Nobody Fucks With The Jesus. Getting Your Way in Savage WorldsPosted: April 24, 2012
For a new Deadlands campaign, I’ve switched roles from GM to Player. I decided to experiment a bit and try a different kind of character concept: a Preacher named Atticus Moore. My guy is not merely weak, but actually Lame (thanks to an old riding accident) and a Pacifist. He’s next-to-useless in a fight.
That doesn’t make him useless in general, though. By concentrating Attribute points in Smarts and Spirit and Skills in areas like Persuade and Intimidate (instead of Fighting or Shooting), with some bonuses from the Attractive and Strong Willed Edges, I figured I could not only provide a different skill set for our heroes, but actually change how the game is played.
In previous Savage Worlds campaigns, our heroes fight bravely in encounter after encounter, gradually acquiring Wounds and burning through Power Points or ammunition so that the final climactic encounter with the big boss is as desperate as can be. Fighting is fine — but with no XP to gain through killing (a la D&D), I suspected it might be quicker and easier (and advance the plot better) if we talked our way through more encounters. We might even learn something from aggressive NPCs if we manage to calm them down and trade some dialogue instead of shooting them on sight.
So far, it’s worked pretty well.
In the last game session, I managed to Intimidate our party into a locked-tight police station with a fire-and-brimstone speech against a reluctant sentry. When we met the local sheriff, a disfigured homicidal maniac, I likewise managed to intimidate him into at least not dispatching us as quickly as he murdered his own henchmen.
Tonight’s game session brought even more success. When a pale-faced cowboy named Wicklow tried to bully our group in a saloon and actually fired his gun at a buddy just to put a scare into him, I jumped into action with an almost verbatim rendition from The Big Lebowski:
Atticus: Let me tell you something, pendejo. You pull any of your crazy shit with us, you flash a piece out in this saloon, Running Buffalo is going to take it away from you, stick it up your ass and pull the fucking trigger ’til it goes “click.”
Atticus: You said it, man. Nobody fucks with a servant of Jesus.
Later in the same gaming session, I managed to Persuade Running Buffalo (the deadly gunfighter of our group, with a Death Wish and a Code of Honour) not to shoot at Wicklow when we were badly outnumbered (even though Wicklow had just slaughtered and dismembered an innocent young woman). Once again, we were able to avoid a fight and talk our way out of the situation while gaining a bit of intelligence. (It later turned out that there was an even better reason to avoid a fight at that time — none of us had any holy water or wooden stakes. Apparently, Wicklow is a vampire). So we lived to fight this maniac another day.
Eventually, we’ll get into a fight we can’t avoid and Atticus will be reduced to Defending each turn just to avoid getting hit (since his ability to dish out damage is severely limited). Until then, Persuade and Intimidate are working great. Praise the Lord.