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Weird West tabletop RPG Deadlands is being revamped with its biggest new edition in 15 years

Built on updated Savage Worlds: Adventure Edition system.

Grab a Winchester, make a bargain with a demon and ride into the Weird West once again with a revamped version of tabletop roleplaying game Deadlands.

Originally created in 1996, Deadlands is a wild west roleplaying setting designed for the Savage Worlds system. Taking place in an alternate 1884, the USA of Deadlands - after surviving the conflict during the American Civil War - now finds itself facing an entirely different, and far stranger, threat. After an event called the Reckoning causes all manner of supernatural evils to emerge onto the frontier, eastern cities and western towns are now being terrorised by forces they do not understand.

In Deadlands, players can become members of the Twilight Legion, an organisation that has dedicated itself to protecting innocents against the Reckoners and their various minions - the individuals responsible for triggering the Reckoning and endangering the people of the Weird West. Wielding firearms, dark magic, bizarre inventions and more besides, players find themselves battling a variety of monsters, demons and scoundrels in a western frontier, bustling eastern city and everything in-between.

Set after the events of the Tales of the Servitors - a series of campaigns released for Deadlands focusing on the main conspirators behind the Reckoning - this new edition of the upcoming roleplaying game looks to focus on the more isolated locations of Deadlands’ world.

Turning from the larger settlements of previous campaigns, according to the RPG’s Kickstarter campaign, this new edition “is returning to its roots” by having players once again seek out evils found in the smaller towns and outposts dotted across the western frontier.

Having been revised and rewritten by original creator Shane Hensley - alongside editor Matthew Cutter - Deadlands now includes new rules for dueling, fresh backgrounds for arcane characters and an overhauled overview of the world of the Weird West. The game’s designers describe the upcoming tabletop RPG as the “biggest revamp of the game's background and rules since the Reloaded edition from 2005”.

A new adventure campaign called Horror at Headstone Hill is also releasing alongside the revamped edition of the tabletop RPG, designed to introduce old and new players to this version of Deadlands - as well as provide a new location and storyline for players and the Marshal, the RPG’s term for game master, to explore.

After being successfully funded on Kickstarter in 2019, Savage Worlds: Adventure Edition is the latest version of the roleplaying system originally released in 2003 and since used for settings such as Necessary Evil - a tabletop roleplaying game about playing a supervillain - and the official Flash Gordon RPG. The new edition of Deadlands will be built on the updated engine.

The publisher behind Deadlands is Pinnacle Entertainment Group, the company responsible for creating tabletop roleplaying games such as the Victorian horror-themed Rippers and the official RPG for The Goon comic book series.

Deadlands will be on Kickstarter until May 13th 2020, with a pledge of $45 (£37) getting backers a copy of the core rulebook estimated to arrive sometime in November 2020.

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Alex Meehan

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Alex’s journey to Dicebreaker began with writing insightful video game coverage for outlets such as Kotaku, Waypoint and PC Gamer. Her unique approach to analysing pop culture and knack for witty storytelling finally secured her a forever home producing news, features and reviews with the Dicebreaker team. She’s also obsessed with playing Vampire: The Masquerade, and won’t stop talking about it.

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