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Old 11-04-2011, 04:52 AM   #1
makke
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Germany, Leonberg
Default Short Campaign in the Old West

Hi,

I'm going to GM a short campaign (say 5 or 6 sessions) in the Old West and I'm wondering which rules to use - especially which rules from MA, HT and Tactical Shooting would fit best - so I thought I might ask you guys. :)

The characters are going to be bounty hunters who hunt down a group of criminals during a chase through the Wild West. The atmosphere I'm aiming at is roughly that of the italo-westerns of the Sergio Leone movies.

At first I was quite sure that I wanted to use the injury rules from MA but lately I'm having second thoughts since I'm not sure whether this would make the game too deadly - after all a single gun shot wound would meane mean nigh certain death without a doctor handy. I thought about using the injury rules plus the "It's a flesh wound" from the basic set so that the combat is indeed deadly but the main characters have a way to circumvent that fact.

The next thing I'm unsure about I'm not even sure whether it's a problem or not... 'm a bit nervous about the possibility that at least one character is shot during a fight and has then to cope with half dodge/move and maybe even regular roles to keep awake (at which point the character would be basically out of the campaign I guess). Should they just live with that or should I grant them some kind of story driven milestonelike regeneration (say at the end of every game session or when they reach a certain goal)?

The last thing I'm unsure about is whether to use the rules concerning sighted shooting from Tactical Shooting. I guess they would fit nicely but would like to have a second opinion on that, too.

Thank's in advance,
Markus.
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:03 AM   #2
trooper6
 
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Default Re: Short Campaign in the Old West

Even in a game with realistic injury rules, the PCs having high HT solves a lot of problems. It means they won't be falling unconscious most of the time or fail death checks. Which means you get all that injury and grittiness, but people aren't out of the campaign that much. I'd say the PCs should have HT12+
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Old 11-06-2011, 03:11 PM   #3
cybermancer2k1
 
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Default Re: Short Campaign in the Old West

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Originally Posted by trooper6 View Post
Even in a game with realistic injury rules, the PCs having high HT solves a lot of problems. It means they won't be falling unconscious most of the time or fail death checks. Which means you get all that injury and grittiness, but people aren't out of the campaign that much. I'd say the PCs should have HT12+
This is plausible. According to my reading, many people in the real Old West (especially cowboys) were very tough. They had to be to take on wild weather, attacks by outlaws and hostile Native Americans, animal attacks (including their own), and other rigors of the trail. All often without benefit of handy medical aid.
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Old 11-07-2011, 03:11 AM   #4
makke
 
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Default Re: Short Campaign in the Old West

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Originally Posted by cybermancer2k1 View Post
This is plausible. According to my reading, many people in the real Old West (especially cowboys) were very tough. They had to be to take on wild weather, attacks by outlaws and hostile Native Americans, animal attacks (including their own), and other rigors of the trail. All often without benefit of handy medical aid.
With exactly the same argumentation you could give the Indians (and nearly every people in human history) stats of 12+, too => I think this way to argue is leading nowhere.

We did a oneshot with the above rules yesterday and I think the combination got the feel rather well - only problem was that every single PC died... ;)
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Old 11-07-2011, 03:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: Short Campaign in the Old West

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Originally Posted by makke View Post
only problem was that every single PC died... ;)
Not necessarily a problem...
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Old 11-07-2011, 04:10 AM   #6
Maz
 
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Default Re: Short Campaign in the Old West

I think the fact that "if you get shoot you die" seems to fit rather well with most Old West-movies. Especially the "not right away, but several hours later from bleeding"-part.

So If in a shootout against the bad guys the PC could keep fighting helping win. But then when it's all said and done. sit down. drink a whisky, and then pass out and die. Seems very cowboy'ish to me.


Instead of surviving through HP the PC's should survive through "not getting hit". This is achieved by the NPC's not really aiming and having poor skills and cheap inaccurate weapons. And on top of that allow PCs access to Feverish defenses and often have cover al lover the place when a fight breaks out.
There is a reason you see people hiding behind rocks and corners and in windows in old west movies!
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:45 AM   #7
trooper6
 
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Default Re: Short Campaign in the Old West

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Originally Posted by makke View Post
With exactly the same argumentation you could give the Indians (and nearly every people in human history) stats of 12+, too => I think this way to argue is leading nowhere.

We did a oneshot with the above rules yesterday and I think the combination got the feel rather well - only problem was that every single PC died... ;)
If you had your PCs with HT12+, most PCs aren't going to die until they get to -5xHP. So we are looking at 60hp damage or so (less if the odds are against them). Most Old West guns only do 1-2d6 a shot. Which means the PCs would have to be shot a lot in order to die. Why are your PCs sticking around for that much damage? Is this a player problem? Where your players decide they can never retreat and have to stick out battles to the very end? Because that will get them killed and if they are a bit wiser, they should be able to make it through.

I've run games set in the modern day with much more dangerous weapons without cinematic rules--mostly Espionage. The first adventure, all the PCs died. Then they made new characters, and none of them ever died again...because they realized they weren't playing D&D and had to be more strategic. They all took death more seriously and stopped making really, really poor decisions. And they all made it out of their battles.

So...exactly how did this one shot go? Could you describe the events and the arms and armor? The NPCs arms and armor...and the number of them? What the PC stats were like? What the NPC and PC tactics were like? Maybe if you describe what went down we can help figure out the longevity problem.
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Old 11-19-2011, 02:05 AM   #8
makke
 
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Default Re: Short Campaign in the Old West

First of all: Thanks for your replies! I'm very sorry that I couldn't answer any earlier but I had two really busy weeks. :-/

Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper6 View Post
Which means the PCs would have to be shot a lot in order to die. Why are your PCs sticking around for that much damage? Is this a player problem? Where your players decide they can never retreat and have to stick out battles to the very end? Because that will get them killed and if they are a bit wiser, they should be able to make it through.
It was a mixture between some rather insane luck on my part (2 crits in 6 rolls during the "boss-fight") and some really bad tactics. From the bandit leaders perspective it was a rather epic fight - he was the only bandit left and gunned down five formidable shootists (skills ranging from 14 to 18) one after another, finally killing the last of the lot with his *very last* bullet... ;)

So what happened is basically that they split up to cut off the bandits escape and then tried to storm the last train wagon from both sides at once. So far so good but after that some of them did the grave mistake to storm the cornered bandit leaders hideout (a sleeping room) more or less singly... only to be shot down instantly. It so happened that the only real gunslinger died in that first few seconds so that noone was left standing who could have gunned down the bandit in a fair fight... instead of turning to flee to some cover they tried to put some more pressure to him which finally lead to their untimely deaths.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper6 View Post
I've run games set in the modern day with much more dangerous weapons without cinematic rules--mostly Espionage. The first adventure, all the PCs died. Then they made new characters, and none of them ever died again...because they realized they weren't playing D&D and had to be more strategic. They all took death more seriously and stopped making really, really poor decisions. And they all made it out of their battles.
That is one of the reasons why I made the decision to start with a oneshot and not directly with the campaign - I was rather sure that at least a few of the PC's would die from poking his head around a corner too much... ;)

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Originally Posted by trooper6 View Post
If you had your PCs with HT12+, most PCs aren't going to die until they get to -5xHP. So we are looking at 60hp damage or so (less if the odds are against them).
The fun thing is that the bandit needed only one salvo per player character to lower them to something between -20 and -50 (3x2d6x3~63damage). They were rather lucky with their HT-rolls which is why none of them was in a worse condition than dying that is all of them could have... at least in principle... been rescued. The only problem being that no-one was left who could have cared.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maz View Post
I think the fact that "if you get shoot you die" seems to fit rather well with most Old West-movies. Especially the "not right away, but several hours later from bleeding"-part.
I agree and it worked out rather nicely in that regard - or rather it would have if at least a few of them would have... :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maz View Post
And on top of that allow PCs access to Feverish defenses and often have cover al lover the place when a fight breaks out.
There is a reason you see people hiding behind rocks and corners and in windows in old west movies!
I hope that is something my players have finally realized, too, but I'm rather optimistic about that...

On a related matter: What really worked nicely for us is a slight adaption of the dodge rules - they were only allowed to dodge if some kind of cover was available behind which they could jump or at least duck/step. Got the flair rather well in my eyes ... after all you don't see ppl dodging a lot in the movies.

Last edited by makke; 11-19-2011 at 02:12 AM.
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