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Best RPG system for Western Tropes and Setting?

jgsugden

Legend
I'm looking for a system that does the following things well:

  • Shoot-outs between two groups (the bandits attack the town and the heroes take them out).
  • A Gunfight between two gunslingers at the center of town (your typical "draw" moment).
  • Melee combat.

I find that a system that does a shoot-out scenario well tends to be awkward for the gunslinger stand-off, and a game that is good at the gun-slinger standoff drags in the mass combats. And, often, games that are really good for ranged combat struggle with melee.

In the past I've used GURPS and Dread, but I'd love see suggestions for rule sets people really like these days.
 

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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I wonder how easy it would be to strip the weird west stuff from something like Deadlands?

Otherwise, Aces & Eights.
 




Ulfgeir

Adventurer
I'm looking for a system that does the following things well:

  • Shoot-outs between two groups (the bandits attack the town and the heroes take them out).
  • A Gunfight between two gunslingers at the center of town (your typical "draw" moment).
  • Melee combat.

I find that a system that does a shoot-out scenario well tends to be awkward for the gunslinger stand-off, and a game that is good at the gun-slinger standoff drags in the mass combats. And, often, games that are really good for ranged combat struggle with melee.

In the past I've used GURPS and Dread, but I'd love see suggestions for rule sets people really like these days.
What is your definition of handling these things well in your opinion?

Is it quickness/complexity of play? If it is complexity, well, then I would suggest the game Western (Swedish game being translated to English. They are way late though).
 


GMMichael

Guide of Modos
I'm looking for a system that does the following things well . . .
  • A Gunfight between two gunslingers at the center of town (your typical "draw" moment)
I've been wanting to try a module for duels, you'll let me know if you try it out:

Officiated:
Each duelist takes a number of steps on the official's count, or draws when the official calls for it.
The official marks the final step by naming a die type (d4, d6....)
Each player rolls that die, but the first to roll it is the one who draws and fires first.
A minimum roll amount is used to mark whether participants hit or miss. Rolling too low is a miss.
The result of the roll(s) is the amount of damage rolled. So the GM will have to adjudicate, for the first shots, why the second duelist to fire got the kill-shot (for example), or why another round of fire is required (if neither duelist rolled enough damage). The first to roll gets the next attempt at a successful attack, after resolving both of the initial shots.

No official:
Duelists line up and face each other.
Tumbleweed rolls across the scene.
Each player chooses a die, and they roll at the same time.

You'll have to tinker with the damage amounts, but this should work well with many systems.
Smaller die types fire before larger, with the tradeoff that larger die types can cause more damage.
Proceed with above procedure from Minimum Roll step.
 

I'm looking for a system that does the following things well:

  • Shoot-outs between two groups (the bandits attack the town and the heroes take them out).
  • A Gunfight between two gunslingers at the center of town (your typical "draw" moment).
  • Melee combat.

I find that a system that does a shoot-out scenario well tends to be awkward for the gunslinger stand-off, and a game that is good at the gun-slinger standoff drags in the mass combats. And, often, games that are really good for ranged combat struggle with melee.

In the past I've used GURPS and Dread, but I'd love see suggestions for rule sets people really like these days.
In no small irony, for me, the one that does that is Firefly... it's a space western, after all. (Note: Serenity does NOT, despite being the same setting and publisher.)

The only other westerns I've played/run have been part of steampunk games: Space 1889 (west subsetting in a Challenge article), and Castle Falkenstein (in the Sixguns and Sorcery setting book), both of which empower the indigenous cultures. I've read 3 editions of Deadlands... and that setting, also, empowers the indigenous peoples with magic.
 

MGibster

Legend
I wonder how easy it would be to strip the weird west stuff from something like Deadlands?
It would be crazy easy to strip the weird west stuff from Deadlands. Stripped of all the weird stuff, there are helpful suggestions for wild west character concepts and rules for duels, stampedes, hangin', and gambling. You really wouldn't need any of the setting information, but then who really needs setting information for an old west game? We've all seen westerns.
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
+1 for Boot Hill.

Even though the only time I played (around 1981), some bandit shot me in the back while I was moving to cover.
 

MGibster

Legend
Boot Hill is one of those games I've heard of but I don't think I've ever encountered it in the wild. I don't know anyone who owned it and I was very surprised to learn that its third edition was released in 1990. Surly I must have seen it on the shelves of Lone Star Comics back in the day?
 

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