Ok the version I have is 1c. I'm not sure if that is the latest public release. It still has many spaces where artwork is going to go, and since its release we had a talk about other famous historic NPCs that could be added (w/ stats hopefully!).
The book has a lot in it, and at a glance, I would say what is missing is maybe a wilderness table that directs you to the proper encounter table (human or animal / critter). I think a table on vegetation and features for each wilderness locale might be neat too. Features would not have to all be natural, and could include the odd ruin, ghost town, abandoned mine, river, or oasis in addition to towering cacti or cliffs.
To really round out the game (and I think you mentioned you were already working on it), add some cryptids (not necessarily the Burroughs kind). I mean more like wyndigoes (spelling?). I also thought a few dinosaurs might be neat since you referenced a possible hollow earth scenario. These would go very well with the Engineer and also super science gadgets already in the book.
Also, women don't seem to be mentioned in character creation. I know we talked about race before and you didn't want to go the way of having specific reaction rules to people of different races/ethnicity. So, you probably would feel the same about women adventurers. But maybe a picture that includes a woman for one or two of the character classes might expand the possibilities without any need for text written about it? I don't mean to get all PC on you here, but heroines are always featured in western movies (though usually they don't carry guns). Wait a minute... I remember a good one that did with Jane Fonda. She was a gunslinger in the movie "Cat Ballou."
[Just checked again. I notice women are mentioned only with Apache. So maybe the Brave class could also include a woman? Just a thought....]
I am still on the lookout for a Wild West random town generator created by a series of tables. This may not be that game, but the inclusion of town maps, and mines and such, are tremendous game resources to get playing the game. The NPC random generator, though, is a great resource. All of the things in the Appendices really add a lot to the game.
The range of classes is excellent. It sounds like you've gone ahead and added more since this came out. A few I thought of that may or may not be in your plan are: entertainers (would include traveling circus people: acrobats, clowns, magicians, piano players, and saloon girls: soiled doves), miners, prospectors, and possibly a merchant? Love the Apache Medicine Man class.
Anyways, sorry for rambling. That was a few thoughts I had. But, overall it is shaping out to be a great game, and I will comment more on things when things get more fully fleshed out.
Forgot to mention, the inclusion of a horse character sheet is great! Any thoughts about a horse learning new tricks as it levels up? (It would be sort of an animal character class in this regard with a new trick or skill that would benefit the PC riding it every could of levels).
I watched a 1950 Jimmy Stewart movie on Youtube the last 2 days called, "Broken Arrow." It's notable as an early film that portrays Native Americans in a largely positive (albeit a little stereotyped) way. I think it is good movie viewing for Gunslinger players because it gives you the sense of two polarized factions at the time, namely the American army vs. the Apache peoples. It shows bad and good men on both sides of the conflict, but the leaders ultimately desire for peace. Many of the Apache actors in the film were Native Americans, although being 1950s, the leads were non-Natives made to look Indian. But, for 1950, I'd say good job overall. It is still an interesting and entertaining film.
Those of us who are OG RPGers know exactly what "Appendix N" means, but for greenhorns, I'd recommend something else, like Appendix K, perhaps...otherwise there may be some head-scratching about what happened to the missing appendices!
INTRODUCTION: "let it be a surprise;"
Should that be a colon ( : )?
"One player called the Referee sets up the background story and referees the action."
Using 'referees' in the same sentence sounds like a circular definition (i.e. you can't define a word with the word itself). Perhaps 'adjudicates'? 'plays the non-player characters and oversees conflict resolution'?
"The players will form a posse of law enforcers, or a war party of natives, or gang of outlaws and have adventures together in the untamed west."
DELETE first "or".
What is Needed to Play?
"Dice: a 4-sided, 6-sided, 8-sided, 10-sided, 12-sided, and 20-sided."
CHANGE TO: "Dice: a 4-sided (d4), 6-sided (d6), 8-sided (d8), 10-sided (d10), 12-sided (d12), and 20-sided (d20)."
Would it be possible to include a reference to d20s labelled 0-9 twice?
"Essentially, the Referee picks a region of the wild west..."
CAPITALIZE "Wild West"
"Trappers: the campaign may be composed of adventures filled with strange beasts who have made their way to the Arizona territory."
REPLACE "have made their way" with "appeared" or "been encountered" or "been spotted"
"Bounty Hunters: the characters specialize in bringing dangerous bounties to justice."
REPLACE "bounties" with "dangerous, wanted men...or women"
"They are part of a company"
REPLACE "are" with "may be". Some prospectors were lone individuals jealously guarding their claims against any squint-eyed takers.
Do you go into any detail about Army ranks (and insignia)?
"Attributes impact how characters fair against various threats and tasks."
REPLACE "fair" with "fare"
ATRIBUTE SCORE MODIFIERS TABLE
"Hired Hands"? Where is that elaborated?
"Social Status indicates whether you are a gentrified gentleman or a poor farmer."
"Your social status may have some impact on social interactions, use it like any attribute"
Should that be "social interactions: use it..."?
p. 41 table:
REPLACE "nye" with "nigh"
------------------------------------------------------------------------- OTHER NOTES:
* Including some details about old American Morse code (i.e. not International Morse) may be fun for those who include telegraphy in their campaigns. Another mention of Phillips Code would be historically relevant.
* On a related note the US Army had heliograph telegraphers, and this technology was instrumental in defeating various Native American (Indian) hostiles in the 19th century.
* Any notes about Native American (Indian) sign language? There are some interesting 19th c. books about that subject worth reading.
Just thought of something funny looking at the Engineer gadgets and devices. The next step after a Time Stop Dial is a Time Machine. And then your game could ironically even be used to replay the movie scenario when Doc and Marty McFly travel back to the 1800s in Back to the Future III...
There could even be a Frankenstein type of scenario with the level 5 Devices!
Now on a more serious note. I thought maybe to give this book a more distinct flavor so it doesn't sound like Doctor's devices are basically D&D Cleric spells, they should be renamed a little more to give them a distinct flavor that makes it a Wild West game. Try cutting out a lot of the language used in D&D books, and you will get something that sounds much more like Western genre cures.
Devices should probably be renamed Medical Devices and Medicines
Level 1 Medical Devices and Medicines
Charm Person Atomizer --> Charm Atomizer Cure Light Wounds Ointment --> Wound Mending Ointment Purifying Food and Drink, Vessel of --> Food and Drink Purifier Sleep Tranquilizer --> 80 Proof Sleep Tranquilizer
Level 2 Medical Devices and Medicines
Detector, Malicious Intent --> Magneto Malice Detector ESP Thought Detector --> as is (historically accurate) Hold Person Device --> can't think of a better term, so let this one slip through Strength Enhancer --> 100 Proof Strength Enhancer (opposite is Strength Leeching Serum)
Level 3 Medical Devices and Medicines
Clairaudience Stethoscope --> as is Clairvoyance, X-Ray Scope of --> as is Cure Disease Syringe --> Vaccine Syringe (choose 1 historically common disease per vaccine: hysteria, cholera, malaria, typhoid, scurvy, Scarlet fever, yellow fever, diphtheria, smallpox, tuberculosis, influenza, Prairie Madness, spermatorhea (no not that one!) or one invented for the scenario) Haste Powder --> as is Suggestion Trinket --> Hypnosis Trinket
Level 4 Medicinal Devices and Medicines
Charm Critter Atomizer --> as is Cure Serious Wounds Ointment --> Mend Serious Wounds Ointment Neutralize Poison Serum --> Poison Leeching Serum Surgery Tools --> Surgery and Leeching Tools
Level 5 Medicinal Devices and Medicines Animate Dead Laboratory --> as is Create Food Device --> as is Nostrum --> as is Raise Dead Laboratory --> as is
In spite of my suggestions above, this is a very extensive and nicely thought out game. Every time I look for something missing I find it somewhere in one of the Appendices.
Thanks Tim, great suggestions. Yes we put a dash of Victorian era Penny Dreadfuls into the book.
Hadn't thought about a Back to the Future III scenario, that's a great idea! A scientist time travelled from the future and trapped in the Wild West, what would he do?
As for the Doctor Devices, yes these are plays on the classic Cleric spells and the closeness of the names is intentional for sake of familiarity, much like what Warriors of the Red Planet did. I'll take your suggestions into consideration.
Post by manwithnoname on Jul 13, 2023 20:49:22 GMT
APACHE "Gunslinger focuses on the Chiricahua Apache"
It may be a good idea to capitalize the word "gunslinger" if it refers to the current work, thus: GUNSLINGER. We see this convention all throughout the AD&D core rulebooks of old.
CHINESE "Many western towns had a Chinese section..."
CHANGE "section" to "quarter" or "neighborhood"?
"They also brought their beliefs, religious practices, and martial arts." CHANGE TO "They also brought their beliefs, religious practices, martial arts, and a tireless work-ethic."
EUROPEAN You mention the Danes, but many Scandinavians also made up a considerable number of immigrants to the U.S. in the latter half of the 19th c. E.g. "Swedish maids" and "Swedish mail-order brides". (movie "Zandy's Bride", Gene Hackman, Liv Ullmann, 1974; movie "The Emigrants" [Utvandrarna], Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, 1971).
CLASSES Is there a class for Gamblers?
LEVEL "If the Referee and Players want to continue beyond 10th double the XP required and gain +1hp each level after 10, BTH does not increase." To avoid confusion always spell out what an acronym is, then give the acronym in parentheses afterwards.
"If he’s on a railroad boxcar blown up with dynamite, or bitten by a rattlesnake, or crushed by boulders he’s likely to die but by luck and grit he might pick himself up and shake it off."
INSERT COMMA AFTER "DIE", BEFORE "BUT", AND DELETE "OR", AND CHANGE "MIGHT" TO "MAY": "If he’s on a railroad boxcar blown up with dynamite, bitten by a rattlesnake, or crushed by boulders he’s likely to die, but by luck and grit he may pick himself up and shake it off."
BRAVE, p 9. Shouldn't the HIT DICE be a 1d10?
HORSEMANSHIP: "a simple rope suffices as a bridle." CHANGE TO: "a simple rope suffices as a bridle and reins".
SCOUTING: "Braves can track with ease and are hard to track themselves." CHANGE TO : "Braves can track with ease and are hard to be tracked."
DOCTOR: "With the 19th century seeing monumental strides in the field of medicine, practitioners of the era were constantly adapting to keep pace with the rapidly evolving landscape.." DELETE SECOND FULL STOP. I WOULD ALSO REPLACE "landscape" with "science".
"Initially, medical practices had stagnated for millennia," THAT SENTENCE DOES NOT MAKE MUCH SENSE. COULD YOU RESTATE OR ELABORATE?
SIDE-NOTE: Weren't barbers also tasked with Dentistry and minor surgery? Cf. the story of the striped barber pole...
Medicine Bag WOULD THERE BE A PENALTY IF A DOCTOR WAS WITHOUT HIS BAG, BUT STILL TRIED TO PERFORM "FIELD MEDICINE" ON THE FLY? Imagine a country doctor being called to a cabin to remove a bullet from the leg of an outlaw on the kitchen table using only boiled kitchen utensils.
MEDICINAL DEVICES: CHANGE "imbued with" to "possessing"
European: the majority of settlers were of European descent. Most came from the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. The potato famine in Ireland pushed many Irish to immigrate to North America. A surge of Danish immigration came in the wake of a small group of missionaries who arrived in Copenhagen in 1850, several thousand Danes converted to Mormonism, and many of those converts came to the southwest United States.
Reword with a few additions and changes:
European: the majority of settlers were of European descent, emigrating because of food and job shortages, overpopulation, and political and religious oppression. Most came from the United Kingdom, France, and Germany seeing America as a land of freedom and economic opportunity. Some historic examples include: The potato famine in Ireland pushed many Irish to immigrate to North America. A surge of Danish immigration came in the wake of a small group of missionaries who arrived in Copenhagen in 1850, several thousand Danes converted to Mormonism, and many of those converts came to the southwest United States. Jewish people from Eastern Europe and German speaking countries emigrated after facing increasing social and political discrimination.
Gamblers were in some playtests, they got cut as it wasn't quite distinguished enough from Hucksters. There is an optional Gambling skill. We had over 20 different classes we tried out, its amazing how many you could have in a Western: bandits, prospectors, mountain men, showgirls, and so on. Maybe Gamblers will end up in a class book expansion if we make one.
Agree with your other feedback, great stuff, thanks!
I thought maybe to give this book a more distinct flavor so it doesn't sound like Doctor's devices are basically D&D Cleric spells, they should be renamed a little more to give them a distinct flavor that makes it a Wild West game. Try cutting out a lot of the language used in D&D books, and you will get something that sounds much more like Western genre cures.
Love several of the names you came up with. All gadgets/devices are listed alphabetically and the layout is locked because art has already been sketched out for size and position, so we can't change the names very much - unless they'd remain in the same place alphabetically.
We can fix typos and perhaps squeeze in the additional clarification here and there.
ENGINEERS: Replace "frail men in lab coats tinkering with new inventions" with "stoop-shouldered academics or sallow, laboratory-bound theorists, but intrepid men with calloused hands and tanned brows wholly undaunted by the rigors of fieldwork and practical application."
Gunslinger: Replace "wielding their weapon" with "wielding his weapon" Replace " selects a weapon from their repertoire" with " selects a weapon from his repertoire" Replace " This decision grants them a unique set of bonuses and abilities that will only grow stronger as their legend unfolds" with "This decision grants him a unique set of bonuses and abilities that will only grow stronger as his legend unfolds." (The use of "their" as a kind of gender-neutral pronoun is a very modern convention best reserved for plural contexts and sounds anachronistic for a work on the 19th century.)
Lawman: " As the law's embodiment, this Gunslinger can slay with impunity, defending peace." This sounds very odd. I'd urge you to replace the phrase "can slay with impunity" with "may take a mortal life with a clear conscience, in order to uphold the highest principles of Law and Order, if -- and only if -- the most extreme of circumstances dictate". It is opportune to compare the ideal of the Lawman with the D&D paladin: devoted fanatically to the utmost principles of Good, Law and Justice and the protection of the innocent.
Huckster: The phrase "They adorn in" doesn't sound grammatically acceptable. Perhaps replace with "Their sartorial tastes oftimes consist of expensive, bespoke suits, silken shirts, gilded watch-fobs and gaudy cuff-links, as well as immaculately polished footwear unsullied by the grit and grime of the far-flung frontier towns whereat they ply their deceitful trade."
Escape Artist: Perhaps replace "wisp of smoke" with the more graphic "greased weasel".
Muckraker: Sensationalise: "Publishers eagerly pay between $20-$120 for their work, recognizing its potential to captivate audiences." Since captivate has already been used earlier, I would replace it here with "enthrall".
****** I'm afraid this is as much as I have time for, as my work schedule is very demanding, and continuing this careful editorial sweep would take several more weeks to finish at the least. It's very likely that there may be other issues with the balance of the ms. Best wishes.