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Author Topic: Will you help me brainstorm for a Fantasy Western setting?  (Read 500 times)
Straight Outta Johto
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« Reply #30 on: May 08, 2017, 01:54:21 PM »

I agree with what you both said. I really like that article as well. Particularly that quote you pulled from it. But also what the author said about Cultural segregation, as i could not agree more with there points.

Steerpike

I don't think it's a problem to make a band of skinwalker-inspired people - shapechanging pranksters, or whatever. That seems sufficiently detached from the specifics of Navajo culture to avoid any difficulties. I think it only becomes an issue if the created characters are caricatures of Navajo people and/or if the correspondence/borrowing/appropriation is more explicit. I raised the issue in part because some of your earlier comments suggested you wanted to try and be especially sensitive with aspects of the history of the American western frontier (i.e. avoiding the "orc noble savage" trope, for example); this seems like part of that.

I am sort of re-framing the context of "manifest destiny" within my setting. Again making the orcs reflect nomadic Native American culture seems kind of "on the nose" as they say. It's not so much "offensive" as it is "obvious". Rather I'm making it a more factional war between the technological magic and more primal magic such as druidism and witchcraft.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2017, 01:17:58 AM by LoA » Logged


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« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2017, 06:15:15 PM »

I like that excerpt and blog post too, Steerpike. "Appropriate appropriation" is a good term for it, and euphonious too. It was my impression that the only people who really act like any sort of cultural appropriation is never ever ok under any circumstances at all are virtue signalling asshats on Tumblr and places like that, anyway.

So, to get back to the original point, I think some sort of skinwalker analog would be a really cool thing to add to your lore as an antagonist. These could be druids, but I wonder if it wouldn't work better with them as an enemy of most druids, really-- druids being more concerned with the preservation of nature and a respect for the natural balance, while your skinwalkers or whatever you end up calling them are witches who crossed all moral lines in the pursuit of arcane power. That's more or less how they're portrayed in the source stories anyway.

Trying to deal with something horrific with dark powers that you can't really comprehend skulking around in the darkness seems to suit the "Weird West" very well; I ran a similar game in my Frontier setting and it was a lot of fun.
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Straight Outta Johto
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« Reply #32 on: May 09, 2017, 09:12:19 PM »

sparkletwist

I like that excerpt and blog post too, Steerpike. "Appropriate appropriation" is a good term for it, and euphonious too. It was my impression that the only people who really act like any sort of cultural appropriation is never ever ok under any circumstances at all are virtue signalling asshats on Tumblr and places like that, anyway.

I said this before, and I'll say it again. Sparkletwist, you are my hero.

sparkletwist

Trying to deal with something horrific with dark powers that you can't really comprehend skulking around in the darkness seems to suit the "Weird West" very well; I ran a similar game in my Frontier setting and it was a lot of fun.

That's kind of one of my premises for this game as well; Take staples of rpg fantasy and reimagine them in a western. Yuan-ti are now a gang of criminals where the higher ups alter themselves with black magic.

Let's jump off the appropriation express for a second, and discuss something I've been meaning to ask. How do you establish an in-game connections and networking thing for NPC's Basically a bunch of NPC's that are close friends with the PC's and act as support or go-to for advice. The whole "I know a guy who knows a guy" sort of thing. Since there's only two players for this, I figured it would be a good idea to have some healers they could go to for help after a tough fight. Or maybe even a wagon train that they are a part of with a gaggle of colorful characters?
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