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Game suggestion for intense Western fun? 
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Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:01 am
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Post Game suggestion for intense Western fun?
[cross-posted to several forums, apologies if you read these at more than one]
I want to a Western game that takes it's inspiration from Deadwood, Open Range, Elmore Leonard's Last Stand at Sabre River, and Robert Parker's Appaloosa and Resolution.

What this specifically means to me:
  • shades of gray morality, PCs are flawed
  • getting shot is lethal. Folks die, you could be one of them...which leads to
  • a decent incentive to avoid rootin' tootin' gunplay both in the fiction and mechanically
  • but recognizes that shootin' dudes can be fun, and will likely occur so lets
  • make sure it's not a drag, just that it comes with consequences. (Looking at Madness meters as a possibility here)
  • a nice web of relationships
  • and some flags, beliefs, aspects, whatever you want to call 'em.

I like Dust Devils, but it is a little too lite for what I have in mind. I have a hard time seeing it support a ~8 session game.
Maybe a WestNoir kind of take on Technoir, maybe...
Someone's working on a Deadwood/Apocalypse World hack and while I am loving getting to know AW, I can't quite put my finger on why this isn't what I want either.

One option I'm considering is taking Boot Hill 3rd and bolting on bits from other games.

So, any ideas?

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Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:09 pm
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Post Re: Game suggestion for intense Western fun?
You could try Dogs in the Vineyard. Its combat escalation mechanic works well with Deadwood. Al and Bullock throw punches. Al grabs a knife. Bullock goes for a gun...

The ability to clearly state the stakes of the conflict would be a simple way of handling a lot of the political scenes. It doesn't quite hit all of your points, and may not be an ideal fit, but it's definitely worth considering. You may find it to be too lite, though.


Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:20 pm
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Post Re: Game suggestion for intense Western fun?
The trouble with DitV is that its set-up is pretty specific and it works best with that set-up. I've never seen a DitV hack that improves on the original.

Out of games I know well, it's actually Burning Wheel that occurred to me first when reading your post.

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Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:36 pm
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Post Re: Game suggestion for intense Western fun?
Thanks for the suggestions.

Burning Wheel was suggested on S-G. But I've seen enough of BW to be afraid of how crunchy it is.

DitV is actually about the right crunchiness for me. I am a rules lite guy all the way.

However, I really feel like the whole set-up is wrong. I want townsfolk dealing with issues of Rule of Law vs Rule of Violence, Civilization vs. Wilderness. I don't want characters with absolute moral authority.

I'm going to take another look at Solar System aka Shadow of Yesterday. I've been looking for an excuse to try it out.

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Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:08 pm
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Post Re: Game suggestion for intense Western fun?
I haven't done much with the SS, but it might be the thing. I have to agree with you about DitV.

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Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:23 pm
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Post Re: Game suggestion for intense Western fun?
MountZionRyan wrote:
[cross-posted to several forums, apologies if you read these at more than one]
I want to a Western game that takes it's inspiration from Deadwood, Open Range, Elmore Leonard's Last Stand at Sabre River, and Robert Parker's Appaloosa and Resolution.


I've been on a western kick lately. I read both Appaloosa and Resolution. Are you aware there are 2 more in the series? Brimstone & Blue Eyed Devil. Excellent stuff. I've also been getting as much Elmore Leonard stuff to read as I can (western & non-western). Justified (TV series) is almost a western....

MountZionRyan wrote:
One option I'm considering is taking Boot Hill 3rd and bolting on bits from other games.

So, any ideas?



If you are thinking of using Boot Hill with bolt-ons, you could do worse than having a look at Go Fer Yer Gun! It's free at RPGNow or here:

http://beyondbeliefgames.webs.com/

It may not be quite what you are looking for but at the price, it has to be worth a few minutes of your time!

Also, there are 2 BRP games, Aces High and Devil's Gulch, that might be worth at least a moment to investigate. (I don't have either).

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Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:40 am
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Post Re: Game suggestion for intense Western fun?
Totally agree about Justified. I have a big collection of all Elmore Leonard's Western stories. Man is it good. (Should have mentioned "3:10 to Yuma", a Leonard story, in my original request.)

I have DLed GFYG and will give it a look. For some reason, I really want a "trad game" core with story-game bits added to it. Maybe it's just the DIY ethic, I don't know.

droog wrote:
I haven't done much with the SS, but it might be the thing. I have to agree with you about DitV.
Well, Eero -- Solar System's editor -- strongly recommended Dust Devils, so I'm reexamining that too.

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Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:42 am
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Post Re: Game suggestion for intense Western fun?
DD is a great game.

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Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:29 pm
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Post Re: Game suggestion for intense Western fun?
Did you ever make your decision? And if so, how did it go?

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Simon W


Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:44 am
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Post Re: Game suggestion for intense Western fun?
Not yet. I've been hip deep in Dokkodo design. The game is a few months away. And I have Corus Disorder and may decide to run something completely different between now and then.
However, I will let y'all know when I have something. This is a game that I do want to run at some point.

Vincent Baker's Otherkinddice did grab me as a place to start.

I am very interested in Rustbelt, it sounds thematically right,
Especially this bit:
Quote:
your characters will be pushed against the wall until they’ve revealed all their most monstrous and most admirable qualities, but the decisions are always yours to make, and the prices yours to pay. The end result is a gritty, desperate tale in the vein of The Stand, The Road, or Mad Max.

But <cough> that's a lot of scratch for a small game.

I'm also reading Don't Rest Your Head for some inspiration.

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