A while back, I made this document for myself, just to have laying around when making characters for Deadlands. Now, since I'm starting to play it again, I figured I'd post it up here so I can share it with my players easily. And add some pictures...
Using this guide:
The point of this document is provide a list of EVERY SINGLE Edge and Hindrance in every Deadlands source book in the classic Weird West line. It will also include recommended Edges/Hindrances for the various character concepts, as well as the optional Edges/Hindrances for each Arcane Background.
Unless otherwise noted, things are from the Player's Guide.
Don't Get 'Im Riled!
Friends In High Places
Gift of Gab
Luck O' The Irish
Nerves O' Steel
Sense O' Direction
Tough As Nails
Veteran O' The Weird West
Two-Gun Kid (LD)
Gallows Humor (BE:S)
Nature's Own (GWN)
Strong Digestion (GWN)
Strong Stomach (AG)
Grim Servant o' Death
Law o' the West
Mean As A Rattler
Ugly As Sin
Secret Identity (LD)
Mark O' Cain (LA)
Arcane Background: Blessed
Crisis Of Faith (F&B)
A note on religion: Fire & Brimstone covers most major religions, including Islam, Taoism, and others. However, the Mormons and followers of Grimme's Church of Lost Angels are covered in City o' Gloom and Lost Angels respectively.
Recommended Reading: Fire and Brimstone, Hexarana
Arcane Background: Huckster
Arcane Prodigy (H&H)
Old Hand (H&H)
Bad Karma (H&H)
Recommended reading: Hucksters & Hexes, Hexarcana
Arcane Background: Shaman
Recommended reading: Ghost Dancers, Hexarana
Arcane Background: Mad Scientist
Recommended reading: Smith & Robards, The Collegium
Arcane Background: Enlightened (Hex, TGM)
Martial Arts Training (Hex, TGM)
Quick Thinker (Hex)
The Cup Overflows (Hex)
“My Kung-Fu Is Superior!” (Hex)
Sifu! Sifu! (Hex)
School Rivalry (Hex)
Style Vulnerability (Hex)
Recommended reading: The Great Maze, Hexarcana
Arcane Background: Voodoo (Hex, RoB)
Favored Chual (Hex)
Recommended reading: River o' Blood, Hexarcana
Arcane Background: Blood Mage (TBC)
Whatley Blood (TBC)
Apt Pupil (TBC)
Belongin's: Arcane Tombs (TBC)
Recommended reading: The Black Circle, Doomtown or Bust!
Arcane Background: Hexslinger/Shootist (LD/TR)
Recommended reading: Law Dogs, Texas Rangers
Arcane Background Anahuac (LA)
Patron Saint (LA)
Recommended reading: Lost Angels, South o' the Border
Note: not included - Arcane Background: Aztec.
Foot Cavalry (BE:S)
Seen The Elephant (BE:S)
Soldiers currently members of an army should take Obligation, Rank, and Enemy. Former soldiers can take things like Loco, Lame, One-Armed Bandit, and Hankerin' to explain why they're not still wearing a uniform. Deserters should also take Wanted. Current and former soldiers can also take things like Brave, Heroic, and the like. They can also take Veteran O' The Weird West, as a lot of weirdness has been centered on battlefields. If your character retired and still has some friends in uniform, Friends In High Places could be something to think about.
Depending on the degree of authority a Law Man has, they should have the Edge of the same name. Most marshals and sheriffs are bound to towns and counties, but Federal Marshals and Texas Rangers can be highly mobile and not tied down too much. Bounty hunters can also count as Law Men, except that they rarely have the Law Man Edge. Seeing as most members of the law have to face down some serious threats without much back-up, Edges like Brave, Sand, Nerves O' Steel, “The Stare” and “The Voice” can be very helpful. There's also no reason why a man wanted Back East or across a border or even a few states/territories away can't be a Law Man, but if they want the Wanted Hindrance, make sure it's low level, maybe 1 or 2 points worth. If your character has made a name for himself as a Law Man, the Renown Edge might be something to look in to. Both Law Men and bounty hunters might have Friends In High Places to reflect folks in power they've helped out in the past.
Recommended reading: Law Dogs
There are many different types of outlaws; shyster, bank robbers, Maze pirates, and forgers all operate on the other side of the law. If your character is an Outlaw, she should take the Wanted Hindrance. Just because someone is an Outlaw doesn't mean they're a bad person. Maybe your character became a bank robber to make ends meet and has gotten quite good at it. Combining the Wanted and Yearin' Hindrances could make your character have a goal or reason for breaking the law. Or, maybe your character became an Outlaw because she has a temper and gunned down the wrong man that pissed her off. In general, you don't want to play a Black Hat in the game, but being a bit on the mean side should be fine.
Recommended reading: Law Dogs
Most 'Monster Hunters' in the game are from either the Union or Confederate governments. But, there's also the Explorer's Society from Rascals, Varmints, and Critters book. In addition, there's tons of folks who have had run-ins with the monsters and weird creatures running around. If you're wanting to have government support, look below. For those of you who want to be a bit more independent, you might want to take an Arcane Background (Blessed is the most powerful one for fighting the minions of the Reckoners), but it isn't required. To face down the horrible things out there, and to live to fight another day, you're going to want to have Sand, Veteran O' The Weird West, Brave, and maybe Gallows Humor. Since they're been facing Things Man Was Not Meant To Know, they might be a bit Loco, have a Hankerin', maybe have some Night Terrors that keep them up at night, or be missing some parts making them Lame or a One-Armed Bandit to remember a beast by. You might also want to look at being a veteran Soldier or former Law Man.
Folks that follow the 'way of the gun' tend to be people that can't operate very well in the normal world. In general, a Gunslinger is going to need Brave so they don't run during a gun fight, and for those of you who want to have both hands firing, Two-Fisted and Two-Gun Kid are must-haves. There's tons of things for trick shooting and modifying your guns, so make sure you look around the 'Recommended reading' below. Some Gunslingers might be Law Man or veteran Soldiers so look at those for more suggestions.
Recommended reading: Law Dogs
There are two 'degrees' of Rangers: regular Law Men and Monster Hunters. While the Rangers handle both, they might not be in the know about the beasts running around the Weird West until they get promoted up in Rank. In general, Rangers have Big Britches, are usually Brave, Loyal, and have Law Man and an Obligation.
Recommended reading: Texas Rangers, Law Dogs
Agent/Man In Black:
Originally, the Union's Monster Hunters were the Pinkerton Detective Agency, but in 1877, President Grant created the Special Services Agency. For the most part, the members of either group had two major goals: fighting the Confederates and killing monsters. Unlike the Texas Rangers, the Agency doesn't really have law enforcement powers and tends to be more scientific in their approach to the servants of the Reckoners. Being Brave, having a Secret Identity, and Curious isn't uncommon. But, you're kind of a Law Man and you best believe you have an Obligation.
Recommended reading: The Agency, Law Dogs
Nationalities and Such
Born on Horseback (GD)
Gone Native (GD)
Guardian Spirit (GD)
Stone Faced (GD)
Old Ways Vow (GD)
There are tons of different tribes of Native Americans out there. Some follow the Old Ways, others are more European influenced. If you're making an Indian Brave or Shaman, make sure to do your research and read the book listed below.
Recommended Reading: Ghost Dancers
In 1877, British forces invade Detroit. Now, while that might be seen as an improvement to some folks, it did piss off a lot of others. Canada is a lot like its southern neighbors, but not as rough and tumble. If you want to play a Canadian, just make him like a normal cowpoke, but maybe give him Ferner if he's a real big fan of the Crown.
Recommended reading: Great Weird North
Social Class (SoB)
Unless you're running a game Down South, Mexcians are going to be Ferners. They'll also have to pick up the lingo, too, so don't forget about that. Most Mexicans will be coming up north to get away from the happenings down there, so they might have a Yearin' to start a good life. They might also be the stereotypical Bandito, with Wanted to go with it, on the run from the law back home.
Recommended reading: South O' The Border
(As in from The Maze [formerly California] and/or Lost Angels)
Lost Angel (LA)
Iron Stomach (LA)
Chosen One (LA)
There's so many types of folks out in the Maze, I'm just going to list out some of the major groups: the Chinese, the Indians, the Confederates, the Yankees, the Mexicans, and just about anyone and everyone else. Outlaws around the Maze are usually pirates. Mad Scientists abound, looking to be close to a source of Ghost Rock. Martial Artists are common here because of the large Chinese population. The Texas Rangers might be looking for someone who's run off and hiding as a miner or something. There's also people who try to salvAGe things from the cities that fell into the sea. Seriously, if you think of it, you'll find it in the Maze.
Now, the City of Lost Angels is the largest city in the Maze and is run by a religious nut-job.
Recommended reading: The Great Maze, Lost Angels
For folks that come from Back East and north of the Mason-Dixie line, they'll want to take a look at the book listed below. For the most part, folks heading west from the North are escaping built-up cities, a mildly oppressively government, and a lot of war zones.
Recommended reading: Back East: The North
Rebel Yell (BE:S)
Southerners are an interesting breed, from a young nation (who's existence is subject of debate). They have some mighty Big Britches, they tend to be Intolerant towards loud-mouthed Yankees (and/or Mexicans), and if from New Orleans, might have Arcane Background: Voodoo.
Recommended Reading: Back East: The South, River O' Blood
Got a fella missing an arm? Well, the New Science has a solution! Scrappers are most common in the City o' Gloom but I'm sure people could be found anywhere. If you want to start out with some new gizmos in your body, you're going to want to pick up the Belongin's Edge.
Recommended reading: City o' Gloom, The Collegium
Aura o' Death (BoD)
Mark o' the Devil (BoD)
Unnatural Appetite (BoD)
Lycanthropy (RVC 2)
Vampirism (RVC 2)
Born on All Hallows Eve
Born on Christmas
Born Under A Blood-Red Moon
Child Of The Raven
Brush With Death (GD)
Dream Birth (GD)
Nightmare Birth (GD)
“Give me your tired and poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..”
Let's face it, America has always been a home for immigrants. Folks from every walk of life have ended up in the USA and now the CSA. In the Deadlands world, folks are a bit more enlightened than they were in ours, but I think a minor addition to the game works okay. Unlike Ferner, being a Minority doesn't mean that you're Fresh-Of-The-Boat, but may have been born and raised in the country but are just slightly different. To define, there are three categories of minorities: Racial, Religious, and Gender. Racial minorities are easy: if you aren't a honkey, you can pick up this Hindrance. Religious minorities are a bit harder to define and mostly rely on where the game is taking place, but the major minority Back East (and to some degree in other places around the West) is Catholics. Usually from Irish or Italian immigrant stock, the followers of the Pope don't have an easy time from judgmental folks. Gender is a bit harder to work with, as the Civil War has drained lots of men-folk allowing women to fill many roles thought unimAGinable a few short years AGo. Women can pick up Minority if she does a job that's very much 'man's work' like being a Law Dog, but take it up with your Marshal first.
For the most part, not being a WASP is enough to get the one point level of this Hindrance. Your character is black, Chinese, Indian, or maybe Catholic. While most folks don't really have a problem with him, some folks might look at him a little funny and the law might knock on his door first if 'someone matching' his description commits a crime.
For campaigns that take place an area where a group of minorities cause issues (Apache raids, perhaps?), Marshal's may allow players to take two points in this Hindrance if they are part of or closely match the minority (like being an Indian, but not even an Apache in the example above).
For Marshals that want a bit more 'darkness' in their campaigns, they may allow up to three points of this Hindrance in some locations. For example, some folks in the Maze may not take too kindly to someone Chinese because of Kang's pirates. Or, maybe folks in the CSA aren't as accepting of freedmen as they say in the Back East book...
PG – Player's Guide
MH – Marshal's Handbook
F&B – Fire and Brimstone
H&H – Hucksters & Hexes
GD – Ghost Dancers
Sm&Rds – Smith and Robards
Col – The Colligum
BE:N – Back East: The North
BE:S – Back East: The South
TR – Texas Rangers
AG – The AGency
LD – Law Dogs
TGM – The Great Maze (California)
CoG – City o' Gloom
Dead – Book o' the Dead
ToT – Tales o' Terror: 1877
RoB – River o' Blood
TBC – The Black Circle
RVC 1 – Rascals, Varmints, and Critters
RVC 2 – Rascals, Varmints, and Critters 2
SoB – South o' the Border (Mexico)
GWN – Great Weird North (Canada)
LA – Lost Angels
BoD – Book o' the Dead