For those who don’t know me, I’m Claudio Pozas, the “contributor that rarely contributes to the blog”. Corey invited me over to ramble, and by God, I’ll ramble!
A couple of posts ago Joshua spoke of the mix-n-match of ideas that makes up a large part of pulp (like, say, DINO-PIRATES OF NINJA ISLAND, or the less inspired Vampirates [really?]). This reminded me of some stuff I got churning in my ol’ (34-year-old) noggin’: the juxtaposition of fantasy and cowboys (and no, I never read Dark Tower). The first image I assembled in my head was a female mage-marshall with a silver pentagram as her badge and riding a unicorn
So what came out of that?
Location: The West. This is an arid land, divided in counties. Each county is ruled by a Count (usually a spellslinger), under the autority of the Emperor. The counties have very unoriginal names, like Dry County, Dragon County (deserted after the great dragon flight a couple of decades back), Red County, etc.
Folk: The lands were colonized by man-folk (humans) after the discovery of magic crystals that serve very well to make magical weapons (a mix of gold and gunpowder). To the East rises a Rockies-like forested mountain range, home to a Paul Bunyan-type race of giant-folk (known to D&D gamers as goliaths). Prospector-like dwarf-folk plye the ground for its crystals, and also for gold, silver and water. Dwarf-folk established at least one large village atop a mesa, called unimaginatively “High Town”. The original dwellers of the West, the elemental genasi (also known as fire-folk, earth-folk, storm-folk, water-folk and wind-folk), distrust, despise and often try to destroy the interlopers.
Law: Peace and quiet don't last long in the West. When folk can't stand up for themselves, they pray (or pay) a mage-marshall to enforce the law. But mage-marshalls are few and far between, and usually might makes right in the West.
I envisioned Arcane West as a “plug-n-play” setting that you could place in any campaign. All it needed would be an unexplored region to the West and a desire to have players yell “YEE-HAW!!!” during game.
Note: Arcane West is totally unrelated to my other mini-setting idea, called “Dungeontown”. More on that later.
And while I’m here, please vote for my Devolved Gnome concept art by posting a comment with your vote in the ArtOrder blog by John Schindehette.