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  1. - Top - End - #121
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    There's been a lot of chat about mechanics and classes, but when I got home last night, I had this idea about the world, and more specifically the urban parts of it. The rails need a place to go, otherwise they serve no purpose other than as a thing for hobos to ride, with that in mind, I came up with 4 major urban centres. My hope is that, while mainly there to serve as contrast to the wild places, they would have their own feel and could serve as the centres for slightly more urban campaigns. Here they are

    Golden City – based on stereotypical LA. Full of VERY rich city folk. 1920s movie directors, starlets. Largely oblivious to the wild places. Lots of P.I.s get work here investigating scandles, as well as a few weirder, supernatural goings on etc.

    Silver City – Washington DC pastiche. The home of the guv’ment. Needs fleshing out, but full of parks and monuments where clandestine meetings can happen between men in trenchcoats and sunglasses. Possibly not great as a place for players to go, but I can see "The Entity" or "The Administration" having a very strong foothold here.

    Bronze City – New York/Detroit amalgam. Full of gangsters and speakeasies, Jazz clubs, Lots of crime and hardboiled detectives standing over chalk outlines and muttering about how close they were to retirement.

    Fools’ Golden City – Las Vegas parody. Bright lights! Gambling! All a front. The city is essentially there as a tourist trap, emphasis on trap. Ol’ Scratch built this place when he realised that it was easier to make fools come to him. A surprisingly large number of crossroads can be found here.

    ________

    Possible names for Hobo Class abilities -
    The Willies - allows them to sense members of the administration. They can't tell direction, strength, or even type (if there are types) just general presence. Mainly for times when you're in a room of friends and a guy claiming to be from the guv'ment comes to the front door. Feels like the room got colder and the hobo just got a whole lot more sober.

    That's my train - hobos have a preternatural sense for when the next train is. When ever they utter the ancient words "that's my train", a forlorn whistle can be heard somewhere distant. Within ten minutes, a train will come rolling through the nearest station. For some reason, the hobos can never get there before the train arrives, and always have to run along side it as it pulls away to get in.

    __________

    Hobo city analogue - Because I can see some players wanting to play as part of the guv'ment at some point, perhaps a Mulder and Scully style class should be introduced. One who's purpose is similar to the hobo, but without any of the supernatural abilities. They are there to protect the humans against the entity/administration, but work within cities. They are guv'ment sponsored and guv'ment controlled, which can work in their favour in some situations however the admnistration probably has a few tentacles within the guv'ment which puts these guys (Agents?) at the fore of a game of cat-and-mouse trying to keep their investigations under the radar of the Administration, and yet trying to bring it down from within. Unfortunately, they set off a hobo's "the willies", which makes collaboration difficult.
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  2. - Top - End - #122
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    I liked Eldan's 8 basic classes, and I don't think making a 'Alternate' name for each class is necessary. Only really for the Engineer, because building awesome Trainpunk, Jazzpunk and Farmpunk things should be super different.

    A farm-home grown Rum-runner, and a City Slikker Hired Gun thug are both gangsters, but in different ways.

    Rascal. I love it.

    Like the Four Cities... and this:
    The Golden City (mainly 1920s): a kind of almost-Utopia of jazz clubs and rich people, but carefully gov'ment regulated.
    The Outer Cities (mainly 1930s): what the Golden City is built on. Industry, crime, poverty, depression.
    The Outskirts (late 19th century): here, there's railroads, technology is spreading, the old ways clash with the government influence.
    X (no name yet, earlier wild west): farmers, cowboys, wide, open landscapes.
    The Wild (pre-19th century): dense forests, mythological creatures, mysterious happenings and brave pioneers.

    These are what feats and ability options should be based on.
    ~ The Four Shinning Cities
    ~ The Outer Cities
    ~ The Outskirts
    ~ The 'Range' (The Open Land, The Free Land,' The Riverland...?)
    ~ The Wilds
    --
    Possibly also:
    The Administration
    Chyper
    Scratch
    Other various Overbeings.

    The Administration/Entity encouraging Children to grow up, and finding a real job. (You don't want to be a smelly drunk hobo do you?) This idea I also like.

    I think we should name the Country, I mean its based on American Folk, but I don't like the idea of our world being 'America' perhaps a better name could be found? As for our civilizations of natives, we might also look for a good name for them. I further propose that one Family, Clan, or Tribe of these guys know Ol' Scratch, and He knows them, and he doesn't specifically hunt out there souls... Maybe an Old Gambling Between Him and A Leader, Chief, Head of Clan who hasn't died for the last 500 years either...

    I don't like the idea of Super Natural Music being exclusive to a Class.
    The Hobo can plunk out a Banjo song just as fine as any Gunner may play bust out the Sweet Jazz-Sax. The Doctor's violin can ease the suffering of his sick, just as well as the Priests Voice set to song can inspire his friends to take faith in their actions. I like Supernatural Music, but it should be more available to all I think.
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  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Music could just be a feat, then. Playing an instrument gives you a bonus to one of your class abilities. Suggestions for musical abilities:

    Vagabonds: song of loneliness. Makes people feel sad, and forget why exactly they are even fighting.
    Reverends: Hymn of Conviction. Ye're not givin' up on me, son.
    Farmer: something like country music, square dancing, banjo playing. You instantly make friends with people you play it at.


    Or don't tie it to classes, just make a list of songs available to everyone.
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  4. - Top - End - #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyftir View Post
    There can be a prestige class that turns them into the superhero-esque original concept.
    This part is the best part of that post. A lot of comic book heroes that have their roots or entire character based in an older or more rural kind of setting would fit amazingly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Vagabonds: song of loneliness. Makes people feel sad, and forget why exactly they are even fighting.
    Deadman's Gun?
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  5. - Top - End - #125
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    As for naming the country: does it need a name? For one, it's a kind of mythological america, and everyone will know this. Second, are there even any other countries? It may not need a name if not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
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    So, what's this setting about now?

    First we had Hillbillies and Pioneers, then Hillbillies vs. Government, then the discrepancy between 'mythical' wilderness and 'mythical' city with magic rails and Hobos in between, and finally a strange over-being that controls and expands human civilization and enforces its laws.

    The shift from comical to serious isn't necessarily bad, but I think it won't work side by side.
    Do you use the mechanics to play the game,
    or do you use the game to play the mechanics?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    As for naming the country: does it need a name? For one, it's a kind of mythological america, and everyone will know this. Second, are there even any other countries? It may not need a name if not.
    Canada I figure is much like the Wild, or parts of it, anyway.

    Although I think if we make a mixture of China, Britain and Mexico as the border nation, we could come up with something hilariously awesome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Calmar View Post
    The shift from comical to serious isn't necessarily bad, but I think it won't work side by side.
    Remember that comical settings can be played serious, and serious settings can be played comically. It doesn't have to be either, or side-by-side. It's a unique shade of grey we're creating.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calmar View Post
    So, what's this setting about now?

    First we had Hillbillies and Pioneers, then Hillbillies vs. Government, then the discrepancy between 'mythical' wilderness and 'mythical' city with magic rails and Hobos in between, and finally a strange over-being that controls and expands human civilization and enforces its laws.

    The shift from comical to serious isn't necessarily bad, but I think it won't work side by side.
    I don't see much comical, really. You can make entirely serious vagabond, pioneer and farmer mythology. The administration entity is just one part of it, it's all in there. And good setting needs more than one conflict, as has been said before.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
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  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheezewizz2000 View Post
    Golden City – based on stereotypical LA. Full of VERY rich city folk. 1920s movie directors, starlets. Largely oblivious to the wild places. Lots of P.I.s get work here investigating scandles, as well as a few weirder, supernatural goings on etc.
    Mix some Chicago in there and we're set.

    Quote Originally Posted by cheezewizz2000 View Post
    Silver City – Washington DC pastiche. The home of the guv’ment. Needs fleshing out, but full of parks and monuments where clandestine meetings can happen between men in trenchcoats and sunglasses. Possibly not great as a place for players to go, but I can see "The Entity" or "The Administration" having a very strong foothold here.
    Hmm ... it needs something. How about: That's only the center of the city where all the train stations lead to - it's surrounded by a ring of poorly-governed poverty where wild magic has a strangely powerful hold even in the fires of industry.

    Quote Originally Posted by cheezewizz2000 View Post
    Bronze City – New York/Detroit amalgam. Full of gangsters and speakeasies, Jazz clubs, Lots of crime and hardboiled detectives standing over chalk outlines and muttering about how close they were to retirement.
    Sounds good. If it's got detroit flavor, there's lots of industry too - billowing smokestacks and a looming skyline of factories.

    Quote Originally Posted by cheezewizz2000 View Post
    Fools’ Golden City – Las Vegas parody. Bright lights! Gambling! All a front. The city is essentially there as a tourist trap, emphasis on trap. Ol’ Scratch built this place when he realised that it was easier to make fools come to him. A surprisingly large number of crossroads can be found here.
    I don't like Ol' Scratch building it. He's not a building type. But humans building it and Ol' Scratch loving it in the way he loves a lot of human ingenuity? That I can see. It's probably the only one of the Great Cities where he has more influence than Cypher or the Administration Entity.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChumpLump View Post
    I think we should name the Country, I mean its based on American Folk, but I don't like the idea of our world being 'America' perhaps a better name could be found?
    (Anecdote: America is actually named for a Spaniard, either an explorer or a mapmaker, who never saw either continent.) What if we went for the other name used by colonists: "the New World?" It's a little starchy, though ...

    Quote Originally Posted by ChumpLump View Post
    As for our civilizations of natives, we might also look for a good name for them. I further propose that one Family, Clan, or Tribe of these guys know Ol' Scratch, and He knows them, and he doesn't specifically hunt out there souls... Maybe an Old Gambling Between Him and A Leader, Chief, Head of Clan who hasn't died for the last 500 years either...
    I like the Immortal Chief idea.

    More generally, if Ol' Scratch and Coyote are one and the same, the Natives probably know him well. I would imagine all the clans have him in their folklore and receive some degree of protection from him through their clans' spiritual patrons. Though of course if they intend to seek him out ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Music could just be a feat, then.

    ...

    Or don't tie it to classes, just make a list of songs available to everyone.
    This.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    As for naming the country: does it need a name? For one, it's a kind of mythological america, and everyone will know this. Second, are there even any other countries? It may not need a name if not.
    I've been kind of assuming the society is descended from less brutal, less totally effective colonists. Using the word Native kind of suggests that, but it might be good to figure out whether or not our civilization is foreign to this continent.

    Quote Originally Posted by M-Bark View Post
    Canada I figure is much like the Wild, or parts of it, anyway.

    Although I think if we make a mixture of China, Britain and Mexico as the border nation, we could come up with something hilariously awesome.
    I don't think it would make sense to use actual American geography. That kind of complexity is much easier to deal with when you make it all up.
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    We shouldn't base it on any actual geography. Thinking about it: apart from the cities and a little landscape description, we don't need to go into detail about much of anything geographically, really. It's not all that necessary.


    Okay, slow afternoon at work, I want to go homebrewing a little. The thing that has caught my eye right now is the Stranger/Warlock. I need a few ideas for subtle, but clearly supernatural magical abilities he can have. I'll keep the class similar to the D&D warlock, with invocations, but without the supernatural blasting. A few ideas I had:

    Summon Ravens and/or crows. Birds sitting in the trees all around, wherever you go? Yes, please, very fitting. They can also distract enemies, swarmlike.

    Damage Reduction, to either silver (pact with a civilized entity, like Mr. Cypher, the Jazz Devil) or Cold Iron (a pact with an entity from the wild). The devil won't let you die that easily, now that you are cursed.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2010-11-26 at 08:40 AM.
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    What do the strangers do? Do they bring illnesses and sow seeds of discord? Illusions and certain necromantic spells might fit.
    Do you use the mechanics to play the game,
    or do you use the game to play the mechanics?


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    I'm not sure what they should do, that's the thing. I just have the picture of a guy walking into town, hat low on his face, long coat, shuts people up just by looking at them. And he has made a supernatural pact of some sort. Won (or lost, really) a gamble with Ol' Scratch. Sold his soul to the Jazz Devil for power. Caught a spirit of the wild and released it again for part of it's knowledge.
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    I think supernatural resilience the like of DR would definitely be on target, as would uncanny luck for him, and ill-fortune for his enemies. A kind of unnatural skill with or attraction to ill-omened animals might be good as well. Maybe crows follow the stranger and tell him secrets. Maybe coyotes and wolves stalk at the edge of towns he passes through, even protecting him in times of danger. (Domesticated animals, on the other hand, might get nervous around him.) What else?

    The "wandering stranger" in real life might have been an actor, a seller or herbal medicines and charms, a preacher or a tinker. From the preacher and the actor we get low-key enchantments and social powers - the stranger can turn people against each other, lie like Ol' Scratch himself and give a man such a look he runs shaking into the night. In terms of charms and medicines, he might be able to create little trinkets that pass on his luck and ill-fortune so long as the bearer doesn't turn against him.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I'm not sure what they should do, that's the thing. I just have the picture of a guy walking into town, hat low on his face, long coat, shuts people up just by looking at them. And he has made a supernatural pact of some sort. Won (or lost, really) a gamble with Ol' Scratch. Sold his soul to the Jazz Devil for power. Caught a spirit of the wild and released it again for part of it's knowledge.
    Well, before yu brew up a class we need to make sure a system is agreed on. I think d20 as it's what is known best in the playground, but I agree with E6. This system should be more about normal people in a normal-ish world than people with world-shattering power duking it out over the fates of the planes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    I think supernatural resilience the like of DR would definitely be on target, as would uncanny luck for him, and ill-fortune for his enemies. A kind of unnatural skill with or attraction to ill-omened animals might be good as well. Maybe crows follow the stranger and tell him secrets. Maybe coyotes and wolves stalk at the edge of towns he passes through, even protecting him in times of danger. (Domesticated animals, on the other hand, might get nervous around him.) What else?
    Okay. I'm putting this in game terms, if I may:
    Uncanny Luck: luck bonus to saves equal to charisma.
    Ill fortune for enemies: something akin to a Hexblade's curse.
    Skill with animals: summon swarms of ravens, insects, rats or other small critters to distract enemies or serve as spies.
    Coyotes and wolves: animal companion? That's probably more of a general thing for all classes. The Wild Cohort feat is a good model.


    We might go a little higher than E6, actually. Perhaps E9 or something: in this setting, we certainly have larger-than-life people, at least a little. People wrestling bears, outgambling the devil and such feats.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2010-11-26 at 09:26 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
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    What about E9 using Saga Edition-type rules? That would give characters a customizable ability set and give us a pretty balanced ruleset without magic items. Like standard E6, you could buy feats after maximum level, but you could also buy additional talents.
    Last edited by gkathellar; 2010-11-26 at 10:06 AM. Reason: Fixing a mistake.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    We shouldn't base it on any actual geography. Thinking about it: apart from the cities and a little landscape description, we don't need to go into detail about much of anything geographically, really. It's not all that necessary.
    Personally, I was mostly talking culture-wise. If there would be other nations, having them have cultures that are somewhat different (but not too much of course) would make for a varied and interesting setting.

    Heck, if there would be a country big on industrialization, like Germany was pre-WWI, they might have more people in suits going around, which would make anyone from the farms and such mighty uncomfortable. They might speculate that the country is completely run by the Administration Entity rather than a normal government, and that they are suiting up to conquer the world or destroy it!
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    Music as a skill open to all classes: Yes please. The hobo drunkenly strumming a banjo around a campfire, the preacher teaching a crowd an old hymn, the farmer whistling a tune as he fixes something up, the stranger playing jazz on a beat-up saxophone...

    The four cities: I like that. I agree that Ol' Scratch 'adopted', rather than built, Fools' Golden City. Suits him better.
    On the topic of Ol' Scratch, I think he and Coyote should be similar, not the same. That gives us the Jazz Devil, Ol' Scratch, and Coyote as different aspects of the same being. Their end goal is the same- your soul, in their possession- but their methods are different. The Jazz Devil will buy it off you, Ol' Scratch will win it from you in a game of cards (or dice, or fiddling, or any game of luck or skill), and Coyote will trick you out of it (not entirely sure on that one).

    The China-Mexico-Britain border nation: That could be either brilliant or unbearably cheesy. Maybe a different combination of cultures, although I'd like to keep the Chinese part of it.
    In any case, it should have a minor role- the place all these dang foreign folk keep coming from, with their foreign food and their foreign drink and their foreign music, can't trust 'em a bit- rather than be somewhere the players are likely to visit.
    Last edited by Symmys; 2010-11-26 at 10:58 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Symmys View Post
    The four cities: I like that. I agree that Ol' Scratch 'adopted', rather than built, Fools' Golden City. Suits him better.
    I agree with this sentiment, tbh.

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar
    Hmm ... it needs something. How about: That's only the center of the city where all the train stations lead to - it's surrounded by a ring of poorly-governed poverty where wild magic has a strangely powerful hold even in the fires of industry.
    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar
    Sounds good. If it's got detroit flavor, there's lots of industry too - billowing smokestacks and a looming skyline of factories.
    I like the slums outside Silver City and that it is essentially the hub of the rails. Still not sure what to make of it, though maybe that it is a faceless, almost personality-free, government city is kind of the point. It would be the starting point for the Agent class I proposed above. The "adventurers' tavern" for all the Mulders and Scullys out there.

    I also like the factories idea for Bronze City. When I thought about BC and NY I wanted the striking feature to be its skyline. I thought lots of tall , imposing commercial buildings that block out all but the midday sun, making it gloomy and grey for most of the day suited it well. Factories belching out thick, black smog can only make it all the more so and the depression, and terrible working conditions would be a major contributer to the crime. BC, I thought, would be the hub of crime; white collar, blue collar, gangsters, speakeasies. A real boophole for players to try to clean up as beat cops, or bring down as corrupt cops/gansters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Symmys View Post
    The China-Mexico-Britain border nation: That could be either brilliant or unbearably cheesy. Maybe a different combination of cultures, although I'd like to keep the Chinese part of it.
    In any case, it should have a minor role- the place all these dang foreign folk keep coming from, with their foreign food and their foreign drink and their foreign music, can't trust 'em a bit- rather than be somewhere the players are likely to visit.
    The chinese part would be at least a nod to the chinese immigration in the 19th century. Perhaps they had a hand in building the rails, and the engineers who keep them maintained still have a little oriental feel. Something to give them a little more mystique and make them less understandable to the general populous.
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  20. - Top - End - #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by Symmys View Post
    On the topic of Ol' Scratch, I think he and Coyote should be similar, not the same. That gives us the Jazz Devil, Ol' Scratch, and Coyote as different aspects of the same being. Their end goal is the same- your soul, in their possession- but their methods are different. The Jazz Devil will buy it off you, Ol' Scratch will win it from you in a game of cards (or dice, or fiddling, or any game of luck or skill), and Coyote will trick you out of it (not entirely sure on that one).
    Hm. I don't know about them all being aspects of the same entity. The implies a kind of monolithic being like the Administration Entity at work in the setting, and I'm not sure it fits to have more than one of those.

    In any case, if Ol' Scratch and Coyote are different, I can't see why Coyote would want souls. But I do like the idea of them being the same, and him just not bothering with native souls, which are protected by their various spiritual guardians.

    Quote Originally Posted by Symmys View Post
    The China-Mexico-Britain border nation: That could be either brilliant or unbearably cheesy. Maybe a different combination of cultures, although I'd like to keep the Chinese part of it.
    In any case, it should have a minor role- the place all these dang foreign folk keep coming from, with their foreign food and their foreign drink and their foreign music, can't trust 'em a bit- rather than be somewhere the players are likely to visit.
    Quote Originally Posted by cheezewizz2000 View Post
    The chinese part would be at least a nod to the chinese immigration in the 19th century. Perhaps they had a hand in building the rails, and the engineers who keep them maintained still have a little oriental feel. Something to give them a little more mystique and make them less understandable to the general populous.
    I'm not sure I like the idea of a border nation, but I can't put my finger on quite why. I do think that there should be other nations across the sea or separated from the main setting by thousands of miles of the Wild, but the distance is what's important. It provides a sense of isolation that is very (somewhat falsely in reality) ingrained in the American conception of history.

    As to ethnicity ... that's a tricky question, and not one I feel entirely comfortable making the opening remarks for. Ethnic minorities and immigrants certainly played a heavy role in the development of 1920s culture, and Chinese immigrants were instrumental to the growth of the American west. What do other people think? Do we want to play that up? Play it down? Ignore it altogether?
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    Ethnicity:
    Ethnicity should only be played up if it results in an obvious head-nod to the contributions of various emigrant groups. Any hatred of foreigners needs to be the province of the ignorant and evil. (Note: Painting the American farmer as ignorant is also a bad idea. Most of modern agricultural methods were developed in the American Mid-West.

    City stuff:

    We need a city that is a hub for the rails farther west, someplace rough and rowdy with the Wyld still pretty active there. (Chicago is my inspiration here, After all, after the "West Was Won" the outlaws headed to Chi-town.)

    I suggest we call it Tin Town. It would exist as a sort of neutral territory and in some ways, the ultimate crossroads making it crazy dangerous.
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    If all classes have music (cool idea), maybe official rules for musical duels would be appropriate.

    Geography:
    How about this, the country looks the way most Americans think it looks like on a map. That is, rather larger than it is. A U.S. shaped continent stretches out other the area normally covered by North America.

    Foreign Countries:
    Mexico/the border with it feature heavily in the cowboy stories that this setting is partly based on. Not sure about that one.
    For countries across the oceans, they should be as remote and unmentioned as possible. In a campaign, the players should probably never leave the continent.

    Hobo-City:
    Rail-riding tramps are always coming and going. There one moment, gone the next. No sooner are they off a train than they get right back on another.
    But sometimes this tendency for inconstancy in location can approach levels that beggar the mind. Hobos have been observed to be absent from trains exiting mountain-tunnels that they had been present at upon the entrance of said train into said tunnel.
    (^your honour, I'd ask that that sentence be taken out and shot.)

    The Big Rock Candy Mountain isn't quite the mythical place the songs make it out to be. There are no cigarette trees or lemonade springs. It is in fact, a quite ordinary mountain, or that is to say, it looks like quite an ordinary mountain. Then there's the fact that although no trains run on, through, or around it, all trains seem to run through, on, or around it. Any hobo exiting a train near a mountain can jump off and land near the Big Rock Candy Mountain.

    Think along the lines of the one described in the Sandman:
    "There's a few thousand square miles of central Australia, a couple of Pacific islands, a field in Ireland, an occasional mountain in Arizona..."

    "An occasional mountain?"

    "It's not a very big mountain, but it's only there occasionally."

    The Big Rock Candy Mountain is a lonesome place (part of the Wild?). Hobos are always coming and going there, but what they do who could say?
    (I sure haven't a clue )

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    I think we need to settle on a system first......hopefully something we can print in a pdf.


    I was thinking D6 or D20.

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    I vote for d20 with a style similar to StarWars [Saga], I like the feats/talent tree idea a lot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Symmys View Post
    The China-Mexico-Britain border nation: That could be either brilliant or unbearably cheesy. Maybe a different combination of cultures, although I'd like to keep the Chinese part of it.
    In any case, it should have a minor role- the place all these dang foreign folk keep coming from, with their foreign food and their foreign drink and their foreign music, can't trust 'em a bit- rather than be somewhere the players are likely to visit.
    Admittably, two cultures are better to combine than three. I once made gnomes have a Mexican-Japanese culture (that, and two thumbs on each hand, replacing the pinky fingers), and it worked well enough. Just as long as you don't play too much to stereotypes, it can indeed be brilliant in execution.

    A minor role is a good idea, since that country is not supposed to be a central place at all - unless someone decides on a border war campaign idea, but that is campaign specific.
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    I'm still campaigning for the idea of having foreign nations feature as little as possible, or not at all. As an outsider, it just seems to me that they barely, if ever, feature in American mythology the way they do in every story over here.

    And if we go with the Saga system, someone would have to explain it to me. I'm all for d20, though. For all it's faults, it's a solid base system.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2010-11-27 at 09:37 AM.
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    Saga was basically the test-ground for some basic 4E concepts while staying pretty much in line with 3E's class and level system. Basic summary:

    - At first level, you gain a nice set of bonus feats and proficiencies for your opening class. If you multiclass, you only get to choose one of those feats from the first level of another class.
    - 1st level characters get a bunch of HP, making them more survivable.
    - Characters acquire BAB from class levels in the same way, but have no iterative attacks. 1/2 your level is added to all damage rolls.
    - They dropped saving throws for static Defenses, fused AC into the Reflex Defense, gave each class a particular set of defense bonuses (none higher than +4), and had you add your level to all your defenses.
    - Feats work pretty much the same way, but special emphasis was put on making them not completely terrible.
    - Skills work a lot like 4E: no ranks, add half your level to the roll, +5 if you're trained in the skill, another +5 for skill focus.
    - Classes give Talents at odd-numbered levels and bonus feats for even-numbered levels. Talents are selected from one of the lists available when taking that class, bonus feats are whatever you want.
    - Conditions are summarized on the "condition track," a scale that determines the effects of getting beaten up, exhausted and having special power used on you.

    We wouldn't have to use all of that by any means, but it's a pretty good chassis.
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  28. - Top - End - #148
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    Ol' Scratch, Jazz-Devil, And Coyote aren't all the same (IMHO) but rather an ancient race that was here before the Natives. Why does Coyote want souls? To trade with The Jazz-Devil or Ol' Scratch. He personally has no use for them, but Ol' Scratch has got one of 'Coyote's People's' by the nose as it were, and He wants to buy them back. (The Immortal Chief.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shyftir View Post
    Ethnicity:
    Ethnicity should only be played up if it results in an obvious head-nod to the contributions of various emigrant groups. Any hatred of foreigners needs to be the province of the ignorant and evil. (Note: Painting the American farmer as ignorant is also a bad idea. Most of modern agricultural methods were developed in the American Mid-West.
    This.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shyftir View Post
    Ethnicity:
    City stuff:

    We need a city that is a hub for the rails farther west, someplace rough and rowdy with the Wyld still pretty active there. (Chicago is my inspiration here, After all, after the "West Was Won" the outlaws headed to Chi-town.)

    I suggest we call it Tin Town. It would exist as a sort of neutral territory and in some ways, the ultimate crossroads making it crazy dangerous.
    Mmm I like the sound of Tin Town. Has the feeling of Hobos Everywhere, the Administration doesn't do to well there, and the Government is super corrupt. Here's your Labor Lay-offs, your over taxed hand working children and poor families.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I'm still campaigning for the idea of having foreign nations feature as little as possible, or not at all. As an outsider, it just seems to me that they barely, if ever, feature in American mythology the way they do in every story over here.
    I agree, a few nations across the Seas, and Foreigners more often adversaries with their fancy Gin and the 3 piece suits, and bowler caps, and their nice mustaches that have no 5'oclock shadow.

    As for the role of the Stranger, well that's anyone's guess isn't it? They've won (or lost) the deal with the Devil, and like your DnD warlock, what they do with it is up to them. Hell I see Strangers that Hunt Ol' Scratch making sure he doesn't catch anymore souls (A Damned Preacher Type? That'd be fun), Others might help corrupt man, hoping turn others to their own ironic fate. Still others may actually try and collect souls of their own, craving more deals with the Various Devils. (Sure I sold my soul for a wife, but now she's dead. So, how can I buy her back alive?)

    Seriousness? I still feel that this is largely about the Old American Folk Lore, its larger than life, funny in places, and deadly serious in others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChumpLump View Post
    Ol' Scratch, Jazz-Devil, And Coyote aren't all the same (IMHO) but rather an ancient race that was here before the Natives. Why does Coyote want souls? To trade with The Jazz-Devil or Ol' Scratch. He personally has no use for them, but Ol' Scratch has got one of 'Coyote's People's' by the nose as it were, and He wants to buy them back. (The Immortal Chief.)
    Obviously Coyote, Scratch and Cypher play poker or dice (or poker dice) with souls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I'm still campaigning for the idea of having foreign nations feature as little as possible, or not at all. As an outsider, it just seems to me that they barely, if ever, feature in American mythology the way they do in every story over here.
    While I only know a bare few American stories, the fact that foreign nations aren't featured as much is prettymuch because of both America's size and the fact that it's inhabitants all have some sort of wacky ancestry (note: not necessarily wacky). Since I doubt this country will be like a whole melting pot of cultures and ancestries like America has always kind of been, at least one other mildly-featured nation sounds fine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    Obviously Coyote, Scratch and Cypher play poker or dice (or poker dice) with souls.
    Poker-Dice-Knife games, actually.
    That and 'I've Never.'
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