Level Up (A5E) Sunset Riders Fantasy Western! (Campaign Setting thoughts)

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Listening to Ecstasy of Gold as I type this, forgot how f*($ing good it is
But once the sun sets, the herd is fully active and thunders across the planes as any horse might do during the day.

Finally catching up with this thread... I had a question about this line - because in Sunset Riders, it works either way - "planes" or "plains"
😄


But their -true- strangeness comes in the twilight hours. For the Night Horses can ride between the land of the living and the land of the dead during the last hours of the day and the start of night.
Heart eyes emoji, love magic horses. "These aren't Your Little Ponies!!"

And time and space in the Deadlands don't conform to reality perfectly. A Night Horse can run along the periphery between worlds and wind up hundreds of miles from where they started before the sun is finished setting. It's how the herd travels with the change of the seasons. They ride hard across the dusk as winter comes to the sweeping plains and find themselves near to Lowmoon's lush grasslands.

And if half-tamed, they can take a rider along their way.

Thus the Sunset Riders. Mostly young men, wiry and thin, expert riders, orphans preferred... are hired on to do "Ride Dusk" to carry important messages across the continent faster than any train could hope to run.
Maybe we can say "young folx", so people can play whatever gender they want?
Why orphans? Because if you're in the Deadlands when Twilight ends, you and your Night Horse aren't getting out before Dawn... And because time works differently there, well. Dawn may be a night, or it may be a lifetime.

Which also lead into the thought of Bandits and Outlaws and the occasional Lawman riding dusk. So if you see someone lope into town on a jet black horse you can't tell if they're just riding a normal horse that happens to be black or a true Night Horse indicating they're -probably- an Outlaw ready to flee into dusk at the drop of a hat.

And that introductory "10 Minutes to Midnight" adventure with the Ghost Train? Now it's "10 Minutes of Twilight". The players are riding Night Horses, and the Ghost Train is taking souls from the Deadlands to the Heavens... or Hell. Depending where they get off.

Run by Casey Jones. A folk-hero railman who gave his life to save his passengers in a terrible train wreck.
Now I've got a Grateful Dead song in my head... 🚂
 

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Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
@Eyes of Nine

Plains, not planes. But for the Night Horses yes both work!

Young folx or, more likely "Young'ins" would be more accurate, yeah. I was actually mostly paraphrasing the old Pony Express adverts.

HD_PonyExpress1860recruitin.jpg


And this SRD: https://a5esrd.com/a5esrd

The Dungeon Delver's Guide was the most recently added SRD Expansion, but as you can see, there's entries for the GPG articles that haven't been filed, yet. Artificers are in issue 0, Spiderfolk are in issue 3.
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
So a thing I touched on in another thread but I wanna clarify here:

The three religions all work together in their own ways to achieve the same goal: Protecting the world from the darkness beyond.

The Animists are honest about their aims. That people die and are reincarnated once their soul has passed through the heavens to live again and grow their soul through good living in order to move on to the next life with a twist. They know and recognize that animals, plants, geographical features, and even -objects- can be invested with a soul. That the family dog has a soul while a wolf does not.

So they encourage investing in the world around you. Sharing your existence with objects and animals so there are more who pass through the cycle of reincarnation.

Meanwhile those who worship Folk Heroes, Saints, and Legends aren't exactly being religious about it. But just as a dog or a rock can have part of one's soul invested into it, they're investing into the folk heroes, too. Making their souls stronger even in the afterlife. Increasing the time between reincarnations though the folk-hero worshippers don't actually know anything about it. Each time the tale gets taller, each time Pecos Bill wrangles a tornado with a snake-lasso while riding a lion, the soul provides more.

And then the Pantheon... They don't -really- interact with the mortal world beyond occasionally providing angelic messengers to encourage people to be kind and honest and such. They're too busy channeling all the soul-energy and sending souls back to be born anew and relive the cycle, again. Sure they provide clerics with power to help... but most of it is aimed outward, not inward.

And yes. The Pantheon's highest priests know about the eternal war and teach -some- of it to the common folk. But they don't teach about reincarnation or how the soul's strength is taken for the good of all before you're sent back. To hear them tell of it, those who live a moral life go to eternal reward. While those who bend to iniquity and evil will go to hell, where Glory will tear their soul apart and destroy them.

Which is actually -kinda- true! 'Cause that's what Glory does with the souls she gets. Her devils make a deal, your soul goes to her instead of one of the other members of the Pantheon, and she uses every drop of your soul to defend the realm. There is no reincarnation through Glory, only oblivion. And a tormented passing to go along with it!
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
For Archetypes I'm looking at:

Card Magic Wizard
Roll a d12. 1-3 Clubs, 4-6 Diamonds, 7-9 Spades, 10-12 Hearts. Each of the three within the suit is number, face, or ace. Yeah there's way more number cards in a deck, but the odds of a gambler pulling out a 2-10 instead of the ace or a face is practically nonexistent in dramatic moments in movies so suspend your disbelief!

Each suit applies to a specific type of roll. Number, face, ace determines how big the bonus is.

Cometborn Sorcerer
Born under the strange star, you bear powers that bring things to a -dramatic- end, and a new beginning. Probably some psychic and necrotic stuff intermingled to play around with the hungering darkness beyond the literal and metaphorical heavens.

Eldritch Gunslinger Warlock
You know them, you love them, now they've got a setting they absolutely fit into!

Frenetic Berserker
While any Berserker benefits from dual-wielding for crit fishing, this one focuses on dual-wielding and making area attacks with weapons. With a main hand Strength weapon and an offhand Finesse weapon, specifically. Also some bonuses like "If you hit a target with your main hand -and- an off hand attack add +1 to the combat maneuver DC of any maneuver you're applying to your off-hand attack"

Spirit Speaker Cleric
Mediums, sure. But also connecting with the spirits of the land, of animals. Soul-Clerics that mess around with the setting's Soul mechanics.

Tall Tales Bard
Folk Heroes become legends, and have tiny bits of the souls of those who are breathless over their exploits shared with them. A Tall Tales Bard can manipulate your party's Prestige level to grant you mystical bonuses based on how big your legend has grown.
 

The important takeaway before this post gets away from me:
I wanna know if any of you would like to put your fictional character names into the setting.

I want to clarify that I don't want to use your real names. While in theory that's fun and interesting, having your real name on the internet can be a problem. And giving your name to strangers on the internet is way more dangerous than giving it to the Fey.

But. Having the name of an Elven Bladesmith to take up a role similar to Masamune. Or a gnome artificer to be the setting's Remington or Colt? Could be fun and allow people to point to their own little piece of Acadia.
Maybe some kind of ghost rider reference. I vaguely recall there being an incarnation of him that's a cowboy (called the phantom rider).
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
Maybe some kind of ghost rider reference. I vaguely recall there being an incarnation of him that's a cowboy (called the phantom rider).
Ghost Riders are going to be one of the setting's monsters. It's what happens when a Sunset Rider doesn't get out before the sun sets on their ride.

On that note: Riding dusk is dangerous in any circumstance, but heading West is vastly safer than heading East and you can travel a lot further when you're going West.
 

For Archetypes I'm looking at:

Card Magic Wizard
Roll a d12. 1-3 Clubs, 4-6 Diamonds, 7-9 Spades, 10-12 Hearts. Each of the three within the suit is number, face, or ace. Yeah there's way more number cards in a deck, but the odds of a gambler pulling out a 2-10 instead of the ace or a face is practically nonexistent in dramatic moments in movies so suspend your disbelief!

Each suit applies to a specific type of roll. Number, face, ace determines how big the bonus is.

Cometborn Sorcerer
Born under the strange star, you bear powers that bring things to a -dramatic- end, and a new beginning. Probably some psychic and necrotic stuff intermingled to play around with the hungering darkness beyond the literal and metaphorical heavens.

Eldritch Gunslinger Warlock
You know them, you love them, now they've got a setting they absolutely fit into!

Frenetic Berserker
While any Berserker benefits from dual-wielding for crit fishing, this one focuses on dual-wielding and making area attacks with weapons. With a main hand Strength weapon and an offhand Finesse weapon, specifically. Also some bonuses like "If you hit a target with your main hand -and- an off hand attack add +1 to the combat maneuver DC of any maneuver you're applying to your off-hand attack"

Spirit Speaker Cleric
Mediums, sure. But also connecting with the spirits of the land, of animals. Soul-Clerics that mess around with the setting's Soul mechanics.

Tall Tales Bard
Folk Heroes become legends, and have tiny bits of the souls of those who are breathless over their exploits shared with them. A Tall Tales Bard can manipulate your party's Prestige level to grant you mystical bonuses based on how big your legend has grown.
maybe through in something there for druids (we don't have desert-based druids so maybe you can do something with that?)
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
maybe through in something there for druids (we don't have desert-based druids so maybe you can do something with that?)
That's not exactly how Druids work in A5e... They don't even get a favored land as part of the core class features, much less their archetype functions.

Instead it's more like "What aspects of nature magic do you use?" in a way, with Steelspeakers going against 'pure' nature to mingle with technology. It's why I'm doing the "Eco Terrorist" druid for Martial Artistry.

That said, Purple Martin Games did put out the Sea Warden in MoAR...

Hmm... maybe I should make the Spirit Speaker into a Druid archetype instead of a Cleric archetype since it involves talking to the spirits of the land and animals, too?

MoAR has the exceptional Judge cleric archetype, but... hmm... maybe something that combines the Pantheon with a sort of Civic Leadership role since there's practically a civic religion with worship of the founding fathers and the legends around them in the real world... Definitely worth considering.
 

That's not exactly how Druids work in A5e... They don't even get a favored land as part of the core class features, much less their archetype functions.

Instead it's more like "What aspects of nature magic do you use?" in a way, with Steelspeakers going against 'pure' nature to mingle with technology. It's why I'm doing the "Eco Terrorist" druid for Martial Artistry.

That said, Purple Martin Games did put out the Sea Warden in MoAR...

Hmm... maybe I should make the Spirit Speaker into a Druid archetype instead of a Cleric archetype since it involves talking to the spirits of the land and animals, too?

MoAR has the exceptional Judge cleric archetype, but... hmm... maybe something that combines the Pantheon with a sort of Civic Leadership role since there's practically a civic religion with worship of the founding fathers and the legends around them in the real world... Definitely worth considering.
maybe to make it less terrain-specific, call the druid archetype "survivalist" or something (pretty sure that name is taken by something) that focuses on fauna/flora found in extreme and/or harsh conditions? Volcanos, deserts, places cold as hell, etc...
For the cleric, maybe "patriot" something but kinda drawing blanks otherwise. "Folkist" perhaps?
 

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