After countless fantasy campaigns, I decided to branch out to other settings. To that end, I started reading Deadlands Reloaded. Deadlands Reloaded is set on what is commonly referred to as "the weird west", it uses the Savage Worlds system, and is published by Pinnacle Entertainment.
At first, I was excited to try something that was a little different than my regular fantasy settings. I was anxious to see the players using guns, trains, and the many other interesting gadgets available on Deadlands Reloaded. All of this made me very enthused about this setting.
Midway through the book, however, I finally had to admit to myself that I was not enjoying this setting as much as I had hoped. While the book was a joy to read, with good professional layout, and several good ideas, there were way too many issues that made the setting a no-go for my games.
First, I personally dislike settings that make substantial changes to their core game systems. Unfortunately, Deadlands Reloaded changes quite a bit of the rules, making a lot them anomalous with the other standard rules. A lot of those changes bring little to no gain to the players or GM. They just add yet another layer of rules, complicating the game and slowing down the play.
Second, the system utterly changes the way evil is perceived. Any power associated with demons is not automatically evil. Even the demons themselves can be used for good, albeit at a price. No longer could I easily contrast good with evil, or even show the corruption associated with the dark powers.
Third, by placing a large emphasis on the United States, it made playing the game a quiz on historical facts of the country. I was not looking forward to hours of research in the background of 1800's United States just to play a game. Not only would I have to know all of the geography of the west very well, but also the historical incidents and how they influenced the states in that area.
While not a bad setting, I felt the changes to the core game system, their take on evil, and finally their geographical choice, created a substantial obstacle for me to overcome. That obstacle precluded me from adopting Deadlands Reloaded as the setting of choice for my next games.