Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games, Westerns

Character Creation Challenge Day 19: Tall Tales BX

Character Creation Challenge Day 19

I’ve never played any role-playing games based on the Western genre. I would watch a lot of classic Western movies and television shows and thought that it would make for a good RPG session. I would also wonder, what would the RPG stats be for Blondie (aka The Man With No Name) in the classic movie ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly‘ or James West in ‘The Wild Wild West‘? With a good system, I was sure I could homebrew up some stats.

I knew there was several Western RPGs out there. However I never really owned one until I found Tall Tales BX on DriveThruRPG. This game was written by Mark Hunt who also released Gangbusters BX and was an earlier entry into the Character Creation Challenge. Tall Tales was on sale when I purchased it so I was able to pick it up for a couple of bucks. Plus it was built around the B/X rules which I was very familiar with. So I selected it as today’s entry into the Character Creation Challenge.

As with most games based off of the D&D D20 format, I’m always curious how the ability scores are generated. Tall Tales stuck with the standard 3d6, but it gave the option to discard sub-par characters and re-roll. The RAW also had the option to adjust certain ability scores (only STR, WIS and INT could be lowered). I ended up with the following stats. STR: 15, INT: 9, WIS: 9, DEX: 13, CON: 12 and CHA: 10. Hmm.. pretty average.

The Classes have minimum requirements and are as follows. Gunslinger (a fighter), Desperado (a thief), Mountain Man (I think this is the equivalent of a Druid), Snake Oil Salesman (a swindler that makes potions that may or may not work), Brave (Native American cross between a Ranger and Cleric) and Singing Cowboy (you guessed it, a bard). There is also a More Classes supplement that allows you to play a Lawman, a Preacher or a Gambler. With the stats like this, I elected to take the Gunslinger. The class didn’t have a prime requisite (and thus no bonus XP). This resulted in a d8 for HP (I rolled a 7). I also wrote down the various special abilities for my selected class.

I love the fact that the Alignments are titled Law Biding, Neutrality or Dishonest. I also wrote down my character’s language which is Common (i.e. English). You also had the option to roll to determine your career before the game started. I rolled to see what he was and the Soldier result came up. The RAW stated this was to help the Judge (Game Master) decide on your skills you can use during play, but it did not expand upon this.

The game still listed all money as Gold Pieces, Silver Pieces, etc. instead of dollars which I thought was a little our of character for a Western RPG. I rolled up my character’s starting money and equipped my character.

The Saving Throws are interesting. They are Gumpton (resist with willpower), Quickness, Toughness, Riding and Observation. The information wasn’t listed with the other character creation sections so I had to go search for it. But once I had it and the “to hit” roll information listed down, I was done.

Earl “Buck” Turner was a veteran of the US Army but only served for a couple of years before deciding to head west in order to be a bounty hunter. He brings them in Dead or Alive for the reward. And the reward money is what he wants to collect. Here is the Character Sheet.

Earl "Buck" Turner character sheet
Earl "Buck" Turner character sheet

Afterthoughts:

I saw some areas where I wanted to write up some additional information on equipment and weapons. When I get some free time (yea right) I’ll have to see if I can put something together. I could really see myself playing this game. I like how some of the classes are set up (including the extra classes) and I’d be curious of how my fellow gamers would take to a game like this.

Additional Notes:

I want to thank those that gave me feedback on yesterday’s Character Creation Challenge entry. Apparently others had noticed the typos in the rule books. It also tells me that people are reading my blog entries. Thank you.

From the #CharacterCreationChallenge hashtag I was able to locate another blog participating in the challenge. I have added the Orc.One blog to the list of links.

Coming Up Next:

Spycraft

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games, Steampunk, Westerns

Character Creation Challenge Day 12: Age of Empire

Creation Challenge Day 12

I found a copy of Age of Empire: A Role-Playing Game of Mad Victorian Fantasy at a local thrift shop. The store must have received a box from a collector or closed game store because the book (and several other RPG books which I also picked up) were in very good condition. When I first saw the book sitting on the shelf, I thought it was a book about the Microsoft video game, Age of Empires. Then when I realized it wasn’t connected to the video game, I wondered: “How did they get away with using a name so similar to the one used by Microsoft?” You don’t antagonize a big corporation with lot’s of lawyers. A quick google search later took me to RPGGeek.com where it mentioned that a settlement with MS had taken the game off of the market. No other details beyond that so (shrugs) who knows what happened in the legal wrangling that took place. However, since the likelihood of playing a campaign with this system is small, I decided to make it one of my entries into the Character Creation Challenge.

The game is definitely a Steampunk game, but is not limited to Victorian London. One of the many influences on the game was the Western Spy-Fi series, The Wild Wild West which had been a favorite of mine when I saw the re-runs on television. So I decided that I wanted to create a character that had the profession of Spy. In Age of Empire, you don’t have classes, you select the minimum requirements for a certain profession. American agent Walter Williams will have to have several things generated in order to be playable. His Statistics (Body, Mind & Spirit), Defining Traits, Skills and Finishing Touches.

For the Statistics, a player is given eight points that can be allocated between Body (the character’s strength and agility), Mind (intelligence and mental ability) and Spirit (social, faith and mystic power). No stat can be higher than 5 or lower than 1. Since a secret agent needs to be well rounded, I selected 3 for Body, 3 for Mind and 2 for Spirit.

In order to meet the minimum requirements for the Spy profession, one of the first Defining Traits I selected was “Jack-of-all-Trades”. You get one Defining Trait for each point you have in each of the three statistics. I selected a series of traits that I felt would be worthwhile to a spy in the field.

As with the Defining Traits, there were minimum requirements for skills. These were Analysis & Disguise (under Mind), Fencing, Firearms and Fisticuffs (under Body) with no required skills under Spirit. It took a second to find out how many skill points I had to spend (luckily there was an example of creating a character in the book and it explained some of the steps I had just read). I spent my skill points (15 each for Body and Mind skills, 10 for Spirit skills) that I felt was appropriate for an espionage agent.

As a spy, my character has a special ability of obtaining three (highest stat) gadgets per adventure. Those should come in handy. Rolling for starting funds was the first time I had to make a dice roll in the character creation process. The equipment list was rather small, so I selected what I could and considered the character created.

Walter Williams was born from an American Father and a British Mother. He learned at an early age that acting was a way to become popular. While he was raised in the United States, his mother taught him all about the British way. When Walter was starting out as a new actor, he was approached by a friend who served with the American government. They needed agents to gather intelligence around the world. Walter’s acting would allow him to pass of as both American and European. He was placed in a traveling stage performing group which gave him cover for being abroad as well as having certain items. “Oh, that’s just a prop pistol.” Walter is now on assignment while traveling across the globe. Here is the character sheets.

Walter Williams character sheet page 1
Walter Williams character sheet page 2

Afterthoughts:

It appears that the system used for Age of Empire is pretty simple and easy. You use a D6 for each skill point and add your Stat score. The Author (Game Master) rolls an opposing roll and the highest score succeeds. There are also rules for magic and mysticism that I didn’t really get to read at this time. I wouldn’t mind trying out a gaming session or two to really get a feel for the game. And with the lack of companion publications for the game, it’s wide open for homebrew supplements. I wonder if they would actually get used if I wrote anything up for them. The creators of the game included statistics for historical figures such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Wyatt Earp as well as fictional characters like Count Dracula and Phileas Fogg. I thought that was a nice touch as I usually wonder what a character’s game statistics would be when I’m watching an entertaining show.

Additional Notes:

I would like to thank those supporters who have used the DriveThruRPG links to purchase game material. The affiliate funds may not be a lot, but I will be using them to purchase games for future reviews. You can also support what I do on this site by purchasing from one of the Amazon affiliate links or clicking on the Ko-fi button on the main page. This site isn’t a money making opportunity. I’m just trying to use the affiliate options to keep a hobby from digging too deep into the family finances.

Coming Up Next:

Far Trek, a fan made RPG based off of a popular Science Fiction franchise.