All in all it took 4o minutes to make characters- this was because I didn’t have print outs, etc (my printer is fucked), so I had a single iPad that I passed around so people could write down their starting gear.
As I went to the players and pointed out their starting gear, I told the ones that started with a horse to ignore that- they don’t need it. One of the players decided to barb me, “Fuck you! This says I get a horse… Your rules say I get a horse, I’m taking the horse!” Several other players thought it was a good time to join in and give me shit, “Yeah! I get a horse too… we ALL should get horses, this is the Old West!” I said fine- you all get your fucking horses… (more on this later).
I do not include a weird west setting in High Noon- I give tool for quick ideas, but also figure people may use High Noon to play in Deadlands, Sixthgun, fuck- even East to West (really use my book and White Star together). So I gave my wife the choice of which setting we’d play in- Deadlands, Malifaux, or Cold Steel Reign. Gave her the elevator pitch of each and it was between Deadlands and Malifaux (Cold Steel Reign is written by an old friend of ours but it’s extremely dark- very dark ages meets the Old West)… So we BS’d the pros and cons of each (I love my woman) and we decided on Deadlands- then she turns to me and says, “Why don’t you write your own setting and publish it later?” Well fuck… so NOW I’m researching and writing notes for that…
Anyways- I digress
Here’s the cast-
A grumpy, pushy shaman (Angie)
A “I’m an evil warlock” sorcerer (Chad)
A Showman who is trained in the etiquette of the West, motherfuckers! (Amelia)- I haven’t put this Weird class on the blog
A pugilist that has fists of fury (Nate)
A scout that can move silently, has a badass rifle, and knows nature and shit (Tyler)
And a gunslinger who’s quick on the draw (Kevin)
For HP I’m using my second method- roll 1d6+1 add your Con Score and Con Modifier- that’s your starting HP (unless your a fighting class- roll 2d4+1 instead of 1d6). Everyone started off with around 13-19 HP… Then I lowered the boom on them. When they gain a level- they only gain +1 HP per level… that’s it. I designed this so a shotgun to the face will hurt you regardless of level.
Heading to Spring Water
The group is heading to the desert town of Spring Water in the New Mexico territory. There are rumors of strange goings on in the town; a green fog that was turning people inside out and drove them to kill their fellow villagers… The Church of Divine Providence had it on their bounty board and the group took it. They each got paid $2o up front and the rest after they fix the problems and report to the Spring Water Church priest.
So they wandered through the desert for eight days, encountering no problems. With the view of Spring Water in the horizon all was smooth sailing. Until… the ground collapsed under them. Eventually they come to in an abandoned mine, battered and bruised, and dead horses all around them- yeah, fuck those whiny bitches- I killed their horses- I told them they didn’t need them;).
The group dusted themselves off- Angie the shaman butchered one of the horses (she said it was spite butchering for the killing of her horse) and took some raw horse meat, and they began delving into the mine.
The first floor went pretty smoothly- they got in marching order and meandered into the second room and got ambushed by the spiders. I rolled for shit for both of them and the group killed them quickly- Angie putting an arrow into the eye of one and Tyler rifling another one.
The third room the group was looking around and about to head through the exit to the top floor (with a spider above it, lying in wait in the darkness). Tyler- cutting his chops on Red Box (and haven’t played any of the editions above 1e- come to think of it, I don’t think he’s played in about 20 years…) said I really look around the room. Yes! I described the room in more detail and the how at the entrance had webbing on the rock-face, starting light at the bottom, but getting thicker at the top. Now they knew a spider was up there. They threw rocks to lure it down. It crawled down and jumped at Nate, missing. Chad successfully casting Flaming Hands on it. The spider turned tail and ran down the tunnel, but Tyler rolled a natural 20- blasting the things abdomen to bits. The spider, parts of its body still alight, like the slowly dying embers of a fire, slid into the darkness.
Aside: This is why I love old school RPGage. The group was engaged and asked for details in the room. With 3.x and Pathfinder- too often the players would get into a room and do the what does my Notice roll tell me. Much more engaging to have them actually ask for details- only if shit is hidden should there even need to be a roll- and even then if the players say they are looking closely (or long enough) a roll probably isn’t needed.
The Second Floor
The second floor the group encountered the rats eating the corpse of an insideout man- the first sign/evidence that indeed shit was fucked up in the town of Spring Water. The group used rocks to scare off the giant rats (they failed their morale roll).
In the room to the north the group encountered the slaughtered settlers and four inside out men. All four ran at the characters. Kevin and Amelia took 6 damage each, and Angie had two on her, resulting in 3 damage (one missed). Kevin won initiative and shot is heavy pistol- he killed the one on him, turned his pistol on one on Angie and gunned it down with Fast Shootin’ (think Fighter’s cleave ability), gunned one down on her and then shot the other one (Heavy Pistol has a RoF of 2), but missed. Amelia used her cutlass and killed the one attacking her and Tyler used his knife to gut the last one on Angie.
Combat was quick and now the group was worried because two of them took substantial damage.
They cleared the rest of the rooms, eventually coming to the Foreman’s Office, looted the safe and Amelia read the newspaper, dated three years ago: “Spring Water mine to close due to lack of ore. Variss Industries to found new mine and processing plant soon” The group found this interesting as they had found plenty of evidence that there was still ore in the walls AND that they had started digging four new tunnels.
The group went out the mine entrance, paused to see the carnage of the dead settlers and wagon.
Tyler- Is there a horse?
Tyler- Is it alive?
Me- *I held up a d6*- Even or odd?
Me- *rolls a 2* It’s dead.
Tyler- *laughs*- You’re a dick. I’m gonna get me a fucking horse!
Then, saying fuck it to burying the dead- the group finished the walk to Spring Water.
The group arrived in the town, saw the sign for the Three-Legged Dog Saloon and Inn, and decided to take their blood, filthy hides there to get whisky and a bath. Leaning against the wall of the saloon was a woman in brown leather duster and a black cowboy hat. She lit a cigar and looked at the group, revealing she wore an eye patch.
Janey- Well… ain’t you cusses a dirty sight on the eye…
The group paused and looked at her as she took a deep drag of her cigar. The she moved her duster lapel and flashed her Sheriff’s badge.
Janey- Who the hell are you and what brings you to my town?
To be Continued
This was a great session. We left off here (an hourish) early because I could tell several of the players were tired (myself included). The next session will be in the first week of December
Spring Water Map