Deadlands Reloaded: The Weird West
The following are some of the various archetypes for players to choose from or inspire them to what type of character they want to play. The list attempts to cover the the breadth of different occupations and concepts that exist in the Weird West. The list is far from complete and players could even make a hybrid of many of the Archetypes (such as a an ex-cultist/gunslinger). Remember however, that by Savage Worlds rules a character can only have one Arcane Background.
Each Archetype is broken down by the basic name of the Archetype followed by a brief description of what the archetype does. Lastly, is a list of recommended Attributes, Skills (collectively known as Traits), and Edges that are recommended for the archetype. Please note, some the recommended items are requirements for certain signature edges for certain archetypes (such as Agent).
They are employees of the secretive United States organization called the Agency. Formed after the Union decided that the Pinkerton Detective Agency was not enough to handle national security. These men and women in black dusters serve as investigators, police, and spies.
Recommended: Smarts, Spirit, Fighting, Guts, Knowledge: Law, Knowledge: Occult, Notice, Investigation, Shooting, Stealth, Agent, Brave, Investigator, Rock and Roll, Thief, True Grit
They are pioneers of the sky. They seek to push the limits of science and daring with their amazing flying machines such as auto-gyros and ornithopters. Due to the complicated nature of these infernal devices, most Airman are Mad Scientist themselves or at least well versed in new science to make the in flight adjustments to their flying vehicles. If the Airman Archetype interests you, and you plan on taking the Arcane Background: Mad Science you might want to take a look at the Mad Scientist Gizmos.
Recommended: Agility, Guts, Piloting, Repair, Ace, Arcane Background: Mad Science, Mr. Fix-It
They are mad scientists and masters in the field of chemistry. They specialize in the brewing of potions, elixirs, and tonics. Everything from healing potions to explosive Greek Fire-like Molotov cocktails. They often have patches of hair missing due to the explosive nature of their experiments making these concoctions. However, they practices usually allow safer and more predictable consumption of their brews. If the Alchemist Archetype interests you, and you plan on taking the Arcane Background: Mad Science you might want to take a look at the Mad Scientist Gizmos.
Recommended: Smarts, Guts, Knowledge: Chemistry, Throwing, Mad Science, Alchemy, Arcane Background: Mad Science
They are outdoorsmen and trainers of animals such as dogs, horses, and falcons. With their animal companions they are often more comfortable out on the range than in the fanciest of city hotels. Many are defenders of wildlife and nature, others seek to subjugate lesser beasts for their own nefarious purposes.
Recommended: Spirit, Persuasion, Guts, Survival, Tracking, Beast Bond, Beast Master, Woodsman
They are often sent ahead of their tribe to ensure the safety of their people. They are used to working alone and are often expert hunters and trackers. While not all scouts are followers of the Old Ways, many are because, after all, bows and arrows are quiet.
Recommended: Agility, Smarts, Fighting, Guts, Notice, Survival, Tracking, Scout, Woodsman
They are nuns, priests, or average folks who have been blessed by The Powers That Be for some reason or another. When the blessed are behaving themselves, they can invoke miracles that help them fight the supernatural evils found in the Weird West and advance the greater good in the name of their beliefs.
Recommended: Spirit, Faith, Guts, Persuasion, Arcane Background: Miracles, Conviction
Big Game Hunter
They have been lured to the Weird West by the stories of creatures of such great size and ferocity they pale anything found in Africa. Usually from wealthy families back east or even Europe, they are equipped with only the best of equipment, and they are used to finest of living conditions. Even with without these fancy amenities, they are expert trackers and marksmen.
Recommended: Notice, Guts, Shooting, Survival, Tracking, Marksman, Rich, Woodsman
They chase down outlaws and turn then in for the monetary reward. They have to be careful though as the hunter sometimes becomes the hunted if the prey gets wind someone’s on their trail. Unlike the typical gunslingers, they have to be trained to find their quarry and most don’t bother with calling them out, choosing to quietly knock them out and tie them up.
Recommended: Agility, Strength, Vigor, Fighting, Guts, Shooting, Stealth, Tracking, Streetwise
They saw a strange development in their trade in the last few years. The Sioux Nations herded most of the larger buffalo into their borders. This means buffalo meat and hides—once fairly common are now bringing in good prices at the few surviving and very secret skinning camps. The Sioux have warned off buffalo hunters on several occasions, but now they shoot on sight. Buffalo hunters need to be sneaky sorts with few scruples and strong hands for firing their Sharp’s Big Fifty rifles.
Recommended: Agility, Strength, Guts, Shooting, Stealth, Survival, Tracking, Woodsman
They spend most of their time on their ranches raising hundreds of heads of cattle. Once a year, they have to drive the herd to a market of some sort, usually a railhead or stockyard. Cattle Kings often are well connected to both high society and the underworld (through their ranch hands). Most are fairly wealthy, unless their herd has been rustled.
Recommended: Spirit, Guts, Persuasion, Charismatic, Contacts, Noble, Rich
They act as scouts, Indian fighters, and occasionally as raiders and both the USA and CSA employ such soldiers. The are often looked to as saviors of beleaguered troops hoping for fast reinforcements charging over the horizon.
Recommended: Strength, Vigor, Fighting, Guts, Knowledge: Battle, Riding, Shooting, Soldier
These are the real west’s cowboys. They ain’t ones typically for heroics or much concerned about good and evil. They just want their pay for an honest hard working job. Most cowpokes ain’t rich or well educated so Illiterate and Poverty make good hindrances.
Recommended: Strength, Vigor, Fighting, Guts, Notice, Persuasion, Riding, Shooting, Survival
They are the best trackers in world for swamps and bogs. Able to transverse the harsh conditions with almost ease. They know the backwoods and other places most men wander never seen from again because they respect and understand the swamp and all of her dangers.
Recommended: Vigor, Fighting, Guts, Healing, Survival, Swimming, Tracking, Scout, Woodsman
They are often wealthy tin horns from back east or even Europe who fancy seeing in person the things they read about in dime novels and newspapers. While most are well educated, they often don’t have the necessary skills to make it out on the frontier comfortably.
Recommended: Smarts, Guts, Investigation, Persuasion, Knowledge: (Any), Taunt, Rich, Very Rich
They have left their posts for various reasons. Some leave out of cowardice, some because their officers were insane, and other because they have seen their fair share of death and misery and just can’t be a party to it any more. Either way, deserters are branded as cowards and traitors by the military branch they’ve left behind. In both Union and Confederate armies, deserters are usually executed when found.
Recommended: Strength, Vigor, Fighting, Guts, Shooting, Stealth, Survival
They were once part of an occultist group that practiced dark magics or worship elder dark gods. Maybe they decided fooling around with such evil wasn’t a smart thing to do. Maybe they learned something about the nature of these arcane happenings and decided to fight back for the good of humanity. If the Ex-Cultist Archetype interests you, and you plan on taking the Arcane Background: Huckster you might want to take a look at the Huckster Powers.
Recommended: Smarts, Vigor, Guts, Knowledge: Occult, Arcane Background: Huckster
They know there is no longer a true frontier, but many areas have yet to be fully explored. (Maybe there’s a reason for that.) Unlike typical mountain men, they are civilized, even scientific men searching knowledge, discovery, and maybe even some fame.
Recommended: Smarts, Strength, Vigor, Climbing, Fighting, Guts, Notice, Survival, Swimming, Tracking, Wilderness Man
They make of living on games of chance and live their life on the edge of probability and luck. Some gamblers are completely honest in this profession while a handful cheat to win their livelihood.
Recommended: Agility, Smarts, Gambling, Guts, Lockpicking, Notice, Persuasion, Taunt, Card Sharp
From south of the border, Gauchos are adventurer/crusaders who have encountered the things ‘that go bump in the night’ and are brave or dumb enough to think they can stop these monsters and evil. Gauchos are great trackers and have a dramatic flair when it comes to horse riding as well as combat. Many Gauchos take odd weapons such as bolos, or even a rapier.
Recommended: Agility, Strength, Vigor, Fighting, Guts, Notice, Riding, Trowing
They come West to see if all the wild stories they’ve heard back East are true. As one of these pampered “dudes,” your character wouldn’t dream of touring the West in anything less than the comfort of 1st class. He has to figure out he’s going to make his way through any trouble. Most do it by fast-talking the “yokels.”
Recommended: Spirit, Guts, Stealth, Persuasion, Charismatic
They are feared killers and revered desperadoes. Some are tinhorn dandies with fancy New York target pistols while others are Texas outlaws looking to escape some past misdeed. A few are noble souls struggling to protect the weak; others work for crooked rail barons, terrorizing towns and ranches that won’t sell them the right-of-way.
Recommended: Agility, Spirit, Guts, Intimidation, Shooting, Duelist, Hip Shooting, Level Headed, Quick, Quick Draw, Speed Loading
Sometimes they are the only survivor of a tragedy, other times they run away from their family out west with promises made to them in dime novels. Either way, they often get involved with horrors that put liquid fear in anyone’s boots.
Recommended: Agility, Climbing, Guts, Notice, Stealth, Swimming, Common Bond, Luck, Great Luck
Some folk just don’t want to be around others no more and seek their own piece of land out away from everyone else out west. Spend enough time out in the Weird West though and they soon discover things just ain’t right with the world.
Recommended: Vigor, Climbing, Guts, Notice, Stealth, Survival, Swimming, Alertness, Woodsman
Historian of the Arcane
They study the dark arts of sorcery and the occult from an academic prospective. Few actually learn the secrets of true mysticism content to observe the arcane at a safe distance. They seek to understand the supernatural and categorize and catalog it. If the Historian of the Arcane Archetype interests you, and you plan on taking the Arcane Background: Huckster you might want to take a look at the Huckster Powers.
Recommended: Smarts, Investigation, Knowledge: History/Academics, Knowledge: Occult, Arcane Background: Huckster, Scholar
They are mysterious souls who have learned the secrets of Hoyle’s Book of Games. Some say that within this cryptic text are hidden messages detailing cryptic incantations and rituals of the black arts. Others say they are fakes and frauds, but a huckster’s hexes can be just as deadly as a gunslinger’s bullet—or worse. If the Huckster Archetype interests you, and you plan on taking the Arcane Background: Huckster you might want to take a look at the Huckster Powers.
Recommended: Smarts, Spirit, Gambling, Guts, Hexslinging, Arcane Background: Huckster, Card Sharp
The have won new respect in the West. The long Civil War between the States means neither the USA nor the CSA has been able to gather the manpower to subjugate the new Sioux Nation or the Coyote Confederation. Most Braves are fiercely loyal to their tribes and spend their time providing for them or patrolling borders. Even, so a few braves now wander outside their homeland to learn the ways of the white man.
Recommended: Strength, Vigor, Fighting, Guts, Notice, Riding, Stealth, Survival, Tracking, Woodsman
They are men and women of science that have gain insight beyond their peers in what they call, “New Science” while most call in mad science due the number of mentally unstable “new” scientist their are. They have the ability to invent gizmos well beyond most folks grasp of technology. Because of their poor reliability, most folks call these gizmos infernal devices. If the Mad Scientist Archetype interests you, and you plan on taking the Arcane Background: Mad Science you might want to take a look at the Mad Scientist Gizmos.
Recommended: Smarts, Guts, Investigation, Knowledge: Any Science, Shooting, Mad Science, Repair, Arcane Background: Mad Scientist, Gadgeteer
They are miners, couriers, or other kind of sailors out in the Great Maze. With the small, maneuverable maze runner boats they make a decent living in the Mazes water channels among the mesas and buttes avoiding water hazards, pirates, and aquatic monsters.
Recommended: Agility, Vigor, Boating, Guts, Knowledge: The Great Maze, Repair, Shooting, Ace
They chase hardened criminals all over the West. Though they have the authority to assemble posses on occasion, they usually have to work alone. Some law dogs are paragons of honor and duty while a few are little better than the outlaws they jail, but most lay somewhere between.
Recommended: Spirit, Fighting, Guts, Intimidation, Notice, Persuasion, Shooting, Streetwise, Contacts,
They are men and women who through training have forged and honed their own bodies to become deadly weapons. They are capable of incredible feats most can’t imagine possible.
Recommended: Agility, Strength, Climbing, Fighting, Arcane Background: Martial Artist, Martial Arts
They aren’t quite mad scientists most of the time, but few scientists would see their engineering marvels off paper without them. These folk never seemed to be phased by the progression of man and often find themselves in grease covered overalls.
Recommended: Smarts, Guts, Mad Science, Notice, Repair, McGvyer, Mr. Fix-it
They serve of served one the major armed forces of the world. Both the Union and the Confederates maintain a number of forts out west that required military teams to travel around. Those knowledgeable in the art of war are in high demand as well from rail wars to defense of small towns from Indian raids or worst.
Recommended: Spirit, Strength, Vigor, Fighting, Guts, Intimidation, Notice, Persuasion, Riding, Shooting, Command, Soldier
They are men and women who know of the strange creatures found in the Weird West and seek them out to destroy them. While some monster hunters are Blessed, many are normal folks determined to fight these supernatural beasts.
Recommended: Spirit, Strength, Vigor, Faith, Fighting, Guts, Investigation, Knowledge: Occult, Notice, Stealth, Arcane Background: Blessed, True Grit
They are lawmen of the north. The Canadian Royal Mounted Police better known as the Mounties have the unofficial creed: We always get our man, and they take it seriously too. It is not unheard of for a furtive to be tracked over 2,000 miles by a relentless Mountie.
Recommended: Vigor, Climbing, Guts, Notice, Persuasion, Riding, Shooting, Survival, Tracking,
They live mostly out in the wilderness making a living as guides, hunters, and trappers. Many live with the only interaction with society is at the small trading posts that dot the frontier.
Recommended: Strength, Vigor, Fighting, Guts, Notice, Shooting, Survival, Tracking, Woodsman
They are journalists who believe in reporting the truth above all else—no matter who it offends. Yellow journalism is their stock and trade. These fellows are usually curious beyond belief, and it amazes them common folk can’t see what’s going on right before their very eyes. One of the few papers even willing to publish their wild stories is the notorious Tombstone Epitaph. The “truth” often needs some embellishment to appeal to the skeptical masses.
Recommended: Smarts, Spirit, Guts, Intimidation, Investigation, Notice, Streetwise, Taunt Charismatic, Connections, Tale Tellin’,
They are hucksters are mad scientists that believe they have learned the truth behind the gizmos and infernal devices of mad science. They have both the ability to cast hexes as a huckster and create gizmos as a mad scientist but excel in neither. If the Metal Mage Archetype interests you, and you plan on taking the Arcane Background: Huckster you might want to take a look at the Huckster Powers.
Recommended: Smarts, Spirit, Guts, Hexslinging, Knowledge: Any Science, Mad Science, Repair, Arcane Background: Huckster, Metal Mage
They are mysterious spies and assassins from Japan. Most come to the Weird West to fore fill a specific mission, while others dishonored themselves in their clan’s eyes and are seeking a new life in America.
Recommended: Agility, Climbing, Fighting, Guts, Notice, Lockpicking, Stealth, Arcane Background: Martial Artist, Martial Artist, Thief
They are women who serve the Lord and seek to help others. Some nuns have the ability to petition for miracles to aid in their struggle as Blessed. Others take to relying on their scatter gun and peacemaker as much as their cross and bible.
Recommended: Vigor, Guts, Faith, Intimidation, Notice, Shooting, Arcane Background: Blessed, Command
They are men and women that were contracted by the United State government to investigate the strange stories out West before the Agency was created. Now, most of them work as more mundane detectives and investigators from private clients.
Recommended: Smarts, Guts, Investigation, Knowledge: Law, Notice, Streetwise, Alertness, Investigator
Pony Express Courier
While telegrams and the railroad (not to mention new science conveyances) has all but eliminated the need for couriers to travel via horse back to get folk their mail. However, there a few routes too dangerous and too disputed for them. It is here the fleet footed pony express riders ply their trade.
Recommended: Agility, Climbing, Guts, Notice, Riding, Survival, Tracking, Fleet-Footed
They are the soiled doves of the west who make a living ob their backs. Some sought out this work purposely to avoid the back breaking labor of logging, ranching, or mining, but most fell into the lifestyle and have had trouble getting out.
Recommended: Agility, Spirit, Vigor, Fighting, Guts, Notice, Persuasion, Attractive
They are men and women who have extensively studied, “the sweet science” of fisticuffs. Some are bar brawlers, other boxers, some live the high life in the City o’ Gloom aka Salt Lake City in the blood sports.
Recommended: Strength, Vigor, Fighting, Guts, Brawny, Bruiser, Martial Arts
They might not be able to compete in the Great Rails War, but they still are an economical powerhouse in their piece of the Weird West. These men and women own a minor railroad, maybe a couple hundred miles of track and a few trains.
Recommended: Smarts, Spirit, Guts, Intimidation, Notice, Persuasion, Charismatic, Connections, Noble: Railroad Tycoon, Fifthly Rich
They are the salt flats versions of whalers, except their prey hunts back with a vengeance. They usually hunt a large lands ships armed with steam powered harpoons and thick nets to capture and kill the giant worms.
Recommended: Agility, Strength, Vigor, Fighting, Guts, Shooting, Throwing, Giant Killer
They have work up and down the river usually from a young age. Most known every mile of the moving water and the dangers of it. Many times these men and women are ill at ease on dry land.
Recommended: Strength, Vigor, Boating, Fighting, Guts, Knowledge: (Blank) River, Notice, Ace, Steady Hands
They are the soiled doves of the west and often know every bit of gossip and rumor in a town. Some gals are driven to this life from tragedy such losing their whole family to disease while some just enjoy the thrill and easy money.
Recommended: Smarts, Spirit, Guts, Notice, Persuasion, Streetwise, Taunt, Attractive, Charismatic, Strong Willed
Salt Flats Pirate
They come from the mysterious and largely closed off lands of Japan to the Weird West. Many Ronin simply could find work in their native Nipppon while others might have been forced to flee their homeland to this place of western barbarians and savages. Samurai are often expert swordsmen who can still find work in the Weird West selling blade.
Recommended: Agility, Spirit, Strength, Fighting, Guts, Intimidation, Martial Arts, Quick Draw, Trademark Weapon
They are the doctors of the Weird West. These men and woman don’t have the miraculous power to lay on hands but are still sought out for their healing abilities. A posse could do well to have a medic among them.
Recommended: Smarts, Spirit, Guts, Healing, Knowledge: Medicine, Persuasion, Healer
They are anyone who has steam powered artificial limb or other body part. Most traveled to Salt Lake City looking for any sort of replacement for the missing parts while a crazy few were willing to trade perfectly good hands and feet for metal ones. Most become a new kind of gladiator in city’s blood sports areas.
Recommended: Strength, Spirit, Vigor, Fighting, Guts, Intimidation, Berserk, Scrapper
They serve or served in either the Confederate or Union armies. Most are brave men and women willing to lay down their lives for their county while a few seek to escape war with their lives.
Recommended: Strength, Vigor, Fighting, Guts, Intimidation, Knowledge: Battle, Riding, Shooting, Command, Soldier
They are people who sell their services to others to solve mysteries. A few are former Pinkertons who decided not to join the Agency, while others might not have the sand for true bounty hunting.
Recommended: Smarts, Vigor, Guts, Investigation, Lockpicking, Notice, Persuasion, Streetwise, Stealth, Awareness, Investigator
They are the Confederates investigation, police, and spy force similar to the Union’s Agency. While not nearly as secretive about their identities, Rangers are expected to operate far more independently from other rangers as their old creed, “One riot, one Ranger.”
Recommended: Vigor, Fighting, Guts, Intimidation, Knowledge: Occult, Notice, Persuasion, Riding, Streetwise, Shooting, Survival, Tracking, Brave, Texas Ranger, True Grit, Woodsman
They are men and women from the world of academia who journey west to study and perhaps bring education to these lawless territories. Some might seek to disprove the wild tales they here while others throw out of the Ivy league establishment seek to reclaim their position with world changing discovery.
Recommended: Smarts, Guts, Investigation, Knowledge: Academia, Knowledge: History, Knowledge: Occult,2011 Knowledge: Science, Language: Latin, Linguist, Scholar
They are a new sort of bandit or cowboy on the dusty roads on a steel horse they ride. They may be wanted, dead or alive. They use new fangled gizmos called motorcycles or “velocycles” as they are more commonly referred to. Note: for this game motorcycles use the Riding skill.
Recommended: Agility, Driving, Guts, Riding, Repair, Ace, Steady Hands
They know the ways and the secrets of voodoo. Maybe she’s a conjure doctor or a mambo. Whatever their background, they allow the spirits to ride their body giving them powerful magics in exchange. Note: this archetype has more in common with the Hollywood revision of a voodooist that the actual religion.
Recommended: Spirit, Faith, Guts, Knowledge: Occult, Arcane Background: Blessed, Voodoo
They are wise to people and creatures that masquerade as regular folk but posses strange arcane and often evil powers. These people seek out abominations and destroy them before these witches can cause more mischief.
Recommended: Spirit, Strength,Vigor, Fighting, Faith, Guts, Notice, Knowledge: Occult, Arcane Background: Blessed, Arcane Resistance, Brave, Danger Sense, True Grit,