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The Wild West on the Planes

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Kobold Avenger's picture
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The Wild West on the Planes

While I briefly covered a bit about the concept of something from the Wild West happening on the Planes with my article about Steampunk Planescape, in the part about The Cabal of Perfected Moment gunslingers.

It occurred more to me about some things from the Wild West might fit into D&D (yes I'm aware there's Deadlands as well), with Cowboys on Wyverns and Dwarven Sheriffs and the like. I'm thinking that the best location for a Western to happen on the Planes would be on the Outlands, simply because it seems to match the environment the best. With plenty of small towns spread through the wilderness, and plenty of potentially dangerous characters involved in the vast expanses of the changing and unknowable Hinterlands. Of course even other planes could fit some elements of a western, such as Bytopia, Ysgard, Arborea, Carceri or even the parts of the Abyss like the Plane of Infinite Portals. Anyways it inspired me to draw a picture on the matter...

Well, as far as that went I think the best idea to come out of that drawing was the Flumph with the Cowboy hat. And even if one day might that Flumph might be seen riding off into the sunset on his trusty Gelatinous Cube, I'm wondering if anyone else has strange ideas to blend with a western.

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

My one concern with this idea is what is summed up in your picture (P.S. I love the cowboy-flumph): the presence of firearms in a campaign.

I disallow firearms in my campaign (except for a Chinese nation that has slow-loading canons for their ships) because once bullets are involved, combat can quickly boil down to some very arbitrary desicions/rolls (I haven't seen how other RPGs deal with this, so I apologize if this is an unfair summation).
Do you plan to bring in guns? If not, how would you create a Wild West atmosphere without guns for gunslingers?

I do like the idea of adding some atmosphere to the Outlands (hint to the Planar Renovation Project). So, I'm willing to explore this some more. After consulting Wikipedia, here are some common themes to "westerns":
-Enduring the harshness of the landscape. Conquest of the wilderness/frontier
I don't think of the Outlands as harsh but this could be easily tweaked. The only difference is that there was a motivation for pioneers to suffer the hardships of the Old West. What would be the motivation to colonize the Outlands?

-Subduing the "savage" native people
Again, not sure how to tie this in. Rilmani = Native Americans? Introduce a new race?
If there were a motivation for people to colonize "spire-ward", then the Rilmani might work.
E.g. If there are increasing amounts of precious metals or richer farmlands found as one goes spirewards, then prospectors and ranchers will move there. Each group moving spireward would bring their respective philosophies with them. The rilmani would obviously push back from this philosophical incursion. Additionally, the further the pioneers pushed sprieward, the stronger the rilmani would become and the weaker the pioneers (or at least their magic) would get.
And if you chose to do so, instead of using the native people as a group of "others" that the PCs must fight/conquer; you could take the more modern approach (in cinema, etc.) that the PCs might learn something from this foreign (to them) culture and then have to go back and convince the settlers that an accord can be reached. Although there should always be elements in both groups that don't believe they can co-exist and who would be trying to rekindle the conflict.
[Side idea: if cattle graze near the towns to the Lower Planes, what side effects get into the beef? Extra-spicy? Something more dangerous?]
[Side idea: instead of or in addition to colors denoting the ranking/status of the rilmani, would colors be better for different tribes/nations of rilmani with different but related cultures?]

-Small outpost towns
As you said, already in place to some degree

-Codes of honor in one-on-one duels
That could work

-Lack of a powerful agency of law
That would also work with the Harmonium playing the role of the sheriff who has too much ground to cover resulting in "justice" being played out in personal duels
In the spirit of differing philosophy, perhaps other groups on the chaotic side of the Spire act as the "sheriffs" there. Imagine a Xaositect sheriff preserving freedom and enforcing justice against any incursions from some "lawful riffraft"

-Semi-nomadic wanderer, usually a cowboy or gunslinger (acting as a knight-errant to deliver justice)
Again that would work fine. Of course with all the differing philosophies, each gunslinger type would have his own idea of how things should be.

Based on something read on the Wiki page, would the Planescape version be more like the ronin culture of Japan? (Which would answer my reservation against gunplay)
Would you want to incorporate steampunk elements of "The WIld Wild West"?

The idea is intriguing but I'd like to hear more

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

Sorry about the last question. Didn't read your Steampunk Planescape thread first

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

Sorry, I keep thinking of things.

Some potential characters for wandering gunslingers, outlaws and lawmen:
-Jessie Gensai
-The Teifling with No Name (Clint Eastwood type)
-Wyatt Twerp (halfling lawman)
-Drake Holliday (reptilian lawman)
-Kiddy the Xill or Bully(wug) the Kid
-Bleak Cassidy and the Sensate Kid (what a comically mismatched pair!)
-The Good, the Bad and the Flumph

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

Palomides wrote:
-Subduing the "savage" native people Again, not sure how to tie this in. Rilmani = Native Americans? Introduce a new race?
I think this theme can easily be skipped without harming the athmosphere. After all, it similarily isn't the point of "Europe"-, or steampunk-themed settings to reenact the crimes committed from the middle-ages until the 20th century against other cultures and religions.

On the other hand, I don't see any merit in combining Western and Planescape, though... I think a separate setting would serve better to both.

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

Cimmaron in the Savage Coast setting (for 2nd edition AD&D, part of the world of Mystara) was based on the Wild West. The AD&D version used smokepowder weapons, though the original Dragon Magazine article it was based on used six-shooter mini-crossbows instead of firearms. Mystara is connected to Planescape through Farrow from Uncaged, of course.

The other "official" connection would be Murlynd, a demigod cowboy from the Greyhawk setting. He's probably too divine to enter Sigil, but he could be encountered elsewhere, and act as a guide to whatever world inspired him to dress like that (possibly the Masque of the Red Death setting).

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

The frontier is a major theme in the Western. The characters and stories take place in an area nominally part of a larger, more stable culture, but without the comforts of home.

There are subthemes within this: facing the frontier (settlers used to the homelands adapt to the less structured environment) and taming the frontier (extending rails and roads, subjugating the natives, and exploring, among other activities) are two.

The way to play this up in a Western-themed Planescape on the Outlands would probably be moving to as high a technology level as you can stand, with the previously existing settlements expanding and taking over more of the unsettled Outlands regions. As communications expand, some settlements might unite into empires that begin conflicting on their borders, an excellent place to set adventures. If technological humans are encroaching on godly domains like those of Obad-Hai or Sheela Peryroyl, the conflict here might be reminiscent of "cowboys versus Indians" without the unequal terms of the original context.

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

The way I see the Outlands in such a setting is that all the Gatetowns are like big cities, sort of like city-states loosely linked to Sigil, and they all represent civilization on the Outlands. But the Outlands is still a massive place (it's infinite after all), and while there are many lost cities out their, there's also a really large frontier with many small lost settlements out there. With a bunch living out there to find something, or start something anew.

The 'savages' could be the numerous bandits who fled civilization long ago, unknowable cultures just discovered, survivors o a previous town that got caught in a Far Realm cyst, or things from adjacent planes like the Abyss or Bytopia or whatever spilling into the Outlands.

As for potential characters, well there's always the Saint of Killers, who might actually be a Solar in human form...

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

At one point on this site, someone wrote a Planescape article inspired by the Dark Tower series. I can't find it now, though...

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

The Harmonium, riding in to save the day! Laughing out loud

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

Quote:
Based on something read on the Wiki page, would the Planescape version be more like the ronin culture of Japan? (Which would answer my reservation against gunplay)

Speaking of which, I recommend the movie Sukiyaki Western Django for inspiration.

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

I was thinking about the gun-slinging aspect last night and I think I came up with a solution that would allow a "controlled" introduction of firearms to a campaign, if a DM so desired. (Although the Western themes could easily work without them)

The potential solution would be for the "smokepowder" (or whatever name you use for gunpowder) to work inversely to magic on the Outlands.

So at the radius of the gatetowns, smokepowder is a mostly inert material (maybe it burns like incense) so there would be no functional firearms in the gatetowns (or in Sigil which always has its own rules) so nothing in the canonical material is changed

At the base of the Spire, smokepowder becomes so volitile and excessively explosive that it is effectively useless (meaning that you'd be more likely to blow yourself up transporting a small pouch of the material before you got to use it) - although maybe some prospectors use it like dynamite, blowing up large chunks of the Outlands - which would tic off both the rilmani and the gods of nature in the area.

But in the middle areas, it would behave like gunpowder and allow for firearms. This way, you could play out the traditional fictional Western tropes (e.g. the showdown at noon in the main street of town) without it causing your game to go off the tracks with the introduction of firearms.
I might even be an enjoyable to have some burly sword-wielding PCs ride into town only to run away in fear from some scrawny young guy ("The Kidd") when he starts shooting at them with his exotic weapon that they've never seen before.
And it might be as equally funny if the PCs load up on firearms and then go back to a gatetown and try to push someone around only to find out that their guns don't work there.

A second aspect I thought of was the "robber baron" of this period. The stranglehold that the railroads and other limited means of transportation and communication (e.g. the Pony Express) meant that a few BIG corporations had a LOT of money coming in because the settlers had nowhere else to turn to get many needed items.
Because of this, these businesses were often the targets of robberies (the classic train robbery or stagecoach chase).
And because the settlers knew that they were being exploited by the big monopolies, they often romanticized the robbers of the trains and the remotely-owned banks as heroic Robin Hood types that were fighting back for the little guy.

Whether you buy into this depiction or not, it is a strong element of the Wild West in fiction. So my question is: who would make a good choice for the evil robber barons?
The Fated? The Planar Trading Consortium? Any other suggestions?

And while I'm thinking of it (and to hopefully exhaust this theme for me), would a railroad system make sense for the Outlands?
It is a classic staple of the genre and would probably be something that your players would like to do (either to rob or protect it)
I know that Jem suggested (if you were pursuing the Outlands = Wild West theme) giving the Outlands the higest technology level you could stomach (in which case, a train would be no problem); but for most DMs would this be too much?
Any suggestions that would allow for a choo-choo but which wouldn't bump up tech levels throughout the Planes (like the way I tried to allow for firearms without them affecting the multiverse at large)?
Remember that magic gets weaker in the Outlands so a Lightning Rail type solution might not make the most sense.
Would my smokepowder solution above also make for a reasonable fuel for the trains and explain their limited appearance on the planes. Maybe a Lightning Rail - smokepowder hybrid (magic used to reach the gatetowns and smokepowder to reach the Wild West towns)
(I was suddenly struck by the idea of the trains being operated by a bunch of gnomes -dressed up like "Conjunction Junction"- who were constantly tinkering with their design to maximize it efficiency)

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

My solution for firearms in 3e was to use the stats from D20 Modern's supplement D20 Past. Most of it is reasonable for firearms, except possible the rifle that does 2d10, that damage amount should probably be reserved for exotic weapons like an Elephant/Dinosaur Gun. But with single-shot rifles at 2d8 and revolvers and repeating rifles at 2d6, it's reasonable enough with D&D. Don't forget that in 3e and Pathfinder, melee characters can easily out do ranged weapon characters even ones with guns in damage with things like power attack, using weapons 2-handed and being able to reliably sneak attack.

In 4e damage would be scaled down a bit for firearms with roughly 1d10 for pistols and repeaters, and 1d12 or 2d6 for single shot rifles. Smaller damage dice applied in 4e, since you do add ability modifiers such as dex to ranged attacks. And currently unless your playing a dedicated build of the Ranger, Artificer, Bard, Seeker, Warlord or Rogue to ranged weapon attacks, most characters will still do a lot more with melee weapons attacks for the same reasons as 3e, and simply because many classes don't have special powers that work with firearms.

So balance issues with firearms don't rate much to me with firearms.

As for technology, I've always treated a certain level of technology as magic as far as how the spire treats it.

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

As for companies that always have those trains out there in the Old West, I'd certainly use the Planar Trade Consortium as it's something I like using for vaguely antagonistic organizations.

Another good source for a Fantasy Steampunk Western, is China Mieville's Iron Council the 3rd book in the Perdido Street Station series. He wrote that book as a western, and it's also an example of how to blend strange fantastical environments or Far Realm bleeds with a Western.

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

You could have a look at the Iron Kingdoms setting, they have guns and there's even a very western'ish frontier town, although the setting is generally more steampunk.

Firefly is good example of the western style ported to another setting, in this case sci fi. It isnt about the guns, but the general attitude, the style of dress, the code of honour.

Personally I wouldnt include guns in my planescape game, but I like the idea of introducing western elements.

Jem
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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

Munin wrote:
Personally I wouldn't include guns in my planescape game, but I like the idea of introducing western elements.

A point in time that balances somewhat between these two is the conquistador era. Envision the mission sites flung across Central America and the southern part of North America.

Jem
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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

So I just had a couple of ideas for how to run this: you need a land rush, basically. A new frontier.

Scenario 1: New Primes.

Adventurers exploring the portal networks from the Inner Planes encounter several closely-related Primes (there are various Prime-to-Prime portals at strategic locations) to which portals from Sigil are then found, for the convenience of travelers. They are repair jobs: botched crystal spheres from an unknown hand (or at least a little-respected one) in early creation. This and that tinker god has occasionally laid hands upon them, seeking to iron out the flaws in physical law that were built into them, and one of them recently hit upon the proper method. Other pantheons saw the stroke and quickly followed suit.

Suddenly there are worlds to claim: whole fresh, unmined, unfarmed, unsettled planets. Nations and factions gear up organized projects to lay claim to as much real estate and resources as they can, while eager settlers dash in at breakneck speed to plant their stakes. There's gold to find, and rarer stuff, crumbs of weird physical law that still lie scattered about the worlds, valuable to mage and sage.

One of the oddities of these Primes is that the elements are a little out of whack from their manhandled birth: evocation is virtually powerless here, while a local amalgam of fire and earth -- not magma, but both elements mixed in a tight dance; the diatom, some call it -- can power explosive weapons nearly as effective, and usable by anyone with the money, not just spellcasters. It's a pity they don't work off-world, though there are naturally some very well-funded projects trying to create magic versions that carry their native planar laws with them.

-----

Scenario 2: Up and Gone

The sudden outbreak of holy war among the generally calm deitie of the Outlands was regarded as mildly surprising, but then just because they were neighbords didn't mean they all liked each other. Some said Ilsensine and Gzemnid had preyed once too often upon the dwarves of Iron Mountain; some said Thoth had made a play for territory and been rebuffed. Hard to say with all the conflicting claims and denials, especially since someone -- the rilmani, perhaps, but some say the Spire itself, and some whisper that the Lady of Pain saw trouble on her doorstep and was moved to act beyond Sigil, though this is widely considered dubious -- declared the gods one and all to be dei non grata, and every last Power suddenly had to vacate the Outlands.

Those gods themselves are still neutral (if they were to begin with), but the realm of neutrality was suddenly barred to them, so out they went. Obad-Hai debouched to the Beastlands, Thoth moved to Arcadia, Sheela Peryroyl settled in Bytopia, and all the rest went whither they would, taking their domains and their petitioners with them. It's said that Ilsensine broods in Pandemonium and Gzemnid grumbles through a layer of the Abyss.

With their leaving, the Outlands dimmed a little, turned a little harsher and more uncaring. Some powers of evil celebrated, but in truth it is only more neutral, now that deific wills do not turn its stuff to the ends of various plots and schemes. In the dust and wilderness that was left behind, though, there is opportunity. Some seek to settle quietly, but some hunt for artifacts or treasures that might have been forgotten or left behind when the gods departed. The petitioners, more alone now, are regrettably often pressed into the service of this or that project. There are opportunities for righteous and evil men to do their deeds here as well.

And, if you like, something seems to have changed in one other law: magic is even weaker than it once was, the influence of the Spire radiating strongly so that even spells that work in a ring are often impeded. But an ancient project of the alchemists has here borne fruit: gunpowder. Crude yet, it is getting better, being refined to greater power, the machining of the clunky and malfunction-prone hand-cannons getting better and more reliable as interested parties fund the projects. It's a pity they only work on the Outlands. Gunpowder was held back, the madder alchemists claim, by the wills of gods who saw their power threatened by the smoke of the pistol, and with their influence gone, the Outlands can see the rise of the gun -- but if this is so, why didn't they work in Sigil?

Still, questions like that don't have to concern a man with a brace of pistols and a horse to ride, seeking fortune or fame in the dry, hot winds of the new Outlands.

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

You need to bear in mind that the areas that become the Wild West became so solely due to the goldrush. NW Oregon and Washington for instance, did not become part of the wild west, even though it was certainly a frontier area.
The Wild West became what it was because the gold rush caused a huge influx of white settlers and more importantly, unsavory characters.
The Amerindians of the Wild West by far suffered the worst treatment at the hands of white settlers during the 19th century, and it would be difficult to encorporate a wild west scenario without primitive or savage groups being uprooted from their land and genocided (and likewise returning the treatment in kind-- the wild west areas had more Indian Wars than any other. This encompassed Califoria, the SW states, the Rocky States, and the Dakotas, and to a lesser extent eastern Washington and Oregon.)
At the same time, you can't have a Wild West scenario without uber-corrupt mining companies dumping their toxic waste into the water supply, cutting corners in safety (mine collapses and subsequent rescues are a classical mainstay of wild west storytelling.), and in some cases, the company CEO turns out to be a notorious outlaw from 10-20 years ago, or maybe he murdered a few of his employees who tried to blow the whistle on his safety violations or poisoning of the watertable.
Then of course there's the obligatory corrupt statesman or aristocrat who's screwing over the low-income folk.
The whole "Sheriff vs. outlaw" thing was your classic power struggle between an impotent local government and criminals who wish to form a syndicate or become warlords.

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

I've long felt that a Modron train would be a nifty adventure location. Basically, the "wheels" would be Monodrones attached to hubs made up of duodrones which would then be connected by tridrones to a rectangular "car" made up of quadrones. Literally: the walls have eyes. And, potentially, any part of the vehicle could wield a weapon in defense.

Maybe a fun thing for the Modron marchers to use to get around the planes.

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

I'm not sure I'm on-board for a train made of modrons; but a train of modron design that could shift and morph to some degree (short of going into full Transformers mode) does create a cool visual (I'm thinking of the partial transformation of Doc Brown's train at the end of the "Back to the Future" films taken up a few degrees).
I'd have to give up my little gnome engineers for some little modron engineers; but it still works for me.

I definitely like the idea of a make-shift train instead of (or as an alternative to) a standard "March". If you do keep the concept of a train made of modrons, would you have them combine into other forms of transport elsewhere (e.g. into a titanic ship to sail the seas of the Upper Planes (on which one might book passage), into a submarine in the Plane of Water, etc.)?

I just wanted to mention, we collectively have milked a lot of interesting ideas (even if not all of them appeal to everyone) out of a thread that was largely inspired by a flumph in a cowboy hat!

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

You also have to remember that outlaws are one of the primary themes of Wild West genre stories. Most stories consist of chaotic good outlaws who fight the evil outlaws, corrupt mayors, and immoral corporations (and in many stories pre-1970's, also protect the white settlers from Indian attacks.)
Technically you could file Zorro under the Wild West genre, even though Spanish California isn't really considered wild west, and the Zorro series IIRC didn't involve a villa with a government as impotent as the typical Wild West government with the sheriff + a handfull of young deputies. Nonetheless, it has all the other trappings of the Wild West genre, even though there aren't too many 'cowboys' and 'indians' in it, and Zorro himself isn't a gunslinger. (Also, I can't remember if it had trains or not)

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

I should have thought of Zorro. One usually lumps him under "Robin Hood" or "Batman" types; but while it doesn't fit a lot of the usual Westerns cliches, he definitely is of that era and locale. And he serves as a good example of "medieval themes" applied to a different setting. [And if he doesn't have trains, so what. I'm just throwing out any idea on the topic and seeing what sticks]

Since the Outlands are overall neutral, and since people have sort of re-iterated the idea of gatetowns being the outpost of "civilization" that has less authority as one moves away from them, I think we should remember that "authority" will mean different things around the Ring.

On the lawful side, the outlaws will be typical "black hat" goons willing to shoot a man just for snoring. And the authority will be the "white hat" sheriff/Harmonium officer
Here if the PCs are beseiged, they might hear a bugle call and literally see the cavalry ride to their rescue
(i.e. the typical western from the 1950's)

On the chaotic side of the Ring, the outlaws will more often be greedy corporations or ranch bosses trying to make everyone subservient to them. In this case, the "authority" would more likely be the (chaotic) loner who drifts into town and fights to preserve the freedoms of the "little guys"
(i.e. like westerns from the late 1970's on)

That's the nice thing about westerns. They've been around long enough that they have evolved to the point where you can adapt them to whatever need you have.

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

Of course when thinking of Stephen King's Dark Tower and the Outlands, well the Spire could sort of fit with that.

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

Here we go: /forum/the-order-knights-errant

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

Oh, here's what I was originally thinking of, though: /041209/spire-breakers

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

Actually, I generally thought of the corporations as more lawful or even more likely-- neutral evil.
A lawful one OTOH would be more likely to exploit legal loopholes (or lack of laws) up the wazoo and use bribes.
The chaotic ones are more likely to kill (or banish) folks who snoop around their territory. Though the chaotic neutral ones are more likely to resort to intimidation tactics and confusion than direct force.

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

I've always felt that neat thing for (4e) Warlocks would be Hex-Shooters, revolvers that can be used for implements and curse what it hits on a weapon attack, as the image of a mystic of questionable magic power armed with magic rune-inscribed six-shooters, is an awesome one. Of course if you're using 3e, you just use the Gun-Mage from Iron Kingdoms instead.

For a Wild West based campaign, I think magic should come in a less traditional form. Deadlands I believe had tarot based card casters, and Iron Council had Judah Low the Golem specialist. At least Arcane magic and Psionic magic might be of the more hedge magic variety. From the town Wizard or Artificer who uses unconventional methods and materials to do magic such as the staff that's pieces of other staffs put together. And at least one travelling con-man could very well be a Psion or you could have a gunman with a very psionicly intimidating stare.

Divine and Primal Magic might be a wild mix of each other. While it might be thematic thing to base most Primal characters on the Natives in a Western. But the natives in a Western based on the Outlands could be a very alien people such as spider-face people or lesser used creatures such as Skulks, Weavers, Nerra or Morlocks, that don't resemble any real world Native groups, and there might be new Spirits that have come into forefront because of the clash of such cultures. And Divine and Primal characters might combine some of these traditions together with fringe elements of (Human or Halfling or Goblinoid or whatever) civilization.

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

What about wands or rods (pre-4e) implements (in 4e), or arcane bonded items (in 4e) serving as replacements for guns?

For that matter, you could just reskin bows or crossbows (particularly repeating crossbows) as guns.

Another idea for the frontier might be the Far Realms for a unique twist on things. Could definately accentuate the man vs. (un)nature there. And we often say the Far Realm is hostile to the humanoids of the material plane, but what if it in this case it was the other way around?

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

Surreal Personae wrote:
What about wands or rods (pre-4e) implements (in 4e), or arcane bonded items (in 4e) serving as replacements for guns?
Pre-4e, I certainly had the idea that many wands could be magical pistols. As a gun that shoots fireballs is too neat of an idea to pass up. In 4e, especially for Artificers I do see magical guns that don't shoot bullets as substitutes for wands, rods and staves. Orbs it's harder to think of a similar substitute for.

As for guns as martial and simple weapons that shoot actual bullets, see my post above about them. Generally I don't see them as unbalancing to the game given what I've said about how powerful melee characters are with special powers and power attack or sneak attack in the post above. So whether or not you want to use guns as weapons in a campaign is completely a flavour issue.

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

In Gary Gygax's original home game, Murlynd was a magic-user PC who dressed like a cowboy and wielded magic wands that happened to look like six-shooters.

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

ripvanwormer wrote:
The other "official" connection would be Murlynd, a demigod cowboy from the Greyhawk setting. He's probably too divine to enter Sigil, but he could be encountered elsewhere, and act as a guide to whatever world inspired him to dress like that (possibly the Masque of the Red Death setting).

Barely related to the topic of the thread, but my favorite theory about Murlynd's weird inclination there comes from an old Canonfire article. He didn't get inspiration from a D&D setting, but rather the setting of Boot Hill, the old TSR Western game. It's not entirely out of the question going by old 1e stuff either.

See, we know from things like Expedition to the Barrier Peaks (which is semi-canonically considered in to be dealing with a ship from Metamorphosis Alpha that stumbled through an interdimensional rift) that there was crossover to certain alternate realities outside the D&D multiverse. The old 1e DMG even included rules to convert characters from D&D to Metamorphosis Alpha, Boot Hill, and Gamma World specifically for adventures where characters get thrown from one setting to another. And we also know Murlynd had an interest in travel to alternate primes (not other crystal spheres, but parallel prime material planes), since it's also semi-canon that he's visited other alternate realities - it's mentioned in passing that he's got a VCR and some tapes from Earth, our Earth, in his house in Land Beyond the Magic Mirror, and I'm pretty sure our planet isn't in Planescape. Yeah, it was mainly done as a blink-and-you'll-miss-it joke, but I'm running with some crazy fan theory here, so I'll use it anyway!

But the big reason why I like this theory is because that's basically why Kaye's character Murlynd was a cowboy. In Gygax's home game, he once got thrown into the wild west because Kaye really liked cowboys. So I like the idea of keeping that in some sense. Laughing out loud

(Sorry for the semi-derail, but Murlynd's one of my favorite deities. The whole party of adventurers-done-good in Oerth, really - Keoghtom, Murlynd, Kelanan, and Heward are awesome.)

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

Oh, I've always thought that was absolutely the most likely theory. I elaborated a little on the way Heward and Murlynd first met on an alternate, Wild West world here, though I wrote that before the whole Company of Seven idea had appeared in canon. If I revisited it now, I'd have Heward, Murlynd, Zagig, and so on companions since their early dungeon-crawling days.

One change I might make, though, is that Murlynd didn't pick up his Wild West apparel on our Earth, but on the Gothic Earth of the Masque of the Red Death setting.

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Re: The Wild West on the Planes

Oh cool, I think I remember that article. I didn't know you were rasgon, I remember you back when I used to lurk on Canonfire. Awesome.

Anyway, it's definitely a feasible change, Red Masque. I just always personally liked the idea that Murlynd cared more about alternate worlds than the Prime. Wanting to explore entirely new areas and all. Not anything especially founded in canon (my earlier post aside), just something that's always felt right to me with him, something that sort of carried the spirit of the free-wheeling campaign they were spawned from.

But anyway, this is really starting to derail things, I should probably shut up about it now. Sticking out tongue

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