Swan Song - Doomtown Story Q&A

Howdy, everyone.

So Doomtown: Reloaded is officially in the bag. The final AEG-supported fiction has been published, bringing the “official” story to its end. Considering that the game was cut a bit short, there are obviously stories that we never got to tell, as well as questions that never got to be answered.

Upon Harlath’s request then, I will indeed field any questions that people have about the story and flavor of Doomtown: Reloaded … whether they are about events that happened during the course of the game, or possibly about things that might have been. Just know that I reserve the right to not answer certain questions (or at least not completely ;)).

As far as my role with Doomtown: Reloaded, there are few members of the Story Team who have been there longer than I have. I joined the Team while the Base Set was nearing the end of its development and have been involved ever since. I took over as Story Lead after Tim Meyer’s unfortunate departure in the fall of 2014. As Lead I was responsible for leading the team in crafting the overall plotlines for the game, giving the cards their flavor through card names and artwork, and eventually serving as Art Director.

So feel free to post any questions that you have here, and I’ll try to answer as many as I can.


Thanks for doing this and rounding off the story. As noted in another thread, it can be easy to lose enthusiasm when something ends. Totally understand not answering certain questions! I think you guys did a fine job on the stories and the resolution of various plots/mysteries: things weren’t stretched out too long, past the point of credulity. As ever, well done for maintaining Doomtown’s traditional body count - makes the villains competent and gives victories a cost.

Could somebody with Facebook please post a link to this thread on the Doomtown group? I’m afraid I don’t have an account, but we can share any questions asked there over here. :slight_smile:

My starters…

  1. Is there anything more you can tell us about Jonah Essex?
  2. What was Lucy’s fate? Something dark is hinted at in the final story!
  3. Any more notable fatalities you had planned?
  4. Who were Adler/Blackmore from the final story?
  5. How did the final confrontation between Mario Crane and Sheriff Black Jack go down?
  6. What was up with the new Full Moon Brotherhood? Lycanthropes?
  7. Anything cool you had planned you want to mention?

Edit: I like the “bookends” style to match Abram’s debut piece. One of Joe Abercrombie’s books does something similar, as I’m sure do many other novelists.

I’ll start with this one.

The Full Moon Brotherhood was to be the next branch of the Fourth Ring come to destroy Gomorra. Ivor Hawley and his circus was the first. It just so happened that the next arrived shortly after his failure.

Lycanthropy was a theme for the group, yes, but it was more than just that. They are a group of predators who live for the hunt, gaining strength from every kill, similar to the way that Harrowed characters “count coup” in the RPG. This means that, strangely enough, they actually seek out powerful creatures/abominations to hunt, even though many of their own ranks are creaturely themselves. Of course, man is at the top of the food chain for a reason, and often times they can be the strongest prey around. Hopefully with Christine Perfect and Absalom Hotchkiss, the players can see how that idea was developing mechanically.

Mason Adler was to be the new Ivor Hawley. He is the “apex predator,” gifted by the Reckoners with power due to his predatorial nature. He is a lycanthrope, but in many ways unique in that. He is not governed by most of the rules that govern lycanthropes in the setting and he gets more fearsome every time he manages to kill someone stronger than he is.

The rest of the outfit (including Mr. Kevin Wainwright) is made up of either similar abominations or cultic followers that aid the others in the hunt.

To be sure, Adler’s dynamic with Gomorra would have been very different from Hawley’s.


Thanks! Sounds like an interesting and varied bunch, lots of space for interesting stuff in art, characters and mechanics.

Christine and Absalom definitely gave a strong feel for the mechanical side of things. Nice marrying of narrative and mechanics. I like the idea of the “counting coup” element coming across from the RPG.

Sorry we never got to meet Mr Mason Adler himself!

Great final Epilogue!
Who was the “Sarah” referred to in the final piece?

What was going to happen with the ex-Sloane(Jessica I think?)? Was she going to go into hiding? Was she going to eventually try to take on Mario and destroy the holster? Could she have become a neutral dude, like Max Baine, or would her new relationship with Lucy lead her to help the Law Dogs, like Black Jack in the original Doomtown?

Who was the mayor after Nicodemus left? what didi he do? was he there until the very end of Gomorra?

I think this is Sarah Meoquanee, given the context (catching up with her, and not in an aggressive pursuit fashion, mentioned alongside their ally Valeria) and her reasonable prominence in art (Calling the Cavalry).


Came home last night drunk, don’t recall writing this. Specially because of all DT characters Nicodemus is my least favourite. O_o
Anyhow, what ever happened to Sloane?

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I know the answers to a couple of those questions from playtesting, but I don’t know what @Balder is cleared to say so I’ll leave the answers to him.

Here are a few of my own that I can think of, there will no doubt be more:

Does Evil Mario’s approach end up leading to a split in the Sloane Gang? I got the feeling from the later fictions that Pancho was becoming the leader of a moderate faction in the group.

Why did Ivor have Richard Slavin steal all those Mystical goods early on? Was that a wider Fourth Ring plot?

Was Slavin’s soul used to create Junior? I figured that’s what happened based on Ivor’s words and the card art/ability, but it’d be nice to get an answer on that :slight_smile:

What was the power behind the Legendary Holster? I think one of the early fictions could be read as a hint it might be linked to Jebediah Whateley in some way.

Was there any planned story significance for Margaret Hagarty and The Wretched? There was a lot of excitement and speculation on the Facebook group at the time they were previewed (was it Lawrence Blackwood, etc) and I felt a bit of disappointment when they weren’t mentioned in any fiction.

I think everyone has assumed it was Nicodemus who hired the Sloane Gang for the Election Day Slaughter - was this the case?

Who was El Grajo, and was there anything more planned around him? It seemed like in the expansion he showed up in, he got several related cards out of nowhere, but then we never heard anything further.


I’d be interested to hear more about what was planned for the Bandits and Wardens. We didn’t learn much of anything about them, and even less about their leaders.

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I already answered a bit about Mason Adler. He was a character that we were excited about as well and was slated to hit the cards in the next trio of Saddlebags. I worked on his artwork quite a bit in the hopes of getting it just right and I was pleased with how it came out. It’s a shame it won’t be printed now, but such is the way of things.

As for Blackmore, that is a reference to Dr. Rowan Blackmore, slated to become the new voice for mad science within the Morgan Research Institute. In fact, his views and experiments were going to be a driving antagonist element in the story for the next few years. It was a plan steeped in Doomtown Classic history with the Collegium, but sent in a new direction that would have touched all of the various outfits in different ways.

Part of that involved a partnership with various parties in Gomorra, including Adler, Jonah Essex, and even Mario Crane.


What was Prescotts deal ? What was black Jacks theme for law dogs ?

I think I’ll tackle this one next. It’s something that I was happy to finally bring out toward the end of the “Ivor Hawley era,” but always wished we could do more with it.

Prescott Utter has a long and storied history with the Weird West. He was at one point a Texas Ranger. However, a life of chasing down the things that go bump always leaves its scars, and eventually, they became too much for Prescott. Maybe he lost someone close to him … maybe he failed someone in a critical moment … who knows? But whatever happened, Prescott Utter was done with that life. He wandered off into the sunset, seeking nothing more than to drown his past in alcohol.

But old habits die hard, and Gomorra, California is not the place for those looking to live a life of quiet regret. The same conscience that drove him in his years with the Rangers, the same conscience that caused him to give it all up, was the same conscience that led him back to it. He recognized that the law in Gomorra was genuinely trying to help. And so he helped them when it was convenient for him, when he knew he didn’t have anything to really risk. But as the danger in Gomorra mounted, he came to realize that he could never escape that life. He was called to it, and couldn’t deny it any longer. He saw a kinship with Abram in that regard. And that’s what led him to signing up with him on his quest to seek out the truth about the Fourth Ring and hunt them to the ends of the earth.

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Every single dude had so much backstory? or some dudes were just fillers?

That’s something I also wondered. A profile for each of the characters in Gomorra is something I’d be interested in.

There are some story events depicted on cards that I’d wondered if there was a fiction planned for but that never got written. Off the top of my head Requiem for a Good Boy and No Funny Stuff are two such examples.

Not all of them. But many of the early ones, yes. There was never really a plan to divulge them all, but we wrote backstories for many of the characters in order to provide a uniform foundation so that when certain characters came up, even in passing, we would hopefully keep things consistent. It also provided a library of sorts with the idea that if we needed a certain character as a device in a particular story, we could just peruse the files to find one that fit.

As time went on, the system proved to be rather cumbersome for a group of volunteers, so it fell by the wayside. However, just about every character did at least have some kind of basic conception (i.e. farmhand with a penchant for booze or thief with an aptitude for well timed heists).

Some characters had very developed backstories that turned out to not to fit what we were doing with the story and were abandoned. Others had very developed backstories that we planned on telling, but never got the chance. Others were supposed to be more or less fillers, but turned out to play a more important role as time when on (like Ulysses).


Time to answer another question …

To be honest, this was kind of up-in-the-air.

One thing is sure … Jessica had a role to play in things going forward. She was not “Sloane” in the true sense of the word, it was her gang, and we were pretty much thinking that she would reclaim it at some point. In the meantime, she had a major problem … Mario Crane wanted her dead. Part of the deal with Essex was that he had to kill Jessica … and Mario didn’t know it at the time, but that’s also part of the deal with the holster in exchange for its power. The plan was for that need to kill Jessica to become an obsession, where Mario had to walk the line between maintaining control and scratching that killin’ itch. So Jessica would need to watch her moves carefully, no matter what.

As for her siding with the Law Dogs against Mario, we floated that idea. But with Black Jack solidly joining that side of things, it seemed redundant. MORE than that, we didn’t feel that it really fit with her character. She certainly would have gotten another card at some point, but what that would have been outfit-wise wasn’t really planned out already.


I think the call on Sloane not joining the Law Dogs is wise - as you note it was effectively doubling up on a story theme. I agree that it certainly doesn’t’ fit with her established character.

Her future card will remain a mystery for all of us, but thanks for shedding light on things like this. :slight_smile: