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[Western] Looking for lifepath chargen for Western RPGs

The Radioactivist

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Aside from some old Dragon mag articles for Boot Hill, I've been unable to find much in the way of a backstory generator for western PCs. I'm looking for something along the line of Paul Jaquay's Central Casting series, etc.

Does anyone know of such a product? It does not have to be in real-world hardcore Old West. If it has fantasy elements, I can strip those out. But I am looking for something comprehensive.
 

MoonHunter

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Was there a Western Fuzion game? Some of the more general Fuzion character gen lifepaths might be useful to you.
 

capnzapp

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There was some discussion here last year of a Swedish RPG that I believe was just called Western that had some sort of life path system. I believe it was supposed to be translated into English.

Yes, it's called Western the RPG and it offers randomized events around you and your family throughout the 1800s, things like your father getting killed in the Civil War or your mother finding gold in the Black Hills.

There was a successful Kickstarter (for an English-language edition); not keeping tabs on its progress.
 

El Ravager34

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Yes, it's called Western the RPG and it offers randomized events around you and your family throughout the 1800s, things like your father getting killed in the Civil War or your mother finding gold in the Black Hills.

There was a successful Kickstarter (for an English-language edition); not keeping tabs on its progress.

Western the RPG is probably going to be late getting to the backers (of which I am one). There have been some serious health problems, and then their distributor ceased operations. That caused them a delay due to the fact that they didn't have access to the books and games that were there. However, a lot of progress has been made in the translation of the books, and they have kept the backers well informed so far. Plus, the health concerns seem to be under control for now and they have a new distributor as well.


There is still a month and 1/2 to go before their anticipated delivery date, so it could still be on time but more likely, it will probably be a little late. Still, this game had me so excited that I cancelled my pledge to Aces & Eights 2nd edition, and I still do not regret that decision. Western the RPG looks like it will be the very best in the genre.


ETA: To follow up on capnzapp's mention of the background system... It is easily the most detailed one I've ever seen in a Western game and one of the deeper systems in any genre. By the time you're done, you will know exactly how all your relatives died, what diseases you might have already encountered (and possibly be immune to now), and basically you'll know every major event of your character's life.

Here is the link to the 29 page thread on Western the RPG that was discussed before the KS, and capnzapp deserves much thanks for being the one that brought a lot of us to the Kickstarter because of his wonderful discussion of the game.

https://forum.rpg.net/index.php?threads/western-the-rpg.799029/page-26#post-21158169
 
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tomas

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Was there a Western Fuzion game? Some of the more general Fuzion character gen lifepaths might be useful to you.
I don't think so. Gold Rush Games, which published affair amount of Fuzion stuff, published a western game using the Action! System.
 

baakyocalder

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The Western RPG, which has a Swedish publisher, had lifepaths in the Swedish editions. The English language edition was on Kickstarter and while set to fulfill in December 2018, will almost certainly be delayed for print copies. As ElRavager34 noted, a serious of unfortunate events have happened and the creators have had delays in their work. Fortunately, the translation is from the recent Swedish 4th edition, so the game's foundations are in place. It's just getting it all together.

I backed at a digital level for the player's book and GM book, so I anticipate I'll have my pledge fulfilled in early 2019.

The last update was on October 19, 2018.

As for Aces & Eights, you generate character's background with the following: legitimacy (born in wedlock or not), parent's status (celebrity, alive or dead) whether the parents loved the PC, number of siblings, sex of siblings (assumes 50/50 male and female so adjust for your tastes), birth order of the PC and their siblings, sibling relationships, whether the siblings died (and there are different tables for urban and rural death with urban being more lethal), and a social class table with occupations that grant skills if rolled. The social class table has urban and rural subtables for some social classes, which range from Below Lower Class (escaped slaves, convicts and so forth) to Upper Upper Class (royalty or the silver spoons Americans since we don't allow titles of nobility). You also get a place of origin, be it a country or state and urban or rural based on that. There's also a random table for Reason for Going West and random name tables for Mexican, U.S., Cherokee (Sequoyah) and other nations in the game.

This background system is in place in both Aces & Eights: Reloaded, the version that was just Kickstarted and should be out to all U.S and Canadian backers (I got my copy several weeks ago) and in Aces & Eights: Shattered Frontier. If you buy PDFs, Kenzer & Company has all the prior edition Aces & Eights items, including the corebook, at 80% off on their webstore. Except for the skill system, pretty much everything will work as printed, so you could snag a bunch of PDFs and a few books for cheap this weekend through their Black Friday/Cybermonday sale. Link below.

https://www.kenzerco.com/index.php?cPath=25_29_47
 

baakyocalder

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Western the RPG is probably going to be late getting to the backers (of which I am one). . .

ETA: To follow up on capnzapp's mention of the background system... It is easily the most detailed one I've ever seen in a Western game and one of the deeper systems in any genre. By the time you're done, you will know exactly how all your relatives died, what diseases you might have already encountered (and possibly be immune to now), and basically you'll know every major event of your character's life.

Here is the link to the 29 page thread on Western the RPG that was discussed before the KS, and capnzapp deserves much thanks for being the one that brought a lot of us to the Kickstarter because of his wonderful discussion of the game.

https://forum.rpg.net/index.php?threads/western-the-rpg.799029/page-26#post-21158169
Capnzapp definitely sold me on Western. While I'm a huge fan of Aces & Eights, after hearing about Western and seeing it had some similarities with Aces & Eights but a lot of meat on its bones, I decided to back it as a digital backer.

I think you'd be happy with either Aces & Eights or Western as your main game and whichever game you did not choose would provide valuable supplemental material. Aces & Eights uses profession paths but assumes the character follows them as long as they wish, finishing accomplishments along the way and then changing profession paths like westerners often did and coming back if they choose to. In the game I plan on running, the doctor PC was sheriff of a town for about a year and is going to be a doctor in the new town. My late PC, Meows Like Kittens (his best skill was Animal Mimicry) was a cook and a guide.
 

capnzapp

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Thank you.

After having a campaign under my belt now, I feel obliged to say to those I pulled in :) that Western is a bit wonky. All those rules for injury simply didn't impact the campaign nearly as much as I thought they would. I'm talking about long-term effects of injuries to player characters. It turns out the short-term penalties of getting shot are severe enough that you always spent a Fate Point to reduce the severity three steps (as long as you weren't completely out of FPs), which meant that almost no bullet actually had any lasting effect.

In plain English; you're fine until you're completely out. The option to "take" a bullet (save a Fate Point for later) never came into play; there simply aren't any middle ground where you still feel reasonably effective even when wounded, and recovery times are long enough that you might remain a burden for the team for adventures to come.

This has to do with the sweet spot for hitting. The target silhouette interacts with the "hit circles" in such a way that attack rolls that results a little under 18-19 has a very low chance of hitting (quickly reaching the state where only a hit location roll of 9 or 11 hits)... while a result only a little higher than 18-19 has a very good chance of hitting. Only in a very narrow band is the actual random hit probably even close to 50-50. Not linear, is what I'm trying to say.

The system is savage to "civilians" (which do make up the majority of starting occupations). Even starting NPC goons have such a high Defense that middling attack values can't cause much damage. And a wounded gunslinger easily falls to "civilian" levels. So you never* feel you can afford negative penalties due to injuries.

In effect, the very complex system basically boils down to you having a number of "hit points" equal to your fate points. Same for "name" enemies. The whiff factor is enormous unless you roll up a gunslinger (lawman, desperado, etc) - you basically waste your action unless you can find an undefended target to shoot at (nervous people at the start of fights, people stunned by pain, etc).

If you do have a +10 to +12 relative advantage over your opponent (your attack minus his defense) you instead find you hit reliably. The actual damage might still be insignificant, but the better you get, the more combat is reduced to shaving off enemy fate points and then going for the kill.

Just so you know what you're getting into. We played at the default "campaign" setting.

PS. Mods, if this starts off a whole subthread feel free to fork this out into a thread of its own - I just felt it a tad overblown to start a whole new thread for one glorified thank you post.
 

The Radioactivist

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Sorry for delay. Thanks to everyone for feedback. Sounds like The Western is my future ticket (although I will use Savage Worlds or Boot Hill as my go-to system). Appreciate the help!
 
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