Westward on the Orient Express
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Deadlands: Westward on the Orient Express


Poster Design Deadlands: The Weird West Roleplaying Game takes place back in the 1880s, while Deadlands: Hell on Earth leaps forward into the 2080s. This adventure scenario, which was run at Necronomicon 2000, is set in 1914 in the Deadlands universe, in an alternate history where supernatural battles are being fought in the shadows, even as the world is on the brink of World War I. This page was originally put together as an advertisement for the event. As I find the time, I will fill in details on how this adventure was run, in case you would like to use this scenario for your own Deadlands games.

This is meant to be a change of pace from "typical" Deadlands adventures, taking advantage of the fact that this is a one-shot adventure with pre-generated characters. The profiles listed below may be misleading, as most of the characters have their own personal agendas and secrets to keep. They are all travelers on board the famed Orient Express in the year 1914, during the last golden age of Europe before the "War to End All Wars". The Orient Express, an icon of extravagance and decadence, is on its westward trip of some 80 hours back from Istanbul to Paris.

Some of the pre-generated characters for this scenario include:

Miss MargotMiss Margot - A young French mademoiselle, recently come upon a considerable inheritance, out to see the world and find adventure and thrills. On board the Orient Express, she just might get more than she bargained for. She is well schooled, fluent in several languages, and has even gone hunting, so she knows how to handle a pistol in a pinch. However, if she's face to face with the horrors of the supernatural, surely she wouldn't have a clue how to take care of herself. ... Or would she?

Madame Rosalie LaGrangeMadame Rosalie LaGrange - Madame LaGrange was born with the gift of second sight, and often senses things of the supernatural realm. This has gained her some fame in the circles of those who believe in psychic phenomena, though, truth be told, she hasn't the sort of mastery over her abilities that she would like others to believe, and her success has owed as much to showmanship as to her actual talents. She desires to have a greater understanding of the truth behind the spiritual world, and when she was struck with disturbing dreams about the Orient Express, she felt compelled to take this journey (with her pet black cat, Bastet) to broaden her horizons. She is almost certain to learn more of the truth about the supernatural behind the scenes of the Deadlands universe. She may well discover that some things are best left unlearned.

Master Chen LungMaster Chen Lung - Master Lung is a master of the martial arts, well versed in matters of the occult, and physically fit despite his age. In fact, despite his humble stature, he is lethal in unarmed combat, and even capable of focusing his inner power - or ch'i - to perform superhuman feats of strength, when the situation calls for it. Master Lung has foreseen trouble aboard the Orient Express, and he has endeavored to journey alongside the other passengers in order to find out what supernatural disorder may occur ... and, hopefully, to set things straight once more, before the balance is tipped in the favor of the forces of chaos. He is very mysterious about his ways, and does not give out his knowledge easily - often answering questions with more questions, or granting tidbits of wisdom in the form of a riddle.

Doctor Brandon WrightDoctor Brandon Wright - Brandon Wright is a young and idealistic American doctor with dreams of spreading good will by helping those less fortunate. Toward that end, he worked for a time with a mission in Calcutta ... until he had an encounter with the supernatural that he has been unable to reconcile with his logical, rational outlook on the world around him. He is presently heading back to Europe, seeking psychiatric help, in hopes that he can resolve his condition, and resume his work. He is almost certain to learn, however, that not all things can be rationally explained away as matters of nature and science.

Doctor Rudolph von RichtensteinDoctor Rudolph von Richtenstein - Dr. Von Richtenstein is a brilliant but quite mad scientist who generates a steady stream of unlikely contraptions, some of which even work. In his youth, he created many marvelous devices, and this is how he made his considerable wealth, but as he has gotten older, what some have termed "Mad Science" has fallen out of disfavor, and many of his once brilliant inventions no longer function - and no rational explanation is forthcoming as to why. The good doctor still listens to the "voices of the muses" in his head, and spends what is left of his wealth on his latest contraptions, intent on recapturing the glory of days gone by. Presently, he rides on the Orient Express in a private car that is full of wondrous and bizarre contraptions. He has it in his head that he has a new device that will speed the journey of a train severalfold. If given a chance, he just might demonstrate it.

Inspector Seymore WattersonInspector Seymore Watterson - Mr. Watterson works with "The Company" - British intelligence. He comes across as an unassuming fellow, amiable and eager to chat about all sorts of things, though he seems to have a knack for sometimes asking uncomfortable questions in apparent innocent curiosity - and he doesn't advertise his affiliation unless absolutely necessary. He's possessed of keen senses and a knack for noticing things that others would not give the least bit of concern to, and he's a fair shot with a revolver - in case a criminal won't come along peacefully. Strange events bring him on board the Orient Express, and by the end of this journey, his next report to The Company should be quite interesting indeed ... that is, if he lives to file it.

William TuckerWilliam "One-Shot Willie" Tucker - Mr. Tucker is an American gunslinger and gambler, from the Confederacy, out to seek his fortune ... since he's pretty certain that he'll never have a shot at finding it back in the South. He's decent at a game of poker, and he's done well for himself recently - at least, enough to buy his way across Europe. Now, he's working his way back again, trying to find that "big win" that could set him up for life ... but he seems to have a knack to make enemies wherever he goes, forcing himself to keep moving on. Despite his worldly mannerisms and apparent self-centeredness, he's a hero at heart, and keeps getting into trouble in order to get others out of it.

Professor Arthur Hiram HedgefieldProfessor Arthur Hiram Hedgefield - Professor Hedgefield is a curator and expert in antiquities, who many times prefers a "hands-on" approach to acquiring artifacts for display in the British Museum in London. He is returning from a dig in the Orient, with a few minor artifacts destined to be added to displays. He's a quiet, unassuming fellow, though when his curiosity is picqued, he's almost unstoppable. He is fluent in several languages, and can read several more.

Manfred 'The Magnificent' ManheimManfred "The Magnificent" Manheim - Manfred is a stage magician and a charlatan, hamming up his role as a "master of the occult arts", but possessing no actual powers in that area. He has stumbled upon an old book that has encrypted in it several spells of great potency, he is sure, but so far he has been entirely unsuccessful in his attempts to grasp even the simplest of supernatural abilities. This secretly frustrates him greatly, and so he harbors an intense interest in any evidence of the supernatural or paranormal, hoping that somehow pursuing such things might help him to acquire mystical powers of his own.

Necronomicon 2001

This adventure was run at Necronomicon 2000 in Tampa, Florida, as a convention scenario. As I compile my notes on how the game was run (and how to improve it), I'll be putting them up here as a "mini-module" for use with the Deadlands role-playing game. If you may be playing this scenario at some point, please read no further! The various characters have their own personal secrets and objectives, and then there's the matter of the adventure itself - reading ahead would spoil the fun!

Player HandoutsPlayer profiles and other handouts to give to the players

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