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The Savage Worlds game system from Pinnacle in an all-new Adventure Edition, ready to power any game of your design!
The Savage Worlds game system from Pinnacle in an all-new Adventure Edition, ready to power any game of your design!
5,289 backers pledged $524,170 to help bring this project to life.

Because You Asked: Deadlands Dark Ages

Posted by Shane Hensley (Creator)

Shane here! I promised in Comments I'd talk a little about the upoming Deadlands: Dark Ages, a planned 2019 release for us following the next edition of Deadlands: The Weird West. We don't have any art to show yet and the book is still being written (though it's pretty far along!), but here's what I can tell you now for those who are interested.

It's being written by John "Night Train" Goff, so you know it's going to be creepy, deadly, and AWESOME. Here's what he has to say about it:

In the Dark…Ages

Probably as long as I’ve been associated with Pinnacle and Deadlands—which, trust me, is a long time—the idea of Deadlands Dark Ages has been stalking the company’s proverbial halls. It’s something fans have clamored for and we’ve talked about. Shane’s had the idea for the cover in his head for nearly as long as I can remember. In fact, if you're a fan of the Weird West, you've probably noticed more than a couple of call backs to an earlier period of time over the years--some big, some small.

In short, it’s something we’ve always thought about but never felt the time was quite right. There were other stories to tell in the universe, and we wanted the ducks in a row before we rolled out Dark Ages. With the tale told in The Cackler graphic novel we’re just about ready…

Sample panel from "The Cackler" graphic novel!
Sample panel from "The Cackler" graphic novel!

Without giving away too much too soon, and there's so much more to talk about, Dark Ages is set during the, you guessed it, Dark Ages, specifically the Early Middle Ages. Much like with the Weird West, we chose to focus largely on one region where a group of closely-knit kingdoms are in the throes of violent conflict—England.

Likewise, there are analogs to the popular archetypes common to most Deadlands settings: the students of misguided science, adherents of the Old Ways, those who think they’re clever enough to deal with devils, and of course, the (un)lucky few who refuse to stay dead.

Finally, we want Dark Ages to be accessible to new fans as well as old. Like our other settings, it stands well on its own, but has plenty of ties to the overarching Deadlands narrative as well, which will hopefully surprise and delight those who’ve been with us from the start!

*** About John Goff ***

John Goff was Shane's college "Dungeon Master" at Virginia Tech. He's largely responsible for sparking a lot of Shane's creativity and ideas. It was a hell of a campaign and an incredible group of friends who still stay in touch to this day.

John's a full time private detective and a veteran of the US Army. He lives in Spokane, Washington, with his incredible wife, Joyce. He's also a brutal Game Master and his home games are realistic, thorough, and TOUGH!!! ;)


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    1. Morgan Stjernstrom on

      @Will, I think it could very well be several plot point campaigns as well as stand alone campaigns in this era. If it starts early there are still conflicts between native Cymric and the saxons that invaded earler (and later integrated within the lands by Arthur to stop the endless wars between them).

      Not to forget the impending doom (of course over a century later) of the Danes.
      Lets not forget also that after the Danes are defeated the Normands invades and takes over Britain. But thats perhaps a Deadlands: Robin Hood setting. 😎😎

    2. Will Herrmann on

      I would be interested to know if this will be a full setting where multiple campaigns can take place (e.g. Deadlands, Rifts), or if it's a setting designed around a single plot-point campaign (e.g. Necessary Evil, 50 Fathoms). Given the niche time period and the new locale, I think it would be well-suited for being based around a single plot-point campaign where the world is radically different before and after the campaign is over.

    3. Paul Duffy on

      Does this just cover England or would it be better to say Britain

    4. Guoccamolé

      “Without giving away too much too soon” - Ludicrous! There should and can be no limit to how much you give away. I totally disagree with this sentiment. Spill the beans already!

      Will there be magic? Dark magic? High magic? What are we looking at?

    5. Morgan Stjernstrom on

      I would understand it could be set earlier. Maybe around 580 AD (15 years after Battle of Camlann where Modred fatally wounds Arthur) since The Cackler got something to do with Modred. 😎😎

    6. Jan Jetmar on

      Do I understand correctly it is going to be 7th century England with it's many small kingdoms before the large ones "ate" the small ones?

    7. Steve Mann on

      The Weird West ... Country.

      Oo-aarr, 'tis the accent that Robert Newton stole fer Long John Silver, so it was. Make good zoider there. Good apples, y'see.

    8. Missing avatar

      Brett Ritter

      I'm super interested, but this post lacked the most important info: How to sign up! Will it be Kickstarted? Will it be Savage Worlds or stand alone?

    9. Jeff H on

      For a while now, I've had an idea for an era spanning Deadlands game... The children and grandchildren of the Weird West characters walk the mean streets of DL Noir, and those characters' descendants endure Hell on Earth. Maybe each aeration deals with a particular manitou, or a family heirloom factors into adventures in each era.
      Now I envision characters learning of distant ancestors from the Dark Ages whose brushes with the supernatural may well be why our heroes are cursed to carry on that conflict.
      Looking forward to this one.

    10. Buzzerker

      Hell yeah, sounds great! Interesting fellow though, this Mr. Goff. I'm glad to know there are fellow vets in this business, and the description of his home games are very interesting. I'll have to look up some more of his previous RPG works!

    11. Joe Van Ginkel on

      Truth be told, whereas the Dark Ages idea sounds like fun...the news for me is that a new edition of the original flavor Deadlands comes first. 😁

    12. Mark Mealman on

      Shut up and take my money.

    13. Tim Smyth on