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MyGURPS - Deadlands House Rules

Deadlands House Rules

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Deadlands: The Weird West is the best edition of the setting yet, but there's always room for updates and adjustments.

Official Errata and Clarifications

Characters

  • For Harrowed, "letting the devil out" is just one way to prompt a Dominion roll. Certain appropriate threats and situations can prompt it as well, either canonically or as a GM call.

Gear

  • Simple Medieval melee weapons made out of ghost-steel aren't infernal devices and don't malfunction.

Critters and NPCs

  • Unlike Insubstantial characters, Ethereal creatures can attack without manifesting physically (unless indicated otherwise).
  • Some monsters take damage only from "magical attacks." If Edges like Champion or Chi are causing extra damage to the monster, those attacks count as magical for this purpose.
  • The 'Glom gets additional attacks. Details here.
  • Texas Tummy Twisters are supernatural, which means they can "infect" Harrowed.

House Rules

These are minor changes that our group uses and recommends. Be sure to also see our SWADE House Rules.

Chi Masters

If Savage Pathfinder had come out before Deadlands: The Weird West, Chi Masters probably would have used the Mystic Powers rules. This simple change fits them perfectly and really makes them feel like power-aided fighters rather than spellcasters.

  • Edge: Mystic Powers (Chi Master)
  • Requirements: Novice, Agility d6+, Spirit d6+, Martial Artist
  • Arcane Skill: None!
  • Starting Powers: 3 (deflection, plus two of player’s choice)
  • Power Points: 10
  • Available Powers*: arcane protection, boost/lower Trait, curse†, darksight, deflection, detect arcana (Aspect), empathy†, environmental protection, farsight, healing, numb, protection, relief, sloth/speed, smite, wall walker, warrior’s gift.
  • Training: The only Power Edges that chi masters can take are Concentration, New Powers, Power Points, Power Surge, Rapid Recharge (including Improved), and Soul Drain.
  • Internal Focus: A chi master's powers are innate and inherent. They do not require a skill roll to activate. The chi master simply pays the Power Point cost and the power works — or pays +2 PP and it works with a raise. They may add Power Modifiers as usual. The chi master can activate only one power per turn, but this is done as a free action. Every power has range Limitations (see below), but the chi master gets no PP discount for them. Other Limitations (like Aspect) do reduce PP cost.
  • Limited Range: Beneficial powers have a Range of Self. Detrimental ones have a Range of Touch. Unwilling targets must thus be contacted via a Touch Attack; the PP is spent whether the attack succeeds or fails.
* The same list, minus burrow which doesn't fit the feel.
† The opposed roll required is Spirit vs. Spirit.

Ghost-Steel Guns and Ghost-Powder Bullets

Ghost-steel firearms have 10× cost. Gatling guns can be made of ghost steel. There is no change to statistics; they are simply reinforced to safely fire ghost-powder ammo safely. They don't suffer malfunctions when firing mundane bullets.

Ghost-powder ammo also has 10× cost. It inflicts +1 Damage and +1 AP. In a ghost-steel gun, it malfunctions as any ghost-rock device, causing the gun to break or catch fire on a Critical Failure. Using it a normal gun is extremely unsafe, causing it to malfunction if the skill die* is a 1 and the Wild Die failed.

* Any of the skill dice on a rapid fire attack.

Harrowed

Counting Coup: Killing a creature with a "Coup" ability grants the Harrowed the potential to use that ability, but it must take a new Edge to do so:

  • New Edge: Counted Coup (Novice, Harrowed). You can have up to two earned Coup abilities active at any given time. Think of this Edge as providing "slots" in which to load them. If you've earned three or more Coup abilities, you may change out which ones are active each time you sleep. This Edge may be taken multiple times, each time adding another two "slots" for Coup abilities.

Supernatural Attribute: This Edge raises the attribute (and its limit) by one die type, not two. It's still a great deal, since it can be taken alongside the usual once-per-Rank attribute Advance and it raises the maximum (generally to d12+1).

Veteran o'the Weird West

The cost-to-benefit ratio of this Edge is unbalanced enough that we've had players feel like they had to take it lest they feel outshined by those who did. So it's not an Edge anymore.

  • Veteran o'the Weird West is now an option that any player may elect during character creation.
  • If they do, they must draw a card from the deck, gaining the effect on p. 91.
    • Exception: If the player draws a Joker, the GM will draw another card and implement its effects in secret (if possible), trying to maintain the mystery for as long as possible. This means the "Joker" results from p. 91 are possible only if both the player and then the GM draw a Joker.
  • In return, the starting character may take one Edge, ignoring all Attribute and Skill prerequisites, but not other requirements (like Edges). In addition, the Edge (and any powers, etc. granted by it) can be up to one Rank higher than theirs; e.g., in a Novice game, it could be a Novice or Seasoned Edge.

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