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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    PirateWench

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Suggestion/clarification:

    There are two separate parts of the government:

    One is the Government proper. An elected parliament or senate (doesn't have to be exactly the same as the American system, after all) and a President that changes every few years. Generally benevolent, but ineffective outside the cities, and a little swamped in politics. It has an army, a police force, a secret service or two, but it's tied up by laws and bureaucracy.
    Sounds good to me.

    The other is the Entity. It is known by no other name.
    I don't know, I personally like calling it the Administration.

    It's unknown whether it's a corporeal, lovecraftian creature, an incorporeal spirit or if it's just a prevailing state in the agent hivemind. What is known are the following things:
    It wants to spread civilization by any means possible.
    It respects the government proper, but deems it ineffective. The government doesn't have to know what the Entity is doing.
    It loathes the Wild and anything that dwells in it, especially any manner of Trickster like Ol' Scratch or Coyote.
    It's tools are Agents, beings that look human, but aren't. Some crazies, seers the drunk and, to a lesser extent, children can see them for what they really are.
    This is good.

    It essentially respects human life, but thinks that individual humans can be sacrificed for the greater good of civilization.
    I would think that it doesn't so much respect humans as recognize their huge importance in its agenda. Ninja'd.

    A question- how powerful is the Administration, anyway? Are there things it can't do? Places it can't go?

    And on another topic, what other sort of supernatural critters are there? We've established the Administration, Ol' Scratch, and Cypher, and it seems we're agreeing that there are various spirits and gods known to the natives, but what else? Ghosts seem like they could fit the setting.
    Last edited by Symmys; 2010-11-25 at 08:19 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Hm ... system talk. Is anyone familiar with Fantasy Craft? It would fit pretty well without heavy modifications, but it might be a little too obscure.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChumpLump View Post
    So lumber jack is your Barbarian Wilderness Suvival Axe Swinging Bear Wrestling, Cold enduring, One man army.

    Pioneers... what do they do? Feels like we could combine Lumberjack and Pioneer into Mountain Man (Person).

    Cowboys, Gun toting... Herdsmen. Sharpshooters, and masters of the High Noon Duel of the Draw. Animal companion like things? Mount?

    Farmers, You Moonshine-Artificer type, if its a thing and it needs to be built and not with your highclass slikker mechanics, maybe also some bonuses on fending of the Wild.

    Medicine Man/Doctor, Healer and Knowledge person. Buffer, Cleric Catchall.

    Priest, for lack of a better term, a ritual Mage?

    Hobo, the paladins who keep the balance. Ride the Tracks, and know the secrets of eternal drunkenness. May even know that the Other government is out there.

    Gangster, your thug, Rogue, baseball bat swinging, rope tying, cigar smoking, rum-running, Thommy-Gunning, Organized criminals.

    Warlock, a 'caster' who has got one of the greater darker beings at its back, the Entity, Ol' Scratch, the Jazz Devil, The Islands Across the Seas, or something Wild.

    Hmmm... I can't think of any person types, and I think we have Player Character types well covered. I think with a clearer definition of the organizations combating and coexisting with each other before we can get solid classes.
    If PC classes reflect archetypes, we'll also need (a) lawmen, (b) brawlers, soldiers and rough-and-tumble types from civilization, (c) engineers and (d) lucky, roguish types.

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    Still a wolf doesn't want to run around the sheep herd shouting 'Hey! Look at me! I'm a wolf! I have LASER CLAWS!'
    At least not in my very limited experience in shepherding.
    Man, those wolves. They're always talking about their plasma claws and their laser teeth and their expensive cars and their fur coats and their jetpacks.
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  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Pretty easy indeed.
    I'm for it, though I'm traveling in half an hour or so, so I'll be useless for The Entity knows* how long.



    *...All. Questions will be answered at the price of 1 soul per syllable.
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  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    If PC classes reflect archetypes, we'll also need (a) lawmen, (b) brawlers, soldiers and rough-and-tumble types from civilization, (c) engineers and (d) lucky, roguish types.
    Well, I'm not so sure.
    Lawmen are mostly handled by Lawful Cowboys, unless I'm mistaken. The class could be renamed to Gunman.
    As for city types: we have the gunman who doesn't have to be a wilderness type. For the rough types and perhaps brawlers, gangster doesnt' seem to bad. Agreed on a lucky rogue, for all areas of the setting, it's just a standard. Engineers are also necessary.

    So, updated list, with alternative names/archetypes

    Mountain Man (Lumberjack, Pioneer, Ranger)
    Gunman (Cowboy, Soldier, Lawman)
    Farmer
    Sage (Medicine Man, Doctor, Priest)
    Hobo (Railway Man)
    Gangster (Brawler)
    Warlock (Witch, Stranger)
    Engineer
    Rogue


    Addendum: Mounts shouldn't be class-specific, I think. Everyone needs them out in the wild, unless they are hobos.


    Further mechanical talk: I don't know the suggested system. My suggestion: d20-like, with variants. We could start with, basically, E6, vitality and wound points and a few others, then work from there. That should also gives us pretty dynamic combat.


    And finally, if this is to be a formal project, it needs a name. I think it has grown beyond "Farmpunk".
    Last edited by Eldan; 2010-11-25 at 08:25 AM.
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  5. - Top - End - #95
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    I think a better name could be found for Rogue, I don't like the overtly dnd flavor of it.

    Vagabond?
    Drifter?
    Stranger?
    Traveler?
    Charlatan?
    Ne'redowell?
    Hooligan?
    Master of Trades?

    I like the idea of the lucky rogueish guy needing to keep moving, rolling stones collect no prison sentences.

    Agreed on the Gangsters being good Brawlers, with Blunt weapons and knuckle dusters. Improvised weapons too, Gangsters do love to smash faces with obscure objects.

    As for the Engineer... It seems his mechanic would be very similar to the Farmer, why not make it a X-punk Engineer, Farmpunk, Jazzpunk?, Hobopunk, ect. Maybe a X-punk for each 'area.'
    A Wildpunk Engineer would be.... creepy.

    Edit
    Names of system...

    Beyond the Tracks
    Clash of Boarders
    Frontiers
    Gumption
    The Mild Depression
    Legends of the Land
    Folkpunk
    When the land was but young...?
    Last edited by ChumpLump; 2010-11-25 at 08:31 AM.
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  6. - Top - End - #96
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    I think that a Farmer and an Engineer wouldn't be the same. A Farmer has some wilderness and animal knowledge. He uses Jury-rigging, spit, moonshine and "When mah grandad, gawd bless his soul, was around, we didn't use no damn screwdrivers, we used a hammer!". An engineer has a formal education and can build you a steam engine. The farmer can then repair your steam engine with a plank of wood, two feet of string, a clay jug and a bent horseshoe.

    Most of your suggested names have the problem that they seem to close to the Hobo.

    And another though: after thinking about it, the priest and the doctor should be different classes. The doctor has knowledge, the priest has conviction.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
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  7. - Top - End - #97
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    I prefer Stranger as a class name. Stranger seems to fit the feel of the setting more than Witch or Warlock.
    And finally, if this is to be a formal project, it needs a name. I think it has grown beyond "Farmpunk".
    Something to do with the rails, maybe? The Other Side of the Tracks?
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  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Tracks is good. "Other Side" or "Beyond", I don't really care, but Tracks is good. Tracks are important. They tell the land where it needs to be.

    Stranger for the Warlock, then.

    Also, a better name for the Hobo, I think. Vagabond or Drifter isn't bad, which still leaves us without a name for the rogue. And, for the record, I still like rogue. I mean, look it up in the dictionary:

    # A scoundrel, rascal or unprincipled, deceitful, and unreliable person.
    # A mischievous scamp.
    # A vagrant.

    Add to that associations such as "lovable rogue", and "roguish good looks", and of course "rogue-luck", and you get something almost like the D&D bard, without the music.

    Which reminds me: Hobos need a music ability.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
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  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I think that a Farmer and an Engineer wouldn't be the same. A Farmer has some wilderness and animal knowledge. He uses Jury-rigging, spit, moonshine and "When mah grandad, gawd bless his soul, was around, we didn't use no damn screwdrivers, we used a hammer!". An engineer has a formal education and can build you a steam engine. The farmer can then repair your steam engine with a plank of wood, two feet of string, a clay jug and a bent horseshoe.
    Seems to me to be the difference of specialization, Farmpunk Engineer opposed to a Slikkerpunk Engineer. But that's just me.

    Yeah those names are a lot like the Hobo... hmm.
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    So...

    Wilderness Man (Lumberjack, Pioneer, Ranger)
    Gunman (Cowboy, Soldier, Lawman)
    Farmer/Engineer
    Doctor
    Priest
    Vagabond (Drifter, Hobo, Railway Man)
    Gangster (Brawler)
    Stranger (Witch, Warlock)
    Rogue (?)


    8 seems like a good, solid number of classes and archetypes.
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  11. - Top - End - #101
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    PirateWench

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    Those classes look good to me.

    What about the Indians? They've been mentioned a few times, but they haven't been explored in any detail. I would think that they live just inside the borders of civilization- staying in the Wild for extended lengths of time can't be good for your health or your sanity, but they're probably going to stay as far from the city as they can- who knows, maybe they have some old legend about the Entity or something.
    Last edited by Symmys; 2010-11-25 at 09:02 AM.
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    What about the hard-boiled twenties sleuth? Would he be a rogue, a gangster, some kind or urban wilderness man variant, or his own class entirely?

    My southern family suggests that the rogue class could be called Rascal. ("Southerners are very fond of names that call things exactly what they are," they say.)

    I like Folkpunk from the above list for a system name. It's atmospheric, it's fun to say and it suggests the kind of stylish folklore crossover setting we're going for.
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    Well, then. If we have an actual southerner, we can't really disagree with that, can we now. Rascal it is.

    Sleuth, well, that depends. Probably Gangster, which means it needs a better name. If he actually also looks at crime scenes and not only just goes to beat up/buy drinks for informants, a level of rascal or doctor as well.
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  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Symmys View Post
    What about the Indians? They've been mentioned a few times, but they haven't been explored in any detail. I would think that they live just inside the borders of civilization- staying in the Wild for extended lengths of time can't be good for your health or your sanity, but they're probably going to stay as far from the city as they can- who knows, maybe they have some old legend about the Entity or something.
    In that case, what were they doing before civilization was here to provide a shroud of industrial protection? I don't think the Wild is really a Mournlands/Shadowlands type of area in that way. It's dangerous and it's wild and the magic is thick there, but it's doesn't radiate taint that warps your body and drive you insane (most of the time).

    Historically, Native American peoples didn't develop technology past a certain point because they had no domesticated animals and their staple crop (corn) took eons to breed into the high-value crop we know today. I don't see no reason to change that - because the Natives lacked the resources to develop agriculture, they learned a great deal about the Wild and its magic, and worked out bargains of respect and admiration with its various gods and spirits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    stuff about the natives and the Wild
    I like this a lot more than what I suggested. City folk probably wouldn't be used to that amount of ambient magic, so it gets its 'insta-death-trap' reputation from people who didn't spend enough time getting acclimated to higher levels of magic before going there, rather than actually being that dangerous.
    Last edited by Symmys; 2010-11-25 at 11:07 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    An alternative approach, to throw out there: the government entity is not technically evil. It's more lawful, pragmatic and not particularly scrupulous or particular in it's methods.
    Yeah, true evil won't fit. After all, the cavalry belongs to them, don't they? And the heroes are always glad when they arrive... finally.
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    Maybe have 2 versions of each class. A wilderness type and a city type. Like Farmer and Engineer, Medicine Man and Doctor, and uh Gunman and Cop.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I think that a Farmer and an Engineer wouldn't be the same. A Farmer has some wilderness and animal knowledge. He uses Jury-rigging, spit, moonshine and "When mah grandad, gawd bless his soul, was around, we didn't use no damn screwdrivers, we used a hammer!". An engineer has a formal education and can build you a steam engine. The farmer can then repair your steam engine with a plank of wood, two feet of string, a clay jug and a bent horseshoe.
    Kinda like that.

  18. - Top - End - #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiimanclassic View Post
    Kinda like that.
    yes, like that.

    Maybe something like this?

    Mountain Man/Vagabond (mountain men as wanderers of the wild, vagabonds as wanderers of the rails/civilization)
    Cowboy/Gangster (Gets into fights (with guns or fisticuffs), knows his teritory, rides a mount/automotive)
    Farmer/Engineer (Gets things done, with jury-rigging, or with book-learning)
    Medicine Man/Doctor (He'll fix you up, with hoodoo or physick)
    Stranger (Ol' Scratch)/ Stranger (Mr. Cypher) (He's just a lucky son-of-a-gun, or maybe an unlucky one... Either way, wherever he is or wherever he came from, there's just something... strange about him)
    Lawman/Sleuth (Righter of wrongs, avenger of ills, last hope of the innocent and desperate)
    Preacher(?)/ Priest(?)

    Although a wild/civilization split might not be best for all classes, some of them exist on the border between the two.


    Not necessarily these should be the same classes, but it seems like some of them at least could share the same rules. Also, organising things in such ways makes them easier to memorise/understand.

    Also, anyone read the Alvin Maker series, by Orson Scott Card?
    Lots of alt-history and folk magic similar to what's here.

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    Eh, I like Eldan's list. If it ends up that characters can specialize in either "urban" or "wilderness" to any degree, it should happen in terms of feats or selectable abilities, not in whole classes.
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    Actually, Hobos should a prestige class, IMO. They are the people who keep the boundary between civilization and the wilderness, and (hopefully) the lovecraftian entities therein. They need a wide variety of powers, like one is a bardic-type who sings drunkenly around the fire, creating defensive wards around the campsite, and another is a creepy exorcist, waving around his voodoo pole, banishing the Wild entities and cursing those who try to slight them. The two roles would be bard and warlock, but they would not have the same powers, but they would have some similar powers: a teleport ability using the trains (someone crosses into the wilderness across the tracks, with no trains in sight. The next thing they know, half a dozen trains are steaming behind them, and they are surrounded by hobos.). Other powers could include getting the power to detect people crossing the border, and ritual hobo-magic that requires multiple hobos coordinating to use it.
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    hmm, okay. I don't want to split classes in half or add classes for extra symmetry. But I kind of wanted to be able to classify characters, fit them in a grid. Maybe my mind was warped by the 4e [Power Source][Party Role]

    Also: Bards. This setting needs them.
    Banjos. Dueling Banjos. Fiddles. Musical duels with the devil at the crossroads. Jazz clubs. Jazz Soloists. Skat. Old, Soulful Spirituals. Harmonicas around campfires.


    Other thing this setting has: Guns.

    How will guns work? I'd like to see them be as lethally realistic as possible. As in Shadowrun, if anyone is familiar with that game system. Getting shot should hurt.

    On the other hand, getting punched should hurt to. And knives, pitchforks and the like are more resistant to Search and Seizure by Duly Invested Authorities, as well as being less liable to be rendered ineffective by magic.
    Surely it's a mean feat for one with the knack to turn gunpowder into dust?

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    My suggestion, as before, was to use the vitality/wound point system. It's in the SRD, but for those not familiar: it replaces HP with vitality and wound points. Vitality represents what HP already mostly represent: how well you can evade blows. Luck, morale, skill, any of that. Normal hits substract from your vitality points. Critical hits, or hits after your vitality points are on 0, mean you take wounds. You have only a handful of wound points, if they go to zero, you die.

    As for guns, I guess d20 modern/past would have stats for them? They seem pretty deadly there.
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    Using feats to split it into urban/wild sounds good. Maybe have a generalist feat also where you can take from both but only to an extent?

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    Just a drive-by-post to say that the way for The Entity, to deal with children would be to encourage distrust of children's imaginations. This would be both in terms of ignoring them, and in promoting "modern parenting practices" that emphasize that since children are the future they should be made as quickly as possible into miniature adults (a Victorian concept, see also "Momo" by Michael Ende). A major theme could be that childrens' inability to clearly and absolutely distinguish between fantasy and reality is a dangerous liability, and harmful to proper development. Also, Science Fiction should be the favored form of fiction (especially for adults, but the more tolerable for children) according to this world-view.
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  25. - Top - End - #115
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    Another thing why combat is quite lethal:

    No armour. Think about it. No one has any. Two stabs with a dagger, and you are gone.
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    Science-Fiction is too imaginative. Pretty soon people start to mix it with other stuff. (i.e. our beloved fantasy) Intead children are encouraged to read biographies and only historical fiction that doesn't change any outcomes, just dramatize what happened. Heaven help anybody the Administration Entity finds writing "Nonsense."

    Also I think we might be able to take the "Hobo" concept and turn it into a catch-all for heroes in general. PC's are Hobos/Drifters in that they are on the move. There can be a prestige class that turns them into the superhero-esque original concept. The other classes just become the history that resulted with you Riding the Rails. (A Lawman could be posin' as a Hobo to find a criminal, a Farmer coulda had the G'Man take his farm, etc.)
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    Hmm. I don't know... not every campaign would necessarily involve being a Hobo. Perhaps you are a group of farmers fighting a stranger with magical powers. Or you are lawmen finding out that there's a powerful entity behind the government fighting it.

    No, I think Vagabond works well as a class, the entire mystical hobo concept. Also gives a second supernatural class next to the Stranger.
    Extended Brewer's signature

    Strange is the night where black stars rise,
    And strange moons circle through the skies,
    But stranger still is
    Lost Carcosa.


    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I want more mwa-ha-haaa and much less boo-hoo-hoo.

  28. - Top - End - #118
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    gkathellar's Avatar

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    I wouldn't write up Wild vs. Urban as the central dichotomy. It's one of several dichotomies present, and one we've been discussing a fair amount, but that's mostly because the two require a fair amount of thought to fit together logically.

    In the same vein, not every campaign would be "about" the conflict between the two, because that leads back to the same problem of having One Big Issue in your setting - either it's always going to be an issue and your actions are essentially futile, or it's a resolvable issue and then there's nothing else to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by KKL
    D&D is its own momentum and does its own fantasy. It emulates itself in an incestuous mess.

    Play Legend. / Legend IRC.

  29. - Top - End - #119
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    The Vorpal Tribble's Avatar

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    For PrC's, I already have a jazzy, master of scat type called the Rat-A-Tat and then for a sawbones who deals with strangeness there is my Monstrumologist.


    As for religious types, Parson and Reverend may be broad enough for use.

  30. - Top - End - #120
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    Eldan's Avatar

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    Ah, welcome back, Tribble. Still liking what we twisted your idea into?
    Extended Brewer's signature

    Strange is the night where black stars rise,
    And strange moons circle through the skies,
    But stranger still is
    Lost Carcosa.


    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I want more mwa-ha-haaa and much less boo-hoo-hoo.

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