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dr_venture
January 22nd, 2011, 00:21
I've been working on running an Old West game for my son - settled on the Sidewinder: Recoiled rules, a OGL-based ruleset which I'm really enjoying for the most part.

Anyway, it occurred to me that there might be some fans of Old West gaming out there - especially folks non-US folks who might like the genre and enjoy a game run by a guy living in the heart of the Motherlode... but anyone who's interested, really.

I can't do this right away, as I'm still on a satellite Internet connection (I'm out in the sticks, actually), which I have found won't work for hosting games. I'm supposed to get access to DSL-speed wireless at some point - dunno when that's going to happen, but supposedly before too long.

Anyway, I just figured I'd put up this note and see if anyone was interested in doing a little adventuring in the American west of the 1880s.

KryptonianFletch
February 6th, 2011, 04:21
Back in the 80's and then only a short while back I got into an old TSR game called "Boot Hill"... tried running on online campaign, but tech as bad back then and it tooks hours to do anything ... the yahoo group we used still knocks around http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/trailtodriscollboothillrpg/

GunnarGreybeard
February 6th, 2011, 07:53
I might be interested depending on the days and times. Not familiar with the Sidewinder: Recoiled rules however.

dr_venture
February 7th, 2011, 20:46
KryptonianFletch, thanks for the link. I used to play an early version of Boot Hill back in the day, but I always wanted a bit more role playing and non-gunfight action. It was a fun game, tho - I originally planned to run that, but decided to explore d20 stuff specifically for use with Fantasy Grounds. Sidewinder integrates almost perfectly, with only a few fields missing from the foundation ruleset. I modded foundation, and now it works like a charm. I also added 'Bravery' from Boot Hill, cause, well, it just makes sense.

Gunnar - if you know d20 at all (and I'm no expert there, but know just enough) then you know Sidewinder. It's based on d20 modern, so it's just 3.5 D&D with custom character classes, feats, skills, etc. So far, it seems to play pretty well - I particularly like their attention to things other than gunfighting. Picking up a set of the rules would probably be a good idea before playing... but that's still a ways off. I still have no immediate ETA for getting my Net connection off of satellite and onto wireless, and until that happens I can't really host games.

It doesn't look like there is too much interest, which is too bad - I think the Western genre has been really underused in RPGs, mostly because the games seem to always just be about gunfights. Combat has been the core attraction in D&D, too, but somehow in D&D there is usually a better vibe to the game environment and the other gaming elements that surround/support the fight. I'm hoping to have fun by creating that same environment in a western game, and balance the focus between the historical and the bigger than life tradition of the genre. I think it'll be fun.

Ah well, when I'm ready, I'll post a notice and see who's available and when.

GunnarGreybeard
February 8th, 2011, 08:21
Good deal dr_venture. I'll keep an eye out for more updates on this thread as I'm really looking forward to an Old West themed RPG to get involved in.

lazarus0280
April 3rd, 2011, 04:26
I would be interested in a western themed RPG as well. Just curious about your internet connection. I currently am on satellite as well. Well I use a usb card from verizon. Basically though, it's pretty crappy. On good days I MAY have .200 download and prob half that in upload. I ran my first session last week though and it seemed to go quite smooth.

Theres a couple tricks you can do before the actual session to make things easier on you. I gave all my players the mods of the libraries and stuff ahead of time to cut back on them having to download anything. other then maps (which happened fast enough, like 30 seconds), we had no hiccups. I even ran Ventrilo as well. I've found that I can't run Skype, as it's a bandwidth whore....

If you'd like to do some tests or something, let me know. I know some of the FG patches have worked on connection issues, so potentially may be fine for you now.

look forward to gaming with you in the future!

dr_venture
April 3rd, 2011, 05:31
Laz - thanks for your interest, bud. I do hope to be able to open up my games a bit to folks outside of my own house :P

It sounds like you're on a cellular Net connection (which apparently has it's own issues, I see). I'm on satellite upstream and down - I literally have a dish somewhat bigger than a little TV dish on my roof.

The main problem with satellite Internet is the same that you see on news programs when people are talking across a satellite connection: the latency delay. Every time a signal goes to or from my computer, there is a second or two delay while the signal goes at the speed of light from my roof 22,000 miles into space & bounces back another 22,000 miles the receiving station on earth (Texas, I think). Once data gets streaming, it runs pretty fast, but when you're initiating connections or anything else where there are a lot of network 'handshakes' involved, there's that unavoidable delay. When I was working at Adobe & I had to use a VPN connection, all the extra security overhead slowed me down well below a 26.6k modem (28k? I forget, thankfully).

I am hearing encouraging news from the local home-brewed wireless network business (not cellular - it's yet another thing) that they are in the permit process for installing a big-*** tower needed to get a signal to me. God I'm looking forward to the day I can drive my tractor over my Starband equipment, post the video to YouTube, then send them the wreckage in the mail.

I'm currently running some old Boot Hill adventures converted over to Sidewinder and transplanted to the Black Rock Desert in NW Nevada, 1880. So far it's working out pretty good. I have found quite a few little mining towns out there that blew in, lived a short vibrant life, then have all but disappeared, which is both fun for the game, as well as really fascinating reading!

I just happen to be working on the game today. If you're curious or just want a fun read, here's a bit of classic old west lore that ties into the tiny town of Hardin City wherein the characters now find themselves employed as semi-official "Constables":

Lost Hardin Silver, Mystery or Hoax? (http://blackrockdesert.org/friends/desert-magazine/april-1955-lost-hardin-silver)

And here is the only picture I can find of the town, circa 2005, with teh description, "We passed the site of Hardin City, history unknown. Ruins consist of two eroded piles of cut ash fall tuff blocks that were buildings near a boggy spring.":

https://10xminerals.sslpowered.com/blog/wp-content/themes/Gemini-Plus/images-tan/Hardin-City.jpg

lazarus0280
April 3rd, 2011, 06:52
Ah got ya. But as I understand it, my signal is basically the same.... I shoot to a tower, then off to the stars to nearest satellite. I understand, your not getting the 'relay" from not having a tower close at hand. But my ping is outrageous as well. So.... if you hadn't tried, you MAY be pleasantly suprised. I know I was.

Have you actually attempted to host a game? There really isn't that much data being sent between the 2. I've played alot of text based games here at FG (as opposed to using a VOIP like skype or vent), so may be worth at least an attempt. Specially if everyone knows going forward about your internet.

Again, I was pleasantly suprised. Either way, I hope you get your situation resolved, and I feel your pain. I live at a lake house out here in virginia, and there isn't anything offered ISP wise.

Thank you for the reading. I'll go take a gander at it. Also, if you need help testing.... "i'll be your huckleberry". I leave my comp connected 24/7, so feel free to hop into the FG chat at...

http://fg2.rpg-vault.net/

you can recruit me anytime I am around, as well as any others to help ya out.

WittyDroog
May 31st, 2011, 14:07
If only FG could handle a deck of cards and the Shot Clock you oculd pull off Aces & Eights, which is a great Western RPG

Doswelk
May 31st, 2011, 17:25
If only FG could handle a deck of cards and the Shot Clock you could pull off Aces & Eights, which is a great Western RPG

It can handle a deck of cards (Savage Worlds uses that), there was an attempt a while back to code a public card deck but I do not know how that went.

WittyDroog
June 1st, 2011, 23:40
Oh I didn't know that. How is it handled? Is it just a custom die roller for a 52-sided die basically? Does it support images?

Though a public deck everyone draws from would be great, A&E can work fine otherwise since you can shuffle the deck every time you draw (You just can't do traditional card games like those found in A&8).

I guess the only thing to figure out then would be a shareable image of the "silhouette" and then have a Shot Clock template that players can manipulate to put in the spot they want. Then you got combat down.

CAPryde
June 2nd, 2011, 03:59
I'm not sure if you noticed it, but I'm running a Deadlands game, if you are interested in playing something with an Old West flavor.

As a side note, the card-drawing mechanics in that set work exactly as you would want them to--players are positioned around a table, draw from the same deck, and can see only a combination of their cards plus the cards in the communal pool, unless the Marshal chooses to reveal everything on the table.

tdewitt274
June 2nd, 2011, 04:56
The public deck has kind of fizzled. The intent was to create a generic deck for multiple games. I did some initial work, but I don't have the required skills with interacting with the db to make things stick. In the end, the thought would be to be portable enough to add to other rulesets as well as work on it's own.

Doswelk
June 2nd, 2011, 18:20
Oh I didn't know that. How is it handled? Is it just a custom die roller for a 52-sided die basically? Does it support images?

It's a deck of cards (with jokers). You can deal out a maximum of 5 cards (unlimited in the Deadlands extension, which also has a nice poker table that PCs can "sit" down at)

The cards are tokens as well so you can just put them as tokens on an image.

AgatonSax
August 6th, 2011, 10:59
http://www.rollspel.com/engelsk/western/ewestern.htm

I have no idea if this game is available in english (it's a swedish game).

They are working on the 4th edition now. I own and have played 1st edition only. It was/is quite complex but still easy to play. Character creation and fights are the most complex. Once you created a character the gameplay is simple like any other game, ordinary roleplaying from the players and skill-tests are performed with a d20 and add your skill-value to overcome the difficulty (usually 20 for ordinary stuff).

1st edition was very complex when it came to initiative, rounds and hitting and from what I've heard it was simplified to speed up the game in 2nd edition.

Worth to look for. There are lots of weapons, including when they were released to the market and lots of history. Somewhere from 1700-1900. At least in 1st edition they also included a lot from Hollywood since most people have seen a western or two. A holster was called "hollywood-holster" and it's up to the GM if they want to include the hollywood-stuff. You still have the common holster and for gunslingers the crow and twisted pair.

Everyone I ever played RPG with loved to play Western but the drawback was Hollywood. Most of us took a shot at GM-ing and lack of ideas for adventures made us all quit after a while. It usually ended up sooner or later with a bankrobbery or two and the obligatory chase like in the movies.

It's been around 15 years since I played it. I would love to have a go again but I'm in the middle of another campaign that will fill my time for quite some time (as GM).

tdewitt274
August 6th, 2011, 14:39
This (http://www.erichotz.com/game_rules1.html) is probably the most comprehensive list of western RPGs I've seen.

dr_venture
August 7th, 2011, 04:35
I have no idea if this game is available in english (it's a swedish game).

They are working on the 4th edition now. I own and have played 1st edition only. It was/is quite complex but still easy to play. Character creation and fights are the most complex. Once you created a character the gameplay is simple like any other game, ordinary roleplaying from the players and skill-tests are performed with a d20 and add your skill-value to overcome the difficulty (usually 20 for ordinary stuff).

I've seen mention of this game on the web (probably on that page that tdewitt274 linked to (indeed a great page)! I found their stash of free modules, which auto-translate into English with enough clarity to be useful, actually. It seems like it's well put together.



Everyone I ever played RPG with loved to play Western but the drawback was Hollywood. Most of us took a shot at GM-ing and lack of ideas for adventures made us all quit after a while. It usually ended up sooner or later with a bankrobbery or two and the obligatory chase like in the movies.

That is the rub with a western game: plotting the adventures take a bit more work unless you want to wind up with endless gunfights. In fantasy games like D&D it's easier to just think, "ok, the characters are 2nd level - how about them running into an orc stronghold in some cool old abandoned for of some kind, or underground stronghold." There more freedom to just kinda throw in fun elements without worrying so much about history or what makes sense. In the end, the easiest thing is to have somebody start shooting.

ALso, there are less options in terms of being able to quickly choose between dozens and dozens of monsters or fantastic locations or magical items with strange properties. It's like if you ran a fantasy campaign and limited yourself to melee, no demi-human races or magic to speak of, and maybe a handful of limited monsters. The easy choices as GM are relatively quickly used up, and you are left having to develop personalities, motivations, communities, etc. Definitely can be done, but it's hard... at least for me.

So far I've had the best luck by trying to focus more on non-combat skills and atmosphere of the old west. Fun so far, I constantly have to find ways to give players challenges. The reality is that many times, not a lot happened in the old west... so you have to kick it up a notch.

peterb
August 8th, 2011, 12:00
FYI, if you prefer BRP over D&D have a look at the Old West download section (http://basicroleplaying.com/downloads.php?do=cat&id=13) at BRP Central and the Aces High monograph (http://catalog.chaosium.com/product_info.php?cPath=37&products_id=2529) from Chaosium. Since the BRP ruleset is easy to modify it should be easy to set up a Old West game.

Casimir
August 8th, 2011, 19:16
If you give it some thought, most fantasy adventures can easily be converted to a Western setting with a small bit of work. The basic plot elements are usually the same anyway - it just comes down to replacing the "monsters" with antagonists that fit a similar Western theme, and "magic" in the same way (generally I used either Indian shamanism or new technology for that in my games back in the day).

But still the primary problem comes down to mindset, as Agaton_sax said above. Trying to get "hollywood" out of the minds of the players isn't an easy task at first. One way I used was to illustrate just how deadly shootouts were - once the players are at least somewhat reluctant to get into a shootout, they begin to try to consider other alternatives to resolve their challenges.

xDirtyDreamx
August 9th, 2012, 17:34
I have been running western RPG's for a couple years now I have been using a rule system called gutshot. I really enjoy it is very simple and very quick play. I have been able to successfully adapt it to multiple offshoots like zombies in the west or fighting cult classics like Dracula and the invisible man.

dr_venture
August 12th, 2012, 07:39
It's too bad the genre isn't more popular - I'm having a very difficult time keeping my game running... my Thursday group has a couple of regulars, but my Friday group is on hiatus right now due to lack of players (8pm to midnight, Pacific, if anyone is interested). I think the limited interest is because it doesn't involve anything supernatural... but that's what I like about it - I'll play a fantasy game if I want spell casting.

On the other hand, I have an paleontologist character who is researching the tales of "thunderbirds" (aka pterodactyls) that have arisen in the more remote parts of the unexplored West... totally plausible, especially during the "bone wars" where groups of paleontologists from competing institutions sabotaged each other, destroying artifacts wholesale in the process.

You can make that stuff up, but it's just that much cooler when it's loosely based on real history. Just a different kind of fun if you're a history buff.

daddystabz
September 2nd, 2012, 02:33
I'm a huge fan of the old west and have always wanted to play in a good old west campaign, though I'm not a big fan of d20. I also like to play without the supernatural stuff but am playing in a Deadlands game.

dr_venture
September 2nd, 2012, 20:12
Hey Dad, you're always welcome to swing by and try out a session to see if the game system is an issue or not. There is a floating "GM's character" (Rufus Temple, ex Union Scout) that is usually available to take for a test drive. C&C is like D20 simplified, and with fewer class restrictions. Just message me if you're interested... or anyone else for that matter, if you're interested is kicking the tires before buying. Games are every other Fri, next game being 9/5.

dr_venture
September 3rd, 2012, 07:25
Sorry, make that Fri Sept. 7th, 4:30pm to 8:30pm Pacific.

daddystabz
September 25th, 2012, 03:37
I looooove the old west and would play in a game if it wasn't d20.

daddystabz
October 4th, 2012, 04:46
So, are you all using Sidewinder: Recoiled then?

dr_venture
October 4th, 2012, 07:15
We're using a mostly homebrew system... kinda. It's really just Castles & Crusades (very rules-lite, kinda like a combination of AD&D 1e and some aspects of 2.0... I hear), but with old west-style character classes and abilities. I did include the d20 modern concept of Hero Type (strong hero, etc.) and I included a background selection (rural, frontier, urban, etc.)... both of those options mostly just dictate some additional abilities the characters get, kinda like race in fantasy systems.

All of the 'homebrew' classes were cobbled together from both Sidewinder: Recoiled and Go Fer Yer Gun!. If you want to just sit in on a session, you're welcome to - just let me know. I have a GM's character/NPC that is usually available to for a guest to just swing in and try things out.

So far, the rules have been used pretty infrequently, actually. We just wind up mostly roleplaying, as opposed to doing a lot of rolling. Wasn't really planned that way at all, but that's how it's turned out so far. As it turned out last week, we literally had one die roll in the whole session, but they were 'cleaning up' after a shootout the previous session, so that's just how it worked out. There is a lot of just enjoying the atmosphere, which has very much been a cooperative thing.

saithan
October 5th, 2012, 01:06
I Love the western genre and am really thinking serious about running a 3-4 session GURPS old western. something on the serious side. no magic or anything, just a straight up western. Tough though to get enough players on the same page.

dr_venture
October 5th, 2012, 02:07
Tell me about it - I have 1 dedicated player, and 1 new player... thankfully my wife's on board. I have had very little interest, and between people having issues with teh game system, scheduling issues, etc., I'm barely running. Too bad, as it's a really fun game and very different that the usual fantasy game.

saithan
October 5th, 2012, 02:17
endless varying hooks and adventure plots. and can mix with any other genre.
I have the itch bad for a western!

dr_venture
October 5th, 2012, 02:53
FWIW, if you're interested, you're welcome to swing by some session & check out the game. We have an extra character that is there for such purposes. We're playing tomorrow, 4:30 to 8:30pm - just send me a PM if you want to pop in for a while.

saithan
October 5th, 2012, 02:57
I might take you up on that if time allows!

daddystabz
October 5th, 2012, 04:39
Would you be up for making it mostly Go Fer Yer Gun! rules? I enjoy that game.

dr_venture
October 5th, 2012, 05:33
Hey Dad, I mentioned over in the other thread that it is mostly GFYG!, which is the old west version of Castles & Crusades. It's basically GFYG! with any additional C&C rules that are applicable, more character classes, some more abilities, hero types & backgrounds (just some abilities to help differentiate characters, really), expanded weapons, Boot Hill shotgun rules, Rolemaster critical hits... but at it's heart, GFYG!. I sent you an invite to the Obsidian Portal campaign so you can look around and see what you think.

saithan: you're welcome to swing by if you want. Just a head's up that we use Hamachi, so you'd need to get that set up ahead of time. It's pretty easy & free, but there is that to do before joining in, so give me a head's up ahead of time so I can send you the deets.

daddystabz
October 5th, 2012, 06:00
Do you use voice chat to communicate at all? I really prefer voice comm.

dr_venture
October 5th, 2012, 06:11
That might be a deal breaker - no voice, it's all done through text chat. It definitely makes the game go slower, but by the same token, we've been finding that it helps a lot in the game immersion. I've asked a couple times if there was any interest in switching to voice, and the preference has always been to stay with text. Also, I'm not sure if my connection would survive it - it's been taxed for a few weeks now, as my ISP is wrestling with their set up.

daddystabz
October 5th, 2012, 23:14
No thanks. That is a deal breaker for me.

daddystabz
November 8th, 2012, 00:35
Do you all still play? This is tempting me a bit as I've yet to get my western fix. If you still do, what day of the week and time do you play?

dr_venture
November 8th, 2012, 01:34
Our current schedule is 5pm to 8 or 9pm Pacific, every other Friday - next game is the 16th. If you want to check out the Obsidian Portal site for the game, send me your account name over there (http://www.obsidianportal.com - it's free if you haven't signed up yet) and you can log in and take a look around. There are some chat logs there, classes and abilities, etc. Also, if you just want to try out a session, you can log in as our regular floating NPC and play for a session - that's what he's there for. PM me the details if you're interested.

daddystabz
November 8th, 2012, 18:34
Thanks! How many players do you have so far and what kind of characters are they playing?

dr_venture
November 8th, 2012, 20:45
2 consistent players (a Doc Holiday-ish gunslinger and a female ex-trick rider and shootist) and a scout NPC. There is an archeologist character that is investigating tales of the Thunderbird in the West (i.e., living fossils, or pterodactyls), but that player has just recently become father to twins, so he's on hold indefinitely. We have a new player looking at joining, but hasn't yet rolled a character. Were you to join along with the other new fellow, I think that 4 players is about right for this kind of game.

GunnarGreybeard
November 10th, 2012, 22:02
That might be a deal breaker - no voice, it's all done through text chat. It definitely makes the game go slower, but by the same token, we've been finding that it helps a lot in the game immersion. I've asked a couple times if there was any interest in switching to voice, and the preference has always been to stay with text. Also, I'm not sure if my connection would survive it - it's been taxed for a few weeks now, as my ISP is wrestling with their set up. Man, I so want to play in one of your games but I work nights, through the weekend.:(

dr_venture
November 11th, 2012, 02:54
Well, how nice is that, Gunnar? Thank you! So you're only available during mornings and day times during the week?

GunnarGreybeard
November 11th, 2012, 06:37
So you're only available during mornings and day times during the week?Yep, that is correct. Usually 9AM to about 3PM (CST) in between sleep and homeschooling the youngest.

dr_venture
November 12th, 2012, 05:41
Shoot, I really wish I could do it. Mainly it would be hard to find other players, and with two games already I'm currently kinda tapped out for prep time.