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Wild West Setting for Genesys

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I play a steampunk/magepunk mashup of many different things including a wild west lands/nation made from the book series "the incorruptibles" by John Hornor Jacobs

Its a good read and a nice setting. Has steam and guns but its all powered by demons. Summoned to fuel the engines and the bullets are literal small demon souls you shoot at your opponent. The flicker of small gas lights are tiny imp souls burning in small silver cages to provide illumination.

A short synopsy would be: what if the roman empire survived long enough to colonize america using demon power. 

Has some fantasy elements to it as well. Maybe to weird for you but check out the book see if you like it. My players have actually never gone to this land yet. But the demons are waiting :)  

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For a Wild West Setting:

I'd use the default human archetypes, plus create a few more to fill out the list; same for careers.

For gear I'd cherry pick from the fantasy and modern settings. Bows, Revolvers, Hunting Rifles, Knives, Swords, and Throwing Axes (RoT 95) would be the most common weapons.

To differenciate your cowboys from your natives. I'd use Melee, Ranged (Firearms), and Ranged (Primative) instead of the generic Ranged Subskills.

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I would allow natives as a PC option; assuming it was appropriate to the story.

However I wouldn't make them a seperate archetype, it smacks of racism no matter how well done. I would have every ethnicity use the same list of archetypes.

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1: The PCs are deputised by an NPC sherif that needs help bringing bandits to justice. As an added complication, the sherif is murdered soon after.

2: The PCs are hired by a wealthy land owner to retrieve his 'kidnapped' daughter. The twist is she actually ran away to elope with a childhood friend.

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Many years ago our group played a wild west themed campaign was set in world of darkness. But the plot hook went something like 

The pc are the unknown descendants (no matter heritage) of a wealthy and mysterious business owner who left them a mine far away. 
They meet with a lawyer and finds out their relation to one another. 

On the way to claim their heritage they confront gangs who wants to stop their claim. They strife to unravel the mystery behind their
shared father and form a bond as siblings.

More a overarching campaign then a quick adventure idea :)

Other ideas. 

The pc are hired to guard a vault in a train after fending off an attempted heist they arrive in town only to find out the vault is empty. The pc are accused of stealing the content and must flee to prove their innocence as well as solve the mystery of what happen to the vault. 

 

  

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There is no need to make two different ranged skills. The native used firearms as much as the whites. They only used bows when they needed to kill silently.

About wild wild west careers I was thinking of : Town marshal, Sheriff, Pinkerton agent, Texas ranger (but DO NOT name one Walker, please), Bounty Hunter, Trapper, Buffalo Hunter, Indian Scout, US cavalry soldier (or officer or nco),former confederate soldier, former black slave (might need to be worded differently), outlaw that could specialise with bank robber, train robber, horse and cattle robber, cowboy, shepherd, tenderfoot freshly arrived from the Eastcoast. And that's all that came to my mind for now.

 

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2 hours ago, WolfRider said:

There is no need to make two different ranged skills. The native used firearms as much as the whites. They only used bows when they needed to kill silently.

While it is true the division is technically unnecessary, I defend the advice by saying that my division makes more sence in the scope of the setting than using the light/heavy axis would have. Genesys makes it fairly clear that I'm 'supposed' to divide up whichever of the combat skills will be most iconic to the setting, but I find the extant examples woefully bland. I also broke them up the way I did because otherwise, you end up with most everybody having to invest in both subskills regardless of what kind of ranged weapons they wanted to use.

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Starter adventure ideas that could turn into campaigns. Some of these may be movies I've seen...

1. PC's start an investigation to see what is happening to cattle on the Ranch which ends up escalating to a range war over water and grazing lands or railroad easements.

2. PC's are business persons who have come west to seek their fortune. Lured by the local minister/sheriff who is trying to clean up the town. 

3. PC's receive word a notorious criminal that they had a hand in sending away to jail has escaped is on his way to kill them. 

4. PC's are sent to broker peace with the local native population, those who want to take the natives' land kill the chief and frame the PC's. 

 

 To me Edge adventures can be switched to westerns with a little work.

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I think dividing the ranged skill, or the melee skill too, in two is never justified.  And I think it is always the system that must be adapted to the setting not the opposite. Genesys is a template, you pick up what you need in it and left over what you don't need. And you make knew skills and new talents if there is need to.

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34 minutes ago, WolfRider said:

I think dividing the ranged skill, or the melee skill too, in two is never justified.  And I think it is always the system that must be adapted to the setting not the opposite. Genesys is a template, you pick up what you need in it and left over what you don't need. And you make knew skills and new talents if there is need to.

SWRPG divides the ranged skill in two. I’d say since Genesys is based on that then it is indeed appropriate given the setting.

Genesys is a narrative system. As such, the mechanics give way when the narrative demands. The narrative should never be held hostage by the mechanics.

The CRB recommends splitting ranged into heavy and light skills if playing in a setting that features ranged combat. 

If I was to create a D&D setting to play Genesys in I would have many weapons skills, because I feel it would be  narratively appropriate to make distinctions in order to enrich the narrative. The skill to use a dagger shouldn’t be the same as a longsword. 

In a Wild West setting, using a hunting rifle is very different from using a bow and just because the natives are familiar with both doesn’t mean the Americans are.

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I see splitting the ranged skill in two as very appropriate here. I think it is very thematic that a cowboy of the time might have little skill in archery while being a crack rifle shot, and vice versa for natives. However, it's equally appropriate that particular individuals or careers would have proficiency or training in both. The ability to knock an arrow, draw and release has little in common with working a bolt or lever action, and pushing rounds into a rifle. The similarities in terms of breathing and sight compensation are there I grant you though.

You could argue the same for any game set with conquistadors, or British colonisation. Meanwhile it is not appropriate to divide for something set during the Middle Ages, or during the Industrial revolution. These settings have much more of a bias towards one or the other. All in my opinion of course.

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On 12/6/2018 at 9:38 PM, AnomalousAuthor said:

 

If I was to create a D&D setting to play Genesys in I would have many weapons skills, because I feel it would be  narratively appropriate to make distinctions in order to enrich the narrative. The skill to use a dagger shouldn’t be the same as a longsword. 

 

It should actually :) (disclaimer you cant really emulate the real world in a skillsystem) 
I have trained a bit medieval swordfighting mostly from old manuals. Most of these drills or technics shown there are with dagger. And as the intro (to the lessons) says you can do these with hand, dagger or sword in 1 or 2 hands. 

But nerd rant over :)

The division is really up to if you want flavour or balance. For the most part if all your pc's are cowboys divide it and dont worry about it. But if you expect your pc to actually use xp on bows. Make it useful like add in scenes where they need to kill silent and careers that uses bow meaning full. 

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So this is a thing. I've only glanced over it so far, so it might need fiddling with to fit your play style, but at around 78 pages it seems pretty comprehensive.

For the Ranged debate: I've always played Ranged (Light) and Ranged (Heavy) as separate--in a Western, that would be basically Sidearms (revolvers, pistols, throwing knives, tomahawks, etc.) vs. Longarms (repeaters, rifles, bows, etc.). If you want to show the difference between Primitive and Modern weapons, just give the Primitive weapons some sort of modifier, and then include Talents that let users negate that debuff. Realistically, a thrown weapon or bow isn't as accurate as a half-decent firearm, but in the hands of a trained professional (with some rule-of-cool spitshine to boot) it can handle as well, if not better.

As far as separating Ranged into two skills, it just feels more narrative to me. I like to give my players a reason to specialize in more thematic pistols and the like rather than just lugging around the more powerful rifles and all that. That said, I feel like primitive weapons are niche enough that they should either be hand-waved as "close enough" or given a modifier to show that they're inferior to modern weapons. Some examples:

  • Give bows Inferior 1 and Silent (allows weapon to be fired without noise, negated by three Threats or a Despair)
  • Give bows Primitive (gives the user one or two Setback Dice, but certain Talents either negate the Setbacks or give Boost Dice in their place)

Just my two cents.

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Taking example from Realms of Terrinoth, you could make Primitive a crafting style. Have it lower the cost and rarity while adding inferior, lowering damage, raising crit, or adding black dice. Then you could have the basic crafting style be Modern, and even an Advanced crafting style that could add damage, superior, lower crit rating, etc.

Rather than having a separate skill you could now make a bunch of different weapons either Primitive, Modern, or Advanced versions. If you wanted to make the Primitive weapons the simple, but reliable option you could add a custom item quality called fragile that is automatically applied to all Modern weapons that make it easier for them to jam, take damage, run out of ammo, etc.. So now there would be both positives and negatives tied to both options. Then if the GM wants to just offer the players clear upgrades he can do so through Advanced weapons.

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14 hours ago, Castlecruncher said:

So this is a thing. I've only glanced over it so far, so it might need fiddling with to fit your play style, but at around 78 pages it seems pretty comprehensive.

Not to discourage anyone, but this is a thing also. It's a Genesys conversion. I haven't played it but it looks very well done. Could be a source of inspiration if nothing else.

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On 12/5/2018 at 12:12 PM, WolfRider said:

There is no need to make two different ranged skills. The native used firearms as much as the whites. They only used bows when they needed to kill silently.

About wild wild west careers I was thinking of : Town marshal, Sheriff, Pinkerton agent, Texas ranger (but DO NOT name one Walker, please), Bounty Hunter, Trapper, Buffalo Hunter, Indian Scout, US cavalry soldier (or officer or nco),former confederate soldier, former black slave (might need to be worded differently), outlaw that could specialise with bank robber, train robber, horse and cattle robber, cowboy, shepherd, tenderfoot freshly arrived from the Eastcoast. And that's all that came to my mind for now.

 

What?  No gambler career?

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On 12/6/2018 at 8:03 PM, Roderz said:

I see splitting the ranged skill in two as very appropriate here. I think it is very thematic that a cowboy of the time might have little skill in archery while being a crack rifle shot, and vice versa for natives. However, it's equally appropriate that particular individuals or careers would have proficiency or training in both. The ability to knock an arrow, draw and release has little in common with working a bolt or lever action, and pushing rounds into a rifle. The similarities in terms of breathing and sight compensation are there I grant you though.

You could argue the same for any game set with conquistadors, or British colonization. Meanwhile it is not appropriate to divide for something set during the Middle Ages, or during the Industrial revolution. These settings have much more of a bias towards one or the other. All in my opinion of course.

I would argue that there could be many ranged skill sets.  Pistol work  is very different than using shotguns, which is very different than shooting with a long rifle.  Further, military would have access to the first rotary guns (which eventually became machine guns) that line up more with cannons as military equipment rather than person weapons, and could possibly use its own category.  I suppose it depends on how detailed you would want/need to be with combat in this regard and what you feel is appropriate for a skilled person to be able to do.  Should a master pistoleer be able to just pick up a bow and be an ace shot?  I don't think so.  Would a person that is an expert with a shotgun also be a crack shot with a long rifle?  Maybe?

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On 12/7/2018 at 7:46 PM, Castlecruncher said:

So this is a thing. I've only glanced over it so far, so it might need fiddling with to fit your play style, but at around 78 pages it seems pretty comprehensive.

For the Ranged debate: I've always played Ranged (Light) and Ranged (Heavy) as separate--in a Western, that would be basically Sidearms (revolvers, pistols, throwing knives, tomahawks, etc.) vs. Longarms (repeaters, rifles, bows, etc.). If you want to show the difference between Primitive and Modern weapons, just give the Primitive weapons some sort of modifier, and then include Talents that let users negate that debuff. Realistically, a thrown weapon or bow isn't as accurate as a half-decent firearm, but in the hands of a trained professional (with some rule-of-cool spitshine to boot) it can handle as well, if not better.

As far as separating Ranged into two skills, it just feels more narrative to me. I like to give my players a reason to specialize in more thematic pistols and the like rather than just lugging around the more powerful rifles and all that. That said, I feel like primitive weapons are niche enough that they should either be hand-waved as "close enough" or given a modifier to show that they're inferior to modern weapons. Some examples:

  • Give bows Inferior 1 and Silent (allows weapon to be fired without noise, negated by three Threats or a Despair)
  • Give bows Primitive (gives the user one or two Setback Dice, but certain Talents either negate the Setbacks or give Boost Dice in their place)

Just my two cents.

I read this after I posted.  I like this alot!

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