So I wanna do a western themed AP between running Shackled City and Shattered Star. Inspired by Deadwood and the milieu of westerns out there. Here is what I have so far:
The locale is pretty much uncontrolled lands, it is claimed by the LG psionic nation to the west but generally left alone. The psionic nation only concerns itself with the Golem Train which runs through the region and connects it to the gnome nation on the east.My campaign setting is currently on the brink of a renaissance with the psionic nation and steampink gnome nation rising in influence over the arcane nations. The major villains are the demonic hordes (which is mainly being used in shack city), the rising Sinister Empire (which will be the focus o Shattered Star) and the declining Tiger Empire (LE mix of Rome and Nazi Germany) but I am open to other villain ideas for use in this.
Book 1 starts in a small town a week or so off from the railroad, goblins rob the bank and the PCs form a posse to hunt them down, finding out they were stealing the gold to feed a giant worm in a cave complex. Inside the complex they find crystals, crystals that are valuable to the psionic nation.
Book 2 is basically a gold rush but for crystals and brings conflict between the new settlers and the native catfolk tribe.
Book 3 will focus on the trsin
Book 4 will focus on thr gnome nation.
I have no clue for books 5 & 6, and more importantly no overreaching plot to tie everything together. Odd because normally that is the easier part for me.
I'd like to suggest a certain episode of Green Lantern that revolves around the yellow crystals imbued with yellow energies of fear. The natives use the crystals for everything and the 'miners' are immune to its fear effects and feed off of it, theyre giant bulbous floaters with tendrils so flumphs, grell, the contemplative of Ashok will do for a weird western feel. If not include phrenic slayers for psionics possibly being 'the bad guy'.
I recommend putting together a hexploration map. A big theme of westerns is the unexplored frontier. Consider traits that will entrench the PCs in the town: (Deputy, Saloon owner, Prospector, Imvesfor, Ranch owner etc) that way they'll want to see the town prosper (I recommend a downscaled version of the kingdom building rules from KM).
Consider the following themes:
Civil War/Revolutionary War; American civil war was a big feature of the western perhaps a civil war somewhere in the campaign might make sense.
Race relations: Slaves, indentured servants, second class citizens and "savages" are common in western fiction. Dealing with these themes can be a big deal. (I ran a western game, and the Half-Orc Marshal (paladin) was mighty annoyed when a high fallutin' casino owner insist he enter and leave via the service entrance. )
Cool encounter locations: A casino, a riverboat, a canyon, voodoo swamp, mystic desert, mine, Stockade, fort. PM me your e-mail address and I'll send you a short adventure called The Secret of Coyote Rock, it's got gunslinging bandits, a haunted knoll burial ground and all sorts of other wacky hijinks.
Cool monsters: Jackalope, Chupacabra, colossal oxen, bears, owlbears, sabertooth cougars.
Sounds cool, where do I sign up?
I like the idea of people taking roles in a town, but you also might consider a game that takes advantage of the mobility and wide open frontier of the west. Basing it around a railroad is an idea- it is a clear mix of encroaching civilization into the wild. Have humans, dwarves, and gnomes building the railroads, elves and orcs opposing them, the PCs having to pick a side along the way.
If you haven't read it yet, you may want to read some of China Mieville's Iron Council, which mixes weird westerns and fantasy. I also have a gamer-friendly blog about westerns called Slap Bookleather that could give some inspiration: http://slapbookleather.blogspot.com/