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[Let's Read] Deadlands Back East: the South

Davies

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#72
Overall Thoughts: Unlike Deadlands’ Rebel Wankfest, Wars for Freedom tried to pull off the Both Sides fallacy and the States’ Rights card. However, this is still jarring on account that the Confederacy in this timeline still has slaves, and although portrayed as more “heroic” the Knights of the Confederacy included a tragic slave owner who became friends with the not-Superman analogue. Even though having Freedom City divided and a Union superteam makes this chapter ostensibly neutral, the fact that the Knights overall had happier endings and “good guys” smacks of favoritism.
Since as far as I know I'm the only person who's ever run a Mutants and Masterminds campaign that tried to use any of this stuff, I should note that I found the notion of Freedom City (which I set in Massachusetts, but is probably set in New Jersey) being divided along Confederate/Union lines to be absurd -- so I instead indicated that the war was incredibly unpopular with certain sections of Freedom City's elites, with them believing a better solution would be to let the Confederates go and wait for them to come whimpering back. (I may have been a bit inspired by some of the things I've heard said about Quebec.) I intended to use Pembroke as a guest villain who played the Bad Guys Do The Dirty Work card for the story's actual villain, but things didn't work out.
 

Dave999

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#73
Since as far as I know I'm the only person who's ever run a Mutants and Masterminds campaign that tried to use any of this stuff, I should note that I found the notion of Freedom City (which I set in Massachusetts, but is probably set in New Jersey) being divided along Confederate/Union lines to be absurd -- so I instead indicated that the war was incredibly unpopular with certain sections of Freedom City's elites, with them believing a better solution would be to let the Confederates go and wait for them to come whimpering back. (I may have been a bit inspired by some of the things I've heard said about Quebec.) I intended to use Pembroke as a guest villain who played the Bad Guys Do The Dirty Work card for the story's actual villain, but things didn't work out.
I'm inclined to think that the city was under regular siege by Confederate terrorists as it was a refuge for escaped slaves throughout the Pre-War era. Later, being a major supporter of the Union and supplier of infrastructure so the Southern supers were trying to cripple Freedom City so they could win the war (which was always impossible).

Now I wonder if anyone ever did a sympathetic take on the Nazi M&M teams.

Ugh.
 

DarkMoc

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#74
This McGlothlin individual... he wouldn’t happen to have anything to do with a product called Broncosaurus Rex, would he?
McGlothlin's credits per the RPGnet index:

WEG
JLA Sourcebook
JSA Sourcebook

Comic Images
WWE: Know Your Role

Green Ronin
Cosmic Handbook
DC Adventures Heroes & Villains (Vol. 1 and 2)
Deadly Day of the Dread Destructus
Emerald City
Emerald City Knights (Prologue and Chapter 1)
Golden Age
Hero High Revised Edition
M&M Annual 1 & 2
Noir
19 of the Rogues Gallery PDFs
Silver Age
Threat Report
Time of Crisis
Time of Vengeance
Worlds of Freedom

Pinnacle
Back East: The South
Dead Presidents
Lone Stars: The Texas Rangers
Tales o' Terror: 1877
 

Silver Shamrock

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#75
Silver Shamrock Silver Shamrock : My intent was to focus on the aforementioned "left-handed" selfish magicians as opposed to the Vodoun in general. But the AMA is a very helpful link, and would probably befit more research before inserting into a campaign willy-nilly.
Well I'm glad the link is appreciated :) Like I said, though - I'm just derailing the thread at this rate, and there's enough awesome discussion going on here that I'm deeply unwilling to derail it further. Thank you for the ongoing reviews and opportunities to talk this stuff over!
 

Zeea

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#77
Thank you so much for this thread, Libertad. I'm too busy trying to get my jaw off the floor at the sheer nerve of these books to give much commentary of my own, but I'm really loving your explanations of the real history. Like, every few paragraphs produces another essay-length history rant I want to write.

I'm honestly a bit surprised by the Mutants & Masterminds entry, because that's the only superhero RPG I've ever seen with Confederate-themed supervillains. (Aberrant's Canadian guy who called himself The Confederate is too much of a cop-out to count.) Of course, this guy didn't work on either of those books, from what I can see. The supervillains, for those curious, are:

--White Knight from the Freedom City setting. He's a Klansman with Neo-Nazi ties, and he made a deal with the Devil for his powers but was too drunk at the time to remember it. More Neo-Confederate than Confederate, but still a rarity in a genre that largely treats Neo-Confederates with kid gloves even while using Neo-Nazi supervillains.

--Johnny Reb from the Meta-4 setting. The plot is that Jefferson Davis and some other Confederates were losing the war, so they summoned a demon into a Confederate soldier as a doomsday weapon The demon went on to jump around from body to body, always inhabiting white supremacists. Basically, Jefferson Davis as Hitler and Johnny Reb as the Red Skull.

I have no idea who was in charge of quality control when that Neo-Confederate bullshit got published, but they messed up.
 

Libertad

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#78
Thank you so much for this thread, Libertad. I'm too busy trying to get my jaw off the floor at the sheer nerve of these books to give much commentary of my own, but I'm really loving your explanations of the real history. Like, every few paragraphs produces another essay-length history rant I want to write.
I'm glad that the review of this terribad book is inspiring someone's muse. :p

I'm honestly a bit surprised by the Mutants & Masterminds entry, because that's the only superhero RPG I've ever seen with Confederate-themed supervillains. (Aberrant's Canadian guy who called himself The Confederate is too much of a cop-out to count.) Of course, this guy didn't work on either of those books, from what I can see. The supervillains, for those curious, are:

--White Knight from the Freedom City setting. He's a Klansman with Neo-Nazi ties, and he made a deal with the Devil for his powers but was too drunk at the time to remember it. More Neo-Confederate than Confederate, but still a rarity in a genre that largely treats Neo-Confederates with kid gloves even while using Neo-Nazi supervillains.

--Johnny Reb from the Meta-4 setting. The plot is that Jefferson Davis and some other Confederates were losing the war, so they summoned a demon into a Confederate soldier as a doomsday weapon The demon went on to jump around from body to body, always inhabiting white supremacists. Basically, Jefferson Davis as Hitler and Johnny Reb as the Red Skull.

I have no idea who was in charge of quality control when that Neo-Confederate bullshit got published, but they messed up.
It's something which has been on my periphery for a while, although there are times when I wonder what's going on behind the scenes at Green Ronin. If I recall correctly, Steven Kenson had a ConfederApe super-villain in his ICONS RPG. McGlothlin's written for a lot of M&M books, and in a lot of the credits his entry proudly mentions his membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and Military Order of the Stars and Bars.

I have to wonder if the rest of the team regards his views as crazy, and that maybe the Wars for Freedom were some means of "okay we portray the Confederacy as bad guys a lot, but to make it up we'll let you loose on one chapter in our new book."
 

Yalenusveler

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#79
Which, if I'm remembering rightly, puts Deadlands' version firmly at the "voodoo" end of the scale I introduced: the whole petro/rada thing isn't actually a thing in Voudou.
It is. The thing that's absent is one being "good" and the other being "bad". The Rada lwa tend towards being slower to anger and "cooler", but if angered? Yeah... you're screwed. Meanwhile, the Petro lwa are quicker to anger and "hotter", but are also fierce protectors.

Deadlands unfortunately went with Petro=evil=manitou, which is.... well, phenomenally, offensively wrong.
 

Silver Shamrock

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#80
It is. The thing that's absent is one being "good" and the other being "bad". The Rada lwa tend towards being slower to anger and "cooler", but if angered? Yeah... you're screwed. Meanwhile, the Petro lwa are quicker to anger and "hotter", but are also fierce protectors.

Deadlands unfortunately went with Petro=evil=manitou, which is.... well, phenomenally, offensively wrong.
Hm. I don't really have the complete knowledge to be able to argue this effectively, but my impression (which I'm fully prepared to admit is utterly incorrect) is that Rada and Petro are less descriptors of the lwa and more descriptors of rituals. Rada, for example, is essentially a festival season - not an alignment.

Like I said: fully prepared to be corrected.

Also, on a slight tangent: that whole "manitou" thing is deeply seriously problematic as well. I'm currently working my way through The Middle Ground by Richard White, and he spends quite some time talking about how manitou aren't really actually spirits at all but a kind of presence in the world that can influence your life and well-being one way or another. I mean, Europeans got labelled as manitou, back when they were considered Fathers of Nations and all that.
 
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