Wednesday, July 11, 2012

House Rules for Weird West

As mentioned, I am now going to post some more original content for the Weird West RPG. I really love this game and after some pretty heavy searching on the web, I feel like it's pretty sad that there's not a lot of fan content out there for it; so let's change that. The first one is pretty simple. We all wanted there to be a random element with regards to initiative so it was just a matter of adding back in a rolling mechanic to things and using level as a means to scale it. The second house rule we are using is the far more interesting one of the two, in my opinion.

When everyone happened to still be creating characters, the question came up about having a duel with someone. I spent some time mulling over it and came up with a house rule to cover it. It mostly plays out like standard combat, which I think fits the motif of trying to stay simple, but makes things much more fast and deadly. In my mind, that is how a duel between two gunslingers should feel. The dueling mechanic was pretty well received by my players. I might post a more detailed play report down the line, but the house rule saw use right out of the gate.

The party turned up in a small town all gathering there to seek out a man that had a bounty placed on his head. His gang had been terrorizing said town and demanding a cut of all the profits from every store in town as well as the nearby mines. The party happened to arrive on a day the gang and their leader came to collect and one of the players rather boldly challenged their current "Big Bad" to a duel. It was an interesting turn of events and the kind of thing that excites me; having the players throw you a curve ball. Unfortunately, some of the other players interrupted and forced things into a shoot out instead. 

It was likely for the best, the antagonist happened to have the "Fastest Gun in the West" ability. Though it would have been interesting to consider what would happen if he had missed and the player struck the killing blow forcing me to drastically change how the story progressed. So here are the two house rules we are currently running in our game. Feel free to use them or even take them and change/expand upon them. If we happen to add more as our game continues, I will be sure to share them:

House Rule #1: Initiative
This is what the book says on Initiative: "Higher-level characters act first, and players go first in case of a tie." I suppose I am just a fan of having an element of random luck so here is what we will be doing:

1) At the start of combat everyone rolls a d20+their level to determine initiative. You can feel free to delay your turn and act at a lower spot in the order (much like D&D). I'll treat enemies like D&D: generics of the same type will key off together.

2) "Fastest Gun in the West" works as written. If you have this Weird Ability you go first. If other combatants in the fight have it then you all are at the top of the order ranked by Fighting stat. If there is a tie with the fighting stat then a d20 will be rolled on both sides to see who goes first.

House Rule #2: Duel
A staple of the Western genre. A duel is a noble showdown between two people. A stand-off where only one walks away the victor. To initiate a Duel both characters involved (be they two PC's or a PC and an Antagonist/NPC) must agree to having a Duel and the terms involved. If this condition is not cleared then no Duel will occur. Once a Duel has been set, carry it out with the following steps:

1) The two characters taking part in the Duel roll for initiative as per House Rule #1. "Fastest Gun in the West" functions as normal and ties are resolved as listed in House Rule #1.

2) The first to go calls where they are shooting and makes an attack roll. If they hit the effect of where that shot is placed will occurs. If the shot was intended to be non-fatal aiming for an area such as the hand or leg then the natural effect of being shot there would take place and the target is dealt regular damage. If the shot was at the other person's gun, for example, they would be disarmed. If the shot was intended to be fatal then the other character is dead. In either case, a successful hit ends the Duel.

3) If the first character misses, then the second gets to make a shot. This resolves as per the previous step. If the second character misses as well, then play rotates back and forth until someone has scored a hit.

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