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Deadlands Classic: 20th Anniversary Edition Core Rulebook


Welcome to Christmas in July! In celebration, this digital title has been marked down by up to 40%! For more of Santa's savings, visit our Christmas in July sale page.

This is the best version of Deadlands Classic, including both the original Player's Guide and Marshal's Handbook, with FULL COLOR art lovingly re-colored by Pinnacle's top artists!

(If you already have the original Deadlands Classic Player's Guide and Marshal's Handbooks, this book does notpresent new material. It is a re-release of the original with a little cleanup and all the art re-rendered in gorgeous full-color.)

Deadlands Classic was originally released in 1996. This is the 20th Anniversary Edition, republished in full color in 2016.

Deadlands Classic was a surprise hit when it was originally released at GenCon '96. The setting, the character types, the art, and even the poker-inspired mechanics combined to make an experience that won every major award the industry had to offer...and then some!

Here are a few reminders about the Classic Deadlands rules:

  • A standard deck of playing cards with the Jokers left in is used for initiative, as well as for hucksters to “deal with the devil” or the Marshal to determine the outcome of your character’s transition to Harrowed. You even use a deck of cards to build your character! Beware the Jokers!
  • A set of poker chips in white, red, and blue mixed in a “Fate Pot” are drawn blind by players and Marshal alike, and when spent, they go back into the pot. You gotta work for those Legend chips, pardner!
  • Dice? Deadlands Classic uses ALL of them. And lots of them. It’s not uncommon to need five or six sets of dice from d4 to d20. And yes, they Ace! When you roll more “1s” than anything else, you go “bust” and your character fails catastrophically. Rolling the bones is not always a metaphor in this game…
  • Part of the character build process is to figure out what scares your sodbuster the most. Your Worst Nightmare can most certainly come true!
  • “Wind” is a derived statistic used rather like hit points. Wounds knock you down a few pegs…
  • The Game Master is called the Marshal, and the characters the posse. Some things have stayed the same! Deadlands Classic also uses Traits, Edges, and Hindrances!

One book has all the information needed to play. Players and Marshals read the front and the Marshal reads the last half to figure out what makes the West so Weird.

This book does not require Savage Worlds or Deadlands Reloaded to play. It is a stand-alone game compatible with all the books labeled Deadlands Classic. Deadlands Reloaded is the later edition of the game that uses the Savage Worlds core rules. Some material, such as the four "Plot Point Campaigns" for Deadlands Reloaded can be coverted using the free rules found here.

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Reviews (1)
Discussions (11)
Customer avatar
Dustin C April 25, 2024 7:51 pm UTC
So, why is there no Print on Demand option? I would love to get a print copy, but my current options are to print it out myself, which will cost two-three times the price of the PDF, or scalpers, who charge upwards of $2-300 for the book.
Customer avatar
William C January 02, 2023 5:16 am UTC
I've asked my friends and we all agree DeadLands Classic is one of if not the best roll playing system we've played.
The fist full of dice, the epic bones failures, and caching in yer chips to get out of a bad spot... come on... so awesome.
And who doesn't like holding a poker hand while role playing.

Heck I went all in on another KS game just so I could get all of the western figures and tiles for this. So glad I got the hard copy 20th anniversary on the KS for it.
Customer avatar
Shane H January 02, 2023 5:34 pm UTC
Thanks, William! I appreciate it :)
Customer avatar
Curtis W August 29, 2021 4:31 am UTC
I am new to the game and system, but I have been requested by my group to run it. Which books are actually needed to run the basic game? If I buy the 20th anniversarym do I need anything else to go with it, or can I run our game? Thanks!
Customer avatar
Shane H August 29, 2021 2:30 pm UTC
This is all you need, though of course there are dozens of Classic books to add to it if you wish (the ones with the orange trade dress). That said, you should realize this system was written in 1996 and has a steep learning curve compared to today's game systems (including or own Savage Worlds). Either way, welcome to the Weird West :)
Customer avatar
Shane H August 28, 2021 5:35 pm UTC
Sorry I didn't see all these before, folks. We're not doing any new books for the Classic system, sorry. Those asking for POD, that's not something we do...the quality and price just aren't there yet. We print all our books traditionally, however, and they're available at our web store. Thanks for the kind words!
Customer avatar
Stacie W September 13, 2021 9:28 am UTC
I've never seen Deadlands Classic 20th Anniversary in stock anywhere on the internet. A PoD option for books that get so limited a print run would be a good thing for those of us who are actually willing to buy them because the secondary market for this book, on the rare occasion it is sold, is pretty pricey. Really pricey.

And you do not have this book in stock on your website. Just checked. Only the pdf as an option.
Customer avatar
Tim R July 12, 2019 6:35 pm UTC
Are "Hexarcana" and "Hucksters and Hexes" compatible with Deadlands 20th Anniversary? If not is there a way to convert them? Thanks.
Customer avatar
Colin B August 28, 2021 3:10 pm UTC
Yes, 100%. This is basically a hi-res full-colour reprint of the revised edition core books in one volume. All former Deadlands material is compatible. Not the Savage Worlds stuff though...which is fine if you're a Deadlands purist, like me.
Customer avatar
VALENTINOS K May 14, 2017 9:30 pm UTC
Any plans to reprint some of the supplements or even make new ones so that the 20th An. will be a line of books?

I am asking, partly, because I am not sure If I should buy some of the books from the 90s for my game* or wait for them to be remade.

*= I mean physical copies for my collection. I own all the pdfs.
Customer avatar
Esmeralda B April 04, 2017 7:34 am UTC
People, including myself, would like to know if a POD version may be on the way.
Customer avatar
Jory B January 18, 2017 6:22 am UTC
If there isn't a print version planned for this site is there anyway to preorder the hardback version without the pdf? I already purchased the latter from this site.
Customer avatar
Steven M November 17, 2016 10:23 pm UTC
You can pre-order a print edition via the PEG website.
Customer avatar
Stephane H November 16, 2016 6:58 pm UTC
I'm in line with the crowd of people asking... Nay... demanding a print option for this fantastic game!
Customer avatar
May 15, 2017 10:12 pm UTC
They just completed a Kickstarter on it and the hardcover version is amazing!
Customer avatar
Colin B August 28, 2021 3:10 pm UTC
It surely is. The crown jewel of my collection, complete with the wooden case.
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File Last Updated:
November 20, 2016
This title was added to our catalog on October 29, 2016.