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Old 07-06-2020, 02:25 PM
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1,000,000 Ways to Die in the Weird West (Modern AGE)

Game Name1,000,000 Ways to Die in the Weird West (Modern AGE)
Game SystemModern AGE
ThemeWe'll start with a one-shot with the option to continue into more of an open sandbox format. Alternate history filled with magic and steampunk! I strive for equal parts exploration, combat, and role-playing, but everything should be immersive and narrative!
FlavourGritty, dark, and intense with moments of inter-party levity. A motley crew of flawed characters learning to work together while pursuing their shared and individual goals in a homebrew weird west world. Mood inspiration: Cowboys and Aliens, Firefly, The Magnificent Seven, Priest.
Plot Summary
The World


1,000,000 Ways to Die in the Weird West
The Year: 1885
The Place: The Continent of North America


During the events of the Civil War something… Think the Awakening from the Shadowrun universehappened. The cause is unknown. Many blame an occult-crazed General Robert E. Lee. Some say aliens chose this moment to conduct a world-altering experiment. The faithful proclaim it is the End Times. What is known is that forces of nature once thought to be myth and fairytale and not of this earth have exploded into existence. More than half of humanity has had their essence forcibly and irrevocably altered, awakening all manner of new species. Elves, dwarves, minotaurs, lycanthropes, intelligent ghouls, nymphs, spirits, anthromorphs, sentient talking animals, and countless others now share the continent alongside humans. Along with angels and demons. Lots and lots of demons.

The continent once known as North America is now split into ten territories. The Colonial Empire is what remains of those that sailed from Europe, Africa, and Asia centuries ago. Their Civil War literally brought Hell down upon them in the form of the demon Lord Marshall Robert E. Lee. The West has been left largely to fend for themselves while the Colonies hide behind their impenetrable wall. Immigrants, First People, Quilmaguan, Inuit, and the new self-proclaimed ethnicity of "Masonites" share the lands between the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi River. West of the Rockies are demons. Lots and lots of demons.

The West is no longer ruled only by the gun. Swords are just as common as bullets and have to contend with the arcane and the divine to boot. The steam engine roars through the plains aided by clockwork gears, although the horse still remains a tried and true steed. Also did I mention demons?

The desperate and greedy head West in droves looking for one thing. Not gold, but a new substance known as hellstone. Half gemstone, half metallic ore, and all volatile. Raw hellstone can horribly mutate any who come near it, but the rewards for processing it into a stable ingot can buy you a kingdom.

It's weird. It's wild. And it'll never be the same again. Welcome to the West.

A Brief NoteA brief note on the world: due to the time period and my own “gritty” flavor for the game I want to be clear; slavery and racism will not be a part of my game. Not by me and not by my players. There may potentially be some light elements involving drugs and prostitution, but these will be viewed through a PG-13 lens. My goal is to cultivate a safe space for all players. Please send me a PM if I or anyone in my game posts anything that makes you feel uncomfortable and I will rectify it!


More Information on the Nations of North America:
 


The Plot & Mechanics
 

Posting Rate and Structure
 

Applications
Please no dice rolling in this thread!

Please post a completed application no later than 11:59am WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5th to be considered for this game. My goal is to send invites before the weekend so we can get started with character creation right away and into the game ASAP. Many of these fields have specific mechanics in the AGE system that grant bonuses or mechanical definitions in some way so please bear in mind that tweaks may be required when it comes to character creation, and that’s okay.

What I'm Looking For
 


right-aligned image
A completed application should include:


Name: Could be your PC’s birth name, alias, nickname, code name, etc…

Race: Modern AGE does not differentiate by race with racial traits or bonuses or penalties. This is purely flavor and I’ve allowed for just about anything you can think of; traditional fantasy races, talking animals, humanoid plants, spirits, ghouls, you get the idea!

Ethnicity: How does your PC identify themselves? Which Nation do they belong to (if any)?

Image/Appearance: I would prefer a picture as well as a narrative description of your PC. What do they look like? What do they smell like? What kinds of clothes do they wear? What weapons do they carry? How do they speak? How do they move? Bonus points for crediting the artist of your image.

Party Role: What skills, abilities, and expertise does your PC bring to the group? Are they a smooth, suave talker? A burly sack of hit points? Do they kill with their mind? Can they spot that essential clue? Or do they just have guns... lots of guns?

Level: We will be starting at Level 1, your PC’s are certainly more capable than your average NPC, but not by much (yet!). Leveling up could be handled with milestones or with XP rewards, depending on the group's desires.

Powers: If you plan to give your PC access to either Arcane or Psychic powers give me just a rough idea of what they’ll be able to do here. Shoot fireballs? Read minds? We’ll be using the “Substitution” version of the Powers mechanics, meaning you can take Powers right away at Level 1! Also I'm usually pretty open to developing new Powers if you don't see something in the rules that fits your idea.

Alignment: For lack of a better word I borrowed from D&D. Please don’t leave it at “Lawful Good”. That’s a fine starting point but I would like you to expand on that. What do they think of the law? What about a rumored corrupt sheriff? What about justified criminals? The innocent? Does your PC work well with others? What are they willing to do to get the job done? What aren’t they willing to do?

Profession: What does your PC do when they aren’t getting embroiled in crazy adventures? How do they make a living?

Drive/Goals: What motivates your PC to leave the confines of their life and venture out with other odd individuals to get involved in weird and dangerous adventures? Money? Fame? Adrenaline? Redemption?

Backstory: For now just tell me about your PC’s past. Where did they grow up? How did they live? Who are/were their peers? What are they doing now? If you’re looking for more input regarding the different regions in the game see the spoiler button above or feel free to message me!
Additional Info on Backstory
 


Role-Playing Samples: Please provide at least two samples of your writing. These can be from other games you've played in, brand new scenes relating to the character you are applying with here, or something else entirely.

I will attempt to provide at least one round of feedback for each application presented to me within a reasonable amount of time. Applications posted within a few days of the deadline will get less input than those I get to see earlier.

About MeI started playing RPG’s about six or seven years ago when I summoned up the courage to visit my FLGS and take part in the Pathfinder Society games being run there. Shortly thereafter I found a local group kind enough to invite me into their home games every week and I’ve never looked back. Since then I’ve played in over a dozen different systems and become the defacto GM for said home group who are now my closest friends (and who are all older and have played RPG’s much, much longer than me). I’ve been tinkering with this homebrew setting off and on for a few years. The weird, wild west is a setting that’s very near and dear to my heart and I’m putting it out into the world for the very first time here. Not even my home group has played in it yet!

I've been playing games on RPGx for about two years. This is the first game I've run in pbp-style so please bear with me! I'll be borrowing ideas and mechanics I've seen from other GM's I've played under that I think work well, but I'll also be figuring a lot of it out on my own as we go.

Homebrew/Optional RulesThese won’t really come into play until we get past the application phase, but just because I’m laying everything out I figured I’d add this here as well for future reference. Also I reserve the right to add/remove/modify these at any time with an explanation.
 

Character Applications
Player Name Character Name Party Role Completed?
JaredSyn Grigory Valiant Tracker and Bounty Hunter, Gun-slinging aficionado Complete
cottontailwind Dr. Ouzo Fast-Talking, Skulduggery, Illusion Magic, Medical Malpractice (read: not a healer) Complete
Trae Adahy Alchemy/shaman powers? Trader Complete
Verdant Glitter Kareina Meat shield, melee enthusiast, muscle-bound powerhouse. Complete
Niyaga Li Jie Magic, investigation and knowledge of the supernatural Complete
Noquarter19 Dr. Reinhold Sturgis Healer, investigator, researcher, moral compass Complete
Herb Charles Kryn Ex- Pinkerton turned Investigator Complete
olhado Barnabus Wheelock The grizzled rogue. Master of reconnaisance, dealer in hard-earned wisdom... Complete
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I have taken the Oath of Sangus
Currently Recruiting!! 1,000,000 Ways to Die in the Weird West
Current Characters: Prince Brucían Pough | Rolf da Minek | Kayleigh Thorne
Current posting status: Normal!

Last edited by MoldyNolds; 07-23-2020 at 10:34 PM.
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Old 07-06-2020, 10:16 PM
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I am so feelin this Posting for interest. I have a mostly-fleshed our character concept—I’m familiarizing myself with the Modern AGE system and am working on the technical details!
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Old 07-07-2020, 01:02 PM
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I think I will similarly be posting my interest... I suspect there will be a lot of hand holding though character gen as I am new to the system.

But it is nice to see a familiar face.
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:53 PM
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Great! To be honest there are a lot of options to sift through as far as different Trades, Professions, and Drives and the subsequent bonuses to choose from, but if you have a solid character concept and don't feel the urge to obsess over every single choice (like me!) it's actually pretty straight forward.
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Currently Recruiting!! 1,000,000 Ways to Die in the Weird West
Current Characters: Prince Brucían Pough | Rolf da Minek | Kayleigh Thorne
Current posting status: Normal!

Last edited by MoldyNolds; 07-07-2020 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 07-07-2020, 09:02 PM
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Interested but new to this system never even seen it before so need to check it out.

Character Application
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Name: Grigory Valiant (Nicknme Valiant)
Race: Human
Ethnicity: Caucasian/Hock (New York Originally)
Image/Appearance: Grigory is slightly above average in regards to his size standing just under six feet tall and having a lithe yet muscular build. He has brown hair and a brown beard that simply runs along his jawline and nothing over his upper lip which he keeps neatly trimmed and groomed at all times. He has dark blue eyes that appear almost black like some would say his soul is. Grigory is not your average dust of the road and dirt, he keeps his appearance clean and together at all times even when on the trail he does all he can to look the part of a well dressed gentleman, so much in fact he has at times been referred to as the "Gentlmeman Gunslinger."
Party Role: Tracker and Bounty Hunter, Gun-slinging aficionado.
Level: 1
Alignment: Neutral Good. Valiant is the kind of guy who will look out for himself first and foremost, but at the same time believes in the greater good overall. When it comes to blows or a Gunfight though he holds nothing back. He believes in the law of the West. If a man calls you out then you face him down, if you win, the law is on your side. Or as some would say all is fair in love and war. He has no qualms about standing up for others so long as it serves his own purposes or the greater good.
Backstory: Grigory was born the son of a lawman, and a simple farmers daughter. His father retired shortly after his birth after being injured while participating in a posse. Forced to walk with a limp the rest of his life, he took to drinking to excess at times. Grigory had always been fascinated with the stories his father would tell about his adventures as a peace officer. Though most times his mother insisted that her husband stop telling the young boy such things. When Grigory was ten while his father was in town collecting supplies he was gunned down during a robbery attempt. He had not been carrying at the time as those days were far behind him. The men who gunned him down escaped and Grigory swore that one day he would track them down and see they paid for his father's death.

The loss was difficult on his mother emotionally and financially and she had to work in town just to avoid losing their small home and land. Grigory was often left alone after his schooling until evening when his mother would return home. Grigory found his father's gun belt, and began to practice with them prior to his mother returning home knowing she would be against him doing so. Over the next few years Grigory became better with the pistols, in fact he became quite good. Upon completing his schooling he knew he had two things he needed to do first find the men who killed his father, and second help his mother. Before he had a chance to do either though his mother took ill and passed away. Grigory felt anger knowing full well if his father had not been killed his mother's life would have been easier and she most likely would not pass.

Selling the small plot of land and home Grigory took the funds and sought out the men responsible for his fathers death. As it turned out there were bounties for the pair of men. Grigory was a man driven, and followed the trail of crimes committed by the men. During his pursuit Grigory became skilled in tracking as well and eventually found the men, inside a saloon. Moving inside he approached the table looking at the men a wicked smile spreading across his face. The bounties were valid dead or alive and Grigory knew it would be dead before he even walked in. Any man who had tried to arrest the pair had ended up dead and many had given up. Grigory though had a personal score to settle and confronted the men during the confrontation both men were killed and Grigory began his career chasing bounties.

Grigory found some satisfaction in the tracking and death of the men who had killed his father, and mother indirectly. Still he felt something missing from his life with the trail that had sustained him for so long completed. Uncertain of what else to do with his life he chose to seek justice for others not in a position with the law but as a bounty hunter which did not restrict him as much as a life as a peace officer would. Each bounty brings him a bit more peace of mind, but it is not long lasting and he is then back on the trail of his next quarry. Fortunately for Grigory the West has no shortage of criminals on the run.

Grigory is respectful to almost a fault, something his parents instilled him. Always treat other's as the way you wish to be treated. While not overly religious he believes in being courteous and respectful until the time comes to not do so. Grigory has since completing his first pair of bounties worked on occasion with others for a common good on posse's and such. He is easy to get along with, and makes friends quickly, but will not let anyone take advantage of his kindness. He is the kind of man who will stick his neck out for what he believes is right.

Profession: Gunfighter/Bounty Hunter
Drive/Goals: Achiever (To be the fastest and the best gunslinger in the world. To be recognized when he enters a place, no matter where he is.)
Role-Playing Samples:
 

 

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Last edited by JaredSyn; 07-12-2020 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KellyCat View Post
I think I will similarly be posting my interest... I suspect there will be a lot of hand holding though character gen as I am new to the system.

But it is nice to see a familiar face.
Hello familiar face!

Ditto @ hand holding, but to be honest I'm super excited to learn a new system!
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Old 07-08-2020, 12:51 AM
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Application Status
  • Application Submitted
Application: Ouzo the Disgraced Doctor
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Name: Dr. Ouzo (please, I really must insist, just "Ouzo" will do)
Race: Human-ish?
Ethnicity: Colonial Empire, originally a Spanish emigrant
Appearance: He was known as Dr. Ouzo and he was a poor man's gentleman.

On the occasion that a stranger would seek him out, at that kind of hole-in-the-wall where musicians couldn't compete with the natural orchestra of drunken shouting matches and guffaws at the same stories told over and over, where they had to mop the floor more than once a night, the bartender could point right to Dr. Ouzo's resident bar stool. With a raised chin and dying cigarette permanently between his fingers, he stared deep into the nothingness that was the wall behind the bar. Joining him was almost a quiet respite from the rest of their surroundings. "Dr. Ouzo? Like the drink? Is that your real name?" The stranger was likely to ask.

The dusky gentleman took a long, looong drag of his cigarette before finally turning his head, just barely, more as a gesture than for any vantage. He gave the stranger a good sideways look from under lowered eyelids that'd long greased over due to excess. With short breath from holding his lungs full of the poison, he said, "The more important question to ask is: am I a real doctor?" Then the man known as Ouzo hissed a long, looong trail of smoke out from the side of his crooked grin. As he took another slow drag, and the phoenix tail of his cigarette rebirthed in one final, desperate wildfire along the rolling paper, Ouzo looked the stranger up and down, then up again, before his grin widened. He put the cigarette out with all the others.

****

Ouzo is of average height and average build. Unlike so many after the Attunement, he seemed to remain an ordinary human. He has dark skin, darker hair, and keeps himself well enough groomed. His trousers and mostly-buttoned shirt are plain and his vest is just busy enough to be forgettable. When he's on the go, he wears a worn, single-breasted duster that, when it hangs open lazily by a few buttons, resembles the collar of some great, ostentatious cloak.

He seems like he could be young but it's difficult to determine his age by looking at him. He may once have had striking features, but his eyes have begun to hang heavy from too much drink, too much smoke, too little sleep, and some burden carried from long ago. Though through it all, those eyes have still kept their vivacious, laissez faire sparkle.

Party Role: Fast-Talking, Skulduggery, Illusion Magic, Medical Malpractice (read: not a healer)
Level: 1
Powers: Illusion Arcana (Figment, Displacement)
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral. Life is short and capricious. Opportunity, survival, and indulgence are all fundamentally the same thing. And the best way to achieve them is with information. Stealing it, selling it, and applying it. Ouzo still has a good streak in his heart but that good seems to have less and less a place in the world. And goodness doesn't get you paid or keep you safe at night. Though if a townsfolk were crossing the street unawares as an out-of-control carriage came barrelling at them, Ouzo would attempt to rescue the townsfolk purely on instinct. But as they picked themselves up out of the mud, he might try to slip a few bills out of their pocket, or scold them for not paying more attention and claim that they owe him... or both.

Background: Focus: Stealth
Talent: Extraordinary Power Replacement/Illusion Arcana
Outcast
Profession: Focus: Deception
Talent: Scouting
Criminal
Drive: Talent: Intrigue/Deception
Improvement: Relationship
Networker
Goals: Short-term goals might include: gathering compromising information on three different figures of interest to sell to his contacts; increasing his relationship level with his contacts (including role playing out those number increases); “acquiring” a full set of new gear upgrades; "acquiring" a quality set of loaded dice or playing cards, and; gambling his entire cut of an job‘s payout all in a single bet.

Long-term goals might be more complicated.

Backstory: Not much was known about the man named Ouzo. He came and went like a stray. He liked cloudy liquor in excessive quantities. And he often smelled of Andalusian tobacco and the latest, trendy bottled musk that must've rubbed off on him in passing. Beyond those few facts, there was only rumor. A lot of rumor. False gentleman. Debonair scoundrel. Disgraced doctor. Wanted charlatan.

 

And when anyone suggested that Dr. Ouzo happened to resemble one of the grainy, tweed-and-bowtie-wearing figures from the newspaper photograph that broke news of the scandal, he flashed them a devil's smile and wittily changed the subject. If the topic were pressed however, Dr. Ouzo bought them a drink and strongly suggested that was enough story time for one night. His jaw set. His brow furrowed.

Just enjoy the free drink and be on your way. No really. He insists.

RP Samples:
 
 
 

Starting Story Hook Ideas: If the jail hook is selected, Ouzo would know his arrest has a dozen different reasons to be 100% justified... but he might try to keep quiet about those reasons just to see what his jailers know.
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GM to cottontailwind: "No unionizing the kobolds!"
Current Characters: Butangon | Varley
Current posting status: Minor delays through mid-August due to moving, but the posts are still comin’.

Last edited by cottontailwind; 07-28-2020 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 07-08-2020, 02:23 AM
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Ooo. Weird West is a fascination of mine - Vampiric cattle barons! Steam engines powered by chained fire elementals! Ghost riders in the sky!

I've been thinking getting in a second game might rejuvenate my recent lacking posting (RL in an 'essential field' has been murder lately), but I'm not familiar with Modern AGE - Tho' it seems fairly straightforward/simplistic enough to pick up, just going off the free SRD! Picking up the purchased guide should be easy, but I should probably ask a few questions first to see if the character in mind works for the game!

Are big ol' monstrous characters acceptable even if they're viewed with suspicion, if not outright hostility, in-setting?
Would a non-speaking character be alright?
How viable is "massive meatshield with a slow/inaccurate but brutal melee capacity"?
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Old 07-08-2020, 09:24 AM
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Fantastic to see some applications starting to come together! Looks great so far, I'll wait until they are "completed" to provide feedback, or until you ask me

Quote:
Are big ol' monstrous characters acceptable even if they're viewed with suspicion, if not outright hostility, in-setting?
Would a non-speaking character be alright?
How viable is "massive meatshield with a slow/inaccurate but brutal melee capacity"?
I'm always thrilled with unique ideas, and this one certainly qualifies! A few thoughts:
  • Exactly *how* big are you thinking? Minotaur or goliath size would be no problem, but my concern is too big and they wouldn't be able to enter normal sized buildings or cave tunnels.
  • Non-speaking is a really neat idea, would they have other ways to communicate with the group?
  • Health swings from 15 on the low-end to as much as 30 on the high-end for a Level 1 character. Armor and weapons can always be re-skinned as natural-born features. I'm sure we can find something that works!
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I have taken the Oath of Sangus
Currently Recruiting!! 1,000,000 Ways to Die in the Weird West
Current Characters: Prince Brucían Pough | Rolf da Minek | Kayleigh Thorne
Current posting status: Normal!
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Old 07-08-2020, 07:18 PM
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I'm throwing my interest in here, but I've currently got apps in multiple games. I wanna wait to hear back from them first, so I don't end up overloading on games by accident.

Love the concept, btw. Weird West is great!
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Old 07-09-2020, 12:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoldyNolds View Post
  • Exactly *how* big are you thinking? Minotaur or goliath size would be no problem, but my concern is too big and they wouldn't be able to enter normal sized buildings or cave tunnels.
  • Non-speaking is a really neat idea, would they have other ways to communicate with the group?
  • Health swings from 15 on the low-end to as much as 30 on the high-end for a Level 1 character. Armor and weapons can always be re-skinned as natural-born features. I'm sure we can find something that works!
Being so huge that some rooms are problematic is part of the entertainment factor with the character, heh; her original height was a whopping 11'3", but with a very considerable hunch due to body design and the sheer weight of her own body mass/muscle. It can be tweaked down! Do you have a 'max height' in mind or the like?

She makes noises, just not (understandable) speech - Growls and gestures, crude pantomime and drawing, are all possible too. Probably nothing that would be hugely useful in, say, a combat scenario, definitely not in a social setting (unless you wanted to intimidate a crowd or something), but during down-time or a situation where time's not a pressing issue, she can probably figure a way to convey her thoughts.

And, that sounds handy! Armor and weaponry would be fairly unconventional for her, if not necessitating custom-make! Spoiler: She's a friggin' enormous bipedal wolf with supernatural origins. :3
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Old 07-09-2020, 01:44 AM
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I'm contemplating trying out the game myself. I have no current experience with Modern AGE, but I'm quite willing to learn! I was thinking something along the lines of an anthropomorphic deer from a First Nation tribe who's something of a scout/tracker with some shaman capabilities. But I'm open to suggestions as well.
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Old 07-09-2020, 06:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verdant Glitter View Post
She's a friggin' enormous bipedal wolf with supernatural origins. :3
Sounds cool! No "max" height per se, I don't like putting a bunch of restrictions on character creations. I just don't want there to be any regrets once the game gets going. If you said a 25 foot golem I'd probably warn you that might cause some gameplay issues, but 11 feet is the right size to be problematic but not preventing you from getting most places I'd say. I'd love to see an application if you're inclined.

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Originally Posted by Trae
I was thinking something along the lines of an anthropomorphic deer from a First Nation tribe who's something of a scout/tracker with some shaman capabilities. But I'm open to suggestions as well.
Sounds like a great start! I don't want to suggest this character concept or that character concept, put an application together if you like and I'd be happy to take a look.

To the others that have posted interest, thank you! I'm here if you have questions on anything. Setting. system, etc...
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Last edited by MoldyNolds; 07-09-2020 at 06:44 AM.
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Old 07-09-2020, 08:14 AM
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Let me ask a system-related question then: How "powerful" in general is magic in it? Most of us know that Pathfinder for example has magic reigning supreme above all. Is AGE better balanced, or will one of the two (magic or mundane) feel objectively worse in the long run?
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Old 07-09-2020, 10:52 PM
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I’m not super familiar with Pathfinder, I played it for a few months almost a decade ago. Nor am I an expert with AGE for that matter! Especially not at higher levels. I can tell you all sources of damage range from 1d6 to 3d6 before modifiers. Spells run that gamut depending on if they’re novice/expert/master level and require power points, which are limited. Guns tend towards the higher side of the damage range and are harder to deflect due to the rarity of ballistic armor, but are prone to running out of ammo with a die roll every time you fire. Melee weapons tend toward the lower side of damage but never run out of ammo and have a lot more versatility with the amount of stunts available.

I’d say anything can become overwhelmIngly powerful with the right amount of min/maxing if that’s what you’re into, but I guess I should also put out there I’m not a fan. I’d much rather have an interesting character with mechanical and narrative flaws than a powerhouse that throws the balance of combat out of whack.
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