By: Wesley Walter
The Montevallo Organization of Gaming held a Deadlands one-shot on the nights of Oct. 19 and 26. During the two nights, attendees were given the opportunity to learn about the game, build their own characters and play the game with the characters they created.
Deadlands is a tabletop role-playing game similar to Dungeons and Dragons. The game is set in an alternate version of the Wild West known as the Weird West. The game features fantasy and science fiction elements, with magic and futuristic technology being important aspects of the game’s universe. It was first released in 1996 by Pinnacle Entertainment and has received continuous updates since then.
On Oct. 19, students met in Hill House at 7 p.m. to learn about the game and build characters. Character creation allows players to select from many different play styles including traditional gunslingers, outlaws, mountain men and wizard-like characters known as hucksters.
While creating their characters, players are given six points in the attributes of agility, smarts, spirit, strength and vigor as well as 12 skill points to allocate. Skills range from a wide variety of abilities such as shooting, gambling and boating.
Lastly, players are given edges and hinderances. Edges include helpful traits such as good looks and wealth. Hinderances include everything from being overly loyal or a pacifist to having a severe addiction or missing limbs.
At the group’s Oct. 26 meeting, participants were given the chance to briefly play the game with the characters they created the week prior.
One of group of players was led by mathematics professor, Dr. Benton Tyler, who served as the game’s marshal, which is Deadland’s equivalent of a dungeon master in Dungeons and Dragons.
Player-created characters in this group included a muckraking investigative journalist, an extremely rich and overconfident man who suffers from night terrors and an inability to swim, a slightly senile old man who is obsessed with dynamite and a huckster who has a severe addiction to peyote.
The story of the one-shot centered around this cast of characters searching for a magical Babylonian artifact that was stolen by a group of cultists attempting to summon the devil. Players were given the promise of a $100 reward if they successfully recovered the artifact.
The players were eventually successful in obtaining the artifact, despite many distractions and setbacks including attempts to start a bar fight and a drinking competition at the saloon, the huckster nearly being killed by a shotgun-wielding cultist and the old man accidentally dropping a lit stick of dynamite at the feet of the party.
After successfully returning the artifact to the town mayor, players received their $100 reward and the huckster received a large quantity of peyote.