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Cowboys: The Way of the Gun» Forums » Variants

Subject: New Shot Actions & Modifiers rss

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Montgomery Van
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I know that Cowboys: The Way of the Gun does not get much attention these days, but I recently discovered the game and have come to greatly admire it. As with many of us, I admired the game so much, I added a few things that I thought would improve the experience. Worthington Games provided a terrific framework, but D-I-Y game improvement is the closest I will seem to get to an expansion.


In effort to individualize cowboys beyond the standard +1 or +2 Cowboy bonuses and drawn cards, I thought it might be cool to give the exceptional various Special Abilities.

In order to flavor the abilities, I had to create a couple of more in-game actions and modifiers. Testing has shown them to work fairly well within the game's framework. Due to the more simplistic nature of the Way of the Gun beast, I did not want to bog things down too much.


First, the provided modifiers - according to Worthington's Base, Optional, and Advanced rules:

* Cowboy Modifier +1 or +2: Number listed in top right corner of cowboy.
* Back Shot +2: Target is shot at through its back facing
* Shot crosses a red line the target is adjacent to: -1
* Shot crosses open door target is adjacent to: -1
* Shooting while mounted on a horse - 2 for pistol and -3 for rifle or shotgun
* Spin and Shoot (2 shots) -1 for pistol, -3 for rifle or shotgun.
* Fan Fire (up to 6 shots): -3 per shot
* Shooting with Two Pistols (4 shots; 2 per gun): -2 to all shots
* Shooting at Different Targets (2 shots): -2 to both shots
* Reaction Fire (1 shot): -2

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Now, several new actions (and their modifiers):

* Shooting Action - Called Shot (1 shot): -3

Hitting a specific location on a target requires a Called Shot. This requires more precision than a normal attack. A called shot incurs a -3 modifier to the attacker’s Shooting Skill. The benefits of called shots vary. Some benefits may be effects, such as shooting a weapon out of someone’s hand, or shooting someone’s hat off of their head. If going for a wound, hitting with a Called Shot acts as a Critical Hit and will increase the damage of the attack to 2 wounds.

* Shooting Action - Careful Aim: +2

If a shooter does not take any other action during his turn and isn’t being attacked by another opponent, he can choose to spend his action taking careful aim at his target. On his turn in the next round, he gains a +2 bonus to his Shot.

* Shooting Action - Mark Opponent: +1

Often times, grudges between enemies produce the best of dramas. Once per game, a vengeful Cowboy may 'mark' an enemy during a shootout or fist fight for certain destruction. Due to the intense concentration devoted to the task of downing the enemy, all attacks directed at the marked gain a +1 modifier. Alas, until that enemy is eliminated from a fight, all attacks directed at 'unmarked' opponents suffer a -1 modifier.


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You would obviously hand out one or two abilities per cowboy, tops - but to illustrate the individualism possible with special abilities:


John Wesley Hardin

Height: 6'2"
Weight: 188 pounds
Age: 22

Description/History: Born in Bonham, Fannin County, Texas. He was a tall, slender, handsome boy; a natural born leader of like-minded sociopaths. When Hardin went to prison in 1878, he claimed to have killed 42 men. And unlike many gunfighters of the day who had their totals romanticized, Hardin's claim was fairly close to truth. His criminal career resulted not only in the deaths of his victims - but also in the deaths of his brother Joe and two cousins who were hanged by a lynch mob seeking revenge for a Hardin killing.

Reward For Capture: $4,000.00 (Dead or Alive)
Area Of Operations: Texas -- Kansas – Florida

Special Abilities:

* Quick Draw: Due to his special holstering method and constant practice, Hardin can draw two holstered pistols as a free action.

* Guns a Blazin'!: Hardin can shoot two Pistols at the same time at a lesser penalty than normally imposed, suffering no Shot penalty to his gun hand shot and -1 to his off-hand gun shot.

* Master Of The Fan: When Hardin fan fires his pistol, he suffers no modifier to the first shot, -1 to the second shot, -2 to the third shot, and -3 to the remaining shots.

* What'd You Say, Mister?: Whenever a perceived slight happens upon Hardin, he may as a free action mark the opponent. Once marked, Hardin gains +2 to all attacks during the combat encounter against the mark (melee or gunfire). To all other opponents, Hardin suffers -1 to all attacks until the mark has been put down.


Weapons and Equipment: 2 Pistols, Pistol Belt, 30 rounds of Ammo

Damage Track: Grazed ___ Hit ___ Wounded ___ Down ___


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Harvey Logan (Aka Kid Curry)

Height: 5'9"
Weight: 163 pounds
Age: 27


Description/History: William Pinkerton, Head of the Pinkerton Detective Agency, called Kid Curry the most vicious outlaw in America. "He has not one single redeeming feature," Pinkerton wrote. "He is the only criminal I know of who does not have one single good point."
He had been born in 1865 in Morehead, Kentucky, of a good family that had fallen on hard times due to the Civil War. Legend has it that as a lad he had met Jesse James, who gave him a handful of dime novels that glorified the man as a modern-day Robin Hood, and young Harvey was hooked. He was determined to be as great or greater an outlaw than Frank & Jesse James, and some are of the opinion that he succeeded.
Kid Curry was short, solemn, and soft-spoken. He never deliberately started a fight, but was quick-tempered and brave to a fault. During his career as a bank and train robber with Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch, he was known to drop back alone behind the fleeing gang to single-handedly delay a pursuing posse. As a gunman, he was unequaled and credited as being one of the fastest "draws" in the West.
Oddly enough, many believe that The Sundance Kid's reputation as a deadly gunfighter was really that of mistaken identity with Logan. Still, considering Sundance had one of the largest recorded bounties placed on his head amongst the Wild Bunch, I'd think that Logan didn't mind the mix-up.


Reward For Capture: $4,000.00 (Dead or Alive)
Affiliated Gang: The Hole-in-the-Wall Gang
Area Of Operations: Wyoming -- Colorado -- Utah -- Montana -- New Mexico -- Texas -- Tennessee

Special Abilities:

* Heard He’s Fast!: Kid Curry can draw One holstered Pistol as a free action.

* Unflappable: Cool as a cucumber when under the heat of battle, Kid Curry may not be Panicked.

* Vengeful: When the Kid confronts someone who may have slighted him or his family, he may as a free action mark the opponent. Once marked, Curry gains a +2 bonus to all attacks during the combat encounter against the mark.

* Crack Shot: When taking Careful Aim with a rifle, Logan gains a +3 bonus to his Shot.


Weapons and Equipment: 2 Pistols, Pistol Belt, 30 rounds of Ammo

Damage Track: Grazed ___ Hit ___ Wounded ___ Down ___

------------

Jesse James

Height: 5'10"
Weight: 179 pounds
Age: 26

Description/History: Jesse and his brother Frank James were Confederate guerrillas during the Civil War. They were accused of participating in atrocities committed against Union soldiers. After the war, as members of one gang or another, they robbed banks. They also robbed stagecoaches and trains. Despite popular portrayals of James as a kind of Robin Hood, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor, there is no evidence that he and his gang used their robbery gains for anyone but themselves.
The James brothers were most active with their gang from about 1866 until 1876, when their attempted robbery of a bank in Northfield, Minnesota, resulted in the capture or deaths of several members. They continued in crime for several years, recruiting new members, but were under increasing pressure from law enforcement. On April 3, 1882, Jesse James was killed by Robert Ford, who was a member of the gang living in the James house and who was hoping to collect a state reward on James' head.

"Height five feet ten and one half inches, eyes blue, complexion light, snaps his eyes when talking, they are large. Wears seven and one-eight hat and number eight boot. Nose short and turned up at the end. Round features, fleshy face. Whiskers sandy... first joint of third finger on left hand is gone...two bullet holes about three inches apart near the right nipple. Is bow-legged and steps very quickly. Is very graceful rider... When on a raid dresses very common, dark calico shirt and ducking overalls, pants in boots. Has white smooth hands, wears gloves." -- Dick Liddil, captured outlaw who rode with the James-Younger Gang.


Reward For Capture: $10,000.00 (Dead or Alive)
Affiliated Gang: The James-Younger Gang
Area Of Operations: Missouri -- Kentucky -- Kansas -- West Virginia -- Tennessee

Special Abilities:

* Crack Shot: When firing a Called Shot from a pistol or rifle, Jesse suffers a -1 modifier to his Shot.

* Guerrilla Warfare: When riding a horse, Jesse suffers no Unstable Surface modifiers when firing a pistol or rifle.

* Gritty Resolve: Jesse James does not go down easily. When he has taken a Hit that puts him Down, he still fights on as if wounded until he takes one more Hit.

* The Rebel Yell!: When Jesse unleashes with the infamous Rebel Yell, those within earshot must make a Fear check vs. Jesse's Reputation. If the check fails, the opponent suffers a -2 modifier to all rolls during the next two combat rounds. In addition, if the opponent rolls Snake Eyes on his Fear check roll, said opponent automatically loses their next action due to the sheer terror of hearing the Yell.

- Shows potential possibility for Reputation and Fear cross checks

Weapons and Equipment: Pistol, Rifle, Pistol Belt, 60 rounds of Pistol Ammo, 50 rounds Rifle Ammo

Damage Track: Grazed ___ Hit ___ Wounded ___ Down ___


Huzzah!
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David Wasson
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Nice work Montgomery! You would probably also enjoy Avalon Hill's Gunslinger and Dave Murray's Outlaws.
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Montgomery Van
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Builder wrote:
Nice work Montgomery! You would probably also enjoy Avalon Hill's Gunslinger and Dave Murray's Outlaws.


Thank you for the kind words and the recommendations, David; much appreciated!

I play with my wife and daughters, so Gunslinger's level of complexity is a no-go. Outlaws: Adventures in the Old West, on the other hand, looks like it could be a winner. The problem there is that I am a complete newbie to Print & Play ventures; I would have no clue where to start.

Do you take all the files to Office Max and demand satisfaction, or what?

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MoonSylver
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Mont Van wrote:
Builder wrote:
Nice work Montgomery! You would probably also enjoy Avalon Hill's Gunslinger and Dave Murray's Outlaws.


Thank you for the kind words and the recommendations, David; much appreciated!

I play with my wife and daughters, so Gunslinger's level of complexity is a no-go. Outlaws: Adventures in the Old West, on the other hand, looks like it could be a winner. The problem there is that I am a complete newbie to Print & Play ventures; I would have no clue where to start.

Do you take all the files to Office Max and demand satisfaction, or what?



You can, or just run 'em off on the home printer onto #110 card stock & have at.

I like what you did with the modifiers & special abilities. I had a whole set of them for "C:tWotG" posted under my old account, until She Who Must Not Be Named deleted it, & thus all my content.

I know I have the notes, so maybe I'll repost someday.
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