Greywolf's 'Deadlands: Weird Wars' Introduction
Back to Setting


First: a disclaimer.

When I first put together my "Deadlands 1936" campaign, and my "Orient Express" scenario for Necronomicon, I hadn't heard about Pinnacle Games' upcoming "Weird Wars" game. This site, sad to say, has nothing to do with the "Weird Wars" game, though there may be some parallels.

I'm grateful to the good people at Pinnacle Games for not asking me to change the name of my web site; I'm still referring to the period as "Weird Wars" ... until such time as I think of something more appropriate.

Deadlands is a role-playing game set in an alternate Earth where the supernatural is real, and history isn't quite the same. "Deadlands: The Weird West" is set in an alternate "wild west" -- an odd blend of "Wild Wild West", "Pale Rider", "Brisco County Jr." and various horror flicks. "Deadlands: Hell on Earth" moves to an alternate future, exploring a post-apocalyptic setting in the "Wasted West".

However, there's a lot that transpired between the Weird West and the Wasted West. A great many evils and a great many heroic deeds took place during the first half of the 20th century -- including "The Great War," and its sequel, World War II.

This site focuses mainly on the years from about 1933 to 1937 -- the era in which Nazi Germany arose as an aggressor in our own history, but America had not yet joined in the conflict. This was the era of Saturday matinee cliffhanger serials -- and, in a bit of revisionist history, the era of Indiana Jones, The Rocketeer and The Mummy. In my ideal adventures, the "Posse" is a group of adventurers traveling the globe -- not necessarily confined to the Western United and Confederate States. They may find themselves racing against Nazis to obtain mystical artifacts, or even clashing with the interests of mobsters still around after Prohibition.

Despite the allusion in "Weird Wars" to the major armed conflicts framing this period, the real focus is on an ongoing battle behind the scenes ... in the shadows of the world where the light of logic and science can't fully penetrate. Technology is more prevalent than it was in the Weird West, but it's nowhere close to what will be found in the Wasted West -- and the supernatural is still on the fringes of reality. There are no Horsemen of the Apocalypse stomping across the globe, and not even the monsters know what the "Reckoners" are.

The intent of this section of my web site is to accumulate my thoughts, ideas and notes for a short campaign that I ran from late 2000 to early 2001, as well as sone one-shot convention scenarios.

It can be argued that these adventures don't really need to be run in the Deadlands universe. There's already an Indiana Jones role-playing game, after all. Pinnacle Games even has its own "Weird Wars," which introduces a supernatural twist to World War II, though without the baggage of sticking to the Deadlands timeline. Dream Pod 9 has "Gear Krieg," which introduces the wonders of "mad science" to World War II. And then, there's always "GURPS Cliffhangers."

Furthermore, it complicates my job to be working with an alternate history where the United States is no longer united, yet somehow the North and South collectively fill much the same role in the Deadlands universe that the USA served in actual history. To call this a stretch is an understatement.

That's not the point, though. This isn't serious fantasy or science fiction, and definitely not a serious attempt at "alternate history." It's high adventure with a touch of horror thrown in. Hopefully, the forces of good will prevail, but it is possible for the bad guys to win. After all, we know what happens in Hell on Earth in the next century! (If "we" don't, the title ought to give a clue.)

Furthermore, Deadlands is a great game system. I've run Hell on Earth and Weird Wars campaigns, and I've invested quite a bit in books and miniatures. Even if you take out its wacky alternate history, and just use the game mechanics, you still have a very enjoyable system. (In fact, I think you might have even better games if you tinker a bit with the Deadlands history to make it a little closer to our own ... but I digress.)

The articles on this site were primarily generated in response to requests on the parts of my players for especially unique (and often bizarre) characters they wished to play in this setting, and my own notes for adventures set in this era. From time to time, I may expand what's available for Marshals to make use of.

Since this is a resource for running games, and not a money-making venture, I'm inclined to draw my inspiration from other established works that have inspired me.

This would include the Indiana Jones movies (and spin-off stories), The Rocketeer, The Mummy, and other "cliffhanger" types of movies and television shows. I've also drawn a few ideas from a PC game called Nocturne, put out by Terminal Reality. This game is actually based in the late 1910s and the 1920s, rather than the 1930s, but the mood is perfect for Deadlands. Any references I make to "Dhampir" or "Frankenmobsters" are drawn from that game.

I am certainly no historian, and I'm not even an expert on all the Deadlands books that are out there, so I've probably got mistakes here and there. By all means, if you spot anything that could use correcting, please drop me a message! I can use the help.

Deadlands Logo

Deadlands, Weird West, Weird Wars, Wasted West, The Great Rail Wars, Hell on Earth, Lost Colony, The Last Crusade, Grim Crusade, Judgement Day, the Deadlands Weird West logo, the Weird West sub logo, the Deadlands Hell on Earth logo, the Hell on Earth sub logo, The Deadlands Lost Colony logo, the Lost Colony sub logo, the Brave New World logo, the Grim Crusade logo, the Judgement Day logo, the Pinnacle Starburst, and the Pinnacle logo are Trademarks of Pinnacle Entertainment Group, Inc. Copyright 1996-2002 Pinnacle Entertainment Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Their use here does not constitute a challenge of trademark status. This site is by no means official, and should not be considered representative of the quality of the products of Pinnacle Games. With the exception of the aforementioned logos, all artwork and all articles on this page are (c) by T. Jordan "Greywolf" Peacock, and may not be reproduced without permission.