When I wrote about the end of our run with the Lost Mine of Phandelver, I mentioned that the next campaign round my table would be a Weird West adventure, and all that entails; despicable outlaws, drunken lawmen, grizzled bounty hunters, insane inventors, depraved demon-worshipping nobility, and trusty shootin’ irons. Ladies and gents, welcome to the Territories.
Ever since I read FFG’s Spellslinger mini-campaign setting, I’ve wanted to do a Wild West fantasy rpg. I’ve dug out the book and have drawn a lot of inspiration from it, tweaking rules and background for D&D 5th edition. This has been quite a pet project for me; I’ve written up the setting background of The Territories, and made up new setting-appropriate classes; the Desperado, the Scoundrel, the Trailblazer, and the Apostle. The campaign will run up to level 5, so approximately ten sessions. Joining me at the table will be my Phandelver alumni, Darryl, Trev and Joe. Liam may also pop in occasionally as a recurring “guest character”, but the campaign will mostly centre around the misadventures of the three.
Tonight was session zero, where we went over the background and talked character generation. This is a step we missed out for Phandelver due to the pre-generated characters, and for Joe and Darryl it was their first time making a character from scratch.
We did all the usual guff of ability scores, buying equipment and so forth, but most of our time was spent making those numbers and scribbled notes into actual living, breathing characters. We explored personalities, obligations, flaws, supporting characters, story hooks, ambitions… everything to fully flesh out the characters they’ll be using for the next few months. I’ll put their character sheets, along with the homebrew class and setting information, plus our house rules, up for view once I’ve turned the rough notes into something legible.
Until then, let’s quickly meet the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, who will be causing all sorts of merry hell in the Fragmented States of Aurelia. Father Jebediah Underwood, played by Joe. A preacher who is also an Apostle, an individual who has been granted divine powers by the Almighty. His eye patch hides the proof of his power, an eye that burns with divine light. Has a mysterious past; he was a normal by-the-book preacher but disappeared for ten years. When he came back to civilisation, he was carrying an aelfar tribal bow and could heal wounds with a touch. Some say that he actually found the Ancient City, far to the west across the Dry Sea, but that’s just crazy talk… John Dwyte, played by Darryl. The Dwytes were once one of the wealthiest families in the Territories, and John was an officer in the Aurelian First Rifles. However he was court-martialled and dishonourably discharged by his commanding officer, Colonel Thaddeus Jefferson, on falsified charges. Worse, the Dwyte family home was razed to the ground shortly afterwards. John believes Jefferson to be responsible, and is consumed by the need for bloody revenge. Magnus Dwyte, played by Trev. John’s younger brother. Smarter and more of a talker than his gruff sibling, Magnus put his talents towards swindling and scamming when the family fortune was lost. Always on the look out for a new opportunity for easy money, Magnus relies on his older brother for muscle when things start going south. He’s a bit of a dandy and has an appreciation for the finer things in life. He has a dark secret about the downfall of the Dwyte family which he can’t bring himself to tell John about.
Shit, you know what, forget the RPG, this has the makings of a novel…
Plenty of gunslinging good times ahead. Hope you stick around for them!