Planning on using this with the core classes in order to start a DW campaign locally.

Planning on using this with the core classes in order to start a DW campaign locally.

Planning on using this with the core classes in order to start a DW campaign locally. I have other scraps of ideas put together in the fashion of a newspaper. I’m hoping to expand on these after the first game.

Fantasy set on a Western backdrop.

48 thoughts on “Planning on using this with the core classes in order to start a DW campaign locally.”

  1. The steampunk western setting seems cool, but… does the stealing farmer’s daughters have to be a thing? Rape as a plot device/signifier of True Villainy is getting preeetty tired.

  2. I hadn’t even thought of that. I’m sorry, that was really insensitive of me.

    I’ve been thinking of all the folks involved, a runaway farmers daughter, a sensationalist telegrapher, the isolated town, a motorcycle gang and a protective father.

    Linda Larsson

  3. Somehow I want this guy in my party instead of fighting him. His adventures sound like they are more fun than the adventure of hunting him down.

  4. So stealing women is not evil? Linda Larsson 

    I applaud the OP for thinking stealing women is evil!

    (As well as the references to murder, theft, thuggery and cannibalism. I think the whole poster is very evocative of the western pulp genre. Well done!)

  5. Wynand Louw

    – “stealing women” is kind of a skeevy thing to say in the first place, but your implication that I don’t think kidnapping women is bad is completely disingenuous. That wasn’t my argument at all. Simply that these are thieves, robbers and murderers, and there’s quite enough to motivate player characters to want to hunt them down without throwing in “oh and they’re rapists too!” Rape is a topic that should be handled with a lot more sensitivity in media than it usually is – and definitely not something to throw into what should be a lighthearted fun game, because that would quickly make it NOT fun for a lot of people.

  6. Tony Scinta III  – it’s cool. Much respect for the classy response. We all screw up sometimes, but not everyone is capable of acknowledging it with grace!

  7. Gordon Spencer

     – the word “rape” is not explicitly mentioned, no, but why do orcs in fantasy worlds usually steal away young women specifically?

    (If they’d been dragons I’d have assumed they were doing it for a post-train-robbery snack, but.)

  8. Well, half-orcs have to come from somewhere. On the other hand, I have always felt that making “good” orcs be half-human was a terrible idea. But usually when I hear that thieves “steal daughters” in fantasy, it usually means they offer the girls are leaving willingly because they get a chance to run away from a prearranged life.

    But I suppose tiat isn’t possible because they are ugly and brutish. But if it were a band of elves accused of that, no one would think rape. I think goblins can get away with stealing children, because the G-rated implication is that they want the small humans to come be goblins with them.

    It is certainly possible that in a traditional society though, young men would fight the orcs and young women would surrender, meaning the orcs are just enslaving the humans that surrender or holding them for ransom. But maybe “kidnapping their families” would imply that better.

  9. andrew ferris why do assume the women would surrender? This is exactly the kind armchair, pseudo-historical pseudo-anthropology infecting gaming that reveals a disturbing undercurrent of often unnoticed sexism.

  10. Patrick Biggerstaff Well… there is how the Israelites were described to engage in war in the bible, there is the fact that something like 1/5th of humanity is related to the army of Genghis Khan, and there is the fact that half the MALE population in Russia died in WWII but the female population wasn’t nearly as affected.

    For centuries it has been true that males take up arms and fight invaders while females get captured and join the victor’s tribe. It has been true in nearly all human societies until very, very recently when firearms have become so very advanced that having a size or strength disadvantage doesn’t amount to much and birth control is so readily available that women don’t spend much of their lives pregnant.

    And seriously?… Psychologically?… When violence occurs around them, how often do women engage in it compared to men? I have seen men, even groups of men, beating the hell out of one another for absolutely no discernible reason half a dozen times– never seen women do it outside an internet video and even then it is usually two quite overweight ones who flail around pretty ineffectively.

    Furthermore, if a man were to EVER just give up and surrender and submit to a mob threatening violence against him, unless he were disabled or elderly, he would no doubt be labeled an unfit man and hardly worth mentioning. Women, however, are not judged harshly for choosing such action.

  11. Linda Larsson , I don’t know what orcs in DW do – that’s why we play to find out what happens.

    Maybe the Farmer’s Daughters ran away from home to become train robbers and the bill poster got things wrong or is just trying to pin the disappearances on the Orcs.

    Maybe the whole thing is a scam to clear out the town (“let’s get those women stealin’ Orcs”) and rob the bank.

    Maybe the Orcs did steal the women with vile intent – I don’t know and the original graphic is vague enough to allow a myriad of possibilities. Moving from “Stealing Away Farmers Daughters” to “the Orcs are Raping” is quite a specific leap.

    Again, let’s play to find out.

  12. Gordon Spencer Linda Larsson Yes, this was my original intention, however, knowing the medium (internet) and culture, the logical leap isn’t that far. Its reasonable to hear hoofbeats and expect horse instead of zebra before seeing my glorious stripes.

  13. There’s another issue that I was trying to address within this game, and you can’t really talk about the west without it, which is race. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this on how to hit it. My friend suggested that I allow this to take an active role instead of trying to sweep it under the rug.

  14. Tony Scinta III I think it’s very easy, as a creator, to underestimate how obvious one needs to be. If you’ve ever GMed and offered the players what you thought was an obvious clue only to have them go haring off in completely the wrong direction, you know what I mean =)

    When it comes to matters of gender, race, sexuality etc. in RPGs, I think it’s particularly wise to try to avoid ambiguity… because sadly, our hobby (like society in general) is pretty well steeped in unexamined prejudices. If you want the victims of prejudice to trust you not to be the kind of person who’d exploit their situation for cheap drama, or try to pass it off as “just the way the world is”, you’re going to want to be pretty damn obvious that that’s not what’s going on here.

    (Let’s not even go into how far you’d have to hammer the point home to get it across to people who’re unaware of their own prejudice.)

    As for this in particular… maybe “kidnapping and brainwashing” if you meant to imply that the girl(s) had joined the gang rather than been victims? I at least would get a very different association from that than “stealing away”. Still not necessarily a positive one, but not in a “oh god, yet another rape-as-plot-device scenario” way. Also, as someone said upthread, perhaps say “children” rather than girls specifically?

    When it comes to race, I have one very earnest piece of advice for you. If you want to explore racism in fantasy, do so in the context of racism between HUMANS. Trying to make analogies with fantasy races, whether it’s humans being racist toward orcs or elves being racist toward humans, is very, very fraught. It’s super easy to end up with the implication that victims of racism are literally nonhuman – or that the perpetrators of racism are, which is just as false, because racism isn’t just the KKK. The really poisonous thing about any kind of prejudice is that it’s damn near impossible to grow up in a prejudiced society and not internalize some of that crap – even if you’re a decent person who believes in equality, it’s highly likely you’ll get tripped up sometimes!

    In closing, you may want to look at this link: It’s a discussion of rape in RPGs between Anna Kreider and Ron Edwards, and even if I personally don’t agree 100% with either of them, some interesting things get said.

  15. Linda Larsson Thank you so much for your input. This is invaluable information, especially when I start to branch out from running a home game into running at cons.

    While I’ve played for years, this is one of my first times as a Gm. The players that I have in the game have been friends for years. While I trusted that my group would get the hint, I didn’t realize how it would look to the general populous.

    As for race, my plan wasn’t to draw an analog, but to capitolize on fear of the unknown. Once again, looks bad from the outside.

    Any links you can provide on these subjects would be very helpful, I’ve already pushed the other links in the thread to my kindle. Very informed reading.

  16. I also thought it was a huge leap to jump from “stealing away farmer’s daughters” to “rape”. My first thought was “enslavement and menial work, I mean, have you ever tasted the dinners the Oark’s make (female or male)….

    VILE! No spices, not even salt. And, ughhh, boiled okra with every meal. Now, these farmers’ daughters… they know how to cook. Paprika, cinnamon, garlic? These are just the start of their savory, amazing, cooking. Plus, add the threat of a whip and the floors are scrubbed immaculate. They’re about the size of an adolescent Oark and eat less than half of one. Sure, you have daughters, farmer, I think you have plenty, probably won’t miss one of ’em. And by the time she’s outlived her usefulness she’ll probably be too tough to eat, so, let her go and grab another.”

    Second thought took me to something similar to “the wolf problem”. Someone in town (the farmer) is an ass. Hates everyone. Children hate him. His children hate him. His daughter runs away and tells no one. He doesn’t like the Oarks (of course), sees they’ve done some bad stuff as of late and figures he can blame the runaway daughter on them. Through the course of their adventure, the

    PCs figure out the truth. Or even worse, they figure out the farmer actually killed his own daughter.

    That’s what came to my head before it got dragged down to rape. 

  17. John, the answer to “this is a problem” is not “I don’t see a problem.” That’s your privilege blinders operating. Take them off, and listen to us, and maybe you will understand why it’s a problem.

    Tony: thank you for listening and understanding. Your lack of defensiveness when it’s been raised speaks highly to your sensitivity for a problem that affects waaay too many people in this world.

  18. For whom is it okay for the Oarks to steal away? Is it only women that get raped by Oarks? What do the Oarks do with children and men? Maybe Oarks like the soft tender bottoms of men?

  19. Tim Franzke, you’re probably right, but it’s an important thing to hammer out. You’re in an argument with someone you know because of a misunderstanding because one of the people has a prejudiced view of what was said. Does the person who was misunderstood apologize or does the person that incorrectly prejudged apologize?

  20. So claiming everyone is getting raped makes it acceptable? It’s not necessary to include it to convey the villainy of this band, so why include it?

    If actually being assaulted in hand to hand combat was a fairly common occurrence for your half of the population and you actually had friends or relatives who had been killed in hand to hand combat, you probably would feel uncomfortable and ostracized when a game focuses on it or makes light of it.

    You don’t deal with the likely potential of your soft tender bottom being violated on a regularly basis. Expand your perspective.

  21. You know nothing of my situation so make no assumptions. I never said rape was acceptable for anyone. Just felt it was a leap to assume that someone being kidnapped assumed rape, especially when the kidnapper was from a different family of creatures in a wildly imaginary world. [end]

  22. John Lockard

    …yeaaah, it’s wrong of us to make assumptions based on the text. It’s not as though things happen in a context, or that “orcs enslave and rape human women” has been a trope of fantasy gaming since the first edition of D&D felt the need to explain where little half-orcs come from.

    Okay, so that was sarcastic, but honestly. Tony expressed himself poorly, or at least in a way that’s really easy to misinterpret when you consider the contexts of popular culture and of RPGs. He’s admitted this, explained what he actually meant (which sounds cool for the record) and said he’ll try to be clearer in future. All is good, so why do you feel the need to come in at the tail end of the discussion and tell us that because YOU would’ve drawn a different conclusion (though still one based on those women being enslaved…) there was nothing wrong to start with?

  23. Oh my goodness.



    The OP evoked a specific genre. And he did it very effectively.

    Political correctness off the rails…

    Be good. Im off to play a game of fantasy to escape to a world where desperate villians steal damsels in order to tie them to railway tracks so they can be rescued by dashing heroes.

    If you find that offensive… Sorry. Maybe Im too old or too innocent for your gaming group.

  24. Seeing someone telling other people that they shouldn’t handle, in their own game with their own friends, subjects that someone else might find offensive is priceless. No thanks, I don’t need anyone’s permission to talk about sensitive issues in my game, except the people I play with.

  25. Paride Papadia

    How fortunate, then, that no one’s said anything about what anyone’s allowed to handle in their own games with their own friends?

    Tony posted this to the community, though, thus opening himself up to the opinions of the community.

    As for the rest, he asked for advice on how to deal with sensitive topics WITHOUT HURTING PEOPLE, and was warned that some things have unfortunate implications. That’s it.

    Now, if you’re 100% sure nobody in your group will mind (and don’t care about things like helping to uphold a larger culture of prejudice) then feel free to have all the rape and racism in your games that you ever want.

  26. Linda Larsson upholding a culture of prejudice?

    1. You don’t know a single thing about me. But you feel authorized to write inventions about what my opinions on anything would be.

    2. You are unable to even understand the difference between confronting issues in a game and accepting or worse condoning criminal behaviour.

    3. You infer things that are not written by your own prejudices and self righteousness.

    4. No one needs permission to talk about something you or the likes of you. The freedom of speech does not stop to things you don’t want other people to discuss.

    5. Tony posted in a community something that doesn’t violate laws or community standards. He decided to take the opinions in consideration. He didn’t have to.

    6. Put again words or opinions in my mouth and I will report you.

  27. …you just went off on a rant about how I’m trying to forbid people from playing what they want, but I’m the one putting words in your mouth?


    And I feel quite confident in my prediction that you aren’t going to like this, but if someone includes rape/racism/slavery/whatever else has come up in this thread, and they treat it as something that just kinda happens, they ARE upholding the culture of prejudice by helping to normalize (or keep normalized) behaviors that should be unacceptable.

    Whereas if you’re treating it with sensitivity and style, none of what I’ve said here applies to you anyway, because my entire thesis throughout this discussion has been that


    Nothing more and nothing less. Which is my opinion and thus protected by freedom of speech. (Which, BTW, gives you and everyone else the right to state your opinions publicly. It does not protect you from having people disagree with you, criticize you and your work, or form opinions about you based on the things you say.)

  28. Linda Larsson a statement is not a rant, writing in capitals is not going to make you right, and most importantly: who’s going to judge if the topic has been treated with sensitivity and style? You?

    You’re the empress of double standards. Luckily, you are not entitled to sanitize the discussions according to your whims.

  29. Paride Papadia

     Congratulations! You’ve achieved heights of hyperbole and wilful misunderstanding I could never hope to match. I am now withdrawing from this discussion. You win! confetti

    Feel free to go through with your threat to “report me”… but don’t be too surprised if people don’t agree with your opinion as to who’s “sanitizing the discussion”.

  30. Linda Larsson there’s no misunderstanding. You are promoting censorship for topics you don’t like. You suggest you know how to properly discuss difficult subjects while other people don’t. The sense of entitlement coming out from your sarcasm is clear. You don’t understand the difference between caring for the issues and attacking people because they don’t share a view upholding your personal moral standard. You don’t understand that fictionally representing issues doesn’t mean to condone antisocial behaviour, not anymore than a police tv show supports the choice to lead a criminal life.

    I just hope not to meet you again in a thread.

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