30 December, 2010

Operations Order #101229

Delta Green/Realms of Cthulhu Demo Game
Come for the Reaping

Location:
Bill & Walt’s Hobby Shop, 245 Fourth Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15222
Phone: 412-281-9040
Time & Date: 29 December 2010 @ 5:00PM
“You are cordially invited to a night at the opera…”
This Saturday I will be running the adventure Come for the Reaping as an Explorer’s Society demo of Reality Blurs’ Realms of Cthulhu. The adventure will be set in the mid-1990s in the Delta Greensetting. Up to 6 players will portray Delta Green agents or friendlies. We start at 5pm and expect the game to finish at approximately 10pm. Our normal habit is to secure pizza as a group from Ephesus Pizza up the street.

UPDATE
Setting: Los Angeles, CA – 29 December 1995
Participants in this game: Agent Peter Johnson (FBI), Jennifer Gage (LACoFD – paramedic), Gharret Reese (civilian – criminal)

04 December, 2010

Operations Order #101210

Delta Green/Realms of Cthulhu Demo Game
Winter Break

Location:
Bill & Walt’s Hobby Shop, 245 Fourth Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15222
Phone: 412-281-9040
Time & Date: 10 December 2010 @ 5:00PM
“You are cordially invited to a night at the opera…”
This Saturday I will be running the one-sheet adventure Winter Break as an Explorer’s Society demo of Reality Blurs’ Realms of Cthulhu. The adventure will be set in the mid-1990s in the Delta Green setting. Up to 6 players will portray Delta Green agents or friendlies. We start at 5pm and expect the game to finish at approximately 10pm. Our normal habit is to secure pizza as a group from Ephesus Pizza up the street.

31 August, 2010

Ithaca Mag-10 “Roadblocker” (Remington SP-10)

Caliber: 10 gauge
Range: 14/28/56
Damage: 3d8/2d8/1d8
RoF: 1
Weight: 11lbs
Shots: 2rds (+1 in the chamber)
Cost: $890
Notes: AP1, Shotgun, Double-Action

The Mag-10 is a semi-auto shotgun in 10 gauge, introduced in 1977, for use by police during roadblocks.  While 10 gauge never regained the popularity it had in the 19th century, the Mag-10 did see some success.  Ultimately, improvements in the 12ga. magnum were soon able to deliver comparable performance in a more mainstream caliber.  The Mag-10 was dropped by Ithaca in 1986.
The Mag-10 found new life in 1989 as the Remington SP-10 Special Purpose Magnum Shotgun.  The Their literature claims that the 10ga. offers lighter felt recoil and better patterns than 12ga. magnum.
The Mag-10/SP-10, like other shotguns, can be loaded with slugs.  A 10 gauge, 3 1/2″ slug does 2d12 at all ranges.

24 August, 2010

Colt AR15 Series Rifles and Carbines

Caliber: 5.56mm NATO
Range: 24/48/96
Damage: 2d8
RoF: 1
Weight: 8lbs
Shots: 30rds (20rds available)
Cost: $500, 30rd magazine $24, 20rd magazine $16.
Notes: AP1, Semi-Auto

The AR15A2 Government Model R6550 is a semi-auto only version of the M16A2 assault rifle.  Introduced by Colt in 1985, it was intended for the civilian market and those law enforcement agencies looking for a SA M16 clone.  The 6550 looks very much like the M16A2, with the same style stock/foregrip, the improved rear sight, and the heavier A2 profile barrel.  Since the 1960s there have been hundreds of semi-auto AR-15 rifles – far too many to detail here – all with essentially the same stats.  I have listed some of the models used by Federal agents in the 1990s.

R6000 – M16 style receiver (no forward assist), fixed stock, 20″ A1 profile barrel w/ bayonet lug.
R6500 – A2 style receiver, fixed stock, 20″ A1 profile barrel w/ bayonet lug. 
R6550 – A2 style receiver, fixed stock, 20″ A2 profile barrel w/ bayonet lug.
In addition to the full size rifle, various semi-auto carbines are available as well – based on what would become the M4 carbine in 1998.  Again – they all use the same stats so I will only detail a few, commonly used versions. 
R6001 – M16 style receiver (no forward assist), 2-position aluminum stock, 16″ A1 profile barrel w/ bayonet lug. 
R6520 – A2 style receiver, 2-position fiberlite stock, 16″ A1 profile barrel w/ bayonet lug. 
R6530 – A2 style receiver, 2-position fiberlite stock, 16″ A1 profile barrel w/o bayonet lug. 
R6720 – flat-top receiver, 4-position nylon stock, 16″ A1 profile barrel w/ bayonet lug. 

Caliber: 5.56mm NATO
Range: 24/48/96
Damage: 2d8
RoF: 1
Weight: 6lbs
Shots: 30rds (20rds available)
Cost: $500, 30rd magazine $24, 20rd magazine $16.
Notes:AP1, Semi-Auto

18 August, 2010

Heckler & Koch MP-5 series

Caliber: 9mm Parabellum
Range: 14/28/56
Damage: 2d6
RoF: 3
Weight: 6lbs (A2/A4) or 7lbs (A3/A5)
Shots: 30rds (15rds available)
Cost: $680 (A2/A3) $720 (A4/A5/N), 30rd magazine $22, 15rd magazine $11.
Notes: AP1, Auto, 3rd Burst (A4/A5 models)

In 1964, H&K began designing a family of 9mm SMGs based on the G3 battle rifle’s operating system.  The result was the most successful SMG series in history.  The German Federal Police and Border Guards adopted the MP5 family in 1966.  Following the Munich massacre the German Border Guards created GSG9, a counterterrorist team, who made the MP5 a primary weapon.  The weapon so impressed special operations units that the UK’s SAS adopted the MP5 as well for CT operations.  In 1980, the MP5 was in the hands of the SAS troopers as they rescued the hostages from the Iranian Embassy.
Since that time the MP5 has been adopted by hundreds of military and law enforcement organizations in 44 countries.  Numerous design changes and new models have been produced over the last 4 decades.  Early MP5s features a narrow “slimline” checkered foregrip and straight magazines.  Curved magazines were an early improvement, and later a wider “tropical” foregrip became standard.  Various attachments and modification are available for the MP5, including white light and laser sight mounts.  Stocks and trigger groups are standardized and may be exchanged between models.  Note: autofire trigger groups will not fit on semi-auto uppers or vice versa.
Of the many versions produced since 1966, most commonly encountered are:

MP5A2 – fixed stock, S-E-F (safe, semi, auto) trigger group, $670.
MP5A3 – telescoping stock, S-E-F trigger group, $670.
MP5A4 – fixed stock, 4-position (safe, semi, 3rd burst, auto) trigger group, $720.
MP5A5 – telescoping stock, 4-position trigger group, $720.
MP5N – US Navy version of the MP5A5 with a threaded barrel and ambidextrous selector, $720.

The MP5 is also available in a silenced version, known as the MP5SD, and a shortened machine pistol version called the MP5K.  Semi-Auto versions of the MP5 are very common in US and international law enforcement. These versions will be covered in their own entries.
In 1992 the Heckler & Koch to produced MP5A4/A5s chambered in 10mm Auto and .40 S&W.  These models are most notable for the straight, clear plastic magazines used (later magazines were opaque grey or black).  The FBI acquired a number of MP5/10s in 1994. Both lines were discontinued in 2000.
Variants of the MP5/10 and MP5/40 include:

MP5/10A2 – 10x25mm, fixed stock, four-position trigger group, $1,160.
MP5/10A3 – 10x25mm, telescoping stock, four-position trigger group $1,160.
MP5/40A2 – .40 S&W, fixed stock, four-position trigger group, $970.
MP5/40A3 – .40 S&W, telescoping stock, four-position trigger group, $970.

Caliber: 10mm Auto (MP5/10), .40 S&W (MP5/40)
Range: 20/40/80
Damage: 2d6+1
RoF: 3
Weight: 6lbs (A2) or 7lbs (A3)
Shots: 30rds
Cost: $1,160 (MP5/10) $970 (MP5/40), 30rd magazine (10mm) $23 30rd magazine (.40S&W) $22.
Notes:AP1, Auto, 3rd Burst

10 August, 2010

New Look

I’ve finished the new look for the blog – including the new title banner.  I am very happy with the way the banner came out, especially the “Savaged” DG Logo.  This is pieced together using the font “Trust This One”.  It is the same font as used in the official products, but was stretched in order to fit the new dimensions created by the additional line of text.
Changes aren’t just visual – I have also been working on a new way to figure weapon cost.  Using Modern Gun Values, works to an extent, but I doesn’t help with military grade weaponry.  There is also the fact that these prices from the mid-90′s are greatly influenced by the inflation caused by the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 (aka Brady Bill).  This causes military style weapons, like the AR-15, to be incredibly expensive.  It is also very American centric.  By using a different method I hope to establish a base value for each weapon that can be modified by circumstances.  Thus the FBI agent who has to replace the MP-5 the deep ones ate, can do so without paying the ridiculously inflated commercial prices of the time.  The goal is to create a mathematically based formula that gives an approximately accurate value to the gun that can be modified by blackmarket or collectibility factors.  A mathematical formula provides a consistent system allowing me to add any weapon to the database – much more consistent than using the prices listed in several different gaming sources.
To begin, I am using a modified version of the cost formula found in BTRC’s Guns 3G^3.  When I’ve finished testing the equation I will edit the prior weapons posts and update the DIY file.
There are more gun profiles in the works for this month, including a concerted effort to detail weapons other than pistols.  Eventually there will be cars and other equipment as well – but that is in the future for now.

07 August, 2010

Operations Order #100812

Delta Green/Realms of Cthulhu Demo Game
Victim of the Art

Location:
Bill & Walt’s Hobby Shop, 245 Fourth Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15222
Phone: 412-281-9040
Time & Date: 12 August 2010 @ 5:00PM
“You are cordially invited to a night at the opera…”
This Saturday I will be running the adventure Victim of the Art as an Explorer’s Society demo of Reality Blurs’ Realms of Cthulhu. The adventure will be set in the mid-1990s in the Delta Green setting. Up to 6 players will portray Delta Green agents or friendlies. We start at 5pm and expect the game to finish at approximately 10pm. Our normal habit is to secure pizza as a group from Ephesus Pizza up the street.

UPDATE
Setting: American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY – 12 August 1995
Participants in this game: Agent Richard Johnson (FBI), Agent Peter "No Relation" Johnson (FBI), Dr. Holden Bottom (civilian – professor)

03 August, 2010

Smith & Wesson Model 29

Caliber: .44 Magnum
Range: 14/28/56
Damage:2d8
RoF: 1
Weight: 3lbs
Shots: 6rds
Cost: $760, Speedloader $11
Notes: AP1, Double-Action, Revolver

The gun forever identified with Inspector Harry Callahan.  Introduced in 1956, the Model 29 was for many years the most powerful handgun available, until supplanted by Freedom Arms .454 Casull revolver in 1983.  By the early 1970s the pistol had lost much of its glamor and was considered a curiosity, the purview of collectors and some law enforcement officers.  While working on Dirty Harry, Clint Eastwood had two Model 29s built from parts for the film – the model having been dropped from the S&W line.  The resulting screen appearance greatly increased the desirability of the revolver, and the Model 29 has remained popular, and in production, ever since.
The Model 29 comes in several factory barrel lengths – stats for the 6 1/2″ barrel are above – but will also work for the 8 3/6″ and 10 5/8″ versions as well.  The 4″ and 5″ barrels use the stat block above but with a range of 12/24/48.

27 July, 2010

Beretta 92/96 series

Caliber: 9mm Parabellum
Range: 12/24/48
Damage: 2d6
RoF: 1
Weight: 2lbs
Shots: 15rds (20rd avail.)
Cost: $490, 15rd magazine $19, 20rd magazine $24
Notes: AP1, Semi-Auto

The Model 92F/FS is the civilian model of the military M9 pistol.  The Beretta is distinct in having won three weapon trials to reach service – JSSAP in 1980, the XM9 trials in 1983 and the XM10 trials in 1988.  The Air Force adopted the Beretta 92SB-1 in small numbers following JSSAP (Joint Service Small Arms Program) but the Army remanded a rematch and organized the XM9 trials.  The updated 92F won this trial as well and became the issue weapon of the US military in 1985.  In 1988 the slide on a SEAL Team M9 fractured and hit the sailor in the face causing facial lacerations.  An investigation lead to the discovery of a few other such events, signs of stress fractures on the slides of other M9s and the procurement of the weapon was halted.  At issue was the area of the slide under the ejection port, excessive stress – caused by hot loaded ammunition – caused metal fatigue that went unnoticed by Navy armorers.  The Navy purchased the SIG-Sauer P226 for SEAL use and retrofitted an enclosed slide to the Fleet’s other M9s.  These “Dolphin” slides were soon discarded due to increased feed problems caused by the design, and P226s in SEAL service also suffered slide failures caused by the hot loaded ammunition.  In 1988, the XM10 trials were organized – and the Beretta (model 92FS) won yet again.
The 92FS differs from the earlier 92F in that a slide retention device was added.  This internal modification features a hook that catches on an enlarged hammer axis pin in the case of a slide failure – preventing it from injuring the firer.  Models without this feature (made before 1988), using P+ ammo,  may separate on a critical failure, causing d4 damage to the firer’s face or chest.  This should be a rare occurrence for well-maintained M9/92s.
Other 92 series weapons can be represented with these stats as the differences are usually minor.  The first generation Model 92 (1976-81) featured a European-type mag release on the heel of the butt, a frame mounted safety and a rounded trigger guard.  The 92S moved the safety to the left side of the slide – it was not ambidextrous.  The 92SB, as adopted by the USAF in 1980, had an ambidextrous slide mounted safety, and an American type mag release behind the still rounded trigger guard.  The 92F (initial issue M9) changed the safety to a decocking lever, added a recurved trigger guard and thicker magazine floor plate.
The Berretta 92 series was the issue weapon of numerous law enforcement bodies, most notably the LAPD.  Its popularity with LAPD officers declined following the North Hollywood Shootout – where the penetration of the 9mm round was insufficient to penetrate the bank robbers body armor.
The Model 96, chambered in .40 S&W, was introduced in 1990.

Caliber: .40 S&W
Range: 12/24/48
Damage: 2d6+1
RoF: 1
Weight: 2lbs
Shots: 10rds
Cost: $460, 10rd magazine $15
Notes: AP1, Semi-Auto

The San Francisco Police Department began issuing the Model 96D in the mid-1990s.
Full-size Beretta 92/96s are available with numerous features.  Inox versions feature stainless steel construction.  92D/96D models are double action only, may not double tap (replace the note “Semi-Auto” with “Double-Action”), cost $50 less, and lack the decocking lever and hammer spur.

20 July, 2010

Browning Hi-Power

Caliber: 9mmP
Range: 12/24/48
Damage: 2d6
RoF: 1
Weight: 2lbs
Shots: 13rds
Cost: $470, 13rd magazine $17
Notes: AP1, Semi-Auto

Based on the classic Belgian design of 1935, this commercial model, the Mark I, was introduced in 1954.  The Hi-Power was long the service pistol of Britain and the Commonwealth – and a favored weapon of the SAS until replaced by the P226 in the 1990s.  Slight design improvements were made in 1973 that led to the Mark II of the early 1980s.  Early Mark IIs featured the walnut grips pictured above.  These were replaced in production with molded polyamide in 1986 and on all Mark IIIs in 1988.  The Hi-Power features a magazine disconnect, making the weapon unusable without a seated magazine – this feature is often removed in customized examples.
From 1993 .40S&W-chambered Hi-Powers Mark IIIs became available, with a 10rd magazine capacity.

Caliber: .40 S&W
Range: 12/24/48
Damage: 2d6+1
RoF: 1
Weight: 2lbs
Shots: 10rds
Cost: $460, 10rd magazine $15
Notes:AP1, Semi-Auto

13 July, 2010

Smith & Wesson Model 4500 Series

Caliber: .45 ACP
Range: 12/24/48
Damage: 2d6+1
RoF: 1
Weight: 3lbs
Shots: 8rds
Cost: $490, 8rd magazine $14
Notes: AP1, Semi-Auto

Produced from 1988 to 1999, the 4506 was the flagship of Smith & Wesson’s third generation pistols in .45 caliber. The initial design was very similar in appearance to the 2nd generation 645, with stepped frame and recurved trigger guard. The later 4506-1 featured a slab sided frame and smoother, curved trigger guard. The construction is all stainless-steel with wrap-around grips. The slide mounted lever functions as a safety as well as a decocking lever.
The 4506 is one of the authorized pistols for LAPD officers following the North Hollywood Shootout.

06 July, 2010

DIY Stats: Firearms

Players always want more guns. They want special guns – unique guns. In many cases the gun helps define the character: A grizzled vet detective with his snub nosed .38; the retired Nam marine with his trusty M1911A1.
As a player and GM I have long collected weapons manuals for RPGs as well as real steel guns guides. Some of my most used books were Charles Ryan’s UltraModern Firearms for Millennium’s End, and Kevin Dockery’s system-non-specific Compendium of Modern Firearms: Edge of the Sword Volume 1 (sadly Volume 2 was never to be).
The pièce de résistance was BTRC’s 3G3 and More Guns.
3G3 was unique in that it allowed the player or GM to create guns using scientific formula. Any gun that existed, could have existed, or could exist in the future could be made and given stats in any number of game systems. I have spreadsheet files that trace lineage back to Windows 3.1, detailing the stats for various weapons. Over the time I have tweaked them and modified them for use in my games. When I needed stats for a new gun, I could input the weapons real world stats and the sheet would generate consistent stats in the system I was using (mostly Interlock and Fuzion). When we started playing Savage Worlds a few years ago – these charts came back out to find new, altered, life.
I found with Savage Worlds that the charts did not need to be as mired in physics as the Interlock and Fuzion charts were. After several trials and errors I settled on the system I use today. Base damage is determined by a modified DV formula from 3G3. This DV is then altered by the weapon’s barrel length to give number equating to the average damage dice roll. This base DV is also used to generate a weapon cost, also based on a modified 3G3 formula. Range was much trickier to generate – my previous charts failed to give results that did not differ significantly from those published in Savage Worlds. Rather than wholly supplant the SW stats I devised a simple chart based on weapon type, barrel length and muzzle energy to create a chart that closely follows published stats for pistols and rifles. I will note however that these charts tend to extend the range of SMGs slightly – rather than make a third chart I decided this was an acceptable compromise (the MP5 should shoot farther than the Glock).

02 July, 2010

Dead Men's Hands

From: Mr. Zebulon Pike, Sioux Nation
To: Mrs. Hannelore West, Kingsport, Mass.
August 1877
Beloved Sister,
I know that you are fond of both reading and writing fantastical fiction and the tale I am about to tell seems taken from the pages of Sheridan’s ghost stories, though with a distinctly less gothic bent and certainly nowhere near as literary as your creations.
In celebration of the grand opening of Messrs. Tobin, Pace and Bongiovi’s “establishment”, a gambling tournament was hosted. It would seem that, with my automated pancake machine as a centerpiece, the so-called “House of Pancakes” was not to be merely a brothel but also a saloon and general gathering place. For all their brutality on the trail when under fire, my comrades present themselves as marginally respectable. Even so, my interaction with this event was only to keep the machine running to feed our guests.
Oh, and I am pleased to tell you that I have completed the blueberry formula. While it contains no actual blueberries and tastes almost, but not quite, entirely unlike blueberries, it is exceptionally good and is wildly popular. Huzzah for modern chemistry! I have included the formulae and recipes along with the plans for the machine itself and ask that you convey them to my patent solicitor, Mr. Siegfried Block of Post Office Square, Boston. While I have heard rumors of another pancake machine, I am sure that mine would be an improvement of magnitudes when combined with the custom batters. It is important that such things be documented and registered lest some upstart claim my superior machine as some copy of a lesser device.
Where was I? Oh, yes. The murder.
It occurred in one of the upstairs rooms reserved for “guesting,” to use a polite euphemism. It did not take long to exonerate the girl Sung Lee in the strangulation. In spite of one of their own having been mysteriously murdered, the other gamblers were not deterred from continuing their game the next night as there were large stakes to be won or lost. With Mr. Pace thus engaged in gambling and attempting to determine if one of the other gamblers was the murderer, and Mr. Tobin acting as present security for the House, it left Mr. Bongiovi and I to set out and investigate what we could.
At first, the Sheriff Bullock seemed disinclined to assist us. I suspect that our founding of a new brothel interfered with his long established business dealings with the Bella Union and Gem Saloon. Later, however, his lack of inclination turned into outright inattention. It would seem that he was under some outside influence, perhaps a drug-induced susceptibility to suggestion or mesmerism. In any case, our dealings with the sheriff and his condition caught us unawares when another murder occurred. This time, at the Gem Saloon.
Mr. Bongiovi provided the distraction while I was able to infiltrate the room of the murdered gambler to investigate. There I found papers that lead me to suspect a young card sharp named Spinner was involved, either as an accomplice or even as the murderer. Spinner’s room was just down the hall and entering that room I found a steamer trunk which contained only a fine layer of soil. This immediately suggested to me the Eastern European myths of vampires and I felt sure that I had found the murderer’s lair.
I improvised a fire-trap and fled out the window when Mr. Bongiovi’s antics no longer held the attentions of the saloon’s employees, eventually taking up an observatory position on a nearby rooftop.
It was several hours before Spinner returned and, through the window I was able to observe her arrival. Indeed, I saw that what we had thought to be a young man was, in fact, a disguised woman. This revelation was not of any significance when compared to the moment that she opened the steamer trunk and my incendiary detonated.
Unexpectedly, I began taking gunfire from out the windows of adjoining rooms. It would seem that our murderess had accomplices. We had exchanged a few rounds of ineffectual gunfire when a singed and quite angry Miss Skinner leapt from the room, across the alley to the adjoining rooftop where I was. She no longer appeared as a young woman, or even as a disguised young man but as a demon, with ashen skin, fangs, claws and even wings upon her back. I now had to contend not only with an enraged vampire at close quarters but also with two gunfighters shooting at me from across the way. Several .41 caliber projectiles from my pistol found their mark in the creature’s chest but failed to slow it down. My efforts to deliver a fatal shot to the head missed their mark. Finally, still taking pistol fire from the hotel windows, I activated the conflagrationator concealed in my cane and unleashed it’s chemical inferno.
The flames were spectacular, disgorging with power and range to fill the one room across the alley, setting my one assailant ablaze. The cone of combustion washed across another room and sent the other gunfighter reeling. Though he was only singed, he was no longer firing at me. Lastly, I turned the nozzle upon Miss. Skinner and at point blank range, the last of the discharge seared away flesh.
Badly injured, she fled to the street but did not go far as Mr. Pace came upon the scene and, with a few rounds from his Winchester rifle, brought her down. I put the miserable wretch out of its misery with a a buckshot round to the back of the skull.
Things have calmed down significantly. The surviving accomplice has been taken into custody and is apparently revealing everything in an attempt to avoid the hangman’s noose. Mr. Pace has returned to his gambling tournament and looks to be making a tidy profit. Having had a murder in our establishment seems to have dampened enthusiasm during our opening week but the favorable reputation of “The Infernal Pancake Machine” seems to be offsetting that slow start. I have set up a makeshift laboratory in a laundry next door and have found some interesting things from Miss Skinner’s dissection.
I am developing plans for an arc lamp which, when enhanced with hydrogen gas, should be even more effective against similar solatopic beings than my conflagrationator was. (I am still displeased with that name. Pray, come up with something better.) I will send you plans for that as well once they are complete and successfully tested in addition to some others. I have built a narrow-gauge mine engine that runs on compressed air rather than a tradition external combustion steam engine. This will aid the local miners where highly combustible coal dust and gases is a significant hazard.
Stay well and be sure to write to me. I look forward to hearing how things are transpiring back home.
Your ever loving brother,
Zebulon
This was the seventh session of our Deadlands campaign.  It was the second Deadlands session run by yours truly.  It was based on the Shadow Stalkers adventure “Dead Men’s Hands” from D20 Past.  The adventure was run in Spring, 2008.  This letter was written by Zebulon’s player.

29 June, 2010

Smith & Wesson Model 5900 Series

Caliber: 9mm Parabellum
Range: 12/24/48
Damage: 2d6
RoF: 1
Weight: 2lbs
Shots: 14rds
Cost: $480, 14rd magazine $18
Notes: AP1, Semi-Auto

Introduced in 1989, the S&W 5900 series was the flagship of Smith & Wesson’s third generation pistol lines. The design traces its lineage back to the Model 39 pistol of 1955. It is a double action pistol, firing from a staggered column 14rd magazine. Construction of the 5906 is all stainless steel. The S&W 5903 is nearly identical, slightly lighter due to an aluminum alloy frame. Also available is the S&W 5904, featuring a blued carbon steel slide and matching alloy frame.
Users of the S&W 5906 include the Japanese Coast Guard, RCMP, NYPD and Honolulu PD among others.

25 June, 2010

Envy: Redux

From: Mr. Zebulon Pike, Eastwood Ridge, Dakota
To: Mrs. Hannelore West, Kingsport, Mass.
August 1877
Dearest Sister,
The plans of my comrades have finally become clear. They have, with their collected funds and the Confederate gold filed into flakes to disguise its origins, purchased the neighboring structure. They have commissioned me to construct a machine as the centerpiece of their hotel and restaurant, a task I enthusiastically embarked upon even knowing that the business they planed to open would not be either a hotel or a restaurant. I am somewhat embarrassed to tell you that I shall be part owner and operator of a frontier brothel.
Gender population inequities, an overabundance of ready cash and a lack of higher culture have lead to a combination of drinking, gambling and debauchery throughout the march of civilization, and Deadwood is no exception. I know we have previously discussed these topics at length so I will not detail the complex social dynamics of this harsh frontier town except to say it is even more stark and disturbing than the historical and theoretical models our thought experiments built. Even so, my comrades seem of slightly different stock and seem intent on bringing some sort of respectability and culture to the enterprise. Most progressively, their intent is to build and own the establishment but to leave the daily management and operation to the ladies.
I’m not sure how my emotions and reasoning will reconcile all the conflict so for now I have focused on what is being called “The Machine.” It is a sizable construction built on a firebox and boiler used to drive a series of mechanisms. A central rotating structure with a clockwork mechanism precesses multiple stations, each with its own rotation.
It is, simply stated, a fully automated pancake production machine. Once complete, patrons will be able to select from a number of flavors and the machine will pneumatically inject the batter into steam-heated cooking chambers. The rotating chambers will rotate to ensure even cooking and, when complete, will deposit the pancakes onto a plate.
The machine works well enough but I am still working on the proper batter formula.
Oh, yes. I was actually leading up to describing an incident of a few days ago. I believe I’ve mentioned my habit of riding every few days to keep myself from becoming insular. On one such excursion, the smell of smoke led me and Mr. Bongiovi, who had elected to join me that evening, to a fire at the Jennings farmstead. When we arrived, the fire seemed well underway and the Jennings boy was on the porch crying over his prone father. Talking a moment to determine that the father was merely unconscious, overcome by the fumes, perhaps, I heedlessly rushed into the house to search for Mrs. Jenkins. It was not quite to conflagration of the Boston fire of ’72, but quite as exciting. I found Mrs. Jenkins unconscious form upstairs and, my escape back down the stairs now cut off by fire, I kicked through a window and dropped her to the ground as gently as could be managed under the circumstances.
It was as I jumped from the window myself that I came under pistol fire from the nearby scrub. I’ll admit that I became somewhat irritated at having been shot at while attempting to do my civic duty, that I knocked over a rain barrel and, using it as a rolling shield, used it to advance swiftly upon my concealed opponents, firing my own pistol.
My counterattack and the support of Mr. Bongiovi’s own pistol brought down one of our opponents and sent the rest to flight. The killed assailant was reminiscent of those we had encountered in Eastwood Ridge in that he was dead long before a bullet through the brainpan had ended his motion. Some preternatural force had made this man one of the walking dead and, by the smell, a significant consumption of alcohol had kept the body embalmed enough not to decay. I wondered momentarily what forces or process might reanimate or other restore a semblance of life to the dead but put aside my scientific curiosity for the moment to turn my attention back to the Jennings family.
Returning the the house in town, we were able to revive Mrs. Jennings who indicated that the attackers likely included Mr. Jenning’s brother, with which there had been something of a falling out. For the sake of delicacy, I did not pry into the particulars.
The next morning, we awoke to find Mr. Jennings had gone under conditions we thought unlikely to be of his own choosing. With clues provided by Mrs. Jennings were rode swiftly to the North to an abandoned drift mine wherein we found Mr. Jennings bound to a chair and being physically menaced by who we assumed to be his brother and several others. The smell of the place was of death and we swiftly dispatched the walking corpses as swiftly as we could. I’ll admit that even with my previous experience, I wasted a number of rounds firing at the largest target, the chest, with little effect. Indeed, these beings seem only to be finally and decisively ended by removing the head or destroying the brain.
On returning to the house and reuniting the Jennings family, we discovered that the boy had been able to get into several rooms and had gone through a number of personal belongings. In that, we discovered a number of Mr. Tobin’s possessions taken from the satchel beneath his bed. We did not want Mr. Tobin’s expected ire to be directed at the boy so we returned them to their place as best we could and, in so doing, could not help but learn that he was a former cavalry soldier and that his real name was Sullivan. I recall a news missive some time back concerning a soldier named Sullivan who was killed attempting to stop a massacre of Indians by Union soldiers.
Please talk to your abolitionist friends to find more information because, If I recall correctly, the Trooper Sullivan was a staunch abolitionist. And a Canadian, by nationality, volunteering to join the Union Army in the Great War. I’m sure you can understand my keen interest in knowing more.
I shall leave you with that and look forward to your letters with rapt anticipation.
Your most affectionate brother,
Zebulon
This was the sixth session of our Deadlands campaign.  It was the second adventure to be loosely based on the one-sheet adventure Envy from Pinnacle Entertainment.  The adventure was run in the spring of 2008.  This letter was written by Zebulon’s player.

22 June, 2010

Smith & Wesson Model 4000 Series

Caliber: .40 S&W
Range: 12/24/48
Damage: 2d6+1
RoF: 1
Weight: 2lbs
Shots: 11rds
Cost: $470, 11rd magazine $16
Notes: AP1, Semi-Auto

Introduced in 1990, the S&W Model 4006 was the first pistol chambered in the new .40 S&W round, it was however beaten to market by Glock’s G22. The 4006 is of stainless construction, similar in design to the 9mm S&W 5906. There is a slide mounted decocking/safety lever and the weapon cannot be fired without a magazine in place. The Model 4006 is popular with law enforcement and corrections officers, including the California Highway Patrol and Colorado State Patrol. The Atlanta PD issued the slightly lighter, aluminum framed, S&W 4003 until 2008

18 June, 2010

The Confligationator

A man’s walking cane built on a recycled 20 ga. shotgun barrel.  The contents consist of a highly flammable binary concoction that, when mixed in a reaction chamber and ignited, combusts with an intense heat, its expansion causing the flame to erupt from from the nozzle at the head of the cane with significant force and range.  The chambers within the cane hold sufficient volume for half a dozen seconds of pyrotechnics.  This has been patented by the United States Patent Office, 1877.

15 June, 2010

Glock G23

Caliber: .40 S&W
Range: 12/24/48
Damage: 2d6+1
RoF: 1
Weight: 1lbs
Shots: 13rds, (15rd availabile)
Cost: $490, 13rd magazine $18, 15rd magazine $20
Notes: AP1, Semi-Auto

Introduced in 1991, the Glock 23 is essentially a G19 chambered in .40 S&W. As a Glock design, the G23 relies on extensive internal safeties but lacks any kind of manual safety or decocking lever. The G23 fires from a 13rd magazine, but can also use the G22′s standard 15rd magazine.
In 1998, the G23 and G22 replaced the SIG-Sauer P226/228 as the FBI’s issue weapons.

11 June, 2010

Buffalo Soldiers Part II

From: Mr. Zebulon Pike, Deadwood, Sioux Nation
To: Mrs. Hannelore West, Kingsport, Mass.
July 1877
Dearest Sister,
Several days without drama have allowed me to complete my project! From the drawings I’ve included, you should see that I began with the foundation of a shotgun barrel that, with some hardwood accents and brass fittings, appears to be little more than an elaborate gentleman’s cane. Inside, however, I have concealed a cartridge with a chemical concoction which is ejected through a high-pressure nozzle by means of a coiled spring acting on a piston. The release mechanism also activates a firing pin against a standard percussion cap, igniting the semi-fluid on expulsion. It should generate a ten to fifteen foot cone of flame, persisting for several seconds.
In theory.
I am terribly excited to try it out but have not yet had the opportunity to test it. The chemical formula is absolutely sound and mostly stable. I am pleased with the physical design, even though my mastery of the intricacies of mechanical design lag somewhat behind yours. I hope our family’s natural proclivity overcome this deficiency. The need to have a larger aperture for the expulsion of the flammable fluid does increase the risk of the ignition reaching back into the reservoir, thus causing a catastrophic explosion, but there should be sufficient pressure to keep that from occurring.
What to name it? Linear Expulsive Conflagrationator is appropriately descriptive but I’m not sure I like it. Conflagrator? Conflagrationizer? You are so much better at this than I am, what do you think?
Just a moment, there seems to be some sort of commotion occurring outside.
. . . . . .
Well then, that was an interesting few days. It began with several riders coming into town. They were two of the soldiers that had set out last week to address the issue of Indians burning stagecoach waystations. One of the soldiers was dead in his saddle, pierced by several arrows, and the other, also grievously wounded, died soon afterwards. Uttering his dying breath to me; “Gold.”
It was clear that it was no Indian attack that had lead to the death of the soldiers as there was the distinctly modern construction methods utilized in the construction of the arrows embedded in the returning soldiers. This is not to say that arrows of Indian manufacture are primitive or substandard in any way, but these arrows bore signs of industrial manufacture.
Mr. Tobin, Mr. Pace, Mr. Bongiovi and I immediately joined the military expedition formed to determine the fate of the previous force. We, however, had very different expectations and objectives. Firstly, while we didn’t announce our conclusions, we knew that we were not looking for a band of Indians but were, in fact, looking for individuals pretending to be Indians. Secondly, and I was unsure if the others were aware, I made the connection between this incident, the burned waystations and the Confederate gold found by Marshal Kane at Eastwood Ridge. I had little doubt that there was gold, or at least someone thought there was gold, at the waystations. Thirdly, we did not pass on the dying words of the soldier to his comrades on the highly likely suspicion that the soldiers had raced off earlier, not to deal with a perceived Indian threat, but to secure the gold. While I suspected the military was involved it was important to have them think that we were ignorant of the true reasons.
The first day of our expedition was uneventful. The waystation at Silver City was burned to the ground, as was expected. (Silver City is not directly on the trail to Deadwood but is a “spur trail” several miles East of the main where, as the name implies, there was once a silver mine. We had not taken the spur on our way North and had only assumed its condition.)
That night, many of my suspicions were confirmed when during the night I observed the Sergeant uncharacteristically make a wide, patrolling arc around the burned out shell of the waystation. Feigning biology’s call, I surreptitiously watched him investigating behind the building in a way that had me conclude that there was a hole behind this building as well. It was not something he might have stumbled upon and apparently he found nothing contained within.
The next day and the next waystation was as the others. We followed the soldier’s tracks up a valley into the dread scene of an ambush. Soldiers were strewn about in various inadequate cover apparently having been set upon from all sides. While there were Indian implements of war to be found, all the soldiers had been clearly brought down by modern firearms.
Our expectation was that we would follow the tracks into an ambush of our own so we divided our column to proceed up each bank of the stream. There is a strange sense of confidence one has walking into a known trap. A sense that was not wasted for, when the ambush came, our divided staging allowed us to disrupt their plan and out flank them. When the first shots rang out, I took what cover I could but with Mr. Tobin firing from across the stream, I was able to advance quickly and confidently, holding my fire until I was close upon our attackers.
Their tactical plan circumvented, they fled before I could inflict any direct harm. With their killing of the soldiers and realizing that these types of miscreants are those likely to hold a lengthy grudge, I vowed not to let them escape and rushed back to my horse to give chase. Mr. Pace and I set off after a trio of villains. One was killed instantly by a rifle shot from Mr. Pace’s rifle. A second fell wounded from his horse with a sickening sound that indicated his neck had broken in the fall. The last I chased for more than a mile before I was able to land a bullet into his kidney.
A search of our attackers found no gold, at which point I confronted the Sergeant concerning his suspicious activities of the night before. Even with some creative persuasions, he admitted nothing directly but his obfuscations made it clear that he and, in fact, all the other soldiers, knew at least part of what was going on. There were now at least four parties involved. Those associated with Marshal Kane and the Bowden family who were attempting to recover the gold. Competitors who were dressing up as Indians in an attempt to recover the gold. The soldiers who also knew of the gold. And, lastly, our own intrepid band that providence had dropped into the middle of this bloody feud. And while I cannot deny that the recovery of the gold would be a welcome windfall, our primary concern is one of survival.
The soldiers had been fairly devastated but, as it was the military, there was no telling how many others might be involved. Our interference had probably eliminated the faux-Indians as competitors. With additional prodding of the Sergeant, we were lead to a small mine at the head of the run. The miners there were ignorant dupes, tricked into digging a worthless hole as a cover for gold found elsewhere. Not a bad plan for I was considering a similar ruse to explain the gold that we had found.
After having been ambushed, it was our turn to set up such a trap and the miners told us that their “sponsor” Mr. Kane was coming. Yes, another Kane involved in this convolution. I realize now that I have gone on at quite a length and the hour is getting late so I will summarize; there was a gunfight. By our combined efforts the evil-doers were vanquished and I emerged unscathed. We hid the bodies in the mine and dynamited the entrance. More soldiers arrived and we lied to them thoroughly. The Captain of the unit was a gentleman of Virginia so we suspected him immediately of some collusion in the hiding of the Confederate gold. We returned to Deadwood.
This is a quite lengthy letter, isn’t it. Had I taken writing accouterments with me on our expedition, I would have written more regularly and this limited the length of these narratives to more manageable fragments. Even though I know you love to read, I fear the realities of frontier life will not measure up to the scientific romances you enjoy so much. Even with the gunfights and preternatural occurrence that I fear reduce my real-life adventures to the level of dime novels.
As I now have something of a permanent address, I look forward eagerly to your return letters.
With unsuppressed fondness,
your brother, Zebulon
This adventure is one of several based loosely on the Pinnacle Entertainment one-sheet, Buffalo Soldiers. The adventure, the fifth of our campaign, was run in early 2008. This write up was the product of Zebulon”s player, with minor editing by yours truly.

08 June, 2010

Glock G18

Caliber: 9mm Parabellum
Range: 12/24/48
Damage: 2d6
RoF: 3
Weight: 2lbs
Shots: 17rds, (19 & 33 availabile)
Cost: $690, 17rd magazine $21, 19rd magazine $23, 33rd magazine $24
Notes: AP1, Auto

This is a machine pistol version of the Glock 17. It features similar construction and safety features. Located on the left rear of the slide is a fire selector switch: up for single shot fire; down for automatic fire. Early models did not feature the accessory rail, had a solid slide with a compensated barrel that protruded from the muzzle. The later G18C (pictured) had a standard length compensated barrel/slide combo and railed frame.
The G18 fires from a 33rd magazine, but will operate with G17standard 17rd, and “+2″ magazine (holding 19rds) that features a slightly longer floorplate.

04 June, 2010

Buffalo Soldiers Part I

From: Mr. Zebulon Pike, Deadwood, Sioux Nation
To: Mrs. Hannelore West, Kingsport, Mass.
July 1877
Dearest Sister,
My daring escape from marauding savages was distinctly less daring that I expected. In fact, it consisted of little more than a hard day of riding into the town of Deadwood. Which is not to say that there was no excitement for the day. On arriving in Deadwood, we immediately found some authorities, in this case a calvary soldier, and relayed our new of the burned wayposts. He seemed appropriately concerned and sped off to inform his superiors. We then went to the saloon that Mr. Tobin’s note had indicated and found him there, drinking, of course. Miss Bowden thankfully took her leave to find her brother and we were glad to be no longer in her company. Though a reasonable enough woman, she continuously tasked us with her interrogations.
We ordered drinks for ourselves and were discussing how further to proceed when a disheveled man approached the table to speak with Mr. Tobin. He informed Mr. Tobin that someone was waiting to meet him over at the livery and then drew and fired his pistol at nearly point-blank range. His hasty shot missed by scant inches and Mr. Tobin drew his pistol and returned fire faster than the eye could follow. I barely had time to be startled by the close-quarters report before it was all over.
Even more surprising was the lack of concern by the other patrons that a lethal gunfight had just occurred in their midst. I fear such occurrences are frequent enough to be considered commonplace.
Mr. Tobin brought us to the back side of Deadwood to an area known as “Chinese Alley,” an ethnic enclave where he had purchased a building. And while there has been no formal agreement, we all seem to have entered into a business arrangement. I have yet to quite figure out what that business will be. Mr. Tobin seems to make his living as a bounty hunter, Mr. Bonjiovi earns his living as a wandering minstrel, Mr. Pace is a gambler of some skill and my own technical and scientific skills seem to round a very eclectic skillset. It will be fascinating to see what sort of business plan comes of that but, for the meantime, I am pleased to have a bed, a roof over my head and a place into which I can gather equipment for my natural studies.
The respite was short lived, however, as the soldiers arrived to invite us to set out immediately in pursuit of the native miscreants. Under different circumstances we might have stepped forward to do our civic duty but, having spent days on the trail with little sleep for fear of attack, we declined. The soldiers seemed well armed and prepared for any untoward encounter.
As we also needed to stable our horses, Mr. Bonjiovi and I accompanied Mr. Tobin to his meeting at the livery. There was no one there to meet him but on the return we saw Miss Bowden and a man we assumed to be her brother. Mr. Tobin’s loosening of his pistols in their holsters indicated his suspicion of impending action. I thought that perhaps this was the meeting that he had intended to have, perhaps as far back as Eastwood Ridge, and stepped out of the line of fire.
The second gunfight of the day took little longer than the first. Miss Bowden seemed somewhat less that traumatized to have witnessed the murder of her brother before her very eyes so that I began to doubt her relationship. Mr. Tobin seemed prepared to kill her as well but stated that the bounty was on her brother and she was free to go.
We finally obtained an explanation in that the brothers Bowden were deserters and Mr. Tobin was on something of a quest to collect up an entire unit.
I apologize for the abrupt conclusion of this letter but it has been a long day and I have only now just realized how late it is. I shall assuredly expound on the matter later.
With unwavering fondness,
Zebulon
This adventure, our fourth,  is one of several based loosely on the Pinnacle Entertainment one-sheet, Buffalo Soldiers. The adventure was run in early 2008. This write up was the product of Zebulon”s player, with minor editing by yours truly.

28 May, 2010

Buffalo Soldiers Prelude

From: Mr. Zebulon Pike, Camp Bryant, Sioux Nation
To: Mrs. Hannelore West, Kingsport, Mass.
July 1877
Dearest Sister,
With all the weirdness going on in Eastwood Ridge, it was decided that we would continue to maintain a nightly watch lest anything untoward occur while we were sleeping. The night before we were to leave Eastwood I awoke late, lot having been alerted to my watch by Mr. Tobin. During his watch he had packed up his things and left, leaving us a note that he was taking the “short route” to Deadwood and that he would make arrangements for our arrival. As an unbalanced fellow prone to gunfire, I thought it might be for the best to spend some time away from his presence while he pursued his own agenda.
The next morning, our departure was again delayed. We thought to say goodbye to the tavern keeper but Miss Bowden the sister of one of the now dead deputies, was having a hysterical fit in the tavern. Mr. Pace, Mr. Bongiovi and I were all agreed that it would be best to ride on when she stormed out to confront us over the death of her brother. We were able to able to honestly say that we hadn’t seen what had occurred and speculated that it was some sort of dispute between the marshal and his deputies. We benefited greatly in the obfuscation by Mr. Tobin’s absence and were finally able to make our escape.
The road to Deadwood is paved with disappointment. The discovery of ghost rock in the Black Hills by Frank Bryant back in ’75 lead to a rush. Many of those camps and towns that grew overnight quickly disappeared when the Sioux asserted their authority over the land.  Since the town of Deadwood and the ghost rock that supports it continues, the towns on the trail to them have endured, if not as actual communities, at least as way stations.
I will refrain from using the colloquial “Ghost Town,” to describe the former town of Hot Spring as it is devoid of actual ghosts, in so far as we could determine in our brief stay. There were a few wooden foundations and outbuildings but most of the tents that had been the town had been packed up long ago. One building remained as a stagecoach station except that when we arrived it had been burned and there was no sign of the station keeper. A search revealed a number of unshod hoof prints, indicating that Indians might be responsible.
Rather than staying there and drawing attention to ourselves we rode on until nightfall and camped without a fire off the trail. Even so, Miss Bowden had been able to find us. She seemed intent on being our companion on our trip to Deadwood where she would meet with another of her brothers. She also grilled us again about the events surrounding the death of her brother. There was little we could do to prevent her from joining us.
The next day we rode on to Camp Bryant. Much like Hot Spring it was little more than a way station but unlike Hot Spring it was, as yet, unmolested. The old man (and why does it always seem to be old men attending these stations?) seemed less concerned that I would have thought at his neighbor having been burned out by Indians and the distinct possibility that his place may be next. He said he was expecting a stage through soon and we decided to wait. The stage never came but that evening we were attacked by Indians on horseback. Riding through the darkness they somewhat ineffectively launched flaming arrows at the building. Mr. Pace, from his vantage point on the roof fired a few rounds and down one of their ponies, which was sufficient to drive them off.
As I write this, it is the next day and the Indians have been showing themselves on a rise in the distance. The station attendant seemed intent to have us ride on, saying that he thought we should be able to continue and that he wouldn’t be bothered. I thought the man delusional for the natives had clearly shown their hostile intent the night before and would have the distinct advantage over us should we mount our horses and take to the open road. No, we were set to stay.
I have set a table out on the porch for a clear view with my pistol nearby. I have been trying to do some development work on my personal defense weapon but to advance that I will need some additional scientific apparatuses. Instead, I have alternated between writing this letter and sketching some other concepts. What do you think of the armored convenience on the next page? I have heard of so-called “war wagons” but an armored wagon leaves the horses exposed. What one would need is a self-propelled vehicle, much like a trackless train engine. It would need wide wheels to support the weight of the boilers and armored passenger compartment. Are the slopped sides and lighter armor adequate for deflecting bullets? Would the boilers provide enough power to propel its own weight at a sufficient speed over terrain? I seem to recall reading of a German producing an engine wherein gas is ignited within the drive cylinder rather than having externally heated steam drive the pistons. This strikes me as a much lighter and more efficient method. Would a stratified downdraft gassifier produce fuel quickly enough to drive the engine or would some sort of pressurized cylinder be necessary to hold the combustible gas? Carrying only the concentrated fuel, perhaps even if it could be liquefied, would save additional weight.
And, though things are somewhat tense, the fact that your are reading this proves that I have escaped relatively unscathed and have found enough civilization to post this letter to you. Fear not, for I shall write you again soon with news of my daring escape from marauding savages.
With fondest regards, your brother,
Zebulon
This adventure is one of several based loosely on the Pinnacle Entertainment one-sheet, Buffalo Soldiers. The adventure was run in Dec ’07 or Jan ’08. This write up was the product of Zebulon”s player, with some editing by yours truly.

21 May, 2010

Envy

From: Mr. Zebulon Pike, Eastwood Ridge, Dakota Territory
To: Mrs. Hannilore West, Kingsport, Mass.
July 1877
Dearest Sister
After the “Dread Tree Incident”, it had been decided by our somewhat haphazard assemblage that we would wait the day or two until the expected arrival of the area’s marshal. There had been a series of gruesome murders that would need to be explained to authorities. Since the truth would most assuredly not be believed, it was also agreed that we would describe everything as having happened exactly as it had occurred with the substitution of “bandits” for “ambulatory demonic tree” and “the walking dead.”
And even though the townspeople had received this edited version of events, the “bandits” were still at large and the town had apparently had enough of the killings. They spent the day preparing to abandon their homes. We took the time to investigate the homes of those that had been murdered in recent days. For many of my comrades, it was much a matter of sanctioned looting. The townspeople had already gone through many of the homes and recovered what useful items they could before their own abandonment. Mr. Tobin found a workable shotgun and employed my technical skills in shortening the barrel and stock to add a shotgun pistol to his weighty arsenal.
The cut-away barrel and Mr. Tobin’s flaming distillate has given me an idea for a device for my own protection. While my pistol is certainly effective and I am not unskilled in its employment, there are many situations where a pistol’s use may be restricted or obviated altogether. There are establishments and entire towns even here on the frontier that require one to check all firearms before entering. I doubt that people such as Mr. Tobin will abandon all their protections and so it seems logical that I also should have such a camouflaged holdout for myself.
Though I know you have a keen interest in the sciences, I will not go into details at this time as I am only in the early formulation of the idea myself. Suffice it to say that it will be an incendiary projector and, should my chemical formulation balance out, this device should be overwhelming in it’s effect so as to end hostilities immediately.
As nightfall approached there were signs of a fire quite a distance outside of town. The tavern keeper indicated that “Zeke” lived out that way and since none of the townspeople were interested in investigating so our happy band mounted our horses and set out.
Zeke’s home was fully engaged by the time we arrived and the Marshal and his two deputies were on site. It seemed a suspicious coincidence but, as the Marshal was the law in these parts, I suppressed my initial skepticism in favor of a more civilized expectation. As might be expected, the Marshal found us dubious as well and we explained the events of the previous days (as we had agreed). He didn’t seem overly concerned with a troop of bandits having murdered a dozen townspeople in the past weeks. My suspicions were elevated.
His two deputies were left at the homestead where it was feared that the body of the unfortunate Zeke was still within the conflagration. We returned to town and were witness to a strange interaction between the Marshal and the tavern keeper. The Marshal, a relative of the tavern keeper, revealed himself to be quite the bully and he was irate with the tavern keeper’s decision to pack up and leave.
It was past midnight when the deputies came riding noisily into town. Mr. Bonjiovi and I realized that Mr. Pace and Mr. Tobin were not in the house and instantaneously concluded that they had gone off and done something precipitous. When the Marshal and deputies rode out of town, we collected our horses and followed at a discrete distance.
There was another fire. I guessed that Mr. Tobin had gathered combustables that had not been burned on the previous night and set another bnlaze to draw the Marshal’s attention and provide some light for the gunfight I expected him to be initiating. Before coming upon the entirety of that situation, Mr. Bonjiovi and I discovered one of the deputy’s horses tied to some brush behind a low rise. Having read von Clauswitz does not make me a tactician but I clearly deduced that one of them was likely to have taken up a firing position on that hill. As we dismounted, my expectation was confirmed as there was a rifle shot from there. We advanced stealthily in an effort to ambush him.
Then there were a pair of shots from the homestead; a report that I recognized as one of Mr. Tobin’s Walker pistols immediately followed by a rifle shot. There was another rifle shot over our heads and I assumed that it was Mr. Pace firing at the deputy on the hill. That suspicion was confirmed when the deputy came upon us heading headlong down the hill.
Mr. Bonjiovi assaulted and disarmed him and as he was restrained be began babbling incoherently, his speech impediment a direct result of his deafness. (I apologize for not having mentioned this fact earlier.) He seemed genuinely scared and mostly harmless in this state so I handed him a piece of paper and a pen in hopes that he could make clear his attempts at communication. It was difficult to see in the starlight but I could make out a drawing of a knife and a star. This, and his wild gesticulations, lead us to confirm our suspicions that the Marshal had stabbed Zeke for some reason and subsequently burned the house to conceal his crime.
Another drawing of a horse indicated that the deputy wished to be allowed to escape. And to that end he pulled from his saddlebags an item for each of us. Heavy and about the size of a pack of playing cards, even in the dark it had the faint glitter of gold. For this bribe, we would allow him to escape.
It was Mr. Bonjiovi who traded the bar back to the deputy and then claimed the saddlebags. The change in the deal was apparently acceptable to the deputy who rightly feared for his life and fled with his single bar leaving us with a total of five bars.
By the time that Mr. Tobin and Mr. Pace had joined us, Mr. Bonjiovi and I had divided the bars with a pair for each of us and the one handed to me to share with the others as the bribe we had accepted to allow the deputy’s escape. Mr. Tobin had another bar and, given that I estimated the value of each bar at around five-hundred dollars, there were not many questions. I admit to a certain. . . discomfort in how easily I fell into this deception. It is a weak justification that Mr. Tobin, in looting the abandoned homes had probably acquired some items of value that had not been shared and it was entirely possible that he had found additional bars of gold. It seems unlikely that the deputy would have all the gold save the one that Mr. Tobin found lying about.
We may never know the full story of the dispute but Mr. Tobin had suspected that the dispute had been over something of value and that the deputies had been left behind to guard whatever it was. He had gone out in the night, determined that that gold was the root of this evil and sent the deputies back into town to draw the Marshal out. The Marshal obliged and was killed when Mr. Tobin, defying all reason and probability, outdrew the Marshal’s already drawn gun and killed him. The other deputy shot the falling Marshal in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to ingratiate himself to to Mr. Tobin and was himself subsequently killed.
So, dear sister, as I close this letter you will surely have realized that this weighty package contains more than just my correspondence. The enclosed will more than compensate you for the cash that you advanced me for my passage westward and also lessen the stress caused by my brother-in-law’s incharitability. If you do not already have for yourself a trustworthy financial advisor, I suggest calling on Mr. Freeman at his business on Bedford Street near the Green in Boston. He will remember my service in averting damage to his establishment in the fire of ’72 and will extend to you every courtesy.
With deepest affection,
Zebulon
This was the second session of our Deadlands campaign.  It was loosely based on the one-sheet adventure Envy from Pinnacle Entertainment.  The adventure was run on December 6th, 2007.  This letter was written by Zebulon’s player on December 11th, 2007.

14 May, 2010

Operations Order #100520

Delta Green/Realms of Cthulhu Demo Game
Fragments of Mu

Location:
Bill & Walt’s Hobby Shop, 245 Fourth Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15222
Phone: 412-281-9040
Time & Date: 20 May 2010 @ 5:00PM
“You are cordially invited to a night at the opera…”
This Saturday I will be running the adventure Fragments of Mu as an Explorer’s Society demo of Reality Blurs’ Realms of Cthulhu. The adventure will be set in the mid-1990s in the Delta Greensetting. Up to 6 players will portray Delta Green agents or friendlies. We start at 5pm and expect the game to finish at approximately 10pm. Our normal habit is to secure pizza as a group from Ephesus Pizza up the street.

UPDATE
Setting: Pabodie Research Station, Antarctica – 20 May 1995
Participants in this game: Agent Richard Johnson (FBI), Agent Peter "No Relation" Johnson (FBI), Dep. Marshal Manu Kua'aleia (US Marshals Service)

Lynched

From: Mr. Zebulon Pike
To: Mrs. Hannilore West, Kingsport, Mass.
July 1877
Dearest sister,
I will first apologize for the lateness of this correspondence. Having left the silver rail of civilization, I have also left the somewhat more regular channels of communication. I will endeavor to continue in my regular writings and will send them as the opportunity becomes available.
I had late this afternoon arrived at the prairie town of Eastwood Ridge, an interesting moniker in that it is not particularly east of anywhere, there are no woods nor is it located in proximity to a ridge. It was also strange that at the still early hour, there was absolutely no activity. Like those puritanical communities that “roll up the streets at night,” all the shops and houses were shuttered, barred and locked. That is, except for a pair of horses tied up at the town’s drinking establishment. By a remarkable coincidence, the horses belonged to two gentlemen that I had met at the station some weeks ago.
The first was one Mr. Don Bongiovi, apparently a former cavalry officer (though for which army I could not determine) who was continuously strumming upon a well-worn guitar. Even when conversing, he would play upon his instrument to accentuate certain points, much like an orchestra would accompany and operatic performance, though singularly more pedestrian.
The other occupant of the tavern was another former soldier, one Mr. Ezekiel Tobin. My first encounter with Mr. Tobin was his asking me, entirely without provocation, as to whether I had ever met or heard of a certain man. Given his demeanor and the armory he carried I had the distinct impression that Mr. Tobin had some deadly unfinished business with this mystery man. It also seemed that Mr. Tobin had received the worst of it so far as he drank heavily and had raspy cough.
The taverns proprietor made an appearance and we learned what had the town closed up so tight. There had been a series of horrible assaults and murders in recent weeks. Homes would be broken into and the occupants would be dragged out of town to be hung en-masse from the so-called hang’n tree a mile outside of town. Several posses had been formed to seek out these marauders but many of them had not returned. Out of fear, the proprietor said.
The coincidences piled one upon the other when Mr. Alexander Pace, who I mentioned in my last letter, also arrived in town. Quite spontaneously we all took action to investigate this situation. Mr. Tobin and I took the horses to the livery, Mr. Tobin having to be exceptionally persuasive to get the stable attend to unbar the door and take in the horses. Mr. Pace took up a position on the roof of the tavern while I and the others were at the one end of town in the house that had been most recently assaulted.
After midnight, there was a gunshot from the tavern and while both Mr. Tobin and Mr. Bonjiovi had earlier exhibited selfish tendencies, they both showed good character in immediately moving out into the street to lend assistance.
Up the street, the unfortunate tavern keeps was being dragged away by a shadowy assemblage of assailants. And while Mr. Pace and Mr. Tobin each dispatched several of the brigands with rifle shots, others set upon the tavern keeper and continued towards the edge of town, still intent on hanging this man even though several of their own had been killed.
Now, dear sister, I must stress upon you at this point not to pass on what I am about to replay to you to any others, most especially not your husband. His opinion of myself is already at an ebb tide and I would not want to fuel his disdain.
As the others continued their pursuit of the attackers, I paused to investigate the bodies as, even at a distance in the dark of night, they seemed unusual. They were corpses. Not for having been just shot but the cold, deep lifelessness of having been deceased for day or even weeks. Their spines had been broken and the heads swung loose on only the muscle and tissue of their necks. It came upon me the dread realization that these people were the victims of the previous week’s lynchings and after having been dressed in their best clothes and respectfully laid to rest by their neighbors, they had risen from their graved to reap some unknown revenge.
When I caught up with the others, they were locked in battle. The hanging tree was not a mile outside of town, it was right at it’s edge, and by some dark arcanum was ambulatory, having literally pulled itself from the ground to advance upon our group with malevolent waving of limbs and ropes, like tentacles, reaching out. Mr. Tobin had cut one such rope from around the tavern keeper’s neck and was fighting off additional ropes while Mr. Pace repeatedly fired rifle rounds into the apparently unaffected trunk.
I am quite pleased with my steadfast comportment under the deadly assault from otherworldly horrors. Lesser men might have fled or be struck dumbfounded but I set upon the task with purpose and fortitude. I drew forth one of the sticks of dynamite that I had purchased on a whim in Chicago. I had placed two stick in the pocket of my jacket earlier in what I had thought at the time as being somewhat overly paranoid. The first stick hurled at the tree with a short fuse exploded with little more effect than to make the monster “angry” and advance upon me with surprising swiftness, that is, for a tree. The second stick landed in the boughs and hurt it more significantly but it set upon me with enchanted ropes and threatened to throttle me were I not to escape in short order.
That monstrosity of a pistol you had insisted I take with me was drawn from a pocket and fired at close range, severing the rope that had attached itself to my leg. Meanwhile, Mr. Tobin had set on the ingenious idea of taking one of his whiskey bottles and, with his handkerchief inserted in the bottle and set alight, he threw the improvised incendiary at the tree. This slower burning weapon was much more effective than the explosive effect of the dynamite I had thrown and in short order the tree was fully ablaze. (I must make myself something similar for future use.) The walking dead who had been under the tree’s evil influence collapsed, signaling the end of its power.
So, the rumors are true. Strange things are moving out on the frontier and I was right to travel here to investigate. And while little would please me more than to reveal this revelation to your husband and his cadre of doubters, there is not yet enough proof. I will show them, though. I will show them all.
This chance meeting of four travelers in the wilds and our subsequent adventure, did I not know better, might have me believe that divine providence had taken a hand. And even though it is the most suspicious of coincidences, I have nonetheless taken the opportunity to throw in with them. Their “type” seems the sort to invite adventures of the preternatural sort and since research of such things was, again, my initial goal, I will continue to travel with them.
Do not fear if my letters do not come with as much swiftness as they had previously. The vast distances of the frontier make such correspondences unlikely. But I will continue to write regularly and post the letters as a group when such opportunities present themselves. Give my warmest regards to your sister-in-law and my continued disdain to your husband.
Your most loving brother,
Zebulon
This session was our groups first game and was based on Lynched, a one-sheet adventure from Pinnacle Entertainment.  We ran this adventure in mid-November 2007.  This write-up was prepared by Zebulon’s player on November 18th, 2007.

07 May, 2010

Once apon a time, in the west…

Over two years ago, four men wound up in the same bar in a godforsaken town, south of the Black Hills.  They did not know each other before that day – but after their experience in town they were inseparable.  They were:
Ezekiel Neoptolemus Tobin  Gunslinger.  Bounty Killer.
Possessed of a rasping voice, vicious neck scar, and extremely large firearms.
Zebulon Pike  Scientist.  Gentleman.  Adventurer.
Come west to seek his fortune and to satisfy his curiosities about the odd tales told back East.
Don Juan Bongiovi  Cowhand.  Musician.  Lothario.
Come north from Mexico, he is a man of song – but few words.
Alexander Crenshaw Pace  Lawyer.  Dandy.  Gambler.
He came west to leave behind life of a New York aristocrat, in favor of the knock around life of a desperado.
Their adventures would become staples of the dime novels – passing into legend.

04 May, 2010

Special Agent Johnson

Addicted to coffee, annoying, hated by wildlife and his intestines replaced with MiGo neo-tissue. SA Richard Johnson’s life sucks.

18 April, 2010

Operations Order #100424

Delta Green/Realms of Cthulhu Demo Game
Mutator

Location:
Bill & Walt’s Hobby Shop, 245 Fourth Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15222
Phone: 412-281-9040
Time & Date: 24 April 2010 @ 5:00PM
“You are cordially invited to a night at the opera…”
This Saturday I will be running the adventure Mutator as an Explorer’s Society demo of Reality Blurs’ Realms of Cthulhu. The adventure will be set in the mid-1990s in the Delta Green setting. Up to 6 players will portray Delta Green agents or friendlies. We start at 5pm and expect the game to finish at approximately 10pm. Our normal habit is to secure pizza as a group from Ephesus Pizza up the street.

UPDATE: Setting: Chicago, IL – 24 April 1995
Participants in this game: Agent Richard Johnson (FBI), Agent Peter “No Relation” Johnson (FBI), Brown Taintslick (ex-SAS)

29 March, 2010

SIG-Sauer P226

Caliber: 9mm Parabellum
Range: 12/24/48
Damage: 2d6
RoF: 1
Weight: 2lbs
Shots: 15rds (20rd avail.)
Cost: $490, 15rd magazine $19, 20rd magazine $24
Notes: AP1, Semi-Auto

The P226 was a modification of the 9mm P220 offered for the JSSAP pistol trials in the early/mid 1980s. It differed from the P220 in having a 15rd double-column magazine, American style magazine release, and a trigger guard designed for two-handed firing. The P226 lost to the Beretta M92F in the weapons trial – but became a successful police pistol instead.
Immediately after the Miami Shootout, the FBI authorized the P226 as an inter-rim pistol, and issued many P226/P228s during and after the S&W 1076′s difficulties.
P226s chambered in .40 S&W and .357 SIG became available in 1994.

Caliber: .40 S&W (.357 SIG)
Range: 12/24/48
Damage: 2d6+1
RoF: 1
Weight: 2lbs
Shots: 13rds
Cost: $490 ($540), 13rd magazine $18
Notes: AP1, Semi-Auto

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol issues the .357 SIG version of the P226.

22 March, 2010

Savage Delta Green

With over three years of Savage Worlds experience, I have decided to start running Realms of Cthulhu. The games will be set in the modern era (specifically in the mid-1990s) and the investigators will be part of the Delta Green conspiracy. I intend to use this blog to post the rules, characters, encounters and after action reports generated by this project.