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western rpgs


Hedgehog
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Deadlands

Western Hero

GURPS

(Gunslinger, though nominally a boardgame, is basically an RPG as well.)

 

All work well; they are very different. It would help to find out what you're looking for in a western RPG.

 

OTish: If you are trying for movie/TV western feel and have more than one PC, you're going to have some work to do. The iconic tone of such media is lone hero against the world. Even shows with ensemble casts tend to highlight one character per story, with the others missing or in very minor roles. BTW, I'm pretty sure this is why western-themed RPGs have historically done poorly.

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Western Hero might be hard to track down, since it is OOP, and harkens back to the days of Hero 4th edition. (Currently on 6th, BTW). A quick search turned up a couple copies around the $20 mark, though you would still need the hero core rulebook.

 

I've held the belief for some time that the reasons westerns don't work well is because they tend to be too lethal. Fantasy games have magic healing and/or resurrection built into most of them, and SF games have high-tech equivalents. But gritty, realistic gunsligning? Get gutshot by a scattergun at 6 feet, and it's time to make a new character, because Ma Masterson just lost another son.

 

(Call of Cthulhu and Paranoia have high body counts too, but it's part and parcel of the genre that you cannot succeed in either game. Not so with westerns, where there is a cultural expectation that the guys in white hats win in the end, and go riding off into the sunset.)

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I hear Dogs in the Vinyard is very good. It's primarily about playing cowboy preachers in awidl west setting with touches of wyrd west (but the players and gm can decide exactly how supernatural they want their game to be or not) but the game mechanics could work quite well for a generic cowboy game if you wanted.

 

From what I've heard Dogs in the Vinyard defaults to less magic and stuff than Deadlands had but with more preaching and inquisition type stuff.

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Wasnt there an old d&d 2nd edition game.

 

I keep thinking something like "Boot Hill"

 

My old GM did a western themed werewolf game once. Used the whitewolf "Apocalypse" rules.

 

I guess you can use any rule set, just some lend themselves to it more easily.

 

rambling.... very sleepy....

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I've heard that Hawgleg's Gunshot is pretty good. Origin's 2006 Historical Miniature Game of the Year iirc. D6 Generation also put out a podcast review about the game if you are curious about it.

 

Gutshot is more of a tabletop wargame with RPG elements. They are making a western RPG called Draw! Which uses "a Poker mechanic". I guess you use playing cards instead of dice.

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