View Full Version : Western Fantasy [PEACH]

2012-02-04, 01:10 AM
It would be generous to call this Homebrew half-baked. Though not exactly the best introduction, I feel getting criticism and tips from people with a lot more experience as early as possible will help me make a better game in the long run. I want it to use a design that's entirely my own, though who knows the ramifications of putting it online like this.

The Setting
As could be (possibly) ascertained by the title, I'm building a game that is heavily based on the American Southwest from the late 19th century. Not that this will exclude classic fantasy tropes, however. I kind of enjoy seeing knights in full plate armor riding into battle against a group of bandits wielding revolvers and the like (though I need to address the issues that made armor obsolete in real life in the setting). The world will be inhabited by the Tolkien-esque races as well as creatures inspired by the mythology of the area with examples as recent as the Chupacabra and as ancient as the Raw Gums of Arapaho myth, though as the setting expands, I might add more northern myths such as the Windego.

The geography is going to be similar to the American Southwest; Plains to the east, Desert in the middle, Mountains in the west, and an ocean beyond that. Water will be scarce in the desert areas, which range from scrubland to cracked dirt wasteland. To the east of the plains are a smaller, older mountain range with another ocean, with the continent extending north and south. Train tracks will cross the landscape, allowing for easy travel between major towns, with the layouts resembling those of spaghetti westerns.Civilization design will vary by race and/or location, but quite a few would be the aforementioned spaghetti western main street through the town.

Basic Character Traits
Character traits will be broken up into Abilities and Skills. There will be three abilities and 24 skills.

Abilities are divided into Mind, Body, and Soul, to allow a more abstract representation. When a character is created, they are given 15 points to divide between the three abilities, which start at -5. An Ability with a net total of 0 points is equal to the average of that ability in an ordinary, non adventurer, human.

When a check is made against that ability, a d6 is rolled, with the Ability points being added to it (so an Ability at 3 with a roll of 2 will total 5, but an Ability at -1 for the same roll will be a 1) and is checked against a standard d6 roll with any listed modifiers for the action or curse or what have you.

Every five levels, the player will be given an option of increasing an Ability by 1 point instead of receiving the skill point(s) for that level. These have to be used immediately, however.

For every 2 points above 0 an ability is, all skills governed under that ability are increased by 1 point.

The Mind ability is the character's mental capabilities. It influences how many skill points are awarded to the player at level up as well as damage with ranged weapons (firearms, crossbows, and explosives). It governs the One-Handed Firearm, Two-Handed Firearm, Crossbow, Explosives, Crafting, Lore, Traps, and Locks skills.

The Body ability is the character's physical health. It partially determines Hit Points as well as damage with martial weapons (melee weapons, thrown weapons, and bows). It governs the One-Handed Melee, Two-Handed Melee, Bows, Thrown Weapons, Shields, Riding, Stealth, and Acrobatics skills.

The Soul ability is the character's presence in the spiritual realm. It partially determines Magic Points as well as damage with spells. It governs the Holy Magic, Anima Magic, Black Magic, Nature Magic, Speech, Survival, Medicine, and Perception skills.

Skills are easily my least developed part of character design right now. The concept is a set of defined skills, with the ability to increase them by giving each one skill points which are awarded at each level up, at 3+1/2Mind if Mind is 0 or greater. Skill points can be spent increasing the prowess with each skill (improving chances to hit with weapons that use said skill, or passing checks with non combat skills). Feats will be arranged in a branch system, and can be taken with a certain amount of skills. Other than this and a handful of feats for some skills, this is where I need the most help. Skills are also increased by Racial Traits, at +1 every three levels.

The skills are as such:
One-Handed Melee, Two-Handed Melee, Bow, Thrown Weapon, One-Handed Firearm, Two-Handed Firearm, Crossbow, Explosives, Holy Magic, Anima Magic, Black Magic, Nature Magic, Shields, Riding, Stealth, Acrobatics, Crafting, Lore, Traps, Locks, Speech, Survival, Medicine, and Perception.

The races that most fantasy games use will be used. You'll have your humans, elves, dwarves, and orcs. But I'm also planning on adding other races based on Native American cultures as well as ones I just make up. In keeping with the theme, racial tension will be high. Humans will be more cooperative with humans, elves with elves, etc etc. Though I'm still on the fence for having a slavery analogue or if that would ruin the fun. Like more traditional RPG's, each race will have set bonuses and penalties towards their various traits such as improved senses as well as preferred classes, which will be elaborated on later.

Much like other games, humans are a wide spread, basic race with no preference or racial traits other than a boost towards skills. They're the fastest expanding people with a strong industry, though not nearly as powerful as the dwarves. They are relatively quick to adapt to new ideas, but are just as likely to reject anything new. At around 5 years they start working in their family's business (usually farming, but various shops aren't out of the question). By age 10 they are forced to decide their trade and work under an apprenticeship. For obvious reasons, gender roles won't be touched on too much, and anyone can do anything regardless of gender. Humans are considered adults at age 16, though adventurers tend to be a bit older in order to justify the combat or magical or other skills they've developed. The average life expectancy of a human is around 45 or so years, though this is not a hard limit, and humans can live to be a little older than 110 if they are lucky.

Humans: Medium size. No preferred classes. Racial Traits: 2 additional skill points at character generation.

Elves are Fey creatures, attuned with the supernatural. They live in small villages deep in the thick forests. Slow to grow and slow to act, they almost compulsively take every minute factor into account before acting. Elves are children until they turn 50, when they start their apprenticeship, usually with other tribes. This lasts until the master feels they are ready to work on their own, perfecting their trade. Elves don't seem to die of old age, but are considered elders as they near their second century. They are tall and slender, with olive skin and pointed ears. Their eyes are almost completely black, and seem to reflect an otherworldly light.

Elves: Medium size. Preferred Classes: Ballistisas (Crossbow) and Anima Mages. Racial Traits: +1 to Soul, improved Stealth, improved Survival.

The Dwarves are a race that has lived on the continent for centuries longer than Humans and even Elves. While many live in great fortresses in the mountains, others can be found in the plains and even along the coasts. While no shorter than a human, their body proportions make them seem like they are wider than they are tall. From the time they can walk, Dwarves are naturally attuned for working with fine motor controls developing great skill with rifles. At age 25, they are considered old enough to enlist, though a few follow a path of piety towards their god Gunaakadeit, the god of wealth. They generally don't live to be older than 150, but a few have been recorded as being older than 200. They are a muscular race that can have fair or dark skin. Men almost always have a thick beard that's been braided, with both genders having very short hair.

Dwarves: Large size. Preferred Classes: Priest/Priestess (Holy Magic) and Gunner (Two-Handed Firearm). Racial Traits: +1 to Mind, Dark Vision, improved Craft.

The Orcs are a race that dwarf even the, well, dwarves. They live in forts made of cut and sharpened logs, in which they farm and cook and work. They are ferocious fighters, but have a strict code of honor. They seem to be naturaly attuned to horses, and have little trouble taming them. Orcs reach adulthood at 13 years, and never live to be older than 30. They have greenish skin, slightly pointed ears, and thick teeth that occasionally jut from their mouths, though this seems to be a result of their lifestyle rather than a physical trait with Orcs that grew up in cities having straight, if still rather thick, teeth.

Orc: Large size. Preferred Classes: Cavalry (One-Handed Melee), Barbarian (Two-Handed Melee) [Class name subject to change]. Racial Traits: +1 to Body, +2 Armor, improved Riding, improved Survival.

Walkers are a nomadic people, constantly wandering the plains. Their homes are simple leather tents, supported by specially cut wooden poles. They live entirely off the land, using all of what they kill. When they earn their first kill while hunting, they are an adult, and are given a necklace made of woven threads. One small bone is taken from each of their kills and added to the necklace. Their elusive nature makes it difficult to discern their maximum age, but it seems they do not die of old age, much like the elves. Their skin resembles smooth tree bark, with a deep green tightly curled hair. Their ears are long and pointed, with a tuft at the end. As they age, their skin grows more and more treelike.

Walker: Medium Size. Preferred Classes: Hunter (Bow), Shaman (Nature Magic). Racial Traits: Permanent Oak Skin, improved Lore, improved Survival.

Halflings resemble small humans with larger feet. They are subjugated by larger races, resulting in quite a few thieves and arsonists among them. Despite this, they are a cheery bunch, who love parties. Halflings reach adulthood at 30, and usually die of old age at around 110. Many migrated west to find their fortune and to raise new families. They are about as tall as a prepubescent child, with lightly curly brown hair and light skin.

Halfling: Small Size. Preferred Classes: Thief (Thrown Weapon) and Demolitionist (Explosives). Racial Traits: 1 extra weapon skill, improved Stealth, improved Craft, improved Locks, improved Traps.

2012-02-04, 11:40 AM
What drew you to using your own design, rather than adapting an existing western fantasy setting & system, e.g. Deadlands?

2012-02-04, 12:25 PM
Because I thought it would be fun