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Western Hero 6th edition


Christopher R Taylor
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The manuscript for Western Hero is at Hero HQ and being worked over, with a new cover being created for it.  I don't know any realistic release date but I hope it will be out by Christmas.  This is to be an official Hero Games product, not a Hall of Champions fan bit or self pub job like my other work.

 

I have a few release ideas set up for it, when it hits the shelves including an adventure module.  As I get more news and information I'll pass it along here.  So stay tuned, pardner.

 

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As there is a perfectly fine Bestiary for Hero 6th I didn't include that in the book, and the real world characters (and fictional ones) I released already as downloadable files on this site.  So that saved some room which I promptly filled in with more background material and scenario prompts.

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I wish I could use that art at the top for the cover but unfortunately its poster art for Once Upon A Time In The West and probably costs like eighty gazillion dollars for the rights.

 

Without any market research or data to back it up, I have a suspicion that there's a fair sized market for good western gaming stuff that is largely unserved.  Look at the acclaim of Aces & Eights for what is essentially an unplayable ruleset

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20 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

Without any market research or data to back it up, I have a suspicion that there's a fair sized market for good western gaming stuff that is largely unserved.  Look at the acclaim of Aces & Eights for what is essentially an unplayable ruleset

 

I never have gotten to actually play Ace & Eights but it has some neat ideas.  I really liked the concept of the shot clock and the determining where a shot hits.  But I have no real idea of how the game actually plays. 

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50 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

I played Aces & Eights and its like Hero x Phoenix Command, cubed in the combat system.  Neat concepts, unplayable execution.

Ouch! Phoenix Command.  Haven't heard that title in a while.

 

I've wondered if a modified hit location chart could be based on the target silhouettes.  Hand gun accuracy was notoriously bad and rolling a hit "could" actually mean you get to roll on the silhouette to see if you hit the person, their gear or just missed.

 

Just a thought that I haven't really thought too hard on.

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On 10/18/2020 at 7:03 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

I wish I could use that art at the top for the cover but unfortunately its poster art for Once Upon A Time In The West and probably costs like eighty gazillion dollars for the rights.

 

 

You might try contacting the studio and asking if they'd donate the art for your cover, or sell it for a modest fee, if you give them credit for it and recommend the GM and players watch the movie on Prime Video to get the appropriate tone for western genre.

 

And maybe recommend watching other western movies which are for sale in their inventory.

 

Increasing interest in westerns can only be good for studios which have a large inventory of westerns available for view on demand.

2 minutes ago, archer said:

 

 

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I've wondered if a modified hit location chart could be based on the target silhouettes.  Hand gun accuracy was notoriously bad and rolling a hit "could" actually mean you get to roll on the silhouette to see if you hit the person, their gear or just missed.

 

The shot clock was one of their award-winning ideas that was really attractive and kind of fun to use, but... its more of a pain than you'd think.  Even in just an old west game you need dozens of different silhouettes.  They provide some basic ones (facing, kneeling, from overhead) but... what if he's riding a horse?  What if its two guys wrestling?  What if its a bear?

 

Then you add in fantasy or superhero stuff and it gets ridiculous, you'd need thousands of these things.

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27 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

The shot clock was one of their award-winning ideas that was really attractive and kind of fun to use, but... its more of a pain than you'd think.  Even in just an old west game you need dozens of different silhouettes.  They provide some basic ones (facing, kneeling, from overhead) but... what if he's riding a horse?  What if its two guys wrestling?  What if its a bear?

 

Then you add in fantasy or superhero stuff and it gets ridiculous, you'd need thousands of these things.

 

Funny you should say that :winkgrin:

The put out additional silhouettes to cover a lot.  Multiple angles for someone riding a horse, galloping a horse, a mule.  Many dfferent angles for a person on foot, a person hiding behind a hostage, and even hunting silhouettes for bear, deer and many more.

 

It was what made me ponder about it.  But I can see how kludgy it could get if you had multiple opponents. 

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12 hours ago, Spence said:

It was what made me ponder about it.  But I can see how kludgy it could get if you had multiple opponents. 

I've run combats regularly with up to 6 players. The initiative Action Count is I think the best initiative system that I have encountered in any RPG. Your actions have a 'count' in tenths of a second and once combat begins it all works upward from there. In other words, if you say that you're going to draw down on someone then bring your weapon to bear (point it in their general direction, and fire, then once that resolves in game time you then then select you next option. There is no 'roll for initiative' or DEX ranking as to who goes first, who goes next is determined by the length of their action. 

As you get wounded, your capacity to fight back is reduced by penalties from your wounds and combat is extremely lethal. It's not a 'cinematic realism' game I'll grant - I consider it more Deadwood than Spaghetti - but it simulates the genre well, I find.

 

Admittedly, in the Covid Climate, I haven't run A&8s on VTT - I usually leave control of the action count to a player at the table to tell folks when 'they're up', but in Roll20 I need a Pro subscription for the API for that to happen. As the players were about to assault an old mining town where bandits were holed up, I've left the scenario on a cliffhanger for the time being. 

 

The gimmick of the shot clock is what drew me to the game, along with the poker chip mechanic for brawling, although in practice the latter gimmick just does not work - I default to the hand to hand rules instead and they work fine.

 

Westerns are certainly a niche genre and despite the fact that the Reloaded KS overfunded Kenzer & Co have had no interest whatsoever in supporting it, which is a shame.

 

Western by Swedish company Askfageln is also something that I have invested into, although sadly, they have been disrupted by personal illness in translating their game to English. If you want to see how beautiful Western looks, Google their Kickstarter.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/23/2020 at 7:27 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

I've wondered if a modified hit location chart could be based on the target silhouettes.  Hand gun accuracy was notoriously bad and rolling a hit "could" actually mean you get to roll on the silhouette to see if you hit the person, their gear or just missed.

 

 

Just like the new verbiage for "Combat Luck," I will _never be a fan of turning a hit into a miss, even if its just SFX for failing to penetrate armor.

 

I will see if i can find them (doubt it; we havent used hit locations since the group got big enough that it really slowed the game down.  Anyway, we used to have a couple of custom hit charts for profile, chest high walls, ahootong down, and shooting up.  Same locations; different probabilities.

 

Heres something i posted _years_ ago regarding alternate rules for called shots:

 

1) After calling the desired hit location, rather than taking the penalty listed for that location, the  shooter has the option to determine voluntary penalty of any amount he chooses up to half his available OCV (to include bonuses for setting, bracing, etc).  If the shot is successful, roll the location hit.  Each penalty level he assigned to the shot can be used to "walk" the shot up or down the chart, 1 for 1, closer to the location he called.

 

We used this _a lot_ in our Western and war-themed games, as we were looking for a much grittier feel.  We liked it a lot because 1) it simulated the inaccuracy of weapons in the days of cap-and-ball, and 2) a hit was still a hit instead of the more binary "you hit him in the called location or you miss completely" system on place now.

 

Another option, if you prefer that not everyone buy up skill levels, is to likit the voluntary penalty in some way, such as "up to half of your unmodified OCV" or whatever you choose.

 

Another option, if you like the idea of lots of skill levels, is to walk the first level for 1 prnalty point, the second for 2 more, third for 3--

 

We used the first and second the most.  The third only ever saw play as a result of things like plus 10 OCV from my skill levels, all of them dropped in penalty, called ahotbto the head."  To have so many points in skill levels, but not have any actual skills...   :lol:

 

 

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After calling the desired hit location, rather than taking the penalty listed for that location, the  shooter has the option to determine voluntary penalty of any amount he chooses up to half his available OCV (to include bonuses for setting, bracing, etc).  If the shot is successful, roll the location hit.  Each penalty level he assigned to the shot can be used to "walk" the shot up or down the chart, 1 for 1, closer to the location he called.

 

Yeah I have a system like that I used for Fantasy Hero for a while.  You took a set penalty, then tried to hit a spot.  For each 2 you rolled better than their DCV to hit you moved the location 1 toward where you wanted.  It worked pretty well and was interesting but after a while players stopped using it, so it was either too unrewarding to use, or just took too long to bother with.

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What I would like to see in a Western Hero 6ed.

 

A section on how cowboys are depected in Mexican television and movies, Canadian television and movies, etc. All countries with cows have cowboys after all.

 

A section on various subcategories of Westerns. Normal westerns. Spaghetti westerns. Melodrama westerns. Telanovelas set in the old west/Mexico. Western horror. The Weird Weird West. Cowboy fantasy (urban fantasy + old west). Superpowered old west (Champions Of The Old West). Cowboy steampunk. Toon cowboys.

 

And, well, that is it really. But also that is a lot.

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13 minutes ago, steriaca said:

What I would like to see in a Western Hero 6ed.

 

A section on how cowboys are depected in Mexican television and movies, Canadian television and movies, etc. All countries with cows have cowboys after all.

 

A section on various subcategories of Westerns. Normal westerns. Spaghetti westerns. Melodrama westerns. Telanovelas set in the old west/Mexico. Western horror. The Weird Weird West. Cowboy fantasy (urban fantasy + old west). Superpowered old west (Champions Of The Old West). Cowboy steampunk. Toon cowboys.

 

And, well, that is it really. But also that is a lot.

 

That would be a great book, but the existing "Western" isn't just movies that took place somewhere out in the western USA, they were a specific style and type of movie.

 

Add all the other stuff in and you no longer have Western Hero.  Instead you have a book about anything that can be loosely tied to the old US West between 1790 something and 1920 something.   Nothing wrong with that, but if the name Western Hero is placed on a book that is not "Western Hero" then it needs to be advertised clearly and LOUDLY to the point of being obnoxious that the book is not really what the title implies. 

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10 minutes ago, Spence said:

 

That would be a great book, but the existing "Western" isn't just movies that took place somewhere out in the western USA, they were a specific style and type of movie.

 

Add all the other stuff in and you no longer have Western Hero.  Instead you have a book about anything that can be loosely tied to the old US West between 1790 something and 1920 something.   Nothing wrong with that, but if the name Western Hero is placed on a book that is not "Western Hero" then it needs to be advertised clearly and LOUDLY to the point of being obnoxious that the book is not really what the title implies. 

Well, I don't expect to go too deeply into not quite old west. Fantasy old west can be limited to shaman spells and a small section on stuff like the Catawall, the Jackalope, and not much else. A small paragraph on Alaska and a few pages on Canada and Mexico as they are depected in Westerns. The actual movie and television stuff could just mostly focus on the United States version of the western, the Outlaw Western (where outlaws were the heroes, even if they lie about them), the Spaghetti Western, and that is it for the major stuff (a paragraph or two about western comic books, including the odd mixing of superheros and cowboys, a paragraph or two about western serials, etc).

 

You don't have to do everything, but it would be a sin not to cover Mexico, Alaska, and Canada. You can't tell me Sargent Prestion isn't western because it is set in the Canadian mountains. Zoro is also lumped up with westerns, along with the Cisco Kid.

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