Thursday, May 21, 2009

Arcane West

Hi, y’all!

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?

ARCANE WEST


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.