Games you want to play in the Far West
  • MrSitouh +1 -1 (+1 / -0 )
    So, I know we don't have the rules yet, and there's a lot about the world we don't know yet (and I am drooling in anticipation of finding out more) but I'm sure I'm not the only one who's got game ideas in their head already. So, I figured I'd share some of mine, and hopefully see what the rest of you fine folk are thinking of doing in return.

    One of the first things that came to mind was something action-comedy-y, "They Call Me Trinity" as choreographed by Jacky Chan - a bunch of ne'er-do-wells of one sort or other, together by chance or history or some other tie, getting into and out of trouble from one town to the next. Light, easy, and something I wouldn't mind running to learn the ropes of the system before throwing in for something with a little more depth.

    Firefly reskinned would be another fun starting point for a campaign - the crew of an airship, making the runs the Chartered Houses can't be bothered with, doing the jobs to keep themselves on the move and out from under the Empire's thumb. Lots of fun to be had there, especially if you make sure everybody's got ties to bigger things.

    So, what are you thinking of running when you get your hands on the rules?

    Plus: rexroad33

  • YuutouseiYuutousei +1 -1 (+1 / -0 )
    There's actually a Jackie Chan movie that seems similar to that premise if I recall correctly.

    I would definitely consider running a Firefly-esque game, but I'll probably do a bunch of one shots to get an idea on gameplay. I'm not the best GM in the world, but I'll probably see if any of my friends would want a crack at it.

    It'd be pretty awesome to play a game where the PCs are members of a large group (such as the Guilds from Vesperia) going up against other groups for control over resources or something.

    Plus: rexroad33

  • I'm already reworking an old AD&D character and plot that a co-worker of mine came up with, in hopes of finding a good way to apply it here: a little intrigue, a lot of adventure, and nowadays more'n a touch of The Three Kingdoms. Currently doing it as a solo freeform project with an online writing partner who loves some Old West feel to her gaming.

    TL:DR version involves the thunder of great houses and the plight of a supposed orphan being hunted by their own maternal grandfather...and has sealed his fate by forcing the youngster on a path that will lead to his undoing. Got a couple twists in the works, but we'll have to see how it turns out. When the game gets here, I'll have to tweak things a bit and try it 'properly'.

    Not to mention I will have to read a LOT of Westerns, and soon. Currently working through a couple of Lew Archer novels, which are also influencing the backstory a bit.

    Plus: rexroad33

  • GMSkarkaGMSkarka +1 -1 (+4 / -0 )
    MrSitouh -- funny enough, your "Firefly reskinned" idea is one of the possibilities for the FAR WEST webseries.
  • I'm not terribly surprised, really - 'bunch of people with secrets running gigs' is really a solid format for an episodic series, and the nature of the Far West world makes for lots of room for fun secrets.
  • I like the Firefly concept and the One Shot adventures.

    Since I don't have a play group to manage or play in, I have been writing 3 minute little episodes tied into one story chain. Like Mercury Men on Sci-Fi Channel. I have been doing this on my own since I haven't been staying plugged in. I started several months ago because I was inspired by the Far West concept. I would love to tweak and tune it towards Far West, because I had been under an alternate-history mash up idea. I am working on a sketches right now.
  • Doc +1 -1 (+1 / -0 )
    "Firefly"-reskinned is precisely what I am planning on running for my group. Character concepts are in place, just awaitin' on that most excellent book itself! As best as I can describe it, the game is sort of Firefly meets Robin Hood (not Kevin Costner) meets Magnificent Seven. Star Wars could be another source of general thematic inspiration, but since Star Wars is sort of a rehash of Westerns and samurai epics, that should come as little surprise.

    Plus: rexroad33

  • I'm planning on doing a "Darksun" style bit with my players. Brutal environments, uncaring people, exploitative organizations. All of the PCs together from one place that was destroyed, or about to be. Maybe a little "Oh Brother, Where art Thou?" tossed in to make it good and weird.
  • @rexroad33 ::: i would love to see that when you get the project set up! Sounds ridiculously fun.

    Recently, one of my friends designed a Pathfinder adventure for us to play that would be kind of interesting to put into the Far West. Gotta go ask her if it's okay if I share it first though!
  • Yeah while I hate to sound like a rerun a reskinned FireFly is where my head was going too.

    Another concept I had was running some games based around the Aussie TV show Wild Boys where the characters are basically local outlaws but are for the most part the likeable rogues aka Robin Hood style.
  • I think a Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven one-shot (not necessarily one session) would be pretty good. I'd also like to explore an episodic Have Gun Will Travel/Kung-Fu style adventures.

    Seven Samurai: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Samurai
    Magnificent Seven: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Magnificent_Seven
    Have Gun, Will Travel: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Have_Gun–Will_Travel
    Kung Fu: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kung_Fu_(TV_series)
  • I'm not sure yet what I want to do with my campaign. I could come up with some overall themes, but I'm content to wait until I can read the RPG. I'm sure there will be plenty of material in there that will influence how my game runs.
  • mundensmundens +1 -1 (+1 / -0 )
    I was thinking of trying to design a game that amalgamates "Journey To The West", with what "Battlestar Galactica", and to a certain extent "Firefly", was originally based on, the TV series "Wagon Train", but with the wagon train itself replaced by something like a steam-punk version of the Land Trains from Patrick Tilley's "Amtrak Wars", or Michael Moorcock's "Land Leviathan".

    Imagine the Titanic steaming into the Far West on great caterpillar treads! :)

    I think an airship makes it too easy for PC's to just bug out, and while you can always have the airship break, I'd rather just make then less mobile. The land train gives them a solid defensive base, that keeps them safe from your average bandit, but which can still be threatened by a concerted assault or stealth. The crew of the train will fight for their own, but they're not likely go against local authority and break out someone who was legitimately arrested for a crime, because it's too easy for the train to be found by government agents later, just follow them huge tread-marks!

    To begin with the train captain can be an NPC, but I'd be looking at the characters taking charge of it as they progressed. It also gives the players a good basis for choosing all sorts of different characters, from stokers to pilots, from gunslingers to pursers, and easily getting replacement characters if they don't like what they've originally chosen, or some-one gets killed. It also means that while the group is always traveling, I can have some steady NPCs. I'll be able to run "fighter pilot" style games, with the crews of the micro-lights launched from the roof of the train, as well as dedicated combat missions with characters drawn from the ships "marines", to high society games, as the ship's officers entertain the local gentry, to Star Trek style "Away Team" missions on horseback as they comes across oddities the captain doesn't want to risk the entire train on, or to investigate areas the train just can't reach.

    If I add in an organization bent on stopping the Land Train's progress for some reason, I can do direct Battlestar Galactica episode rip offs, I'm already thinking about how I can rip off the best BG episode ever, "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero"... which was itself a rip of "The Guns of Navarone", "The Dirty Dozen", & "Ice Station Zebra"

    :)

    Plus: rexroad33

  • I think one possibility is reworking my all time favorite AD&D module, Sinister Secret of Salt Marsh. Intrigue, smugglers, and a haunted mansion.
  • EpicRPGBlog +1 -1 (+2 / -0 )
    Mundens, have you seen the steam train episode of Tri-gun? Actually tri-gun itself could be a modified setting.
  • YuutouseiYuutousei +1 -1 (+1 / -0 )
    So, I got permission to post Trails of Deceit from my friend. This is the unedited version (it was meant to be set in the PF universe, on an island), but a little work (i.e. changing the ship into an airship) and this could very easily work in the Far West universe!


    The island of Emberls rests not far off the coast of Andoran. Recently there have been some rumors circulating about a mysterious cavern found on the shore of Emberls. Furthermore it is rumored that the caverns contain the missing treasures of The Gust, a ship that sank somewhere near the island a few years ago. At the time it sank, it is suspected that The Gust was carrying a rare magical artifact…


    @EpicRPGBlog ::: Trigun definitely has the right thought for a Far West game (the anime, at least. I haven't read the manga yet, and I know that the animation diverges greatly from it).

    Plus: rexroad33

  • Call me boring or vanilla, but running a game about a wandering, young Ranger with his thief sidekick (whom he saved when they were both captured by the law) appeals to me greatly.
  • This is the first game I've wanted to actually run for a long time (though that desire may wane a bit, depending on the rules. I do not have a head for rules at all.) What will it be about? I have no idea. It depends on the players I get.

    Regardless of whether or not I run a game, I will probably play a solo game via Mythic and post it on RPG.net. I have six characters I am dying to try: a Ranger, a Foxglove assassin, a Preacher, a Wandering Stars messenger, a swordswoman (I love to see people fooling around with a jian), and some sort of artificer. I have no idea how that one will go either. I may end up being six games that run parallel to one another, but I will probably contrive some way to have the meet at some point.
  • Well, the The Rebel General plot set up in the Merit stories seems like it could make good campaign fodder. The characters, for various reasons, are out to find Lord Pyre and put a stop to his villainy once and for all.

    Naturally, one does not just stumble across the hideout of The Scourge of the Far West, so a great deal of traveling and investigating will be involved. And I'm sure the PCs can get into all manner of unrelated trouble along the way.
  • An artificer sounds very cool. Maybe an almost "mad scientist" feel? He could be Imperial-trained, having headed to the Far West in search of ancient artifacts or rumored alchemy. Something like that.

    On another note, I watched "Bunraku" and really liked it and it got me thinking, "What about a gambling hall with very tight Twin Eagle security, both technologically and human? How cool would that be, especially if there's a TE agent in the group and they have to gain illicit access to said hall to uncover rumors of nefarious goings-on? It also got me wondering if there will be any advice on how to handle potential TE conflicts of interest.

    Yeah, this game needs to come out... :D

    The one thing I'm a wee disappointed isn't in there are classic Chinese monsters, such as hopping vampires, ghosts and demons. I understand why they aren't (although I don't feel having them in there would step on the boots of "Deadlands") and I'm sure they'd be easy enough to add. Heck, perhaps we could get/make a official/fan-based "What If?"-style supplement detailing the supernatural and perhaps more "Teslapunk"-ish tech?

    Who else might be interested? I'd love to corroborate on this.

  • @Ben: It may be sacrilege, but I would love me some paranormal bad guys to take down with my six-gun fu.
  • @Ben, maybe so, but I've given that other game 13 years of play time. I need to keep it corralled. I might do a nightmare sequence just to see the posse jump, but not often.

    I did this one thing that proved to be both awful and awsome at the same time. Do you know the Harlequin adventures from Shadowrun? I ran that for a Deadlands campaign with some good veteran gamers while I lived in Omaha. I didn't exactly get tarred, feathered, and run out of town. However, it does hold a small percentage as to how I ended up in Albuquerque.
  • I ran a "CP2020" game that I turned into a totally creepy game full of terror-imagery. I was lucky as there was a lightning storm outside, which only added to the ambiance. Later, when the power went out in-game, I turned of the lights and lit a hurricane lantern. Wow. One of the players told me he actually had trouble sleeping that night.

    Maybe I shouldn't be proud of that... ;)
  • GMSkarkaGMSkarka +1 -1 (+2 / -0 )
    Ben -- well, we said there was no magic. We never said anything about there being no demons.... :)

    To clarify:

    There's no spells, ghosts, undead, etc. No "overt" supernatural elements. Yes, part of this is to separate us from Deadlands, but a bigger part is that wuxia tales featuring those sort of elements are the minority.

    The supernatural (in the truest sense of the word) is present, though --in the tradition of the more common wuxia tales, via far-out kung-fu techniques, alchemical science (and in our case, steampunk tech)... and yes, monsters and demons. (Although the monsters are just the real kind -- the untamed fauna of the wild -- and demons are people with an imbalance of the furies within them, which has led to Corrupt Spirit.)

    But that's all I'll say for now. :)
  • Sweeeeeet!
  • Little appitizers to keep us going. Thanx.
  • The other thing to consider though for those that want to include more of those elements since this game has foundations in D20 and Fate it should be ridiculously easy to increase/include those elements if you wanted to.
  • Since GMSkarka mentioned the name Deadlands, I'll come out and say it. I'm going to go through all my old Dealands books and notes (several years worth of campaigning) and see what plots, characters, etc. will fit well in the Far West.

    I like the term "re-skinning" some of you have used and I've been doing this for years. It's fun to see what stories you can tell without the players figuring it out and also how they make different decisions and diverge from the original story. I'm thinking Star Wars is an obvious one:
    Han Solo = airship pirate
    Luke = young aspiring Ranger
    Obi = old, veteran Ranger
    Leia = young heiress to a fallen Charter House

    Seven Samurai was mentioned. I also like "The Hidden Fortress"

    This may be a little off topic. But I'm also an old World of Darkness player... don't judge ;) One thing I've always liked about those games is they are very player driver. The DMs job is typically to ask, "okay, now what do you want to do" then react. I'm hoping to run something with that type of feel rather than a hook-in-mouth module-driven campaign.
  • Judging? whuat? Too late, you are among peers here. You can't dodge the hammer.
  • SimagalSimagal +1 -1 (+2 / -0 )
    Right now I'm looking the game I'm planning is inspired by El Dorado with an outside carpetbagger from the east hires a Double Eagle army to help build his own personal empire. Only the PCs can stop him, and his cabal.
  • That doesn't sound so bad, by Far West standards. Not compared to the Rail Barons and other power brokers, at least.
    What will the carpetbagger be up to that that will automatically set the PCs in opposition to him?
  • Once I finish it I going to run my players through a version of my minds eye movie 'Once upon a time in the far west', inspired by the 'Once upon a time in the Far West' soundtrack.
  • One thing I've always liked about those games is they are very player driver. The DMs job is typically to ask, "okay, now what do you want to do" then react. I'm hoping to run something with that type of feel rather than a hook-in-mouth module-driven campaign.



    There is a section in the Gamemaster's advice on doing just that. Player-driven campaigning, with the GM essentially riffing off their decisions.
  • That doesn't sound so bad, by Far West standards. Not compared to the Rail Barons and other power brokers, at least.
    What will the carpetbagger be up to that that will automatically set the PCs in opposition to him?


    I am using carpetbagger as someone bringing in large amounts of money to take over an area. His opposition to the PC will have some influence but some of the inspiration is the films El Dorado and Pale Rider.
  • Darq +1 -1 (+4 / -0 )
    I am going to call my first campaign "Enough Rope..." I intend to provide them the opportunity to hang themselves. It will start out with the party happening across a small broken down town that's about 20 people shy of being a ghost town. A group of smartly outfitted horsemen are arguing with what appear to be the Town elders as the rest of the town, haggard in apearance and shy a couple of chromosomes in mein, look on, heads hung, wringing their hands in consternation.

    Suddenly, the leader of the horsemen kicks over one of a dozen tall containers lining the street, spilling its contents into the dust. He shakes his fist angrily at the head man, proclaims "We will be back in two days time for what is rightfully ours and you better have it ready!". The horsemen thunder into the distance leaving a cloud of dust over the town.

    When the players investigate, they will find the contents of the containers are poor quality grain, heavily laced with sand in an evident attempt to fool the riders. The head man will explain to the group that those bandits come yearly and take the lion share of their harvest for their cattle, leaving the towns people hungry. This year the harvest was particularly poor, hence their attempt to fool the bandits.

    Depending on how my players react, I expect them to either ride out, confront the bandits who will all die in the shoot out, or go all Seven Samurai on them and lead the townspeople in defense of the town - attacking the bandits when they come back.

    Thing is, the "bandits" are legitimate Cattlemen who have already paid in advance for grain to feed their cattle. The towns people have plenty of good quality grain hidden in an abandoned mine nearby. Their current costumes are just that - clothes they wear in their schemes to cheat passers by. The whole town is in on it together and very good at playing the parts of down-trodden peasants!

    After the players recieve heartfelt thanks from the crooked towns people and move on they will discover wanted posters bearing their likeness plastered everywhere they go. Seems the cattle were Imperial property. The Marshal dispatched to investigate their disappearence, will get the whole story about how the party showed up in town with the cattle and sold them to a represnetative of House Laers! They can even produce a copy of the bill of sale! The towns people had gathered up the cattle and sold them under the table, pretending to be our intrepid adventurers.

    So I figure by the end of this series of misadventures, the group should be wanted, have a Marshall on their tail and depending on how ornery I feel, Twin Eagles could be hired by either the families of the murdered cowpokes, or House Laers - who have had the cattle repossessed by the Emperor.
  • I absolutely love this idea!

    (I may have to steal it if there are no objections)
  • None what-so-ever, though please share any twisted embellishments you come up with :D
  • Deal! :-)
  • Darq- That's brilliant! The concept is fairly straightforward, but I doubt your players will see it coming (unless they're reading the forums...).

    The possibilities of how to proceed once your players are branded outlaws is almost endless. I assume they'll go back to the town to confront the people who impersonated them, but that would just be too easy, don't you think?
    If they're gone, or even dead, when the players go back there, it's going to be hard to clear their names...

    I think I may use this concept, too, once I get my campaign off the ground. It will be interesting to see how different groups of players deal with this problem, and how different GMs develop it.
  • Well the thing is and the thing that (if they are good role players) they will have to come to grips with is they really are outlaws. They really did at least some of the things they are being hunted for - so maybe it becomes a journey of attonement :D. It is also an important lesson in jumping to conclusions :D.
  • Darg — I only have one problem with your scenario. The game is supposed to be fun for both the game master and the players, it should not be a contest to see who can screw over the other. I can see using a scenario similar to this if the characters are up to a detective type game, but I have been in too many groups that have quit because the current campaign is not fun for them.
  • EVIL idea.
  • Sixgun_Fu_JowSixgun_Fu_Jow +1 -1 (+3 / -0 )
    mwryder- Good point that the game is cooperative, and not a confrontation between the GM and the players. That's important to remember, but I'm not sure if it applies in this case. There are so many variables.

    I can't speak for Darq, but I certainly wouldn't frame this in such a way as to make my players miserable, or ruin the enjoyment for them.
    The way I see it is as just another obstacle the players have to overcome. It's not just a 'bad guy' they can shoot. It's a multi-layered problem with no easy solution. A challenge they'll have to be creative to overcome.

    I think it really depends on the players how this works out. Perhaps they'll embrace their role as outlaws, and make the most of their bad reputation. Maybe they'll see it as an opportunity to do good outside the law, kind of like a Far West "A Team". Maybe they'll obsess over repairing their reputations and being seen as the heroes they intended to be.

    I'll let you know how it works out... ;)
  • mwryder- Good point that the game is cooperative, and not a confrontation between the GM and the players. That's important to remember, but I'm not sure if it applies in this case. There are so many variables.

    I can't speak for Darq, but I certainly wouldn't frame this in such a way as to make my players miserable, or ruin the enjoyment for them.
    The way I see it is as just another obstacle the players have to overcome. It's not just a 'bad guy' they can shoot. It's a multi-layered problem with no easy solution. A challenge they'll have to be creative to overcome.

    I think it really depends on the players how this works out. Perhaps they'll embrace their role as outlaws, and make the most of their bad reputation. Maybe they'll see it as an opportunity to do good outside the law, kind of like a Far West "A Team". Maybe they'll obsess over repairing their reputations and being seen as the heroes they intended to be.

    I'll let you know how it works out... ;)



    Sixgun exactly so - I would go further to state there is an adversarial relationship between the GM and the players. He represents all their obsticles and if not for them, why bother playing? My group are old school gamers who have been playing for decades, they will appreciate the challenge!

    Mwryder - you are correct, the GM shouldn't be out to get the group, and the type of group you have should dictate the level of difficulty here. For some groups this adventure could end by exposing the fake reciept of sale on the cattle, or it could end up being self deffense if the ranchers shot first. The point of the twisted nature of this game is to let the players know they shouldn't take things for granted and things aren't always as they seem.
  • Sixgun exactly so - I would go further to state there is an adversarial relationship between the GM and the players. He represents all their obsticles and if not for them, why bother playing? My group are old school gamers who have been playing for decades, they will appreciate the challenge!

    I have been playing since the early 80's and understand your comment about the GM. My point was that if the players feel they are fighting the GM and not the adversaries then the game will probably die very fast. For example, I once ran in a Champions game where the GM created the adversaries exploit each character's weaknesses rather than just creating them blind. Of course each player was incapable of doing anything and the game died in the first session. In this scenario if they go in thinking Seven Samurai they are going to be screwed and might resent it, especially if this is the first game for them.

    Mwryder - you are correct, the GM shouldn't be out to get the group, and the type of group you have should dictate the level of difficulty here. For some groups this adventure could end by exposing the fake reciept of sale on the cattle, or it could end up being self deffense if the ranchers shot first. The point of the twisted nature of this game is to let the players know they shouldn't take things for granted and things aren't always as they seem.

    I agree, and as long as the group is up to the challenge, and there are some clues that not everything is as it seems it could be a fun scenario. For example, your description of the town folk might include something about how they seem to be fitter than their clothing would suggest.
    Personally, I play for enjoyment and don't mind challenges, but I don't like games were it feels like they are being run for the GM's enjoyment, not the players and the GM.
  • mwryder said:

    I agree, and as long as the group is up to the challenge, and there are some clues that not everything is as it seems it could be a fun scenario. For example, your description of the town folk might include something about how they seem to be fitter than their clothing would suggest.
    Personally, I play for enjoyment and don't mind challenges, but I don't like games were it feels like they are being run for the GM's enjoyment, not the players and the GM.


    Yup I am with you - The role of the GM is 100% to provide a fun experience for the Players. The BEST campaign I ever played in was a DnD campaign that started out with me running afoul of the hero. He took all my gear, left me in a loin-cloth and left me an old sword.

  • rexroad33rexroad33 +1 -1 (+2 / -0 )
    Ni Hao,

    I follow what you... (fellas/players?) ...are saying. I believe I qualify as old school too. I have been an "evil" sort of GM on many occasions. I have been out to get my players. I can't deny it because that is what they expected me to do. Did I have a clue? Not really at that time before I knew what GMing was really about.

    Heck, it was a large part in how I changed my thinking from Game Master to Game Manager. Game Masters did have a bit of of a predetermined stereotype reputation going. I changed my attitude to Game Managing to better fill a leadership role with recruiting, instructing, and as a referee. I felt it was important because I find many new players younger than me.

    My more successful and solid campains were in Shadowrun which ran 4 years straight with the same players, and Deadlands which ran 13 years with the same players. They were really good at some stage. I will still run them from time to time among others I like. My first game was not DnD. I came into the gaming world under the Autoduel flag.

    Deadlands, got real ugly for me and my old group. Somehow, as one of the other players took over more, I seen some real awful ideas come to the group. He swears he learned most of his tricks and habits from me. Honestly, it was kind of hard to deny most of the bad habits. I didn't want the result to become the normal situation, but I failed to find a more cheerful or light hearted appraoch.

    Now days, my tactics are changing. I don't exactly agree with the GM doing 100% of the work, providing the fun, or the planning of a session. Every participant has to pull thier weight to make the experience more enjoyable. More communication will go a long way. After the first session, if the players are up for a challenge, then I have no problem turning up the HEAT.

    I am discovering a little at a time, that many ideas being provided by FAR WEST meet many objectives towards what a play group will want. I am expecting it be a very comfortable environment.

    As for "Enough Rope" I think I have a few ideas shaping up. I like what is there. Hopefully I can explain some of the possibilites with it soon.

    Stay Safe, and Happy Gaming!

    Plus: Darq, Yuutousei

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