounty Hunter started shooting from the conductor car, taking a few out with some fabulous shooting. As the warriors closed with the conductor car, there was a tense melee that ended with the last warrior also flying off the train. For a moment, every one took a few tense breaths, and then the passengers that had died started shambling to their feet, with a terrifying moan coming from their lips, “BRRRAAAAIIIINNNNSSS!” We ended the session on that cliffhanger.

Next session we’ll begin with the onslaught of walking dead on the train. There’s an additional loose end that the players aren’t yet sure what about. There was a mysterious cow-girl subtly watching the bounty hunter through the glass without him noticing, but the Rascal did. The Mystic also caught a flash of some sort of arcane symbol on a turning page in the book she was reading. What is she all about? They have no idea…

I’ll do more posts about the character builds, and the setting conversion, but I wanted to get this play session written up. Some quick notes about game-play:

  • We’re using FAE, with my Approaches & Abilities method. So far, I’m pleased with the latest iteration.
  • Play was very brisk, but I felt a little more “on top of” the mechanics this time around.
  • Fate Points changed hands a few times. Awesomeness ensued. At the cliffhanger, I offered the players a compel on our campaign aspect, “The Zombies are Coming.”
  • We saw every action type used in this first session, including Create Advantage, which was nice. Each player used at 2 of their three bonused Approaches, and two of their three bonused Abilities. I think that’s an appropriate amount of variation to keep things interesting. There were times where I did have to step in and say, “I’m sorry, but what you described really isn’t a Careful action.”
  • I’m trying really hard to take a lesson to heart from the AngryDM that is very in line with Fate, and push the players to first describe what what they are doing in the story, and then we decide how to roll it (if rolling is even necessary). We weren’t 100% on this, but we did pretty well.



3 responses to “Deadlands Fate – Session 1

  • Piotr

    Have you made a concrete hack for Deadlands, or is it just some very basic rules, concerning only what’s necessary for that particular campaign? I’d love to see a hack with rules, covering Hucksters, Harrowed and maybe duels – basically Fate of Deadlands. Have you thought of Deadlands: Noir or just Weird West?

  • Jonathon Mark Johnson

    Hello Porter-

    I am listening to the FAE Deadlands podcast from DnDAcademy.

    On your site here, I notice that you do not have a Character writeup on Scott’s character, Martine.

    Could you do a writeup on him and especially his full name that Scott had pronounced. LOL

    Thanks for all that you are doing.



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