Deadlands – The Crucible (Part 3)

Deadlands returns! This game was recorded after an unfortunately long hiatus, due to outside life concerns. Forgive us the recap at the beginning.

We dive back into the Western madness with Sheriff Alvarez finally confronting the demon who has been controlling his nightmares in a twisting canyon of sheer terror. The revelation that he’s dead drives him to strike a deal with the demon.

Guard duty on the fort’s walls passes uneventfully, but then the intrigue surrounding the strange happenings in the fort descends again. Can our protagonists hack their way through the mystery and discover what’s going on at Fort 51 before it’s too late?


  • Kevin – Ford Connor.  A yellow journalist to end all Yellow Journalism.  Claims to hail from new york and write for the Tombstone Weekly.
  • Zach – Antares “Ant” Blackwell. A mechanic on the floating city of Daedalus’ Folly.  Oft finds himself chasing after Alexis.
  • Nate – Alexis Gray.  A short sword-armed teenager who also lives on Daedalus’ Folly.  Enjoys hang-gliding into structures.
  • Matt – Sheriff Eric Alvarez.  The sheriff of a small town in the Mormon country of Deseret.  Dreams of his own death most nights and has a creeping feeling of something around him.


  1. Oh, Deadlands premade adventures. I mean, you are doin’ a good job running one, but they are notoriously railroady. Which I guess makes sense, given the time period. At least this isn’t one of the ones where the metaplot-important badasses does all of the work while you sort of flail helplessly next to them. Or one of the ones where they antagonize you and there is no way to stop them (because they’re important to the metaplot, and TOTALLY BADASS, you see).

    It’s nice that you give the NPCs discernible personalities, and the PCs are all pretty great. I just don’t understand why they would set up something like this and then discourage investigation. That is what you do with murders, especially mysterious ones. You think they’d notice something like that during playtesting.

    1. Well, investigation isn’t all that strongly discouraged. McNerlin and company are notoriously unthreatening with their commands, and basically all the investigation you wanna do is permissible by the adventure, up to a certain point in the plot. As near as I can tell, they are basically balancing the urge to investigate with the fear of retribution for it. I’m of course not saying it’s subtly done by the game makers, but the players (Alvarez I mean) have found all the major clues in the oppressive military atmosphere I was going for. After all, the adventure is called The Crucible for a(t least one) reason: it’s an enclosed space that’s quickly heating up.

      Also, thanks for the compliment on the NPCs! I’ve run a lot of prefabs in my day, so I like to think I’ve learned how vital it is for the important NPCs to be distinguishable, interesting people. Especially when their personalities are described in a word or two. “This character is jovial.”

    1. Author

      When I started posting it, it looked like we were going to finish it up and I would be able to post it. Unfortunately, James became very busy and we have been unable to finish this. As soon as we get a chance, though, it will be. It will be.

      1. Don’t suppose you guys are ever planning on finishing this one off are you? I’m new to your pod cast and decided to download the Deadalands ones as I’ve played it myself and enjoyed it. I hadn’t realised that it was an incomplete adventure and now it’s making me crazy!
        I’ve moved onto the Spirit of the century casts now and I think you guys do a great job. Keep it up(and no more incomplete adventure please!)

        1. Author

          We had hoped to finish it up around the time that we started posting it. Unfortunately, a lot of personal stuff came up and we never got another chance to try it.

          1. Since it has now been three years hence that comment, could you tell us how that adventure would have typically ended?
            You had so many factors at play;
            ghost metal tanks, supernatural monsters stalking the night possibly, mass poisoning, shady commanders, demon brained sheriff, to name a few.
            What was the end game here?

          2. Alright, I’ve dug through my old Deadlands books to find this. So spoiler alert for people who haven’t heard these episodes, and if you’d like to play it yourself, it’s the adventures in the back of the Smith and Robards expansion book.


            Okay so. If i recall correctly, they end up finding this ugly statue in the wreckage of the train before the murder’s start. That’s the actual murderer, a ghost rock demon controlled by an amulet in the hands of Ginny Hickson, who is a gang member and an evil magician pretending to be an officer’s wife. She was also behind the devil bat attack in the valley. So three nights in with three murders, or less if the party is real good, the gang behind all this attacks the fort with their steam tank. Meanwhile, using that as a distraction, the gang infiltrates a tunnel that the fort scientist dug for them in the service pit in the engine repair building.

            The reason for all of this is to stop the Denver Pacific railroad from supplying Fort 51 further down the line, which is the source of the local squad of jetpack soldiers, the Flying Buffaloes (btw if I called the fort they crashed at Fort 51, it wasn’t, it was Fort Clark). The CSA paid and outfitted Mina Devlin and her gang to stop the supply line, and the party got caught up in it all. Hope all that helps!

  2. RE: James Oct12 2017 post.

    Wow, that sounds almost like the entire actual plot was still not even hinted at from what the players had uncovered at that point. Probably because they ignored the existence of that lady until it was pointed out she still was a thing. Also after the sheriff got taken over by the demon everything fast forwarded and no one cared about the train wreckage.

    Sad to never hear how that would have ended, but regardless thank you for typing that out for some closure.

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