Saturday, May 22, 2021

52 Deadlands Adventure Hooks


Deadlands
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1. 52 Adventure Hooks
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Hey folks,

I've been enjoying a recent Deadlands campaign and decided to do a bunch of adventure hooks for it the same way I have done material for Vampire: The Masquerade. Here's a bunch of ideas I have for rooting, tootin cowboys in the Weird West. A place where you can run into vampires, ghostly stream engines, mad scientists, and the occasional vampire tumbleweed.

52 Deadlands Adventure Hooks

1. The player characters are in town when bandits take over the local bank. Strangely, they take hostages and demand the local Sheriff turn over a citizen they claim is the man who killer their father rather than just rob the bank.

2. The player characters are asked to rob a bank by a local collection of farmers who state that they took their money then claimed they'd never received it. The farmers just want what is owed but are happy to take more. Notably, the farmers are all Mexican and black.

3. A US Calvary officer arrives with horrific tales of Native American violence in the area. Strangely, he doesn't seem to be here in an official capacity and is attempting to assemble a posse to attack the local tribe. One local insists he bears a strong resemblance to George Armstrong Custer, back from the dead.

4. Agency members show up and begin torturing, bullying, and killing local troublemakers in search of a man they claim is a dangerous outlaw. The man they're pursuing claims he's just a railroad worker who tried to get his fellow workers to unionize and they're here for money, not justice.

5. Two feuding families are about ready to go to war when a surveyor meant to resolve a longstanding property dispute about their land is found murdered. Further investigation reveals that he was entirely drained of blood. The land is actually owned by something that was asleep until very recently and annoyed people are on its hunting grounds.

6. A Mad Scientist wants the PCs to attack a armored train with the help of Mexican revolutionaries. Hellstromme Industries are transplanting a host of dangerous Ghost Rock weapons down south to to be used against the peasants. The Mad Scientist admits he created them under duress. However, are the revolutionaries there to stop the train or steal its contents for themselves?

7. A local carnival sideshow is "Bob the Talking Automaton" that everyone takes to be a ventriliquist act. However, Bob is actually a farmer who awakened after his brain was implanted into the Automaton. Wasapt agents have orders to bring him back or destroy it. He is also traveling with the carnival to find his missing family.

8. A mother who wants the PCs to rescue their daughter from a creepy cult. The cult refuses to let anyone see the girl and is led by a Whateley. In fact, this Whateley is a good member of their family and a Blessed preacher. The mother is a Witchita Witch who put a demon in her daughter that Whateley is trying to exorcise.

9. The PCs wake up in a jail cell and find out that they've killed the local Sheriff and his deputies in a shoot out. The town is quite happy about this and want them to take over the duties versus being hanged. In fact, the townsfolk slaughtered the corrupt police themselves and drugged the PCs to blame. The townsfolk changed their mind when all the graves were found empty due to said Sheriff being a disciple of the Reckoners.

10. A mysterious outbreak has killed a dozen people and everyone is ready to burn down the buildings involved as well as isolate the sick. The PCs are asked by a local doctor to investigate as their symptoms don't match any known disease. It turns out the dead all died due to taking an improperly brewed Snake oil tonic and the huckster (small h) behind it span the yarn while preparing to hightail it.

11. See #10. He's hightailing it not because he's afraid of being hung for murder or, at best, mass manslaughter but because his potion used a sacred flower he received from a Ravenite that will cause everyone to rise as cannibal undead.

12. The PCs acquire a Satanic deck of cards that contains the souls of 40 of the 52 souls necessary to complete it. They just have to kill 12 more people to collect the finished set. The former owneer says that if it is completed, it can summon a Reckoner (or similarly powerful being), banish one, or grant a wish. Destroying the deck requires odd circumstances like burning them in the light of a full moon on a sacred mesa but will free the souls inside.

13. See #12 except the previous owner is a barking loon. The deck is magical and can create the portraits of people killed by the owners on it but has no grandiose powers like soul stealing. It was made by a huckster to spread misery for his demonic master.

14. A mostly black mining town is under lock and key by gatling gun wielding white thugs. After a man escapes from it, its revealed that its owner is a Knight of the Golden Circle using black magic as well as threats to families to keep slaves in modern times. The locals are, unfortunately, ambivalent due to the amount of money being made from kidnapped colored folk.

15. Luke Card (Dracula) has killed the entire village of Salem's Pit. Your players arrive in the morning to find it a ghost town that, when night falls, will unleash 200 hundred whampyre on the world to devour the living like a plague. With coordination, crazy plans, and more you can destroy most of them before nightfall. There might be survivors, traps, or the occasional daywalker to stir things up, though.

16. A traveling huckster named arrives with a variety of wares to sell in town. All of these are cursed and bring the worst out in folk. However, the huckster is working for someone much worse and unless the PCs get the cursed relics back by the end of the week, the town will be visited by a  powerful demon to claim their souls. It can be banished by burning the huckster's cart with all the artifacts inside.

17. Stone is not famous for his sense of whimsy but decided to imitate the Green Knight by giving a young gunslinger a free shot at him a year ago. Now the young gunslinger is terrified of Stone getting his free shot in a few days. However, the boy thinks the Devil's Gun is in the town and might be able to permanently kill the Servitor. He just needs the PCs to steal it from its very powerful owner.

18. A stagecoach is being held up nearby the PCs and the party inside turns out to be an exiled former Mexican Presidential candidate, who is a drunken lout and snob. Assassins from the current President are after him and so are revolutionaries who want to use him as a figurehead.

19. A UFO crash lands in the PCs' backyards, spooking cattle. It turns out to be very manmade with brass and wooden parts as well as a ghost rock magnetic engine. It was stolen from Roswell, New Mexico and the Agency will kill to get it back.

20. A Sasquatch approaches the PCs camp in the woods and drops a huge gold nugget in their midst. Hunters killed Bigfoot's boy and he wants the PCs to track down the lawless varmints and pay them back.

21. The PCs are hired to put to rest a ghostly pair of armies dueling eternally every full moon. They just need to get one side to surrender. The Confederate leader is alive and fled the battle so all he would have to do is be returned to tell them to stand down. Too bad he's now a vicious criminal and bandit.

22. A gang of burlap sack wearing racists and gangsters have been raising hell in the name of the Lost Cause. The government very much wants them suppressed and is paying top dollar. However, no one can tell where they are or how they operate.

23. See #22, because the local town is composed of them and it's everybody doing dirty deeds.

24. See #22 because they are actually a hoax to cover up a counterfeiting scheme or other more mundane crime like it's Scooby Doo.

25. See #22. Because they're all horribly deformed mutants living in the local mine.

26. The PCs find a naked man, horribly sunburned in the desert and hopefully bring him back to civilization. He was robbed in the middle of the desert and left for dead. He is now determined to murder every single one of the people involved. Which is problematic as his sanity is questionable after his ordeal and the PCs are considered responsible for his actions.

27. A whorehouse is being targeted by a serial killer who apes Jack the Ripper. The local preacher has decided it is God's vengeance and pressured the Sheriff to let it happen. Dollars to doughnuts he's probably the killer but is it that easy?

28. A man claiming to be a time traveler from a "Hell on Earth" future is confused the Confederacy is gone and would very much like the PCs help in determining how reality has been altered before he had a chance to do it himself. Maybe he's just cracked.

29. A mob of vigilantes want to kill a local Blessed farmer who heals the sick and is beloved by many. It turns out they have reason in that said Blessed was one of John Brown's army and slaughtered dozens of slavers in Kansas. Which, in this part of the West, means the vigilantes have the world's smallest violin playing for them. Said Blessed is debating whether this is the price he has to pay, though.

30. A rip in reality caused by a Mad Scientist's experiment unleashes a T-Rex and possibly other dinosaurs in the region. They can be either killed or rounded back through the rift.

31. A family is supposedly keeping their young daughter locked up in the attic. If the PCs themselves don't intervene, a young suitor believing he's playing Prince Charming rescues her. Too bad she's a werewolf.

32. The PCs are enjoying a nice paid-for vacation on a riverboat. Too bad the boat is now surrounded by werecrocodiles that intend to kill everyone onboard unless "The Betrayer" is turned over to them. The PCs have to find out who this is even as someone starts knocking off guests and crew.

33. It's an old fashioned treasure hunt with the PCs finding one of two copies of a map to the notorious gold cache of "Dead Eye" Dan Garrett. Unfortunately, the other map is held by his gang and they will do anything to get it.

34. A local cattle baron and his beautiful daughter is being menaced by a group of bandits with supernatural powers. The baron is hiding the fact he betrayed them and is a notorious thief himself. He has genuinely reformed, though.

35. The PCs are haunted by the ghost of one of the men they killed. Contrary to legend, they don't want revenge but would like to make sure that their guns and hat are delivered to their son.

36. See #35, said guns and hat will immediately result in the son being possessed by the same demon that possessed the man they killed.

37. See #35, the son will immediately challenge the PCs to a duel or try to kill them.

38. See #35, the son abjectly refuses them since their father was a deadbeat drunk and killer. This leaves the PCs with a very frustrated and angry ghost.

39. A Native American hires the PCs to track down poachers doing their best to exterminate the local bison in the area. They're just assholes but claim that its only animals they're killing while the Native American fully intends to murder them for it.

40. A wildlife photographer wants to lead the PCs down the canals to photograph a Mazes dragon. Unknown to the PCs, the captain of their boat is hunting said dragon for killing his lover years ago. Another party wants to hunt it for the skin. The dragon is also conspicuously intelligent, turning out to be a Chinese water dragon exiled from Heaven.

41. A pharmacist has started selling Coala Cola with ghost rock dust as an ingrediant. This ends poorly and the PCs have to go blow up their factory that is now full of murderous insane mutants and cola-worshiping cultists that want to spread it to the rest of the world.

42. A half-white/half-Chinese kung fu master has been assassinated in a small town he helped protect from local bandits. The Chinese community believes he was murdered by white racists and the whites believe it was a rival martial artist school he made look bad.

43. See #42, his rival kung master, Bruce, claims the man was no saint and stole credit for things he did.

44. See #42, his girlfriend, Bea, also claims he was a horrible monster with an all-female gang that she was coming to kill him for the sins of but was preempted by.

45. Stone has never been on the side of righteousness but he did have someone he vaguely cared for in his bastard son, John, who was lynched for a crime he didn't commit. Stone has said he's going to kill every man, woman, and child in the town if the guilty parties aren't turned over to him. The problem is that's a lot of people by itself.

46. Years ago, seven gunfighters fought off a horde of bandits in a Mexican village. When they came to collect their payment, they were drugged and murdered by the headman. Now the seven gunfighters are back. The PCs may be hired to stop the seven only to find out the headman has plans for a repeat performance.

47. A Patchwork Bride of sitched together corpses is wandering the plains, murdering young men under the belief they're her beloved fiance. She's returned repeatedly, seemingly vanishing and regenerating even if burned to dust. This is because she's a curse on her actual creator, young Joseph Frankenstein, who abandoned her after his failed attempt to resurrect his dead fiance.

48. A bunch of giant jackrabbits are eating entire farms. The farmers in question note that they have armor and are incredibly fast as well as hostile. Their master is Harold, the Bunny Master, who who controls them with his vast lepus-related powers. Harold is not evil but completely barking mad. The locals find this so weird that they'd like the PCs to handle this very quietly.

49. See #48, This Wasteland homage is not complete without giant carrots and lettuce from Ghost Rock fertilizer. Possibly making them carnivorous.

50. A house of ill-repute is allegedly owned and operated by vampires. A cantankerous religious vampire hunter wants to slaughter them all and burn the place to the ground. The only problem is that it seems most of the customers are leaving anemic but not dead. Are they good vampires or just smart enough to not kill locals?

51. A white hat wearing masked vigilante wielding a gun full of silver bullets and his faithful Native guide are making waves throughout the region. In truth, the two men are con men with the Native being a white man in redface. They fake supernatural crimes and solve them for payment. They have since decided to blame the PCs for a real supernatural problem in the area to keep their scam going. 

52. In a reversal of the usual fortunes, a railroad baron has had his family kidnapped by a town of lowdown dirty scumbags who plan to force him to divert his company's construction through their land that they expect the government to pay top dollar for.  They plan on killing the family once the deeds are signed. The baron is a naturally sensitive soul and not suited for the ruthlessness of the Rail Wars that he's mostly squeaked by on the edges of.

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