The Gamer Corner
You don't want to date the kind of gold digger who expects popcorn at the movies.
Cuzzdog
Lost your password?

Role Playing Digging For Ideas

Role Playing Digging For Ideas – January 8, 2010 5:04 PM (edited 1/8/10 12:04 PM)
Cuzzdog (1522 posts) Head of Gamer Corner R&D
Rating: Not Rated
I'm thinking of starting back up a weekly 4th ed D&D group for my local friends and I wanted to pick all y'all's brains for ideas for my setting. I want to do a western style game influenced by Firefly, Deadlands, and Trigun. I'm thinking of a long term plot along the lines of this:

In the country that this game takes place in, a mysterious drought has turned a fertile land to a desert over the course of a few hundred years. Clerics, with their ability to create water, have become the de facto rules, rationing out stingy water quotas and ransoming the people for the bulk of their earnings. No one dare stand against the clerics for fear that their water supply would be cut off entirely. No one...except a band of plucky outlaws that is.

Also there will be undead. Because I like undead.

So, any thoughts to spice this idea up some?

Re: Role Playing Digging For Ideas – January 8, 2010 6:37 PM (edited 1/8/10 1:37 PM)
Talraen (2373 posts) Doesn't Play with Others
Rating: Not Rated
You didn't like undead that one time. Wink

I'm not sure I have any ideas to help you, but this does remind me that I just saw an A-Team trailer. I don't think anyone can replace Mr. T, though.

The only thing I can think of is to have a few alternate sources of water, which are appropriately nefarious (and illegal, of course). Maybe even like, corrupted water that the poor peasants turn to and it makes them EVIL or something. I dunno. That's all I got.

--
There is no Mythril Sword in Elfheim
Re: Role Playing Digging For Ideas – January 8, 2010 7:34 PM (edited 1/8/10 2:34 PM)
Cuzzdog (1522 posts) Head of Gamer Corner R&D
Rating: Not Rated
I can't quite remember what that one time is actually. It was probably when I was playing a rouge in 3rd ed in which case I probably still liked the undead, just didn't like that I couldn't kill them. It's a totally different thing. Wink

I was thinking in rough ideas of having difficult to get to oasises (oases?) that would make for decent adventures. Tainted water you say... Tainted with like, necrotic energy? Water that turns you undead? Perhaps the very reason all the natural water became unusable in the first place?! Devious Dowd. Very devious. I like it.

But let me pose this to you. The Western genre has some classic archetypes that help define it. Two of the biggest being Cowboys and Indians. What D&D race do you see filling those roles and why?



Re: Role Playing Digging For Ideas – January 8, 2010 8:11 PM (edited 1/8/10 3:11 PM)
Talraen (2373 posts) Doesn't Play with Others
Rating: Not Rated
What is this, an essay question now?! Well fine!

The whole "cowboys vs. indians" thing obviously isn't going to translate directly into D&D as written, but I think it should be looked at from a slightly different angle anyway. In Firefly, for instance, there are no indians, but there are the lower-tech settlements and the monolithic high-tech corporation. In both cases you have a sort of "low-tech, live off the land" side and a "high tech, big civilization" side. I think it would be interesting to equate "technology" with (arcane) magic here, since technology in a traditional sense is kind of a non-factor in D&D. Going with that, it depends on what you're looking for.

If you want the "indians" to be one of the player races, you have to go with elves. In 3rd ed, this would contradict the whole magic = tech thing, but thanks to Eladrin, that's no longer the case! Elves are the most wilderness-friendly player race, they live off the land, and play up the whole "noble savage" stereotype.

On the other hand if you want player conflict with the "indians," pretty much any humanoid monster race works very well (personally I'd go with orcs). They don't need to be evil, necessarily, just different and uncivilized. The whole tainted water angle could set something up in this regard. Monster races in general are uncivilized, and presumably live off the land since they generally don't have cities, so it all kind of works.

As for the "cowboys," that's a bit trickier. In the US sense of cowboys (settlers on the frontier) I'd have to go with humans. No other (player) race is constantly growing and doing stuff. Of course, that's less played up in 4th ed. There are a few other angles you can take, though. If you're using "high-tech" in a literal sense, dwarves could be cool, but you'd have to think up a decent alternate mythology to have desert dwarves. If you want to play up the cowboys as specifically being the fighting men on the frontier (and not necessarily the actual settlers), a more martial race like dragonborn or something could work. If you want to play up magic, humans still work well, and eladrin also do (though eladrin vs. elves would be pretty weird, I guess - but eladrin vs. orcs is cool). I don't see the "cowboys" as a monstrous race, in any case.

--
There is no Mythril Sword in Elfheim
Re: Role Playing Digging For Ideas – January 8, 2010 8:37 PM (edited 1/8/10 3:37 PM)
Balerion (1224 posts) Elite Powergamer
Rating: Not Rated
FWIW, I think Eladrin vs. Elves is closer to the traditional Cowboys & Indians than any other pairing. That being said, I like Orcs as the rustic "live off the land" type because it morphs the orcish "barbaric" stereotype into something a bit more interesting.

What if the alternate water source is actually the water from the dead, like in Dune? Mages use Arcane magic to render bodies down for their water, which helps stave off the population problem but then either an accident happens or one of them deliberately corrupts the process, tainting the water with undead energy?


Otherwise I'm generally a fan of Dowd's ideas.

_________________________________________________
I really think the three “!”s really captures the exuberance that Clair must have been feeling when he almost said it. -Cuzzo
Re: Role Playing Digging For Ideas – January 8, 2010 9:02 PM (edited 1/8/10 4:05 PM)
Cuzzdog (1522 posts) Head of Gamer Corner R&D
Rating: Not Rated
Talraen wrote...
What is this, an essay question now?!

Yes, yes this is an essay question now. It's been a good long time since you've got to get a rant on for D&D, so I thought you'd appreciate it.

Talraen wrote...
Well fine!

And it looks like I was right Wink


I'm liking the way this thread is going. Ok, so I was thinking elves as the Indians as well, but I like Orcs even better. I'm looking at Cowboys and Indians as both types of races that live off the land, but Cowboys do it in a civilized way, while Indians are barbarians. So having the elven races as cowboys against orcish Indians would be cool. I'm also a fan of Dragonborns, but not really as cowboys. Maybe they can play the role of US Marshals, trying to keep the peace in a lawless land.

Ok, I just had this thought, and it struck me as pure awesome: Dwarven Banditos. I'm gonna leave it at that.

The dune distilling water from the dead is a good idea. I was trying to capture that Firefly feel of high society against the fringe dwellers by having the clerics with their magic being the ruling class, so it would make sense that the mages are in the same position. I can even see them being an inquisitor kind of force, tracking down rumors of people researching rituals that would let them create water. Turn mages into the strong arm of the Clerics.

Edit: As for the reason the water became tainted in the first place, Finding out about that is going to be the long term goal of the campaign. I'm still not sure if I want it to be an accident, natural disaster, or insidious plot by the clerics to raise them up to power in the first place.

Re: Role Playing Digging For Ideas – January 19, 2010 2:54 PM (edited 1/19/10 9:54 AM)
chaoscat (452 posts) Ambassador of Good Will
Rating: Not Rated
It's probably worth your time to look into some of the old Darksun setting information. It's a desert setting with a magical elite (although more Psi focused than cleric focused) and a couple of choices for "indian" races (they do a neat jungle tribe halfling thing, and there's always thrikreen). They also do desert dwarves pretty well.

Have you given any thought to what your analog to the duelist trope is going to be?

_________________________________________________
Why in the world is your title "Ambassador of Good Will"? Is it some attempt at the Guiness Record for Irony?
--Balerion
Re: Role Playing Digging For Ideas – January 19, 2010 3:13 PM (edited 1/19/10 10:13 AM)
Cuzzdog (1522 posts) Head of Gamer Corner R&D
Rating: Not Rated
By duelist trope do you mean those who go around looking for quickdraw matches like Billy the Kid? If that's the case, then no, I haven't. Maybe Halflings would be cocky enough to do such things? And IIRC they're nomadic in 4th ed, so that would fit in.

Re: Role Playing Digging For Ideas – January 19, 2010 4:45 PM (edited 1/19/10 11:45 AM)
chaoscat (452 posts) Ambassador of Good Will
Rating: Not Rated
Yeah, there's that whole gunslinger/gambler doc holiday trope which I was talking about. I'm not sure I agree with your races - roles mapping. It makes some sense for "Indians", but why wouldn't you have people from different races filing in the other roles? I'd be thinking more about a class - role mapping if I were you.

_________________________________________________
Why in the world is your title "Ambassador of Good Will"? Is it some attempt at the Guiness Record for Irony?
--Balerion
Active Users: (guests only)
1 user viewing | Refresh