The Young Riders Italia

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Title: The Young Riders Italia
Creator: Gilraen81 & Desdemona
Date(s): 2005-
Medium: play by e-mail RPG
Fandom: The Young Riders
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The Young Riders Italia is an Italian Role-Playing Game inspired by the TV show The Young Riders. It works on a PbEM (Play by E-Mail) platform and was founded on 2005 by Gilraen81 with the help of Desdemona. A few years later, Lalaith, a third staffer, came into the picture. Later on, Desdemona and Lalaith became Game Guides for the newest members, to help them through the subscription process, offering support during the creation of a new character or updating an old one.

The players like to define themselves as "creative writers", yet the group is also dedicated to spreading knowledge about horses and horse riding, studying history and Old West movies, both Spaghetti Westerns and American epic westerns.

Although the RPG is based in Italy, international players are very much welcome. During the years a few European writers have in fact applied and played with the group several important characters that helped the development of the story.

The Story

September 1860 - Sweetwater (Nebraska)

The Ranger Teaspoon Hunter is looking for new riders for the Pony Express Station; he's working with Emma Shannon. The Russell, Majors, and Waddell want the fellows to be orphans, young, and experienced riders willing to risk their lives on the almost 2000 miles between St. Joseph (Missouri) to Sacramento (California).

July 1861 - Sweetwater (Nebraska)

War is coming. The republican Abraham Lincoln is the President of a Country devastated by internal fights, always about the same thing: slavery. The Northern States, with an economy based mostly on the industrial development, would've wanted to force the Southerns, with something like more than 4 millions of slaves working on their fields, to abolish slavery.

In February, the South openly rebels against the North: they choose a different President, Jefferson Davis. Already 11 States have declared their independence: Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Kansas, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina.

War is coming indeed, but in Nebraska everything looks so far away. In the deep West, between slavery-free States, all that seems important are cowboys, gold diggers and Indians. Yet the peace won't last long now. News keep on coming about fellows being recruited on both sides all around the area. Even... pretty young ones, if necessary. Not even the Indian tribes are at peace. In the south east, the five main tribes are fighting among themselves: Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Seminole and Cherokee.

Many famous gunfighters become mercenaries, for the North or the South, without wearing any uniform. They're legends and people consider them heroes: they'd follow them no matter what.

The pony express paths become thus more dangerous. But communication is now very important: even if the telegraph is menacing their job, the orphans hired by the Russell, Majors, and Waddell keep on risking their lives every single day, exchanging bags full of letters and official documents.

What about you? What's your part in the epic Western history?

The Characters

Players can choose both canon characters and original characters, yet they have to stick to the given story, as the RPG is pretty strict about historical facts. Coherence is also a very important factor to be considered. Slash fans are always welcome but should be aware of the fact that gay or bisexual relationships, back then, were not common or openly accepted. The same goes for female characters. Independent women were in fact looked at with suspicion, yet they existed, as well as the more submissive ones. It's up to the player to decide which one they want to play.

The canon characters are those seen on the first season of the tv show, or historical ones, while the original characters generally need to be approved by the Staff to be developed, to make sure they'd fit with the current storyline.

Cosplay and Events

Every year the players organize a get-together, a weekend-long event usually hosted by a small ranch in the Lazio region (Italy). There are cosplay contests, with players dressing up as their characters (both canon and original characters) or as western legends and/or characters from western movies/tv series. The Staff generally offers small gadgets to the participants to thank them for their presence. Short riding courses are also organized during the events, as well as mountain rides for every participant who wants to feel like a cowboy for a day.

The group also takes part every year in the international convention, "Lucca Comics & Games", in the city of Lucca, Tuscany (Italy). They take it as another occasion to spend some time together, dressing up among thousands of other cosplayers and having lots of fun.

Published Fanfiction

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