Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gunslingers and Galoots

Listening to the Sanctum Secorum Halloween Episode whilst on the ole stationary-bike-in-the-basement (as a Florida native I am not interested in doing exercise when it's chilly).  It's chock full of good stuff and you ought to check it out if you like Appendix N Book Club-type situation and also free DCC content and ideas (since the time I wrote this, they put out another episode or two!)

Cimarron Rose here was associated with George Newcombe in the real world!
Meanwhile, I release the Gunslinger to you in easy-to-read, plain n' simple 6x9 no frills format. Sometimes, you gotta have a guy or gal who will kill people with a gun and by definition these folks ought to be better at it than your average schmuck.  So there you have it.

As for average schmucks, I kin offer the following:

The way Boot Hill does it, it separates all characters into a couple of different stats, those being things like tracking (superfluous for me in DCC), horsemanship (also superfluous), bravery (DCC doesn't do morale too much/well but for me it varies and I use the Moldvay way), and drawing speed (LOOK OUT NOW!) and accuracy (VERY IMPORTANT WHEN A PERSON HAS A BEAD ON YOU).  I think it's easier to keep accuracy and speed as a single thing but YMMV.  I included a rudimentary morale and fleeing system in my own DCC rules lite solo book, and I believe in these things in my heart.

Now, since there's no demi-humans, mostly, and no goblinoid or orky bad guys n such, but there are a great number of apathetic men of low character who would like to shoot you, I offer a very simple and no-frills stat block - suitable for a wide range of games - to pepper your Old West with gun-toting thugs and desperadoes.  Assume Neutral or Chaotic alignments, as you like, since it seems to me law-abidin' folks don't go about shooting up citizens, but hey your dog may hunt otherwise.  Things like Personality/Wisdom and Strength are superfluous but can be generated on the fly

I assume knives, bowie knives, clubs, pistols (1d8), shotguns (2d6, 6s explode another die), carbines (1d12), and rifles (1d12) for gear.  If you use Transylvanian Adventures rules, then you can steal Ruin points to give these folks an edge that would likely let a party cruise right over them.  Maybe an occasional fool would have a boomerang, sword, or staff but for the most part in the West, if you're not packing heat then you're not a viable opponent.

Common Thug
HD: 4 HP
AC: 9
Morale (Low: 6-7)

Other Scores (2d6+2)

Bandito/Desperado/"Cowboy" (note "cowboy" in the pejorative sense of 1880s)
HD (Average Party level -2) or 1, whichever is more.  I figure about 6 HP each, and a good clean shot with a small arms, or a knife blade, ought to finish these folks off or prompt an immediate withdrawal or surrender...
AC (12)
Morale (Average: 7-8)
Other scores (2d8 when needed)

HD (Average Party Level) I figure about 6 HP per HD
AC (10+d6 - assume these folks to be taking cover, crouching, relatively quick)
Morale (High: 9-10)
Other Scores (2d6+4 when needed, a focus on Agility for DCC)
Arms and equipment will be slightly better.  Can critical hit like Warriors or Thieves/Specialists/Valiants
In terms of Boot Hill 2, these folks will have survived 2d6+2 gunfights, and killed 1d10 men or women.  Gunfighters ought to have attack bonuses for high Agility when shooting, IMHO

Star Bad Guys
HD (Average Party Level +2) again at about 6-8 HP per HD depending upon the needs of the thing
AC (10+d8 skilled killers would be deft and survive owing to Luck)
Morale (high to fanatical, so about 9-12)
Other Scores (3d6 as PCs, maybe one ability at 15 or above)

Kellri has put out a terrific rip of the Boot Hill 2 stats blocks, and with his permission I might do a little conversion with his document so as to make some of the historical gunfighters and the in-system fictional ones.  At the link you'll find a PDF of a good number of the things, but mine would be a rough approximation with some spreadsheet calculations to put the dudes (almost all dudes, IIRC maybe Calamity Jane the exception) into a DCC or d20 stats framework.

Hmm.  Seems to me we could use some fairer-sexed gunslingers in this Weird West world.  +Doug Kovacs has it locked on Catastrophe Jane, and +Brenda Wolfe may soon advance her professor of phrenology (I think it was phrenology) into the adventuring classes.  I envision Head Acolyte +Jen Brinkman as some sort of Galadriel spooky-fast sea-faring pirate gunslinger but that's just me.

Keep your powder dry, cowpokes!

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