Friday, July 6, 2012

Having Fun with the Weird West RPG

I stumbled upon Stuart Robertson's Weird West RPG several months ago when browsing DrivethruRPG. For one buck, it is an excellent deal. I immediately fell in love with the vague style/setting implied by the game and being a stripped down version of D&D meant the game plays really fast; fitting for a western. I have started a slower paced play-by-post game for some of my friends at my forum and it has been going great so far. It is mostly drawing a lot from the Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns as well as Jonah Hex. Thus far falling decidedly more in the supernatural/horror-side of things with the weird west genre over science-fiction. 

However, as far as my players have gone things have mostly been played straight as a western. I am hoping to bring in the "weirder" elements slowly before going full blast. I have been working up a lot of original content for use in the game. In any case, I have also designed some new weird abilities for the game based on things the players have requested or mentioned would be interesting to see in the future. I thought I would share these here:

Aeromancy – You can direct razor sharp gusts of wind against your foes.
Requires: Magic 2. 3 times/day. Ignores Armour. Weapon: d12

Cryomancy – You can direct shards of ice against your foes.
Requires: Magic 2. 3 times/day. Ignores Armour. Weapon: d12

Dead Eye – Roll 1d6. You can attack that many times this turn.
Requires: Magic 2 and Skill 2. 1 time/day. Only usable with Handgun. Must have ammo for each attack.

Legendary Gambler – Skills is +3 when gambling.
Requires: Magic 1. Difficult Task.

Pyromancy – You can blasts of fire against your foes.
Requires: Magic 2. 3 times/day. Ignores Armour. Weapon: d12

Quick Trigger – You can reload as a free action.
Requires: Magic 1 and Skill 2.

Two-Handed Gunslinger – You can fight with a weapon in each hand and attack with both in one action.
Requires: Magic 1 and Skill 2 . The off-hand attack suffers a -4 penalty.

Vampiric Attraction – Skills is +3 when dealing with humans.
Requires: Magic 1. Difficult Task.

I have also given some thought to later game progression. I toyed with the idea of creating Advanced and Master versions of power. For example, the Advanced and Master versions of something like Pyromancy might add more uses per day. Advanced and Master Two-Handed Gunslinger might progressively scale down the off-hand penalty. My own game is still merely starting so there's some time before I need to tinker or consider such things. Odds are we may never get that far; there's probably a good reason there are more adventures and content for the lower levels in most roleplaying games.

As a final little bonus, here is the sole piece of new equipment I have added to the game in honor of Fistful of Dollars:

Breastplate: +1**
**Flat +1 that's applied on general attacks or ones aimed specifically for the chest. If the attack is aimed/called anywhere besides the chest then this +1 is ignored. Can be concealed under clothing.

I have considered the fact that by adding so much it is a little against the spirit of the game as it is designed. Still, I really love how simple the core rules are and it makes for very fast play; even in a play-by-post format. We have had a lot of fun out of the new content so I feel like it is worthwhile. Among my players, we have jokingly made reference that eventually as things continue we will have "Advanced Weird West".

If you happen to be playing the Weird West RPG or intend to feel free to make use of the above content in your own games. I have some house rules and other fan-made content for Weird West which I will likely post up in the future for anyone to make use of. The adventure I have the players currently going through is written up mostly in notes/short hand at this point. It might be a bit far fetched, but I would eventually like write it up as a formal adventure for people to play with. 

The Weird West RPG is an excellent roleplaying game that is sadly somewhat overlooked among the sea of OSR content.

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