Rounding out our Go West, Young Gamer Week is what many view as the grandest expression of gaming set in that era – Deadlands Classic. This is the extra-special 20th Anniversary Edition, lovingly put together by the original gang of Shane Hensley, John Hopler, Matt Forbeck, and Hal Mangold, along with a ton of folks involved all along the way. It even has the original Bruce Campbell Foreward, where everyone gets called a Knucklehead.
It’s the classic, through-and-through… just cleaned up a little and integrating the player and Marshall stuff in one grand book.
This is the best version of Deadlands Classic, including both the original Player’s Guide and Marshal’s Handbook, with FULL COLOR art lovingly re-colored by Pinnacle’s top artists!
(If you already have the original Deadlands Classic Player’s Guide and Marshal’s Handbooks, this book does notpresent new material. It is a re-release of the original with a little cleanup and all the art re-rendered in gorgeous full-color.)
Deadlands Classic was originally released in 1996. This is the 20th Anniversary Edition, republished in full color in 2016.
Deadlands Classic was a surprise hit when it was originally released at GenCon ’96. The setting, the character types, the art, and even the poker-inspired mechanics combined to make an experience that won every major award the industry had to offer…and then some!
Here are a few reminders about the Classic Deadlands rules:
- A standard deck of playing cards with the Jokers left in is used for initiative, as well as for hucksters to “deal with the devil” or the Marshal to determine the outcome of your character’s transition to Harrowed. You even use a deck of cards to build your character! Beware the Jokers!
- A set of poker chips in white, red, and blue mixed in a “Fate Pot” are drawn blind by players and Marshal alike, and when spent, they go back into the pot. You gotta work for those Legend chips, pardner!
- Dice? Deadlands Classic uses ALL of them. And lots of them. It’s not uncommon to need five or six sets of dice from d4 to d20. And yes, they Ace! When you roll more “1s” than anything else, you go “bust” and your character fails catastrophically. Rolling the bones is not always a metaphor in this game…
- Part of the character build process is to figure out what scares your sodbuster the most. Your Worst Nightmare can most certainly come true!
- “Wind” is a derived statistic used rather like hit points. Wounds knock you down a few pegs…
- The Game Master is called the Marshal, and the characters the posse. Some things have stayed the same! Deadlands Classic also uses Traits, Edges, and Hindrances!
One book has all the information needed to play. Players and Marshals read the front and the Marshal reads the last half to figure out what makes the West so Weird.
This book does not require Savage Worlds or Deadlands Reloaded to play. It is a stand-alone game compatible with all the books labeled Deadlands Classic. Deadlands Reloaded is the later edition of the game that uses the Savage Worlds core rules.
Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
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