Something Wicked This Way Comes...
Ace in the Hole 5
It seems that just when everyone thought you were done shootin’, you have more lead to sling. Your maximum number of action cards is increased to 5.
You can push yourself to the limits. You might pay for it later in aching muscles, but you can jump further, run faster, and lift more than most. You may choose to take 1d6 Wind damage in exchange for a White Chip to use immediately on any Corporeal Trait check.
If a cowboy’s gun is his best friend, his horse is his mistress. These two commodities satisfy most folks, but a few have something they consider equally valuable. This Edge covers all the unusual equipment you might want for your character.
Big Ears 1
Some folks got “head handles” as big as a donkey’s. Those who do can usually hear a soft-toed critter creeping over stone at 100 yards. A character with the big ears Edge adds +2 to Cognition rolls involving hearing things.
Blood Brother 2
You’ve spent time with Indians, so much so that they consider you one of their own. Not every white man is considered the Indians’ enemy. You’ve been adopted into a tribe, and that means any tribe they deal with will recognize you as an ally as well. Of course, if you run across your tribes’ mortal enemies…..
Born On Horseback 3 (Native American)
Riding a horse is as natural to some Indians as walking on two feet-Maybe even more so. Your hero never suffers the -2 penalty for attacking while mounted.
Most folks aren’t really brave—they’re just too stupid to know better. Maybe you’re different, but it’s doubtful. Characters with this Edge add +2 to their Guts checks.
Some folks think a fellow as big as you is dumb as a post. They sometimes change their minds when you use your muscles to let them know what it feels like to be a post. Your character is big. Not obese, just big and chock full o’ muscles. He probably has a nickname like Hoss or Tiny. Your character must have at least a 2d8 Strength to take this Edge. If he does, you can add +1 to your hombre’s Size. Your hero can’t be brawny and a big ’un, by the way.
Boys learn to ride at an early age in the rural South, and when The War came, those boys became the elite troopers who fight alongside Nathan Bedford Forrest and John Mosby. Confederate cavalry units are justly feared by their Federal opponents. Cavalrymen who hail from the industrial North have gained proficiency since the start of The War, and are a force to be reckoned with, but overall, Confederates remain superior horsemen. To reflect this cultural advantage, this Edge only costs one point for heros hailing from the South. Yankees will have to pony up two character points for the same benefit. Characters with the cavalier Edge suffer no penalty to shootin’ rolls while mounted, instead of the usual -2.
Clown 3 (Native American)
Clowns, or heyoka are very spiritually powerful in many tribes. A clown dresses warmly in the summer, wears nothing in the winter, laughs instead of crying, yells instead of whispering, and so on. Becoming a clown raises the character’s spirit die type by one step, but acting like a clown is not the occasional thing. If the Chief ever feels the Indian is not acting contrarily, he may require a Hard (7) faith roll. On a failure, the hero loses the clown Edge until the character acts contrary again.
Common Bond 2
Some close companions share a special link, it doesn’t matter if get along perfectly or not, they have formed a close and common bond during their travels. You don’t have to throw a chip back in the pot to share chips with other members of the posse.
Sure, your fellow posse members will laugh at you for being able to bend your knees backward or fit into a suitcase. Their laughter will turn into pleadings for help and praise as you wiggle out of your ropes those cannibals tied you up in and ride away as they wait to find out who’ll be breakfast. Contortionist characters are extremely flexible, giving them a +2 bonus to any Corporeal Trait or Aptitude check such freedom of movement would assist in (i.e. getting out of ropes, sliding your hand between the cell bars to grab the keys the sheriff left hanging on the wall, etc.). In addition, a character who is a Contortionist can treat his Size as one smaller for slipping through small passages.
The native has grown up his belief in pagan gods and has accepted the white God (or Yahweh or Allah or another nonnative religion) into his heart. He can no longer learn rituals or favors and cannot have a guardian spirit. Instead, he could now be blessed, which most natives can’t be. This character is still a member of the tribe, although he suffers a -2 modifier on all social Aptitude rolls when dealing with other tribe members. Whites who find out this character is converted do not have any social penalties associated with him being a ferner, and those who are intolerant toward Injuns have their penalties reduced by half. A converted Indian may use the protection miracle if he has one point in faith, like any white character.
Cross Draw 1
You’ve mastered the art of the cross draw, and don’t suffer any penalties when doing so.
Don’t Get ‘im Riled! 2
People shouldn’t get your hero mad. When they do, he fights like a cornered wildcat. Add Xd4 to your hero’s hand-to-hand damage, where X is her highest wound penalty you are actually suffering from.
Eagle Eyes 1
Sharp-eyed folks can spot a fly on a raisin cake at 20 paces. Others might just wonder what’s so chewy. You may add +2 to any Cognition rolls made for your character to spot or notice things at a distance.
Fast As Lightning 4
When your hero reaches for his shootin’ irons, folks rarely have time to blink, much less draw him down. Some say he’s the fastest gun in the West. Whether that’s true or not, he’s quick, damned quick. And the ones he’s fighting are usually the dead. The hero treats all of his action cards as spades.
Faster than Hell 5
This gunslinger is incredibly (some say impossibly) fast on the draw. Once per combat round, he may treat any one action card as a 10 of the same suit it normally is.
Fate’s Favored 3
This cowpoke’s got someone watching out for him, and he can trust Lady Luck to come through in a pinch. Once per session, he may spend a Fate Chip of any color and treat it as if it were a blue chip.
There often comes a time when a cowpoke needs to hightail it away from some angry varmint. If that’s the case, remember the golden rule of skedaddling: you only have to outrun one person. Unless there’s a lot of angry varmints, of course. Then you better be fleet-footed enough to outrun the rest of your posse! For each point in this Edge, your character’s base Pace is 1 more than his Nimbleness. A character with a Nimbleness of d12, for example, and fleet-footed at level 3, would have a base Pace of 15.
Foot Cavalry 1-5
Confederates, such as the legendary Stonewall Brigade, are renowned (atleast in the South) for their ability to march long distances in short spans of time and still whip double their number of Yankees when they reach their destination. It’s no wonder their shoes wore out quickly, and Confederates spent most of the early War in bare feet. For every point of foot cavalry, a character adds +1 to all Vigor rolls made to walk extra-long distances. The roll to keep going after twenty miles, for example, is normally made with a -2 penalty, but a character with 2 points of foot cavalry ignores the penalty entirely.
“Starving Confederate” was a redundant term in the early part of The War, and hunger sometimes drove Southern soldiers more than anything else. Legend has it Confederates once attacked a Yankee regiment yelling, “Get ‘em boys! They got cheese in their haversacks!” Even when food was available, it was usually hardtack (crackers indistinguishable from bricks), saltpork (heavy on the salt) or “sloosh” (corn meal mixed with saltpork grease). A character with the forbearance Edge learned to accept deprivation as a companion. For every point in this Edge, a character does not lose Wind for one day’s failure to eat the required amount of food. (For example, a character with 3 points of forbearance can starve for 72 hours with no ill effects.) After that time, they lose Wind normally This Edge does not prevent loss of Wind from dehydration, so don’t throw away your canteen just yet. Also, Blessed who are trying to boost their faith rolls by use of the fastin’ Aptitude must forego the benefit of this Edge while doing so. As far as the Almighty’s concerned, no pain means no gain.
Gallows Humor 2
Georgians and Louisianans are said to joke about even dire situations, which enables them to lead even suicidal charges. They can stare the Grim Reaper himself in the face, just so long as something strikes them as funny about him. Characters with this Edge respond to fear and danger with grim witticisms about their opposition or their own plight. When such heroes fail a guts check, they may immediately attempt a second check using their ridicule Aptitude, against the same TN. If they fail, the suffer the normal effects of the failed guts check. Because it’s no fun keeping a joke to oneself, the ridiculing phrase must be spoken aloud by both the player and the character, so being gagged or otherwise speechless deprives a character the benefits of this Edge. In other words, you have to actually make up and state a witticism about the situation. No joke, no roll. The Marshal has final word on the effectiveness of the chosen phrase. If the best the player can do is, “You, you…stupid monster! Look how…stupid…that is!” or similar, the Marshal may penalize the roll, disallow use of this Edge or both. Likewise, a player who comes up with a devastatingly funny line (the kind that halts the game so everyone can regain their composure) might receive a bonus to her roll. This might also apply to the rest of the Posse’s guts rolls if they were able to overhear the hilarious remark.
Gift of Gab 1
There are a lot of languages spoken in the Weird West. It helps to understand a few. If some strange German-speaking hermit asks you and your posse to dinner, you’d best make sure he wants to feed you instead of eat you. This Edge allows your character to pick up spoken languages very quickly. Given a few minutes of conversation, he has an effective oral skill of 1 in any language.
Gone Native 3
Whites sometimes give up their membership in white society and join a tribe. This can happen involuntarily (as with children captured in Indian raids) or voluntarily (like when folks want to learn more about Indian ways and give up white life by choice). If your hero wasn’t born an Indian, you may select one tribe to which he now belongs. This means the character can now have a guardian spirit and, if he has faith of at least 1, and request favors that do not cost more than 1 appeasement point. He may participate in his tribe’s group rituals and ceremonies. He can even become a Shaman. The character must follow all the tribe’s ways. He cannot attack another member of the tribe or its allies without due cause. All newly made Indians are also loyal to their tribe. White characters gone native may not take the Tribeless hindrance. Whites who have Gone Native seem to have the best of both worlds. They can still move among white society, and unless they’re wearing war paint or feathered bonnets, nobody considers them anything other than back woodsy types. If it becomes known that your hero has Gone Native, your character suffers a -2 (or more, at the Chief’s discretion) penalty to all rolls to interact with those with intolerance “damn injuns”.
You’ve been through it all and seen some of the worst the Reckoners have to throw at you, and you’re still going strong. Any rolls made on the Scart chart go to the next lowest entry.
Healthy as a Horse 3
You’re about as rugged as they come, and anytime you have to make a Healing check, the TN for each wound level is considered one category lower.
You drink like a fish. As such, it takes twice as long for alcohol and poison to take effect on you.
Iron Stomach 4
Never let ’em see you sweat (or puke). After some time in Lost Angels, this hero’s seen just about everything Hell can send at the living, and it’s left him just a bit jaded. He can disregard any Scart Table result of “weak in the knees” or less.
Frontier veterans expect the unexpected. Other folks are just jumpy. The thing they’ve got in common is that they can both sense a mountain lion creeping up on them from 50 yards away. A keen hero notices little details, sounds, and movements that others may ignore. She may add +2 to any Cognition, search, trackin’ or scrutinize rolls made under these circumstances. This covers raw observation, so include rolls made to hear, smell, taste, or otherwise sense whatever it is the hero is attempting to detect.
Anyone who wanders into the Sioux Nations or the Coyote Confederation better know how to say “howdy” without making anyone angry. Likewise, an Apache who doesn’t know to spit in the spittoon instead of on the floor probably won’t endear himself to the barkeep. Kemosabe gives the character knowledge of a culture and a few casual friends within it. The cost depends on how different the culture is from the hero’s native ways. The cost is 2 if the contacts are totally foreign, such as whites to Indians and vice-versa, or Chinese to most any other Westerners. Kemosabe costs only 1 point if your character knows the ways of a similar culture such as Protestants to Mormons or Sioux to Comanche.
Veteran gunmen claim speed and skill are vital, but they’re overrated compared to keeping your cool, aiming at your target, and putting it down. A hothead who empties his hogleg too fast soon finds himself taking root in the local bone orchard. Immediately after drawing Action Cards in combat, a character with this Edge can discard his lowest card and draw another. If the character draws a black Joker on the first draw, he’s out of luck and can’t draw again.
Light Sleeper 1
Sleep doesn’t always come easy in Deadlands, but this isn’t always a bad thing. While it might make you grouchy before your morning coffee, being a light sleeper can be handy when some slimy critter tries to slither into your bedroll. A character with the light sleeper Edge may add +2 to Cognition rolls made when he needs to wake up quickly.
Luck o’ the Irish 5
Some folks are just born lucky. Rattle off a Gatling pistol at them and you just ruin their new duds. Characters with luck o’ the Irish get to draw an extra chip at the beginning of each session.
Mean Left Hook 2
Your fists are hard as rocks, and you can kill a man with your bare hands. You may choose to do lethal damage in hand to hand combat, and your get an extra die of Strength when making any barehanded attack.
Mountain Man 2
A couple folk have no use for society or civilization at all, and you’re one of them. You get a +2 on Survival checks, and any Vigor checks made to resist the effects of heat or cold.
Mechanically Inclined 1
Mechanical devices aren’t common on the frontier, and neither are those who know how to fix them. A character with this Edge adds +2 to rolls involving fixing or understanding machinery, including Tinkerin’.
Nature’s Own 3
They say your mama was a bear and you papa an oak tree. Sometimes it feels like they’re right – that’s how comfortable you are in the woods. Some people relate to nature better than others. For you, nature is like your home You only really feel like your alive when you’re out in the wilderness, away from the buildings and the roads. And when you are, it’s like the world welcomes you back. Take +2 to any rolls involving moving through wilderness, such as running through the forest, dodging branches, swimming a river, etc.
Nerves o’ Steel 1
Some of the Weird West’s heroes are too darn stubborn to run even when their boots are full of “liquid fear.” Most of their skeletons lie bleaching in the desert, but a few are still fighting the horrors of the High Plains. Whenever the character fails a guts check and is forced to flee, the character can choose to stand his ground instead. He still suffers any other penalties, however. A character with nerves o’ steel isn’t necessarily brave. Sometimes he’s just more afraid of being branded a yellow bellied coward than he is of death. Some folks are funny that way.
Number One with a Bullet 3
There’s many good shots in the Weird West, but few can compare to the heroes who can shoot the guns out of their opponents’ hands, hit tin cans multiple times as they fly through the air, and punch daylight through the rotting skull of six zombies in one fast fan of the hammer. A hero with this Edge halves any penalties for called shots.
Paleface 1 (Native American)
This Indian is white as a rail baron’s son on the outside, but all Indian inside. Unless he’s painted for war or showing off his braids, whites can’t tell him apart from their own people. Some may think he was a white baby stolen by a war party, but he’s all native born. In any case, the Indians in the hero’s tribe accept the hero as one of them. Other Indian tribes may not feel the same way, Unless your hero has Renown among their people or Friends In High Places in other tribes. If the hero trys to pass as white, he needs to speak English and have a dose of Preformin’: acting or Kemosabe to maintain the illusion. Some fresh duds from the trading post might help too. If the character’s identity is somehow revealed, whites react in one of two ways: They think the character is a white who has Gone Native, or they’re angry at the deception.
They say an ugly fellow can stop a bullet with his face. A good-looking one might not get shot at in the first place. A purty character may add +2 to most persuasion rolls or other situations where her good looks might come into play.
Quick and the Dead 1-5
When your hero goes for his irons folks best not blink or they’ll miss it. Some say he’s the fastest gun in the west and they might be right. Each rank in this edge gives your hero a +1 to their quick draw rolls
Quick Loader 2
You’ve gotten real adept at slamming extra rounds into your hogleg. Anytime you make a speed load check, you always load one extra bullet than your check would indicate, unless you go bust.
Quick Thinker 2
Maybe your hero has been trained to avoid situations in which he might be surprised or maybe he just doesn’t seize up under pressure like most. Either way, there’s a tiny part of him that always expects an ambush. When making Cognition rolls to see if your hero has been surprised, he never faces a Target Number higher than 5. Even if he fails that roll, he still gets 1 Action card during the round in which he was supposedly surprised. He is never surprised past the first round; don’t even bother rolling to recover. Anyone may buy this edge.
Rebel Yell 2
The banshee-like, blood-curdling Rebel Yell has terrified Yankees and emboldened Confederates from Manassas on. Legend says it can’t be done on a full stomach, but under other circumstances, it’s your hero’s trademark. A Rebel Yell absolutely requires a character to wail at the top of their lungs, so there’s no mistaking use of this Edge. Assuming there’s nothing preventing the Yell (such as a gag), the character is +2 to all guts checks for the remainder of the round. If the character achieves Surprise prior to letting loose with his yelling, all those Surprised must make their Cognition checks to act at a base TN (9) instead of the usual base TN (5). Since the yeller’s adrenaline rush and the opponent’s shock both wear off quickly, Rebel Yell is only effective once per encounter. Thus, it’s wise to save it until you’ve caught your opponents off guard, or when you’re in deep, deep trouble.
Religious Rank 1/2/4
Military organizations have a strict rank structure designating authority. Certain religions have a similar hierarchy, although the members of the church aren’t nearly as duty-bound to follow the instructions of their superiors as a soldier is. A character with this Edge has some authority within the organization of his religion. Much like military rank, religious rank covers both authority and duty. The higher the hero’s place in his organization, the more likely he has duties to the church as well. However, these responsibilities aren’t usually as severe as those of military personnel. It isn’t necessary to have arcane background: blessed to select this Edge, but a character must have the Aptitude professional: theology with a level equal to or greater than his religious rank. Characters with religious rank gain a bonus to their Mien-based rolls equal to the value of the Edge when dealing with members of their own religion. They are also able to call on the resources of their church from time to time, to help them in their battles. Obviously, higher-ranking leaders have greater influence and larger resources to draw from. But remember, the resources of a church, no matter how large, are quite different from the resources of an army or similar organization! Most ordained ministers have religious rank 1— but not all religions have well-defined hierarchies, so this Edge isn’t appropriate to every blessed. If your hero follows one of these other religions, consider choosing renown instead. Consult with your Marshal if you’re not sure which Edge is more appropriate.
1 Priest, elder, or other leader with responsibility for a single congregation.
2 Bishop, high priest, or similar leader with responsibility for a single large or several smaller churches.
4 Archbishop, lama, or other leader with authority over a large group of churches.
Sand, grit. You’d think the heroes of the Weird West never take baths. Well, most don’t, but that’s not the kind of sand we’re talking about. We’re talking about the kind of hombre who keeps fighting even when his boots are full of his own blood. The kind of cowgirl who can punch the Grim Reaper in the face and then ask him to dance—who could drive los diablos themselves from Texas to Kansas. In short, a hero with sand has fire in his eyes and spit in his belly. Every level of sand allows the hero to add +1 to the stun threshold and to any stun and recovery checks he must make during combat.
Not necessarily of the Indian persuasion – you’ve just spent a lot of time on the range. You get a +2 on Trackin checks, and you only need half the sleep of a normal person (about 4 hours a night) to function normally.
Seen the Elephant 1-5
Soldiers are exposed to carnage inconceivable to civilians. They retain memories of it long after the battles are over, but as compensation, they no longer scare easily. For every point a character has in seen the elephant, they add +1 to all guts checks so long as the potential source of fear is not of a visibly abnormal nature. For example, a survivor of Sharpsburg is highly unlikely to be phased by the mere sight of a corpse, no matter how badly shot up it may be. However, if a corpse gets up and moves around, all prior bets are off and the normal benefits of this Edge become null and void. Similarly, the rumble of cannon fire is like crickets chirping at night to a soldier who’s seen the elephant, but if that rumble turns out to be from a hungry Mojave rattler, that soldier is left with his normal TN for the guts check. This benefits of this Edge are cumulative with the brave Edge, which boosts guts checks regardless of what provokes them.
Sense o’ direction 1
You can usually tell which direction is north—or south if you’re a Reb. To determine direction, make a Fair (5) Cognition roll. With a Hard (9) Smarts roll, your character also knows what time it is.
Snakeoil Salesman 3
Your shyster has the forked tongue of the devil hisself. You get a +2 on Persuasion and Streetwise checks.
Any burglar would kill to have your skill at walking. It isn’t that you’re particularly small or light, you just know how to walk lightly. You barely leave footprints, make very little sound when you walk and can move across ice and snow without sinking into or cracking them. Take a +2 bonus to nimbleness rolls when crossing ice or snow, and +2 to all sneak rolls. This edge is not available to Brawny characters.
Stage Magician 3
Your trickster is skilled at misdirection, legerdemain, prestidigitation, and other sorts of flim flammery. He gets a +2 bonus on all Bluff and Sleight of Hand checks.
Stone-Faced 3 (Native American)
Indians are really good at being inscrutable. Some have learned how to beat the best white poker players at their own game. All social skills directed against this character, overawe, persuasion, and scrutinize are made at one die type lower than normal.
Strong Digestion 1
You’re heard of people who can’t eat certain things or get sick just smellin’ them cookin’. That just seems silly to you, though. It’s called iron stomach, by some. You just call it a hearty appetite. Whatever the reason, you can eat almost anything with out worrying about it being poisonous or undercooked. That doesn’t mean it tastes good, but at least it keeps you going. Ignore any penalties for undercooked food, and any ill effects from plants unless they are deadly poisons.
Strong Stomach 1
The character has a cast iron stomach when it comes to gore. Maybe she’s an ex-surgeon or has just seen one too many murder victims, but whatever the case, it just doesn’t have that strong of an effect on her anymore. Whenever she fails a guts check because of blood, dead bodies (not undead ones, though), she can ignore any result that causes her to lose Wind or run away. She still suffers any other penalties, if applicable.
The Stare 1
There’s something in your stare that makes others nervous. When your eye starts twitching, someone’s about to get carried to Boot Hill. Clint Eastwood has it, and so does your gunslinger. A character with “The Stare” may add +2 to his Overawe attacks as long as the intended victim is close enough to look into his steely gaze (usually less than 30 feet).
Whether he’s tough-as-nails or just plain dumb, a cowboy who can handle a little pain is a hombre who’s hard to beat. Tinhorns cry over a splinter. Thick-skinned gunslingers blaze away with both guns even when they’re up to their gun belts in their own blood. Thick-skinned characters reduce their wound penalty by 1. A character with a serious wound would normally have a wound penalty of –3. A thick skinned hombre’s modifier would only be -2.
Tough as Nails 1–5
Some folks keel over in a stiff wind, but you chew razor blades for breakfast. A real hero’s got to persevere no matter how hard things get. Every level of tough as nails adds +2 to your character’s Wind. She can tough out losing blood and getting banged around when others are curling up like babies with thumbs in their mouths.
True Grit 5
Some folks just seem to exude toughness and your hero is one of them. He has gravel in his guts and ice water running through his veins. It takes more then some tough words or long shadows to spook this hombre. Your hero has +4 Wind, +2 to Vigor rolls, and +1 Grit.
A rare few are just as good with their left hand as they are their right. These folks make deadly gunfighters and better cheats. A two-fisted character ignores the –4 penalty for using his off hand. If he’s firing two guns or fighting with two hand-weapons, he’ll still have to deal with the –2 penalty for using a second weapon. Edge works for one type of weapon, but may be bought multiple times.
Two-Gun Kid 5
A gun in each hand is your trademark. When they speak, folks listen—and die. Characters must have the two-fisted Edge to buy this Edge. Two-fisted eliminates the –4 penalty for using an off hand. Two-gun kid reduces the penalty to –1. Edge works for one type of weapon, but may be bought multiple times.
When you were a kid, a blind dog walked right into you – didn’t know you were there. It’s always been like that. It isn’t just animals like you, necessarily. They just seem to accept you being there. Dogs never bark at you, horses never whinny – and that one time you ran across a bear, it walked right past you without even snuffling. Take a +2 on animal handilin’ rolls, and ignore any animal guards when trying to sneak around.
The Voice 1
A gunslinger with a gravely voice is much more threatening when he calls out some scoundrel from Back East than some tinhorn with a voice like a mouse. You can choose what kind of voice your character has. A soothing voice adds +2 to persuasion rolls made in calm, seductive, or otherwise peaceful situations. A threatening voice adds +2 to overawe rolls. A grating voice adds +2 to ridicule rolls. You can buy multiple voices for your hero. Each one costs 1 point.