Friday, October 14, 2016

Gods of the Fall - Gods of the [blank] part 2 - Legends of the Wild West


Since October is Halloween month I'm going to dress up Gods of the Fall for the holiday every week. Last week I tossed out some ideas for a pre-Fall game in the world before Elanehtar fell. This week I look to my own version of the "weird west" genre...

Legendary Deeds and Tall Tales

You've heard of Paul Bunyan, John Henry, Pecos Bill, Johnny Appleseed, Casey Jones, etc. etc... American folklore is full of tall tales. Whether its a giant sized lumberjack (and his giant blue ox), or a man who lassoed a tornado and rode it, these tales are the stuff of modern legend and myth. Somewhere in the western frontier where civilization is invading the unknown new heroes are forging these tales and in doing so cementing themselves as greater than their fellow men.

Characters
Character types are stock from the CSR rather than the types presented in Gods of the Fall. Gone are divine auras and symbols, replaced instead by deeds and legend. This is a game of doing the impossible, of living tall tales and then spreading the word of your deeds. Allowable foci will change depending on how heavily the GM wants to lean into supernatural aspects, add steampunk themes, and similar.

Setting
The world is our own, mostly. We've all seen westerns, and movies like the Magnificent Seven, For a Fistful of Dollars, The Good The Bad & the Ugly, 3:10 to Yuma, and more serve perfectly as inspiration both story and visual. Take the action to the next level though and make it as big as possible. This can be played with as much or as little supernatural or extraordinary aspects as you like. You could have spell slinging hucksters beside clockwork augmented gunslingers a la a Deadlands inspired campaign, or you could play it very close to real world accurate.

Adventure Ideas
For a "real world" game the players may take on a huge gang of outlaws that outnumber them ten to one, stalk and kill a grizzly of enormous size, or maybe save a town from a flood. Alternately you can lean into the weird. Take a look at Native American lore and have a skinchanger, perhaps there are trolls or ogres out in the west, a dark mystic (of nearly any nationality & ethnicity) threatens a town (or a whole territory), or even desires to set up their own kingdom, and then there is the great rail wars as the transcontinental railway rushes to completion. Toss in natural events like earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, and wildfires, and there'll always be something to do when you aren't at a saloon or in a shootout with your dark counterparts.