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Savage Worlds is still a relatively new system, and Deadlands got upgraded to it under the new Reloaded line in Although there were one to two page side encounters and free online content bridging the 2 year gap, Deadlands Reloaded was lacking a proper adventure on its own, much less sourcebooks of any kind. And when it came to published modules, the Weird West had a problematic track record of the worst of 90s metaplot.
Coffin Rock defied these expectations. It still holds up strong a decade later, and I ran it on three separate occasions in introducing gaming groups to Deadlands. My Groups: I established hooks for my 3 playthroughs for the PCs to stay in town. The third group was originally passing on by, but the depressed new Mayor Hambly deputized them once the crooked Marshal was killed for the fact that there was literally nobody else suited to the job. The Lawmen group did not complete the adventure, only getting in 2 short sessions before real-world priorities disbanded the players.
So named for the oddly-shaped rock formation peering over the nearby hills, its rich veins of copper mines were the primary source of income. When the mines dried up, Mayor Daly committed to the Sunk Cost Fallacy and continued buying up failing mines in hopes of literally striking it rich like in the old days. Over time more people left town to the point that so he began paying them just to stay in the town.
He was even desperate enough to bring in Marshal Bryce, a crooked lawman on a power trip, who had little desire to improve the community. Things turned around when a new Christian sect known as the Brotherhood of the New Covenant settled in the area.
But upon hearing about the monstrous labor force made him open to working out a deal. Our adventure begins with the PCs riding into town for any variety of reasons, being open-ended in whatever way the GM believes will encourage them to stay rather than high-tailing it for the hills. I also decided to keep Marshal Bryce and Reverend Cheval as enemies, but in a sort of cold war in neither of them antagonizing the other too much on account of their respective positions.
I made it so that Reverend Cheval was the one who bought the deeds to the Cooked Earth Mine at a bargain price from Bryce, who naturally felt cheated at the turn of fortune. Beyond the above, Coffin Rock is a Fear Level 3 location, slightly above the setting average of Level 2.
But persistent themes outside of town include seams of blood-red rock which become more visible as said Fear Level rises, ore stones taking on a skeletal look, and the earth itself becomes dry as dust. Every time a human soul dies around the area the church bell tolls on its own accord regardless of the Fear Level.
Someone on Fantasy Grounds made a handy-dandy list of things which happen and change due to said mechanics: The adventure is quick to remind the GM of the church bell during likely combat scenes. The changing atmosphere demonstrates how their actions or lack thereof in fighting the darkness can make a difference. The higher the Fear Level, the more dangerous a place gets, and it is easier for the Reckoners to manifest supernatural evils within the area.
At Fear Level 6, a place becomes a full-on Deadland which is a blasted hellscape. The town of Coffin Rock itself contains about 20 buildings of note, although around half of them have full-blown scenes and encounters.
But the entertainment here is far from ideal. Lanterns cast a sickly red light on the dust-strewn interior whose own silk drapes hardly do little to provide any illusion of fanciness. The prostitutes are haggard, either lounging near the front for customers to come on by or boringly going through the motions of onstage shows. At Fear Level 4 the soiled doves resort to getting their clients drunk to rob them and dump them in the cemetery alive outside, while at Fear Level 5 the evil energy in town turns them into ghoulish cannibals who feed off of their clients.
Two of my full playthroughs had Lizzie Pierce, the former dancer at the local saloon, hire the PCs to retrieve her belongings which inevitably put them at odds with the owners. The former group came up with a good distraction to divert attention drunkenly fall onto the piano in back while one of them broke into the upstairs room to retrieve said belongings while also finding some meat of dubious origin.
The Deputies group were more improvisational and got caught stealing the belongings, resulting in a fight against the newly-revealed ghouls.
Law and Disorder: Marshal Thomas Bryce is a sadistic, paranoid man, a poor combination for a lawman but a great excuse for him to hassle newcomer PCs in town. A miner sees this and presumes that people in town are out to get him, and takes some hostages in an abandoned building.
Bryce will not get involved in the various bad goings-on in town, letting the chips fall where they may unless it personally affects him or his deputies. The Marshal was on the take so he sought to get the PCs to disarm. The Deputies group had a PC with the Wanted hindrance among them, so an encounter with Bryce was inevitable when he tracked them down. Said Wanted PC challenged Bryce to a duel and won; the deputies were sore losers, but fled once half their number were killed by the other PCs.
The timing of these visits caused Bryce to freak out, and he ambushed the PCs in the graveyard by getting a blackmailed miner to lead them there as detailed in the church entry below. He turned to drink and hardly spends time at the assay office anymore, hanging out in the Six Feet Under saloon. At Fear Level 4 he starts murdering miners to loot their valuables, hiding their bodies in the office basement. At Fear Level 5 murderous greed afflicts the minds of ten townsfolk who besiege the office.
If Ike Turnbull dies, the corpses within his basement will rise as undead! The owner Ray Wisely has done everything he can to halt the spread, but to no avail. Whether on their own or hired by the man, the PCs can explore the store.
There are no monsters here save for insect swarms on Fear Level 5, and the mold can induce fatigue or a horrible wasting disease at Fear Level 4. The inverted cross is hidden under a patch of accumulated mold and can be found out either via Notice or certain magical spells.
What I Changed: Only the Deputies group investigated the store. I made it so that the mold ate through the floorboards, provoking Agility rolls to avoid falling through and possibly coming into contact. One of the PCs did and had to be pulled out by rope. They managed to find the hidden cross and broke it, presuming quite rightly that black magic was involved. Unholy Communion: The Brotherhood of the New Covenant poses as a Protestant Christian denomination, blending in perfectly with the myriad other sects which dot the American frontier.
A little over a dozen in number, they are all corrupt and serve the foul spirit inspiring Cheval. They have a ready excuse for just about every suspicious activity connected to them. Additionally, at Fear Level 4 Cheval will instruct his cult to dig up the corpse of Mayor Daly and reanimate him as undead.
What I Changed: I never used the walking corpse hook, on account that overall it is not a difficult monster for a whole group to take on, and I preferred using the other methods of raising Fear in town. Each playthrough group visited the church at some point, but only the Agency group took the time to get a ladder and climb up to the steeple. He is more aware of the strange manifestations in town and smeared his windows with soot to avoid giving off reflections.
Beyond giving the PCs information about the outlaws in the hills, he will begin building weapons at Fear Level 4. Six Feet Under: The chandelier may be dirty, the stairs rickety, and the seating arrangement haphazard, but this is the only place in Coffin Rock with steady business. Furthermore, an Indian shaman by the name Laughs at Darkness has been leaving subtle markings around town.
What I Changed: I had it so that PCs who sat down for a friendly game of cards with the miners could get bonuses on future social skill rolls in town and earn some money via the Gamble skill. I began the session proper in the saloon for the Agency group. School House: All of the families with children left Coffin Rock for their sake, leaving an abandoned school house to show for it.
Her remains are a skeleton in a cupboard, and only by giving the body a burial may the wraith be permanently dispelled. What I Changed: Only the Deputies undertook this endeavor.
For those who could read, at least. However, falling through the rotten floorboards will awaken several swarms of mice who dart out into town and get everywhere. The town can be rid of said mice if 5 swarms are found and destroyed. There are three potential encounters for them to find here. Knowing that her father would never voluntarily give any deeds to such a man, she had to retreat after a violent confrontation. The PCs will first encounter her in a fight with a blood man, a monster created by Reverend Cheval baptizing victims in boiling mud.
If they help her, they can learn her side of the story and possibly recruit her gang to retaliate against Bryce and any other bad guys. The Lawmen while planning to go up to the mine, and the Deputies while on patrol outside the town. For the Agency group I ran the other 2 encounters for them instead. Not too shabby!
Kang made a deal with Marshal Bryce to lay down track near Coffin Rock, something the original mayor would not have agreed to do. The party killed them off later. Finally, there are groups of undead miners roaming about the hills, having risen from manitous evil spirit servants of the Reckoners possessing their corpses. At some point a zombie horde will rush to Coffin Rock due to the concentration of fresh brains there, raising the Fear Level by 1. PCs poking around the giant coffin-shaped outcropping requires a Vigor roll to avoid gaining a level of Fatigue, but it houses an entrance to a kiva.
Waiting outside is the Indian shaman Laughs at Darkness, who offers the hospitality of smoking with him in his home. Those who accept his offer of a test will cause the shaman to throw hallucinogenic herbs into the fire. They will see the spirit Tacheene who will explain his plight, along with visions of people being tossed into pots of boiling mud only to arise as abominations.
Laughs at Darkness will be gone by the time the PCs come to, never to be seen again. Although a different ethnicity than the standard trope, Laughs at Darkness felt way too much like a certain stereotypical mystical minority stock character, so I gave him more personality. First, I noticed that a kiva was Hopi in origin, and the man was far from home up in Colorado. I gave him a real Hopi name, Alo, and made it so that he was en route to the Ghost Dance gathering in Sioux territory as an emissary for his tribe.
Along with his gallows humor laughter, made him a bit of an odd bird among his home village. Alo and an entourage of fellow Hopi travelers spotted Cheval conducting his hellish baptisms, causing the cultists to attack, with him the only survivor. His original stat block which would never see the light of day otherwise was a super-powerful shaman with a host of powers, but I toned him down to a level in line with the PCs specializing in defensive and buffing magic.
The place is a ways out of town, and its entrance is a huge open rift in the earth with a creepy red glow and indecipherable whispers heard on a Notice roll emanating out of it. A raise on the roll 4 or more above the Target Number makes it sound like the voices are coming from the mine, begging for help. A makeshift elevator has been rigged with a trap by the cultists to drop rocks from above on whoever tries to use the device. Further on down, the source of the glow reveals itself as crimson veins criss-crossing the tunnels.
The souls of miners whose bodies were turned into blood men will manifest as ghostly apparitions, telling the PCs their tales of woe. They are unable to get close to the spawning pit, but if the PCs choose to act as vessels for the ghosts they may be able to get close and get their original bodies back. Instead I had it so that said ghosts were in the bodies of the blood men within the mine, and when slain the souls of the miners materialize, thanking the PCs for freeing them from their earthly torment before going on to the afterlife proper.
The main fight of the mine takes place in a hot chamber with a pit full of boiling mud.
Original electronic Scanned image These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable.
[Let's Read] Deadlands: Coffin Rock
Savage Worlds is still a relatively new system, and Deadlands got upgraded to it under the new Reloaded line in Although there were one to two page side encounters and free online content bridging the 2 year gap, Deadlands Reloaded was lacking a proper adventure on its own, much less sourcebooks of any kind. And when it came to published modules, the Weird West had a problematic track record of the worst of 90s metaplot. Coffin Rock defied these expectations. It still holds up strong a decade later, and I ran it on three separate occasions in introducing gaming groups to Deadlands. My Groups: I established hooks for my 3 playthroughs for the PCs to stay in town. The third group was originally passing on by, but the depressed new Mayor Hambly deputized them once the crooked Marshal was killed for the fact that there was literally nobody else suited to the job.
Deadlands Reloaded: Coffin Rock
Turns out I had misremembered some of his time messing, but hope you enjoy. Quick spoiler alert: Coffin Rock is a pre-written Deadlands scenario. My name is Lisbeth Hunter. Please ignore my youth and gender: I find most men look as scared looking down the barrel of my gun as they ever did when it was my brother they faced. Really strange. Not seen him since, actually