Deadlands 1865 Map

December 5, 2008 by

Below is an evolving map of the New Jerusalem area. I believe it’s reasonably faithful to the 1865 time period. You’ll have to download the pdf for the detail – link below the map.

deadlands-1865-map

Deadlands 1865 – Detailed Area Map pdf – 3.5Mb

One or two things to note…

1/ Settlements are in blue – it doesn’t include every single one but the majority are included and it gives a pretty good idea which areas have been settled.

2/ Forts are in red – not all of these are military – in fact the majority are stockades. Fort Laramie is the main military presence in the area.

3/ The circles eminating out from New Jerusalem are to give an idea of travel times. Each circle is 50 miles, which I believe is about a day’s travel by horse or stagecoach. Research leads me to believe that if you have a fast horse or can change horses and you’re really pushing it you could possibly double this. A march on foot would be about 25 miles i.e. a ring of the circle every 2 days, and wagon trains travel at about 15 miles a day i.e. a ring of the circle every 3 days. If you’re estimating how far someone can get remember to take into account obstacles such as mountain ranges etc. The circles only indicate travel distance as the crow flies.

4/ The red line is approximately where the Oregon Trail was and the yellow line is the Bozeman Trail. There was also a second route, the Bridger Trail, paralleling the Bozeman Trail south of the Big Horn Mountains. This was a safer route than the Bozeman Trail, which was prone to Indian attack as it ran smack through their prime hunting grounds.

5/ There’s also a general indication of where the Native tribes were at the time. The main action being the Teton/Lakota Sioux pushing west displacing the Crow from the hunting grounds.

Hope this is useful.

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Deadlands 1865 – Cast List

December 5, 2008 by

Here’s the Cast List for our Deadlands game, supplied by Glyn in pdf format

Glyn’s Cast List pdf

New Jerusalem 1865 – Where and when?

November 23, 2008 by

Following on from our discussions regarding details of the geography around New Jerusalem, I’ve been doing a bit of research (looking for old maps of the area mostly) and have discovered some historical flaws in our thinking.

The map below shows what we were proposing based on the map Glyn provided:

what was proposed

First some background…

Historically speaking, as far as I can ascertain, prior to the late 1850s, settlement of Montana consisted almost entirely of fur trappers and traders along the Missouri river. There were remote cabins/hunting lodges and a few forts at which the trappers congregated. There were no ‘towns’ as such. Some sparse settlement started around 1858/59 with prospectors and settlers moving into the south-west of Montana.

In 1860 about a dozen families formed a settlement in the Deer Lodge area raising cattle and driving them to California and in 1862 a gold strike at Bannack prompted a huge influx of prospectors to that area.

montana settlement

Though south-western Montana ‘boomed’ with prospectors, and settlements sprung up much in the same style that Deadwood would in 1876 some ten years later, south-eastern Montana was to remain home to the Sioux and Crow Indians and a few forts. Prospectors/settlers travelled through the area from 1864 when Jim Bridger cut a trail paralleling the west side of the Big Horn Mountains but were at constant risk of attack until after the defeat of Custer at the Little Big Horn, also in 1876. Only then did expansion begin in the south east.

Hence the towns that are marked on our map come into existence ten to twenty years later than our game is set; Forsyth with the railroad in 1882, Buffalo as a trading centre for Fort McKinney in 1878, Billings in 1877.

There are three ways of resolving this that I can see:

1. From my perspective the least desirable is to ignore it and just say that our wild west developed differently.

2. We could shift the time line until later to fit with the passing of the Indian threat and the arrival of settlers, ranchers and railroads, say to 1885. Coincidentally this also seems to be more the level of development that Glyn has been portraying – ranchers, photographers, brick-makers, clock-maker for the town hall etc. However it does mean that Gettysburg and the Reckoning happened 22 years ago, thus shooting a hole in our backgrounds, and to be honest it doesn’t sit all that comfortably with me, since I liked the idea of the earlier time period and things just starting to get weird.

3. Finally, and though this also involves some re-thinking it is my preferred option, we could move New Jerusalem west to the vicinity of the prospecting settlements, say between Virginia City and the Crow Indian Reservation and pitch it as both prospecting based and earlier in the town’s development e.g. Deadwood at the start of Deadwood the tv-series. This would still allow for some cattle herding (sorta Lonesome Dove style) though things like the railroad and amenities that come later would be out.

new location

Here’s a more detailed 1872 map of the area of south-western Montana (Click for detail) with a possible location for New Jerusalem marked. The scale is about 30 miles from New Jerusalem to Virginia City, which I gather is a couple of days by wagon and maybe half a day by fast horse. Note that at this time Virigina City is nothing major either (i.e. a Deadwood style prospecting town) :

New Jerusalem area map

Any thoughts?

Castlist for Rise of the Tyrants NPCs

August 10, 2008 by

These are all actors dues to appear at some point (or have already) in the Rise of The Tyrants:

Angela Bassett – Thea, an Illyarkhos (Captain) of the Cult of Agonius
Steve Buscemi – unidentified bane of Thanos

Gerard Butler – Leonidas, guest of the Cult of Agonius
James Cosmo – Orath, Northern Barbarian and proprietor of the Tuskan Lance
Michael Douglas – Garonius, Head of the Watch
Laurence FishburneSimonides, merchant of Gela, friend of the adventurers
Brendan Gleeson –
Stavarkhos, Runelord of Agonius
Lena Heady
Sir Anthony Hopkins – Geraznovar Stonefist, Dwarf Oligarch
Angelina Jolie – Philomena, owner of Captain’s Rest
Heath Ledger – Feodor, hunter and Kalliope’s brother
Tommy Lee Jones – Cletus, a Tagmatarkhos (Major) of the Cult of Agonius

Matthew Lillard
Ray Liotta
David MacCallum – Hesperos, new owner of Saffron Pearl and ‘friend’ of Philomena
Miriam Margolyes – Lady Hyacinth, an Oligarch
Geraldine McEwan –
Nerissa, Runepriest of Asclepia
Carrie-Ann Moss – Calantha, aide to Simonides
Connie Nielsen – Cassia, Seamstress extrordinaire
Bob Peck –
Parmenio, Runepriest of Agonius
Pete Postlethwaite – Avel, a carter
Burt Reynolds
Tony Robinson – Menelaus, merchant of Messina
Leelee Sobieski – Carena, Healer of Asclepia
Pruitt Taylor Vince – Baruch, information broker 
Christopher Walken – Krateros, a sorcerer
Reese Witherspoon – Kalliope, a market pickpocket

Any comments or additions please post.  Additions to the list will be posted in red

The following are characters cast by Bruce. They are just as official, but are kept seperate because otherwise the list would be just too long and confusing!!

Andre Braugher ~ Hipponicus, Master Stevedore and friend to Rhadamanthus
Christina Cox ~ Pherenike, a chandler, friend of Kalliope’s and one of Rhadamanthus’s contacts
Zooey Deschanel ~ Evadne, daughter of Phalanthus
Victor Garber ~ Phalanthus, a teacher
Greg Grunberg ~ Lysagoras of the Watch, a good friend of Rhadamanthus
Neal McDonough ~ Hieronymus of the Watch, a friend/contact of Rhadamanthus
David Morse ~ Menandros, guide and bodyguard and one of Rhadamanthus’s trusted contacts
Jewel Staite ~ Ophelia, a barmaid at the Captain’s Rest

Rhadamanthus’s Beliefs and Goals

July 23, 2008 by

I think most of what’s here goes without saying but, as discussed, I did a quick schematic of Rhadamanthus’s beliefs and the current goals arising from them (this is as at the end of session 5).

Games in Rise of the Tyrants

July 10, 2008 by

Just to record another thing decided last night … there are 3 main games played as relaxation and occasionally gambling:

Dice games – popular amongst the ill-educated and gamblers, there are many different types of game and different types of dice

Galleys – a game much like draughts were players try to encircle their opponents pieces (shaped like galleys). Popular for relaxation more than gambling, played by all ages

Stones – very much like Go, a highly strategic and tactical game popular amongst the edcuated and military types. Rarely gambled upon, but much prestige can be gained and/or lost on a game of Stones …

Money in Rise of the Tyrants

July 10, 2008 by

As we discussed last night we are using the standard Mongoose RQ monetary system:

5 Lead Bits = 1 Copper Penny
10 Copper Pennies = 1 Silver Penny
20 Silver Pennies = 1 Gold Ducat

In last night’s session we equated these coins to the following current value:

1 Gold Ducat = ~£200
1 Silver Penny = ~£10
1 Copper Penny = ~£1
1 Lead Bit = ~20p

Ancient Hellenic Calendars

July 9, 2008 by

It would appear that there were a variety of regional ancient Hellenic calendars that didn’t conform to one particular standard but I pieced together a suggested calendar for Gela with corresponding Gregorian calendar months if you’re interested.

Summer
1 Panamos June/July
2 Dalios July/August
3 Thesmophorios August/September
Autumn
4 Karneios September/October
5 Diosthios October/November
6 Theidaisios November/December
Winter
7 Peageitnios December/January
8 Badromios January/February
9 Sminthios February/March
Spring
10 Artemitios March/April
11 Agrianios April/May
12 Gaikinthios May/June

Beliefs in Practice

July 7, 2008 by

Since the last session I’ve been putting quite a lot of thought into beliefs. In total the guidance from others that I put up in my two previous posts basically recommends that beliefs:

should contain an ideological stance of some sort and should express how that ideological stance drives the character to achieve a particular goal

should vary in scope (e.g. some may be shorter term goals that are stepping stones towards your primary goal)

should be driving your next actions

should change during the course of play

should be tied to the NPCs/relationships and to the situation being tossed out by the GM

This all seems like really good advice but I’ve been finding it a little difficult to put this into practice. From a character perspective I’d say Rhadamanthus’s primary belief would be something like:

I will protect the people I care about, those who have shown me kindness or aided me in times of need. They can always depend on me.

There might also be something about believing that he can’t make up for failing those he cared about but deep down wanting to be redeemed – though where does this fit in?

The thing is I’m not sure that these really meet the criteria stated above and, given the situation in the game right now, I can’t see a way for them to be driving my next actions.

Hmmmm… I started thinking about this and want to make a number of observations to see what you guys think.

To start with, though Rhadamanthus’s primary belief doesn’t really meet the criteria right now, it’s ready and waiting to do so. It’s kind of like a primed trigger waiting to be engaged. It says something like “endanger someone I care about” at which point an immediate goal will emerge.

This got me thinking that to me my character’s ‘beliefs’ and the short-term goals arising from them were slightly different things. I began seeing it more as a belief hierarchy. My character has longer-term beliefs that act to define who he is and flag up to the GM where things ought to be going. As the GM guides the story to trigger these beliefs the more dynamic short-term goals appear and I act to resolve them.

This may not be entirely “player-driven” in the sense that Steven Jarvis was discussing. I can see that there is more onus on the GM than if the goals were already expressed in the beliefs and the players were driving play forward themselves but I think what I’m proposing sits with my own preferred style of play better. It’s probably more “reactive” than “active” play but it’s not passive either. It’s kind of saying where you want the story to go, then waiting for the GM to do it and then reacting to that.

Given that the main objective of beliefs would appear to be flagging up directions of play that will engage the players, I wondered if this could be done OOC to some extent. I’m not proposing replacing beliefs as I think they are an excellent way of describing the characters and getting a handle on what they’re all about. What I’m suggesting is that after each session each player (OOC) could state up to three things that he would like to see in upcoming sessions. For example, right now I might say I’d like to see:

A story where someone we collectively care about (e.g. Philomena, Simonedes) needs our help in some way (either directly or indirectly), thus focusing the characters on a joint goal – this could mean first establishing a new character that we are all invested in (perhaps one of the priestesses from the Temple of Asclepia).

More of Kalliope. Another appearance because I feel there’s some potential there and would like to see how things develop.

More situations that extend the number of NPCs we’re invested in because that makes me feel more invested in the world and opens up more possibilities for the future.

Obviously most of these are in line with my primary belief but as they are OOC there’s more freedom for me to say stuff.

Any thoughts?

PS. When I wrote this, as well as thinking about Rhadamanthus’s beliefs, I was kind of considering the beliefs Tony put out for Thanos (see below). I was thinking that they don’t really have any specific short-term goals either (i.e. the same problem I’m having). So they don’t exactly fit the criteria I posted but they do flag up areas of interest than can be pursued and actually define the character really well. I think they’re excellent ones for Thanos. Nice one Tony!

I am mighty and will never be defeated in battle.

The cult of Agonius is upright and honourable. I will advance my position within the cult to better serve and protect the people of this land.

I was not born a slave and will act with honour in all things according to my station as a free man.

Aristocratic Families of Gela

July 4, 2008 by

Ancient Greece had no entitled nobility as such. Instead the aristocratic or upper class consisted of rich families who could trace their lineage back many generations, normally to a God or semi-divine Hero such as Heracles or Achilles. There a few such families in Gela, and any native will have heard of them and will know at least a little of the source of their fortune.

Eurypontidan ancient family who trace their line back to the founder of Gela, Eurypontus himself. Their fortune rests upon the land they own which is rented out to tenant farmers

Hysaniannew arrivals to Gela, having arrived only a couple of years after the removal of Milos the Unjust, the Hysanians trace their family back to Hysanius, a great hero of an eastern Greek city. Their wealth until recently was founded upon the slave trade

MylineanMylineus was a Hero of Gela who destroyed the pirate fleet that threatened its existence after its foundation. The Mylinean family has a long tradition of public service and until recently owned the Arena. Rumoured to have fallen on hard times …

More will be added as and when necessary