Edges are physical bonuses or background advantages you can purchase for your hero. Descriptions of each of the Edges and the effects they have on your character follow.
Your agent was an experienced member (at least 10 years) of the military (or paramilitary). That means your hero is at least 28 (or older if you have rank).
Your hero’s years of service get him a few basic Aptitudes related to his specialty for free. The various specialties are listed below. In addition, your hero can buy these specialty skills up to a level equal to 5 plus their rank. (Remember, ranks above 5 cost extra. See the Marshal for details). Your hero also begins with a free rank of 0. You must buy rank at its full cost if you wish to have a higher rank.
The last perk of this Edge is that some of the points your hero spends on belongin’s count double as long as they’re spent on military equipment. The number of points which can be doubled is equal to the hero’s rank level.
Climbin’: rappeling 2
Flyin’: skydiving 2
Survival: any 1
Artillery: Missile Launcher, Rockets, or Main Gun 2
Drivin’: wheeled or tracked 2
Artillery: Rockets, Howitzers 3
Professional: Computer Ops 3
Drivin’: tracked 1
Mine sweepin’ 2
Fightin’: brawlin’, bayonet 2
Shootin’: rifle 2
Survival: any 1
Throwin’: balanced 2
Professional: Computer Ops 1
Shootin’: pistol 1
All belongin’s points count double
Medicine: general 3
Professional: Computer Ops 2
Area knowledge: any 2
Language: any 2
Survival: any 2
Shootin’: rifle 5
Survival: any 2
Fightin’: brawlin’, knife 2
Shootin’: any 3
Survival: any 2
Throwin’: balanced 2
Some heroes claim they need nothing more than a trusty sidearm to get them through the Wasted West. If an opponent has a bigger sidearm, a wise hero might think differently.
This Edge covers all the unusual equipment you might want for your character. You need to work out the specific point cost of any given item with the Marshal, but the table below should give you a rough guide.
Lesser magical items (relics) can be bought with this Edge, but be reasonable. Relics usually add a + 1 per level of belongin’s bonus to their user’s skill roll when used. Weapons add + 1 per level to their damage totals as well.
Other magical effects must be approved by the Marshal, though even a level 5 belongin’ shouldn’t be quite as spectacular as a legendary weapon.
Finally, check out the dinero Edge if your hero is well-equipped and has a way of getting more bullets and other necessities when he needs to, whether it’s through contacts or trading savvy.
|1||Item worth up to $1000|
|2||Item worth up to $2000|
|3||Item worth up to $3000|
|4||Item worth up to $4000|
|5||Item worth up to $5000|
Berserks have gotten in touch with their inner stepchild and like to beat the snot out of it.
For whatever reason, certain things set the hero off, turning him into a frenzied death-machine. Whenever your hero takes a wound, he must make a Smarts roll equal to the TN of the wound (just like on the Healing Table). If he fails the roll, he goes into a berserk frenzy, allowing him to make two hand-to-hand attacks each action.
The downside is that neither his fightin’ levels nor his weapon’s defensive bonuses are added to the opponent’s TN to hit him. He must also rush into hand-to-hand combat no matter what the situation. He might not jump off a cliff to get at someone, but he’s happy to charge an army all by himself once berserk.
Some folks got “head handles” as big as a donkey’s. Those that do can usually hear a soft-toed critter creeping over stone at 100 yards.
A character with the big ears Edge adds + 2 to Cognition rolls involving hearing things.
Most folks aren’t really brave—they’re just too stupid to know better. Either way, they’re often the last to run and the first to die.
Characters with this Edge add + 2 to their guts checks. This is in addition to any bonuses for Grit, so brave and experienced heroes don’t usually run until they want to.
Some folks think a fellow as big as you is dumb as a post. They sometimes change their minds when your 21-inch biceps let them know what it feels like to be a post.
Your character is big—not obese, just big and chock full o’ muscles. He must have at least a 2d8 Strength to take this Edge. If he does, you can add + 1 to your hombre’s Size.
Your hero can’t be both brawny and a big ’un.
Your hero can usually come up with some sort of valuable goods for trade when he needs to.
A wealthy individual starts with additional funds and can come up with more when pressed. To do so, he simply makes a Hard (9) bluff, persuasion, scroungin’, or streetwise roll.
How much time this takes and exactly which skill your character uses depends on his background. Bluff means he’s conned someone. Persuasion means he’s talked others into giving or loaning him something of value. Scroungin’ is for those who have a knack for finding something valuable to trade. Streetwise characters get goods by arranging deals, usually the shady type.
Certain trades or professions might also net the hero some found money.
If successful, your savvy hero gets the “found money” shown on the table below. The “money” is usually favors, milrats, a gun, fresh fruit, or maybe even healing by a traveling Doomsayer or Templar. Whatever, your survivor manages to salvage, weasel, con, or even steal it.
In any case, the hero can’t “find money” with this Edge more than once a week in the same place. He could use other methods, of course, such as scroungin’ or actual adventuring.
|Cost||Starting Funds||Found Money|
|Don’t Get ’im Riled!||3|
“Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.” – Prof. Bruce B.
When your hero is injured, he adds Xd4 damage to his hand-to-hand attacks, where X is the hero’s highest wound level. A hero with a serious wound, for instance, adds + 3d4 to his hand-to-hand damage rolls. Reroll any Aces you get on the bonus roll, and then add them to the Strength part of the damage total, just like any other “plus.”
Sharp-eyed folks can spot a fly on a raisin cake at 20 paces. Others might just wonder what’s so chewy. You may add + 2 to any Cognition rolls made for your character to spot or notice things at a distance.
There often comes a time when a hero needs to hightail it away from some angry varmint. If that’s the case, remember the golden rule of skedaddling: You only have to outrun one person. Unless there’s a lot of angry varmints, of course. Then you’d better be fleet-footed enough to outrun the whole posse!
Your character’s base Pace is 2 more than his Nimbleness. A character with a Nimbleness of 12, for example, would have a base Pace of 14 and could run up to 28 yards in a single round.
|Friends in High Places||1–5|
It’s not who you know — it’s who knows you.
Your character has friends who occasionally help him out. The value of the friends depends on how powerful they are and how often they show up. A biker boss who shows up with the cavalry every other game or so is worth 3 points, or 1 if he usually shows up alone. A wealthy trader who buys your character’s way out of trouble on occasion might be worth 2. There are many ways to use this Edge, so work out the details with your Marshal before you determine the final point cost.
|Gift o’ Gab||1|
This Edge allows your agent to pick up spoken languages very quickly. Given a few minutes of conversation in a new language, your brainer can speak it as if he has an effective skill of 1. This doesn’t give your agent any skill in writing the language.
Your hero is a hard-bitten survivor, and he heals a little bit faster than most. He gains Wind back at the rate of 1 point every 30 seconds (or six combat rounds), instead of the usual 1 point per minute. Also, he can make a healing roll to recover from his wounds every three days instead of the regular five.
To take this Edge, your hero must have a Vigor of 3d10 or better. Both the Coordination and the die type of this Trait must be at this level or higher. After all, fragile wimps just aren’t the hardy sort.
Veterans of the wastelands expect the unexpected. Other folks are just jumpy. The only thing they’ve got in common is that they can both sense a walkin’ dead creeping up on them from 50 yards away.
A keen hero notices little details, sounds, and movements that others may ignore. She may add + 2 to any Cognition-based rolls.
The badge of a lawman carries a lot of weight, mostly in the form of responsibility. The common folk depend on you to fight off marauders, bandits, and stranger things.
While this Edge grants your hero a great amount of authority, it also brings trouble.
For 1 point, your character is a local lawman of some sort. Most towns call them “sheriffs” these days. Folks do what you say in matters of justice and the defense (unless there’s some other official with that job).
For 3 points, your hero is one of the Law Dogs. It’s his job to travel the wastes and bring justice to the survivors. Remember that these days justice is more important than law. That means he’s got a lot of room for personal judgment. Of course, a Law Dog who makes a lot of bad decisions is likely to be hated by even peace-loving folks.
Most villages obey the wishes of the Law Dogs, but are quick to turn on a lawman who doesn’t live up to his reputation. How much authority your character can command depends on his deeds, his words, and lastly his gun.
All Law Dogs have a – 5 point oath to bring justice to the Wasted West.
Veteran gunmen claim speed and skill are vital, but they’re overrated compared to keeping your cool, aiming at your target, and putting it down. A hothead who empties his hogleg too fast soon finds himself taking root in the local bone orchard.
Immediately after drawing Action Cards in combat, a character with this Edge can discard his lowest card and draw another. If the character draws a black Joker on the first draw, he’s out of luck and can’t draw again.
Sleep doesn’t always come easy in Deadlands.
While it might make you grouchy before your morning cup of java, being a light sleeper can be fairly handy when some critter tries to slither into bed with you.
A character with this Edge may add + 2 to Cognition rolls made when he needs to wake up quickly. Light sleepers may also add + 2 to their night terror Spirit rolls if they happen to have that Hindrance as well.
|Luck o’ the Irish||3|
Agents with this Edge get to draw an extra Fate Chip at the beginning of each session.
|Martial Arts Training||3|
Your character has trained for years in the martial arts, under the tutelage of a master.
To better enable him to crack skulls, he now deals additional damage when fighting hand-to-hand. He deals STR + 1d6 damage when striking with his hand or foot. This damage may be brawling type damage or lethal damage – your choice.
In addition, for each level he has in the fightin’: martial arts Aptitude, he knows one special maneuver (below).
An agent can’t take this Edge without also taking the fightin’: martial arts Aptitude, with one of the concentrations listed.
Unless the description says differently, you must declare when your hero is using a special maneuver before you make his fightin’: martial arts roll.
This is a special form of vamoosing. If your hero has an action card available when he’s attacked in hand-to-hand combat by an armed opponent, you may spend the card to make a fightin’: martial arts roll, but based on Deftness instead of Nimbleness. Compare your hero’s total to his opponent’s attack roll. If your enemy’s roll is higher, he has hit your fu fighter. If your character’s total is higher, the attack misses and your opponent must make a Strength roll against a TN of 5, plus 2 for each raise your hero got on the disarm roll. If your enemy fails the Strength roll, he has dropped his weapon.
Your hero must hit with two raises to use this maneuver. If he succeeds, roll a contest of his Strength versus the defender’s Vigor. If he wins the contest, his opponent takes 1d6 Wind and suffers a – 4 to all rolls for the next hour due to his crybaby eyes.
If your opponent goes bust on his Vigor roll, he is permanently blinded in one eye.
With this maneuver, your hero launches himself into the air at an opponent, leaping a distance equal to his Pace toward the target. He can’t move a total distance greater than his normal Pace in this fashion, but he can clear low intervening obstacles with the kick.
Your agent is at a – 4 to hit with this attack, but if he connects, he does an extra 1d6 damage and adds an additional + 2 to the hit location roll on top of the normal + 2 for fightin’. If he misses, he must make a Fair (5) Nimbleness roll to avoid coming down hard and taking 1d6 Wind.
If an opponent knocks your hero down, the fu fighter can use this maneuver on his next Action Card to pop right back up and take an action on the same card. This normally requires a Fair (5) fightin’: martial arts roll, but the Marshal may adjust this for treacherous footing, high winds, etc.
The get up maneuver can be a lifesaver, but your hero’s enemies probably aren’t going to wait around for him to have a chance to get to his feet in a fight. Those low-down, ornery cusses are liable to try to stomp his head long before his next Action Card comes around.
Ground fighting isn’t so much a maneuver as it is a method of fighting. If your fu fighter knows this maneuver, opponents don’t get the usual + 2 to hit your character when he’s flat on his back. Also, your hero only suffers a – 2 to his own fightin’: martial arts attacks, instead of the usual – 4. He still subtracts – 4 from his hit location rolls when attacking opponents from the ground.
Your hero really uses his head with this maneuver! He smacks his forehead into an opponent’s face, causing him no end of pain and a couple of tears to boot.
He must get a raise on his fightin’: martial arts roll to connect with the poor sap. If he does, roll a contest of his Strength versus the defender’s Vigor. Don’t add the usual + 1d6 bonus for martial arts to this roll.
If he wins, his opponent takes the difference in Wind and must make a Hard (9) Vigor roll to avoid being stunned. If he loses, his opponent is unaffected by the attack.
Regardless of whether he wins or loses, he suffers 1d4 Wind himself for cracking his own skull.
This maneuver allows your martial artist to trap an opponent’s limb in a painful hold. Your hero must win a contest of his fightin’: martial arts versus his opponent’s fightin’ with at least one raise.
If he does, his opponent must roll a contest of his Vigor against your character’s fightin’: martial arts. Should he lose, he suffers a minus to any action he takes equal to the amount by which he lost the contest until he breaks the lock. While maintaining the lock, your hero can take only simple actions without losing his grip.
The victim can spend an action to attempt to break the lock by winning an opposed roll of his fightin’ versus your hero’s fightin’: martial arts.
This is a powerful kick with a lot of speed behind it. Your hero suffers a – 2 penalty to hit with this attack, but if it hits, he does an additional 1d4 damage.
This is a non-damaging attack, but your hero gets + 4 to hit with it. If it hits, your opponent is knocked off his feet and must spend an action getting back up.
This maneuver only works on roughly man-sized bipedal opponents.
This maneuver can be used to attack, or – if you have an unused action card – as an active defense. Either way, your hero must make an opposed roll of his fightin’: martial arts against the opponent’s fightin’. If he beats his opponent, he can chuck him to the ground anywhere within six feet of himself.
Your opponent must also make an Easy (3) Vigor roll to avoid being stunned by the impact with the ground. This TN is increased by 2 for every raise your fighter gets on his roll. Even if the thrown brainer is not stunned, he must spend an action to get back on his feet.
This maneuver only works on roughly man-sized and shaped opponents.
Gadgets and gizmos lie strewn about the blasted battlefields and ruined cities. Those who know how to fix them can recover valuable tools.
A character with this Edge adds + 2 to rolls involving fixing or understanding machinery. No good junker would be caught dead without this skill. Of course, those without it probably are already dead.
|Nerves o’ Steel||1|
Some heroes are too darn stubborn to run, even when their boots are full of “liquid fear.”
When the hero fails a guts check and the Scart Table (the Marshal’s got this) says he must flee, the character can stand his ground instead. He still suffers any penalties imposed by the Scart Table.
A hero with nerves o’ steel isn’t necessarily brave. Sometimes he’s just more afraid of being branded a yellow-bellied coward than he is of death. Some folks are funny that way. Most don’t live long.
Maybe he still has teeth. Or maybe he found a comb somewhere. Whatever, your hombre is one good-looking survivor.
A purty character may add + 2 to most persuasion rolls or other situations where his attractiveness might come into play.
Your hero doesn’t seize up under pressure like most. There’s always a tiny part of him that always expects an ambush.
When making Cognition rolls to see if your hero has been surprised, he never faces a TN higher than 5. Even if he fails that roll, he still gets 1 Action Card during the round in which he was supposedly surprised. He is never surprised past the first round; don’t even bother rolling to recover.
|Rank||1 to 5|
Your agent was a member of the military of his home country and moved up through the ranks. The Agency allows for its agents to keep their status and rank (makes for good a good cover).
An added perk of this Edge is that for each level of rank, your hero can take a free level of leadership or professional: military. For every point of rank your hero purchases at character creation, add 3 to his minimum starting age. (So a hero with Background: Military and 5 points of rank will be at least 43 years old).
|3||Captain or Major|
A reputation’s a funny thing. The bigger it gets, the more most folks stay out of your way. But the fellows who don’t get out of the way are most likely gunning for you.
Recognizing a famous person is a Fair (5) task for most — a Foolproof (3) task for those in the character’s field, town, etc. Add + 1 per point invested in this Edge to any persuasion rolls made on those who know your hero, assuming they actually like him that is!
|1|| Well-known among a small group (town,
junkers, Law Dogs, sykers, Templars,
|3|| Well-known among a large group of
people (county-sized region).
|5||Known everywhere (war hero).|
Sand, grit. You’d think folks in the Wasted West never take baths. Well, most don’t, but that’s what we’re talking about. We’re talking about the kind of hombre who keeps fighting even when his boots are full of his own blood. The kind of hero who can punch the Grim Reaper in the face and then ask him to dance. In short, a hero with fire in his eyes and spit in his belly.
Every level of sand allows the hero to add + 1 to any stun and recovery checks he must make during combat.
|Sense o’ Direction||1|
You can usually find north, smart guy.
To determine direction, make a Fair (5) Cognition roll. With a Hard (9) Smarts roll, your hero also knows about what time it is.
There’s something in your stare that makes others nervous. When your eye starts twitching, someone’s about to meet his maker.
A character with “the stare” may add + 2 to his overawe attacks, as long as the intended victim is close enough to look into his steely gaze (usually less than 30 feet or so).
Every government in the world messed around with weird science at one point or another. A few men and women survived these programs and emerged just as the government had hoped. Maybe your hero was one of them. If so, he must be brawny and have a Strength of 3d10 or better and a Vigor of 4d12 or better. Both Coordination and die type must meet these minimums.
Here’s the big payoff. The hero gets to raise his Strength and Vigor by one die type each. (That means Vigor is at least 4d12 + 2 now). The super soldier also gets the thick-skinned Edge, plus 5 levels of sand and tough as nails, all for free!
The downside is that the hero’s Knowledge, Smarts, and Cognition all drop a die type. The same drugs that enhance the body atrophy the mind.
Whether he’s tough-as-nails or just plain dumb, a fellow who can handle a little pain is a hombre that’s hard to beat. Tinhorns cry over a splinter. Thick-skinned survivors blaze away with both guns even when they taste their own blood.
Thick-skinned characters may ignore 1 level of penalty modifiers per wounded area. Thus a character with light wounds in both arms has no modifiers (see Chapter Five).
|Tough as Nails||1–5|
Some folks keel over in a stiff wind, but you chew razor blades for breakfast. A real hero’s got to persevere no matter how rough things get.
Every level of tough as nails adds + 2 to your character’s Wind. She can tough out losing blood and getting banged around when others are curling up like babies with their thumbs in their mouths.
A rare few are just as good with their left hand as they are their right. These folks make deadly gunfighters and better cheats.
A two-fisted character ignores the – 4 penalty for using his off hand. Note that this doesn’t negate any penalties for using a second weapon — just the additional – 4 penalty for using the wrong paw.
When you speak, folks shush up and listen hard, whether you’ve got something worthwhile to say or not. It’s the medium, not the message.
You can choose what kind of voice your character has. A soothing voice adds + 2 to persuasion rolls made in calm, seductive, or otherwise peaceful situations. A threatening voice adds + 2 to overawe rolls. A grating voice adds + 2 to ridicule rolls. You can buy multiple voices as well.