I’m blatantly cutting and pasting this from Pete Whalley’s thread on RPGnet. I often find myself agreeing with Pete and this one has really got me thinking.
“So given that I’m in the mood for some D&D, but not really feeling the traditional Tolkien stuff nor sword & sorcery that I tend towards, I’ve hit on a new and cunning plan.
I’m going to take the Great Maze map from DeadLands and call it a D&D world. It’s the new world, there’s a gold rush on and given that nothing interesting has happened in the old world for about a century, everyone with a sword and a spellbook has hopped on a ship and headed out west.
There’s monsters- from the D&D classics through to the DeadLands coolness of desert rattlers, maze dragons and wendigo. Natives run the gamut from decent folk to cannibal savage, and there are plenty of weird wilderness spots and occasional ruins left over from some olde civilization that has a lot of bat motifs that the natives don’t like to talk about. (Mostly because I keep smiling when Tori Berquist posts and I see that Camazotz the Bat God title).
There’s pirates, slavers, cults and corrupt businessfolk all looking for a piece of the pie, and decent folk looking to make a new life for themselves.
And adventurers tend to find themselves in high noon swordfights/spell duels as the gunslinger ethos of the wild west and the duelling kung fu masters of cinema just seem to have set up shop in my head and I want that shit in D&D.
So that’s it. The new world awaits, there’s adventures to be had and all I’m intending to do is unleash my players on the map and see what happens. It should be awesome.”
You see, I have a love/hate relationship with Deadlands. I’ve bought it in at least three rules incarnations, and tried running it at least twice too. Much as I want it to work I can never quite get it right. I’ve come round to thinking its because it doesn’t have a party dynamic that I can work with. Yes, there’s specialist classes, but actually I miss the whole fighter/cleric/wizard/rogue paradigm. So this idea has got me thinking, swords and sorcery wild west. Yes. Good.
For critters, I’m looking to Dark Sun to help me out. I probably won’t go back to a pure DS game any time soon, so this gets me more mileage from previous purchases. All it needs is a little reskinning and we’re off.