My game seems to have gone more in a "Deadwood" sort of direction.
I noted this part of another thread and am interested. I don't quite know what this means, since I've never seen Deadwood. I have seen the DVD covers which clearly have a Western attitude to them, but that's about all I know about the series.
What makes Deadwood special? Or different? Or what's it about in general? Is it worth me tracking down the season disks and watching?
Marv / Finarvyn DCC playtester (2011) S&W WhiteBox author (2009) C&C playtester (2003) Builder of the TrollBridge for T&T; Amber Diceless player since 1993 OD&D Player since 1975; Metamorphosis Alpha since 1976
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!" - Dave Arneson
I don't know what the original thread was, so I can't answer what revgunn meant by that. But speaking as someone who's not really into Westerns but watched all of Deadwood, I can say that it's well worth tracking down.
Deadwood is more of a historical drama than a typical Western, although there are a couple historical liberties (Hearst apparently wasn't a sociopath, for example; they were confusing him with his descendant.) But many of the characters and significant elements of the story actually happened, and they are used to illustrate the theme of lawlessness moving towards civilization. It's got a lot of tarnished heroes and villains who are more like anti-heroes, with nothing being quite so simple as in the classic Westerns.
Oh, and since it's an HBO series, there's lots of violence and sex. If you've seen more recent stuff like Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Camelot, The Borgias, etc, those were all basically pitched as "like Deadwood, but in Roman/Arthurian/Renaissance times." So expect Deadwood to look like those.
Right. Its like... Machiavellian maneuvering, on a small scale in the Black Hills. All the characters are out for their own agendas. It does have a level of profanity approaching the ridiculous though.
In the case of "The Guns of Brimstone" (dig the snazzy campaign name, yo..) The town is like Deadwood. The PCs are mostly decent folks, reacting to that kind of politicking. The grit is all there though. I added a bit more Spaghetti to it, so it has way more violence than "Deadwood" did. The series had some fights, but no where near a typical Western movie. What violence "Deadwood" did have was pretty brutal though. Understand that I grew up on "The Long Riders", Spaghetti films, and the later Eastwood films. "Lonesome Dove" is CLASSIC too. I guess more Outlaw type Westerns. I like my violence brutal. I want the Players to understand the risks of combat.
Sorry for the Thread Hijack. I've never seen the whole "Deadwood" series. What I HAVE seen was AWESOME though. I was out driving a cattle truck when it was on. I gotta get me those DVD's.
I managed to watch about half of the third season. d**n good stuff, and the violence was suitably gruesome. I think the thing that got me was how filthy it was, which is something hollyweird seems to ignore by and large.
I enjoyed Deadwood. It's a heck of a lot more realistic than Gunsmoke. There's a lot of swearing out of a few characters and the language is updated to be as foul to us as it would have been to people of the era. There are a number of pimps and prostitutes and all that goes along with them (HBO'd at that). The violence is graphic but it's frequency isn't as high as say a 50's T.V. western and the reaction of characters to it is significant, a single killing or thoughts of a killing and it's consequences can span several episodes if not a whole season. Violence is a common threat but not an ever-present feature that the show glorifies. There's a brutal and shockingly realistic (in it's authenticity and graphic nature) street-fight at one point in the series between two stone-cold killers and the impact it has on the victor is believable with no macho bullshirt and no shrugged-off "minor flesh wounds" of the corny old-west film and television. There's a lot of scheming and politicking, the villains all have reasons for doing what they do and who they are and you still don't end up liking all of them. Even the nicest and strongest people are also capable of deceit and have hidden secrets. It's one hell of a soap-opera, with guns, boobs, knives, debauchery, and a whole lot of greed.
Post by Mushgnome on Sept 16, 2011 11:10:18 GMT -6
Big Deadwood fan here. I've only watched the series once through, maybe it's time to give it a 2nd go-around. Some of the acting is just incredible (although a couple of characters are way over-the-top for my taste) and it is a refreshing take on the genre.
One particular benefit of watching the show for me is that many of the actors show up in lots of different TV series. At least once a month I'll be watching something (Sons of Anarchy, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, etc.) and I'll say "Hey, isn't that so-and-so from Deadwood?" It is truly an "ensemble cast."
I went out and gathered up all 3 seasons. I've watched most of it, I'm in the middle of the 3rd season currently.
Mostly, I find myself sad that its over. There is so much game material here its ridiculous. You've got to have pretty mature players to use a lot of it though. The biggest thing I've gotten from it so far is the "ambiguous" villain. Yeah, he's a villain, but on some levels, you LIKE the guy. If I can make my NPCs half as "real" as these characters are, I feel I've gained some GM skill. With a straight Western, characters are all you have. I recommend it for that alone.