Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Gallants & Gunfighters Release!

As the inaugural post on this site, I'll remain brief; my first-ever supplement for a TTRPG, Gallants & Gunfighters, is live on DriveThruRPG! This was a labour of love and definitely is not a fully finished product, but I reckon it's in a state where it could be used in a game with fairly good results. I'll leave the description I wrote for DTRPG below:

"Gallants & Gunfighters is a free supplement meant to assist players and GMs in creating and adventuring in a world very similar to the American West of the late 19th century. This version of the Wild West can be populated by magical creatures such as goblins, orcs, dragons, and fey, though it need not be if a more grounded-approach is desired. Guns, of course, ruled the day during this period, and so new rules for firearms and duels are included. It should be noted that this supplement is meant to be used alongside another old-school roleplaying product and has purposefully left content out for that reason. 

Gallants & Gunfighters contains:

    • 5 new western-themed classes such as the Gunslinger and the Scoundrel to either replace or work alongside the traditional suite of fantasy roleplaying classes. 
    • An entirely new Huckster spellcasting style (heavily inspired by Deadlands) using a standard deck of 52 or 54 cards.
    • Intense and cinematic rules for Dueling reminiscent of a certain popular card game.
    • Additional rules for modern firearms and 4 new adventuring items."
To go into a bit of depth on some of the topics described above, I feel I should probably describe my intentions in creating this document. Before embarking on the creating of these rules, I had been neck-deep in a western-themed bender for a number of months. Between playing video games (mainly the phenomenal Red Dead Redemption 2), watching movies (the Leone suite and some Tarantino flicks), and reading a bit about the period, I had been thoroughly captured by the spirit of the frontier. As it so happens, my regular gaming group was just finishing up some Call of Cthulhu and FFG Star Wars around that time, and I figured what better way to channel this fleeting obsession than to design some content that we might use in the future? From there, and following several very late nights, Gallants & Gunfighters was created.

Being that classic D&D's inspirations lay as much in the Spaghetti Western as they did in Clarke and Tolkien, I figured that creating a simple hack for some d20-based wild-west rules would be far simpler and more motivating than creating a new system whole-cloth. To that end, my first mission was to create some evocative classes to fit the aesthetic that would complement those found in the B/X ruleset (OSE being the premier OSR version upon which G&G is based). The Gunfighter, Tracker, Scoundrel, Huckster, and Brawler are meant to complement or replace the default Fighter, Thief, Magic-User, Cleric lineup. If you're aiming for a more weird-west style game, allow the base classes, otherwise limit it to those in G&G. Simple as! With regards to the new equipment, many of the items found in a game like OSE work perfectly in a western-setting, so I chose to only add a few new ones to complement any existing lists. The firearms are, of course, an integral part of any western-themed adventure, and their implementation here is suitably dangerous to discourage any player shenanigans (even a single shot from a small revolver can be fatal after all).

The last two sections deserve a bit more discussion. First up is duels. I'm not afraid to admit I ended up stepping on Deadlands' toes here a bit, though I reckon my version is different enough that they could be called "original." The biggest deviation was in what I'll call here the "staredown roll." In Deadlands, both of the characters in a duel need to make opposed charisma/intimidation-type rolls in order to gain an advantage before the first shot even takes place. I removed this and stuck closer to the Poker-roots upon which the dueling system is based. At the end of the staredown, I attempted to maintain the tension built-up during the betting phase with the "Draw!" finisher, giving those players who are confident in their luck the ability to gain an even bigger bonus should they hold a winning hand. 

Second and last for my rundown of this supplement is Huckstery. Here, again, I was stepping on Deadlands' shoes again, though I think this system, even more so than dueling, could be considered an original design. Each of the Huckster's drawn cards has a specific effect dependent on the value and suit, with face cards adding additional effects. In comparing the Huckster to the Magic-User, cards act like spells and hands act like spell slots. The Huckster is fairly balanced as a result of the random nature of their spellcasting, with their role in an adventuring party depending largely on which cards they find themselves holding at any given moment. To aid in mitigating the hold RNG has over a Huckster, there are a number of "Card Tricks" available which allow them to modify cards, reset their deck, or perform additional actions using their cards.

Well this post has become somewhat longer than I had hoped, so I'll leave it here. If anyone happens to check out G&G and has any suggestions, they can feel free to leave a comment here or send an email. I'm always open to comments and criticism.