The saloon was quiet, sun spilling into the room, blocked only by the shadow of the Man in Black. With a flick of his wrist, the coat was behind his back, the ivory handle of the pistol drawing everybody's eyes.
“We don’t want no trouble mister,” the Barkeep sputtered, covering up for the sound of his foot hitting the release on the shotgun under the bar.
“Won’t be none if you spit up that rat bastard you hiding. The one that killed my Pa.” The man in black’s eyes locked in harder on the barkeep, turning to squints of violence. The Barkeep matched them. So it was going to come down to this...
Ballad of the Pistolero is a tabletop role-playing game set in the Old West. Not the Old West of the real world, but more the Old West of fiction from The Searchers, to The Good the Bad and the Ugly, and Red Dead Redemption. Filled with gunslingers, and bandits, hardscrabble pioneers, and ruff-hewn lawmen. Eliciting that feeling is the main goal of the game.
Ballad is run on a d100 system, with professions being the primary way that you create your character, similar to old school games like Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, and newer fare like Zweihander. In a game of this nature roleplaying is king, because once time slows down and the guns come out, combat is quick and deadly. That big gunfight at the end of a movie does tend to leave most of the people involved dead.
Our goal is to present a game and system that is simple yet powerful. Taking inspiration from the size of the era’s dime novel, Ballad is a slim book, streamlined to have only the things you need to play the game. The core of the system are the three stats, resources that every player has access to, and that fuel their abilities.
Moxie: The main fuel for your skills and feats, it returns to you after a good night's rest, or with a few belts of whisky.
Stamina: It is what keeps you moving forward, and allows a few bullets to hit you before that one that ends your life. It can also be spent here and there. Stamina takes a few days of rest to recover fully.
Luck: As your Pistolero lives their life, they will burn luck, and eventually it will run out. You can spend luck, and test against luck, but it never recovers. Some are blessed with an abundance of luck, others sadly start with a meager pool that life will quickly consume.
As you can see across this page the game has a unified look to its art, and the whole book will be illustrated by Sean Goodison, who you can find on Twitter @highscorekid, or at his website http://www.highscorekid.com/ We want the world of the game to pop with a book full of vivid color and imagination, and I know Sean can make that happen.
Another goal with the art, which you can start to see by the header picture, is that the book should represent the wide swath of people who were in the west, and those who will be sitting around the table playing the game. We want anybody who picks up the book to find somebody to latch onto after that first flip through.
$4000: 9 extra professions bringing the core book to 20, along with 20 new feats, and rules for riding and driving stagecoaches and boats. These will be added to the core rule book and delivered with that product in August.
$5000: Every good game needs a scenario to play through, correct? Well if we reach this goal we will, as a separate PDF, release three short adventures, again fully tested, edited, and illustrated. Picture them as being the size and length of a movie. Everybody who backs at the $15 and up tier will have this product added to their rewards. Release October 2019.
The current plan of rolling out the product, is that right now the beta version of the rules are available for free at the link below. We will be updating the document as things change and modifications are made. The Goal is to deliver the PDF copy of the book in September, then late October-Thanksgiving have the print on demand book available to buy. The PDF is the priority and how we assume most people will interact with the book. As for pushing and delivering Stretch goals, if we get to the expanded rule book that will become part of the base product. If we reach the adventure pack that will drop shortly after the main book. A time table for that will be provided if we get there. All PDFs and print on demand books will be fulfilled through DrivethruRPG.com.
- Test rules available now! Ballad of the Pistolero test rules
- Appendix A: Ideals, Goals, Flaws, names and cities where you Pistolero can be from. Early draft.
- .pdf out to backers and available September 2019
- Print on Demand books available October-November 2019
This is a very exciting time and we look forward to getting to share this game with the world. Supporting this product will help Foxwood Games become a company that can bring you more exciting products for years to come.
Risks and challenges
The major risk is that we are a new studio and this is our first major project. Everybody involved has published work though things such as the DMsguild, but not a stand alone project. With that said, the core of the book is finished and mostly edited, and play tested.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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