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Modified on 2012/03/18 17:17 by Kerrick Categorized as Deathlands, Misc

   The man known as Trader was an endless font of witty sayings, bits of wisdom, and pithy epigrams, which he would share with those who worked with him at every opportunity. This is a list of sayings that appear in the books, divided up by category.

Being Careful

  • A full metal jacket has a hell of a lot of power and damned little brains.
  • A man doesn't have to be careless more than once. Once is all it takes to become deeply dead.
    1. A man who doesn't keep his eyes open won't get to see his own death coming.
  • A man who jumps to conclusions sometimes ends up jumping into his own grave.
    1. Action without thought can be time totally wasted. If you have time to think, then do it.
    2. A man who makes decisions without having all the facts is standing with one foot in the grave.
    3. A man who takes a chance when he doesn't have to can't wait to get into the grave.
    4. Brains before balls.
    5. The man who counts his chickens before they're hatched winds up with a handful of broken shells.
  • A man who stays too long in the saloon will likely spend the night in the graveyard.
  • A man who walks into a strange building without a cocked blaster in his fist will likely come out on his back.
    1. In a combat situation, a man who fires too soon will likely chill some of his friends with the bullet.
    2. The man who rushes in is the man who gets himself carried out.
  • A man who rests his life on a probably usually doesn't get much older.
    1. Guessing's not as good as knowing.
  • A man who walks sees a whole lot more than a man who runs.
  • A man working without enough sleep is a man aiming to take a dirt nap.
    1. Always take sleep when you want it and you can get it. There will be times when you want sleep and you can't get it.
    2. Better to be jumpy than asleep.
  • Always keep your eyes over your shoulder looking for an enemy so when you look up one day and see him, you won't be surprised.
    1. As long as you expect trouble, you'll never be disappointed, and you'll never be taken by surprise.
    2. Confident, cocky, lazy, dead.
    3. If you keep ready for trouble, it will never happen. Relax for a second, and you might get dead.
    4. The time you feel the safest is the time of the greatest danger.
  • Better to have weapons and not need them, than to not have weapons when you do need them.
    1. Better to be on guard when you don't have to be, than not to have been on guard when you should have been.
  • Better to arrive a little late in once piece, than early in a whole mess of little pieces.
    1. Better late trying to save somebody than early to your own lynching.
  • Get it right when it doesn't matter and you'll get it right when it does.
    1. Forgetting even minor details can chill you.
  • Never underestimate how triple stupe a vengeance gang can get.
  • Nobody ever got chilled by checking twice.
    1. Nobody ever got himself chilled from being careful.
    2. Patience never killed anyone.
  • Sleep light and walk careful.
  • Stay close, keep quiet, and keep your finger loose on the trigger.
  • The man who looks five minutes ahead gets wasted by the man who looks an hour ahead.
  • The man who moves too slow gets dead, but the opposite can also be true.
  • Until you can spit in the eyes of the corpse, you'd better figure it's living.
  • When dealing with a frontier pesthole, get in quick and careful. Get out quick and careful. While you're there, keep quiet and careful.
  • You don't fire off both barrels of a 12-gauge to chill a mouse.


  • A dead enemy won't ever come back to chill you.
    1. A live enemy means always checking shadows.
    2. A man never leaves an enemy alive. If he did, then one day he'd have a terminal cause to regret his generosity.
    3. Chill everything. The boar, the sow and the cubs. Because today's cubs are tomorrow's boars.
  • A man who fights and runs away saves his ass.
    1. A man who runs away from a firefight lives to run away another day.
    2. If you can't hit, then save yourself from getting hit.
  • A man who plans anything past his nose is likely to get it hacked off.
  • A man who stays calm is a man who stays alive.
    1. The man with a frown can be taken down.
  • A moving target is hard to hit.
  • A person who feels good, fights good.
  • An hour of planning is worth a minute of action.
    1. An ounce of warning is worth a ton of regret.
  • Better to fight with five trained men, than with five hundred untrained men.
  • Blast first, weep later.
  • Bright sun makes for a good target.
  • Divide a small force and you have no force at all.
  • Expectation is a sword that can cut both ways.
  • First five seconds of a firefight gives you the best chances. After that the odds go down faster than a brake-failed war wag.
  • Go in with everything, as hard and fast as you can. No holding back for the next day, as the next day may never come.
    1. Close action and don't fuck with cleaver tricks. A hit'll take a man down, and once he's down you can think of your next action.
    2. Hit them firstest with the mostest.
    3. In a fight, do what's right. Do it hard and do it fast. That's all.
  • Having time in a fight is better than having a hatful of bullets.
  • He who shoots last shoots finest.
  • How, when, and where. Always take these into consideration when making a war plan.
  • If you can run, you run, but if you can't run, you stand and fight.
  • In a knife fight give your opponent your hand, or arm, or risk a cut to the face. If your enemy sees blood, he'll think that he's won. Gets overconfident, gets cocky, gets him chilled.
  • In any firefight there is a crucial moment when the situation goes beyond words. If the moment is recognized, then there is a chance of staying alive. Missing it kills.
  • It's always better to kill a sleeping enemy than one wide awake.
  • Never mix up big with slow.
  • Never move too fast. It'll draw attention to yourself.
  • The best plan is the one the enemy least expects.
  • The most basic weapon you have is your own body.
  • The most important thing to do is take out the leader of the pack.
    1. Not many animals will fight once their heart is cut out.
  • The time to worry about the enemy is when you don't see him.
  • When dealing with someone holding a shotgun, your best - usually your only - option is to go low.
  • When you kill someone, try to get 200% of the action on your side.


  • A man always has a choice. He can live, or he can die.
  • A man can only get himself chilled once.
  • A man who can't face facts is a man who can't face up to living.
    1. A man who is ready to give up is ready to buy the farm.
    2. If you start counting off possibilites before you see what you can do, you might as well stay at home and put a bullet in your brain.
    3. The will to live is quite simply a matter of your personal courage.
  • A man who lives long enough and slows down in his life is going to have a lot of regrets.
    1. It's up to the person on how big a footprint they want to leave when they step out of this life.
  • A man who says he doesn't need help is already beyond help.
  • A man who walks away from a closed door will never get himself chilled.
  • A man with a long history is a walking corpse.
  • Ain't no virtue in hoping for the best when the worst is on its way.
  • Anything that makes your life easier should be done.
  • Find yourself in a hole, get yourself out of it.
  • Get farther and live longer if you don't talk soft shit.
    1. Wasted words are as much good as pebbles dropped down a dry well.
  • Knowledge is the biggest jack of all.
  • Never get involved in anything not concerning you unless you don't have a choice.
    1. You never clean up shit unless you have already trodden in it.
  • Some you win, some you draw.
  • The good old days were just a bunch of people doing the best they could.
  • The time you stop getting curious is the time you find dirt hitting your open eyes.
  • You should always be polite to waiters and whores.


  • A baron is only as good as his sec boss.
  • A blaster in the hand is worth a whole armory in the ville.
  • A bullet through the eye settles most arguments.
  • A bullet wasted today could be a life wasted tomorrow.
  • A chance around the next bend is always worth waiting for.
    1. If you find yourself with no hope, or odds a million to one, you take the long shot.
    2. Life usually comes down to two choices: the bad one and the other one.
    3. There's no such thing as no chance - just someone who can't recognize it.
    4. When you have two bad options, choose the least bad of the two.
  • A leader who shows doubt really isn't a leader after all.
  • A man has to realize the difference between a threat and a promise.
  • A man travelling alone travels fastest. But two good men traveling together travel the safest.
  • A man who admits to having some trouble is in real trouble.
  • A man who asks too many questions will get too few answers.
  • A man who claims to be lucky is one of two things. Either a triple stupe, or lucky.
  • A man who cries over spilled milk is blinded by his tears.
    1. No point weeping about a spent round.
  • A man who died of pride is a fool. A corpse can't get revenge.
  • A man who doesn't ask, doesn't get.
  • A man who doesn't know where his next meal is coming from shouldn't be shy about bellying up to a table that was offered.
    1. Take your food while you can, as you never know where the next meal is gonna come from.
  • A man who feels his honor or courage has been questioned will stick a shiv in a man's back just to try and convince himself he's immortal again.
  • A man who goes searching for trouble always finds it.
  • A man who says something once won't say it twice.
  • A war wag can have only one driver.
  • Always look after yourself and your friends. Anyone else who gets helped out at the same time is a bonus. But you never, never help anyone who doesn't bother to get off their asses to help themselves first.
  • Be careful what you wish for, because you'll be bastard sorry once you get it.
  • Calm water covers everything, even a man drowning in it.
    1. The finest pie crust can hide a stinking fish.
  • Coincidence is just a well-hidden plot.
  • Half measures mean half failures.
    1. Never leave a job until it's all done.
  • Happiness is a full mag.
  • If there's a bullet coming your way, only a triple-stupe would run toward it.
  • If you don't try, you don't succeed.
    1. Nobody moves by standing still.
  • If you have an explanation that's possible, even if it's unlikely, there's no point worrying about anything else.
  • If you just think about splitting your power, don't do it. If you have to split your power, cut it as near down the middle as possible.
  • If you wait long enough, you wait too long.
    1. Best chance you get if you're caught is right at the beginning. After that it gets harder.
    2. If you're going to get hurt, waiting isn't going to make it any easier.
    3. Now's as good a time as any.
  • If you're gonna get fucked up the ass you might as well lay back and accept it, and then at your first opportunity, chill the buttfucker.
  • Lots of times you'll find that the hardest is actually the easiest.
  • Most men, when faced with going on or turning back, will likely go forward. Nobody likes to turn back. All you have to do is think clearly which option is best.
  • Most plans look great when you make them, but end up looking terrible after you tried to pull them off.
  • Never apologize - it's a sign of weakness.
  • Never do after sunset what you could have done before.
  • Never go on the road with animals or kids.
  • Never play a game of cards with a man named Doc and never eat at a place called Mom's.
  • Never known a promise that couldn't be broken.
  • No matter how many beers you drink, you can only take one piss at a time.
  • No point in talking about something that may or may not happen tomorrow.
    1. There's no point in wondering where the bullet has gone until you pulled the trigger.
    2. When trying to guess the future, don't bother. Save your brain. It's about as useless as trying to hold a conversation with a dead stickie.
  • Nothing's forever.
  • Only take chances when you have no choice.
  • Over, under, or around - there's always a way. (Ryan later modified this to "Over, under, around, or through.").
  • Patience is the greatest virtue, but a man who waits too long is likely to get himself chilled.
    1. See a chance, take a chance.
    2. Sooner's better than later.
    3. The longer you think about escaping danger, the less likely you are to succeed.
    4. When it's time to move, the breadth of a human hair can make the difference between life and death.
  • Posthumous revenge is better than no revenge at all.
  • Steal food from a man's plate in front of him and he'll most likely get angered. Steal food from the back shelf of his larder and odds are he won't even discover it's gone.
  • Sugar coated shit is still shit.
  • Talk beats chilling.
    1. Talk always beats shooting, but if talking doesn't work, the only thing left is shooting.
    2. You have to talk before you act.
  • Talk's cheap, action costs.
    1. If you come to talk, talk, but it you've come to chill, get on with the chilling.
  • Tell someone what you have to, but never a word more.
    1. A man who tells his enemy his weakness deserves to buy the farm.
    2. It's better to explain nothing than try to explain everything and fail.
    3. There's a time for speech, and a time for silence. Knowing the difference is real important.
  • The best coward is a chilled coward.
  • The best surprise is no surprise.
  • The leader who shows doubt isn't really a leader.
  • The man who gives everything away discovers he has nothing left for himself.
    1. Charity is something stupes do for losers.
    2. When you're kind to someone, more often than not you're actually being cruel.
  • The man who says he can do what he can't do can ends up screwing everything.
  • The man who survived was ready, even when he wasn't.
  • The more you want something, the faster common sense and reason fly out the door.
  • The only thing that rain does to a healthy man or woman is make them wet.
  • The only thing worse than a baron with one dog, is a baron with two dogs.
  • There are some things that a man just can't ride around.
  • There are times that you have to play the game by the other man's rules.
  • There's no point in knowing the name of something that you can't eat.
  • There's no time to stop and wonder about what's happening. To wonder is to begin to die.
  • There's plenty of time for you to worry about things that you can understand and control without bothering with anything else.
    1. Worry about what you haven't done and you'll find yourself lying on your back with the rain beating on your eyes.
  • When dealing with mutants, chill them today and tomorrow, chill them fast and chill them good.
  • When the front door is blocked, jump out a window.
  • When you can help someone, do so, but if you can't, there's no point hanging around.
  • When you've got no choice, it makes things a shitload easier as you don't have to worry about the decision.
  • When you make a plan, stick to it, unless you had a good reason to change.
  • When you meet something out of the ordinary, it's time to hit the trail again.
  • When you try to avoid one risk, you usually run smack dab into another.
  • You can't make a stew without cutting some meat.
  • You don't fire off both barrels of a 12-gauge to chill a fly.


  • A man who gets too close to a woman might as well cut off his own balls with a bayonet.
    1. Put your heart in front of your brain and you don't get happy - you just get dead.
    2. What women want from men is something that they are always out of.
  • Before a man learns to see the honest emotion in a lover's eyes, he has to learn to spot the greed in the eyes of a man who's about to cut a deal.
  • Like a good hunting knife, trust cuts both ways.
  • Loyalty is a two-way street.
  • Never betray a friend.
  • Put a hundred strangers in a room and guess how many are friendly. If you're lucky, really lucky, you might find one who is.
  • Trust half of what you see and nothing of what you hear.
    1. The man who believes his eyes and ears without rasing a question's already has gotten his ticket booked for the last train out to the coast.
  • Trust is something that you don't ever share with anyone else.
    1. When a man says trust me, it almost always leads to one place: the grave.
    2. You can't trust anyone, but you especially can't trust women, kids, or animals.

DEATHLANDS, OUTLANDERS, EARTH BLOOD, and JAMES AXLER are all the property of Gold Eagle / Worldwide Library, and are used here strictly under Fair Use guidelines.
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