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kidnicky
2013-09-03, 11:13 PM
I'm gming the game "Shotguns & Saddles" tommorrow night. Assuming it goes well, I assume we'll want to play it again. Herein lies the issue -What the hell do cowboys DO exactly? The rules include an adventure (which we'll be playing first) and then a couple hooks, but I still am not sure what to do. One of the hooks was the PCs becomkng deputies, which seems easiest to write plots for, but so I have the sheriff say "bring in x dead or alive" and then what do they do between getting the order and killing him? Are there dungeons in the west?( lol)
So does anyone have any ideas? It doesn't have to be system specific, I don't need rules, just plot. I've watched a handful of Western TV shows,so I know the tropes, but I'm no big fan of the genre.

DrBurr
2013-09-03, 11:22 PM
I'd think being a Bandit would be funner, bank heists, Train Robberies and breaking the boss out of the slammer could all be potential adventures. I can't really see dungeons save for a compound of some kind, but in its place you could easily do set pieces.

If you heart is set on law and justice in the American Frontier dub your players Marshals and deputies and have them set out across the open planes to hunt down a killer like in True Grit.

JusticeZero
2013-09-03, 11:33 PM
I think the question was "What the heck is the draw?" Resource extraction is a big one. Things like the California Gold Rush (Or, for a twist on the usual setting, the Alaska gold rush..) suck a lot of unmarried guys out to earn their fortunes. The railroads also wanted to extend across the country; they got a patch of land for tracks and started creating whistle-stop towns for speculative reasons, and sold the land at a profit while also controlling the import of supplies to the town. Some succeeded, some failed. There was also some ranching and agriculture and the like to help support the population mentioned. Of course, any time you have a lot of unmarried young male fortune seekers, you get a lot of pretty young fortune-seeking girls out to make THEIR fortune with their own style of mining. In time, this makes things calm down and become more mundane, but the key is "in time".

EvilJames
2013-09-03, 11:36 PM
Same thing you do in fantasy adventures except there usually isn't any magic so combat is more deadly.
Last western game I ran the PC"s defended a small town from bandits. Then went and found the bandit hideout. You could be bounty hunters an hunt dangerous criminals almost anything you could want.

Mark Hall
2013-09-03, 11:57 PM
Herd cattle up to the railroad.
Defend a small town from bandits.
Hunt for bounties.
Break a political stranglehold that a single landowner has on a city.
Fight Indians.
Negotiate with Indians.
Run from the law.
Start a homestead.
Start a small town.

IMO, most D&D is "Westerns in medieval drag." Sit down and watch John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, or Kevin Costner until you're inspired.

Kadzar
2013-09-04, 12:27 AM
If it turns into an on-going thing, you're going to want to develop a feud or two, probably with somebody on the other side of the law.

Weirdlet
2013-09-04, 12:39 AM
Whatever the heck you want. The Wild part of Wild West? It's because it's on the outskirts of 'civilized' territory, far from central authority and prone to lawlessness, even as people are streaming out to try and take advantage of resources, forming new 'points of light' around shipping, mining, herding, water and timber and oil.

In a campaign I'm currently playing in, we're working around the Banewarrens, which were placed there a thousand years ago in the hopes that no one would ever find them. Now they're leaking, and that's why people in Tombstone keep coming back as eidelon ghosts (the miners delved too greedily and too deep). It's awesome.

kidnicky
2013-09-04, 01:09 AM
I'd think being a Bandit would be funner, bank heists, Train Robberies and breaking the boss out of the slammer could all be potential adventures. I can't really see dungeons save for a compound of some kind, but in its place you could easily do set pieces.

If you heart is set on law and justice in the American Frontier dub your players Marshals and deputies and have them set out across the open planes to hunt down a killer like in True Grit.

Bandits would be fun, too. We'll see where the players want to go with the characters after the first adventure.

kidnicky
2013-09-04, 01:12 AM
I'd think being a Bandit would be funner, bank heists, Train Robberies and breaking the boss out of the slammer could all be potential adventures. I can't really see dungeons save for a compound of some kind, but in its place you could easily do set pieces.

If you heart is set on law and justice in the American Frontier dub your players Marshals and deputies and have them set out across the open planes to hunt down a killer like in True Grit.

I didn't really mean dungeons per se, but I usually write a D&D session in about 15 minutes. (Random name generator) comes up to the PCs in the tavern, tells them about something they can do or get for profit, then they go through about 5 rooms of monsters, the last room has a big monster and whatever macguffin they were after.
With the west, you really can't do that.

Thrudd
2013-09-04, 02:22 AM
"Cowboys" specifically herd cattle. They would accompany the cattle herd on long journeys across country, moving them from one ranch to another. Sometimes they are bringing them to be sold at auction, or to the ranch of a new owner, or from one grazing ground to another. The journey was dangerous, there are bandits and cattle thieves, Native Americans who might try to steal the cattle or who are hostile to European settlers, not to mention natural hazards like weather and wild predators to contend with. Personally, not my idea of a fun RPG campaign, but it would be doable for one session.
What people do when they aren't taking part in an adventure would depend on their profession. Are the characters all townsfolk of a particular town? One of them is a farmer or a rancher, one is a blacksmith, one is a drifting ex-soldier who does odd-jobs and spends all his money at the bar, one is the shopkeeper of the general store, one is a prospector hunting for gold etc, the players will have to tell you that (or they roll for it). When there is a problem, the sheriff calls them up to form a posse and hunt down the bandits, or whatever.
As a self-professed cinematic game, I think relatively little time will be devoted to things happening in between adventures. It isn't meant to be a realistic simulation of life in the west. Each time you run the game, it should be like a western action movie where all the players are drawn into some type of conflict.

For a longer running campaign, you have a few options that will allow the players to have a believable source of steady adventure.

1. Bounty hunters - it is so easy to do this in a serial RPG format. The players have their choice of bounties to hunt down which they get from the post office or sheriff or marshall wherever they are. You just need to come up with new and interesting environments for the adventure to take place in. Sometimes the players might come in conflict with the law, maybe US marshalls or a local posse are also after the criminals and don't like bounty hunters getting in the way.

2. Lawmen - they are the aforementioned US Marshalls hunting down criminal gangs all across the west, sometimes running into bounty hunters who are getting in the way.

3. Bandits - they are a gang of outlaws looking to make their fortune by any means necessary, and coming into conflict with the law and bounty hunters as their infamy grows.

4. Deputies/normal folk just trying to survive - If they are the deputies of some random town, the town will have to be threatened with crime, bandits, hostile Natives, etc, all the time, to draw the characters away from their everyday lives and into action again. Doing this too often in the same town does beg believability a bit...but then, it isn't meant to be a realistic simulation. Also, you could just declare that months or years pass in between each adventure, and let each player give a quick description of what their character has been doing in the intervening time.

Plot will have to depend on what type of characters you have to work with, what their motivations and livelihoods might be. Different sorts of adventures will apply for each of the choices above.

I would suggest watching some more movies for ideas for future adventures. Watch the Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns "A Fistful of Dollars" "For a Few Dollars More" "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" "Death Rides a Horse" "Once Upon a Time in the West". Watch "Tombstone", "Silverado", "The Magnificent Seven", "Unforgiven", "3:10 to Yuma (either one)"The Outlaw Josey Wales", "Rio Bravo", "High Noon".

Common plot elements are
- a fortune/treasure being transported somewhere gets lost or stolen and they need or want to find it. A few other people or gangs are also looking for the treasure, and nobody can really trust anyone else. (The good, the bad, and the ugly)
- a feud between rival gangs spills over into a town, making it a war-zone and threatening everyone. Maybe both gangs want to control the trade route which passes through, or gain control of the business of the other. The players find a way to get both gangs out of town and restore peace (and maybe make some cash in the process) (this is A Fistfull of Dollars/Yojimbo/Last Man Standing).
- some outlaws steal a fortune, and are double crossed by one or more of their compatriots who runs away with all the money. They hunt down the double-crosser who now has a new much bigger gang on his payroll. Sometimes the same doublecrossing outlaw has also committed other crimes and the victims of those crimes will be after him for revenge. (this is the plot of "Death Rides a Horse".

...I could go on and on, but just watch some of those movies. You'll never run out of good cinematic plots by mixing, varying and extrapolating what you find there.

Berenger
2013-09-04, 03:37 AM
Are there dungeons in the west?


A silver mine occupied by bandits (or angry miners).

A steamboat run aground in a hostile, boggish environment.

A cluster of pueblo style houses.

http://www.geog.ucsb.edu/~joel/g148_f09/lecture_notes/spanish_revival/painted_desert1.jpg

For a real life example of a rock/cave labyrinth dungeon, check Captain Jack's Stronghold (Link 1 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_Jack%27s_Stronghold), Link 2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modoc_War#Fortifying_the_Stronghold)).

If you really want to go to town with large, conventional underground dungeons, send them over the mexican border in the general direction of ancient aztec temples. Of course, this is not really "Old West" style but I could see it as a single adventure of a longer campaign.

Rhynn
2013-09-04, 04:03 AM
There is an incredible amount of things to do in a Wild West setting. You can run plots or you can run a sandbox, and either will work wonderfully. I think the Wild West frontiers particularly work for a free sandbox-style game with a limited area of play and a lot of freedom for the PCs to do what they want within that area.

Aside from countless movies that give great ideas for activities (some of my favorites include Red River, The Ox-bow Incident, 3-10 to Yuma, High Noon, Shane, The Searchers, The Dollars Trilogy, Once Upon a Time in the West, The Magnificent Seven, The Wild Bunch, and True Grit; and the TV shows Deadwood, Hell on Wheels, and Comanche Moon), just about any profession can be an adventure. The RPG Aces & Eights capitalizes on this: character advancement is done by simply working at a chosen profession by meeting certain "goal posts." Some naturally adventurous professions include:
Bandit, Bounty Hunter, Buffalo Hunter, Bushwhacker, Claim Jumper, Cowboy, Deputy, Driver, Entertainer, Faro Dealer, Fur Trader, Gambler, Gun for Hire, Horse Thief, Lawman, Outlaw, Prospector, Ranch Boss, Ranch Hand, Range Boss, Scout, Sheriff, Snake Oil Salesman, Soldier, Spy, Stage Driver, Teamster, Thief, Vagrant, Whore, and Wrangler.

Some less obvious careers that can make for great play in a free environment include:
Banker, Circuit Judge, Doctor, Hotel Owner, Journalist, Land Speculator, Mayor, Mine Owner, Newspaper Editor, Preacher, Saloon Owner, and Stage Station Chief.

Just living on the American Frontier can be a challenge an an adventure. Trying to manage your farm or small ranch can be a great challenge, between hostile Natives, outlaws, corrupt officials, belligerent neighbors, the Civil War, railroad companies, and greedy cattle barons. An entire campaign could easily revolve around a group of ex-frontiersmen who have to defend their Volstead Act-given lands from a cattle baron trying to get all the land any way necessary, or a railroad company wanting to force them to sell their lands. Cattle drives are long, hard, and dangerous (see Red River, Australia).

And, of course, being an outlaw is a tried and true approach. You can rob stage coaches (for money deliveries in mail, for gold deliveries from the frontier to banks back East, for payroll), trains (for much of the same, plus the valuables of all the passengers), banks, or towns, search for lost Spanish gold, steal horses and cattle, and so on. If you make it rich, maybe you can retire over in Mexico - or maybe the follow-up campaign details the party's attempts to lead peaceful, law-abiding retired lives when their past comes to haunt them.

Anyone planning to run a Wild West game absolutely must watch some good Westerns, both for ideas and style and feel. Anyone playing in one should watch some for the same reasons.

Also, reading up on the lives of Wild West personalities like Bat Masterson, Wild Bill Hickok, the Earps, etc. is a good idea. Many of the lawmen, for instance, were professional gamblers and occasional vagrants.

Jack of Spades
2013-09-04, 05:43 AM
I didn't really mean dungeons per se, but I usually write a D&D session in about 15 minutes. (Random name generator) comes up to the PCs in the tavern, tells them about something they can do or get for profit, then they go through about 5 rooms of monsters, the last room has a big monster and whatever macguffin they were after.
With the west, you really can't do that.

In the West, the equivalent of this is some rancher, miner, or hermit coming to town and telling a tall tale about some treasure, bandit gang, or unusually big game out near his land. A dungeon could be a series of canyons or caverns, settled or unsettled, an abandoned boomtown, or a big estate house that belonged to such-and-such back in the day. Most of the dungeon-feeling areas in the Old West tend to be a place that was settled some time ago and subsequently abandoned. If you've played Assassin's Creed 3, think of the Daniel Boone/Frontiersman missions.

Trains and the track-laying industry were extremely important in the West, especially if your players are going to end up as lawmen. It would be downright unfair not to have a dramatic train chase.

The insane politics of land claims are also a good way of getting lawmen out to a scene. Ol' Bill Hershaw is laying claim to a well that "Squinty" Andy Morson swears his family has owned for generations. When the lawmen get out there with a claims official, bandits attack (or something more interesting).

Many westerns are set after the Civil War, and often involve veterans who have run West to avoid/perpetuate whatever caused their memories of that time. If before the Civil War, veterans of the wars with the Native Americans fill the same function. So that's a good bit of fodder for plots.

The train companies are big bad guys out to take everyone's land, but the trains themselves are good and useful.
The federal government's encroachment is always unwelcome, but the conveniences (and armies) provided by said government keep society running smoothly.
Mining companies found and fund entire cities, many of which are promptly abandoned when the mine runs dry (or whatever the veins yield simply ceases to be profitable).
Native Americans are valuable trading partners (in a dwindling capacity), but many view them as hated enemies or one-sided stereotypes.

A couple more sources on Westerns for the pile:

Deadlands is chock full of actual folklore from the West, although most of it would require toning down for a realistic game, and it's mixed in with a whole lot of spaghetti to boot.

Red Dead Redemption is great for showing how the West can be fun. Hell, even the ranching in that game is fun.

You mention that you aren't really a fan of the genre-- you may want to try to pretend. The West is nothing without its romanticism, and if you start trying to poke holes in the tropes too much you'll just end up with boring old realistic frontier life.

GungHo
2013-09-04, 09:10 AM
Herein lies the issue -What the hell do cowboys DO exactly?
Actual cowboys herd cattle and move them around from one grazing spot to the other. All day. Every day. Then they take the herd back to the ranch. They have to look out for environmental hazards and for things that would prey on their herd, like coyotes or snakes. But, generally, it's just moving the things around en masse. They also fix fences and otherwise maintain their ranches. Some days they take the cattle for auction or for slaughter. I did that growing up. There's a reason I'm sitting behind a desk today. I can go my whole life without staring at another horse or cow rear end for 12 hours.


I have the sheriff say "bring in x dead or alive" and then what do they do between getting the order and killing him?
That's not cowboys, though. That's bounty hunting. Still Western themed, but different from "what cowboys do". "Cowboy" is a full-time job. They don't have time to go bounty hunt people, or free towns, or any of that other stuff. Bounty hunting is also a full-time job. So is just being the town sheriff.

You may want to cast your group as a band of gunslingers, like Young Guns, rather than actual cowboys, because otherwise you're RPing the equivalent of "I'm a blacksmith and I am hammering on things, and tomorrow I'm going to hammer on those other things". Maybe they used to be cowboys, but they were overrun by bandits/rivals or otherwise kicked out of the business.

I realize you're asking for a cinematic answer, but I'm emphasizing that you are going to need to do more work than "we're cowboys, yee haw".


Are there dungeons in the west?
Sure. Mines... played out or otherwise. Bandits could use them as a base/cache. In a Weird or fantasy West, monsters could use them as a base, or miners could have "dug too deep" and released "things that should not be" (like goblins or zombie gas).

Abandoned Army forts could also work as above-ground dungeons, especially for bandits.

Compared to a standard "D&D"-type campaign, you're less likely to spin dealing with monsters than dealing with other human(oid)s, even with a fantasy-tinged West. Gatling guns make quick work of dragons.

Nate!
2013-09-04, 02:19 PM
Deadlands is chock full of actual folklore from the West, although most of it would require toning down for a realistic game, and it's mixed in with a whole lot of spaghetti to boot.

I ran a Deadlands game for about a year (ran through both of the currently pre-published campaigns, The Flood and Last Sons). Just off the top of my head, here's some of the more mundane stuff the players did over the course of the game:

Recovered stolen supplies, helped a Rail Baron, spied on a different Baron, rescued somebody from prison, destroyed a cannibalistic cult, snuck through a cave filled with dangerous creatures, destroyed a warship with a very clever trap... oh, and they DESTROYED AN ENTIRE ENCAMPMENT OF MEXICAN SOLDIERS (thanks to a VERY lucky draw by the Huckster, er, spellcaster), and (in a completely different incident, remarkably), killed General Santa Ana.

And because this was Deadlands, they also fought a whole bunch of monsters along the way.

NichG
2013-09-04, 03:49 PM
It might help to think 'thematically' and then narrow in on specific adventures from there. The fifteenth time you're sent out to 'capture an outlaw' will be pretty dull unless the outlaws themselves have some reason why their story is interesting.

Generally themes I find associated with the Wild West are:

- Far from civilization, human cruelty, pettyness, etc are given more license to flourish. Even nice people may have a dark side that comes out, and the contrast between the well-meaning and the underlying darkness makes the story.

Example plotlines: A well-meaning homesteader is led to believe that his son was killed by someone from a local indian/whatever tribe. The homesteader turns into a brute and seeks to wipe out the entire tribe in retaliation, but actually the crime was done by an outcast from the tribe/etc. Maybe someone who has already died. How do you get the homesteader to drop his vendetta (or do you?)

- Away from civilization, people can reinvent themselves, but their past sometimes follows them.

Example plotlines: A preacher who has helped build their community for 10 years is discovered to have been a murderer/robber/choose your heinous crime here. Some of the younger/newer people in town want to hang him, while others want to forgive him. The law says one thing, but the law is way back east - what do you do?

- Us and them. Manifest destiny. Racial conflict.

Example plotlines: Your people want to continue to expand west, but there are people there already. You can't understand their language and they can't understand yours, and your cultures are very different (and perhaps ideologically incompatible if you want to make it particularly ugly). How do you deal with the resultant conflict?

- There are vast, unexplored lands out there, filled with mysteries.

Example plotlines: Indian magic actually works. Any number of supernatural adventures can spin off of this - hunt beasts of legend, walk the Ghost Lands, what-have-you.

- Order is brought to chaos at great cost.

Example plotlines: The town has not had a sherrif in some time. The owner of the bar and whorehouse basically runs things through manipulating their clients and having financial leverage over much of the town, but there's no real justice - anyone who acts against him is shot down. You have to bring order to this town and incorporate it into the laws and customs of the civilization back east.

Alternately, you're just trying to build 'something lasting' without the protection of civilization to support it.

zlefin
2013-09-04, 03:57 PM
You could always just take episodes of Gunsmoke, and copy the plot whole (or mostly). Gunsmoke should work pretty well for that. Maybe Kung Fu or Bonanza as well.
That should give enough depth to flesh out missions and personalities.

Alejandro
2013-09-04, 05:06 PM
As long as you have:

- Trains
- Shootouts
- Saloons
- Mystic Indians
- Villainous cattle or land barons
- Bandits and bounty hunters

There's no way you can go wrong, or run out of things for the PCs to do. :)

As for 'dungeons':

- Caves and mines of all kinds all over the West
- Some big mansion a wealthy rail tycoon built, then abandoned as the line moved west
- A sunken steamboat in the middle of a river with air pockets trapped in it
- An old Spanish mission or fort
- Exploring the interior of a space ship that has landed to analyze the humans and or fire lasers at them.

kidnicky
2013-09-04, 06:04 PM
Lot of good ideas here. Thanks.

kidnicky
2013-09-04, 10:50 PM
We just played this game and loved it. It's hillarious because A. Chargen is totally random, you could be a bounty hunter, an indian, a little kid, even a prostitute!! And B. It's insanely easy to die. The first time an NPC shot at the PC he died. He literally took more time rolling up his character than he did playing the game. The next guy he made lasted longer, but still died. I should note that this isn't a difficulty balance problem,these were kne on one fights against NPCs who on paper were weak! It's just that,like in real life, if you get shot even once there's a really big chance you'll die. Eventually I had to let him use the stats for Bat Masterson to even finish the session.

That said, I think i can come up with some good adventures using some of the hooks you guys gave and the fact that an adventure in this game really only needs to be 3 or 4 encounters! It's more a fun palatte cleanser from DnD than it js something that will be a permanant campaign.

Trickquestion
2013-09-05, 12:05 AM
Me and my group actually played a western campaign once, though with standard DnD monsters and magic. The quest was to catch a band of cattle rustling (later escalated to kidnappings) fish people who lived in the oasis the town got its water from.

TheThan
2013-09-05, 12:58 AM
You know, it’s a real shame that they don’t make westerns anymore.
Anyway, it seems people have a good enough handle on what a “cowboy” is. But I’d like to add that cowboys did other things as well. Such as “break” wild horses; making them suitable for riding; that’s also called Bronco Bustin’. They also took care of other chores around the ranch, like mending fences, repairing building, shoeing horses etc.
A cowboy’s most valuable possession was his horse and saddle. It’s how he made his living, and being deprived of those could spell a slow death for a cowboy. This is why horse thieves were so harshly punished for their crimes; it was in effect murder.
Now if you’re looking for good inspiration here’s a short list of tv shows to watch:

Gunsmoke
Bonanza
The Big valley
Rawhide
Maverick
Wild Wild West (not the abomination that is the Will smith movie)

Without knowing your characters or their backgrounds I can only make generic suggestions for adventure hooks:

Gold is found in the mountains; and the rush is on for it.
A new arrival is jumping gold claims, however he’s using the law to his advantage, someone must stop him.
Indian war parties have been spotted too close to white settlements.
A gambler has come to town and is taking everyone’s money at cards.
A notorious outlaw has come to town. Is he here to cause trouble?
Two cattle barons are feuding over land and water rights.
The sheriff is drunk, or injured or sick, and a notorious outlaw is gunning for him, seeking revenge.
The stagecoach was robbed by bandits… again.
Homesteaders are claiming land “owned” by a cattle baron, he wants the sodbusters off his land, and is willing to do anything to do it.
That bronco is famous for having never been ridden; the owner is willing to pay good money to whoever can break that horse in.
The bank wants to foreclose on the ranch, but one last cattle drive could save the ranch.
Cowboys have just come into town fresh from a long cattle drive, they’ve just been paid and are becoming too rowdy.
A mountain man has come down from the mountains; he’s filled with tall tales of excitement and adventure. Several of the town’s youths have disappeared in the night off to the mountains and adventure.
a city slicker is new and town, and everyone is laughing at him. help him learn the ropes.


Whew… well I think I’m done for now. Although I can think up tons more if you need me to.

Rhynn
2013-09-05, 04:17 AM
You know, it’s a real shame that they don’t make westerns anymore.

I wouldn't quiet put it that way (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Western_films_of_the_2010s).

There's also the show Hell on Wheels, and although Copper takes place in New York, it's the same period. Interestingly, emphasizing the wounds of the Civil War seems pretty popular now - I can't think of many older westerns that did so, off-hand.

Granted, the best westerns of the last decade are probably 3:10 to Yuma and True Grit, which are just remakes of older movies.

Dangit, now I want to start re-watching my old westerns and get out Aces & Eights...

Beleriphon
2013-09-05, 09:04 PM
If you want some idea for adventures see what you can find about range wars. They were basically outright wars between settlers and land barons over property ownership.

Raimun
2013-09-07, 02:27 AM
What do you do in the wild west?

You fight zombies.

No, wait, that's only John Marston.

Then again, a wild west RPG with zombies would be fun.

Or there could be a quick draw duel tournament, like in The Quick and the Dead. Winner gets 1374 $.

Jack of Spades
2013-09-07, 12:30 PM
Then again, a wild west RPG with zombies would be fun.

Well that's pretty much Deadlands for you, and it happens to be possibly my favorite RPG of all time. :smallbiggrin:

Tyndmyr
2013-09-07, 03:57 PM
IMO, most D&D is "Westerns in medieval drag."

That's...strangely accurate. Huh, never thought about it that way before, but it makes perfect sense.

Also, Deadlands is utterly stuffed with material for stealing.

The Rose Dragon
2013-09-07, 04:35 PM
Then again, a wild west RPG with zombies would be fun.

So, basically, Fistful o' Zombies.

Mark Hall
2013-09-08, 11:19 AM
That's...strangely accurate. Huh, never thought about it that way before, but it makes perfect sense.


You can even generalize about a game by talking about different eras of movies! Is the only good orc a dead orc, and most races built directly off the Legolas/Gimli archetypes? Then you're in a 40s/50s Western. Do you have a lot of angsty half-breed anti-heroes? Congratulations, you're in a 70s Western.

Rhynn
2013-09-08, 12:42 PM
You can even generalize about a game by talking about different eras of movies! Is the only good orc a dead orc, and most races built directly off the Legolas/Gimli archetypes? Then you're in a 40s/50s Western. Do you have a lot of angsty half-breed anti-heroes? Congratulations, you're in a 70s Western.

I guess this makes Planet Algol an acid western?

Sweet. :smallcool:

Jack of Spades
2013-09-08, 01:25 PM
You can even generalize about a game by talking about different eras of movies! Is the only good orc a dead orc, and most races built directly off the Legolas/Gimli archetypes? Then you're in a 40s/50s Western. Do you have a lot of angsty half-breed anti-heroes? Congratulations, you're in a 70s Western.
areyouawizard.jpeg

My mind is 100% blown.

More broadly, however, I suppose any time you have a wide open frontier and someone is on the Hero's Journey there are elements of Westerns that are going to bleed through. Hence the widespread belief that Star Wars: A New Hope is a Western.

Eladrinblade
2013-09-09, 01:12 PM
Are there dungeons in the west?

Big manors, mines, quarries, caves, forts, a moving train, a ship/river-boat/dirigible, alien starship, walking spider-mecha, portal to mars, hidden aztec/mayan gold vault, a black tower, ...

Not really. There are plenty of places to fight, but no real dungeons.

Thrudd
2013-09-09, 06:47 PM
Has anyone ever seen the HBO movie "El Diablo"? It was from 1990 or thereabouts. I remember it being an entertaining western, or I thought so when I first saw it as a kid. It makes me think of a roleplaying game because they gather a party of "adventurers" with different skills to go after the bad guy. It was more lighthearted, too, a comic western that sort of matches what a lot of RPG's end up being anyway :smallbiggrin:
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4183688/el_diablo_movie_trailer/

Hearing the description of this RPG and how your game went made me remember it.

kidnicky
2013-09-13, 08:37 PM
I have an adventure writtten out now, but since I've shared this thread with one of the players, I won't go into specifics till we've played.

kidnicky
2013-09-15, 12:56 PM
So the Pcs were hired by the sherriff to investigate thefts carried out by Bigfoot (the gorilla not the truck) and they figured out it was a guy in a suit way before they were "supposed" to. Didn't really matter though, because they still had to take down the gang behind it and recover the money/items/cattle. Also they got sidetracked a time or twk and had a couple random wildlife run-ins. Only lasted an hour and a half because somehow no PCs died this time. If anything, that's the main thing I don't like about this system, it's too hard to tell if an encounter is too easy or too deadly.

EvilJames
2013-09-15, 01:49 PM
What system are you using?

kidnicky
2013-09-15, 02:42 PM
Shotguns & Saddles

Mark Hall
2013-09-15, 06:21 PM
So the Pcs were hired by the sherriff to investigate thefts carried out by Bigfoot (the gorilla not the truck) and they figured out it was a guy in a suit way before they were "supposed" to. Didn't really matter though, because they still had to take down the gang behind it and recover the money/items/cattle. Also they got sidetracked a time or twk and had a couple random wildlife run-ins. Only lasted an hour and a half because somehow no PCs died this time. If anything, that's the main thing I don't like about this system, it's too hard to tell if an encounter is too easy or too deadly.

...ok, I love the idea of an Old West game where they're having to investigate Bigfoot robberies.

Hiro Protagonest
2013-09-15, 06:33 PM
What the hell do cowboys DO exactly?

Herd cattle.

Seriously, cowboys are boring. Even range riders mostly just do long patrols.

Thrudd
2013-09-15, 06:52 PM
So the Pcs were hired by the sherriff to investigate thefts carried out by Bigfoot (the gorilla not the truck) and they figured out it was a guy in a suit way before they were "supposed" to. Didn't really matter though, because they still had to take down the gang behind it and recover the money/items/cattle. Also they got sidetracked a time or twk and had a couple random wildlife run-ins. Only lasted an hour and a half because somehow no PCs died this time. If anything, that's the main thing I don't like about this system, it's too hard to tell if an encounter is too easy or too deadly.

Ha! That's fantastic. I think the thing with this sort of game is just to have fun with it. If they get through something more easily than you thought they would and you want more, throw something else in there! The description reminds me a bit of Feng Shui: Shadowfist Roleplaying in that way. It's a cinematic action movie RPG, and sometimes the PC's just ruin everything you throw at them (although shotguns and saddles sounds much more deadly at times, too, in Feng Shui it is really hard to kill a PC because they are meant to be action movie heroes). But as long as it is described with enough flair and everyone has a good time, that's what it's about.

kidnicky
2013-09-15, 09:22 PM
Ha! That's fantastic. I think the thing with this sort of game is just to have fun with it. If they get through something more easily than you thought they would and you want more, throw something else in there! The description reminds me a bit of Feng Shui: Shadowfist Roleplaying in that way. It's a cinematic action movie RPG, and sometimes the PC's just ruin everything you throw at them (although shotguns and saddles sounds much more deadly at times, too, in Feng Shui it is really hard to kill a PC because they are meant to be action movie heroes). But as long as it is described with enough flair and everyone has a good time, that's what it's about.

In S&S,a PC has between (IIRC) like 6 and 10 HP. A rifle does 1D12 damage. When you get to 0,you roll on a chart that decides if you're dead dead,just dying,or shake off a shoulder wound and back in the action. Each time after that though,you're rolling a smaller die on that chart. It's INSANELY easy to die,but then again we usually play D&D 4E where you take turns swinging swords and axes at each other for 30 minutes before someone even gets a papercut.