Deadlands One-Shot for MDA Charity

"Deadlands One-Shot for MDA Charity!"
One-shot episode
Episode no.Episode 6
AirdateJune 25, 2016 17:00 PDT
Running time2:50:47
Game systemDeadlands
Laura Bailey as Juniper "Stinky Jules" Lanley
Liam O'Brien as Reverend Forrest Alton
Marisha Ray as Sudis Alifehr
Travis Willingham as Sydney Hopkins Trivelpiece
Matthew Mercer as Game Marshal
Links and related articles
Episode chronology
"Q&A and Battle Royale: Take II" (OSx05)
"Liam's Quest" (OSx07)
Airdate order
"A Cycle of Vengeance" (1x58)
"Liam's Quest" (OSx07)
List of one-shots

"Deadlands One-Shot for MDA Charity" (OSx06) is a Deadlands Reloaded RPG one-shot played in the Savage World system set in the small town of Deadwood, South Dakota. It was part of Geek & Sundry's 24-hour fundraising livestream for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and every person who donated $500 or more added their one-sentence suggestions to the story that Matthew Mercer, the Game Marshal, was implementing into the game.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Set up[edit | edit source]

  • Fate chips: The players and Matt have them and can use them to alter the circumstances in the game. The black fate chips to one time re-roll a single trait or skill roll. The red chips to add a d6 to a trait or skill roll, but in using that red chip, Matt gets to pick one to add to his pool as the marshal. The blue chips to add a d6 to a trait or skill roll, but Matt doesn't get to pick a chip. Some of more powerful creatures or people in the game may have their own set of fate chips. People who donate can provide additional fate chips to the players or Matt.
  • Description of the Deadlands world: This one-shot takes place in the 19th century, around 1864, after the event called the Reckoning has transpired. The people of America began to push further west, pushing a lot of the Native American tribes out of their land who suffered "terrible things" in the process. A number of disgruntled shamans and members of those tribes came together and did a giant shamanic ritual to tear a hole between this world and extraplanar world of dark magic, introducing entities called Reckoners that want to pass into this world, and can they only do so by elevating fear into this world. It also introduced magic, and other "really weird, creepy things", causing the Civil War to run longer than it did in history, as well as a bunch of other "ridiculous circumstances".
  • Deadwood, South Dakota, was founded in the Deadwood Gulch after an expedition, led by Custer, uncovered a gold vein in 1874. At the time of the Reckoning, when quakes swept through the western regions of the United States, the expedition broke off from the government's intervention and seized these gold deposits for themselves. But rumors of the rich veins still slipped into the public, and many people, seeking escape from the continuous Civil War and means to make quick money," flocked into town. Meanwhile, the murmurs of "strange goings-on in the world, tales of slain Yankee and Southern soldiers rising from the muck post-battle, of shadows moving in the night to steal children" still reach this remote town of Deadwood. Although local denizens are already accustomed to their rough conditions, "such folk tales have no place in a man's world".

Main part[edit | edit source]

Outset[edit | edit source]

The sun just sunk beyond the horizon while the denizens of Deadwood scatter to the bars. Four newcomers just arrived in the town of Deadwood in the South Dakota territory. Exhausted from their journey, the newly-arrived visitors find rest at the first place that caught their eyes, relaxing in the Bella Union Saloon. Sudis Alifehr, a traveling Romani fortune-teller from Bronx; Reverend Forrest Alton who worked as a chaplain in the Union army in the Civil War and was shaken by its terrors; Sydney Hopkins Trivelpiece, a journalist who came from afar to document the stories of Deadwood; Juniper Lanley who relies on her gun to move through life, often gets comments about her smell, and is more seasoned character among the rest (Laura took one of the edges called Veteran of the Weird West), but in doing so, she "something or someone that she didn't finish the job on is currently trying to find her" (Laura randomly drew the Haunted card).

After a series of drinks, they meet the new-coming high noon on the following day, but to their surprise they wake up within the same bed as the others[1] with no recollection of the past evening (each player gets a Joker card that can be used in place of a black poker chip)[2]. After this event, the Reverend questions his righteousness, remembering that someone poured him a suspicious liquid, which he at the time assumed to be a lemonade. Sydney, asking for a chamber-pot, familiarizes himself with the local tradition of relieving oneself out the window and also questions his sanity connected with the events of the last night. Sudis thinks this town will be lovely for her fortune-telling business and Jules straightforward goes for whisky. As they all leave the room, pondering over their individual thoughts, they pass by a gentleman on the second-floor balcony staring down into the main thoroughfare of the Bella Union, angrily observing the gambling tables below.

Jules and Sudis order a very fine pouring of whisky for a dollar each (a black chip for each drink of fine alcohol), when Sydney orders a sarsaparilla, to his surprise provided to him at the expense of the saloon, and Reverend asks for a black coffee. At the tables they observe a tense game of poker: one person with short-cut hair, balding on top, wearing a little pair of spectacles and a nice light gray suit;[3] an older gentlemen wearing a top hat; and two greasy, tired men, and stained with mud, but gathering a large cache of chips, and one of whom, in the end, takes the victory and the entirety of the pot. Accusing the winner of cheating, the rest of the participants, except the balding man in spectacles, start a fight. Covered by the ascending chaos, Sudis pocketed $200 worth of poker chips. Jules jumps right into the burgeoning brawl, going straight for the alleged cheater but misses him. While he tries to run out of the saloon with the poker chips he managed to grab, Sudis trips him, scattering all the chips across the floor. Sydney graciously approaches to gather them in their hats, when the guards fire twice into the ceiling of the Bella Union, abruptly ending the fights.

After the chaos was settled, Sudis goes back upstairs, when she feels a tap on her shoulder, as a seemingly real monkey curls up on her shoulder.[4] But no one except her is able to see it. Right about the time they try to figure it out, the top hat poker player approaches them. He tells that the winner accused of cheating is named Simon, he came to Deadwood not but a couple weeks ago, and cleared out the Gem last week before coming to the Bella Union a week later. Before leaving, the man in a top hat encourages them to visit him at No. 10 Saloon not far from the Bella Union and much cheaper. Shortly after, Sydney was approached by Simon himself (telling him his full name Simon Tyrell) who is thankful and asks for his chips back, which Sydney returns, however, emptying the hat of chips, he sneakily leaves $60 worth of chips to himself. After asking for the source of his luck, Simon told Sydney his brief story of the a retired business manager from Boston who came in Deadwood a long way at the behest of his cousin and hearing that there was quite a booming gold trade. After "building his luck up", getting a small cache of money and realizing he is skill poker player, Simon's win streak started to built up and still continues. Meanwhile, Sudis learns the name of her monkey who calls themselves Manatou.

Following the end of the brawl, the Reverend found those who require healing and did what he could. One person with a swollen eye, a cut lip, and a heavily bruised arm. The fighter shares with the Reverend his suspicions toward the physical medical treatments and his distrust of Sudis, a foreigner who mumbles to herself with clumsy Eastern European accent (and he has a distant family member hail from that region),[5] before the Reverend gets him back on his feet with spiritual guidance, provoking a tear of gratitude out the fighter's eye.

After the fighter left the saloon, Sudis settled in one of the corners and tried to tell a fortune to a rough-looking gentleman who paid a dollar but got rapidly bored and walked away. Noticing this scene, a man in a dark coat and a black hat with a long brim, who introduced himself as Bullock, the sheriff of Deadwood, approaches the group. He asks the party for their aid in the investigation of a series of mysterious deaths that occur once every few weeks. The bodies were found in the outskirts of town, three people torn apart, including his wife. For further leads, he suggest to talk to the doc.

Suddenly, there a sound of cracking door, as a bear cub pushes through the front entrance,[6] aggravating the sheriff and the saloon guards. As the Reverend and Sudis manages to calm everyone down, the bear goes right over towards Jules and rubs on her knee. While the attention of the room is focused on the bear, a soft voice with not visible source whispers in the Reverend's ear: "Your destination is elsewhere, Reverend. You're on the right path. Follow the leads. It will lead you to your salvation."[7]

Guided by Sydney's street knowledge, the party left Bella Union and went to see the doc. Inside his abode they found a man tossing and turning in a fever after an arm amputation caused by a machinery accident and Reverend Smith with a brain tumor with no potential for a recovery. Reverend Alton prays. His faith is fruitless at first, but he prays with renewed vigor, and eventually his faith turns into ray of light embracing the Reverend Smith's body. He lifts off the table two to three inches, and his eye corrects itself, a smile of tranquil joy appears, and he's lowered back onto the table, speaking the words of clarity: "My lord. My mind-- my thoughts are mine again." Meanwhile, Jules inspects the dead bodies involved in the murder mystery and finds out the wounds here are thorough, made by a bear's size creature that torn the body but did not ate any pieces of it. Doc added that each of the murdered people were plot owners in gold and silver veins (except the last two: Hugh and Kilmer employed by Al Swearengen in the Gem Saloon) and weren't seen leaving Deadwood, however, were found on the outskirts of it, leading him to believe the bodies were placed there after murders occurred. While the party thinks on their new lead, Reverend Alton hears a voice in his head but unable to figure out if it is a devil or angel speaks to him, encouraging the Reverend to find the murderer and to be a hero. Sydney turns out to admire the bear cub,[8] (who Jules named Trinket) asked her to do a little sketch of the it, and immediately agreed to look after him, when Jules suggested the idea. Once Sydney gets close, the bear growls and bites his arm, but Sydney still feels affectionate toward him.

Pursuing their lead of two known victims who were employed by Al Swearengen, the proprietor of the Gem Saloon, the party follows Sydney to the saloon. Sydney says he has a journalistic interest in interviewing a prostitute who leads him upstairs for a ten dollar price. While he is away, Sudis attempts to read a fortune to Dan Dorothy, a barman and Swearengen's close associate, who seems nervous and was easy to pull a gun on her, if Sudis will not leave the establishment, explaining it by his mistrust of Romani people (in the meantime the Reverend repeatedly hiccups and pulls black feathers out of his mouth)[9]. Five minutes later, Sydney descends the stairs with cheerful demeanor. Sudis stands her ground, which further irritates Dan. The Reverend steps in between them and the commotion continues, summoning Al Swearengen from his office.

Angered by Dan' treatment of guests and hearing that they came to help, investigating the murders of his men, Al invites them upstairs, except for Sudis. Inside his office Al laments about Simon who brought significant losses for the Gem last week and worried about the soon arrival of George Hearst, a "man without an appreciation for allies". Al will pay the party $400 and will provide a free run of the ladies for the night, if they prove Hurst's connection with the rumors of silver "going belly-up" in Deadwood. If it is only a mere creature, the party will get a half of the full price, $200 for the creature's trophy. In the meantime, Sudis downstairs telling one of the prostitutes named Lisa her fortune and warns her to be cautious or otherwise her work will hurt, which immediately comes true. One of the prostitutes nearby falls over and knocks Lisa down onto the table, knocking out her front teeth.[10] Dan, already aggravated after their initial encounter, pulls his gun toward Sudis and through his clenched teeth forcefully orders her and the rest of the party just gathered downstairs to get out and not comeback until they complete their task for Al.

Culmination and resolution[edit | edit source]

On their way from the saloon, Sydney sketches Trinket and gets bitten by the bear again, but remains well disposed to him. Reverend briefly stops Juniper to ask her version of the events of the last evening, when they woke up in one bed. Juniper expresses his confidence that the four of them had sex and Reverend was "real, real, real into it". The devil in his head confirms this. Shook by these news, Reverend asks for whisky. Suddenly, they all hear two gunshots in the direction of Deadwood's outskirts. They noticed a crowd of people surrounding a torn open person barely clutching to his last breath, but still holding a gun. Townsfolk bring out torchlights and gather into a little posse to scout the nearby area. Among them Juniper notices Simon and immediately punches him in the face, knocking out his tooth. Simon confusingly exclaims at her, bringing out the attention of his distant uncle E.B. Farnum, the mayor of Deadwood and the owner of the Grand Central Hotel, who question if he should welcome them into his establishment. Thereafter, the party gathers around the dying man: Sydney kneels down before him just in time to hear his last words "It was teeth and fur", passing out, then Reverend lays his hands miraculously making all the entrails return to their places in his body and sealing the wound. The man takes a deep breath. Simon whispers to E.B., nods, looks around shiftily, and dashes off into the town "as E.B. takes his place with a big smile". When Sudis attempts to steadily follow Simon, E.B. stops her saying: "Ma'am, I'm sorry to bother you. A lot of things have been happening in this town as of late and I think it's important that we as a people figure out who is responsible."

The man who just escaped the death's grip introduces himself as Charlie Utter. He was out walking in his thinking hour, when he noticed shift of movement on the outskirts of town. He went to check it out and saw a massive of teeth and fur, a creature a size of a bear standing on its hind legs, coming from path that leads out towards the mining claims at the north end of the town. Still confused by the recent events, Charlie walks into town. Briefly parting from the party, Sydney chases Charlie down, places a hand on his shoulder, and says in a peculiarly deep voice: "Well, some people don't get to escape death". In quick succession, Sydney pulls his bowie knife out of his sleeve and stabs Charlie in the heart, turn the blade around to open up the wound. He screams for help and told the group the wounds were too severe and relapsed. They believe him.

In the late evening light of the full moon, the party follows the lead of Reverend holding his crucifix through the woods and toward the bear-like beast. Sudis pieces together that the beast might be a shapeshifter cursed with lycanthropy, considering its description and the fact that the dates when the assaults have occurred correspond with the cycle of the full moon. She also remembers that the silver is lycanthropes' only weakness and connects this to the recent rumours of silver mines drying up or being purchased up. Eventually, Jules guides them to the abandoned campsite of silver claims marked with various markers and a number of them have been boarded up. She prys one of them open and, lighting up a lanter, notices visible traces of silver just on the surface level of one of the mines. After "a half an hour or so", Jules scooped about a pound's worth of silver and Sudis takes four pounds. Around this time, they hear a faint deep exhale further down the mine.

As they descend, the party encounters a furry humanoid creature but with a larger head. Its body is black, bulbous, and seems "almost shiny like it's covered in oil", and as soon as the light hits it, the creature hisses and scatters away from the lantern. Jules quickly reacts shooting her gun but misses. Trinket, fearing for her, runs up to Jules and clings to her.[11] The party draws cards for their initiative. The human-like creature goes first swiping at Stinky Jules and scars Sudis by its bulbous appearance. Sydney draws his bowie knife acting as if surprised by the knife existence and pierces the creature. At the top of the second round, Jules finishes the humanoid creature unloading her revolver barrel and shredding its face. As it slumps to the ground, the creature turns to ash and shadow, dissipating with a sizzling sound.

The party returns to the surface in perfect time to notice about four people who seem to have been tracking the party running away into the woods. Sudis shouts her brief prophecy: "If you run, only death will come and find you", which promptly comes true as a cougar jumps onto one of the people biting off their neck. Minutes after, E.B., Simon, Cy Toliver, wearing a heavily shredded outfit, enter the scene with guards at their side armed with guns. The party draws cards for their initiative. At the top of the round, Cy's shirt rapidly begins to tear, fur bursts, and mouth extends, finishing his werewolf transformation. The party has respectable attempt at attacking their enemies, but, due to the lack of silver to aid their fight against a lycanthrope and being outnumbered, the party loses Stinky Jules as the werewolf rips the face from her body (Trinket humps the corpse's leg)[12]. Then E.B. Farnum gets a striking shot that takes off the top half of Reverend's head and, in his last moments, Reverend hears the devil's voice confirming that his follower pursued the right path, as flames crackle over Reverend's shoulders. Cy Toliver walks up to Sydney, disappearing an illusion and revealing a humanoid cat-like tiger creature with two backwards hands, who, following Cy's command, opening Reverend up from under the belly button to the top.[13] Among gutted bodies laying in the full moonlight, Cy Tolliver gives up a chuckle and evening falls darker on the future of Deadwood.

Featured characters[edit | edit source]

Player characters[edit | edit source]

New[edit | edit source]

  • Cy Tolliver, a gentleman in the Bella Union Saloon with short, grey-ish hair, a dark mustache, and a very angular face.
  • Tom Nuttall, a working man with a top hat who manages the Number Ten Saloon in Deadwood and also once played a game of poker at the Bella Union with Victor, Simon, and a greasy-looking gentleman.
  • Sheriff Bullock, asks the party to investigate the mystical series of disappearances in Deadwood.
  • Simon Tyrell, a retired business manager from Boston and a newcomer to Deadwood who especially often wins in poker. He is a cousin to E.B. Farnum.
  • Trinket, a bear cub following Stinky Jules. Named after the bear companion of Vex.
  • Doc Cochran
  • Gerald, doc's patient with a fever who had his arm amputated.
  • Reverend H. W. Smith, suffers from a brain tumor and dementia cured by the faith of Forest Alton.
  • Dan Doherty (with Clarota voice)[14]
  • Virginia, a prostitute "interviewed" by Sydney.
  • Al Swearengen, proprietor of the Gem Saloon.
  • Lisa, a prostitute at the Gem to whom Sudis told her fortune.
  • E.B. Farnum, the first mayor of Deadwood and the owner of the Grand Central Hotel.
  • Charlie Utter, one of the victims in the recent series of murders.

Returning[edit | edit source]

  • Victor, one of the four poker players who played at the Bella Union.

Mentioned[edit | edit source]

  • Martha Bullock, sheriff's spouse who fell victim in the recent series of murders.
  • William Bullock, sheriff's son
  • Kilmer, employed at the Gem but was mysteriously killed.
  • Hugh, a nicer fella who worked at the Gem but was mysteriously killed.
  • George Hearst, James Haggin, and Lloyd Tevis bought a proven golden claim near Deadwood.

Quotations[edit | edit source]

  • Sudis: I take him [invisible monkey] and I try and spike him on the ground."
    Jules: "I think that shit I gave her last night is fucking her up.
    Sudis: "Monkey. You see?"Jules: "That's a shoulder, hon."
    Reverend: "You want to maybe get some fresh air?"
    Sudis: "I pet the monkey a bit."
    Sydney: "Oh dear. I'm afraid she's lost her beans."[15]
  • Reverend: "I have some bandages here. No sudden movements, I just want to help you out. Trouble leads to trouble, friend."
    Injured tavern brawler: "Look, I don't mean any disrespect, here, I'm just weird with medical stuff. I prefer to be holistic. Heal on my own."
    Jules: "I'm with you, son."[16]
  • Reverend: I'm going to pull Stinky off into an alley for a second. Stinky.
    Stinky: "You want some more of this action, Rev?"
    Reverend: "I'm not a Sunday school child. I'm not a blushing flower. I understand how the world works. I don't need the money. So you can have my share. Helping this town is enough. But I do want to understand-- I realize you have a higher tolerance than I do. What happened last night?"
    Stinky: "Oh, yeah, we had sex. Well, you had a lot of sex with the Sue girl, a little bit of sex with brains over there."
    Reverend: "Okay. That was very candid."[17]
  • Sydney: "Dear sir, might I get a quote for my book? Or rather, may I give you one?"
    Charlie: "I'm sorry, I don't know what you're talking about."
    Sydney: (deep voice) "Well, some people don't get to escape death. And I take my bowie knife out of my sleeve and I stab him in the heart and turn the wound so it opens".[18]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • When the donation bar surpassed the 60k mark, the community unlocked the possibility to decide on an NPC name of a future game of Critical Role. When surpassed the 65k bar before the end of this one-shot, the community unlocked a possibility to design a boss creature for Critical Role "in the near future".[19][20]
    • In March 2017, nine month after this one-shot first aired, the process still hasn't began. Matt explained it as "the folks who were in charge of organizing and keeping track of this element were no longer at the company, and the camping guide consumed him to the point of forgetting about it." Matt also added that he "fully intend to make good on this very soon",[21] which was probably realized when "Fireside Q&A with Matthew Mercer" (Mx05) aired a month later, showing the creation of K'ryyn and Symphior with Critter community.

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Deadlands One-Shot for MDA Charity" (OSx06) at 11:36. Via donation: "All player characters start the scenario by waking up in one very very large bed together."
  2. "Deadlands One-Shot for MDA Charity" (OSx06) at 14:57. Via donation: "Each player receives a random joker card that can only be placed once in any card instance with normal effect or the joker can be cashed in for a poker chip, but the Marshal also receives a poker chip and the the Marshal also receives 2 random Joker cards."
  3. "Deadlands One-Shot for MDA Charity" (OSx06) at 22:37. Via donation: "Victor the black powder merchant enters the room.
  4. "Deadlands One-Shot for MDA Charity" (OSx06) at 26:22. Via donation: "A monkey with a monocle climbs onto Marisha's character's shoulder and and carries on a conversation with her, BUT no one else can see the monkey."
  5. "Deadlands One-Shot for MDA Charity" (OSx06) at 36:31. Via donation: "All NPC's will question Marisha's accent and heritage."
  6. "Deadlands One-Shot for MDA Charity" (OSx06) at 45:36. Via donation: "A bear cub tumble rolls through the nearest door, and starts following Laura around."
  7. "Deadlands One-Shot for MDA Charity" (OSx06) at 42:42. Via donation: "The Devil seeks the Reverend's fall as Temptation (Matt's interpretation) will haunt the Reverend the rest of the game."
  8. "Deadlands One-Shot for MDA Charity" (OSx06) at 1:00:24. Via donation: "Travis's character has multiple personalities: one of which is a raging maniac BUT which loves bear cubs, and as with real-life multiple personalities, they are not aware of each other."
  9. "Deadlands One-Shot for MDA Charity" (OSx06) at 1:17:48. Via donation: "Liam's character perpetually hiccups raven feathers, BUT he pretends never to notice, to the perturbation of the other characters."
  10. "Deadlands One-Shot for MDA Charity" (OSx06) at 1:30:10. (Via donation) Fatespinner: "Every time Marisha tells a fortune, it happens to the person, but she can negate the effect with a fate roll. Please no one tell Marisha this is happening, let her figure it out."
  11. "Deadlands One-Shot for MDA Charity" (OSx06) at 2:14:12. (Via donation) "Baby Trinket clings to Laura's legs as if she is her mom (so Laura's actions are disadvantaged in someway by Trinket’s presence by she loves it anyway)."
  12. "Deadlands One-Shot for MDA Charity" (OSx06) at 2:32:45. (Via donation) "Trinket starts humping Lauras leg!"
  13. "Deadlands One-Shot for MDA Charity" (OSx06) at 2:28:47. (Via donation) "Travis, at the end of the game, stabs Liam, revealing Travis's multiple personalities to actually be Gilmore the Rakshasa."
  14. "Deadlands One-Shot for MDA Charity" (OSx06) at 59:03. Via the donation, Matt was asked to implement an NPC who talks like Clarota with a cowboy accent.
  15. "Deadlands One-Shot for MDA Charity" (OSx06) at 29:35.
  16. "Deadlands One-Shot for MDA Charity" (OSx06) at 37:18.
  17. "Deadlands One-Shot for MDA Charity" (OSx06) at 1:43:51.
  18. "Deadlands One-Shot for MDA Charity" (OSx06) at 1:56:12.
  19. "Deadlands One-Shot for MDA Charity" (OSx06) at 51:57.
  20. "Deadlands One-Shot for MDA Charity" (OSx06) at 2:00:45.
  21. See Matt's comment on Reddit.