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Wyrd West

Professions and Backgrounds

Saloon Gal / Guy



Snake Oil Salesman



Spell Slinger


Caoboy / Girl




Soiled Dove / Prostitute





Pony Express


Businessman / Woman




Cattle Rustler

Horse Thief / Outlaw

Bank Robber





Newspaper Man / Woman


Trick Shot

Natures (Alignments)

Sliding scales.

Scofflaw ⇒ Lawful : How law abiding they are.

Selfish ⇒ Altruistic : How 'good' they are.

Natural ⇒ Technological : Affinity with magic versus technology.






Brains (Int)

Wits (Wis)

Health (HP)

Vitality (Con)


Charm (Cha)

Reputation determines things like whether you are the guy everyone suspects when something goes missing, or the guy everyone turns to in order to find out who stole the missing thing.

Your Reputation can differ from your Nature - for example, a good snake oil salesman who has the town convinced that he's a miracle worker.

Speed determines things like how fast you can draw a weapon, whether you can catch up to a moving cao, or how long it will take you to get somewhere.


This world's version of the gunslinger, they have duels over matters of honor, money, reputation, or sometimes just out of boredom. The manner of duel varies:

  • Effect: Who has the flashier spell, as judged by whoever happens to be watching, wins.
  • First Shot: Who gets their spell off first, as judged by whoever happens to be watching, wins.
  • First Wound: Who inflicts the first wound, as judged by whoever happens to be watching, wins.
  • Injury: Who submits due to injury first, loses.
  • Death: Who survives, wins.

Although there are many stories about epic battles, actual fights to the death are rare; usually, battles are to first wound, or to injury (where one can surrender after being harmed without losing much face - although someone who quits after being plinked with the equivalent of a magic splinter won't get much respect, either.)


A cao is a shaggy animal made of “tasty meat and three very dangerous horns”, as described by the first explorers to travel the Savage Lands. Once only found roaming wild on the western plains, and one of the main foods and sacred animals of the “barbaric races”, they are now being captured and domesticated (to some extent) by ambitious ranchers. Caoboys, meanwhile, are those who handle and herd the dangerous creatures, trying to turn them into docile dinners or at least get them to a place where they can be slaughtered and turned into provisions.


Civilized Races

Humans, dwarves, elves, gnomes, and halflings

The Empires of the Civilized Races discovered a new continent far to the west approximately 300 years ago. Ignoring the fact that it was already inhabited, each set up colonized areas on the eastern coast. Three empires currently maintain colonies in the Savage Land. They are currently in a race to claim western territory and expand across the continent – again, never mind the people who already live there. Each also has widely different ideas about the 'barbaric races' that already inhabit the region.


Rename when we think of something better.

Italia has a long history of adapting to the cultures it has conquered or allied with, and the Savage Lands are no different; they believe that the best path forward to success in the New World is to learn the culture of the barbarians, trade and work freely with them, and intermarry and intermingle.


Rename when we think of something better.

Britannia believes that it has the divine right to rule the new land, and believes that the 'unenlightened savages' simply need to understand their place in the world. They seek to educate the barbarians, and send them off to schools far away from their home tribes to be trained to become workers and servants. They believe in economic warfare and taxation as methods of social control, and believe their culture to be superior to all others.


Rename when we think of something better.

Espana believes in right of conquest, and as such is aggressively expansionistic, enslaving those who submit and slaughtering those who do not. They are actively at war with the native tribes, and the conflict in the New World may be the only thing keeping them from direct war with the other nations.

Barbaric Races

Goblins, orcs, kobolds, gnolls, bugbears, ogres

The barbaric races are shamanistic, semi-nomadic culture much like Amerindians, Inuits, Aboriginal, and other native peoples. They rely on the land, hold the cao as a sacred animal of the earth, hunt, fish, farm, and forage for foods. Their healing is a combination of nature magic and herbalism.

Races of Legend

Troll, minotaur, giant, dragons


Half-orc, goblinelle, kobite, half-ogre

Things needing more fleshing out

Native Tribes

The tribal structure of the natives, whether they have homogenous or heterogenous populations of races, and what their current alliances and enemies are like.


The gods of the Old World that give these newcomers the feeling of divine right, versus the gods of the New World who think the Old World is full of shit.


How magic works, in both the Old and New Worlds.


What steampunk era technology exists in game and how it works (often with magic), such as a telegraph service that uses two mages to transmit information instead of electrical wiring.

Telegraph: Basically, mages who know each other exchange telepathic messages for a fee - one silver per word, perhaps.

Telephone: A more expensive concept that transfers voices directly, which likely gets billed on a per-minute basis - one gold a minute, minimum ten gold, and more if overseas?

Mana Cap Bullet: This is essentially a sling bullet with a small magically charged semi-precious jewel inside. The jewel conveys a spell onto the bullet, and also provides propulsion for the bullet; upon impact, the bullet delivers a touch effect to the target (in addition to any harm from the bullet itself). Various mana projectile launchers exist, but the most commonly popular is the Mana Revolver.

Mana Revolver: A pistol with six chambers, which allows the user to rotate the chamber to the desired bullet.

Mana Cap Charge: This is a bullet with a crystal that can be enchanted on the fly with a touch spell belonging to the weapon user. As such, it is called a 'blank', as it has no effects (beyond being hurtful) when fired by someone without magical capability.

Mana Cap Blank: This is a bullet with a crystal that only has sufficient power to launch the bullet itself, and does not imbue it with any special effects. user. As such, it is called a 'blank', as it has no effects (beyond being hurtful) when fired.

Zap Prod: A device that holds an electrical charge, typically to discharge into an individual or recalcitrant cao. Effectively a wand of shocking grasp in pokey form.

Health Prod: A device that heals on touch, used for treating minor field injuries. Effectively a wand of cure light wounds in pokey form.

Steam Engine: A device that generates motive power from steam. This isn't actually too strange - the Romans had steam in 100 AD - although magic might be used to generate More Power.

Railway Rider: A carriage that uses a steam engine to push itself along a set of rails.


More information about the three main empires, and any others that may have minor interests in the region (the equivalent of Dutch or French trappers and traders, for example).


Britannia believes that it should rule the world by divine right, and tries to teach the lesser races – but expects them to bow and know their place.


Espana believes in rule by conquest, and has been actively trying to exterminate the population of the Savage Lands.


Italia is the most accepting of the empires, and has been trying to develop treaties with most of the Savage Tribes to allow them to coexist peacefully.


Francola is the French empire, and doesn't have a strong presence in the New World at the moment; they are mostly focusing on harvesting the natural resources of the New World's creatures to send back. (Some lizard skin that has special powers?)


Yes, the Asians get one empire for Japan and China.

Frontier Law

The common 'law' as accepted by the colonials, which can be widely different from the state of law within the empire proper. “It's only murder if they're actual people”, and all…


What empires have made treaties with each other, native tribes, and so forth.


What other monsters exist in the Savage Lands, and what people know about them. The Tribals are likely to be more savvy than the Colonials about these things. Also, what monsters the Colonials brought with them that the Tribals know little about (little rabites and slimes, for example.)

rpg/wyrd_west.txt · Last modified: 2017/09/30 16:37 by wizardofaus_doku