- One who makes dire predictions about the future
Deadlands: Hell on Earth is a genre-mixing alternate history roleplaying game which combines the post-apocalyptic and horror genres. Western tropes and magitech elements are also prominent. It was written by Shane Lacy Hensley and originally published by Pinnacle Entertainment Group. As part of the original marketing campaign in August 1998, the game had a green leatherbound hardcover edition run, limited to about 750 copies.
As the name implies, Deadlands: Hell on Earth is set in the same universe as the original Deadlands roleplaying game. Specifically, it is set in a post-apocalyptic future of the original "Weird West" setting of Deadlands, also known as the "Wasted West."
Through a series of machinations, the Reckoners from the original Deadlands setting contrive to spark a nuclear war between the United States and the still-existent Confederate States, in which the weapons are not only powered by nuclear fission and nuclear fusion, but are also powered by a supernatural element known as "Ghost Rock." The combination of multi-megaton explosives, radiation, and supernatural devastation serves to turn large portions of the United States into hellish wastelands filled with radiation and deadly supernatural monsters.
The formation of these large "deadlands" allows the Reckoners to enter the realm of Earth, where they are revealed to be the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. They ravage across the globe, destroying civilization and turning most of the Earth into a wasted landscape of nightmares and death. Then they mysteriously vanish.
Thirteen years have passed since the Reckoners appeared, and civilization is once more attempting to assert itself in small, isolated pockets. Players take on the roles of characters struggling to survive the nightmarish wasteland that the Reckoners left behind. A variety of mundane and arcane archetypes are available, including "Sykers" (characters with deadly psychic powers), "Doomsayers" (magical priests of radiation), "Templars" (members of a martial organization patterned after the Knights Templar), "Junkers" (humans with the supernatural ability to create working devices from the scavenged debris of pre-apocalypse civilization), and even just plain-old everyday humans, surviving by their wits and their guns.
- Anti-Templar: Anti-Templars have defected from the Templars due to clashing views. Anti-Templars refuse to test worth, and instead help whomever they choose. Anti-Templars have some of the powers that Templars do, but they have a few tricks of their own. Anti-Templars are detailed in the Last Crusaders sourcebook.
- Cyborgs: It just wouldn't be Deadlands without something really strange. Scientists couldn't get Human Cyborgs to take, so they began making Cyborgs from Harrowed. While most Cyborgs do not have the same kinds of powers as Harrowed, some (usually those who were Harrowed before the Cyborg conversion) do have access to those powers. Cyborgs are detailed in the Cyborgs sourcebook.
- Doomsayers: An evolution of Blessed, they are magically gifted people who draw their power by worshipping radiation. With some very devastating powers, Doomsayers are one of the more potent, and disliked, arcane backgrounds. Doomsayers are divided into two groups: the Cult of Doom (who wear green robes and preach that mutants are the next step in evolution, and that all humans need to be killed) and the Schismatics (who wear purple robes, and while having the same views on mutation as the Cult, choose not to speed up evolution). Doomsayers are detailed in the Children o' the Atom sourcebook.
- Junker: The evolution of Mental Mages (characters with both the Mad Scientist and Huckster Arcane Backgrounds), Junkers scavenge for debris, and use shamanistic rituals to construct amazing devices. These devices are held together and powered by "Tech Spirits" (spirits that once inhabited normal objects). Junkers are detailed in the sourcebook The Junkman Cometh.
- Martial Artist: Martial Artists are very similar to those from the Weird West. Martial Artists are detailed in the Waste Warriors sourcebook.
- Syker: Most Sykers were trained by military training facilities, and have developed powerful psychic abilities. Most Sykers saw action on Banshee (the location for Deadlands: Lost Colony) during the Last War. However, many were stationed on Earth, and developed differently than the Sykers on Banshee. Since the Last War, a small number of people have developed "wild" power, and are very similar to Sykers, only weaker. Sykers are detailed in the Brainburners sourcebook.
- Templar: The Templars were formed to help those in need. However, because the founder of the Templars felt that people still needed to be able to help themselves, he decreed that each Templar must only help those that (s)he deems worthy. The Templars get magical powers from "Saints", great people from the past who lend the Templars their strength. Templars are detailed in the Last Crusaders sourcebook.
- Toxic Shaman: When the Ghost Rock Bombs were dropped, and the world transformed into a toxic wasteland, many of the nature spirits were affected by the mystical corruption. As a result, spirits of pollution and insects suited for this toxic world gained greater power and the spirits of pure nature were severely weakened. Toxic Shamans channel the mystical energies of these "Toxic Spirits" in the same way their predecessors, the Shamans, channeled the power of the nature spirits. Toxic Shamans are detailed in the Spirit Warriors sourcebook.
- Witch: Witches are similar to Hucksters in practice. Witches use an old cookbook (titled "How to Serve your Man") with encrypted spells in it. Witches don't learn their spells, and are a minor arcane character in Deadlands. Witches are detailed in the Wasted West sourcebook.
Some arcane backgrounds from the Weird West still exist in Hell on Earth, including Shamans, Hucksters, Voodooists, and sometimes Blesseds, and are detailed in their respective Weird West sourcebooks.