Five weeks of Deadlands, and we’re moving into the much delayed Character-centered sessions. This week’s session centers on Nines “Nine Lives” McGee.
The session opens on the ship with Nines leading the team towards a small settlement of Native Americans, to look for the shaman named “Plays-With-Fire,” who was meant to give him more information about the black case that Nines had with him when he began his new life as a captain.
Their arrival was relatively peaceful, with the crew making their landing without starting any fights. Nines himself ran into Plays-With-Fire, whereupon the Shaman informed the captain that he would have to undergo a trial in order to discover more about himself. The captain, with a little bit of heistiation, agreed to this trial, and the crew was invited over to speak of their initial encounter with Nines.
I took a swing at trying something experiemental here, using a little bit of the Mage: the Ascension “Seeking” mechanic for Nines, leading the character through a Vision Quest with heaps of symbolism, hoping that it was something that Rick woudl understand.
After the vision quest, each of the other players had a chance to talk about their first encounters with the captain. In some ways it was the first time I tried giving players little more narrative control. Looking back at it it sort of came as a surprise to the players and some found it difficult to dictate the terms upon which they were introduced to Nines.
That said, each of the stories were relatively self contained, detailing the indvidual relationships between the characters as they related to the captain.
- Shea O’Bannon – Was hired after the Captain witnessed him win a quickdraw duel, as a solution to a tricky situation of people wanting Shea out of the town as soon as possible.
- Dr. Frank N. Stein – Having been the former employer of Shea, Dr. Stein was not all to happy to meet someone who was going to threaten his ownership of Shea’s gun arm. Still, Nines manages to impress the Doctor, and Dr. Stein throws his hat into the team.
- Lady Noir – Her joining his crew was one out of necessity rather than choice. Celeste Noir Wayne and her brother, Sebastian found the Amos docked in New Orleans while they were running away from a gang of goons out to recover her and deliver her back to her husband Nathan. Nines was initially hesitant to allow her in, given that he didn’t want any trouble on his boat, but upon seeing what Nathan had done to her, he finally agreed, knowing that it was his charity that would spell quite a lot of trouble for him and his crew.
With the Vision quest over, Nines returns to Plays-With-Fire, learning that his visions symbolism led to a dangerous path, that the case was somehow involved with the Manitou, and his brother’s unhealthy obsession on its recovery might speak more of trouble rather than meets the eye.
Nines was deeply troubled by this, knowing that it might lead to more trouble with Lash, and raises a few questions with regards to his brother.
This session was shorter than most of my other Deadlands games. While it was interesting, I was kind of worried that it might have been boring for other players given the extreme focus with Nines.
Still, I think I’m on to something with the InSpectres styled “Confession Booth” type thing where players are specifically handed narrative control. I could have introduced it better, I think… since it threw some people off. It might merit a little bit more studybefore I try it again.