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By blending the historic with the cinematic, and using cards for system resolution, our game recreates Wild West gunfights.
By blending the historic with the cinematic, and using cards for system resolution, our game recreates Wild West gunfights.
121 backers pledged $6,486 to help bring this project to life.
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Gunman’s Law: Wild West Shootout RPG & Tabletop Game

$6,486

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A Short Note Up Top

REVISED STRETCH GOALS! — Three stretch goals met! Next at $7000 twenty new cards will be added!

NOTE ON THE VIDEO: The primary purpose of our video is to introduce you to the card-based resolution system used in Gunman's Law. Of course you also see some of the great artwork from Brian LeBlanc and hear stirring spaghetti western music, but mainly we wanted to show you the cards in action. We figure you understand the RPG and tabletop parts of our project! Ok, now on to the main text...!

In the West, there’s only one law that everyone understands; that guarantees a quick and decisive verdict; and that treats all people as equals . . . and that’s the Gunman’s Law!

Not since the inception of TSR’s classic Boot Hill has there been a game that captures the flavor and deadliness of the old West like Gunman’s Law.  Carefully blending the historic with the cinematic, Gunman’s Law recreates the gunfights of the mid-to-late 1800s with an unprecedented mix of versatility and verisimilitude.

Gunman’s Law allows both the solo player and multiple players (either "versus" or cooperatively) to recreate everything from the classic one-on-one showdown in a town’s main street to deadly ambushes. Hire your gun out to farmers being pushed off their land by a local cattle baron, or go to the aid of the town’s lawman who has to ride out to where a group of stagecoach robbers are reputedly hiding.

Part board game, part RPG and great for use with miniatures, Gunman’s Law breaks new ground by using a multi-purpose Fast Action Card deck to determine everything from a shootist’s speed and accuracy, reaction to danger, damage done and effect of that damage. 

Example of a Fast Action Card
Example of a Fast Action Card

Coupled with a Special Action card deck that adds both player strategy and individual tactics as well as unparalleled variety to gunfights — from the appearance of an unexpected ally to a fatal misfire — the concepts behind Gunman’s Law recreate with incredible accuracy both the pace and the heart-pounding suspense of a raging gun battle.

And while innovative techniques and playing methods make Gunman’s Law easy to play, they don’t take away any of the important and historic details necessary to make the game authentic. Weapon choice, distance from the target, cover, position, mounted or on foot, elevation — all these elements factor into the outcome of gunfights in Gunman’s Law.

Likewise, all aspects that go into the creation of both the Player Character and Non-Player Characters are present. Nine “Traits” make up each PC and NPC: from the standard speed and accuracy to nuanced characteristics like bravery and awareness.

Gunman’s Law comes with everything you need to enjoy it as either a solitary or multi-player game. Pre-generated NPCs ranging from basic cowboys to rated famous historic gunman are included along with over a half-dozen scenarios that help familiarize the players with the extensive set of rules. Counters, player aids, floor plans, multiple card decks (almost 200 cards in all) and more make Gunman’s Law the new standard for recreating Wild West gunfights.

Stand side-by-side with Hickcok, Earp and Masterson in an attempt to bring order to a lawless land. Ride with Billy the Kid, Bass Outlaw or Clay Allison and walk away from no man. Or better yet, create your own legend, walk your own path and practice your own version of . . . Gunman’s Law!

Game Contents

(includes everything unlocked in stretch goals)

Here is what's included in Gunman's Law:

64-page illustrated rulebook including:

  1. Character creation. Attributes, optional traits, determine Overall Rating, and more.
  2. Game rules. Learn all the cards, the use of tactics, movement, range, line of sight, brawling, and more.
  3. Six introductory scenarios — from a simple shootout to a barroom brawl to a multi-player ambush.
  4. Character advancement rules so your gunman can move from strategy game to roleplaying game.

ALSO: 

Stretch Goal #1 — Scenario #7: Wyatt Earp and the Stagecoach Robbery

Stretch Goal #2 — Whitewash City Model Set #1 (ten 3D models)

100 cards in a Fast Action Deck

50 cards in a Special Action Deck

20 cards in a Famous Gunman Deck

20 cards in a Player’s Card Deck

7 Tactics Reference Cards

Plus, several pages of player aids, battle map floor plan & counters.

Whitewash City Models — available as Rewards and Add-ons
Whitewash City Models — available as Rewards and Add-ons

Whitewash City 3D Models

We are very proud to include 3D models from the Whitewash City line produced by renowned RPG artist and mapper Eric Hotz. Above is a photo from a convention where a large number of these models were put to use in a game. These models are print scalable and each model comes with complete floor plans of every floor in the building! These models are available as part of our project either as add-ons or within some of the backer rewards. They will dramatically enhance your game of Gunman's Law!

Click here to go to Eric's web page where there's information about what's included in the various model sets of Whitewash City.

Revised Stretch Goals!

With a week to go I am revising the stretch goals based on public and private feedback from you the backers. I think we can make several of these still, and I remain hopeful of unlock the $10k goal scenario (take a look below!). The stretch goal products will be added to all backer levels at $25 and above.

GOAL MET! — Scenario #7: Wyatt Earp and the Stagecoach Robbery

Wyatt Earp receives a wire that three gunman have robbed a stage coach headed for Bisbee. An informant provides him with the information that the outlaws are holed up at the McMurty ranch. With both Virgil and Morgan Earp away on family business and Doc Holliday on bed rest after a particularly prolonged night of debauchery, Earp needs backup. That’s where you come in! The scenario comes complete with new NPC cards and a special detailed combat grid board.

Whitewash City Model Set #1
Whitewash City Model Set #1

GOAL MET! — Whitewash City Model Set #1

Yes, every backer at $25 and above will receive via email the complete Whitewash City Model Set #1. That's ten 3D models (including the Bank, Hotel and Saloon) and floor plans to every floor of those buildings. A $10 value included to all stretch goal backers! (Note that this set doesn't come with the free add-on as Eric offers on his own site.)

GOAL MET! — Scenario #8: The Law Be Damned

A group of banditos makes off with three of your best horses and you and two of your friends have trailed them as far as the Rio Grande, where they crossed over into Mexico. No law this side of the river is going to bother going after your horses and the Federales sure as hell aren’t going to worry about some gringo’s problem. If you want your horses back, you must cross the river and take matters into your own hands! Do it soon if you are to have any chance of staying on the banditos’ trail. The three of you versus Mexican bandits and possibly Federales — sounds like an even fight. The scenario comes complete with new NPC cards, new rules and a special detailed combat grid board. This scenario can be played either solo or with up to two of your friends as co-op play.

NEXT AT $7k — 20 New Special Action Cards

The basic game includes a deck of 50 Special Action Cards. A few cards from this deck are dealt to each player at the start of a scenario and may be used to affect the outcome of certain actions. Events will occur that can add or subtract damage, add or subtract Accuracy, and even do things such as bring an ally to your side. We'll look at Special Action Cards in a backer update, and if we approach this stretch goal then we'll tell you about the 20 extra cards we have in mind too.

$8k — Scenario #9: The Defense of Wild Bill Hickok

Wild Bill has just been acquitted of the killing of Davis Tutt. It will one day be among the Wild West’s most famous one-on-one duels. In the present, though, Wild Bill knows the tenor of Tutt’s friends about the ruling and he’s decided it might be a good time to leave Springfield; hell, maybe leave Missouri completely. Hickok waits several days for the sake of appearance and then gets out of town. He has just struck camp for the night when you ride in, bringing with you word that four armed men are heading toward Wild Bill. You are plum sure that they are all friends of the deceased Davis Tutt. The scenario comes complete with new NPC cards and a special detailed combat grid board.

Tombstone, AZ in 1881.
Tombstone, AZ in 1881.

$10k — Scenario #10: Gunfight at the OK Corral

Relive one of the most famous gunfights of all time — as a participant! This  huge co-op confrontation is portrayed in exact detail to the actual events. The characters join the fray against the Clanton’s and Billy Claiborne, and the McLaury brothers as those villains face off against Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp and Wyatt’s friend, the infamous Doc Holliday. Perfect for a large co-op or versus game, but also suitable for solo play. The scenario comes complete with new NPC cards, new rules and a special detailed combat grid board.

??? — Premium Cards

All printed cards are upgraded to premium quality. The standard cards are very good, but of course premium is even better! DriveThruCards describes the standard cards as "a Tango 12 pt, 270gsm playing card stock". Premium card stock is "Arjo-Wiggins Playper 305gsm matte with blackcore layer". This is a good time to note that our cards will be printed through the new DTCards POD program.

??? — Scenario #11: The Iron Springs Shootout

Assuming Wyatt survives OK Corral, he and his faction confront that of Curly Bill Brocius and his band of cowboys. This scenario is also portrayed in exact detail to the actual events. All NPC cards for Turkey Creek Johnson, Texas Jack Vermillion, and Sherman McMasters, as well as those for cowboys “Pony” Diehl, Johnny Barnes, Frank Patterson and others the players will meet at Iron Springs. Perfect for a large co-op or versus game, but also suitable for solo play. The scenario comes complete with new NPC cards, new rules and a special detailed combat grid board.

Whitewash City Model Set #2
Whitewash City Model Set #2

??? — Whitewash City Model Set #2

Yes, every backer at $25 and above will receive via email the complete Whitewash City Model Set #2. That's five 3D models (including Hardware, Sheriff Office and Grand Hotel) and floor plans to every floor of those buildings. A $10 value included to all stretch goal backers! (Note that this set doesn't come with the free add-on as Eric offers on his own site.)

??? — Scenario #12: The Great Northfield, Minnesota Bank Raid

You’ll ride with the James-Younger gang into the town of Northfield, aiming to rob “the biggest bank in the state”. Your only opposition is a bunch of “squareheads who can’t even speak English”. . . until those same hard-working farmers and townspeople decide to stop the bank robbery. Suddenly, Jesse and Frank James and Cole Younger, his brothers, and several other would-be bad men are in the fight of their lives as the people of Northfield rally against them. Once again, the scenario will be designed in painstaking detail, including the town’s layout and who and where all participants were located when all hell broke loose. Tons of new cards and a detailed combat grid map of Northfield included.

??? — Roleplaying Setting

The basic game includes the essential details for character development. Along with our evocative and intuitive combat system, that’s a roleplaying game! Ok, there are a few details that could be added, such as a skill system, and at this stretch level we’ll do just that. But the main things that transform a battle game into a roleplaying game are story and characters. So at this level, we’ll create a Wild West town, stock it with colorful and interesting personalities, and devise dizzying levels of plot and counterplot. The perfect place for your gunman to call home! Well, perfect once you clean things up a bit. We'll post more details about the setting we're creating if we draw near to this goal.

??? — Expansion #1: Apaches!

This new add-on will provide an entirely different environment and open many new possibilities to Gunman’s Law. Gunman’s Law and the Apaches will provide profiles of the great Apache war chiefs, including Mangas Colorado, Cochise and Geronimo.  All statistics needed to recreate the Apache’s horsemanship and guerilla tactics are included, along with three basic scenarios, centered around Apache war parties, raiding both the Arizona Territory and Mexico. We’ll eventually produce this expansion for the game (and charge for it), but get it effectively for free now by spreading the word about Gunman’s Law.

How Will Stretch Goals Affect Reward Delivery?

An excellent question, but guess what? They won't affect your delivery date! Before we even launch this project, Jim has completed Scenario #7. We'll be ready no matter how many people back this game. But we hope you'll make us work really hard.

Add-Ons!

Want more? Well we have more stunning models sets to offer you. Hopefully we'll unlock sets #1 and #2 in the Stretch Goals, but you may add an amount to your pledge in order to receive any of the model sets. Each of these sets usually costs $10, but you may add them now for only $7 each. If you want all the sets, then you should back Gunman's Law at a level of $80 or more as those reward levels include the Motherlode, a collection of all the Whitewash City models.

There are nine models sets in all. Remember, if we hit $2500 of funding, then Model Set #1 is automatically included for everyone pledging at least $25. If we stretch all the way to $12,500, then all those backers will also receive Model Set #2. Just ask if you have a question about how this works.

Here are the available sets:

Whitewash City Model Set #1
Whitewash City Model Set #1
Whitewash City Model Set #2
Whitewash City Model Set #2
Whitewash City Model Set #3
Whitewash City Model Set #3
Whitewash City Model Set #4
Whitewash City Model Set #4
Whitewash City Model Set #5
Whitewash City Model Set #5
Whitewash City Model Set #6
Whitewash City Model Set #6
Whitewash City Model Set #7
Whitewash City Model Set #7
Whitewash City Model Set #8
Whitewash City Model Set #8
Whitewash City Model Set #9
Whitewash City Model Set #9

Just $7 each as an Add-On to your pledge!

Risks and challenges

There are two basic risks for this project, neither of which threaten the game as a whole. After all, the game is essentially complete. We may (okay, we will) make a handful of changes during the process of designing the final product, but the rules and scenarios have already been overhauled several times, so no more substantial changes are likely.

THE FIRST RISK: Under-estimating shipping costs.

Obviously, this is not an issue for PDF copies where no shipping is involved. However, if we reach lots of stretch goals and must ship well more than the rules and 200 cards of the basic game, then we might get killed by shipping costs. We did *not* pad the shipping that's included in the $35+ pledge levels, but we *are* counting on using flat rate shipping. Still, it's possible there's so much material that it won't fit in the flat rate box!
In any event, this isn’t really a problem for you. If we lose money on the shipping, then that’s our mistake and consequently it’s our problem. It won’t interfere with the delivery of your pledge rewards.

THE SECOND RISK: We’re late.

It’s mostly good news again as it will be almost impossible to be late with PDF deliveries. The game is 99% designed. The bulk of the artwork is finished. The game just needs layout and design, and we shouldn’t miss that date. If it looks like we might, then we’ll let you know BEFORE it happens.

Tardiness is a bigger risk where the physical deliveries are involved, but as the POD edition uses much the same specs as the PDF edition, once the PDF is ready, the POD will be ready to launch. It just takes a little time to get a test copy to make certain everything looks as it should. And we’ll need to get POD card samples back as well. There is really only a chance of being late here if we encounter problems that cause us to go through multiple print samples. We’ve done PDF to POD before and don’t anticipate any issues.

As with Risk #1, if we hit some stretch goals and add to the scope of the project, then there is an additional risk of being late. For instance, some of the stretch goal scenarios have not been written. That’s why they are stretch goals! We can only make time for them if there’s is enough demand for them. Still, Jim dives into projects like few others with whom I have worked, and he will will complete these on time if it’s humanly possible.

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    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1

    THE PONY EXPRESS —
    Thanks for your interest! Gain access to backer updates. Commence dreaming about incredible gunfights and later back us at a higher level!

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    KEEP IT SIMPLE —
    Interested in the Old West or want to try out the card resolution system but don’t want to get involved in all the stretch goal hoopla? This reward includes the complete rules and all 197 cards as a printable PDF. An incredible value for the core game and starting scenarios, but new material unlocked through stretch goals is NOT included at this level.

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    TOO 1880’s! —
    Printed cards and books too 1880's for you? This reward includes the complete rules and all 197 cards as a printable PDF. You will also receive PDFs of all the additional material unlocked as stretch goals.

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    PISTOL RANGE —
    (US only) The complete game. Printed rulebook. Printed cards. All shipped to you in the US at no additional cost. Expansions unlocked through stretch goals are ALL included at this level as additional printed product.

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    SNAP SHOT (Early Bird Special!) —
    (outside the US) *Same as Need A Rifle below. You just shoot faster!* The complete game. Printed rulebook. Printed cards. All shipped to you at long range (outside the US) at no additional cost. Expansions unlocked through stretch goals are ALL included at this level as additional printed product.

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    NEED A RIFLE —
    (outside the US) The complete game. Printed rulebook. Printed cards. All shipped to you at long range (outside the US) at no additional cost. Expansions unlocked through stretch goals are ALL included at this level as additional printed product.

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    PISTOL RANGE MOTHERLODE —
    (US only) The complete game. Printed rulebook. Printed cards. All shipped to you in the US at no additional cost. Expansions unlocked through stretch goals are ALL included at this level as additional printed product. PLUS you get ALL the Whitewash City 3D Models. That’s a massive 85 building models and all 21 add-on kits — the entire $90 Whitewash City Motherlode added to your package for half price.

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    SNAP SHOT MOTHERLODE (Early Bird Special) —
    (outside the US) *Same as Need A Rifle above.* The complete game. Printed rulebook. Printed cards. All shipped to you at long range (outside the US) at no additional cost. Expansions unlocked through stretch goals are ALL included at this level as additional printed product. PLUS you get ALL the Whitewash City 3D Models. That’s a massive 85 building models and all 21 add-on kits — the entire $90 Whitewash City Motherlode added to your package for half price.

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    Pledge US$ 110 or more About US$ 110

    NEED A RIFLE MOTHERLODE —
    (outside the US) The complete game. Printed rulebook. Printed cards. All shipped to you at long range (outside the US) at no additional cost. Expansions unlocked through stretch goals are ALL included at this level as additional printed product. PLUS you get ALL the Whitewash City 3D Models. That’s a massive 85 building models and all 21 add-on kits — the entire $90 Whitewash City Motherlode added to your package for half price.

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    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    QUICK DRAW (Early Bird Special!) —
    (US only) *Same as Pistol Range below. You just drew faster!* The complete game. Printed rulebook. Printed cards. All shipped to you in the US at no additional cost. Expansions unlocked through stretch goals are ALL included at this level as additional printed product.

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    Pledge US$ 80 or more About US$ 80

    QUICK DRAW MOTHERLODE (Early Bird Special) —
    (US only) *Same as Pistol Range above.* The complete game. Printed rulebook. Printed cards. All shipped to you in the US at no additional cost. Expansions unlocked through stretch goals are ALL included at this level as additional printed product. PLUS you get ALL the Whitewash City 3D Models. That’s a massive 85 building models and all 21 add-on kits — the entire $90 Whitewash City Motherlode added to your package for half price.

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Funding period

- (30 days)