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Mongobear
2015-01-23, 10:34 PM
So I have been running through my head all the types of games and campaign types I have ever ran, or played in, and almost every setting I have been a part of, except for an Old West type of adventure.

I don't so much mean the Hollywood trope of Cowboys, Indians, and the like you'd see in a John Wayne/Clint Eastwood movie, but more along the idea of a frontier town along the edge of civilization or in uncharted lands being slowly colonized, with rampant lawlessness, and wild-life/indiginous people set against the few small towns.

Now I know there are several stand alone game systems (Aces & Eights and Deadlands are the first to come to mind) that are entirely set in their own rules systems, but I would prefer something written for the d20 system. Is there perhaps a d20 modern or third party setting/rule set for D&D 3.X that deals with an Old West setting? Im sure with enough source materials, I could cobble together my own functional rule set for the setting, but any premades ones would be worth looking at.

Ninjadeadbeard
2015-01-24, 01:20 AM
Well, if you like 5E you could use their Gun Rules (DMG), and fluff the rest. As for research, I'd obviously recommend Red Dead Redemption.

Alternatively, I suppose you could refluff Pathfinder, but then you'd have to play Pathfinder, and nobody wins when they play Pathfinder. :smallwink:

3.5 had several variant rules you could apply, including the Defense Bonus Rule (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/defenseBonus.htm), which helps in settings where wearing armor would look weird. I also recommend Wound Points (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/vitalityAndWoundPoints.htm), as they make the game rocket tag from the get go, which fits the Wild, wild West feel.

Roxxy
2015-01-24, 02:51 AM
There is a D20 system version of Deadlands. (https://www.peginc.com/store/deadlands-d20/) You can purchase it directly from the publisher's website for $5 or $10. I got my copy of the core book and two supplements cheap from the local used bookstore, and got several supplements from the publisher's website for $5 each.

I should be clear that I do not actually play Deadlands D20. I bought some of the books I own for rules content I could port over to Pathfinder to make an Old West/Victoriana with guns everywhere ruleset that uses the Pathfinder races and classes, others for the mad science or Old West horror rules, and still others for help portraying Native American inspired cultures or cultures inspired by Mexico or Canada instead of America. I believe I have:

Deadlands D20
Horrors of the Weird West
The Way of the New Science
The Way of the Brave
The Way of the Gun
Ghost Dancers
South O' The Border
The Great Weird North

I love them for what I bought them for, but if you want to know if Deadlands D20 is a good ruleset in and of itself, I am most certainly not the correct person to ask.

Xuc Xac
2015-01-24, 03:36 AM
I don't so much mean the Hollywood trope of Cowboys, Indians, and the like you'd see in a John Wayne/Clint Eastwood movie, but more along the idea of a frontier town along the edge of civilization or in uncharted lands being slowly colonized, with rampant lawlessness, and wild-life/indiginous people set against the few small towns.


That's actually most D&D adventures. D&D, especially in 1st and 2nd edition, was a Western dressed up in medieval clothing. "Converting" D&D to a Western is just a matter of making some cosmetic changes. The local baron is now the mayor or sheriff. The Rangers have lever action repeating rifles instead of long bows. The cleric is called padre or doc. Etc.

Mark Hall
2015-01-24, 09:09 AM
I'll chime in with my usual "Most D&D is just a western in medieval drag." There's not much difference between "Keep on the Borderlands" and "Silverado".

Blackhawk748
2015-01-24, 12:43 PM
I'll chime in with my usual "Most D&D is just a western in medieval drag." There's not much difference between "Keep on the Borderlands" and "Silverado".

Just guns and less metal.

From what ive heard Deadlands is pretty awesome and for all of its flaws D20 modern can do Western pretty well, i just recommend ditching the "wealth check" and giving them money. I mean you can get a Rifle for like 30 bucks so its not like its unreasonable amounts of bookkeeping as i dont think the party will ever be running around with thousands of dollars.

On a side note, i have noticed that there is a distinct lack of Fantasy Western. ie Fantasy Races reskinned in a western motiff, as i would love to play an Orc Bounty hunter.

Mongobear
2015-01-24, 05:18 PM
On a side note, i have noticed that there is a distinct lack of Fantasy Western. ie Fantasy Races reskinned in a western motiff, as i would love to play an Orc Bounty hunter.

That's actually exactly what im looking for, I just didn't know how to phrase it correctly.

I may look up the Deadlands d20, as well as some of the d20 Modern stuff, which i didn't even think of, and I'm pretty sure they have an Old West supplement or two.

Blackhawk748
2015-01-24, 05:30 PM
That's actually exactly what im looking for, I just didn't know how to phrase it correctly.

I may look up the Deadlands d20, as well as some of the d20 Modern stuff, which i didn't even think of, and I'm pretty sure they have an Old West supplement or two.

Most likely, at worst all you have to do is make a list of available guns and swipe some feats from 3.5 and you should be fine.

Solaris
2015-01-25, 12:34 AM
On a side note, i have noticed that there is a distinct lack of Fantasy Western. ie Fantasy Races reskinned in a western motiff, as i would love to play an Orc Bounty hunter.

Orcs and elves do seem to share the two roles of American Indians in Westerns and dwarves seem like they'd be good German/Swiss analogues, but I'm at something of a loss on what to do with gnomes and halflings.

Blackhawk748
2015-01-25, 01:47 AM
Orcs and elves do seem to share the two roles of American Indians in Westerns and dwarves seem like they'd be good German/Swiss analogues, but I'm at something of a loss on what to do with gnomes and halflings.

Honestly i could never find one either. I made a Post Apocalyptic setting that uses fantasy races and i couldnt find a spot for Halflings or Gnomes, mainly i found it hard to give them normal sized guns as their bodies are so small. I made goblins work with the explanation that they are lankier and as such has longer arms so they can use guns sized for bigger people, that and they are Medium sized with Slight Build. (my goblins are slightly larger than usual to accommodate this.)

Back to point, i personally dont feel that they are entirely necessary, but thats just me.

Mark Hall
2015-01-25, 02:24 AM
Orcs and elves do seem to share the two roles of American Indians in Westerns and dwarves seem like they'd be good German/Swiss analogues, but I'm at something of a loss on what to do with gnomes and halflings.

Westerns tend to deal in broad stereotypes... unless the characters are named, they fall into a stock trope. All Indians are like this. Townsfolk are like this. Folks from Back East are like this.

Generally, I'd figure out what stereotypes you're trying to fill and make them that.
*Halflings could be the average Western townsfolk... the Little House on the Prairie types. Or they might be the "back Easters"... the folks from civilized places who aren't really part of Western culture (though this also works for elves). You could also make them Irish (think Seamus McFly from Back to the Future 3, or Red Gurdy Pickens from Knights of the Dinner Table).
*Gnomes might be the itinerant tinkers and inventors (if you know The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., John Astin's "Professor Wickwire" is a good gnome stereotype), or maybe some "other" in the Western genre (I tend to view gnomes as very Jewish). Might work well for the Germans or Czechs, as well, with dwarves tending more towards Swedes, Norskies, or Scots.
*Elves can go a couple of ways. You might use them as "good" indians, drawing on their nature associations to make them a noble savage type. Or, as mentioned above, you might go with Back Easters, drawing more on their "civilized and better than you" schtick. You could also, of course, make them some European group, or, perhaps, Spaniards (think the stories of Zorro).
*Humanoids tend to favor them being Indians... I joke a bit that you can classify D&D games by their approach to humanoids, and liken them to the different eras of Westerns. The modern take, on both Indians-in-Westerns and Humanoids-in-D&D tends to be very much "human people of a culture that is different than the main assumption", but there's also been "the only good orc/Indian is a dead orc/Indian", more common in the earlier days of the respective genres. This puts half-orcs and sil-karg in a similar position to Charles Bronson in Chino or, indeed, The Magnificent Seven... "half-breeds" who are outside the normal society, or hiding what they are to fit in (I know the Magnificent Seven reference casts Mexicans as some variety of humanoid, but roll with it; it could equally be a half-elf).

And this assumes that you want to stick to strictly Earth... you might pull something similar to Joe Abercrombie's Red Country, and set it in a fantasy world, but still have it clearly be a Western.

Grac
2015-01-25, 03:42 AM
Isn't that pretty much the default assumption of ACKS?

Just reskin everything to be vaguely historically appropriate.

Rallicus
2015-01-25, 07:26 AM
As someone who has run a Deadlands D20 one shot, I'd advise against it. It's not really what you seem to be looking for, as its essentially just reflavoured 3rd edition. Mages that cast with cards, cleric priests and native American druids. Oh, and lots of monsters.

It'd be the equivalent of running a 3e game with nothing but fighters.

Doable, but the outcome is gonna probably suck.

Mr. Mask
2015-01-25, 09:04 AM
One thing I wonder is how you're expected to handle fantasy threats in a Western setting. Trolls seem like they might be resistant to bullet penetration and damage. Can you shoot a ghost? Firearms in dungeons could have some interesting problems. What kind of cannon would you use against a dragon?


Another issue is the gear progression. DnD's magic weaponry harkens to fallen empires and lost arts, like when the Norse started digging up graves for the prized swords of old. A setting with guns presents an industrial world of the present, guns aren't something you ought to find in a dwarven tomb. Magic guns tends to sound weird, thematically.

goto124
2015-01-25, 09:21 AM
A setting with guns presents an industrial world of the present, guns aren't something you ought to find in a dwarven tomb. Magic guns tends to sound weird, thematically.

Bring the ancient but otherwise useless artifact you found in the tomb to some rich person for a special gun or something.

Or help catch criminals for rewards. Not sure what to do if the party decides to welcome the criminal to the party instead though.

Or have the monster you just fought somehow have the weapon in its stomach. Along with a dissolving corpse.
'If he had this really nice weapon... why did he get eaten instead of defeating the creature?'
'Rolled a nat 1, probably'.

Mr. Mask
2015-01-25, 10:15 AM
Why go to so much trouble to get a Henry Rifle from a monster's stomach or from an exchange of artefacts, when you can buy one from the store? If it's pricey, then performing some kind of merc quest might be the short-cut to getting it, but they were never that expensive (first repeating rifles weren't ordered en-masse in the civil war, but soldiers brought them on their own pay).

There might be some kind of justification you can rig for those things being rare as gold nuggets, but making it plausible might be tricky.

Almarck
2015-01-25, 11:33 AM
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?345327-Crossroads-II-I-m-on-a-Mammoth

I'm going to throw Admiral Squish's Crossroads setting being created on these forums. The setting is in pathfinder and all of the setting information is available for free in the link above.


the setting is a reimagining of the Colonial Era America with magic among other things. While it is not quite Western, the mechanics and setting isn't as far away from what you WA t especially since the theme of traveling through the frontier is a key point of the setting. IIt should be quite easy to reimagine the setting as a western.