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Pulp western role-playing game where you become a two fisted, gun slinging cowboy, seeking danger in the mythic "wild west."
43 backers pledged $1,928 to help bring this project to life.
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$1,928

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Writing Contest

We are having a Kickstarter contributor contest: Contributors are allowed to submit Western story hooks which will be used in the book. Three of the hooks (in addition to the 151 we are already providing) will be fleshed out into 3-act stories and included in the book. To be considered for the contest any new contributers will have to back this project at least $25.

You may make as many story hook entries as you like; however the entries must be 250 words or less.

The winning stories will have art and fleshed out characters. I will announce the winner on December 4th. The announcement will be made as an update to this Kickstarter project. We will then contact the winners and flesh out details. You will be credited for your stories and hooks.

Behind the Game

My name is T. Glenn Bane. Before telling you about Wild West Horse Opera, Night of the Wendigo, and Six Gun Red, you may want to understand where these games are coming from. Growing up in a very small town that was situated in the middle of nowhere, there was not a lot of constructive things to do.  If it wasn't for gaming to occupy my attention, I may have started getting into real trouble; I knew a lot of kids who did.

That's been a lot of years ago; as an adult I can recognize and appreciate the impact and importance that gaming had. Role-playing Games were my first introduction to literature and the arts. A good game can be so much more to young people than just a momentary diversion.

These games are designed to provide fun choices to occupy active minds. Good games can create fellowship among young people, teaching them social skills and building friendships that last a lifetime. My friends and I always had exciting adventures to entertain us and incredible places to go; all without leaving the kitchen table.

These games are designed to spotlight the creative aspects of gaming, lending more time to story telling and less time to chart and rules surfing than many other systems. They seem rules-lite at first, until you realize the rules system, Bare Bones Beyond, is as big as your imagination and will be as broad or narrow as you allow it to be. I wanted young people to have a rules set they could quickly pick up, understand, and begin playing while providing older gamers a rare opportunity; a chance to play like a kid again.

The reason I chose Worlds of Pulp as a theme for my games is because Pulp Fiction is broad and far reaching with seemingly no limits on the creativity that the stories employ; in fact, pulp demands over-the-top story telling. I've already created 1930s and 1940s pulp games. This is an opportunity for me to bring one of my favorite genres to life for my readers.

Wild West Horse Opera holds a special place in my imagination and I hope in yours; after-all, how many of us ran around the yard at some point when we were kids pretending to be Cowboys or have had make-believe saloon brawls on the living room floor?

What is a Role Playing Game

A Role Playing Game, is a story telling adventure shared between you and your friends where you create and adopt a fictional persona for the duration of the game. Your character is put into difficult adventures and situations where they must overcome obstacles using you wits and the abilities they have been designed with. The character advances, gaining and refining abilities in correlation with the number of obstacles overcome during the session. Effectively a Role Playing Game allows a player to create a hero of the Wild West and write that characters legend, all the while learning about a different place and time. Two six sided dice are used to represent randomness and task resolution. Role playing games can be enjoyed by people of all ages but are generally enjoyed by players between high school and college ages.

Homage to Western Pulp

The Mythic Wild West is home to a pantheon of larger-than-life heroes; the gunfighters, gamblers, cowboys, outlaws, Sheriffs, and Marshals have all made an indelible place for themselves in our hearts and imaginations. Big sky and wide-open spaces drew these people to unknown lands and dangers as they searched for a place where they could be free from the oppression of overcrowded cities, disease, and political turmoil. Our goal is simply to bring you the best new Western fiction in table-top gaming; stories where imagination and modern creative license take the genre to a much deserved, next level. Wild West Horse Opera will combine the over-the-top story telling of early pulp fiction with the strange and eerie story telling that pervaded early comics. Finally, add in the gritty independent heroes of the Spaghetti Western and stage this story in the breathtaking landscapes of the Wild West, surrounded by danger. Heroes must rise above the insurmountable simply to survive. There are three books contained in this buffet of Wild West Action.

The first is the Wild West Horse Opera RPG. This book includes all of the rules you need to play the game.

The second book is Night of the Wendigo, an adventure about secret government agents taking on the Unknown to end a bloody string of deaths.

The third book is a an anthology, Six Gun Red and other Tales. It is the story of a Civil War Veteran who suffers from amnesia. He travels from adventure to adventure driven by dark visions of a phantom cur and a bloodthirsty crow. There will also be a story by Ron Fortier, and a Kit West story by Nick Ahlhelm.

Fast Simple Rules System

The lightning quick system uses 2d6 to determine action and task resolution. The complete rules will be contained in the book Wild West Horse Opera. As a Worlds of Pulp product it will be fully compatible with Rotwang City: City of Shadows, Davey Beauchamp’s Amazing Pulp Adventures, and Ron Fortier’s Cape Noire RPG.

The rules system allows the player to determine their own abilities and decide exactly what they mean. It is the only game where the player tells the Game-Master how their character works; the Game-Master's job is to enforce that vision. A simple 1-10 Rank system, a Practical Comparative Table (compares ranks to real world measurements), and  the Cosmic Eye (a random plot twisting table to avoid simple or ) work together to keep the Game-Master out of the book as much as possible, while keeping the game flow moving smoothly.This game will also include updates for past publications, so that all characters remain compatible on all fronts.

  • CM stands for "Character Matrix," and is a general measure of the character's effectiveness.
  • BC stands for "Boxcars," and represents bonus points that a character may use during game play to increase the likelihood of success.
  • Foundation Abilities are representative of the most commonly used abilities in the game and are used as the foundation for "Ability Stacking." The Foundation Abilitis are: CMT (combat), AGL (agility), MGT (might), TGH (toughness), INT (intelligence), PER (perception), WIL (willpower), ASP (aspect), SIZ (size), HIT (hit points), HTH (hand to hand bonus), DSV (death save).
  • Conditions are the foibles that challenge the character.
  • Abilities are a grab-bag of skills and advantages, Stomping Grounds is the area that this character knows best.
  • Character Network is for keeping up with people in your character's life.
Sample Character Recored Sheet
Sample Character Recored Sheet

Wild West Horse Opera Core Rules

The core rulebook will contain everything you need to play, character archetypes, Wild West Magic, encounters, maps, and a guide to the city  Slow Funeral Ridge--a fictional Arizona town unique to this product. It is an isolated pit of corruption and outlawry where adventure stories abound. The good people living there are confronted on an ongoing basis by greedy land and cattle barons, corrupt officials, and bloodthirsty desperadoes. It is a place where heroes are challenged at the end of a gun and bandits see their legends come to a close at the end of a rope. Part of the Kickstarter money will be used to have this town professionally rendered. We thought to reward you by allowing the backers to populate this town. With your contributions, you will be able to choose the name and many of the details of the leading citizens of Slow Funeral Ridge. What? you don’t want to get carried away being the Sheriff or Mayor? Heck, maybe you just want to be immortalized as one of the grave markers in Boot Hill cemetery, or as a wanted out law posted in the Sheriff’s office, post office, bank, or local saloon. Want something in-between, you could open a business on Main Street and name it whatever you want (within the scope of a Western). These characters will all be given statistics allowing their ongoing use in Western campaigns. Slow Funeral Ridge belongs to the backers. It will stand as our eternal “thank you” for your contributions. Please read the menu of options so you can pin down exactly what choice best suits you.

What the Kickstarter Contains

If you pledge the $75 level you receive everything listed here.

  • x1 Wild West Horse Opera Core Rule Book; the rules include options for running standard Westerns, supernatural westerns, and masked Golden Age westerns
  • .x1 Adventure Book: Night of the Wendigo
  • x1 Pulp Western Novella: Six Gun Red with various by T. Glenn Bane. As other stories become available, this Novella may expand into an anthology. Pulp author, Ron Fortier, Davey Beauchamp, Drew Meyer, Gina Farago, and Nick Alhelm have already come on-board with story contributions. 
  • x1 set collector's dice. 2 six sided  Wild West Horse Opera dice
  • x1 Wild West Horse Opera collectors pin
  • x1 Wallpaper of Arizona Territory
  • PDF of Bonus Characters for Wild West Horse Opera

Night of the Wendigo

John Eli Fox, has written a bone chilling knuckle-biting adventure called Night of the Wendigo. It is a story about secret government agents sent to a town to confront the evil that plagues it. This supernatural adventure reveals the scope in Wild West Horse Opera, allowing elements of horror to bleed through into the city.

Artist: John Grigni

John Grigni first produced a phenomenal cover for Rotwang City: City of Shadows. We are thrilled by his work and are eager to have him back. John Grigni is currently producing our cover for Ron Fortier’s Cape Noire RPG. If you would like to learn a little more about John, we invite you to take a glance at some of his portfolio work.
http://www.argosdesigns.com/illustration/index.html

Artist: Ben Mirabelli

Ben Mirabelli is one of the artists we will be using on this project. Ben is an Illustrator with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UNC at Charlotte. He has been published by White-Wolf Game studios, Art of War Games, and Scaldcrow Publishing. He is currently developing a second cover for Scaldcrow Games, Strange and Eerie: Supernatural Encounters. Want to see more of Ben’s work?
http://www.benmirabelli.com/

Jerome Rozen Pulp Cover
Jerome Rozen Pulp Cover

Artists Artists Artists

We are looking at several artists and to fill this book with some incredible, original artwork. With your help this book will be nothing short of breathtaking. Original pulp fiction was home to incredible artists, we want to create a brand new legacy of fine art for Wild West Horse Opera. Please support this vision.

Chris Hopkins delivers big Wild West action!
Chris Hopkins delivers big Wild West action!

Six Gun Red – Novella

This novella takes place in the world of Wild West Horse Opera. Six Gun Red is the story of a Civil War Veteran who suffers from amnesia. He travels from adventure to adventure driven by dark visions of a phantom dog and a bloodthirsty crow. This will be the first in a series of stories about the character, Vis Impetum, (known more commonly as the Phantom Gunslinger). These adventure novellas are intended to be a quick read to better accommodate the fast-paced life more and more of us lead. Here is an excerpt from the beginning of the story:

Hell’s Dog lived up its name. Little more than a refuge for river pirates, it turned out to be a poor choice to stop and re-provision. Not exactly my first mistake I’ve made chasing in the tracks of the ghost dog; that blasted spirit cur that weaves me in and out of danger like a fancy Cherokee stitch. The town was a place where good intentions were laid down and shot. Persistent sweat poured into my eyes in a steady stream, making it harder and harder to see; of course it could have just been the sun cooking my brain. I pushed back the salty sweat, and tried to clear my vision. The memory of the padre’s burnt husk looked up at me when I squeezed my eyes closed. If those flat boat pirates caught up with me, they would skin me alive. That was nothing considering what had been done to the padre. I don’t guess just anybody would have taken up his cause and championed his burned out mission against those stinkin’ river coyotes—no, that takes a particular brand of fool; same kind of fool that would have kissed that river pirate in the forehead with a bullet. I am just that brand of fool. It seems that it’s the same wherever I go. A sudden stab of pain caught me by surprise as my sun-chapped lip split beneath the weight of my grin.

Be involved in the Story

We have a handful of Tuckerisms allowing you to be part of the story, Six Gun Red. Review our list menu of characters available in backer levels to the right.

Stretch Goal - 1 $500 over goal

For those of you who are fans of gamer friendly, well-drawn maps know the name Alyssa Faden. Her direct and elegant map making style are both unique and attractive. At $500 over goal we will be commissioning the incomparable Alyssa Faden to produce the town map of Slow Funeral Ridge.

Stretch Goal 2 - At $1000 over goal

We will also commision Alyssa Faden to produce the topigraphical map of the Nevada Territory arround Slow Funeral Ridge.

Stretch Goal 3 - Every $250 over $1,000

Each of these mini-goals delivers at least 5 western characters from history and the Golden Age to each backer who has invested, at least $10. If you pay $10 over your backer level, we will send you the physical book (This offer is only available in U.S.A).

Stretch Goal Tracker
Stretch Goal Tracker
Scaldcrow Games Makes New Friends
Scaldcrow Games Makes New Friends

A Great Gift

Buy a character from the menu available to the right and name the character after a good friend or family member.

Backer Drawing

Every backer is automatically eligible to receive a piece of original art from this project. Only three pieces will be given away. The art will include a certificate of authenticity.

Bullets of the West

We have produced an old style radio show, put together by us here as a way of showing our dedication to the project and our appreciation for each of you. This show is 00:15:20, so cut down the lights and enjoy our presentation.

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Thank you from Scaldcrow Games
Thank you from Scaldcrow Games

Risks and challenges

This will be our third Kickstarter project. We are experienced at overcoming obstacles to completion. We are dedicated to bring this project to life and placing it in your hands.

We have a dedicated group of creative talents working together on this project. Between us we also have an extensive contacts in the publishing and gaming world. Though you can never know when a mishap might occur, you can plan for the possibility.

Finally, this writing is all done. We are only looking for your support in additional editing and artwork.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1

    Off the Fence!

    Let us thank you for your involvement in the project in the best fashion we know how - print! A "thank you" will be printed in the front of the all three books, thanking you for your support.

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    Prospector

    Let us thank you for your involvement in the project in the best fashion we know how - print! A "thank you" will be printed in the front of the all three books, thanking our Kickstarter supporters.
    Also receive a PDF map of the Arizona Territory for use as a wallpaper on your computer.
    Also get a PDF of the Territorial game map.
    A pledge at this level will also place you in the drawing to receive a piece of original art from the game; 3 winners will be selected by random draw.

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    Boots and Spurs

    Receive the special "thank you" described above, be included in the drawing, as well and receive a PDF of the novella by T. Glenn Bane.

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    Be a named background character in the Novella.

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    I was gunned down in "Harrison's Gunn." With this level you get to be "written out" of the Novella in an exciting firefight.

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    Early Bird Special for The Great Train Robbery

    Receive everything listed from "Prospector" and "Boots and Spurs" levels plus receive receive a PDF of each of these books as well as PDFs of "Davey Beauchamp's Amazing Pulp Adventures," and "Rotwang City: City of Shadows" ($80 value).

    Amazing Pulp Adventures and Rotwang City are 1934s and 1930s pulp with complete rules included.

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    Receive everything listed from "Prospector" and "Boots and Spurs" levels plus receive receive a PDF of each of these books as well as PDFs of "Davey Beauchamp's Amazing Pulp Adventures," and "Rotwang City: City of Shadows" ($80 value).

    Amazing Pulp Adventures and Rotwang City are 1934s and 1930s pulp with complete rules included.

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    Slow Funeral Ridge - cast List

    Have one of 50, family homesteads named after you in "Slow Funeral Ridge." Example: The old Johnson place, founded by Samantha Johnson and family.

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    Slow Funeral Ridge - Terrain features

    Name one of 20 terrain features that will be included on the map of of the Arizona Territory near slow funeral ridge.

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    Slow Funeral Ridge - cast List

    Be named as one of 50 wanted desperadoes on a Wanted Poster in Slow Funeral Ridge. Some posters will appear in one of the saloons and others in the Sheriff's office.

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    Receive everything listed from "The Big Showdown," "Great Train Robbery," "Boots and Spurs," and "Prospector" levels, plus ...

    Slow Funeral Ridge - Cowboy

    Appear in the book as cowboy; the staple of many Westerns. You will name the Cowboy. This character will appear in the Slow Funeral Ridge RPG as a playable character.

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    The Big Showdown! PRINTED BOOKS

    Early Bird Special for $75 level

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    The Big Showdown! PRINTED BOOKS

    Receive everything listed from "Great Train Robbery," "Boots and Spurs," and "Prospector" levels plus, but also gain a collector's pin and set of "Wild West Horse Opera" dice sent to you, as well as a print copy of all three books.

    You will still have a choice to either name a territorial feature, be listed as a homestead family, or have a grave marker in Boot Hill.
    Even if all of the slots have sold.

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    Receive everything listed from "The Big Showdown," "Great Train Robbery," "Boots and Spurs," and "Prospector" levels, plus ...

    Slow Funeral Ridge - Undertaker

    Name the one of the most recognizable people in Slow Funeral Ridge, the one-and-only Undertaker. More than one unfortunate cowboy or gunslinger has been sent to Boothill in a pine box. Our design staff will work with you on the details of this individual.

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    Receive everything listed from "The Big Showdown," "Great Train Robbery," "Boots and Spurs," and "Prospector" levels, plus ...

    Slow Funeral Ridge - Gunslinger

    Appear in the book as one of 15 gunslingers. You will name the gunslinger and be involved with the design staff in detailing the gunslinger. This character will appear in the Slow Funeral Ridge RPG. Gunslingers will also be accompanied by a professional illustration.

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    Receive everything listed from "The Big Showdown," "Great Train Robbery," "Boots and Spurs," and "Prospector" levels, plus ...

    Slow Funeral Ridge - Trail Boss

    The Trail Boss is the individual in charge of driving a herd of cattle. They are also in charge of other cowboys on the trail. The six main ranches each depend on their Trail Bosses to safeguard the very heart of their business - beef.

    You can be one of the six Trail Bosses in "Slow Funeral Ridge." Our designers will work with your vision. Decide what sort of person the Trail Boss is; good or bad.

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    Slow Funeral Ridge - Deputy

    Appear in the book as one of six Deputy Sheriffs. You will name the Deputy and be involved with the design staff in detailing the character. This character will appear in the Slow Funeral Ridge RPG. Deputies will also be accompanied by a professional illustration.

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    Slow Funeral Ridge - Hanging Judge

    Name the one of the most powerful and influential people in Slow Funeral Ridge, the one-and-only Hanging Judge. Our design staff will work with you on the details of this powerful individual. You may decide what sort of person it is; good people or bad. A professional illustration will accompany this character. There will also be details about their business interests.

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    Receive everything listed from "The Big Showdown," "Great Train Robbery," "Boots and Spurs," and "Prospector" levels, plus ...

    Slow Funeral Ridge - Railroad Magnate

    Name the one of the most powerful and influential people in Slow Funeral Ridge, the one-and-only Railroad Magnate. Our design staff will work with you on the details of this powerful individual. This individual will go through any obstacle to expand the railroad and the power of the railroad company. A professional illustration will accompany this character. There will also be details about their business interests.

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    Receive everything listed from "The Big Showdown," "Great Train Robbery," "Boots and Spurs," and "Prospector" levels, plus ...

    Slow Funeral Ridge - Mining Tycoon

    Name the one of the most powerful and influential people in Slow Funeral Ridge, the one-and-only Mining Tycoon. Our design staff will work with you on the details of this powerful individual. The Mining Tycoon has already secured the mining rights to virtually every mine with a strong yield and is not afraid to lean on the others until they crack. The Mining Tycoon is on top and will stay on top. A professional illustration will accompany this character. There will also be details about their business interests.

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    Receive everything listed from "The Big Showdown," "Great Train Robbery," "Boots and Spurs," and "Prospector" levels, plus ...

    Slow Funeral Ridge - Ranch Owner

    Name the one of the most powerful and influential people in Slow Funeral Ridge, one of the intrepid, indelible, ranch owners. Our design staff will work with you on the details of this powerful individual. The Ranch Owner started out with nothing, but a dream; a dream to build an empire in beef, to tame the west, to build a legacy for their families. It wasn't easy and nothing will take it from them now. You get to name the rancher and decide if they are basically good or bad. The rancher is influential in, "Slow Funeral Ridge," for more reasons than just their money. Every rancher has a small army of cowboys and gunmen working for them. They are powerful allies or terrifying enemies. a A professional illustration will accompany this character. There will also be details about the ranch itself.

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    Sponsorship

    Would you like advertising space in this book. Be a professional sponsor to this product and get a full color, 3.833” X 2.5” ad in this book. Our design department will work with you on the ad specs. If you would like us to design your ad, then include an extra $50 with your bid.

    All advertising must be for legitimate businesses and must be appropriate for general audiences.

    This level is for advertising only and does not gain other bonuses and backer gifts.

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    Pledge US$ 85 or more About US$ 85

    Receive everything listed from "The Big Showdown," "Great Train Robbery," "Boots and Spurs," and "Prospector" levels, plus ...

    Slow Funeral Ridge - The Big Banker

    Name the one of the most powerful and influential people in Slow Funeral Ridge, the one-and-only banking magnate; the individual who sits atop the biggest bank in the city, a veritable shogun of commerce . Our design staff will work with you on the details of this powerful individual. You may decide what sort of person it is; good or bad. A professional illustration will accompany this character. There will also be details about the bank itself.

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    Slow Funeral Ridge - Sheriff

    Name the one-and-only Sheriff of Slow Funeral Ridge. Our design staff will work with you on the Sheriff and jailhouse details. You can decide if the Sheriff is a good person or a villain. A professional illustration will accompany this character, as well as a detail map of the jail.

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    Slow Funeral Ridge - Mayor

    Name the one-and-only Mayor of Slow Funeral Ridge. Our design staff will work with you on the Mayor's details. You can decide what sort of person the Mayor is; good person or bad. A professional illustration will accompany this character.

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    Slow Funeral Ridge - Territorial Marshal

    You get to name the one-and-only Territorial Marshal of Slow Funeral Ridge. Our design staff will work with you on the Marshal's details. You can decide what sort of person the Marshal is; good or bad. You may also name the Marshal's favorite campsite outside of town, which will appear on the map. The character will include a professional illustration as well as a map detail of the campsite.

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Funding period

- (30 days)